Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Do We Live in a Giant Cosmic Bubble?

By Clara Moskowitz

If the notion of dark energy sounds improbable, get ready for an even more outlandish suggestion.

Earth may be trapped in an abnormal bubble of space-time that is particularly void of matter. Scientists say this condition could account for the apparent acceleration of the universe's expansion, for which dark energy currently is the leading explanation.

Dark energy is the name given to the hypothetical force that could be drawing all the stuff in the universe outward at an ever-increasing rate. Current thinking is that 74 percent of the universe could be made up of this exotic dark energy, with another 21 percent being dark matter, and normal matter comprising the remaining 5 percent.

Until now, there has been no good way to choose between dark energy or the void explanation, but a new study outlines a potential test of the bubble scenario.

If we were in an unusually sparse area of the universe, then things could look farther away than they really are and there would be no need to rely on dark energy as an explanation for certain astronomical observations.

"If we lived in a very large under-density, then the space-time itself wouldn't be accelerating," said researcher Timothy Clifton of Oxford University in England. "It would just be that the observations, if interpreted in the usual way, would look like they were."

Scientists first detected the acceleration by noting that distant supernovae seemed to be moving away from us faster than they should be. One type of supernova (called Type Ia) is a useful distance indicator, because the explosions always have the same intrinsic brightness. Since light gets dimmer the farther it travels, that means that when the supernovae appear faint to us, they are far away, and when they appear bright, they are closer in.

But if we happened to be in a portion of the universe with less matter in it than normal, then the space-time around us would be different than it is outside, because matter warps space-time. Light travelling from supernovae outside our bubble would appear dimmer, because the light would diverge more than we would expect once it got inside our void.

One problem with the void idea, though, is that it negates a principle that has reined in astronomy for more than 450 years: namely, that our place in the universe isn't special. When Nicholas Copernicus argued that it made much more sense for the Earth to be revolving around the sun than vice versa, it revolutionized science. Since then, most theories have to pass the Copernican test. If they require our planet to be unique, or our position to be exalted, the ideas often seem unlikely.

"This idea that we live in a void would really be a statement that we live in a special place," Clifton told "The regular cosmological model is based on the idea that where we live is a typical place in the universe. This would be a contradiction to the Copernican principle."

Clifton, along with Oxford researchers Pedro G. Ferreira and Kate Land, say that in coming years we may be able to distinguish between dark energy and the void. They point to the upcoming Joint Dark Energy Mission, planned by NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy to launch in 2014 or 2015. The satellite aims to measure the expansion of the universe precisely by observing about 2,300 supernovae.

The scientists suggest that by looking at a large number of supernovae in a certain region of the universe, they should be able to tell whether the objects are really accelerating away, or if their light is merely being distorted in a void.

The new study will be detailed in an upcoming issue of the journal Physical Review Letters.

Original here

The Moon that went up a Hill but came down a planet

Edited to add: I have taken the topic of this post and logically continued it in a post about Pluto.

Every now and again I get an email from someone who tries to tell me that the moon orbits the Sun more than it orbits the Earth.

On the face of it, their claim appears to hold water. For example, they’ll say that if you compare the orbital velocity of the Moon around the Earth (about 1 km/sec) to the orbital velocity of the Moon around the Sun (the same as the Earth’s velocity around the Sun, about 30 km/sec), you’ll see that the Moon’s orbit is always convex to the Sun; in other words, it doesn’t make a loopy pattern around the Sun, as you might expect:

Shape of the Moon’s orbit

That diagram is exaggerated; on that scale the Moon’s combined path around the Earth and Sun would look pretty much like a circle (and to be clear, the link above doesn’t make the claim that the Moon orbits the Sun more than it does the Earth, it’s just pointing out the patterns).

Moreover, if you calculate the force of the Sun’s gravity on the Moon, you find it’s more than twice the force of Earth’s gravity on the Moon!

Whoa. So does the Moon orbit the Earth, or the Sun?

Turns out, it orbits the Earth, despite these claims. The above claims are true, but are not important in this argument. Instead, you have to look at something called the Hill sphere. Basically, it’s the volume of space around an object where the gravity of that object dominates over the gravity of a more massive but distant object around which the first object orbits.

