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Toyota Develops New Flower Species To Reduce Pollution

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the better-than-to-cause-it dept.

Earth 211

teko_teko writes "Toyota has created two flower species that absorb nitrogen oxides and take heat out of the atmosphere. The flowers, derivatives of the cherry sage plant and the gardenia, were specially developed for the grounds of Toyota's Prius plant in Toyota City, Japan. The sage derivative's leaves have unique characteristics that absorb harmful gases, while the gardenia's leaves create water vapour in the air, reducing the surface temperature of the factory surrounds and, therefore, reducing the energy needed for cooling, in turn producing less carbon dioxide."

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Plants eventually die (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29948094)

That's great but it may be a surprise to some people to learn that cherry sages do eventually die, and decompose and thus re-release that which they have absorbed.

Carbon offset, one of the greatest scams in history. Pay us to plant some trees, which we can later cut down and sell.

Re:Plants eventually die (5, Insightful)

AniVisual (1373773) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948156)

Not really. That's where coal came from. Plants inhale the carbon dioxide in the air, make 'em carbom, die, decompose, get buried in the ground, and 100,000,000 years later become coal and oil.

Re:Plants eventually die (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29948320)

Oh yeah? Have you SEEN plants turn into coal? I bet not! God put the coal there to test your faith!!!

Re:Plants eventually die (5, Funny)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948552)

Obligatory Bill Hicks quote:

I think God put you here to test my faith dude.

Re:Plants eventually die (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29949244)

Flower Power. Yeah Baby Yeeaah.....

Re:Plants eventually die (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29948864)

Only in places experiencing significant subsidence (think of the Mississippi delta), where plant materials at the surface will eventually be deeply buried. The fraction of plant material that does ultimately get buried for the long term is minuscule compared to the amount that gets promptly recycled by decay processes, right back into the atmosphere. The chances the scenario you describe is happening at the site of a Toyota plant are small indeed unless it is built on a subsiding swamp.

The part I don't get is "while the gardenia's leaves create water vapour in the air" What? Don't ALL plants produce water vapour in the air?

Planting *any* plant would have the rather minor effects they describe. Getting rid of a lawn and allowing a genuine forest to grow might have a net positive effect, but only to a limited degree (as it grows). It's a fluff piece. The only thing innovative here is their public relations department.

Re:Plants eventually die (4, Informative)

wasmoke (1055116) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948866)

Close. Most coal came from the Carboniferous period where there was an explosion of plants, many of them in boggy areas. When plants die in bogs they fall in the water and bacteria can NOT decompose them. This is why the carbon was sequestered and turned into coal.
Today, there is very little chance of this happening, especially at a plant in Japan. In all likelihood these flowers will decompose when they die and release all their nitrogen oxides back to the environment.

Re:Plants eventually die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29949264)

That's why you have to kill'em and dump em in the landfill. That and a bullet in the head. Otherwise it's Godzilla Vs. the iceage-causing nitrogen-eating plant monster time.

Re:Plants eventually die (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29949266)

Plants may produce coal, but I have it on good authority that oil comes from dinosaurs:

First the Earth cooled...and then the dinosaurs came...but they got too big and fat...so they all died and they turned into oil...and then the Arabs came...and they bought Mercedes Benz's...and Prince Charles started wearing all of Lady Di's clothes...I couldn't believe it...he took her best summer dress out of the closet and put it on and went to town....

FRAUD ALERT -- Slashdot sucked in again? (-1, Flamebait)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948550)

FRAUD? Plants always metabolize nitrogen [tutorvista.com] . The extra humidity is not needed in humid Japan, and therefore provides little cooling.

This seems to be a P.R. blitz. Google lists an amazing number of references. [google.com]

Slashdot is a technology web site with editors who seemingly only know computer technology.

