Notes from a rare planet: Marines using solar power in Afghanistan

Marines in the desert

Marines using solar power in Afghanistan (The Wall Street Journal)

  • “A company of U.S. Marines recently conducted a remarkable three-week patrol through southern Afghanistan, replacing hundreds of pounds of spare batteries in their packs with roll-up solar panels the size of place mats to power their battle gear.”
  • “By allowing the troops to recharge their radios, GPS devices and other equipment, the green technology freed the Marines of India Company from constant resupply by road and air. And by carrying fewer batteries, they carried more bullets.”

Fungus turns ants into Zombies, then eats their brains (TreeHugger)

  • “Researchers from Penn State studying ants in Thailand have stumbled upon one of the spookiest parasitic phenomena ever recorded: a fungus that doesn’t just kill its insect host — it invades their minds and forces them to do its bidding”

Fighting ocean acidification the fish tank way (NewScientist)

  • “Around the world, people use quicklime to balance the pH of their fish tanks. Could governments do something similar to correct the pH of our acidifying oceans?”

Capturing carbon from the air won’t be a very serious option for fighting climate change. Better to not release (Yale Environment 360)

Beaver dam lessens impact of massive oil spill in Canada (Mongabay)

  • “‘Good thing they had that beaver dam on there, eh? If they wouldn’t have had that beaver dam, God knows where that oil would have flowed. Probably down to Lubicon Lake. It’s not far from there,’ William Whitehead, chief of the Woodland Cree, told the Edmonton Journal. The oil spill happened in the historical territory of the Cree’s Lubicon Lake Nation.”