Koch Brothers Plan Offensive Against Plug-In Cars

by Samantha Englert

Fuel industry sources have recently revealed that billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch of Texas are planning to funnel over ten million dollars a year to a new advocacy group whose mission will be to increase the usage of petroleum-based transportation fuel. Why would individuals wish to promote ‘unclean’ energy and global warming? Faced with the threat of competition and lost sales from plug-in automobiles, the Koch brothers, who own the second largest privately held fossil-fuel corporation with an annual income of over 100 billion dollars, have been reported to want the US government to discontinue electric car subsidies.   Continue reading

The thinnest, most lightweight, and flexible solar cell

by Samantha Englert

An MIT research team has recently developed what is believed to be the thinnest, most lightweight, and flexible photovoltaic cell, with the ability to be installed onto any surface and the potential to charge any portable electronic device. The solar cell is so light that it is able to rest on a soap bubble without the bubble being popped. The real key to this innovation Is a one-process approach in manufacturing the ultra-thin solar cell and the unique substrate that supports it. Continue reading

The Solar Monk’s New School in Thailand: Self-sufficiency Is the Future

by Samantha Englert

Nearly a decade ago, Thailand’s government amended its constitution to create a more self-sufficient economy, encouraging local and national sustainability activities. ProgressTH, a Thailand based advocacy group, has dedicated its February 5, 2016 blog to the discussion of a new high school powered by solar energy that teaches its students how to live an economically and environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Situated in the forests of Thailand’s northeastern Ubon Ratchathani province, the Sisaengtham School, known as “The Solar School,” was founded in 2010 by Thai monk, Prakruwimolpanyakhun. Inspired by Thailand’s national policy, Prakruwimolpanyakhun wanted to create a school that not only would teach students basic literacy and arithmetic, but also the values and practices of Buddhism, community outreach, environment science, self-sufficiency and sustainable technologies. Continue reading

‘Shade Balls’ Roll their Way into the Spotlight

by Samantha Englert

This past summer you may have noted that social media has been flooded with pictures and videos of black balls blanketing several California reservoirs, somewhat reminiscent of a massive playground pit filled with black plastic balls. You were probably wondering, what exactly am I looking at? These floating objects have been referred to in the news as bird balls, conservation balls, reservoir balls and floating ball blankets, yet the biologist from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power who developed this technology named them “Shade Balls.” So what are these Shade Balls? Continue reading