Re:FRAUD ALERT -- Slashdot sucked in again? (2, Interesting)

jgardia (985157) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948562)

Plants cannot metabolize nitrogen directly. You need some nitrogenated molecules to allow them to absorb the nitrogen. This job is typically done by bacterias in the soil. Why do you think you put nitrogen fertilizers to plants, if the atmosphere is > 70% nitrogen?

Re:FRAUD ALERT -- Slashdot sucked in again? (5, Informative)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948846)

Plants cannot metabolize nitrogen directly.

You are correct. However, the article talks about nitrogen oxides, not molecular nitrogen. The nitrogen in nitrogen oxides is already "fixed" and can be absorbed by many different kinds of plants [wiley.com] .

Why do you think you put nitrogen fertilizers to plants, if the atmosphere is > 70% nitrogen?

As you probably know, we'd all be dead if the atmosphere were ~70% nitrogen oxides.

Re:FRAUD ALERT -- Slashdot sucked in again? (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#29949282)

Seems to me like we wouldn't have evolved the way we did if the atmosphere was primarily Nitrogen Oxides, but something would be there!

Re:FRAUD ALERT -- Slashdot sucked in again? (1)

sarahbau (692647) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948612)

While I agree that it does seem like this will do little, from the article you posted, it sounds like nitrogen can normally only be absorbed by the roots of plants, and only by means of nitrifying bacteria. The article says the plants can absorb nitrogen oxides directly through the leaves. I'm no botanist, but I think that's the key to the article, not that they can metabolize nitrogen.

Re:FRAUD ALERT -- Slashdot sucked in again? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29949056)

I'm no botanist

Yeah... well... I ain't seen no plants grow out of no toilet.

Re:FRAUD ALERT -- Slashdot sucked in again? (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#29949236)

While I agree that it does seem like this will do little, from the article you posted, it sounds like nitrogen can normally only be absorbed by the roots of plants, and only by means of nitrifying bacteria.

Certain plants form nodules on their roots which contain bacterial symbiotes which "fix" nitrogen. This arrangement being of mutual benefit to both the plant and the bacteria.

Re:Plants eventually die (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29949208)

But... but... but it makes me FEEL good!

Al Gore is a very shrewd businessman, nothing more.

What? (3, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948104)

"while the gardenia's leaves create water vapour in the air, reducing the surface temperature of the factory surrounds and, therefore, reducing the energy needed for cooling"

Doesn't pretty much every plant with leaves do that? Hence the need for watering...

Re:What? (3, Interesting)

Yo_mama (72429) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948114)

And if they release MORE water, does that mean they increase the dependency on reservoirs and the environmental impacts of dams and water shortages?

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29948512)

No see, that's the ingenious part. They imported a species of plant that actually produces water right out of the thin air. And by the time winter comes along it freezes to death.

Re:What? (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948126)

Good point. Their heating costs go down bu the amount of water they're using probably goes up. Is it worth sacrificing water conservation for power conservation?

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29948148)

*cooling costs my bad..

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29948278)

Well, this is Tokyo. I'm pretty sure they get lots of rain.

And to someone who commented on plants becoming coal, that's not true of all plants. However i'm pretty sure that most of the nitrogen would in some way be re-used as fertilizer by the rest of the plants, were it in a natural environment. Since it isn't, i guess that depends on how they dispose of excess plant matter.

Re:What? (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29949048)

Note that plant water doesn't need to be particularly clean, just desalinated. You can water plants with drain water in a lot of situations. Japan isn't a desert, the only water shortages that they are likely to have will come from overloaded processing and treatment plants, not from supply of rain.

Re:What? (2, Insightful)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948184)

Seeing as water vapor is the largest greenhouse gas(by volume, mass, and % of warming caused), could one say that this is like opening the fridge to cool the kitchen?

