What better way to leverage on the inherent hatred people have towards your diesel cars than selling them electric ones. The diesel-gate scandal has surely scarred Volkswagen’s reputation for good. However, their PR will surely make a recommendation that they work on a clean-up model where they dish out electric vehicles, thus curing the ‘pollutant’ stigma that is pretty deep-etched in the minds of consumers. In fact, Dr. Herbert Diess from the company’s Passenger Cars segment will keynote CES 2016 on January 5. “We welcome Herbert Diess to CES to share Volkswagen’s vision for the future, including the company’s commitment to sustainability,” said Gary Shapiro who represents CES. “We are pleased Volkswagen will use the CES stage to unveil a concept car displaying its latest developments in safe and energy-efficient electric vehicles consistent with VW’s long history of innovation in the driving experience.”
Paris played home to a rather extreme measure by eco-activists. The said activists took over some 600 odd billboards across the city and went on a rampage to protest the indifference by brands and the governing bodies towards the real issues of climate change. The billboards coincide with the UN Climate Change Summit. Brandalism is the group behind the idea of guerilla advertising that manages to get the message and graveness of climate change and its hazards across. Over 80 street artists from across 19 different nations worked with Brandalism to create the ads. “We are taking these spaces back, because we want to challenge the role advertising plays in promoting unsustainable consumerism,” said Joe Elan of Brandalism.
What do we do with all those idle patches of land on the planet that do not serve any particular purpose? Other than turning into storage yards and makeshift markets, they hardly do anything other than take up usable space. Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) went on to finalize a proposal that will convert a 15-mile non-functioning railway line between Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and the Malaysian border into a multipurpose linear park. This could pretty much travel across the nation in one scenic strip. Japan’s Nikken Sekkei won the bid along with Tierra Design and Arup Singapore. The park expanse will accommodate 122 access points, 21 modular platforms and a paved cycling path.
A Vintage Electric e-bike is just what the planet needed. The 2016 Vintage Electric Tracker is a marvel of design and engineering that exemplifies simplicity and convergence of the new and old. For the last couple of years, Vintage Electric has been steadily impressing us with 20th century-based board track racing bike designs fitted around modern electric engines. The 2016 Tracker enters the ring with 15 percent efficiency over last year’s model even with 20 percent more torque produced and a larger 70 watt-hour battery in tow. It can easily cover 35 miles on a single charge and ensure that you have everyone’s eyeballs and double-takes focused in your general direction.
Last year, Akon conceptualized and launched the inspiring Akon Lighting Africa initiative that aimed at bringing solar energy to millions of homes in Africa. It’s been a year now and the project has been a roaring success for the singer with 1 million solar powered street lamps and domestic solar panels installed in over a million households in Africa. His endeavor has enhanced the standard of sustainable living across 14 African nations. To give a further boost to his movement, the program introduced the Solar Academy in Mali’s capital, Bamako, through which African engineers were taught the art of solar power harvesting.
Hasn’t the world always waited for a headline like this? In this day and age where renewable energy is either underutilized or too expensive to generate, we turn to the rich and powerful to fund a population that gives back to the planet. Bill Gates has fronted a coalition with 20 billionaires from across the world to invest more in the research of clean energy. The Breakthrough Energy Coalition will include venture capitalists such as Vinod Khosla, hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, Indian industrialist Mukesh Ambani, Jack Ma of Alibaba and even Mark Zuckerberg.
There’s often a complaint that solar panels are space consuming and accommodating them anywhere requires ample surface area. So why not use the roads? Those ever-expanding patches of open land that are exposed to the sun more often than other areas. Last October, Krommenie, a Dutch town, installed a bike lane that covered a 238-foot bike path. The inserted solar cells into tempered glass to turn the road into an energy generator. As astonishing as it sounds, this solar lane has generated 9800 kilowatt hours of electricity! This makes it an ideal solution to replicate in other towns, not just in the Netherlands, but across the world. This amazing source of renewable energy could then power up homes, light up streets and if optimized, even charge electric cars!
The World Meteorological Organization have stated that the global average surface temperature in 2015 is likely to make the year the warmest ever. The cause of the same could be a combination of human-induced global warming and a strong El-Nino. The scientists believe that we will be crossing a crucial 1 degree Celsius mark, higher than the pre-industrial era. The last five years have consistently proven to be warm and collectively and the five-year temperature surge is likely to cause extreme weather events. The global average surface temperature was over 0.73 degrees Celsius, as compared to the 1961-1990 average of 14 degrees.
The 21st annual Conference of Parties (COP21) global summit on climate change will be inspiring a truly exemplary action across Paris. Thanks to the Renaul-Nissan alliance, we will be seeing an installation of up to 90 new EV chargers in Paris. French energy providers EDF, Schneider Electric, Aéroports de Paris, Paris City Council and national railway company SNCF will all be joining hands to make this a possibility. The stations will serve in charging VIP shuttles for dignitaries and media personalities attending the event. The summit will host 20,000 UN participants from across 195 countries between November 30th and December 11th.
Imagine the creation of a national park that is 22 times the size of Chicago! Yes, that’s what just happened with the establishment of a 3.3 million acre national park in Peru’s Sierra del Divisor mountain range. This makes the Amazonian rainforest completely protected from any efforts to exploit the goodness of the riches it has to offer in terms of natural resources. The effort has been led by Chicago’s Field Museum and the Peruvian Government. The Field Museum invested the last fifteen years, studying the area and also discovered 20 species of formerly unknown flora and fauna. In addition to the various animal and plant life that is housed there, it also houses the Iskonawa group of people who have inhabited the lands for ages.