Earth Humans Are Awesome Inspiring Stories

Swedish Teen Sailed Across The Atlantic to Defend Mother Earth

Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean in her carbon-free yacht, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg has already received recognition for her stance on protecting our planet from climate change.

Greta Thunberg

She sailed from England to New York to join a climate-change conference which took her 13 days to complete. She chose a solar-powered, carbon-free yacht to avoid potential damage from carbon-emissions that have already damaged our planet through air travel.

Her 13-day voyage has drawn the attention of skeptics and supporters alike. She strongly feels it’s her duty to be an activist to guarantee that our planet will be taken care of.

Even though she is only 16, Greta knows it’s critical that people understand how their actions are harming Earth. Nothing can stop her from finding new ways to take care of our planet while encouraging others to realize how they are impacting our environment and climate.

Even though she is not a scientist, she believes her vessel is a scientific testimonial to raise awareness about the long-term issues that are affecting the Earth.

Thunberg’s passion for climate-change is nothing new. When she was 15, she organized an environmentally-friendly strike outside the Swedish Parliament building during school hours to encourage others to take action to save the planet.

Although most adults did not condone her actions, she held firmly to her convictions for three solid weeks! She handed out information and encouragement to others who passed by her. Eventually, her strike was published online and her efforts touched many people across the world.

Her plea for help went absolutely viral. Since then, her face has become the symbol of advocacy surrounding climate change.

Science in Action:

Her actions have caught the attention of people across the world. She has decided to throw herself into her cause as a full-time activist. She has taken time off from school to make activism her life’s goal. She has attended universities, conferences, events about climate-change, scientific events, and various political assemblies to spread the word.

Greta Thunberg UN

To travel from one event to another, she has chosen to use transportation that reduces CO2 emissions including by train even though it takes longer to get to her destination.

Greta has made many sacrifices to get the word out about the impending doom facing us in the future if climate change is not taken seriously. She said that we live in a strange world where children are literally sacrificing their own education to protect the planet against ruination.

Her outspoken attitude has drawn criticism from many, mostly due to her age, who do not believe the planet is in harm’s way. Meanwhile, others have come to her defense claiming that those who are against her are just ignorant.

Thunberg has remained focused and motivated to keep her climate change actions before the entire world. She planned on attending the climate-change conference held in the United States on September 2019. She decided to sail across the Atlantic Ocean from Britain to New York in her yacht that left no carbon footprints.

Greta’s Latest Missions:

On August 14, 2019, Greta sailed from Plymouth on the first-of-its-kind carbon-free yacht named Malizia 2. She sailed with her father who is an experienced sailor along with two other people. The 6-foot solar-powered yacht has technology on board that measures carbon emissions.

During the trip, she was able to observe how beautiful the ocean is with its many inhabitants including dolphins. As she traveled, she came to realize the importance of a pollutant-free ocean.

Although her journey was admired, many people who are in denial of climate change took to Twitter to leave negative comments about the young activist. One Twitter user, Julia Hartley-Brewer, left a message “Hi Greta, I’ve just booked some flights for my family to enjoy the winter sun on a beach over Christmas. Level Of Guilt – Zero!”

While there were negative remarks left behind, there were many others who came to her defense. Paraphrasing author Philip Pullman who said that most people have never done nor ever will one-hundredth as valuable and important as what Greta has accomplished.

Many others stressed their concerns about people who have nothing better to say about this young women’s passion to address climate change.

There is no doubt that planes do take their toll on the environment causing those who are conscientious to choose alternative forms of transportation. Her supporters definitely outweigh her critics. She said that even though there are people who will remain in denial and not accept what’s going on, she will remain focused on the crisis of climate change and do what she has to do.

There will probably be a line drawn in the sand, separating believers and non-believers regarding climate change. Each individual will have to make their own decision about the health and well-being of our planet. In the meantime, there are countless wild animals being slaughtered for game or to sell their ivory or fur.

These animals are becoming extinct and, believe it or not, they play an important role in the protection of our climate. I wonder if anyone thinks about them?

Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean in her carbon-free yacht, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg has already received recognition for her stance on protecting...

Cool Stories Earth Humans Are Awesome Nature & Tech

Amazing Footage of Hurricane Dorian’s 40 Mile-Wide Eye

Footage by the hurricane hunters flying directly into the eye of hurricane Dorian was released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Hurricane Dorian was 50 to 60 miles off the coast of South Carolina and footage of the storm was shot by Lt. Kevin Doremus from the cockpit of the NOAA aircraft, named Kermit. This aircraft is a four-engine Lockheed WP-3D Orion.

Along with cleverly naming one aircraft “Kermit” the other WP-3D aircraft that was involved was named “Miss Piggy”. The 2 NOAA aircraft have performed regular flights into Dorian to collect valuable data which helps forecasters to make better predictions and clearer understanding of the storm.