Re:What? (2, Informative)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948354)

No. You're only telling part of the story; here's an excerpt from the easily digested Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] dealing with the topic:

"Because water vapor is a greenhouse gas and because warm air can hold more water vapor than cooler air, the primary positive feedback involves water vapor. This positive feedback does not result in runaway global warming because it is offset by other processes that induce negative feedbacks, which stabilizes average global temperatures. The primary negative feedback is the effect of temperature on emission of infrared radiation: as the temperature of a body increases, the emitted radiation increases with the fourth power of its absolute temperature."

Re:What? (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948534)

They should patent the evaporation of water. And patent photosynthesis too, for good measure. they obviously made a great invention.

p.s. Don't tell them that they found nothing new. This is just like a biologist finding out that cars exist (carrus automaticus gasolinus). Quite exciting really, and certainly worth a publication or two. :)

Re:What? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948538)

Well, I am a bit confused. Plants do perspire and release water vapour but they also usually release heat (they have a metabolism and show on infrared). I think that once agains one has to dismiss the sensationalist journalism and get at the real science. My suspicion is that the only new thing here is the absorption nitrogen oxide and that Toyota also reminded the journalist the other advantages a plant offers in a workplace.

Tea Time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29948106)

...And then you can dry it and brew tea!

All plants transpire (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948112)

thereby reducing the surrounding temperature, don't they? Gardenias do smell nice though.

Put your "oh oh" in my "oh oh." (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29948252)

Put your "oh oh" in my "oh oh."
Put your- Put your "ohh oh" in my "oh oh."
Put your- Put your "oh oh" in my "oh ohh."
Put your- put your "oh" in my "oh oh" Put your "oh oh" in my [repeat 3x]

Flowers for plants... (1)

wfWebber (715881) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948118)

Almost sounds like pets, doesn't it?

Bad reporting (5, Informative)

AxeTheMax (1163705) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948142)

Lots of bad science reporting there, just what you would expect from a motor journalist talking about botany. New species??? All plants absorb gases, including any nitrogen compounds in the air. Any nitrous oxides would be absorbed within the leaf, since they are nutrients and plants have an ability to absorb nutrients through the leaves (foliar feeding). All plants give off water vapour. I suspect most trees would be better at cooling the factory surrounds than gardenia plants, since by their size and nature they are faster growers and thus can transpire more water, and (for most species) they have more leaf area per unit of ground area.

Re:Bad reporting (2, Informative)

CrashNBrn (1143981) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948210)

Apparently, they've done the tree planting thing too.

Even the grass has been specially developed to grow more slowly than conventional lawn. As a result, it only requires mowing once a year, compared with three times for the grass it replaced. In 2008, Toyota planted 50,000 trees to offset the factory’s CO2 emissions.

Re:Bad reporting (4, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948212)

October 6, 2005
Toyota Develops Shrub that Greatly Improves Air Quality
--New Cherry Sage Better Cleanses Air, Reduces "Urban Heat Island Effect"--
http://www2.toyota.co.jp/en/news/05/1006.html [toyota.co.jp]
"TMC started selling its Gardenia plant, known as the "Wald", which has a very high atmospheric-cleansing ability, in October 2003."

The grass mentioned in TFA linked by /. is a breed of "zoysia grass" known as "TM9"
I read about it on page 40 of Toyota's 2009 sustainability report [toyota.co.jp] (8MB PDF) and it has been on sale since 2006.

Nothing in this story is new except for the positive PR that Toyota is getting.

Re:Bad reporting (1)

rvw (755107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948906)

Nothing in this story is new except for the positive PR that Toyota is getting.

And even that is not new.

Re:Bad reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29948250)

But, but, but... TOYOTA made this plant! From like, their super duper plant manufacturing plant, man!

Re:Bad reporting (2, Informative)

hallucinogen (1263152) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948858)

Actually there are no plants at all that can fix nitrogen by themselves. If the summary was even half right this would be THE biggest news of the year.

Nothing can go wrong here! (3, Insightful)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948158)

Let's cross breed with kudzu! We can always just pull it up. I mean, Kudzu is so easy to get rid of, right?

Re:Nothing can go wrong here! (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948182)

cmon, the universe needs a true daiseyworld as a warning to others!

