How Rising Cost of Energy Means More Freight Trains; Sting Loves Trees

Scientific American on energy costs and freight rails, New Scientist on turning air into gas, Reuters on tropical disease in Europe, The Guardian on Sting and tree uprooting, and the Associated Press on protests in China.

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Scientific American on how rising energy costs means more freight rails European demand for wood pellets as a green fuel is expected to triple by 2020, and the shortfall in supply means Mississippi's trees will need a way to ship to Europe. Wood pulp is too expensive to ship by truck, so the state's development district wants to build a freight rail link that will service Chicago to the Gulf of Mexico.

New Scientist on the questions about turning air into gas Air Fuel Synthesis successfully demonstrated that air can be converted to methanol and then gasoline. The problem: It might not be  more efficient than gas because the technique uses electricity. "As long as the process is powered by renewable electricity sources such as solar, wind or tidal, using the gasoline is carbon neutral."

Reuters on tropical diseases traveling to southern Europe Extra warmth in Greece is attracting mosquitos with tropical infections like malaria, West Nile Virus, and chikungunya. "Yet far from coordinated, timely action, the rising threat from mosquitoes has instead brought a blame game pitching Greeks against foreigners, local mayors against national politicians and patients and doctors against ministers and officials."

The Guardian on Sting ditching a concert venue over tree uprooting Sting relocated a concert in the Philippines after protesters complained that the venue's owners planned to uproot 182 trees. The Pasay's SM Mall of Asia Arena owners plans to redevelop a mall included the tree uprooting. "Understandably, the known environment-advocate artist was left with no choice in spite of the SM representatives' appeal," a statement from the singer said.

Associated Press on Chinese environmental protestors and a local coal plant An environmental dispute on China's Hainan Island escalated when the protestors threw bricks at police for shooting tear gas at them. Some 1,000 residents don't want the plant for fear of serious pollution, a theme throughout China due to rapid economic expansion. Local leaders must balance attracting business with a more environmentally-conscious public.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.