Latest Blogs

1 day 48 min ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a major driver of economic development and job creation, particularly in the developing countries. In comparison to other business sectors, jobs in the clean technology sector are relatively safer, better paid and involve higher skills. Governments as well as private business organizations must turn a strategic focus on the clean-tech sector to realize its full growth potential.

2 days 14 hours ago
The five biggest palm oil growers in the world agreed to not develop palm oil in high carbon stock areas while the High Carbon Stock Study is being conducted. The five growers are Asian Agri, IOI Corporation Berhad, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad, Musim Mas Group and Sime Darby Plantation. They are funding the study with agribusiness groups Cargill and Wilmar International, and the consumer goods company Unilever.

4 days 58 min ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Indian actress Deepika Padukone is not the first Bollywood star to clash with the media recently protesting on how the media treats women. The brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student on a bus in Delhi in December 2012 was a game-changer in a society where women are often treated as second-class citizens and have long been exploited.

4 days 1 hour ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Door-to-door searches during a three-day curfew in Sierra identified more than 350 suspected new cases of Ebola, according to a U.S. diplomat, as the American public health institute the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) has been heavily involved in the emergency response.

4 days 16 hours ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - There was big news in Emmetsburg, Iowa this month—the opening of a major cellulosic ethanol plant. The plant, which is the first commercial-scale cellulosic facility in the US, is a joint venture between Poet and Royal DSM. Code-named Project Liberty, the plant was christened in a ceremony featuring His Majesty Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands, along with a host of others including U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Deputy Under Secretary Michael Knotek of the Department of Energy, and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.

The plant will initially process 570 million pounds of biomass, primarily crop residue in the form of corn stover, each year, converting it to 20 million gallons of ethanol. At full capacity those numbers will increase to 770 and 25 million, respectively.

Traditional corn ethanol production uses the age-old process of distilling starches into alcohol, the same way that distilled spirits are made. The ability to convert the leaves and stalks and other waste material containing lignocellulose was something that had never been done before. The science was difficult and it has taken longer than expected, leading the EPA to revise the numbers in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a mandate for the production of bio-fuels to help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

Concerns have been raised as to the implications of removing potential nutrition from the soil. This is offset, at least in part, by the fact that crop densities have nearly doubled over the past thirty years. Additionally, only 17% of the residue is currently being taken. Studies have shown a range of impact between a slight decrease in yield to an actual increase.

The entire bio-ethanol program has been under attack since its inception from a variety of sources including the oil industry, which fears the loss of business, environmentalists who are concerned about water and air pollution, and consumer, food industry and anti-hunger groups who have expressed concern that using crops and/or cropland for fuel production could lead to higher prices or worse. This latter concern was realized to some degree last year, with the Midwestern drought leading to a falloff in production. The good news was that much of the shortfall, which primarily impacted animal feed prices, was offset by increased production in other parts of the world. Then of course, there are those people who don’t like the government telling them anything.

4 days 19 hours ago

(3BL Media/Just Means) - Visitors at the International IAA Commercial Vehicles show will see firsthand the new Volvo 7900 Electric Hybrid bus. The launch introduces a new tailpipe emissions-free model that is part of a new generation of clean public transport solutions.

5 days 9 hours ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a third of American adults are obese. The annual medical cost of obesity in the United States in 2008 U.S. dollars was $147 billion. On average, the medical costs for an obese person are $1,429 higher than those for a person with normal weight. Obesity can lead to life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.

6 days 14 hours ago

Guest Blog by Cyril Bouquet and Chloé Renault

In cities all over the world an ugly war is being fought by “traditional” taxi companies against a new form of competition from Uber and other ride-sharing services.

6 days 21 hours ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - With summer coming to an end, it’s time for many of us to put away our air conditioners, or shut them down for the season. That takes care of one significant contributor to our monthly energy bill. According to the DOE, air conditioning is responsible for roughly 5% of all the electricity produced in the US. It also accounts for roughly 9% of the energy used in a “typical” home, though, of course, that will vary widely by location. In commercial buildings, where equipment as well as people can have cooling needs, that number can be as high as 14%.

It’s true that here in the Northern Hemisphere, heating exceeds cooling as a portion of our energy footprint. But as we look to the future, much of the world that has yet to be developed is in the South. This portends a major rise in AC demand. According to the PBL Netherland Environmental Assessment Agency, global demand for cooling will exceed that for heating well before the end of this century.

Therefore, this is an excellent time for the US Department of Energy to propose new standards for air conditioner efficiency, since so much new technology is developed and/or marketed here in the US. That means that new designs meeting these higher standards will be available when the anticipated great surge in air conditioning takes place. This complements other energy saving standards we wrote about earlier this month.

The new standard would slash air conditioning energy usage by 30%. While that might not seem like a lot, given the tremendous amount of energy devoted to this sector, it turns out to be the largest energy savings ever achieved by any DOE energy standard*. The new standard is expected to save some 1.3 trillion kWh over its life. Because this new standard is specifically directed at commercial rooftop air conditioning, that amounts to some $16 to 30 billion in savings to businesses.