These planes are designed to measure pressure changes, wind speed, humidity, and other factors during this very long mission which lasted for more than 12 hours.

There is a shot of the planes going through the powerful winds and driving rain of the eyewall before entering into the eye of the storm which was very calm with amazing clear blue skies.

The eye of the storm varied in size from approximately 50 to 60 miles wide. Doremus told Newsweek the eye was a lot smaller than the previous fights into the storm, and in some cases was only 5 miles wide!

After that, the storm grew to more than 60 miles wide. The Washington Post reported the storm increased in size with hurricane-force winds and tropical storms that extended outward by 25 to 220 miles from the center.

During the following Thursday, Nick Underwood, hurricane hunter, posted a video of an NOAA plane flying into Dorian’s eye that showed an enormous “stadium” effect that can be clearly seen.

The eyes of hurricanes, as well as cyclones, usually have traits of “stadium” effects because the clouds of the eyewall are curved in a way that actually resembles an arena or stadium appearance.

Flying through the eyewall of a hurricane where the winds are at their strongest can be very dangerous. The NOAA planes are not normally harmed by the strong winds, which is absolutely incredible.

Flying Kermit and Miss Piggy

It’s quite common that airliners fly in jet streams with winds exceeding 150 miles an hour over the US during the winter months. It’s the shear or sudden change in horizontal or vertical winds that can harm an aircraft, causing the planes to lose control.

NOAA pilots and crew routinely, but never casually, fly in high-wind environments of hurricanes and are not worried about their planes being torn apart. NOAA aircraft do not fly through tornadoes. However, pilots and crews are constantly monitoring for any hot spots of severe weather and shear which they can pick up on with radar, especially to avoid really serious situations.

Lt. Kevin Doremus, referring to Dorian, said the storm was actually pretty easy to fly through when he captured his video. The storm was slowly deteriorating from a Category 3 to a Category 2 and there were very little up and downdrafts that are normally found in a Category 4 and 5 or rapidly intensifying storms.

They had been watching Dorian from a tropical depression up to a Category 5 and said this was, without a doubt, the smoothest flight they had been on since previous flights that entered the storm a few days before.

On Friday, at 5 AM EDT, Dorian was 25 miles east of Cape Lookout in North Carolina with sustainable wind speeds of 90 miles per hour. It was moving northeast around 14 miles per hour and was expected to remain in motion through Saturday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

According to a statement, Dorian remained a powerful hurricane while it moved along the North Carolina coast over the next several hours. It was forecasted to become a tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds through Saturday night as it headed to Nova Scotia.

Footage by the hurricane hunters flying directly into the eye of hurricane Dorian was released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric...

Earth Tech News

Arch Rao is Back With a New Company for Energy Management

If you don’t know who Arch Rao is, he was the former head of products, applications, and sales engineering at Tesla Energy.  He was behind the company’s successful Powerwall home energy system.  He is now back as founder and CEO of a new company, Span IO, promoting energy management and efficiency for homes.

Span IO is working to upgrade the electrical fuse box for homes with a digital system that integrates into the existing circuit breaker technology that has been the foundation of home energy over the last century.

Arch Rao and his team are focusing on integrating renewable power energy storage, and electric vehicles making it easier for people by redesigning the electric panel for modern energy requirements.

They packaged the metering controls that travel between the bus bar and the breaker.

Rao said energy flows through the panel through a breaker bar and the breaker bar has tabs that you slot your breakers into, the tab is normally a conductor.  They have designed a digital sub-assembly that packages current metering voltage measurement, and the ability to turn each circuit on and off.

The technology will be sold through various avenues such as solar energy or battery installers. They already have plans to integrate their power management devices with energy storage systems similar to those available from LG.

Span plans on selling their products in states like California and Hawaii where the demand for solar installation is very strong and homeowners understand the significant benefits from installing renewable energy and energy efficiency systems.

What Happens When There’s an Outage?

One of the great advantages, homeowners having this new power management system will give them control over what areas of their homes will be powered in case there is an outage.  The technology hooks up the entire home to a renewable system.

Rao said using existing technologies, installers can set up a separate breaker and just rewire certain areas of the home to receive the power generated by a renewable energy system.

The control is handled through a consumer app which is available for downloading on mobile devices.

Span IO is backed by many investors including Wireframe Ventures, Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, Ulu Ventures, Hardware Club, Consignment Ventures, I/O Capital, and Energy foundry.  They plan on raising new cash before the end of this year to push forward.

If you don’t know who Arch Rao is, he was the former head of products, applications, and sales engineering at Tesla Energy.  He was behind the...

Category - Earth

Earth Inspiring Stories

Amazon Rainforest Fire:

How to spot the FAKE photos as Twitter reacts to the devastation

In the past year, Brazil has been hit over and over again with devastating forest fires, especially in the Amazon region, so Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts have been blowing up with posts and pictures with the hashtag #AmazonRainforest being the most popular among them.

