Safely Dispose of Techno Gadgets

Technology gets old – it's just the way it works (or stops working). So what do you do with it when it's time for a new laptop or cell phone? Unless you've got one of the new biodegradable cell phones, you probably don't want to chuck all that plastic and silicon into a landfill where it will probably sit for the next few thousand years. So what are your options for recycling your technology?

Fukushima Daiichi Meltdowns Could Have Been Avoided

A report from a high-powered commission today blasted the government, regulators, and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) for not anticipating and preventing the crisis at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant triggered by a powerful earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. Multiple reactor meltdowns and massive radiation releases forced authorities to evacuate 150,000 people from around the plant and shattered confidence in Japan's nuclear industry and in the government's capacity to respond to a disaster. "The TEPCO Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident was the result of collusion between the government, the regulators and TEPCO, and the lack of governance by said parties. They effectively betrayed the nation's right to be safe from nuclear accidents. Therefore, we conclude that the accident was clearly 'manmade,' " states the report from the panel, chaired by Kiyoshi Kurokawa, former president of the Science Council of Japan. "We believe that the root causes were the organizational and regulatory systems that supported faulty rationales for decisions and actions, rather than issues relating to the competency of any specific individual."

The New Whaling

Whaling is the hunting of whales mainly for meat and oil. Its earliest forms date to at least 3000 BC. So it has long been a successful economic activity but not too good for the whales whose population tends to be endangered. The Republic of Korea has announced plans to kill endangered whales under a loophole in the International Whaling Commission (IWC) treaty that allows for so-called scientific whaling (A sort of lethal way to determine how best to preserve the remaining whale stock). The Korean proposal was met with fierce opposition from numerous IWC member governments that called the hunt unnecessary given the availability of modern non-lethal research techniques.

Child Hunger Still a Major Problem in Developing World

The United Nations had set a target for developing countries around the world to cut the proportion of children who suffer from hunger in half by 2015 from 1990 levels. It is true that childhood hunger has improved since its peak in 1985. However, insufficient progress has been made, and only five percent of the developing world is on track to meet the UN target. One in five infants and children are moderately or severely underweight, amounting to 110 million children around the world. Further, another 148 million are mildly underweight.

Pre-Industrial Times

When evaluating the historic contributions made by different countries to the greenhouse gasses found in Earth’s atmosphere, calculations generally go back no further than the year 1840 which is roughly when the industrial revolution began. But this may not be fair since civilization has been around far longer than that. New research from Carnegie’s Julia Pongratz and Ken Caldeira shows that carbon dioxide contributions from the pre-industrial era have an impact on our climate today. Their work is published in Environmental Research Letters. The burning of fossil fuels that came with industrialization released massive amounts of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, which has helped cause global warming. But clearing forests and other wild areas for agricultural purposes also contributed to atmospheric carbon dioxide, and that has been happening since before industrialization.

Fracking Graves

Even cemeteries aren't sacrosanct in the relentless drive to extract fossil fuels. Far beneath the final resting places of many Americans, including war veterans, lies a wealth of natural gas trapped in shale rock formations, which could be tapped using the controversial hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, technique.

Recently Discovered 80-Year Old Photos Shed New Light on Greenland Ice Loss

A chance discovery of historic photos in a Danish basement has given new insight to researchers studying the ice on Greenland. The photos were found at the National Survey and Cadastre of Denmark, Denmark's surveying and mapping agency. They originate from the explorer, Knud Rasmussen's expedition to the southeast coast of Greenland in the early 1930s. The images stored in glass plates were compared to aerial photos and satellite images taken from World War II to the present.

Pakistan unveils sustainable development strategy

Pakistan's new national sustainable development strategy (NSDS) boasts a 'green action agenda' and proposes to set up a knowledge management system that is based on science, technology and innovation.

The Inside Scoop On 5 Kinds Of Crazy Weather

Most of us had never heard the term "derecho" until Friday, when we learned that's what meteorologists call the kind of massive storm that swept through the Midwest and blitzed the Eastern Seaboard, killing at least 20 people and leaving a 700-mile swath of destruction and downed power lines in its wake.

The real disappointment of the Rio+20 Conference

World leaders attending the recent Rio+20 conference agreed to promote sustainable consumption and production, but analysts say getting businesses and buyers to do just that will require far more than words on paper. To the immense disappointment of environmental groups and even some multinational corporations, Rio+20 failed to produce binding commitments or a plan on how to strike a balance between consumer demand and the availability of natural resource. "The current deal on the Rio table is really scraping the barrel – with woolly definitions, old ideas and missing deadlines," said Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth's director of policy and campaigns. "It doesn’t come close to solving the planetary emergency we're facing."