The Green Wrap-up 4.April, 2013

General Motors has announced it will invest around $332 million to produce more fuel-efficient engines and transmissions. The cash will be split between four manufacturing facilities, including Bedford, Indiana and Toledo, Ohio, as well as Bay City and Flint, Michigan.
The average fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. is still inching up month after month, hitting a new record of 24.6 MPG in March 2013, beating the revised numbers of both January and February by 0.2 MPG. Or at least, that’s what the numbers compiled by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) tell us…
Researchers are racing to develop black silicon solar cells with higher and higher efficiencies – and Aalto University and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) just took the lead away from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). Aalto University and Fraunhofer ISE’s new black silicon cells tout a solar efficiency of 18.7%, beating out NREL’s previous efficiency record of 18.2%.
On Monday, The New York Times reported that climate scientist, James Hansen is retiring from NASA to focus his time and energy to slowing the release of greenhouse gases. In an op-ed at The Los Angeles Times today, Hansen lays out the case against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline…
When Zach Pickens first started gardening on his New York rooftop six years ago, he learned the hard way that growing plants in an urban environment isn’t the same as tending them in a suburban backyard.
The construction of the pipeline, which President Obama is considering this year, has raised the attention of environmental groups which have planned a number of protests across 2013. In addition, activist group CREDO have created an online pledge urging supporters to engage in “serious, dignified, peaceful civil disobedience” if the plans are approved.
  • Greenjoyment(Ally): This article includes the results of a survey that shows which demographics support the building of the pipeline. I always find it interesting when a large number of older Americans support environmentally devastating projects. Seems to me that it’s awfully easy to support something when you probably won’t be around for very long to live with the consequences, while the younger generation will be left to clean up the mess. It would be really interesting if the survey included reasons why people do or do not support Keystone, and how informed they actually are about its potential hazards.
The Missouri University of Science and Technology is putting its old entries to the Solar Decathlon to good use by making a model Solar Village. Four solar homes from past competitions are being reused in an on-campus experimental solar-powered micro-grid.

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