Colin Payne

 

Colin Payne is a freelance writer and photographer based near Nelson, British Columbia. While he works for companies around the world, Colin loves living a rural life based around environmental sustainability, local agriculture and human-powered outdoor recreation.

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Students create a fire extinguisher that puts out flames using sound waves

Students create a fire extinguisher that puts out flames using sound waves

  Using sound waves to put out fires could be the next big thing in fire fighting technology. George Mason University engineering students, Seth Robertson and Viet Tran have built a

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First-ever intensive biodiversity study reveals 30 new species of insects in Los Angeles

First-ever intensive biodiversity study reveals 30 new species of insects in Los Angeles

  Los Angeles just got a lot more diverse – not from an influx of new immigrants, but via the discovery of 30 new insect species that live in the City of Angels. A new paper

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Japan is building a 250-mile concrete sea wall to keep tsunamis at bay

Japan is building a 250-mile concrete sea wall to keep tsunamis at bay

It’s an age-old philosophy: if you want to keep something out, just build a big wall. That’s exactly how Japan is approaching future tsunamis in the wake of the 2011 disaster that wiped out

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Britain names Pitcairn Island as center of world’s largest marine reserve

Britain names Pitcairn Island as center of world’s largest marine reserve

When it comes to protecting marine life, Britain is going big. The announced plans earlier this week to create what will be the world’s largest fully protected marine reserve that would cover

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Beijing to shut down all major coal plants by 2016

Beijing to shut down all major coal plants by 2016

Beijing is finally going to kick what’s left of its coal power habit. China’s capital city recently announced plans to shut down the last of its remaining coal plants by 2016 - in favor of

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Obama orders federal agencies to cut emissions by 40 percent

Obama orders federal agencies to cut emissions by 40 percent

President Obama has thrown down the gauntlet on climate change once again. Climate deniers can now deal with the president’s decision on Thursday to issue an executive order that requires

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Earth’s newest volcanic island is photographed for the first time—and maybe the last

Earth’s newest volcanic island is photographed for the first time—and maybe the last

No one had set foot on the new island until recently, when Tongan hotel owner Gianpiero Orbassano and his son set out to explore the area and determine its potential for tourism. They set out

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Japan takes steps to restart first nuclear reactor since Fukushima

Japan takes steps to restart first nuclear reactor since Fukushima

Nuclear power in Japan is slowly but surely beginning to return to a new normal in the wake of the Fukushima meltdown, as the country recently took another step towards restarting one of its

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UN committee announces support for fossil fuel divestment movement

UN committee announces support for fossil fuel divestment movement

The arm of the United Nations that deals with climate change negotiations announced recently it will be supporting the campaign for fossil fuel divestment. According to the Guardian, the United

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Michigan’s bald eagles are the most contaminated birds in the world

Michigan’s bald eagles are the most contaminated birds in the world

When you think of bald eagles, what comes to mind? More than likely it’s majestic birds, soaring aloft, diving swiftly to catch a fish – not animals contaminated with toxic chemicals. But it

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How Canada’s tar sands capital turns trash into vegetables

How Canada’s tar sands capital turns trash into vegetables

The Canadian city best known as the epicenter of dirty oil from the tar sands is trying to green up its image by turning trash into vegetables for local food banks and farmers markets. For

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Factory collapse in Bangladesh kills seven and injures dozens more

Factory collapse in Bangladesh kills seven and injures dozens more

The collapse of a cement factory in Bangladesh has killed at least five people and may have trapped as many as 100 people, according to local police. Reuters reports that that factory, run by a

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Barbara Wildenboer turns books into complex works of art

Barbara Wildenboer turns books into complex works of art

The canvases on which she explores include books of maps, atlases and science, that she transforms into works of art by finely cutting their pages into thin strips of paper that then splay out

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Global wind energy production increased 44% last year!

Global wind energy production increased 44% last year!

