Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.
Architects and designers are increasingly looking to nature for inspiration -- and the results are spectacular. Amazon just got the green light to bring an Amazonian rainforest to downtown Seattle -- and it will be contained within a sparkling set of biosphere greenhouses. Meanwhile scientists discovered particles of gold growing in Australian eucalyptus trees, and Reef Arabia used 3D printing technology to develop artificial reefs to restore coral ecosystems in the Persian Gulf. Artist Jorge Rodríguez Gerada turned a field in Belfast into an incredible 11-acre portrait that can be seen from space, and MIT students developed a thermoelectric bracelet that keeps your body warm or cool to reduce the need for air conditioning and heating.
Unfortunately, not all interactions between humans and the environment are positive -- and some are so infuriating they'll make you flip your lid. This week we learned that the world's most isolated tree in Nigeria was inexplicably knocked down by a drunk driver, and a Spanish winemaker announced plans to clear-cut a whopping 154 acres of California redwoods. In Utah, a group of Boy Scout leaders destroyed a 200-million-year-old rock formation by pushing it back and forth -- and then they posted a video of the act on Facebook.
Inhabitat also reported on the most exciting clean tech developments around the world. A team of NASA engineers developed a revolutionary new SolarVolt generator that uses lighthouse glass to capture the power of 20 suns, while Israel unveiled plans to build a massive 121-megawatt solar thermal plant in the Negev Desert. Not to be outshone, Ethiopia signed a $4 billion dollar check to build a 1,000-megawatt geothermal power plant, and German scientists found that simple straw could be used to power millions of homes. Smog from dirty energy sources paralyzed a Chinese city of 11 million people this week -- but air pollution woes could be a thing of the past if this smog-sucking electric vacuum cleaner gets built.
Space tourism is starting to take off -- but rocket-powered shuttles blast a whole lot of emissions into the atmosphere. World View has developed a gentler, low-impact way to lift travelers into space via soaring high-altitude helium balloons. In other green transportation news, this week California officially broke ground on the first high-speed railway in the United States, and UK-based company Pro-Teq unveiled a glow-in-the-dark paving material that can turn any road into a sparkling pathway of stars. Fuel cell vehicles were also a hot topic -- General Motors' hydrogen-powered Equinox logged a whopping 100,000 miles this week, while Hyundai unveiled the world's first aquaponics farm powered by a fuel cell car.