Re:Nothing can go wrong here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29948206)

bwahahaha... the plant that ate the south... seems like a good use for it.

Re:Nothing can go wrong here! (4, Interesting)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948312)

Kudzu is trivial to get rid of. Just let a herd of goats loose. Not only do they eat kudzu, they PREFER it, and will eat it before almost any other human-desirable plants. There are companies that rent out goats specifically for this purpose.

If you think Kudzu is bad, read up on Cogon Grass.

Re:Nothing can go wrong here! (1)

KronosReaver (932860) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948434)

But then won't we have to plant more cross-breed cherry sage plant/gardenia/kudzu to deal with all of the Goat Emissions?

Re:Nothing can go wrong here! (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948492)

What do the goats eat once they've finished the kudzu?

Ask Africa. They eat everything. Then you get desert. Then come the sandworms. Nice, you've doomed us all.

Re:Nothing can go wrong here! (4, Funny)

Alcari (1017246) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948680)

But with sandworms comes spice and He who controls the Spice controls the universe. I'd like to rent some goats please.

Re:Nothing can go wrong here! (2, Funny)

stupid_is (716292) | more than 4 years ago | (#29949246)

Presto!! [mapmate.com]

Re:Nothing can go wrong here! (4, Insightful)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#29949074)

What do the goats eat once they've finished the kudzu?
Ask Africa. They eat everything. Then you get desert.


Only if the people involved are too daft to eat the goats (and turn their skins into leather).

Re:Nothing can go wrong here! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29949250)

Again.. Ask Africa...

Re:Nothing can go wrong here! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29949332)

Kudzu is trivial to get rid of. Just let a herd of goats loose. Not only do they eat kudzu, they PREFER it, and will eat it before almost any other human-desirable plants. There are companies that rent out goats specifically for this purpose.

Then, we simply release wave after wave of Chinese needle snakes. They'll wipe out the goats.
Of course, the snakes are even worse, but we're prepared for that. We've lined up a fabulous type of gorilla that thrives on snake meat. I can hear you saying, "But then we're stuck with gorillas!" That's the beautiful part. When wintertime rolls around, the gorillas simply freeze to death.

New tag should be.... (5, Funny)

thatseattleguy (897282) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948254)

whatcouldpossiblygrowwrong

If they want to reduce pollution (1, Flamebait)

drsquare (530038) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948268)

Why don't they stop making cars?

Re:If they want to reduce pollution (5, Funny)

robfoo (579920) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948396)

Because cars are awesome, hippy.

Re:If they want to reduce pollution (1)

releaze (697041) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948790)

Well, Toyota apparantly put a whole different meaning to the term Flower Power :')

Re:If they want to reduce pollution (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948502)

Presumably they like to earn enough to enjoy the luxuries of life, like putting their kids through college, health care, food, that sort of thing.

Re:If they want to reduce pollution (1, Troll)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948524)

I agree. They could also get into the assassin business, so they can stop people like you from polluting the internet.

Re:If they want to reduce pollution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29948632)

Because they don't want to reduce their profit.

Re:If they want to reduce pollution (5, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948670)

GM tried, but the government just won't let them stop. Even when nobody is buying them.

Re:If they want to reduce pollution (4, Insightful)

Virak (897071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948722)

Your clever plan has one slight flaw, namely that Toyota is not the only company on the planet making cars. If they stop then people will just buy cars from elsewhere that are probably less environmentally friendly, resulting in more pollution overall.

Environmentalists could do with a lot more pragmatism and a lot less "durr I'm going to vehemently oppose anything short of ceasing all pollution overnight".

Re:If they want to reduce pollution (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948798)

Your clever plan has one slight flaw, namely that Toyota is not the only company on the planet making cars. If they stop then people will just buy cars from elsewhere that are probably less environmentally friendly, resulting in more pollution overall.

