TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline would cut through the Ogallala aquifer, a major water source that supplies about 80 percent of Nebraska's water for drinking and irrigation. Legislators have introduced bills preventing pipelines in environmentally sensitive areas.
What if the laws of physics aren't the same all over the universe, but vary from place to place? Michael Murphy of the Swinburne University of Technology discusses research published in the journal Physical Review Letters indicating that the value of one basic physical property, the fine structure constant, may vary with location in interstellar space.
In the coming months, the Obama administration must decide whether to approve an oil pipeline that would carry tar sands oil from Canada through the U.S. The decision will divide his political base: labor, which says the pipeline would create jobs, and environmentalists, who worry about its impact.
As the world's population tops 7 billion people, population experts are worried about inevitable increases in cars, computers, bigger homes and a drain on resources. In an effort to combat this, one California company is producing small, energy-efficient homes — some as tiny as 300 square feet.
Plugging in an electric car — or parking it on a charging mat — may soon be a thing of the past. Robert Siegel talks to Rachel Kaufman of Scientific American about the new developments to boost car batteries on the go.
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