Weekly Environmental News: April 7 – April 13, 2013

From the continued coverage of the oil spill in Arkansas to the mounting protests against Amazon land auctions in Ecuador, oil still remains a big topic in the news.

The power of green goo

Germany debuts the first-ever algae-powered building. A residential complex in Hamburg, Germany, known as the BIQ House, has made its debut with algae as the main power source. It is a net-zero structure. Surprisingly, it only took three years to be completed.

Like fermented grapes? Like public lands and wildlife? You may have to choose…

Changing temperatures have cascading effects. Growing areas for wine-producing regions are in jeopardy as temperatures rise. Wine-producers from around the world explore alternate lands for vineyards. Not surprisingly, prime vineyard lands happen to fall in primo regions like the already densely inhabited Mediterranean or wildlife corridors of the Yellowstone to Yukon ranch land.

Why go hybrid when methane is cheaper?

Russia deals with “pain at the gas pump” by adopting natural gas cars which run on methane. Despite fears that cars will explode while using natural gas in tanks on cars, the savings is enough for people to install aftermarket conversion kits. One user reportedly gets 140 miles on about a gallon of gas, which costs him the equivalent of $3.80 in Russian rubles.

Honeybee in peril

Dramatic decreases in honeybee populations across Spain and the United States have prompted evaluation of the die-offs. Many signs point to the use of neonics, a class of pesticide that is widely used. However, disparities exist as honeybee populations in Canada and Australia – both countries that use pesticides – seem to be unaffected. Recently, a new Harvard Study was released and links widespread colony collapse disorder to a specific pesticide called imidacloprid.


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