Missing anything this summer? How about rain? At this point, I’ve given up on some of the plants in my yard — no amount of watering will make up for the lack of rainwater. Of course, I’m just one guy with a small yard. Across the river in southern Illinois, farmers are facing historic crop losses. According to the Associated Press, the Department of Agriculture had predicted a bumper crop of corn this year: 166 bushels per acre. But with more than half the country now facing drought conditions, the USDA has not only revised those numbers downward but also made its largest disaster declaration ever: 1,000 counties spread over 26 states are eligible for low-interest loans and reduced penalties for grazing on federal land (see the image below). Livestock farmers may well need the latter: Most feed corn to their cattle and other animals, and prices are sure to shoot upward.
Can fish ‘n’ chips help with London’s drought? How much power can you get from a potato? These questions and more answered in this week’s green tech finds.
Keeping your gadgets charged in the great outdoors: Heather Clancy at GreenTech Pastures provides a run-down of her favorite solar-powered chargers.
Cheaper, greener biofuel: That’s the ultimate goal of Professor Scott Banta’s new project to genetically engineer a bacteria that will turn CO2 and ammonia from wastewater into butanol. (via Cleantechnica)
I did a double take at this photograph taken by Amit Dave that was published by the National Geographic as part of their “Visions of Earth” series which features breathtaking photos from around the world “as seen through a photographer’s eye.” National Geographic explains this photo above: Parched people mob a vast well in the…