Breaking Waves: Ocean News

05/26/2016 - 02:54
The concept vehicle is designed to float above the clogged-up streets of some of the country’s biggest cities A Beijing company has unveiled spectacularly futuristic designs for a pollution-busting, elevated bus capable of gliding over the nightmarish mega-jams for which urban China has become notorious. Plans for the so-called Transit Explore Bus or TEB were showcased earlier this month at a technology expo in the Chinese capital. Continue reading...
05/26/2016 - 01:30
Will we live in buildings made out of waste, heavily surveilled smart cities, or maybe floating communities designed to cope with rising sea levels? Amid the much-mythologised graffiti that appeared around Sorbonne University during the French civil unrest in May 1968, one line still stands out as intriguing and ambiguous: “The future will only contain what we put into it now.” What appears at first utopian has more than a hint of the ominous. While augmented reality creates a city individualised for every occupant, and developments in modular architecture and nanotechnology might result in rooms that change form and function at a whim, the problem lies in the unforeseen. The smart city will also be the surveillance city. Continue reading...
05/26/2016 - 00:01
Male and female set free as part of five-year trial to monitor the impact of England’s only wild population of the mammals A new pair of beavers has been released into a river in Devon to boost the genetic diversity of England’s only wild population of the mammals. The male and female were set free on the river Otter as part of a five-year trial monitoring the impact of Eurasian beavers, a species hunted to extinction hundreds of years ago in the UK, on the surrounding landscape, wildlife and economy. Continue reading...
05/26/2016 - 00:00
More than half a million bike trips a day are now made in London as business increasingly sees the benefit of helping cities compete on liveability My regular bike commute to work comes in two very distinct parts, a split which epitomises the rapid changes to cycling in London. The beginning and the end – Walworth Road and Farringdon Road for those who know the city – are an experience familiar to cyclists in the capital for many years: a slightly gung ho rush of mingling with the buses, cabs and construction trucks. But for one, blissful mile in the middle, this all changes. Those of us on two wheels are funnelled onto a brand new, billiard table-smooth bike lane, separated from the metal behemoths by a raised kerb, cosseted with our own mini traffic lights. Continue reading...
05/25/2016 - 23:31
Malcolm Turnbull’s $150m pledge to boost agriculture in northern Australia comes under fire from conservationists Malcolm Turnbull has promised to spend $150m on dams in Queensland as part of a plan to double the agricultural output of northern Australia – but which would dump thousands of tonnes of pollution on the Great Barrier Reef, according to conservationists. The prime minister committed $130m to one dam near Rockhampton and a further $20m to feasibility studies for 14 others across the state. Continue reading...
05/25/2016 - 23:30
Sandy, Bedfordshire Ash dieback threatens a tree that is unwittingly generous at both ends of the season A line of trees on the green, their fresh bright leaves glazed with sunlight, take from the east and give nothing to the west. Oaks, sycamores and chestnuts bathe their crowns in the mid-morning rays and cast dark shadows on the ground, as wide as the trees are broad, as long as they are tall, with dappled haloes all around. The beeches are worst of all, offering the land beneath no chink in their green armour. No wonder so little grows under the canopy of a beech wood, a crowd of overlapping umbrellas giving shelter, blotting out the light. Continue reading...
05/25/2016 - 23:00
With booming sales and more than 1,000 public charging spots, Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicted the city would be a leader on electric car adoption Hong Kong’s population density, efficient public transportation and general lack of space hardly provide incentive to buy a private car. High registration taxes on new vehicles – up to 115% of the price portion above HK$500,000 (£45,000) – make anyone balk. The heavy levy is meant to reduce road traffic and street level emissions, which is the main contributor to the port city’s air pollution. Yet, in the past two years, the city has seen a boom in registrations for new electric vehicles (EVs), thanks to a tax waiver passed by legislators that will last until March 2017. Now it’s hard to walk down any street in Hong Kong without spotting at least a couple of electric cars quietly rolling by (they’re almost all Teslas, and red seems to be a favourite colour). Continue reading...
05/25/2016 - 21:41
A majority of voters are in support of more government action on climate change – and yet somehow it’s not an election issue. Let’s make it one The current dissonance between election campaign rhetoric and the facts of climate change is unfathomable, that is, until you dig a little deeper. This month, the world passed a disastrous tipping point from which there will be no return: the Cape Grim Air Quality Monitoring Station registered a count of 400 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere. Climate scientists have acknowledged that there is basically no going back from this point. We are in a climate emergency. Continue reading...
05/25/2016 - 20:53
Civil society organizations and Peru government institutions say United Cacao is operating illegally, but the company denies it Two indigenous Shipibo men from Peru’s Amazon - Sedequías Ancón Chávez and Robert Guimaraes Vasquez - paid a rare visit to the London Stock Exchange (LSE) earlier this month. The reason? To present a letter addressed to Marcus Stuttard, Claire Dorrian and Umerah Akram from the LSE’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) urging the AIM to investigate, suspend and bar a company called United Cacao Limited SEZC - as well as amend its rules and “exact more active oversight” in general. “The nature of the crimes which the company stands accused are an important matter for AIM to address,” the letter states. “Allowing companies listed on AIM to raise capital to violate other countries’ national laws jeopardizes the “integrity and reputation” of the market, which is grounds for suspension of a company’s trading, according to AIM Rules.” Continue reading...
05/25/2016 - 20:12
They may be delicious and sure, there are lots of them, but next time you’re chomping down on your barbecued octopus, just remember they were the first intelligent beings on Earth and have more genes than you do When Inky the octopus made global headlines for his eight-legged getaway from a New Zealand aquarium, I seemed to be the only person on the internet whose imagination was not caught up in his “great escape”. Chalk it up to tall poppy syndrome. But Inky’s “daring” (ABC) pursuit of “liberty over security” (NPR) was no more “amazing” (the Telegraph) a feat than that which any no-name captivity octopus, anywhere in the world, is capable of any day. Continue reading...