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.