This week President Obama announced his plan to tackle climate change, including proposals to regulate gas and coal emissions, and brace the nation for rising seas. David Roberts, who covers energy and climate change for Grist.org, talks about what to expect from the plan — and how much the president can accomplish without the help of Congress.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, backs energy technologies that are too risky for investors, but offer a potentially huge payoff — if they work. The agency has gambled on flywheels, compressed air energy storage, lithium-air batteries, even wind-energy kites.
Synthetic biologist Jay Keasling has already taught yeast to make the leading anti-malarial drug. His next project takes the technology a step further, using yeast to turn plant waste into diesel — and maybe gasoline and jet fuel, too.
NASA has a plan to fend off giant asteroids, but what about tsunamis, earthquakes, storms that last 45 days and mammoth floods? Earth scientists say science-based strategies can help communities prepare for the worst of the worst.
Many people know how to buy things in cyberspace. But what about doing business in outer space? That's the question PayPal wants to answer. Citing the looming era of space tourism, the company is starting the Galactic project with the SETI Institute, to "make universal space payments a reality."
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