It seems the answer–to the world’s energy woes–truly is blowin’ in the wind, as worldwide wind power production nearly doubled last year. The year 2014 saw about 51,477 megawatts worth

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Climate change identified as the root of California’s hot, dry winters

Climate change identified as the root of California’s hot, dry winters

As hot and dry weather continue to be the norm in California this winter, a recently published paper places the blame for the drought squarely on anthropogenic climate change. The

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The oceans stalled global warming, but they’re about to unleash the heat

The oceans stalled global warming, but they’re about to unleash the heat

Despite the recent floods, droughts and extreme winter weather, the effects of climate change have pretty much been on hiatus for the past few years. But according to Nafeez Ahmed at the

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Senate fails to override Obama’s Keystone XL veto

Senate fails to override Obama’s Keystone XL veto

The Senate put one more nail in the Keystone XL Pipeline’s coffin yesterday when it failed to override President Obama’s presidential veto of the project. With a two-thirds majority needed

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Infamous climate change denier Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon loses funding amid bribery scandal

Infamous climate change denier Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon loses funding amid bribery scandal

It looks like funders are abandoning Dr. Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon, after the prominent U.S. climate change denier may have failed to disclose petroleum companies were paying him. The Guardian

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Amsterdam is out of bicycle parking spaces, so it’s building 40,000 more

Amsterdam is out of bicycle parking spaces, so it’s building 40,000 more

You know your bike culture is strong, when people are having a hard time finding a place to park their rides. And that’s just what’s happening in Amsterdam right now, where the Dutch city is

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Sweden’s EcoDataCenter plans be the world’s first carbon negative data center

Sweden’s EcoDataCenter plans be the world’s first carbon negative data center

A big down side to the virtual world we’ve created is the amount of energy needed to power the devices and data centers needed to sustain it. But a new data center planned for construction in

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Google investing $300 million in SolarCity to finance 25,000 residential solar installations

Google investing $300 million in SolarCity to finance 25,000 residential solar installations

Installing solar panels on your home just makes sense; they turn empty space into green power. One thing stopping some from taking the plunge could be the cost of installing a system, but Google

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NASA sending probe to Europa in search of ancient sub-glacial life

NASA sending probe to Europa in search of ancient sub-glacial life

With past life on Mars already likely, NASA is making plans to venture further into the solar system by sending a probe to Europa. One of Jupiter’s many moons, about the size of Earth’s

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Is the Christian Coalition solar power’s most unlikely new ally?

Is the Christian Coalition solar power’s most unlikely new ally?

  A fight over net metering for Indiana solar power users just got a lot more interesting, after the ‘yes’ side took on an unlikely ally–the Christian Coalition of America. The

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Chair of U.N. climate panel steps down amid sexual harassment allegations

Chair of U.N. climate panel steps down amid sexual harassment allegations

The long-time head of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (I.P.C.C.) stepped down yesterday amid allegations of sexual harassment filed in his home country, India.

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Melting polar ice reveals life forms frozen for thousands of years

Melting polar ice reveals life forms frozen for thousands of years

  As climate change continues to eat away at Earth’s glaciers and melt polar landscapes, things inside them frozen for millennia are starting to come alive again. Thawing

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Scientists discover new Ruby Seadragon species in the Pacific Ocean

Scientists discover new Ruby Seadragon species in the Pacific Ocean

While they’re not quite the Game of Thrones-style fire breathing kind, some new dragons have scientists pretty excited. A new species of sea dragon that was recently discovered in the Pacific

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Portland is now powered by water pipes and flushing toilets

Portland is now powered by water pipes and flushing toilets

Portland residents are now helping to generate their own green electricity, just by turning on their water taps or flushing their toilets. Fast Company reports that the Oregon capital is using a

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BIG’s Copenhagen recycling center will double as a neighborhood ski slope

BIG’s Copenhagen recycling center will double as a neighborhood ski slope

According to Arch Daily, the Syndhavns Recycling Center was designed by BIG for Amagerforbraending, a Copenhagen waste management company. When complete, it will double as a public space with

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Twisted roof elegantly connects the facades of Archi-Union’s Songjiang Art Campus

Twisted roof elegantly connects the facades of Archi-Union’s Songjiang Art Campus

Archi-Union Architects has put a serious twist on your traditional building with their design for the recently completed Songjiang Art Campus. Located in the Shanghai suburb of Xingiao Town, the

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16,000 unexplained cracks found in two Belgian nuclear reactors

16,000 unexplained cracks found in two Belgian nuclear reactors

As many as 16,000 cracks have been found in two Belgian nuclear reactors, a finding that could spell bad news for nuclear safety around the world. According to The Ecologist, the cracks were

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