Naw dude. You missed the clever part: once Toyota stops making cars, we just move onto the next care company and keep asking them "Why don't you stop making cars?" until they finally give up.

"First they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you, then they stop making cars."
-Ye Olde Buggy Whip Monthly Newsletter.

Re:If they want to reduce pollution (1)

Devout_IPUite (1284636) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948854)

But when you have fewer car companies, the existing companies will be making more profit on worse cars due to lack of competition. Would you really expect Ford to close it's doors when it had a monopoly and could make cars that got 15 mpg and trucks that got 2 mpg?

Nah, then they'd enjoy their money and we'd all be worse off for it.

We shouldn't be encouraging companies to stop making cars, we should encourage people to stop buying cars. Fix demand, not supply. There will always be supply for anything that has demand.

Re:If they want to reduce pollution (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#29949304)

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH

Re:If they want to reduce pollution (1, Interesting)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948938)

Environmentalists could do with a lot more pragmatism and a lot less "durr I'm going to vehemently oppose anything short of ceasing all pollution overnight".

It could also do with a lot more of the primary environmental figures actually practicing even .001% of what they preach. The worlds worst polluters are the very people screaming about how we need to cut down on pollution (just take a look at Al Gore's massive homes and electricity usage - I read once that he uses something like 14 times more electricity than the average US citizen - not to mention how much pollution is caused by flying around in private jets all the time).

While I am all for reducing pollution, the environmentalist lobby group is one of the biggest scams in history.

Re:If they want to reduce pollution (-1, Troll)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29949252)

You're a retard.

Re:If they want to reduce pollution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29949320)

Al Gore offsets his emissions by purchasing carbon indulgences. From his own carbon indulgence company, of course. It's a very convenient arrangement. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that carbon indulgence purchases also count as a tax credit. That's just how that smarmy douchebag rolls...

Flower Power ... Back Baby ! (1)

bintech (37449) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948304)

Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya...

In a fast german car... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29948328)

I'm amazed that I survived
An airbag saved my life

Too abstract?....

Availability (4, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948338)

Ignoring naysayers for now, and assuming this plant is the benefit the article claims: What about me?
Does Toyota plan to release these plants for sale at my local garden store?
Can I get a nice slow-growing lawn that I don't have to mow?
Can I get some extra-cold flower gardens?

Re:Availability (1)

Gerafix (1028986) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948542)

I wish our society would just get over the green grass lawn. It's absurdly wasteful, especially in dryer climates.

Some of us (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948728)

Live in areas with a metre of rainfall per year, like to have somewhere to go outside in summer, have children and grandchildren, and are aware of the problems of runoff from concrete surfaces, decks and so on. Our lawn requires no fertilizer, no watering, and by next year the robot mower will be recharged from a solar panel. And it provides foot access to the vegetable garden and the fruit trees.

You insensitive clod!

Having said which, you are totally right. Lawns belong in places where the climate is suitable and they are a cheap, low-maintenance,environmentally friendly surface cover. But most places in the world are not Southern England.

Re:Some of us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29949128)

But most places in the world are not Southern England.

For a second I thought you were talking about Belgium there......

Ob. HHGG reference (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#29949156)

You are right, but as a good HHGG follower, I don't use swear words on Slashdot.

Re:Some of us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29949204)

"But most places in the world are not Southern England."

We can dream, though.

CAPTCHA: nettle. Hahaha.

Re:Availability (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948736)

You can already get excellent air cleaners at the local nursery. Buy a Ficus.

Re:Availability (4, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948838)

Ignoring naysayers for now, and assuming this plant is the benefit the article claims: What about me?
Does Toyota plan to release these plants for sale at my local garden store?

