Archive for September, 2013

Food security threatened as pests move poleward with global warming

September 18th, 2013 by University of Exeter

Colorado potato beetles, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, mating on a potato plant in the Netherlands. This important pest of potato crops was introduced to Europe from North America (click image to expand - image ©RLLord)

Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, mating on a potato plant in the Netherlands. This important pest of potato crops was introduced to Europe from North America (click image to expand – image ©RLLord)

A paper ‘Crop pests and pathogens move polewards in a warming world‘ published in the journal Nature Climate Change reveals that global warming is resulting in the spread of crop pests towards the North and South Poles at a rate of nearly 3 km a year.

The research by scientists at the University of Exeter and the University of Oxford, shows a strong relationship between increased global temperatures over the past 50 years and expansion in the range of crop pests. Continue reading

Social cost of carbon emissions makes renewable energy cheaper

September 18th, 2013 by Springer

A German coal fired power station and a wind turbine feeding into the European electricity grid (click image to expand - image ©RLLord)

A German coal fired power station and a wind turbine feeding into the European electricity grid (click image to expand – image ©RLLord)

It’s less costly to get electricity from wind turbines and solar panels than coal-fired power plants when climate change costs and other health impacts are factored in, according to a paper ‘The social cost of carbon: implications for modernizing our electricity system‘ published in Springer’s Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences.

Using the official U.S. government estimates of health and environmental costs from burning fossil fuels, the research shows it is cheaper to replace a typical existing coal-fired Continue reading

Barcelona to use Nissan’s electric NV200 taxi & goods delivery vehicle

September 17th, 2013 by Nissan Motor Company

The 100% electric Nissan e-NV200 taxi in Barcelona, Spain (click image to expand - image courtesy of Nissan)

The 100% electric Nissan e-NV200 taxi in Barcelona, Spain (click image to expand – image courtesy of Nissan)

Barcelona City Hall and Nissan have signed an agreement to promote the use of the 100% electric Nissan e-NV200 as taxis and as delivery vehicles in Barcelona.

Barcelona will lead the global roll-out of the new e-NV200 100% electric taxi, which will also be introduced to other large cities around the world.

Production of the e-NV200 will begin in Barcelona in 2014 and it will be exported worldwide. Continue reading

Earth League’s climate scientists issue stark statement to spur action on reducing carbon emissions

September 16th, 2013 by Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Climate scientists who are members of Earth League (click image to expand)

Earth League climate scientists (click image to expand – image courtesy of Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College and Earth League)

Twelve members of the newly established Earth League – a global initiative of prominent climate scientists – have jointly published a stark statement two weeks prior to the launch of the first section of the latest IPCC’s report on climate change.

The scientists agree that “the body of evidence indicating that our civilisation has already caused significant global warming is overwhelming.”

In their concise report, they warn that if we continue on our current path of business-as-usual, devouring fossil fuels and excessively pumping out greenhouse-gases, we are on track to enter into a 4°Celsius warmer world this century. Continue reading

Nissan and Ecotricity expand UK charging network for electric cars

September 15th, 2013 by Nissan Motor Company

New rapid charger at South Mimms Welcome Break service station (click image to expand - image courtesy of Nissan)

A new rapid charger at South Mimms Welcome Break service station charges a Nissan LEAF (click image to expand – image courtesy of Nissan)

Electric vehicles are perfect for Guernsey because of the limited driving range required each day.

Electric vehicles produce no emissions at the tailpipe and they make less noise than most fossil-fuelled powered vehicles so they do less harm to Guernsey’s quality of life.

The electric Nissan LEAF has been available at Freelance Motors on Braye Road in St Sampson. For those days when you need to use a car, the Nissan LEAF is a joy to drive.

A one-car Guernsey family considering buying an electric car such as a Nissan LEAF might be reluctant if the family wishes to take their car to the UK where longer distances are likely to be travelled. Continue reading

Volkswagen introduces the small electric delivery van – the e-load up!

September 14th, 2013 by Volkswagen

Volkswagen e-loadup! at the Frankfurt motor show (click image to expand - image courtesy of Volkswagen)

Dr Eckhard Scholz, CEO of Volkswagen commercial vehicles, introduces the e-load up! at the 2013 International Motor Show in Frankfurt (click image to expand – image courtesy of Volkswagen)

Volkswagen presented the e-load-up! at the 2013 International Motor Show in Frankfurt.

The electrically powered small delivery van, with a length of 3540 mm, a width of 1645 mm, and a height of 1477 mm, is based on the passenger car version of the Volkswagen e-up!.

The vehicle is ideal for use by couriers, technicians, and take-out food deliverers. Continue reading

Land Rover’s first electric Defender deployed at the Eden Project

September 14th, 2013 by Land Rover UK

(click image to expand - image courtesy of Land Rover UK)

The first electric Land Rover Defender at the Eden Project in Cornwall (click image to expand – image courtesy of Land Rover UK)

The first of six electric Land Rover Defender began operation in July 2013 at the Eden Project near St Austell in Cornwall, England in an inaugural real world trial of its capabilities as part of Land Rover’s investigations into the electrification of all-terrain vehicles..

The 2.1 tonne electric Defender 110 towed a 12 tonne road train carrying up to 60 passengers around the hexagonal-panelled Eden Project domes easily negotiating 6% inclines. Continue reading

‘Sustainable Neighbourhoods’ book published by Island Press

September 13th, 2013 by Island Press

(click book cover to go to book publisher's website)

(click book cover to go to book publisher’s website)

‘The Hidden Potential of Sustainable Neighborhoods: Lessons from Low-Carbon Communities’ provides data for architects, urban designers, and planners to identify the strengths and weaknesses of low-carbon community projects.

Harrison Fraker, who is Professor of Architecture and Urban Design and the William Wurster Dean Emeritus of the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley, argues that to create sustainable communities we need integrated whole-system design, and his case studies show just how successful it can be.

He focuses on the neighborhood scale (from city block to district) because it has the potential to become its own micro Continue reading

Andy Priaulx visits BMW’s Leipzig plant where the electric i3 & plug-in hybrid i8 sports care are made

September 13th, 2013 by Richard Lord

(click image to expand - image courtesy of BMW)

BMW racing drivers (left to right) Augusto Farfus, Andy Priaulx, Bruno Spengler, Marco Wittmann, Martin Tomczyk, Timo Glock, Dirk Werner and Joey Hand visit the Leipzig plant in Germany where the all-electric BMW i3 (black) and BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car (silver) are manufactured. (click image to expand – image courtesy of BMW)

Guernsey’s Andy Priaulx with other BMW racing drivers stopped by the BMW Plant in Leipzig, Germany on 12 September 2013.

After the drivers signed autographs for BMW employees, they had a guided tour of the production facilities and the new assembly line for the fully-electric BMW i3 and the BMW i8 Continue reading

Volkswagen electrifying all vehicle classes to lead in electric mobility by 2018

September 13th, 2013 by Volkswagen

(clikc imae to expand)

Volkswagen plans on producing 14 electric and hybrid vehicle models by 2014. The car company has set its sights on market leadership in electric mobility by 2018 (click image to expand – image courtesy of Volkswagen)

The Volkswagen Group has set its sights on global market leadership in electric mobility.

“We are electrifying all vehicle classes,” Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, said on the eve of the 65th International Motor Show in Frankfurt am Main.

“We have everything we need to make the Volkswagen Group the top automaker in electric mobility by 2018,” he said. Continue reading