Knox’s Wireless Green is a rundown of all the week’s most interesting, weird, and popular stories from the worlds of science and the environment.
This week was an exciting time for technological development. Following last week’s announcement of a fabric that could help generate generate electricity when worn, we now have scientists bringing us fabrics that clean themselves. Thanks to the miracles of nanotechnology you may soon be spending a lot less money on dry cleaning. The wool and silk fabrics can clean themselves of stains and even get rid of smells. The coolest part? It’s solar powered. The fabric is coated with a nanoparticle that breaks down contaminants when in contact with sunlight.
The week was perhaps less rosy for the environmentalists, particularly in the U.S. The government probably should have been embarrassed, but almost assuredly wasn’t, when it came out that Google would be spending more than the U.S. on some environmental problems. Also, the entire American West is pretty much screwed in a few years. Water shortages in the Colorado river mean Lake Mead will most likely be dry within 15 years, meaning Las Vegas will be without the source of 90% of their water. In addition, if you live in Minnesota and wanted to be environmentally friendly and build a wind farm, well just forget it. There’s now a 612 year waiting list.
But it’s not all bad news, even for the U.S. government. In fact, they’ve finally come up with a way to show off the nation’s military might that all Americans can really get behind. They’re gonna blow some stuff up….in SPACE! Apparently this spy satellite shoved up in orbit a while back is going to crash soon. So rather than having it fall on a trailer in Missouri or something, they decided to prove they spend their billions well and shoot some missiles from a Navy ship at it. That’s the kind of military action we need more of.
Also, we’ve got a new world record for largest marine reserve now. The pacific island nation of Kiribati recently announced the creation of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area. The reserve of coral reefs and marine life, much of which has previously been threatened by overfishing, is the size of California.