Danish Island Becomes One of the First Energy-Self-Sufficient Places On Earth

For centuries now, civilization has been working toward an unsustainable future, burning fossil fuels for heat and electricity and creating a way of life that is a model of inefficiency. The tiny Danish island of Samso is leading the way back to sustainability, becoming the one of the first industrialized places in the world to qualify as completely energy self-sufficient.

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Salt-Tolerant Crops Almost A Reality

Scientists have developed salt-tolerant plants using a new type of genetic modification, potentially conquering one of the major hurdles in being able to sustainably feed the world

One of the greatest challenges the ever-growing human population of this world faces is that soil salinity – Too much salt in the earth and cereal crops won’t grow. The knock on effects of this are large in scope and serious in nature, which is why a breakthrough in salt-tolerant crop development by an international team of scientist could change or even save millions of lives in the future.

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Designers Envision a Future of Citrus-Powered Hot Rods

A potential eco-friendly hot rod of the future will be built from recycled materials and put down 700 horsepower. Just remember to pack plenty of oranges.

Sustainable transport may be just another task on environmentalists' to-do list, but for car designers it's a path to rethinking how automobiles are built, and from what they're made. That's the idea behind the "Stauro," a conceptual roadster with the horsepower of an exotic supercar, using recycled materials in its construction. The eco-friendly hot rod envisions a day when high-performance gasoline engines are replaced by powerplants using citrus-oil and steam. No, they're not kidding.

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Sustainably Speaking: Buildings, a Better Future

Last week, the owners of the Empire State Building announced they were going to turn their iconic New York landmark green — as in sustainable (the color is fine as is) welcomes Dr. Bill Chameides, dean of Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Dr. Chameides blogs at The Green Grok to spark lively discussions about environmental science, keeping you in the know on what the scientific world is discovering and how it affects you – all in plain language and, hopefully, with a bit of fun. partners with The Green Grok, bringing his blog posts directly to our users. Give it a read and get in on the discussion!

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Green Guitars

Instrument makers are now focusing on sustainability as well as sustain

Dear EarthTalk: I'm a musician and am curious about what the guitar industry is doing to ensure that the wood it uses is not destroying forests. -- Chris Wiedemann, Ronkonkoma, NY

Though it has not received a lot of press to date, the industry is on the case -- in part for the sake of its own survival, and thanks to the hard work of a handful of green groups, guitar makers and wood suppliers.

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Fighting Poverty With Technology

MIT professor awarded for his innovative, human-powered irrigation pump

The Super MoneyMaker Pump—yes, that's the real name—sucks up water from sources as many as 30 feet below the ground, can spray it up to 40 feet high, and can even push it through 1,000 feet of hose to cover a larger section of land. In all, the pump can irrigate two acres of land, and costs only around $100.

MIT professor Martin Fisher and his team at KickStart, a nonprofit, invented the pump for small-scale farmers. Since it's human-powered and easy to use, it allows them to irrigate crops all year round, instead of just waiting for the rainy season.

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The Living Museum

For a newly minted museum in San Francisco, the green architecture is the main exhibit

From a birds-eye view, the domes of the California Academy of Sciences, set to open in the fall, bulge out of the ground like giant scoops of green ice cream. These undulating hills built into the museums 2.5-acre, flora-covered roof integrate the building into the green space of surrounding Golden Gate Park. They also conserve energy, since the roof insulates and ventilates the 400,000-square-foot museum below.

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Welcome to Masdar City

The United Arab Emirates plans what would be the first sustainable zero carbon city

The United Arab Emirates is a small federation of seven states on the southern end of the Persian Gulf. Its reserves of oil and natural gas have allowed the nation to prosper economically. In recent years, the country has seen a boom in massive constructions: The world's tallest skyscraper is scheduled to be completed in late 2008. Other superlatives include the world's largest mall, an indoor ski slope and a series of man-made islands off the coast made from dredging hundreds of millions of tons of sand from the Gulf's bottom.

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