According to satellite data from the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), in Brazil alone, there are 80 percent more fires in 2019 than there were last year. However, it seems like some of the pictures being shared in relation to the devastation are inaccurate.

More than half of the fires in Brazil are in its Amazon region, and staggering satellite images show just how many fires there are.

Satellite images from NASA and NOAA are giving an accurate portrayal of how far the destructive fire and smoke has spread across the country, but many photos being shared on social media are quite misleading, even if they were meant to be supportive. As a result, users are being asked to stop sharing inaccurate photos, most of which are from fires that happened 30 years ago.

One of these pictures was retweeted over 15,000 times with the caption: “For three weeks, the Amazon RAINFOREST has been burning.

“Fire frequency in Brazil has increased +82% due to droughts, increased heat, and land-use change (logging, industry, & agriculture).”

The following image is actually an Alamy Stock Photo from a climate website called ALERT back in February of this year.

Amazon rainforest fires: All four of these are inaccurate, the top left being California in 2013 (Image: TWITTER)

This second post that included four photos was uploaded to Twitter with a caption bemoaning Brazil’s tragedy, but actually none of the photos have anything to do with the August 2019 Amazonian fires.

The top left photo was liked on Twitter over 4,500 times but was taken during a forest fire in California and uploaded to the US Department of Agriculture’s Flickr account back in 2013. The second is from a 1989 Amazon forest fire, according to The Guardian.

The third picture is from the same 1989 fire, and the fourth image is a heat map from InfoAmazonia showing the extent of forest fires in the Amazon from 2000-2014.

Kendell Jenner retweeted another viral post to her more than 28 million followers, but neither of the two photos are actually related to the recent forest fires.

The image on the right is a picture of fire in Serbia, while the left was taken by photographer Daniel Beltrá in 2014 for articles on fires in Sweden.

Yet another image captured for Getty by Lauro Alves posted on Wednesday shows a fire at Brazil’s Taim Ecological Station in 2013.

Lastly, Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio shared an image of fires burning against a wall of green forest, but this photo is originally from February 2018 in the article, “Carbon emissions from Amazon wildfires could ‘counteract’ deforestation decline”.

So, beware of the misleading pictures and check the sources before you believe what you see!

How to spot the FAKE photos as Twitter reacts to the devastation
In the past year, Brazil has been hit over and over again with devastating forest fires, especially in the Amazon region, so Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts have been blowing up with...

Earth Vacation

Nature Lovers Now Have 270,000 Acres of Land Open in California

Many people looking to get back into nature have a hard time finding places that are pristine, open, and ever so natural to unwind and just have a great time.

Nature lovers now have a new area in California to view breathtaking mountains, an abundance of wildlife, ancient old oak trees, fields and streams, along with so many hiking trails.  You might just discover your next excellent vacation spot without ever having to leave the country!

Tejon Ranch has donated a great deal of land so visitors can enjoy nature in the most wonderful way.  Tejon Ranch has been around since 1843 and the owner, Fitzgerald Beale, has partnered with an online travel company, Explore Ranches, to allow their members access to 270,000 acres of private land.

About Tejon Ranch:

The ranch is located 60 miles north of Los Angeles and 30 south of Bakersfield.  It is the largest, continual expansion in California offering 422 square miles of land. Tejon Ranch has joined other natural environments in the state, Mojave Desert, Sierra Nevada, San Joaquin Valley, and Coastal Range.  The spans of land is larger than New York City.

There are hundreds of miles of trails and roads to hike along, fields of grass, coniferous forests, ancient oak and Joshua trees, a huge diversity of wildlife, and many reservoirs and streams.

Their partnership with Explore Ranches allows visitors to choose their accommodation from 4 separate lodges that will hold 4 to 12 people at three different locations, including the Venado Cabin.

Located at the foot of the mountains, Venado Cabin offers incredible, endless views from the porch of the cabin.  You can see red-tailed hawks, an occasional condor, eagles, and deer roaming freely along the hillsides.

You can also enjoy a game of horseshoes with their private horseshoe pit.  For those who want to explore the ranch, there are miles of trails for hiking, going on driving tours, or biking.  Just below the cabin, there is an incredible fishing pond loaded with bass and bluegill and a massive meadow with huge oak trees.

If you want a really wonderful vacation away from your hectic lifestyle, visiting this property will give you access to so many activities including mountain biking, hiking, fishing, picnicking, and the incredible opportunity to take photos of wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. What an idyllic way to totally unwind!

Many people looking to get back into nature have a hard time finding places that are pristine, open, and ever so natural to unwind and just have a great time.

Nature lovers now have a new area in California to view breathtaking mountains, an abundance of...

Earth Nature & Tech Science

Giant Telescope the Focus of Hawaii Protest

Hawaiian activists led by native elders are protesting against the construction of a giant telescope atop the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s tallest mountain, which they say is sacred ground.

