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Robot Designed to Help Earth Plants Grow on Mars

 

robot-plants-mars.jpg

Robot Will Help Colonize Mars After We've Ruined Earth

Well, it's good to know that in the event that our planet collapses under the weight of climate change, overpopulation, a water crisis, nuclear holocaust or whatever, there are designers out there already preparing for life on Mars. If we do indeed set out to colonize Mars, the first thing we're going to need is ample breathable oxygen. Enter Le Petit Prince, a greenhouse robot designed to keep plants safe while scavenging for more nutrients.

 

robot-plants-mars-real.jpg

 

According to Tuvie:

Le Petit Prince or Little Prince i
s
a robotic greenhou
s
e concept that i
s
s
pecially de
s
igned to help the future exploration and expanding population in the Mar
s
. Thi
s
intelligent robot can carry and ta
k
e well care of a plant in
s
ide it
s
gla
s
s
container, which i
s
functionally mounted on it
s
four-legged pod.

robot-plants-mars-design.jpg

The robot i
s
de
s
igned to learn the optimal proce
s
s
of
s
earching for nutrient
s
in order to
k
eep the plant in a good condition. Moreover, it can
s
end report
s
of it
s
movement
s
and development
s
to it
s
fellow greenhou
s
e robot
s
through wirele
s
s
communication, ma
k
ing it po
s
s
ible to learn from each other.

And here's the drone in (simulated) action:

 

LINK

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QUOTE (Balta1701 @ Sep 22, 2009 -> 02:43 PM)
The EU today seems to have decided that the bluefin tuna shouldn't exist any more.

f***ing morons.

 

We are one of the smartest species on Earth as well as one of the dumbest at the same time.

Edited by BigSqwert

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QUOTE (BigSqwert @ Sep 23, 2009 -> 10:41 AM)
Would anyone consider living in a refurbished shipping container?

 

 

buenos-aires-container-home-1.jpg

 

The living room

buenos-aires-container-home-2.jpg

 

Kitchen-dining room

buenos-aires-container-home-3.jpg

 

Mini office

buenos-aires-container-home-4.jpg

 

Hidden wardrobe

buenos-aires-container-home-5.jpg

 

Bedroom from outside the home

buenos-aires-container-home-6.jpg

 

Roof Terrace

buenos-aires-container-home-7.jpg

 

There are supposed to be thousands of them just rusting on the west coast. Any idea if they are safe? I can't imagine they were designed to be lived in.

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QUOTE (southsider2k5 @ Sep 23, 2009 -> 10:49 AM)
There are supposed to be thousands of them just rusting on the west coast. Any idea if they are safe? I can't imagine they were designed to be lived in.

I'd think in a warm climate with appropriate insulation they'd be fine.

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QUOTE (southsider2k5 @ Sep 23, 2009 -> 08:49 AM)
There are supposed to be thousands of them just rusting on the west coast. Any idea if they are safe? I can't imagine they were designed to be lived in.

They're actually safe and quite cheap. They're built so that they can be stackable with a fair amount of cargo weight sitting on top of them (think about the way you see a container ship loaded with like 8 layers of them). It's a bit small...and we have a fair glut of housing already, but its a cute idea.

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QUOTE (Balta1701 @ Sep 23, 2009 -> 10:53 AM)
They're actually safe and quite cheap. They're built so that they can be stackable with a fair amount of cargo weight sitting on top of them (think about the way you see a container ship loaded with like 8 layers of them). It's a bit small...and we have a fair glut of housing already, but its a cute idea.

 

They don't contain any funky chemicals that would be unsafe? I know they are super durable and strong, that is obvious because of their normal usage.

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QUOTE (southsider2k5 @ Sep 23, 2009 -> 08:55 AM)
They don't contain any funky chemicals that would be unsafe? I know they are super durable and strong, that is obvious because of their normal usage.

They've got to be safer than FEMA trailers.

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QUOTE (Balta1701 @ Sep 23, 2009 -> 10:57 AM)
They've got to be safer than FEMA trailers.

 

That doesn't make them safe to live in.

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Think tank report on the scale of government subsidies to various forms of energy generation over the past 6 years.

energy-subsidies.jpg

These numbers of course don't include external subsidies, like building new highways, maintaining the current electricity grid, etc.

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Ah, didn't see this thread before. I'm glad it exists. Took AP environmental science last year and decided to go into environmental engineering. That class was a life changer.

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The French Have Big Plans for U.S. High-Speed Rail

 

sncffastone.jpg

 

Major cities in the United States may be saying "bonjour" to high speed rail. A French national railroad operator known as SNCF has submitted detailed descriptions to the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration for creating 220 mph trains in four corridors: California, Florida, Texas and a Chicago/Midwest hub.

 

SNCF isn't the only entity to express interest in high-speed rail in the United States. But next to the California High-Speed Rail Authority, the French group is the only one that submitted a serious, corridor-based proposal, according to The Transport Politic blog.

 

"SNCF's large response -- totaling 1,000 pages -- exemplifies the degree to which it sees American corridors as a good investment and suggests that the French company is planning an all-out assault on future U.S. rail operations," the blog notes.

 

 

The French trains would provide service along 600-mile corridors in four hours or less. That would be plenty of time to keep up on the news (like TreeHugger, perhaps), avoid traffic jams, and get out of the gas tank rat race. Existing passenger trains in U.S. cities consume a third of the energy per passenger mile than cars, according to government data.

 

The Obama administration has proposed a green track for high speed rail in the United States, with $8 billion in funding from the stimulus legislation to start rebuilding America's old rail system.

