Scotland Starts Europe’s Largest Tidal Wave Energy Installation

Tidal wave energy installations are nothing new, but installing it on a scale that can power 42,000 homes is. The other day, the Scottish government gave the go ahead for starting a wave-powered energy installation.

“This is a major step forward for Scotland’s marine renewable energy industry. When fully operational, the 86 megawatt array could generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 42,000 homes – around 40% of homes in the Highlands. This … is just the first phase for a site that could eventually yield up to 398 megawatts.”

Speaking at the Scottish renewables marine conference, Ewing also announced that developers Aquamarine Power Limited and Pelamis Wave Power are to share a slice of a £13m wave “first array” support programme, part of the Scottish government’s marine renewables commercialisation fund.

Ewing said the tide is turning for the wave sector.

Read more at The Guardian.

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In Ireland, Carbon Tax Means Less Waste and More Revenue

Modern economies indirectly subsidize environmentally damaging corporate practices by ignoring the environmental costs ( younger generations have to deal with the environmental damage), this can be seen in everything from the tar sands in Alberta to ewaste in electronics. In Ireland they have started a carbon tax to deal with this environmental problem while raising a lot more revenue for the country.

The results in Ireland prove promising and may encourage other countries in Europe to take the European Commission’s suggestions that a carbon tax can help other debt-ridden economies.

Household trash is weighed at the curb, and residents are billed for anything that is not being recycled.The Irish now pay purchase taxes on new cars and yearly registration fees that rise steeply in proportion to the vehicle’s emissions. Environmentally and economically, the new taxes have delivered results. Long one of Europe’s highest per-capita producers of greenhouse gases, with levels nearing those of the United States, Ireland has seen its emissions drop more than 15 per cent since 2008.

The three-year-old carbon tax has raised nearly 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) overall, including 400 million euros in 2012. That provided the Irish government with 25 per cent of the 1.6 billion euros in new tax revenue it needed to narrow its budget gap this year and avert a rise in income tax rates.

Read more here.

Thanks to Mike!

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We’re Helping the NotFound Project

Sadly, even in these modern times, children go missing and finding them can be difficult. The NotFound Project hopes to help find missing children by making use of 404 pages online. 404 pages refer to pages on a website that cannot be found, so it makes thematic sense to use that classification of page to find people.

You can see an example of this by clicking here.

If you have a website then you can help the project too!

The NotFound Project.

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Victory for Chickens in Europe

Being a chicken who’s sole purpose is egg-laying can be hard because of the horrible living conditions. Too many animals, in this case chickens, are held in enclosures that don’t allow for movement. This is starting to change for chickens in Europe as they have now been granted better enclosures thanks to some ethical activists!

On the first day of 2012, keeping hens in such cages became illegal, in all 27 countries of the European Union. Hens can still be kept in cages, but they must have more space, and the cages must have nest boxes and a scratching post. Last month, members of the British Hen Welfare Trust provided a new home for a hen they named “Liberty”. She was, they said, among the last hens in Britain still living in the type of cages we had opposed.

In the early 1970s, when the modern animal-liberation movement began, no major organisation was campaigning against the battery cage. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the mother of all animal-protection organisations, had lost its early radicalism long before. It focused on isolated cases of abuse, and failed to challenge well-established ways of mistreating animals on farms or in laboratories. It took a concerted effort by the new animal radicals of the 1970s to stir the RSPCA from its complacency towards the battery cage and other forms of intensive animal rearing.

Read Europe’s ethical eggs-ample.

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A Look at European Transit Planning

The New York Times has a good article about the differences between traffic planning in the USA and Europe. The article shows ways that European cities move people more efficiently by supporting mass transit and sustainable transit solutions like bicycles rather than supporting a car culture.

Cities including Vienna to Munich and Copenhagen have closed vast swaths of streets to car traffic. Barcelona and Paris have had car lanes eroded by popular bike-sharing programs. Drivers in London and Stockholm pay hefty congestion charges just for entering the heart of the city. And over the past two years, dozens of German cities have joined a national network of “environmental zones” where only cars with low carbon dioxide emissions may enter.

Likeminded cities welcome new shopping malls and apartment buildings but severely restrict the allowable number of parking spaces. On-street parking is vanishing. In recent years, even former car capitals like Munich have evolved into “walkers’ paradises,” said Lee Schipper, a senior research engineer at Stanford University who specializes in sustainable transportation

Read more here.

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