OK, in English — and more pertinent to this issue — it’s the volume of space around the Earth where the Earth’s gravity is more important than the Sun’s. If something is orbiting the Earth inside Earth’s Hill’s sphere, it’ll be a satellite of the Earth and not the Sun.

The derivation of the math isn’t terribly important here (and it’s on the Wikipedia page if you’re curious), but when you plug in the numbers, you find the Earth’s Hill sphere has a radius of about 1.5 million kilometers. The Moon’s orbital radius of 400,000 km keeps it well within the Earth’s Hill sphere, so there you have it. The Moon orbits the Earth more than it orbits the Sun. In reality it does both, and saying it orbits one and not the other is silly anyway.

But what about those other claims? Well, the orbital shape is pretty meaningless for this argument. You’ll get that always-convex pattern for any moon that orbits a planet far enough out compared to the planet’s distance from the Sun. But as long as that moon is inside the planet’s Hill sphere, it orbits the planet more than the Sun.

And the fact that the Sun’s force effect of gravity on the Moon is stronger than the Earth’s is interesting, but not relevant. Why not? Because the Sun is pulling on both the Earth and the Moon! Since both the Earth and Moon are roughly the same distance from the Sun (the Sun is 400 times farther away from us than the Moon is), the force acceleration due to the Sun’s gravity on the Moon and the Earth is about the same. That means the Sun’s gravity is important in keeping the Earth and Moon together orbiting the Sun, but doesn’t affect the Earth and Moon as a system. The Moon is still gravitationally bound to the Earth.

Think of it this way: if the Sun were to disappear, the Moon would still orbit the Earth pretty much as it does now. That means the Sun’s gravity doesn’t affect the Earth/Moon system much. On the flip side, if the Earth disappeared, the Moon would continue to orbit the Sun as well. That means the Earth’s gravity doesn’t much affect the Moon’s orbit around the Sun, either.

Now, if we moved the Earth/Moon system closer to the Sun, then this all starts to matter. That’s because eventually you get to a point where the size of the Moon’s orbit gets to be significant compared to the size of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. In that case, as the Moon orbits the Earth, when its closest to the Sun, the gravity of the Sun gets significant compared to the Sun’s gravity on the Earth (remember, right now that force effect is about the same). But that’s exactly how the Hill sphere idea works!

It turns out that if you moved the Earth and Moon to about 40 million km from the Sun — closer to the Sun than Mercury! — then the Hill sphere of the Earth would be 400,000 km, equal to the moon’s distance from the Earth now. That means the Moon could be stripped from the Earth by the Sun, and so then you could say the Moon orbits the Sun and not the Earth.

But out here, 150 million kilometers from the Sun, the Moon orbits the Earth quite nicely, thank you very much. You can keep your convex orbits and your forces and everything else, and examine them as matters of interest. But the Moon will keep pacing out its orbit just the same, and it’ll keep doing it that way for a long, long time.

The orbital diagrams in this post are from Helmer Aslaksen’s webpage at the Department of Mathematics, National University of Singapore. I modified them a bit to compare them. You should read that page, as it has an excellent description of the Moon’s orbital shape. Oh, and stay tuned, because I have another thing to say about all this in a later post

Edited to add: in a couple of places I used the word "force" when I mean "acceleration". I fixed that, or used the word "effect". This may seem like a nitpick, but in fact they mean different things physically, and therefore their magnitudes, the sizes of their effects, changes. That’s what I get for writing this at 4 in the morning.

Original here


The unmanned Jules Verne ATV cargo ship breaks up in a spectacular display
during re-entry, as seen on Monday over the Pacific from an observation plane.

The European Space Agency's first cargo mission to the international space station ended in a spectacular fireworks show today, with the fiery re-entry of the unmanned Jules Verne ATV spaceship over the South Pacific.

"Jules Verne has now successfully completed its mission," ESA Director-General Jean-Jacques Dordain declared at the International Astronautical Congress in Glasgow, Scotland.

The end came at around 9:30 a.m. ET, when controllers back at Europe's mission control in Toulouse, France, directed the 17-ton craft into its final plunge. Jules Verne, the first of Europe's Automated Transfer Vehicles, was launched from the ESA spaceport in French Guiana early March 9. It linked up with the space station almost a month later, delivering tons of food, water and equipment.

