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By Bruce Lieberman
Anyone who's taken a road trip knows how intensely the sun can beat down on the roadway. Could all those rays be converted to solar power?
Scott and Julie Brusaw said yes. This husband and wife team are the founders of Idaho-based company Solar Roadways. They created a system of solar panels coated with bulletproof glass that can replace pavement. It's not an unprecedented idea: both the Netherlands and France are researching solar roadways. But they have not yet been tried in the U.S.
The Brusaws just installed their first pilot project in Sandpoint, Idaho. And they are working with the Missouri Department of Transportation on a project at a rest stop on Route 66.
Brusaw: "We're hoping to be mass-manufacturing toward the end of next year and I expect to see them on residential roads probably in two to three years."
Skeptics worry about the durability of the panels and also the expense of producing and maintaining them.
But the Brusaws said the roads will pay for themselves over time by generating clean energy that can be delivered and sold to consumers.
Roads hold tremendous potential as sources of clean power. For example, the Brusaws said if every road in the U.S. was made of solar panels, we could produce three times more energy than we use as a country.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Yale Climate Connections.
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By Allegra Kirkland, Jeremy Deaton, Molly Taft, Mina Lee and Josh Landis
Climate change is already here. It's not something that can simply be ignored by cable news or dismissed by sitting U.S. senators in a Twitter joke. Nor is it a fantastical scenario like The Day After Tomorrow or 2012 that starts with a single crack in the Arctic ice shelf or earthquake tearing through Los Angeles, and results, a few weeks or years later, in the end of life on Earth as we know it.
Air pollution particles that a pregnant woman inhales have the potential to travel through the lungs and breach the fetal side of the placenta, indicating that unborn babies are exposed to black carbon from motor vehicles and fuel burning, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications.
Teen activist Greta Thunberg delivered a talking-to to members of Congress Tuesday during a meeting of the Senate Climate Change Task Force after politicians praised her and other youth activists for their efforts and asked their advice on how to fight climate change.
The University of California system will dump all of its investments from fossil fuels, as the Associated Press reported. The university system controls over $84 billion between its pension fund and its endowment. However, the announcement about its investments is not aimed to please activists.
By Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
World leaders have a formidable task: setting a course to save our future. The extreme weather made more frequent and severe by climate change is here. This spring, devastating cyclones impacted 3 million people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Record heatwaves are hitting Europe and other regions — this July was the hottest month in modern record globally. Much of India is again suffering severe drought.
By Mark Hertsgaard
The United Nations Secretary General says that he is counting on public pressure to compel governments to take much stronger action against what he calls the climate change "emergency."