Most retired aircraft are parked in the desert, but with thousands of them coming into retirement in the next two decades, Montreal-based Bombardier Aerospace has started recycling its planes and researching more sustainable materials and designs. Although the industry has set ambitious environmental targets of reducing aircraft carbon dioxide emissions by half by 2050 (compared to 2005), it falls far behind other industries in recycling. Bombardier led the creation of the Green Aviation Research and Development Network (funded by the Canadian government), a research group aimed at better understanding the environmental impact of an aircraft’s entire lifecycle. I recently spoke with Hélène Gagnon, vice president of public affairs, communications and corporate social responsibility, who said Bombardier’s ultimate goal is to create a fully recyclable aircraft. You’ve said that 75 percent of airplane parts are recyclable, but very few are recycled. What is … [Read more...] about In an industry that parks old jets, Bombardier aims for fully recyclable aircraft
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Britain's Baroness Bryony Worthington doesn't buy the conspiracy theory that says the West abandoned safe nuclear power in the 1960s in favor of uranium reactors that yielded waste suitable for atomic weapons. Oh, Worthington believes the scenario alright. She just doesn't accept that it was a conspiracy. "People like to look for wrong doings in this, but actually I think it was just the political climate and the reality at the time," says the Baroness, a Labour Party member of the House of Lords, the upper chamber of British Parliament. "Obviously nuclear power has been linked to weapons throughout history, and one of the factors of a uranium based fuel cycle is it gives you lots of plutonium which is perfect for bombs and weapons. And that's what we wanted during the Cold War. So that's what got the money." Indeed, under President Richard Nixon, the U.S. abandoned a safer and more effective fuel that it was developing and that had been very much in the running along with uranium in … [Read more...] about The Thorium Lord
Radically different policies are not usually a feature of U.S. presidential campaigns, as it's usually a small percentage of centrist swing voters who decide the winner. Normally the platforms consist of bland generalities designed for maximum appeal, with only a few small differences to distinguish them. Not so in this election, with President Obama and former Governor Romney offering virtually opposite visions of our energy future. To be sure, the Obama and Romney energy policies have much in common on the broad outlines. Both claim to support an "all of the above" approach. Both have high hopes for biofuels, and support nuclear power. Both aim for some form of "energy independence" through expanded domestic oil and gas production. But they differ sharply in the details. Renewables The 2012 Democratic National Platform, released yesterday, highlights President Obama's goal to generate 80 percent of our electricity from clean energy sources by 2035, an ambitious upgrade from the 25 … [Read more...] about Obama vs. Romney: Who has the best energy plan?
Video: Apple takes on healthcare from patient to provider Google has made no secret of its overarching ambition to organise the world's information and make it accessible to anyone. And the healthcare industry has no shortage of such information, in any number of repositories and diverse formats, from MRI images to patient notes and data gathered from wearable devices. Google has long sought to diversify its revenues streams away from search and advertising, the business it was founded on and which continues to make up the bulk of its revenue nearly 20 years later. So could health be the industry that helps the company to achieve that aim? Like Apple, Google has made a play for the lowest-hanging health fruit, the consumer market. Its first attempt to enter the market was with Google Health in 2008, a project that was meant to let individuals gather their personal health data and medical records inside a single Google store. It was shuttered at the end of 2011, after failing to … [Read more...] about Google’s grand plan for health, from fitness apps right up to defeating death
China’s push to take over global technology leadership is relentless. It wants to lead in computing, semiconductors, research and development, and clean energy. It is accelerating science investment as the U.S. retreats. China may be planning a moon base. Surprised? Don’t be. It will soon have a manned space station. It is investing heavily in quantum technologies and it wants to be first to build an exascale supercomputer. In 2010, Computerworld looked at “Five reasons why China will rule tech.” Here's an update, and the case for China has grown stronger. 1. China’s big science ambitions include a moon base In the 1950s, the U.S. considered establishing a 12-man Army base on the moon by 1965. The idea was too ambitious for the time and was dropped. Meanwhile, China has set its sights on a permanent lunar base. Richard Fisher, a senior fellow of Asian military affairs at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, sees the possibility. … [Read more...] about 5 reasons why China will rule tech, 2017 edition
When it comes to electric cars the automotive industry has been polarized on how best to tackle the growing electric market. Companies like Toyota threw in their support for hybrid vehicles early on with vehicles like the Prius, while others like Nissan – and its Leaf — opted to produce an all-electric car for the mass market. General Motors approached the problem with a different solution, releasing the Chevrolet Volt which utilized a hybrid gas-electric powertrain. Of course, not to be left out, Ford will offer both hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric versions of its 2013 Fusion and 2013 Focus later this year.And while most companies seek to implement a more robust electric strategy, some still believe the shift towards electrification is taking place too rapidly, and that unrealistic goals being set by governing bodies will harm the automotive industry.Speaking at an industry seminar in Brussels, Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby candidly let loose his opinion on the current … [Read more...] about Volvo CEO criticizes EU, says “it is far too early to dismiss fossil fuels”