Last month, i bought a book Green Festival Reader: fresh ideas from agents of change. The Green Festival Reader covers the most urgent and inspiring topics in today’s environmental movement. In addition to exposing the environmental degradation, the speakers/writers envision a sustainable economy that uses resources wisely and lift people out of poverty. They invite readers to become “ecopreneurs,” to create green worker cooperatives, to green their homes, etc. From the book, i glanced at one very interesting reference: Biomimicry: Innovations Inspired by Nature by science writer Janine M. Benyus. Relevant to the latest “energy news” for example is Chapter 3 – How Do We Harness Energy? Gathering Energy Like a Leaf. The book has been around since 2002 and one could wonder that maybe scientists have been experimenting on Benyus’s ideas to come to this breakthrough. I haven’t read the book yet (not available in the consortium of University libraries, tsk, tsk, tsk) but in the interest of environmental sustainability through efficient energy use, imitating nature or biomimicry is most likely the way to go. Another interesting chapter is on how spiders manufacture waterproof fiber 5 times stronger than steel. Here’s the latest news on biomimicry:
Artificial leaf can transform sunshine into electricity
A device that mimics photosynthesis, the process plants use to convert sunlight and water into usable energy, has been developed by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Turning to Mother Nature for inspiration, the MIT researchers announced their invention at the American Chemical Society meeting in California.
MIT chemistry professor Daniel Nocera says the scientists took their cues from plants, which are literally buzzing with electricity.
“What happens is that sunlight comes in and hits the leaf and then the leaf immediately takes that sunlight and makes a wireless current,” Nocera says.
Seems really just a matter of listening more closely to Nature to eventually solve our quandaries…