Not at your local garden store, but they are for sale through "Toyota Roof Garden Corporation".
AFAICT their sales are entirely out of Japan, so good luck with ordering.
http://www.toyota-roofgarden.co.jp/ [toyota-roofgarden.co.jp]

Re:Availability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29949198)

Nice slow growing lawn you don't have to mow. White clover. It grows ~4-6 inches high and never needs mowing. It also has the benefit that the neighbourhood bees will go into an orgy of honey making, usually enough to last a small family all winter. The butterfly's and other insect life is another nice bonus. Downside is that some wildlife thinks it's an all you can eat buffet. But I can't say I mind watching deer and moose fertilizing the yard from my front window.

Unfortunately, you probably live in a city, and local by-laws will force you to have a grass lawn. Stupidest idea ever.

Progenitor Virus (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948346)

Umbrella Corporation (from the Resident Evil series) cultivated some funky flowers in Africa which led to their biological weapon development... zombies, Majini, etc. were the result.

Whatcouldpossiblygowrong?

What could possibly go wrong...? (3, Funny)

primesuspect (1661853) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948394)

Feed me, Seymour... :-/

Re:What could possibly go wrong...? (2, Informative)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948446)

Feed me, Seymour... :-/

Actually, if the plant eats pets, it'll save the environment!

um this may not be as good as you think (1)

CHRONOSS2008 (1226498) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948424)

some organic life needs nitrogen

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen [wikipedia.org]

scroll down to:
Biological role

Specific bacteria (e.g. Rhizobium trifolium) possess nitrogenase enzymes which can fix atmospheric nitrogen (see nitrogen fixation) into a form (ammonium ion) that is chemically useful to higher organisms. This process requires a large amount of energy and anoxic conditions. Such bacteria may live freely in soil (e.g. Azotobacter) but normally exist in a symbiotic relationship in the root nodules of leguminous plants (e.g. clover, Trifolium, or soybean plant, Glycine max). Nitrogen-fixing bacteria are also symbiotic with a number of unrelated plant species such as alders (Alnus) spp., lichens (Casuarina), Myrica, liverworts, and Gunnera.

and so on and you want to really really give these oil gurgling morons more incentive to screw up the earth WHY ARENT they focusing on i dunno making electric style cars and hybrids more OR tech to go beyond oil prodcuts

The PR machine is go! (1, Insightful)

RudeIota (1131331) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948450)

This is all obviously for attention and is merely a token to the public of Toyota's commitment for being 'green'. The actual 'good' done by planting even an infinite number of flowers around their manufacturer facility is infinitely negligible even on a regional scale.

Perfect Timing! (3, Funny)

adamchou (993073) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948462)

I'm finalizing work on a new species of cow that eats unnecessary grass that has been dried. It then produces plenty of methane and CO2 to feed these plants.

Re:Perfect Timing! (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948702)

IANACE, but how is that an improvement over a cow that naturally grazes on fresh grass?

Harmful gases hey? (-1, Offtopic)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948464)

Where can I buy some of this to shove in my undies? I'll be so popular when i fart and it comes out roses^H^H^H^H^Hgardenias.

Branching out (1)

TehBlahhh (947819) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948488)

Reduce pollination? What, on earth, does plant birth control have to do with toyota? Unless they're going for umbrella corporation status, that sort of thing would be way outside their usual line of business. Of course, if they ARE...

Oh wait. Pollution.

These Flowers Get Great Mileage! (0, Troll)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948532)

...but they all look alike and they're not very good at city driving.

And then? (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948682)

What are the long term plans for the foliage disposal?
Once those leaves will be stuffed with the bad gases, they will die. And then?
Back to the soil and the athmosphere?
Nice solution then!

Re:And then? (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 4 years ago | (#29949054)

Only the oxides are harmful. When nitrogen is bound in other compounds, it works as a fertilizer. Plants need nitrogen, but they generally can't get it from the air, but they will readily absorb it from the soil.

Water Vapor? (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948744)

Water vapor is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. Talk about feel good marketing ploys!

Re:Water Vapor? (2, Informative)

Arlet (29997) | more than 4 years ago | (#29949026)

The amount of water vapor is also more or less constant. If you try to put more vapor in the atmosphere, it will just rain out somewhere else.

