QUEST Community Science Blog
In a co-production with NOVA scienceNow, QUEST explores the potential of algae—once considered nothing more than pond scum—to become the fuel of the future. Entrepreneurs from the Bay Area to LA are working to create the next generation of biofuels from algae. But will you ever be able to run your car off it?
As of September 2009, San Francisco residents faced warnings, and even fines, if they failed to recycle, as the city aims to keep ever more garbage out of its landfills. But, after twenty years of curbside recycling and, more recently, composting programs, Californians produce more waste than ever.
It's a good time to get energy efficient at home, what with a down economy and efforts by federal, state and local governments, and utilities to decrease our overall energy use and create a new, more secure, green economy.
With the race on to reduce global warming and fossil fuel dependency, experts in alternative energy see a bright future for renewable resources like wind, solar, hydro-power and geothermal energy. QUEST and Climate Watch team up to look at the "Smart Grid" of the future and how it might be improved to more cleanly and efficiently keep the lights on in California.
Last summer I visited the Netherlands, the original home of the windmill. Surprisingly, I saw hardly any of the quaint structures we associate with Dutch wind power. One hundred years ago Holland had about 10,000 wooden windmills dotting its landscape. Today, barely 10% remain.
There are health systems around the country that actually have costs that are as much as 20 percent or 30 percent lower than the national average and have higher quality. What is it that they are doing differently from other systems?
In California, nuclear power has long been a subject that's "radioactive." But recent polls suggest that Californians may finally be warming up to the idea and a new study suggests that a clean energy future may not happen without it. Craig Miller reports on the prospects for a "nuclear revival" in the Golden State.
Months after the federal government enacted stricter standards intended to keep lead out of children's toys, a KQED investigation found merchandise that violates the law still sitting on many Bay Area store shelves. In part two of the series, QUEST looks at the challenges of keeping leaded toys out of stores.