Colette has more:

Hawaiian activists led by native elders are protesting against the construction of a giant telescope atop the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s tallest mountain, which they say is sacred ground.
Colette has more:

Earth Nature & Tech Science

Weird ‘Praying Monk’ Ice Daggers Host Life in an Extreme Environment

We first heard of nieves penitentes in scientific literature written by Charles Darwin back in the 1800s, but most of us have never heard of this strange term.

This is because nieves penitentes, strange blades of ice found in remote places, were discovered first in the Andes which are difficult and extreme and therefore, extremely hard to venture into, especially for an extended period of time for study.

However, a group of brave scientists made the trip into Chile’s Volcán Llullaillaco, recording their findings in the journal Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research. “This is a very remote area that’s difficult to access,” study co-author Steve Schmidt, from the University of Colorado Boulder, said in a statement.

“The entire back of one of our pickup trucks had to be filled with barrels of drinking water. It’s no trivial thing to go out there, and that’s one of the reasons these formations haven’t been studied much.”

Nieves penitentes are long blades of hardened snow and ice ranging anywhere from a few inches to 16 feet long. They are found in cold, dry regions about 13,000 feet, the most extreme, high-altitude environments on Earth.

Since UV radiation is high and humidity is low, the temperature changes drastically and the winds are extreme, making it difficult for life to exist.

These snow formations usually form pointed toward our sun, and they were named nieves penitentes – meaning “penitent snow” – because of their resemblance to praying monks wearing white robes.

Red Ice?

What the scientists found was astounding: the penitente fields, found at a height of over 16,000 feet, had red ice patches. This means that microscopic life exists! Further analysis showed that the patches held a community of snow algae closely related to that which has been found in other alpine and polar environments.

“In this environment penitentes provide both water and shelter from harsh winds, high UV radiation and thermal fluctuations, creating an oasis in an otherwise extreme landscape,” the team wrote.

This is the first time life has been recorded in these formations. Since they are believed to exist on other bodies within the solar system, including Pluto and Jupiter’s moon Europa, this could provide insight into extra-terrestrial life.

The scientists say its meaning is significant when we consider the search for alien life.”Intriguingly, recent planetary investigations have suggested the existence of penitente-like structures on other planetary bodies of our solar system,” the team concludes.

“Therefore, penitentes and the harsh environment that surrounds them provide a new terrestrial analog for astrobiological studies of life beyond Earth.”Lara Vimercati, lead author of the study, said in a statement:

“Snow algae have been commonly found throughout the cryosphere on both ice and snow patches, but our finding demonstrated their presence for the first time at the extreme elevation of a hyper-arid site.” They found nieves penitentes near the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth; moreover, it’s landscape is thought to be most similar to Mars.

These discoveries giving insight into life existing on such harsh environments help scientists understand what types of places it could show up in the rest of the solar system. Currently, researchers strongly believe that Jupiter’s moon could be harboring microscopic lifeforms in its subsurface, saline ocean since they’ve found thousands of species beneath Antarctica’s surface.”

Our study shows how no matter how challenging the environmental conditions, life finds a way when there is availability of liquid water,” Vimercati said. Schmidt added: “We’re generally interested in the adaptations of organisms to extreme environments. This could be a good place to look for upper limits of life.”

We first heard of nieves penitentes in scientific literature written by Charles Darwin back in the 1800s, but most of us have never heard of this strange term.

This is because nieves penitentes, strange blades of ice found in remote places, were discovered...

Earth

Why Manufacturers Need to Be More Responsible About Plastic Pollution

One of the world’s harshest truths is that recycling won’t solve waste problems on its own.

Recycling is a band-aid at best, when you take into account contamination created by incorrect recycling and the degradation of plastic. Not to mention millions of pounds of recyclable materials never actually get recycled.

However, this doesn’t mean plastic pollution is something we should either accept as a fact of life or ignore. What it means is that we need to make adjustments to the way we approach the issue of waste.

Recyclability Is No Longer Important

The most recent EPA statistics from 2015 show that the amount of plastic waste generated in the US is increasing.

As much as 70% of the plastic that enters recycling facilities all over the world is actually unusable, and some of it even impairs machines and ruins loads of potentially recyclable materials.

But what happens with the plastic that doesn’t get recycled? Well, according to a report from the Guardian, hundreds of thousands of unrecycled plastic are shipped each year to impoverished countries such as Senegal, Laos, Ethiopia and Bangladesh.

Because there are no ways to handle that much plastic, the current solution is to ship it away and make it someone else’s problem.

This is of course a lot more harmful to the environment because all this plastic is most likely burned, which releases toxic fumes containing heavy metals, dioxins, and hydrochloric acid.

This could be easily blamed in people who don’t care about properly sorting their recyclables at home, but plastic recyclability is actually complex.

