Electrek: Toyota Thinks This Focus-Grouped Curiosity Is the Electric Vehicle Young People Want

It’s the Geneva Motor Show, and new car concepts are being unveiled left and right. Electric vehicles account for a significant number of those new concepts, to the point that Toyota, which is known for betting on hydrogen fuel cells and its hacked-up Prius Prime over EVs, is also debuting a new electric concept.

The Japanese automaker says that it commissioned the new vehicle called ‘i-Tril’ from its French design studio in collaboration with the company’s ED² design studio in Nice based on research on the company’s younger demographic.

While President of Toyota Europe Johan van Zyl simply said that they were targeting young people, the company was actually much more specific in a press release. They claim to have developed the vehicle with “a new type of customer in mind: a sophisticated, single, 30- to 50-year-old active female with two children and a vibrant lifestyle.”

New Scientist: Sponge Can Soak Up and Release Spilled Oil Hundreds of Times

A new material can absorb up to 90 times its own weight in spilled oil and then be squeezed out like a sponge and reused, raising hopes for easier cleanup of oil spill sites.

This contrasts with most commercial products for soaking up oil, called “sorbents." These are generally only good for a single use, acting like a paper towel used to mop up a kitchen mess and then tossed away. The discarded sorbents and oil are then normally incinerated.

But what if the oil could be recovered and the sorbent reused? The new material, created by Seth Darling and his colleagues at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, seems to allow for both of these processes, cutting waste.

New Republic: The EPA’s Science Office Removed 'Science' From Its Mission Statement

When President Donald Trump took office in late January, his administration began tweaking the language on government websites. Some of the more prominent changes occurred on Environmental Protection Agency pages -- a mention of human-caused climate change was deleted, as was a description of international climate talks. The shifts were small, but meaningful; many said they signaled a new era for the EPA, one in which the agency would shy away from directly linking carbon emissions to global warming and strive to push Trump’s “America First” message.

Those initial tweaks were documented by the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, a group of scientists and academics who spend their free time tracking changes to about 25,000 federal government webpages. On Tuesday, they shared their latest finding with the New Republic: The EPA’s Office of Science and Technology Policy no longer lists “science” in the paragraph describing what it does.

Bloomberg: Solar Power May Get Boost From Africa's Biggest Oil Exporter

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil exporter, may be about to turn sunward to generate more of its power.

Senators in the capital of Abuja are debating allocation of $30 million tosolarprojects in this year’s budget, according to the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria. They’re expected to provide funding for off-grid solar projects, photovoltaic manufacturing, and transmission upgrades, according to REAN Executive Secretary Godwin Aigbokhan. A decision is expected this month.

"It just gives you an idea of how the government sees solar as part of the total energy mix," Aigbokhan.

New York Times: EPA Head Stacks Agency With Climate-Change Skeptics

Days after the Senate confirmed him as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference and was asked about addressing a group that probably wanted to eliminate his agency.

“I think it’s justified,” he responded, to cheers. “I think people across the country look at the EPA the way they look at the IRS.”

In the days since, Mr. Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general who built a career out of suing the agency he now leads, has moved to stock the top offices of the agency with like-minded conservatives -- many of them skeptics of climate change and all of them intent on rolling back environmental regulations that they see as overly intrusive and harmful to business.