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Explosion of color takes over an abandoned Puerto Rican factory

Kalana by Sofia Maldonado, Kalaña Puerto Rico, Kalaña Cromática: Caguas a Color, Caguas public art, art in abandoned buildings, abandoned building community design, Sofia Maldonado, Sofia Maldonado art

An artist’s brilliance breathes new life into a desolate tobacco factory in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Bright sprays and colorful drips have seemingly exploded all over the factory’s formerly lifeless walls in local artist Sofia Maldonado’s eye-popping intervention, Kalaña. Created as part of Cromática: Caguas a Color, the community engagement piece transformed the building into a piece of art and new home to educational workshops, presentations, and other artistic events.

Kalana by Sofia Maldonado, Kalaña Puerto Rico, Kalaña Cromática: Caguas a Color, Caguas public art, art in abandoned buildings, abandoned building community design, Sofia Maldonado, Sofia Maldonado art

Puerto Rican artist Sofia Maldonado and her team of helpers used all parts of the factory interior as canvas. Florescent blues to neon pink and yellows are splashed across the concrete walls punctuated by a few scribbled tags while old graffiti peeks out from behind the latex paint. “My work is mainly inspired by colors and also the Caribbean way of living, and experiencing light and color,” said Maldonado.

“The idea of the project is to inspire and open the door to different projects that reuse abandoned spaces. Kalaña is my interpretation of public art. It’s intended for the public to explore to get inside an abandoned building and to experience an explosion of color. But it is also a piece that is activated by different social engagements. That’s one of my main goals: how can I integrate the community in my artwork.”

Kalana by Sofia Maldonado, Kalaña Puerto Rico, Kalaña Cromática: Caguas a Color, Caguas public art, art in abandoned buildings, abandoned building community design, Sofia Maldonado, Sofia Maldonado art

Related: Javier de Riba graffitis gorgeous geometric patterns onto the floors of abandoned buildings

Kalaña injects a welcoming energy to the space and the bright colors help set the tone for positive community collaboration. Maldonado was one of seven artists to explore the intersection between art, community, and abandoned architecture in Cromática: Caguas a Color. The piece was completed in 2015.

+ Sofia Maldonado

Via Popup City

Images via Sofia Maldonado

Kalana by Sofia Maldonado, Kalaña Puerto Rico, Kalaña Cromática: Caguas a Color, Caguas public art, art in abandoned buildings, abandoned building community design, Sofia Maldonado, Sofia Maldonado art

Kalana by Sofia Maldonado, Kalaña Puerto Rico, Kalaña Cromática: Caguas a Color, Caguas public art, art in abandoned buildings, abandoned building community design, Sofia Maldonado, Sofia Maldonado art

Kalana by Sofia Maldonado, Kalaña Puerto Rico, Kalaña Cromática: Caguas a Color, Caguas public art, art in abandoned buildings, abandoned building community design, Sofia Maldonado, Sofia Maldonado art

http://ift.tt/2pyw3Mz Source: http://inhabitat.com



Here’s what Trump’s latest executive order means for our national monuments.

The order, which Trump will sign Wednesday, directs the Interior Department to review all national monument designations over 100,000 acres made from 1996 onwards.

That includes between 24 and 40 monuments — notably, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah, and Mojave Trails in California.

During the review, the Interior Department can suggest that monuments be resized, revoked, or left alone, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said at a briefing on Tuesday. We can expect a final report this summer that will tell us which monument designations, if any, will be changed.

Environmental groups are already voicing opposition. If designations are removed, it could make it easier to eliminate protections and open land to special interests like fossil fuels.

Zinke, a self-proclaimed conservationist, said, “We can protect areas of cultural and economic importance and even use federal lands for economic development when appropriate — just as Teddy Roosevelt envisioned.”

In between further adulations of his hero, Zinke said that he would undertake the “enormous responsibility” with care. “No one loves our public lands more than I,” he said. “You can love them as much — but you can’t love them more than I do.”

This story was originally published by Grist with the headline Here’s what Trump’s latest executive order means for our national monuments. on Apr 25, 2017.

http://ift.tt/2q35YCo Source: http://grist.org



CNN had a climate denier on its Earth Day panel. Bill Nye was not having it.

original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAoxZPK1ArY

This story was originally published by the Huffington Post and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Bill Nye will gladly talk to the media about climate change, but he has no time for climate change skeptics.

