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Climate resilience will come from prioritizing humans—not what we’ve built

Climate resilience will come from prioritizing humans—not what we’ve built

Among the millions of species that inhabit our planet, Homo sapiens is one of the most resilient. Since we first evolved some 200,000 years ago in Africa, we’ve created habitats for ourselves in every corner of the world: from the frozen depths of the Canadian Arctic to the scorching heat of the Australian desert. We’ve survived all those wild variations in the Earth’s climate because we are exceptionally good at changing our surroundings to fit our needs. To do that, humanity has looted the natural world. Over the past 250 years in particular, that pace has hastened as we have extracted...

March 2, 2020
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Gates-Backed Startup Joins Race to Make Green Hydrogen Cheaper

Gates-Backed Startup Joins Race to Make Green Hydrogen Cheaper

Mar 09 2021, 10:31 AMMarch 09 2021, 10:31 AM(Bloomberg) -- Israeli startup H2Pro joined the race to make cheap green hydrogen after securing investments from funds backed by Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates and Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing. Israeli startup H2Pro joined the race to make cheap green hydrogen after securing investments from funds backed by Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates and Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing.As governments and industries get serious about cutting greenhouse gas emissions, demand has grown for hydrogen produced by splitting water—using renewable...

Mar 9
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A man who tracked five years of sneezes might have a fix for your pollen allergy

A man who tracked five years of sneezes might have a fix for your pollen allergy

Thomas Blomseth Christiansen is not an ordinary geek. For the last five years he has been tracking everyday things about his life—from steps to sneezes. He now has more than 100,000 data points, and he has used them to improve his health. After many minor, and some major, changes to his lifestyle, he’s nearly gotten rid of his allergy to pollen.When I met Christiansen, at the Quantified Self conference in Amsterdam, he was eager to tell me how much better his life was this summer compared to any summer in the last five years. He’s one of a growing wave of people convinced that documenting...

July 8, 2017
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Cheap Natural Gas Could Add 500 Million Tons to U.S. Emissions

Cheap Natural Gas Could Add 500 Million Tons to U.S. Emissions

Access to cheap natural gas has helped displace coal and cut greenhouse gas emissions. But it’s also incentivized a massive buildout of fossil-fuel infrastructure along the U.S. Gulf Coast that one study says could increase carbon emissions by half a billion metric tons a year. A long list of petrochemical plants, liquefied natural gas terminals and other facilities have been proposed or permitted on the Texas and Louisiana coasts as companies including Exxon Mobil Corp., Phillips 66 and Qatar Petroleum seek to tap cheap shale gas from nearby oilfields. If all of them are built, they could...

January 15, 2020
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Stacking concrete blocks is a surprisingly efficient way to store energy

Stacking concrete blocks is a surprisingly efficient way to store energy

Thanks to the modern electric grid, you have access to electricity whenever you want. But the grid only works when electricity is generated in the same amounts as it is consumed. That said, it’s impossible to get the balance right all the time. So operators make grids more flexible by adding ways to store excess electricity for when production drops or consumption rises. About 96% of the world’s energy-storage capacity comes in the form of one technology: pumped hydro. Whenever generation exceeds demand, the excess electricity is used to pump water up a dam. When demand exceeds generation,...

February 26, 2020
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Science says your “gut feeling” isn’t a metaphor

Science says your “gut feeling” isn’t a metaphor

The brain’s powers are a little overrated. To keep your body going, you don’t need a functioning brain, but you do need something to provide energy. Enter the gut.We may not give it much thought—because, literally, it happens without conscious thought—but the process of extracting energy from food is an intricate one. It involves hundreds of millions of neurons that aren’t in your brain. Those neurons are found in the outer layers of your gut, and the enteric nervous system they form is so powerful that it can work without any direct input from the brain.The actions this nervous system...

August 10, 2015
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