Business & Technology

New skimmer can capture nearly 90 percent of spilled oil

After the BP oil spill, the X Prize Foundation offered a $1 million prize to anyone who could come up with a better way of cleaning up oil. But the winning team, Team Elastec/American Marine, didn’t merely do better -- they blew other oil skimmers out of the water (ha). Their skimmer sucks up nearly 90 percent of spilled oil. You can check it out in the video above. The details, according to NPR:

Politics

Conservatives want to end support for America's fastest growing industry

In these grim economic times, one U.S. industry has defied gravity. It employs 100,000 Americans at 5,000 mostly small businesses in all 50 states. And it's wildly popular with the American public -- but not with Republicans in Congress.

Food

Is the company behind GMO salmon the next Solyndra?

With the FDA only weeks away from announcing official approval of GMO salmon, parent company AquaBounty is struggling to stay afloat.

Huge, polluting container ships that carry all our stuff clean up their act

Everyone knows that our iPads, clothes, kitchen appliances, furniture—our entire lives, basically—are made in China. But everyone might not know the container ships that bring that stuff over to the U.S. are climate-destroying juggernauts. According to OnEarth, just one container ship emits as much sulfur oxide (the stuff that makes smog) per year as 50 million cars. Plus, shipping accounts for 3.5 percent of all GHG emissions, twice as much as aviation. The good news is that air pollution rules are pushing container shipping companies to clean up their act.

Coming in 2013: Electric DeLorean!

The DeLorean Motor Company (not the original one but a reboot) will be coming out with an all-electric version of the iconic gull-wing auto in 2013 -- two years early for the events of Back to the Future II. Dear god, we'd better get cracking on those self-lacing shoes!

New Facebook app will let friends compete over energy efficiency

Companies large and small (including influential ones like Google) have been trying to convince consumers that they should actually use all the new smart-grid information to tamp down their energy use. So far, these programs have had little luck. Basically it’s hard to get consumers to pay attention to anything besides updating their Facebook status. So it’s lucky that Facebook now offers an energy-efficiency app. Facebook is taking a stab at promoting energy efficiency through data, in partnership with Opower and NRDC. Next year a Facebook app will let user compete with friends over their energy use.

New GE factory will spit out a solar panel every 10 seconds

China makes a lot of solar panels, but so does America. Or at least, it will, once GE's new thin-film panel factory opens in Colorado. The factory marks GE's new, large bet on solar, and states across the country competed to have the factory sited within their borders. Colorado had an empty factory that fit the bill and will snatch up a few hundred jobs as a result.

Politics

MSM on Solyndra: It's not a scandal

Even as the Solyndra affair is being cast as a scandal, lots of writers and newspapers are saying the same thing: No wrongdoing has been uncovered.

Sustainable Business

Can smart consumption replace green government?

A couple of years ago we were promised the “greenest government ever” — not a difficult thing in the U.K., but it sounded fun all the same. Sadly, the green stuff that was a major …

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