Re:Water Vapor? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29949292)

More specifically; Manchester, England.

DNA* headline (1)

codeButcher (223668) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948756)

That's what happens when you are too stressed at work to properly read. You develop faux dyslexia. So that headline read:

Toyota Develops New Flower Species To Reduce Pollination

And then I run around claiming that everything I know I've learnt from /. headlines.... Scary.

(* = National Dyslexia Association, for those who've never heard the old joke.)

This is great! (1)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 4 years ago | (#29948954)

I have had visions of society using the tools that were given to us. We CAN find solutions, if we only try. We have to identify the problems accurately first, and then instead of excuses, seek the answer.

Don't all plants create water vapor? (1)

firefarter (307327) | more than 4 years ago | (#29949038)

School's been a while back, but if I remember correctly, water vapor is a by-product of photosynthesis?

Water vapor is ALSO a greenhouse gas. (1)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 4 years ago | (#29949052)

You don't necessarily want to be making more of it in large quantities, although presumably as 7/10ths of the planet is covered by water, the amount generated by some flowers won't be terribly significant.

On the other hand, the forthcoming fuel cell cars should really include condensers so the water coming out the tailpipe is liquid rather than gaseous. One downside: the roads will ALWAYS be wet. We can presumably expect a certain increase in accident deaths from that cause, although it will be offset by the reduction in lung diseases.

Boooooooooogus (1)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 4 years ago | (#29949064)

This is as bogus as the whole "clean" concept of the Toyota Pious. These cars are dirty as hell to make, dirty as hell to recycle, and only provide real benefit for city driving. VW and Audi have done much more important work with their "clean diesel" engines that get mileage similar to that of the hybrids without massive dirty batteries, and those cars get high mileage on long haul trips and long country roads like we have here in the US.

Shameless drivel (4, Insightful)

jandersen (462034) | more than 4 years ago | (#29949070)

It is a load of shameless and deceptive nonsense; and does make it better that it is wrapped up in florid language, if you will excuse the pun, hur, hur. "Create a new species"? Even highly educated plant breeders haven't been able to do that, but a car manufacturer manages to do it with a gesture and a lorry-load of hype?

For a plant species to work well as carbon-capturer, it ought to grow fast (thus producing large quantities of biomass) and it should break down slowly, so the CO2 isn't released quickly again. Gardenias and sages don't really fit the bill - grasses might, some trees might and green algae, perhaps. But I understand, of course - surrounding the offices with a few hectares of slimy ponds isn't as pretty.

The real mystery is - how on Earth did this make it as far as being mentioned here?

Stop GMOs!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29949126)

According to treehuger.com [treehugger.com] the flowers are genetically engineered. It's a danger unparallelled in human history, we're destroying the millenia old single lifeline there is, the genetical code.

And when the GMOs contaminate natural plants, one would expect the company making them be sued out of business but what actually has happened is the company goes suing the farmer for using their intellectual property! This model encourages careless handling of the GMO seeds and even intentional contamination. The human greed is boundless and shows no mercy.

Shame on Toyota, I for one certainly will not buy their products after this. I bet many people (especially in the EU) feel likewise.

Amazing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29949138)

Trees that absorb polutants and release water vapor. Oh my God! Tell everyone what an amazing discovery!

Oh yeah wait a minute we've known this for like the last 100 years.

The best way to lower your carbon footprint is to stop breathing, feel free to do so at any time.

Our New and Improved Toyota Prius (2, Interesting)

Kreeben (995363) | more than 4 years ago | (#29949224)

...with virtually no impact on environment!* * except for huge fields of Toyota Gardenia (TM), and who doesn't like gardenias?

Stop one greenhouse gas with another? (1)

TerribleNews (1195393) | more than 4 years ago | (#29949268)

I really hope someone did some pretty heavy analysis on this. The atmosphere is a big and complicated place. [wikipedia.org]
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