Scientists don’t often get involved in political campaigns, but in Virginia one of the nation’s leading men of science has stepped up to endorse a candidate for attorney general.
Three years ago, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli demanded to see all of the e-mails and documents written by Professor Michael Mann during his years at the University of Virginia. Mann and his colleagues had created a graphic showing how quickly the Earth was warming. It looked like a hockey stick set on its side.
Scientists in biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech have succeed in using xylose, a sugar found in plants to produce large quantities of hydrogen in an environmentally friendly way.
Unlike current methods of making hydrogen gas, Associate Professor Percival Zhang’s process is done at low temperatures, uses no heavy metals and releases almost no green house gases. His team designed an enzyme cocktail for splitting of the hydrogen. The result is energy production at a rate of more than 100% efficiency; a level current methods do not reach.
Climate change is forcing some Virginians to consider a move. Coastal areas and islands like Tangiers are losing land as the sea rises, flooding is more frequent, and hurricanes could be more dangerous than ever. But for one Virginia couple, natural disasters are no deterrent. They’ve chosen to live in one of the riskiest places on Earth, on Hawaii's big island, about 3 miles from Pu’u’o’o - a volcanic crater that’s been oozing lava for the last 30 years.
After being eclipsed by other issues for a couple of years climate change is now back in the spotlight on Capitol Hill.
Republicans control the U-S House and many oppose taking action to address climate change. In his State of the Union address President Obama opened the door for lawmakers to work with him on the issue but he also laid a line in the sand.