Even people who know their recycling very well understand how arcane the process is because there’s no way to know whether or not a type of plastic will be accepted by local waste processors.

This makes the recycling process less than effective, no matter how well you categorize and separate your waste.

Circular Economy: A Solution

The solution to all these issues is quite simple. For one, manufacturers who produce products and packaging should plan and have systems in place to take these things back once they’re no longer useful to consumers.

The move toward a circular economy that features a closed-loop system would make manufacturers responsible for the waste their products produce.

This would, in turn, motivate manufacturers to be less wasteful with their products and packaging from the start, because they’re aware they have to take care of it in the end.

Thankfully, plastic alternatives are not in shortage. They’re innovative and they’re not made of fossil fuels, so they’re a win/win for everyone.

Among the alternatives that are already proposed, you’ll find bioplastics made of arthropod shells, seaweed-based materials, biodegradable combinations of natural resins and cellulose, and mushroom0based foam, just to mention a few.

If companies wanted to take that step, there are some alternatives, such as Sulapac, that can be produced on existing production lines. That means companies could switch from their current materials to a greener version.

However, biodegradable plastics still have issues.

Even though we may think disposable products marked as “compostable” are better than plastic or other materials, they can still end up in the ocean, it still takes years for the material to break down, and it can still endanger wildlife exposed to it.

This kind of material also needs to be sent to specific industrial composting facilities, which are not available everywhere.

The fact is that most biodegradable alternatives, with the exception of plant-based and edible options, don’t actually help if they’re still used to create disposable items you can only use once.

Importance of Individual Actions

Individual actions are key to making a true change in this situation.

A big part of helping the issue is changing the way we think about convenience and the value we place on durability. Even though it’s true that what we do matters, corporations are not be let off the hook.

If you take only 100 companies, you’ll find that they’re responsible for 71% of local emissions since 1988. This means that companies are the world’s biggest plastic polluters, including companies in the energy industry, beverage, meat and dairy as well.

Why can’t they be let off the hook? Because they have the resources and the power to reduce the amount of pollution they produce. Whether that’s plastic pollution or another kind.

In spite of this, few companies actually make the move, which is why consumer demand needs to rise. Putting pressure on these companies to take responsibility is key and even though that’s a challenge on its own, it’s the only way we can make a palpable change.

One of the world’s harshest truths is that recycling won’t solve waste problems on its own.

Recycling is a band-aid at best, when you take into account contamination created by incorrect recycling and the degradation of plastic. Not to mention millions...

Earth Funny Stories

Blue Java Bananas Are A ‘Sweet Treat’ You Can Grow Yourself

Out with the old, in with the new – the new being Blue Java bananas; they have the color of turquoise and the flavor of vanilla ice cream.

With Cavendish bananas heading toward extinction, people are thrilled to discover the creamy texture and unique, sweet flavour of the Blue Java banana – and who wants boring, old yellow bananas anyway?

These bananas were first discovered and grown in Southeast Asia, but they thrive in all tropical climates, such as Hawaii or even Northern Australia.

A Banana, By Any Other Name

The Blue Java banana goes by multiple names; the ‘Ice Cream’ banana, the ‘Hawaiian’ banana, and Cenizo bananas are just a few of them. These trees are great because in addition to the delicious, unique fruit they produce, they also produce it quickly with lots of shade, as well.

The fruit is a silvery or bright blue color when it isn’t ripe, but turns to a yellow similar to Cavendish bananas when it’s ripe and ready to be devoured. Fun to eat both raw or cooked, they’re exceptionally delicious served with ice cream or frozen custard.

The Blue Java variety of bananas is tough, unlike the Cavendish which is facing the risk of extinction due to problems with cloning and rampant disease.

The Blue Java thrives most in places like Fiji, the Philippines, Hawaii, and even some of the southern states in America – all places with warmer climates.

Attempting to grow them in the midwestern United States probably wouldn’t work though the plant has a strong root system and is hardy, wind-resistant, and cold tolerant up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

On average, you’ll find Blue Java bananas at a length between seven and nine inches, and the trees themselves typically reach 15 to 20 feet and bloom anywhere from 15 to 24 months following planting.

Where Can They Grow?

The bananas have a pleasant aroma and flavor. Check your geographical zone, and see if you can grow them in your own climate; they do best in zones eight through ten, but they also grow in greenhouses.

A potted plant may produce bananas as soon as nine months, and if you can’t find a local specialty grocer near you that carries blue bananas, you can find them on Amazon!

The thought of Blue Java banana’s creamy, fluffy texture combined with a vanilla ice cream flavour is tempting foodies everywhere with the possibilities they offer. Those on a diet can indulge in one without even cheating!

Commenters on Reddit had a lot to say about this phenomenal fruit. User 4ftFury commented, “Totally! Bananas are actually super tough, resilient plants – I believe in you!” Nate1899 responded, “I live in Florida, just north enough that our banana trees get burnt by the freezes.