During its stay, Jules Verne periodically boosted the space station's orbit, and in fact helped the station dodge a passing piece of Russian space junk last month.

But all good things must come to an end: Unlike the Italian-built space cargo modules that are carried back and forth inside NASA's space shuttle, the Euroean-built ATVs are not designed for return or reuse. Instead, each spent craft has to be disposed of safely, by directing it remotely on a plunge through the atmosphere. The wide-open South Pacific is the favorite dumping ground for such space junk, as we saw back in 2001 when Russia's Mir space station fell to its doom.

Jules Verne's re-entry was witnessed by an international team of scientists flying aboard a NASA DC-8 observation plane. Studying the spacecraft's controlled fall could lead to fresh insights about the chemical and radiation effects of falling meteors - as well as better computer models for predicting how objects fragment as the blast through the atmosphere.

The Jules Verne ATV cargo craft glows during its atmospheric re-entry, in a view
captured Monday from a DC-8 observation plane flying over the Pacific. A lens
diffraction flare can be seen in rainbow colors at lower right.

Today's first pictures from the DC-8, posted to ESA's ATV blog, revealed a spray of fireworks similar to those seen during Mir's fall. More tragically, they also recalled what witnesses saw during the shuttle Columbia's breakup five years ago.

Although experts still have to track all the bits of debris, it looks as if Jules Verne's plunge through the atmosphere provided a great light show, but no big impact. There were far more damaging plunges elsewhere on the planet today.

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Meat-eating dinosaur from Argentina had bird-like breathing system

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The remains of a 30-foot-long predatory dinosaur discovered along the banks of Argentina's Rio Colorado is helping to unravel how birds evolved their unusual breathing system.

University of Michigan paleontologist Jeffrey Wilson was part of the team that made the discovery, to be published Sept. 29 in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE and announced at a news conference in Mendoza, Argentina.

The discovery of this dinosaur builds on decades of paleontological research indicating that birds evolved from dinosaurs.

Birds have a breathing system that is unique among land animals. Instead of lungs that expand, birds have a system of bellows, or air sacs, which help pump air through the lungs. This novel feature is the reason birds can fly higher and faster than bats, which, like all mammals, expand their lungs in a less efficient breathing process.

Wilson was a University of Chicago graduate student working with noted dinosaur authority Paul Sereno on the 1996 expedition during which the dinosaur, named Aerosteon riocoloradensis ("air bones from the Rio Colorado") was found. Although the researchers were excited to find such a complete skeleton, it took on even more importance as they began to understand that its bones preserved hallmark features of a bird-like respiratory system.

Arriving at that understanding took some time. Laboratory technicians spent years cleaning and CT-scanning the bones, which were embedded in hard rock, to finally reveal the evidence of air sacs within Aerosteon's body cavity. Previously, paleontologists had found only tantalizing evidence in the backbone, outside the cavity with the lungs.

Wilson worked with Sereno and the rest of the team to scientifically describe and interpret the find. The vertebrae, clavicles, and hip bones bear small openings that lead into large, hollow spaces that would have been lined with a thin layer of soft tissue and filled with air in life. These chambers result from a process called pneumatization, in which outpocketings of the lungs (air sacs) invade the bones. Air-filled bones are the hallmark of the bellows system of breathing in birds and also are found in sauropods, the long-necked, long-tailed, plant-eating dinosaurs that Wilson studies.

"In sauropods, pneumaticity was key to the evolution of large body size and long necks; in birds it was key to the evolution of a light skeleton and flight," Wilson said. "The ancient history and evolutionary path of this feature is full of surprising turns, the explanations for which must account for their presence in a huge predator like Aerosteon and herbivores like Diplodocus, as well as in a chicken."

In the PLoS ONE paper, the team proposes three possible explanations for the evolution of air sacs in dinosaurs: development of a more efficient lung; reduction of upper body mass in tipsy two-legged runners; and release of excess body heat.