 

SNCF predicts full operation of its U.S. trains by 2023, with the first phase of investment in a line from Milwaukee to Detroit by 2018, and a link to Cleveland opening a couple of years later.

 

 

The Midwest corridor plan would cost about $69 billion, with about half subsidized by the public. But the environmental and other benefits would be triple the government investment in less than 15 years of operation, the company argues.

 

SNCF2.jpg

Edited by BigSqwert

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QUOTE (Balta1701 @ Sep 25, 2009 -> 06:56 PM)
Think tank report on the scale of government subsidies to various forms of energy generation over the past 6 years.

energy-subsidies.jpg

These numbers of course don't include external subsidies, like building new highways, maintaining the current electricity grid, etc.

Idiotic.

 

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The Meat of the Problem

By Ezra Klein

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

 

The debate over climate change has reached a rarefied level of policy abstraction in recent months. Carbon tax or cap-and-trade? Upstream or downstream? Should we auction permits? Head-scratching is, at this point, permitted. But at base, these policies aim to do a simple thing, in a simple way: persuade us to undertake fewer activities that are bad for the atmosphere by making those activities more expensive. Driving an SUV would become pricier. So would heating a giant house with coal and buying electricity from an inefficient power plant. But there's one activity that's not on the list and should be: eating a hamburger.

 

If it's any consolation, I didn't like writing that sentence any more than you liked reading it. But the evidence is strong. It's not simply that meat is a contributor to global warming; it's that it is a huge contributor. Larger, by a significant margin, than the global transportation sector.

 

According to a 2006 United Nations report, livestock accounts for 18 percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Some of meat's contribution to climate change is intuitive. It's more energy efficient to grow grain and feed it to people than it is to grow grain and turn it into feed that we give to calves until they become adults that we then slaughter to feed to people. Some of the contribution is gross. "Manure lagoons," for instance, is the oddly evocative name for the acres of animal excrement that sit in the sun steaming nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. And some of it would make Bart Simpson chuckle. Cow gas -- interestingly, it's mainly burps, not farts -- is a real player.

 

But the result isn't funny at all: Two researchers at the University of Chicago estimated that switching to a vegan diet would have a bigger impact than trading in your gas guzzler for a Prius (PDF). A study out of Carnegie Mellon University found that the average American would do less for the planet by switching to a totally local diet than by going vegetarian one day a week. That prompted Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to recommend that people give up meat one day a week to take pressure off the atmosphere. The response was quick and vicious. "How convenient for him," was the inexplicable reply from a columnist at the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. "He's a vegetarian."

 

The visceral reaction against anyone questioning our God-given right to bathe in bacon has been enough to scare many in the environmental movement away from this issue. The National Resources Defense Council has a long page of suggestions for how you, too, can "fight global warming." As you'd expect, "Drive Less" is in bold letters. There's also an endorsement for "high-mileage cars such as hybrids and plug-in hybrids." They advise that you weatherize your home, upgrade to more efficient appliances and even buy carbon offsets. The word "meat" is nowhere to be found.

 

That's not an oversight. Telling people to give up burgers doesn't poll well. Ben Adler, an urban policy writer, explored that in a December 2008 article for the American Prospect. He called environmental groups and asked them for their policy on meat consumption. "The Sierra Club isn't opposed to eating meat," was the clipped reply from a Sierra Club spokesman. "So that's sort of the long and short of it." And without pressure to address the costs of meat, politicians predictably are whiffing on the issue. The Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, for instance, does nothing to address the emissions from livestock.

 

The pity of it is that compared with cars or appliances or heating your house, eating pasta on a night when you'd otherwise have made fajitas is easy. It doesn't require a long commute on the bus or the disposable income to trade up to a Prius. It doesn't mean you have to scrounge for change to buy a carbon offset. In fact, it saves money. It's healthful. And it can be done immediately. A Montanan who drives 40 miles to work might not have the option to take public transportation. But he or she can probably pull off a veggie stew. A cash-strapped family might not be able buy a new dishwasher. But it might be able to replace meatballs with mac-and-cheese. That is the whole point behind the cheery PB&J Campaign, which reminds that "you can fight global warming by having a PB&J for lunch." Given that PB&J is delicious, it's not the world's most onerous commitment.

 

It's also worth saying that this is not a call for asceticism. It's not a value judgment on anyone's choices. Going vegetarian might not be as effective as going vegan, but it's better than eating meat, and eating meat less is better than eating meat more. It would be a whole lot better for the planet if everyone eliminated one meat meal a week than if a small core of die-hards developed perfectly virtuous diets.

 

I've not had the willpower to eliminate bacon from my life entirely, and so I eliminated it from breakfast and lunch, and when that grew easier, pulled back further to allow myself five meat-based meals a month. And believe me, I enjoy the hell out of those five meals. But if we're going to take global warming seriously, if we're going to make crude oil more expensive and tank-size cars less practical, there's no reason to ignore the impact of what we put on our plates.

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Think tank report on the scale of government subsidies to various forms of energy generation over the past 6 years.

energy-subsidies.jpg

These numbers of course don't include external subsidies, like building new highways, maintaining the current electricity grid, etc.

Corn ethanol is a complete waste. It destroys the soil and isn't efficient at all. I can't believe they still subsidize it that much.

 

Switchgrass is where it's at.

 

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QUOTE (son of a rude @ Sep 26, 2009 -> 01:29 PM)
Corn ethanol is a complete waste. It destroys the soil and isn't efficient at all. I can't believe they still subsidize it that much.

 

Switchgrass is where it's at.

If they could ever get it to work, sure.

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If they could ever get it to work, sure.

I know. I hope they keep researching it. You barely get anything out of corn ethanol when you factor in the fuel used to get it.

Edited by son of a rude

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