Very disappointing. This would be perfect!” User GoHomeWithBonnieJean wrote, “It’s only a matter of time before the Cavendish banana is wiped out.

The reason why bananas are the cheapest fruit in the market is that the current banana sold is based on a monoculture.” It looks like blue bananas couldn’t have arrived on the market soon enough!

Out with the old, in with the new – the new being Blue Java bananas; they have the color of turquoise and the flavor of vanilla ice cream.

With Cavendish bananas heading toward extinction, people are thrilled to discover the creamy texture and unique...

Cool Stories Earth Humans Are Awesome

Find Out How LEGO Has Managed To Run On 100% Renewable Energy

Not only has LEGO earned a place in the Guinness World Book of Records but achieved their goal running renewable energy a good 3 years before their initial plan.

LEGO was launched on August 10, 9132 in Billund Denmark and is the leading manufacturer of a children’s toy famously known as LEGO Building Bricks!  They completed their wind farm off the coast of Ireland which uses 258 megawatts of energy.  They constructed an enormous life-sized wind turbine made out of LEGOs to honor the occasion.

LEGO CEO, Bali Padda, said they worked very hard to leave a positive impact on the planet and they are very excited about the inauguration of the Burbo Bank Extension wind farm. This is not the first time LEGO has been involved in renewable energy.

They own approximately one-third of the German-based Borkum Riggrund I offshore wind farm and 25% of the newly-minted Burbo Bank.

The CEO said they plan to continue investing in renewable energy to help form a better future for the builders of tomorrow.  Back to the Guinness World Record, they achieved their place by historically building the largest LEGO brick turbine.

It was constructed out of more than 146,000 LEGO bricks and it took their team over 600 hours to complete, transport, and reassemble the masterpiece at the  Liverpool ONE shopping center in England.

After reassembly, the structure was measured by officials using a measuring tape and a hydraulic crane.  If you want to see this massive, magnificent LEGO wind turbine, it’s been moved to the LEGOLAND Winsor Resort in England.

It’s About The Children:

LEGO said they have gone to great lengths to promote renewable energy because it’s about the next generation being taught about the value of sustainable power.  They know their role models are children and plan to continue taking action for reducing the environmental impact as a company.

They continue looking for ways to inspire children from all over the world by engaging them in environmental and social issues.

In 2018, LEGO released its first sustainable set of plant-based bricks made from sugar cane.  A few months later, they introduced their LEGO Creator Expert toy which is a miniature version that functions as a wind turbine for children.

This amazing company with its incredible vision is well on its way to provide 100% environmentally-friendly packaging and merchandise by 2030!

Way To Go LEGO!

Not only has LEGO earned a place in the Guinness World Book of Records but achieved their goal running renewable energy a good 3 years before their initial plan.

LEGO was launched on August 10, 9132 in Billund Denmark and is the leading manufacturer of a...

Cool Stories Earth

Spectacular Images of the Raikoke Volcano Erupting From ISS by NASA

Sitting aboard the International Space Station (ISS) a NASA astronaut was able to capture some stunning images of the Raikoke Volcano as it erupts.

The 2,300ft crater can be clearly seen sending clouds of ash high into the atmosphere.  Located in the Kuril archipelago in the north-west Pacific the volcano had been dormant for almost 100 years before it violently erupted on June 22, sending a huge cloud of ash as far as 8 miles high.  In the images you can see the cloud rising as a column, stopping when it reaches the denser air.

Volcanologists at Michigan tech issued a statement for NASA commenting that the eruption was similar to that of another volcano in the Kurils a decade ago.  The images show a ring of white cloud at the base of the ash column indicating either that air is being drawn in, or perhaps that there is condensation caused by the magma entering the sea.

Raikoke island is quite small, so it is likely that magma flow reached the sea and the fluffy cloud at the base could be the resulting steam.

The huge ash plume has been seen drifting eastward and there are warnings in place for aircraft near the Bering Sea.  Volcanic ash often contains pieces of rock or glass which can be hazardous to aircraft.

Breaching the Stratosphere

Data obtained via satellite shows that the eruption has sent gas into the second layer of the Earth’s atmosphere.  Large amounts of sulfur dioxide in the stratosphere have been detected which NASA says indicates that this is a new injection of the gas.

The stratosphere starts at around 4.3-12 miles above the earth and it is vital to monitor ash plumes that hit this height because they have the ability to remain in the higher levels of the atmosphere for longer.

Other images of the volcano have also been released, alongside those captured by the ISS the NASA’s Terra satellite also captured the incident, as did the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Suomi satellite.

Sitting aboard the International Space Station (ISS) a NASA astronaut was able to capture some stunning images of the Raikoke Volcano as it erupts.

The 2,300ft crater can be clearly seen sending clouds of ash high into the atmosphere.  Located in the Kuril...

