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February 2008

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Become a Carbon Hero

February 26, 2008

With more and more people becoming conscious of their environmental responsibilities these days, the focus on reducing global warming has escalated.   To this end, more people are looking for ways they can do their part to become green and reduce their carbon footprint.   Now, a new device that helps increase peoples awareness is helping them to become a 'Carbon Hero.'   That’s what Andreas Zachariah, a graduate student from the Royal College of Art in London and inventor of Carbon Hero and Oxford graduate student Nick Burch are saying about their product, the Carbon Hero.   The new device is a personal carbon calculator that detects movement using satellite navigation and displays a user's carbon footprint on their mobile phone.   Becoming more aware of ones own contributions, and the difference they can make by choosing a different method of travel, can have a positive impact on green initiatives.     “If you go on a diet you want to see if all that effort has made a difference so you weigh yourself. The beauty of our system is that it’s easy; you have a ’weighing scale’ on you all the time giving you your carbon footprint. When you make the effort to walk instead of taking the car you can immediately see the result, so it feels more worthwhile doing it and you are more likely to stick with it,” Zachariah was quoted as saying in this ScienceDaily report.   And not only can this new device help users personally discover and adjust their impact on the environment but also, businesses looking at the benefits of going green, can find benefit in using Carbon Hero as well.

Green Technology the Answer to Pollution in Japan?

February 21, 2008

Coal-fired power stations definitely don’t help in the fight against global warming, unless maybe they use “clean-coal technology,” as does a power station in Nakaso, Japan. That station, Financial Times in Japan reports, is run by a consortium of nine power companies and is being championed by the country’s trade ministry as a way to prove that the technology can reduce pollution.   Specifically, the ministry thinks that using “clean-coal” technology can results in CO2 emissions comparable to an oil-fired plant.   "For combating climate change, what is needed is substantive technology that leads to real reductions,” the Financial Times report quoted Takashi Mogi, an assistant director at the ministry’s environmental affairs office as saying. Mogi admitted, though, that such technology may not yet available: “It is not very easy to believe we will achieve that without the help of innovative technology that does not already exist.”   In its report, Financial Times indicated that, as wonderful as clean-coal technology is, Japan may be using this as a way of removing pressure to make more long-lasting changes.

Green Tech Not 'Sexy' Enough?

February 6, 2008

Green technologies companies, CNet News blogger Michael Kanellos said in a Tuesday posting, may face an uphill battle getting customers excited about their products because those products simply aren’t “sexy” enough.   Kanellos pointed out that solar and wind companies sell electricity-generating equipment… not exactly the most exciting thing around. Nor are new types of water filters or home biomass heating systems.   In other words, Kanellos suggested, the majority of green companies “sell commodities you need, but don't desire.”   That may be true, but then again maybe not.

Encouraging Green Tech Development

February 6, 2008

This summer a group of outstanding doctoral students, post-docs and research faculty from University of California, Davis, will be taking part in a five-day “boot camp” sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation (and other organizations) designed to help move sustainable technologies ideas from the lap to the marketplace.   Applications are now being accepted for the second annual Green Technology Entrepreneurship Academy, July 7-11 at the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences in Incline Village, Nevada. reports that the five-day event will cover “technology validation, market and financial strategies and communication skills.”
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