The celebrity scientist slammed CNN’s “New Day” on Saturday for putting together an Earth Day panel that included William Happer — a physicist who thinks carbon pollution is a myth and once said carbon dioxide was being demonized like Jewish people in Nazi Germany.

When asked about Happer’s skepticism, Nye answered by providing Happer with a few facts about the rising rates of atmospheric CO2 — but not before scolding the hosts for doing a “disservice” to their viewers.

“I will say, as much as I love the CNN, you’re doing a disservice by having one climate change skeptic, and not 97 or 98 scientists or engineers concerned about climate change,” Nye said, referring to the widespread consensus among scientists that climate change is real and primarily caused by human activity.

Happer, a professor at Princeton, had earlier stated that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

“There’s this myth that’s developed around carbon dioxide that it’s a pollutant,” Happer said. “But you and I both exhale carbon dioxide with every breath. Each of us emits about two pounds of carbon dioxide a day, so are we polluting the planet?”

Nye pointed that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising at a record rate, according to data released this year by the Environmental System Research Laboratory.

“What he claims to not understand is the rate. It’s the speed at which we’re adding carbon dioxide,” Nye said. “What you got to get is the speed at which things are changing.”

Happer later pressed Nye on global warming, saying that Earth’s “temperature is not rising nearly as fast as the alarmists’ computer models predicted.” He added: “The whole basis for the alarmism is not true. It’s based on flawed computer modeling.”

To which Nye swiftly replied, “That’s completely wrong. Say what you will, but you have it absolutely wrong.”

In the past, Happer has argued that global warming and an increase in carbon dioxide is “good for mankind.” The climate change skeptic met with President Donald Trump in January, sparking rumors that he was being considered for the role of science adviser.

During Saturday’s panel, Nye offered Happer a bit of advice.

“Sir, with some respect,” Nye said. “I encourage you to cut this out so that we can all move forward and make the United States a world leader in technology.”

This story was originally published by Grist with the headline CNN had a climate denier on its Earth Day panel. Bill Nye was not having it. on Apr 25, 2017.

http://ift.tt/2qc1UPL Source: http://grist.org



Coal is giving us blatant hints that it’s on the way out.

And for a government that adores market forces so much, it doesn’t seem to be heeding them very well. Consider the following:

1. In 2016, there were over twice as many American jobs in solar energy production as in coal (373,807 vs. 160,119), the New York Times reported. Note that the coal industry continues to be a relatively large employer in Wyoming, West Virginia, and to a lesser extent North Dakota and Kentucky.

2. But here’s a surprise from Chris Beam, the new president of Appalachian Power — an energy company based in Charleston, West Virginia. “[Gov. Jim Justice] asked me, ‘I’d like you to burn more coal,’” Beam told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. “Well … We’re not going to build any more coal plants. That’s not going to happen.”

Why? Corporations like Amazon and Google that might look to expand energy sourcing to Appalachia have greener preferences. (Beam isn’t the first energy CEO in the region to show interest in renewables.)

3. The EPA just held a session to invite public opinion on which clean air regulations should be cut — ever-conveniently during a Monday morning. The loudest respondents? Fossil fuel lobbyists.

Can we stop trying to make coal happen?

This story was originally published by Grist with the headline Coal is giving us blatant hints that it’s on the way out. on Apr 25, 2017.

http://ift.tt/2oHxLGL Source: http://grist.org



That ridiculous heat wave really was caused by climate change.

Or at least there’s a greater that 80 percent chance that it was.

If you have ever been reprimanded by some insufferable pedant (maybe me) for blaming the record-breaking heat on climate change, prepare to receive some validation. A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that you were likely right.

Lead author Noah Diffenbaugh and a team of researchers found that man-made global warming has nudged up the thermostat on the hottest day, and hottest month, across more than 80 percent of the earth. They also found we’ve also turned up the volume on the weather, increasing the likelihood of a record dry year in 57 percent of places observed.

Last year, the National Academies published a fat report on attributing extreme weather events to climate change. The report said that, although science can’t deliver an absolute verdict about what caused a specific heat wave or hurricane, it can tell us how much climate change boosted the likelihood or intensity of that event. In other words, science deals in probabilities, not absolute certainties. But as the science improves, with papers like this latest one, those probabilities get higher and higher.