Sereno, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, said he is especially intrigued by heat loss, given that Aerosteon was likely a high-energy predator with feathers but without the sweat glands that birds possess. At approximately 30 feet in length and weighing as much as an elephant, Aerosteon might well have used an air system under the skin to rid itself of unwanted heat.

In addition to Sereno and Wilson, coauthors of the PLoS ONE article include Ricardo Martinez and Oscar Alcober of the Universidad Nacional de San Juan, Argentina, David Varricchio of Montana State University and Hans Larsson of McGill University. The expedition that led to the discovery was supported by the National Geographic Society and The David and Lucille Packard Foundation.

Contact: Nancy Ross-Flanigan

Phone: (734) 647-1853

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Birth of an Ocean: The Evolution of Ethiopia's Afar Depression

Ghostly salt deposits near Afdera volcano testify to ancient inundations in Ethiopia's Afar region. In the past 200,000 years the Red Sea flooded Afar's lowlands at least three times; the salt stayed behind as the seawater evaporated. One day the ersatz seascape will likely become the real thing.

  • Africa is splitting apart at the seams—literally. From the southern tip of the Red Sea southward through Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique, the continent is coming un­­stitched along a zone called the East African Rift.
  • Like a shirtsleeve tearing under a bulging bicep, the earth’s crust rips apart as molten rock from deep down pushes up on the solid surface and stretches it thin—sometimes to its breaking point. Each new slit widens as lava fills the gap from below.
  • This spectacular geologic unraveling, already under way for millions of years, will be complete when saltwater from the Red Sea floods the massive gash. Ten million years from now the entire rift may be submerged.

In northeastern Ethiopia one of the earth’s driest deserts is making way for a new ocean. This region of the African continent, known to geologists as the Afar Depression, is pulling apart in two directions—a process that is gradually thinning the earth’s rocky outer skin. The continental crust under Afar is a mere 20 kilometers from top to bottom, less than half its original thickness, and parts of the area are over 100 meters below sea level. Low hills to the east are all that stops the Red Sea from encroaching.

Such proximity to the planet’s scorching interior has transformed the region into a dynamic landscape of earthquakes, volcanoes and hydrothermal fields—making Afar a veritable paradise for people, like me, eager to understand those processes. Yet few outsiders, scientists included, have ever set foot in Afar. Daytime temperatures soar to 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit) in the summer, and no rain falls for much of the year. But I knew I faced more than treacherous geology and climate. Nasty geopolitical struggles—namely, war between Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea—combine with those natural hardships to make Afar utterly inhospitable.

Geologists predict another million years of the land stretching and sinking, combined with a massive deluge from the Red Sea, could put Afar at the bottom of a new ocean. For now, this incip­ient seabed is a desolate landscape where lava stifles vegetation, hellish heat makes acid boil, devilish formations emit toxic fumes, and the salty legacy of ancient Red Sea floods provides nomadic tribes of Afar with a precious export.

The highest point in sunken Afar is Erta Ale, or “smoking mountain” in the language of the local people. Erta Ale is the northernmost volcano in a long chain that follows the so-called East African Rift.

This rift is the not yet submerged equivalent of mid-ocean ridges—chains of under­­sea volcanoes that produce new seafloor. Indeed, Erta Ale spews the same kind of basaltic lava that erupts at mid-ocean ridges; past expulsions have covered the surrounding plain with so much fresh basalt that vegetation struggles to take hold (1).

Atop Erta Ale is one of the earth’s few quasi-permanent lava lakes. The flux of heat from the earth’s interior is rarely sufficient to keep rock molten under the cooling effect of the atmosphere. Even on Erta Ale the heat sometimes slackens enough so that portions of the lake surface “freeze” into a black crust (2) . Typically, though, blocks of basalt float like icebergs on the fiery liquid rock, which reaches 1,200 degrees C (2,190 degrees F) (3). Most of the Afar people do not approach the volcano, because it is thought to harbor evil spirits. Seeing an Afar warrior on the volcano’s summit is unusual; this man, Ibrahim, was my guide (4). Lava emerging from cracks in the lake is particularly spectacular at night (5), when the sight evokes the phantoms of local lore.