Earth Science

Floating Islands Could Be Essential for Combating Climate Change

Unless you speak to the most self-assured climate change denier, just about everyone can appreciate the reality of climate change. We just need to look around us and see the ever-changing conditions in which we all live within.

It’s a scary thing, climate change, and it can play a huge role in how we do everything. It’s now an emergency that we must act on as a species: how we react to it, though, will be essential in creating a safer world. Thankfully, people far smarter than myself are working on creating some outside of the box solutions to the problem at hand.

For example, the creation of floating islands that then convert the carbon dioxide into the atmosphere into something else could be the secret. Scientists have been working on coming up with theories on what we can do to stop or at least slow down climate change. If enough of these were built, the research team in Norway and Switzerland believe, we could stop the build-up of so much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

By creating them on large oceanic parts of the planet that aren’t going to be so prone to uncompromising weather, too, we could help to limit the extent of global warming in a relatively short space of time. However, it’s obvious an idea that, at the moment, is still a long way from being complete.

When published as part of the PNAS paper, the proposal, titled ‘Solar Methanol Islands’, was put forward as a wacky but realistic solution to put ourselves back on track to, you know, save the planet.

An interesting (but unlikely) idea

In their announcement of the paper, the lead authors wrote: “Humankind must cease CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning if dangerous climate change is to be avoided,

“However, liquid carbon-based energy carriers are often without practical alternatives for vital mobility applications. The recycling of atmospheric CO2 into synthetic fuels, using renewable energy, offers an energy concept with no net CO2 emission.”

Apparently, the idea was able to evolve from a Norwegian government request that they start putting fish farms out at the open sea. It was then seen as a problem as these fish farm grids would need an energy source – how would that be possible? And then the idea of such islands began to appear.

By using photovoltaic cells that turn solar energy into actual power, they would also use hydrogen produced and CO2 extracted from the seawater to ensure this is entirely sustainable. Putting it through a reaction, too, they would create a form of methanol that would then be used as a fuel source.

Seemingly, 70 of these islands could be used to make up a single square-kilometer worth of these islands. They would be placed in areas where waves can reach significant heights, that have high water depth, and which are likely to be safe from issues such as a hurricane.

However, before we start thinking we’ve found ‘the’ solution to climate change, slow down. The science team believes they would need around 3.2m of these islands to be made: with production not even started on one, we might need something a bit faster to stop what is quickly becoming the major battle of our time.

Unless you speak to the most self-assured climate change denier, just about everyone can appreciate the reality of climate change. We just need to look around us and see the ever-changing conditions in which we all live within.

It’s a scary thing, climate...

Animals Earth Nature & Tech

A Swarm of Ladybugs in California That Shook the World!

The National Weather Service in San Diego said a huge “echo” appeared on the SoCal radar but discovered it was not rain, instead it was a cloud of ladybugs!  The swarm showed up on the California weather service’s radar map as an 80-mile-wide mass.

This is a phenomenon known as a “bloom”.  Meteorologist Miguel Miller said the bloom appeared on their screen as an amazing 80-miles wide and 80-miles long.  It seems the mass was moving from the San Gabriel Mountains toward San Diego.

The mass of ladybugs was seen moving from Barstow in San Bernadino County, 80 miles south of Riverside which is near Los Angeles.  It literally covered an area over 1,000 square miles.

Meteorologist Mark Moede from the weather service said ladybugs were everywhere and a weather spotter in the San Bernadino Mountains reported an abnormal population of ladybugs which was then linked by the weather service to the sighting.

Bugs, not Clouds!

Casey Oswant, San Diego weather service meteorologist, told the Palm Springs Desert Sun there were a lot of clouds at the time along with this massive bloom.

She said the size of the mass could not have been created by the clouds.  She followed the patch that was heading south in the morning and then disappeared from the screen by noon.  It is not known for certain where the ladybugs were traveling from.

Senior scientist at James W. Cornett Ecological Consultant believes the number of ladybugs needed to create such a massive movement would have turned the skies dark.

Whether this event happened or not, we are all relieved to know they were ladybugs!  Legend has it, if a ladybug lands on your shoulder, you are blessed with luck! Imagine a swarm of ladybugs this massive, that must be luck for a lifetime!

The National Weather Service in San Diego said a huge “echo” appeared on the SoCal radar but discovered it was not rain, instead it was a cloud of ladybugs!  The swarm showed up on the California weather service’s radar map as an 80-mile-wide...

Earth Inspiring Stories

‘World’s Smallest McDonald’s’ Restaurant for Bees Is Now Open

It’s always a joy to travel the world, see different sights, and explore foreign cultures. One of the reasons we travel is to see things that are different from what’s familiar to us. However, some things are all over the world, and one of those is the famous fast-food chain McDonald’s.

Now the restaurant has just done something most marvelous – it’s opened up a new restaurant!

