As the world’s top carbon offenders attempt to one-up each other with commitments in Paris this week, one country is quietly snickering from the sidelines. That’d be Uruguay, which already sources a staggering 94.5% of its electricity from renewables.
As a longtime fan of industrial aesthetics, I always look for the chance to get inside any building where roaring machines, buzzing wires, crackling pipe, and chaotic control rooms sit waiting to be explored and photographed—like this 99-year-old Art Deco power plant or this 70-year-old Bauhaus sewage pumping building.
Reservoirs and hydropower are often thought of as climate friendly, but new research suggests that we may have underestimated the amount of methane they produce. The methane—which is 35 times as potent a greenhouse gas as CO2 over the span of a century—is produced by bacteria eating nutrient-rich agricultural runoff.
After this long winter, spring's warmth has begun to melt all that pesky snow. In the Northwest, the resulting runoff helps power everyday life. Only this year there's too much power for them to handle.
While many visions of a future New York showcase its lauded ability to grow upwards, architects Richard Garber and Brian Novello have suggested it grow outwards — into the water — to increase public space and harness hydropower.