One hundred kilometers north of Erta Ale, near the Eritrea border, is the Dallol crater. There molten magma simmering below the surface fuels a vast plumbing network of superheated water. The result is a 1.6-kilometer-wide field of hydrothermal vents, geysers and hot springs (6) that call to mind the similar but more accessible environment in Yellowstone National Park in the western U.S. The mineral sulfur produces the lemon-yellow color in this earthly palette (7); blended with the signature red of oxidized iron, the sulfur stains turn orange (8). Only a few steps away from this vivid scene are drab, desiccated reminders of a hot spring’s ephemeral nature (9). When an earthquake or other natural process clogs a vent’s buried conduits, its minerals can lose their florid flush within a year.

The surreal landscape of the Dallol crater results as rain­water percolates deep underground, heats up as it contacts hot magma and rises to the surface through thick layers of salt, dissolving the salt as it travels. Recrystallization of the salt at ground level can sculpt massive structures (10) or formations as delicate as an eggshell (11) . But the beauty of the sculptures can be deceiving: toxic vapors emanating from these so-called aeration mouths are yet another contributorto Afar’s devilish reputation—and often require visitors to wear gas masks. More than once a surge of the ominous gas forced me to stop shooting photographs and don my mask for safety.

Near reddish pools of bubbling-hot, iron-rich water (12), the strong odor of hydrocarbon is a telltale sign of danger. Animals sometimes stop for a drink—not realizing it will be their last. I saw several ill-fated birds swirling in the scalding pools. But I was comforted by the irony that one organism’s poison is another’s elixir. The same emanations that can kill birds, insects and mammals also nourish complex communities of microbes, which thrive in many of Dallol’s acidic waters. Not surprisingly, these terrestrial hot-springs communities bear striking similarities to their counterparts along submerged mid-ocean ridges.

The salt sculptures on the opposite page and others that decorate Afar serve as a reminder that the birth of an ocean is not a singular event but rather an ongoing saga. During the 30 million years this region has been stretching thin, global sea level has fluctuated, at times filling Afar with seawater. Most recently, about 80,000 years ago, the waters of the Red Sea rose high enough to breech the low hills east of Afar, carving deep canyons (13) as they flooded the lowlands. When sea level dropped and Afar was once again cut off from the sea, the floodwaters evaporated. Wind and water sculpted the salty traces of these past inundations over the ensuing millennia, sometimes carving bizarre formations called salt mushrooms (14). In other areas, alternating layers of salt and reddish marine sediment are visible in eroded canyon walls (15).

Salty traces of past deluges give the modern people of Afar a modest means to benefit from their baked and barren homeland. These nomadic herders collect the salt by hand, wielding wooden stakes and hatchets to break the thick layers into manageable blocks (16). The closest places to sell or exchange the salt are located in the Ethiopian highlands to the west—about a six days’ walk for the camel caravans used to transport this unlikely export (17).

Most years the greatest concern for the Afar people is finding adequate water. But the rains were unusually heavy in late 2006, and many of the salt fields remained flooded throughout my visit in January 2007. This unusual environmental circumstance afforded one of the most lasting impressions of my visit to Afar: as the camel caravans waded through the floodwaters, they appeared from a distance as a surreal montage of the present and future of this ocean floor in the making (18).

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Scientists Create Device to Remove Carbon Directly from the Air

DRM is Bad for You AND for the Planet

Written by Hank Green

I am primarily an ecogeek, but I can't deny that I'm also just a geek. And so I, of course, love the open source, free software and creative commons movements. Without those powerful forces EcoGeek would absolutely have never existed.

So, yeah, I hate digital rights management. I believe that it's contrary to the spirit of creation and should not exist. But I don't get to talk about it here, because its all geek and no eco.

Or so I thought! When recently reading about Wal-Mart's epic DRM fail at Read Write Web, I realized that DRM is indeed very bad for the environment. So bad, that it could possibly destroy one of the great environmental benefits of technology... digitization.

First, I should point out a less substantial environmental problem with DRM. IT EATS POWER! Devices using DRM have been shown to use up to 25% more power than when they're playing non-managed media...and that's not even counting all the resources consumed by the manger's server farms that keep track of it all.

