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In the News: Software, Robots Green Bottom Line
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Tech geeks turn their attention towards energy efficiency.

From robotic farmhands to new software, today's news highlights technological innovations that are saving money and energy. 

Several stories detail the unveiling of Hara, a Silicon Valley startup that aims to help companies navigate a "post-carbon economy." It allows them to measure energy use, water consumption and carbon footprint, then figure out which improvements are best for the planet and the bottom line. Companies spend lots of money on consultants to track greenhouse gas emissions. Do-it-yourself types may muddle through on Excel. But that approach won't cut it when carbon becomes a regulated and tradeable commodity, The New York Times reports.

The Los Angeles Times story focuses on venture capital for clean-tech startups. While funding has dropped recently, software companies such as Hara require far less up-front cash than a solar factory. And the technology often starts saving money for companies right away.

In other tech news, advances in robotics -- fueled largely by the military's need to have them work in complicated outdoor environments -- could prove useful to agriculture. According to the NewScientist, robot farmhands could one day scan orange trees more effectively for disease or help farmers use water more judiciously.

Of course, technological innovations alone won't solve our climate problems. It also requires smart policies, true incentives and corporate leadership to make all of it happen.

Check out the rest of the Northwest's top 10 sustainability headlines at Sightline Daily, or get the news delivered via email each morning by clicking here. All of today's news can be found here.

Photo courtesy of flickr user Shakespearesmonkey via the Creative Commons license.

This piece originally appeared in Sightline Institute's blog, The Daily Score.

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