“Now, wait a minute,” you may be thinking. “What’s so novel about that?” Well, this isn’t just any McDonald’s. This one is ‘the world’s smallest’ McDonald’s, and was created just for bees.

Though it’s obviously not serving food since it was created to be a beehive, the detail is amazing. McDonald’s cut no corners with their smallest of restaurants, providing it with signage, seating, drive-thru bays, and the famous golden arches.

This tiny restaurant in Sweden is the first of what the company hopes to be many, many – thousands, even – beehive McDonald’s. This first is a tribute to all of the Swedish McDonald’s, many of which have beehives on their roofs as an effort to assuage the effects of global warming.

Earth can’t live without bees

Bees play an absolutely crucial role in our planet’s ecosystem. They pollinate three quarters of our planet, but the bee population has experienced a serious decline as a result of pesticides and climate change. And no bees means no food.

McDonald’s currently has over 37,000 restaurants open all over the world, and if every one of those hosts a beehive, the positive impact could potentially be astronomical. The company hopes, therefore, that the initiative is taken up not just by Sweden but by every McDonald’s restaurant.

Christoffer Rönnblad, marketing director of McDonald’s Sweden, described it as a ‘great idea’.

According to Adweek, he said: “We have a lot of really devoted franchisees who contribute to our sustainability work, and it feels good that we can use our size to amplify such a great idea as beehives on the rooftops.”

The danger of pesticides to bees

Just last year, a ban on pesticides was put into effect by the EU just after the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reported that neonicotinoids were a serious threat to bees, no matter where or how they were used.

Vytenis Andriukaitis, the EU commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “The Commission had proposed these measures months ago, on the basis of the scientific advice from the European Food Safety Authority.

“Bee health remains of paramount importance for me since it concerns biodiversity, food production and the environment.”

It’s always a joy to travel the world, see different sights, and explore foreign cultures. One of the reasons we travel is to see things that are different from what’s familiar to us. However, some things are all over the world, and one of those is the...

Earth Science

Did Water on Earth Come From the Moon?

The origination of water on the earth has long been a quandary for scientists, but a new research published in the journal Natural Astronomy poses a new theory.

Scientists from the University of Münster in Germany are suggesting from their study that the debris of a Mars-sized body called Theia which has been thought to form the moon also brought water to our planet. The Theia theory is called the “giant impact hypothesis.”

Since our planet is thought to have formed in a dry inner solar system which lacked substance, scientists have long been unable to figure out where the source of water originated.

“The formation of the moon and the origin of Earth’s water are two of the fundamental open questions in cosmo-chemistry,” Gerrit Budde, the study’s lead author, told Newsweek. “Unraveling these processes is essential to understand the early evolution of the solar system, the formation of planets and the development of life.”

The solar system split in half

Scientists have previously surmised from the little they know about the world’s origin that the solar system was split in half for the first million years – that is, if their timeline is correct. When Jupiter formed, it was like a barrier against the exchange of materials between the inner and outer regions. Most of what they know about these matters is speculation, however.

The outer solar system was populated by meteorites containing water-rich “carbonaceous” material. Meanwhile, the inner solar system was filled mostly with non-carbonaceous meteorites that lacked water.

One of the more popular explanations for where the Earth first got water is that the “carbonaceous” bodies from the outer solar system brought large amounts of carbonaceous material to the earth. This explanation is still yet to be proven, however, and scientists haven’t been able to figure out when it could have happened or what the quantities involved may have been.

Scientists have attempted to get to the bottom of this issue by analyzing data on variants of a silvery-white metal called molybdenum which they obtained from a meteorite as well as terrestrial rock samples.

Fortunately, isotopes, which are variants of a chemical element that differ in the number of neutrons, allowing the scientists to clearly distinguish between carbonaceous and non-carbonaceous materials, which has given them slight leeway in discovering the truth.

“By comparing the molybdenum isotope composition of Earth and meteorites, for the first time we were able to constrain the timing and amount of the addition [of] outer solar system material to the Earth, as well as the origin of the moon-forming impactor and Earth’s water,” Budde said.

“In short, Earth’s water was delivered by water-rich carbonaceous material that derived from the cold outer solar system, probably beyond the orbit of Jupiter,” he said. “This happened relatively late at the end of Earth’s main growth history, and this material was delivered most likely by the giant impactor—Theia—that also caused the formation of the moon.

In turn, this means that the impactor itself originated from the outer solar system—it is generally assumed that Theia originated in the inner solar system near the Earth.”

All in all, it’s clear that there is much more to this issue than meets the eye. With so many things unclear about how our planet came to be, it makes one speculate about the theory of one Designer who planned it all.

The origination of water on the earth has long been a quandary for scientists, but a new research published in the journal Natural Astronomy poses a new theory.

Scientists from the University of Münster in Germany are suggesting from their study that the...