But, comparatively, that's a tiny problem. The real problem here is that the easiest way to get an MP3 that isn't crippled by some kind of DRM is still to buy the physical CD. What's worse, when DRM systems go offline (as they are at Wal-Mart) people are going to be extremely hesitant to go digital again. Basically, Wal-Mart's servers going offline is like saying "Oh, that song you bought, well, you didn't actually own it because it wasn't really real...sorry."

Wal-Mart's suggestion? Burn it to a CD, that way you'll have it even if after we take your official ownership away. BURN IT TO A CD! I thought the whole point was that we weren't using those clunky petro-disks anymore!

What I'm afraid of is that DRM will effectively remove ownership from non-physical media. Either we will rent the right to access everything for a certain monthly price (already working well for Microsoft) or rent out our eyeballs for the right to watch it (working just fine at

But if we want to actually own a song or movie or television show, we will need to buy the real-life, made-of-petroleum, shipped-across-the-world, physical disk. Either that, or we'll have to break the law...our choice. And any way you look at it, when physical media consume up to ten times more resources than non-physical media, DRM isn't just bad for consumers, it's bad for the planet.

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Rare Plant Thought Extinct Re-discovered in Upstate New York

by Christine Lepisto
Image source: Tony Eallonardo in Syracuse

A salt-marsh plant thought to have vanished from upstate New York is back. But it has not come back to the inland salt marshes, of which only four remain (three in New York and one in Michigan). Rather, the rare goldenrod was found growing alongside local streets, probably competing well where run-off from winter road salt suppresses other plant life. The species was discovered serendipitously by Dr. Leonardo of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) as he was out walking.

"They're coming out of asphalt, with no soil anywhere," Leopold is quoted in an article in Syracuse. "And it's striking because they're all blooming right now. It's a visually spectacular plant." But the seaside goldenrod's beauty is not alone among it's benefits to humanity and the environment.

Beauty to Behold
Seaside goldenrod can grow to 8 feet tall and blooms rich yellow blossoms atop dark green stems and leaves. Seaside goldenrod is innocent of misplaced blame for causing allergies -- which are actually caused by the ragweed that blooms around the same time. It is a good nectar source for many insects, especially because it blooms later in the season than many other native goldenrod species.

Benefits to Boot
However, the most important contribution of seaside goldenrod may be applications in urban gardening. "The real value is we've been trying to find native species to use in a green approach to handling urban run-off. Not only is this plant beautiful, it is quite functional. Instead of building a multimillion treatment plant or allowing the run-off going into our creeks and streams, it looks like this could provide a natural solution," Dr. Leonard is quoted as saying in an article at the Weather Channel's Forecast Earth. Furthermore, the plants grow maintenance free, making them a better choice for urban community gardens than many imported species and superior to greenhouse plants often selected for public landscaping.

Post-doc student Tony Eallonardo is helping Dr. Leonardo locate populations of the seaside goldenrod. Two sites have been found in addition to the original plants discovered by Dr. Leonard, including a stand in the median on highway 81 (pictured). According to Eallonardo, the plant species represents "the natural and cultural heritage of Syracuse, the Salt City." The region once had thousands of inland saltwater marshes.

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The 30 Best Eco Sites on the Web

by Kristen Banker

‘Going Green’ has never been so popular so it is hardly surprising that there are so many bloggers writing about being Eco Friendly. Here is our roundup of the best of the bunch, other than this fine blog of course!

