Parking spaces are everywhere, but for some reason the perception persists that there’s “not enough parking.” And so cities require parking in new buildings and lavishly subsidize parking garages, without ever measuring how much parking exists or how much it’s used.

But down at the end of one block, there’s a sign things are changing. Scaffolding surrounds a vacant house on a corner and workers from Daiwa House are clanging away inside. They’re not demolishing the house but refurbishing it – reorganising the floor plan, knocking down walls, opening up the kitchen and enhancing the insulation. Rather than tear down the house so the next buyer can build something new, they’re rebuilding it from the inside and putting it back on the market. It’s a relatively rare commodity, but something that is increasingly common across Japan: a secondhand home.

“For the first time, Japanese people are beginning to appreciate living in older homes,” says Noboru Kaihou, a Daiwa House public information officer.

In fiscal 2010, just before the March 2012 disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holding’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the national average CO2 emission was 416 grams per kilowatt-hour. In fiscal 2013, after all nuclear power plants were idled, the figure rose to 570 grams.

Fuel economy is about 10 km per liter for gasoline-powered passenger cars and a little over 20 km per liter for hybrid cars. The comparable figure for EVs is some 10 km per kilowatt-hour. Even with all nuclear power plants idled, an EV emits only about half as much CO2 as hybrid vehicles. Even if all power stations used coal, the CO2 emission per kilowatt-hour would be 864 grams, making CO2 emissions from an EV less than from a hybrid car.

In suburban sprawl, you’re doomed to spending vast amounts of time at the wheel–time you cannot do much else with, and which you won’t get back. The nature of low-density automobile sprawl cities is that everything is insanely far away from everything else, so no matter what you do, you’re doomed to driving vast distances to see most friends, to commute to work and so on.

It now aims to raise the density level of volcanic ash that can affect nuclear plants by 100 times the current level, while pressing utilities to upgrade their air filters.

Reactor No. 3 at the Ikata plant and reactors Nos. 3 and 4 at the Genkai plant top the list of those most likely to be affected by clogged filters.

Men hoten finns fortfarande kvar. Miljögifter, skogsavverkning, tjuvjakt och plundring av bon är faror för den känsliga arten.

The fly ash emitted by a power plant—a by-product from burning coal for electricity—carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy.

The country has outranked 162 others to take pole position in the Good Country Index, a league table based on 35 separate indicators from sources including the United Nations and the World Bank.

Sweden scores highest for positive lifestyle contributions including prosperity, equality, health and wellbeing, while also performing well culturally.

The Row-bot has four tiny buoyant stabilizers for feet and two paddles that extend from the middle of its body. While the feet keep Row-bot afloat, the paddles send it skimming across the surface of a body of water. The device takes water into a cavity in its housing as it moves, where electrogenic bacteria digest pollutants found within the water. The byproducts of that digestion are carbon dioxide and electricity, which in turn fuels the Row-bot and keeps it moving.

Futurist Ray Kurzweil notes that solar power has been doubling every two years for the past 30 years — as costs have been dropping. He says solar energy is only six doublings — or less than 14 years — away from meeting 100 percent of today’s energy needs. Energy usage will keep increasing, so this is a moving target. But, by Kurzweil’s estimates, inexpensive renewable sources will provide more energy than the world needs in less than 20 years. Even then, we will be using only one part in 10,000 of the sunlight that falls on the Earth.

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