This story was originally published by Grist with the headline That ridiculous heat wave really was caused by climate change. on Apr 25, 2017.

http://ift.tt/2pinJQs Source: http://grist.org



Cameron Sinclair joins Airbnb to provide housing for 100,000 displaced people

Cameron Sinclair, Airbnb, Architecture for Humanity, Airbnb refugees, Airbnb displaced people, Cameron Sinclair small works, Small works, #weaccept, humanitarian housing, humanitarian projects, architecture for good, Airbnb housing

Airbnb wants to provide temporary housing for 100,000 displaced people, and to help reach that goal, the home-sharing service has put together a team lead by designer and Architecture for Humanity co-founder Cameron Sinclair. Sinclair heads architecture firm Small Works, which focuses on building for communities in need, making him the perfect fit for Airbnb’s temporary housing project.

Cameron Sinclair, Airbnb, Architecture for Humanity, Airbnb refugees, Airbnb displaced people, Cameron Sinclair small works, Small works, #weaccept, humanitarian housing, humanitarian projects, architecture for good, Airbnb housing

Sinclair has been working with Airbnb over the past year on various pilot projects, with the official project launching this summer. The ultimate goal is for one million Airbnb users to register as “hosts for good,” signaling that they will provide housing for people impacted by natural disasters or otherwise displaced.

Related: INTERVIEW: We Talk with Architecture for Humanity Founder Cameron Sinclair

Airbnb announced its ambition to host displaced people during this year’s Super Bowl with a commercial tagged #weaccept. In addition to working on the commercial, Sinclair also worked on Airbnb’s Yoshino Cedar House.

via Dezeen

images via Flickr (1, 2)

http://ift.tt/2pfrsMn Source: http://inhabitat.com



Mercedes begins delivery of new energy storage units

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Tesla’s Powerwall has reigned supreme in home energy storage, but now they’ve got some competition from Mercedes-Benz. Last year, Daimler, parent company of Mercedes-Benz, announced that they had started developing their own brand of home energy storage units. Now the company confirmed they are beginning to deliver the units to businesses and homes in Germany.

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Mercedes incorporated the same lithium-ion battery technology from their hybrid cars in the new home energy storage units. Each unit has an energy content of 2.5 kilowatt-hours (kWh), and a system can be scaled up to include eight modules for a total of 20 kWh. The units come with a 10-year warranty, the same as the Tesla Powerwall, though Powerwalls come with the option to store more energy with a capacity of 13.5 kWh.

Related: BMW, Daimler, Ford, and VW are planning an electric vehicle superhighway in Europe

Similar to a Powerwall, Mercedes’ battery storage units store excess energy gathered by solar panels for use during peak hours or at night. According to Daimler, homeowners using their system can increase renewable energy use by as much as 65 percent.

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Daimler aims to expand throughout Europe and start selling the units in the United States this year. Mercedes is already developing three industrial-scale projects to provide reliability to the grid in Germany; one project includes 29 megawatt-hours of storage capacity.

Mercedes is also offering a package for homeowners that comes with the battery storage unit, solar panels, an inverter, and an energy management system. The whole package, including installation, costs around $10,000. One 14 kWh Tesla Powerwall costs $5,500; with supporting hardware the total estimate is $6,200. Installation costs between $800 and $2,000. That doesn’t include a solar power system.

Head of Development Electrics/Electronics and E-Drive for Mercedes-Benz Harald Kröger said in a statement, “We are convinced we can offer our customers an attractive product at a competitive price.”

Via Treehugger

Images via Mercedes-Benz and Daimler

http://ift.tt/2q2E0ty Source: http://inhabitat.com



Disturbing photoshoot imagines our meals in a climate change-induced dystopia

If countless scientific studies can’t convince climate change deniers of the imminent threat to the world, perhaps a stark glance into our future food supply might do the trick. Artist Allie Wist has created a bleak photo series, called Flooded, which provides an alarming depiction of a dystopic dinner party set in the age of massive flooding caused by rising sea levels.

