Christian Science Monitor: Why Toyota Made an Electric Car Out of Wood

Toyota will reveal its newest concept car, a roadster called Setsuna, at the Milan Design Week. This reveal comes with a twist -- the electric car is made of wood.

The car’s name, Setsuna, means “moment” in Japanese, and refers to the fleeting relationship between humans and material things, like cars.

Setsuna was designed by Toyota’s chief engineer Kenji Tsuji and a designer, Kota Nezu. The two had previously partnered to create Toyota’s Camatte.

Scientific American: Cheap Oil Is Undermining the Success of Nearly Every Climate Cleanup Plan

A few months ago at the Paris climate talks, President Barack Obama and a panoply of world leaders talked at length about the importance of reducing carbon dioxide pollution associated with burning coal, the largest source of greenhouse gases. So far there is only one way to do that without pulling the plug on coal altogether: carbon capture and storage (CCS), a process by which CO2 is pulled from a smokestack before it escapes into the air and is then buried deep underground.

Nearly every plan to mitigate global warming includes CCS, yet few countries have adopted the technology because there is little incentive to make the costly investment. Decades ago, however, the U.S. found a clever way to make the method economically viable: tie CCS to oil recovery. And while the scheme seemed to work, low oil prices now are putting CCS -- and therefore almost all climate cleanup plans -- in jeopardy.

Fortune: Tesla Model 3 to Be Unveiled March 31

Tesla’s newest vehicle will finally be shown to the public at the end of this month, according to reports from the Tesla Motors Club website. The invitations making the rounds only specify that the event will take place “in Southern California.”

The vehicle is something very close to make-or-break for Tesla, at least if it hopes to become a truly mass-market company. The Model X SUV that debuted last year was a logical extension of Tesla’s huge pull with luxury buyers, but the Model 3 is a whole new ballgame -- starting at just $35,000 (before any tax incentives), it’s aimed slightly more at Average Jane and Joe Carbuyer.

Guardian: Solar Thermal Panels the Latest to Get Hit by U.K. Subsidy Cuts

Solar panels which use the sun to heat water will no longer receive subsidies under plans unveiled by the government.

The industry has reacted furiously to the move to do away with support for new solar thermal schemes from next year under the renewable heat incentive, which aims to boost the use of clean technology to provide heating and hot water.

It comes as the parliamentary energy and climate change committee warned that a series of changes already made to the government’s energy policy had “spooked” investors and could push up consumer bills by increasing the cost of new energy schemes.

CNN Wire: Bird Poop Causes Nuclear Shutdown

An errant bird dropping appears to have caused the temporary shutdown of part of the Indian Point nuclear plant in upstate New York.

A report by Entergy, the site operator, pointed the finger at a bird “streamer” -- colorfully explained in the document as “long streams of excrement from large birds that are often expelled as a bird takes off from a perch” -- as the cause of the shutdown, which tripped a safety breaker and took a reactor at the site out of commission for three days in December.