New Batteries Will Get Us Off Fossil Fuels
When it come to renewable energy, portable electronics or electric cars, storing energy is a must, and the more we can store, the better. Batteries are essential to sustainable energy.
What's the Latest Development?
If renewable energies are ever to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, we must find efficient ways of storing the energy until we are ready to use it. In other words, batteries will be an essential technology for the future, as important as renewable energy itself. Several new technologies are under way: A Pittsburgh company is taking the lesson of sustainability to heart. It's grid storage battery system is made of saltwater, cotton, charcoal and dirt. Originally designed for wind and solar farms, the battery could also augment diesel generators.
What's the Big Idea?
Automobiles will also need better battery technology if personal transportation is to remain feasible. Currently, lithium-ion fuel cells that depend on a liquid electrolyte solution risk catching fire and are less efficient that a solid battery state. "Toyota announced recently that its own solid state battery with a 600-mile range will be ready for roll-out sometime around 2015." A distant goal is a lithium air battery which would promise a range of 1,000 miles. To date, however, the technology has proven unstable as lithium ignites when it contacts moist air.
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The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."
- A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
- In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
- The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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