  1. – is the leading media channel devoted to bringing sustainability to the masses. Treehugger is a one-stop shop for green news, solutions, and product information. I visit often!
  2. - Ecofabulous is in my opinion, the best design consultant and personal shopper weblog out there. Devoted to finding and sharing sexy, eco products and services, it’s for sure a site to visit!
  3. – Is a great environmental blog. If you love to have the latest eco-gadgets and products, this is the place to go to find them. The main editorial focus of ‘Ecofriend’ is alternative and renewable energy. One of my favorite sites!
  4. - is my favorite design weblog! Inhabitat’s interests are in eco-design inventions that amplify sustainability and efficiency. Devoted to architectural innovations and technology, Inhabitat is the best of the best!
  5. – Groovy Green not only has a great name, but it’s a great weblog that helps organize large amounts of information interested in renewable energy and sustainable living.
  6. – Eco-chick is an environmental weblog with a woman’s perspective. My favorite is the “rants” section. See for yourself!
  7. – Who doesn’t love a little celeb gossip now and then. Ecorazzi creatively combines celebrity gossip with environmental causes. Good Sunday morning with coffee weblog!
  8. - Green Options Media is a network of environmentally focused blogs, which combines news, guidance and community features for making sustainable choices. Green Options Media is a leader among the “green” web portals. I am always impressed with their info!
  9. - Green is a web magazine that’s published to inspire and involve all sorts of “greenies” from the building revolution, to the designer, entrepreneur, innovator, lawyer, architect and engineer. It’s the perfect online magazine for all the eco-conscious people of the world.
  10. - The Daily Green is an online consumer guide published by the Digital Media unit of Hearst Magazines. Everything from green cuisine, daily green tips, new, weird weather watch and an “ecopedia” for all things A-Z in green living can be found on The Daily Green. I love this site!
  11. – Dwell is a smart, thoughtful, and modern weblog that encourages the audience to imagine and appreciate their home in the modern world. Plus I have been a subscriber of their magazine for years and it’s still one of my favorites!
  12. - Greenmonk is a new line of business for RedMonk, the first open source analyst company. They offer consulting services to help organizations better understand how sustainability can and will affect them. Great green site for companies wanting to be more eco-friendly!
  13. - Ideal Bite provides awareness, inspiration, and recommendations for light green living. This site is for people who lead busy lives, but want to make small changes that add up to big results. Idea Bite’s “daily tips” cover everything from biodynamic wine to eco-pet products and organic cosmetics. Another one-stop-shop for the eco minded!
  14. - EcoGeek dedicates its pages to exploring the connection between nature and technology. If you’re interested in green gizmos, this is the site for you. I stop by often!
  15. - is a local classifieds network for eco- conscious people. It’s a “green” Craigslist!
  16. – is the destination for the world to share and view “green” online videos about our environment, green technologies, innovations, products, and more. A “green” youtube for the eco-minded!
  17. – is a multi-faceted base for communication, education and connections; from green news headlines, job listings, events and eco-tips. Gengreenlife has over 25,000 listings to help you live your green life. I love this site and visit often!
  18. - Architecture for Humanity is a charitable organization that offers architectural solutions to humanitarian crisis and brings design services to communities in need.
  19. alternativeenergyblog - News, views and strong opinions on alternative energy resources including wind power, solar energy, wave energy, geothermal & other alternate energy sources.
  20. - The war on terrorism has come home. Corporations and politicians are labeling activists “eco-terrorists” and national security threats. Think red-baiting, with a green twist. Here you’ll find original reporting and analysis of the Green Scare, and history repeating itself.
  21. - Green. TV is a United Nations Environment Program supported IPTV channel for environmental films. I really love this site!
  22. - Sustainable, renewable, recycled, repurposed, and organic art products for your children, home and lifestyle, with an extra emphasis on creative D.I.Y. projects and art.
  23. - FreeGreen encourages progressive building practices by making green home designs free for everyone. I love this site and I love the guys that started it!
  24. - Carbon Planet is a global carbon management company whose mission is to enable every person and business on planet earth, to manage their contribution to the defining issue of our time, global warming.
  25. - An awesome travel company that focuses on eco-friendly travel and accommodations all with a smaller environmental footprint!
  26. – Green Girls Global is and international blog about people from all over the globe with various experiences, skills and interests, talking about people, (where they reside) who live a sustainable life.
  27. - Good is a media platform for people who want to live well and do good. Good produces a great website, creates fantastic videos of live events and a wonderful print magazine, which I love.
  28. -Environmental Graffiti is a diverse blend of bizarre, hilarious and always interesting environmental news. I am always entertained!
  29. - EcoLabel Fundraising provides a program dedicated to raising money ethically for your non-profit cause. This is an amazing site! In my opinion, it is a must visit.
  30. - MoCo Loco is a web magazine featuring modern contemporary design news and views. Hip, cool and a favorite of ours.

We are willing to accept there might be other great eco blogs out there, so if you do know of a site we have missed, make yourself heard by telling us in the comments!

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