Solar Blimp to Debut on English Channel

Photo courtesy of Projet Sol'r

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Here’s another bright, green idea to save the world.

Within the next few weeks, a solar powered blimp sponsored by the French Projet Sol’r will fly across the English Channel. The timing is a clear homage to Louis Bleriot, the first person to fly across the channel in an airplane on July 25, 1909. When Bleriot embarked on his flight in his rinky dinky airplane, few could have imagined the advances in flight technology that would soon take us to the moon, or send hundreds of civilians across the world within hours.

This month’s blimp flight, a century later, will mark an exciting era of exploration into the practical uses of alternative energy. For now, the significance of this project is mostly symbolic. But with transportation companies looking for new ways to cut costs, and the government threatening to crack down on emissions, the flight could indicate whether cutting out traditional fuel and deflating carbon emissions will become part of the equation.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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