U.N. releases plan to help world’s largest economies avoid climate catastrophe

Jeffrey Sachs of the Earth Institute

effrey Sachs, Director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, said talking in the abstract was failing to produce the deep changes needed to move to a low-carbon global economy. Photograph: Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images

There is general agreement that the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009 was a failure and that since then little to no concrete action has been taken by the world’s major powers to alleviate the causes of climate change. But perhaps now there is at least a glimmer of hope.

On Tuesday, the United Nations was presented with a roadmap to avoid a climate catastrophe, prescribing specific actions for the world’s biggest economies to keep warming below 2C.

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A coffee maker that lets you connect with the Fair Trade grower

Coffee roasted

Americans love their coffee. Just look at any metropolitan area and you’ll see java places abounding. But with the high cost of our favorite brew, many of us are turning to ways to make it ourselves.

Those of you who’ve followed my work for a while have seen me feature various new crowdfunding ventures. A new one just launched today on Kickstarter I think could be exceptional if it’s funded.

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BP’s debacle laid out in new documentary

BP Gulf oil disasterJust saw a documentary produced by or for the BBC on the disastrous Gulf oil spill of 2010. This hour-long documentary features the five major attempts and failures to avert this enormous environmental disaster and the key players involved in the oil company’s eventual success.

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Streaming Movies is Now Portable with mUVichip

The mUVichip could make DVD’s obsolete!

Some of us remember VHS – those big plastic boxes we used to record and watch movies and our favorite TV shows on. Then came DVD’s and CD’s, which allowed for more portability and higher quality viewing, although there’s still a lot of plastic involved.

At the recent Sierra Nevada Innovation Challenge, a small start-up company called Flixchip may well make those devices obsolete – and put a lot more fun in movie watching.

To learn more about this truly innovative technology and how easy and fun it will be to use, check out bit.ly/NF9s3m.

Auto Toilet Could Save Water by the Millions

The innovative Auto Toilet will be six times more water efficient than current low-flow models

In 2009, then-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a statewide drought. That same year, a young company called New Age Hygienic Systems was selected as one of The New California 100 Businesses for its remarkable, water-saving Auto Toilet.

Inventor Dan Andreiu, New Age Hygienic Systems’ founder and CEO, created the Auto Toilet. He says that this invention is the first update to the fundamental design and operation of the toilet in 200 years.

To learn more about this innovative toilet and its potential for water savings, go to http://bit.ly/MPHoed.

This App Can Fight Forest Fires

FireWhat app delivers the latest fire updates, rather than firefighters working off data that’s 12 to 24 hours old

For firefighters, timely information truly is of the essence. FireWhat Inc., a start-up company founded by two firefighters and an MIT graduate, has developed a free, game-changing mobile platform for the Fire Service. Its Web site and mobile app give firefighters the latest information on fires, rather than having to depend on “updates” that can be 12 to 24 hours old. This helps save lives and, in some surprising ways, the environment.

To learn more about this timesaving, innovative resource that’s helping both firefighters and homeowners help get ahead of pending fire disasters, go to http://bit.ly/MAn1kd. And to find out about its more local impact in northern California, see http://bit.ly/MSLoxA.

Future highways could charge electric vehicles

Tesla’s sporty all-electric car has Americans dreaming of EVs, photo by Mike Finnegan

Electric vehicles have captured the American imagination. There’s a secret hunger and fascination about the prospect of owning one, particularly as the prospect for more sporty models keep growing. But the issue of keeping them charged over longer distances has been a thorny one.  The best of them can only travel up to 100 miles before needing to recharge (with the exception of Tesla’s Roadster)

Researchers at Stanford University recently made a discovery related to wireless technology that could provide the solution.

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