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Wist and her team, made up of photographer, Heami Lee, stylist Rebecca Bartoshesky, and food and recipe specialist C.C. Buckley, shot the images in areas threatened by rising sea levels. As for the menu, the team decided to put the focus on relatable dishes and their future potential demise. Using some of the most common recipes found in the New York and New England area, the dystopic photoshoot depicts how these beloved dishes would look in a flood-filled future.

Related: What you need to know about Sea Level Rise

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Wist told Gizmodo that her inspiration for the series came from the common disconnect people seem to have between climate change and its effects on their personal lives, “Climate change is a really abstract phenomenon for a lot of people. They don’t really associate it with their daily lives. I think food is one of the most intimate substances we encounter. It can lend an emotional intensity and connection that people won’t have to these abstract scientific concepts.”

+ Allie Wist

Via Gizmodo

Images via Allie West

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http://ift.tt/2q12qkd Source: http://inhabitat.com



The sweet moment California got a record 50% of its electricity from solar

Solar, California, clean energy, renewables

California is showing the awesome potential of scaled-up solar power to provide the United States and the world with clean, renewable electricity. For three hours on March 11 the state got 50 percent of its electricity from solar — 40 percent from large-scale solar power plants and 10 percent from distributed solar installations on homes and businesses. The estimate came from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the statistics division of the U.S. Department of Energy. The federal government used data from the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which manages the electricity grid for 80 percent of California and part of Nevada.

Solar, California, clean energy, renewables

There are enough big solar facilities in California to generate up to 9.8 gigawatts of electricity, nearly matching the output of 10 nuclear reactors. The state is also increasing other renewables such as wind power, biomass, small hydroelectric dams and geothermal power. According to CAISO, on March 23 renewable sources accounted for 56.7 percent of all power on the grid.

Related: California introduces its own 100% renewable energy bill

What California doesn’t have enough of at this point is large-scale energy storage. On sunny days the state often produces too much solar power that is shunted off the grid, a process known as curtailment. If the state expects to meet its ambitious target of getting half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, storage capacity will have to increase.

While Californians continue to pay some of the highest average retail electricity prices in the nation, as more solar is added to the grid there are days when power prices reach zero or even get into negative territory. Zero to negative prices generally occur during late winter and early spring daylight hours. For example, according to EIA, last month during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., system average hourly prices were frequently at or below $0 per megawatt hour.

+ California ISO

+ Energy Information Administration

Via Treehugger

Images via Brightsource Energy

http://ift.tt/2q0UHm4 Source: http://inhabitat.com



UK tests cheaper, longer-lasting roads made with recycled plastic

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Around 24.8 million miles of roads crisscross the surface of Earth. And hundreds of millions of barrels of oil have been used for that development. Engineer Toby McCartney came up with a solution to that waste of natural resources and the growing plastic pollution problem. His company, Scotland-based MacRebur, lays roads that are as much as 60 percent stronger than regular asphalt roads and last around 10 times longer – and they’re made with recycled plastic.

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Our city roads require a lot of maintenance over time as weather deteriorates them and potholes open up. Meanwhile there are around five trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean. McCartney came up with an answer to both issues. He turns 100 percent recycled plastic into what he calls MR6 pellets, or small pellets of waste plastic, which replace bitumen, the material used to bind roads together (extracted from crude oil) and sold by oil companies like Shell.

Related: Vancouver Becomes First City to Pave Its Streets With Recycled Plastic

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Normal roads are comprised of around 90 percent rock, sand, and limestone, with 10 percent bitumen. MacRebur’s process replaces most of the bitumen, using household waste plastic, farm waste, and commercial waste. Much of the trash would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.

At asphalt plants the MR6 pellets are mixed with quarried rock and a bit of bitumen, and a plant worker told the BBC the process is actually the same “as mixing the conventional way with additions into a bitumen product.”

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McCartney was inspired to design plastic roads after his daughter’s teacher asked the class what lives in the ocean, and his daughter said, “Plastics.” He didn’t want her to grow up in a world where that was true. He’d also spent time in India, where he saw locals would fix holes in the road by putting waste plastic into the holes and then burning it. He started MacRebur with friends Nick Burnett and Gordon Reid.

MacRebur’s first road was McCartney’s own driveway, and now the company’s roads have been laid in the county of Cumbria in the United Kingdom.

+ MacRebur

Via the BBC

Images via MacRebur Facebook

http://ift.tt/2q2z7AD Source: http://inhabitat.com




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