Tag: technology

Facebook steps up fight against climate misinformation – but critics say effort falls short

New efforts will let vast amounts of false material slip through the cracks, according to climate advocates Facebook has announced new efforts to combat climate crisis misinformation on its platform, including by expanding its climate science center to provide more reliable information, investing in organizations that fight misinformation, and launching a video series to highlight […]

Can the West learn to share renewable power?

This report is contributed by InvestigateWest as part of its yearlong reporting initiative Getting to Zero. InvestigateWest’s work is supported in part by the Fund for Investigative Journalism. The spring of 2019 opened with a deep chill across Cascadia. An Arctic air mass poured past the 49th parallel, simultaneously jacking up energy consumption and straining energy supplies […]

‘Big Three’ automakers join Biden in electric car promises

“The future of the auto industry is electric,” President Joe Biden said in a voiceover to a video posted on Twitter Wednesday night. “There’s no turning back.” Automakers seem to agree with him. On Thursday, the “Big Three” American carmakers — Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler (now part of the Dutch auto giant Stellantis) — […]

Plant-based metal? The mining industry could get a sustainable makeover.

Malaysia’s Kinabalu Park, which surrounds Mount Kinabalu, the 20th-largest peak in the world, is home to a nickel mine like none other. In lieu of heavy machinery, plumes of sulfur dioxide, or rivers red with runoff, you’ll find four acres of a leafy-green shrub, tended to since 2015 by local villagers. Once or twice per […]

Can you recycle a hard drive? Google is quietly trying to find out

At a laboratory inside a Google data center in Mayes County, Oklahoma, researchers spent the fall of 2019 disassembling old hard disk drives by hand in order to extract a 2-inch-long component known as the magnet assembly. Consisting of two powerful rare earth magnets, the magnet assembly is a critical muscle within the hard drive, […]

A different kind of solar technology is poised to go big

Most solar panels covering the world’s rooftops, fields, and deserts today share the same ingredient: crystalline silicon. The material, made from raw polysilicon, is shaped into wafers and wired into solar cells, devices that convert sunlight into electricity. Recently, the industry’s dependence on this singular technology has become something of a liability. Supply chain bottlenecks […]

What Tesla has to do with the Solyndra loan scandal

A little over a decade ago, Solyndra was the hottest thing in solar power. Solyndra was so exciting that then-President Barack Obama, who was trying to create green jobs while pulling the country out of the financial crisis, decided to give the company a $535 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy. Within two […]

A massive water recycling proposal could help ease drought

This story was originally published by Wired and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Lake Mead, which provides water for 25 million people in the American West, has shrunk to 36 percent of its capacity. One rural California community has run out of water entirely after its well broke in early […]

The US wants to make EV batteries without these foreign metals. Should it?

The electric vehicle or EV revolution owes its existence to lithium batteries, and those batteries have a cocktail of specialized minerals to thank for their high performance. In most cases, that cocktail’s ingredient list includes cobalt and nickel, minerals that help deliver the long lifespan and range that consumers increasingly demand of EVs.  But with […]

Record metals boom may threaten transition to green energy

Demand and prices are soaring for minerals essential to the construction of low-carbon infrastructure The commodities boom ignited by China’s post-Covid recovery, and stoked by the global move to green energy, broke price records last week even as fears about inflation stalked the markets. But it also risks triggering a rush on metals and minerals […]