Blue/Green — Making It Work Takes Work
August 31, 2009
By Ed Ott

Since the first Earth Day events of the 1970’s, progressive labor activists and many environmentalists have dreamed of a grand coalition of blue-collar workers and so-called greens. This coalition would, we hoped, expose the inherent exploitation by market capitalism of the Earth and its inhabitants. After the loss of millions of industrial jobs from North America, several large-scale environmental disasters (Exxon Valdez, Bhopal, Love Canal) and the real threat of global warming the blue green army was ready to march in-step. I wish!

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Transparency & Innovation: Open Data For Green Buildings
July 01, 2009
By Bomee Jung

I'm not old enough to have enjoyed the first hey-day of energy-efficiency and alternative power back in the 70's and 80's, but I do love chocolate and have a vivid recollection of the classic Reese's Peanut Butter Cups commercials from those days. There were several variations, but basically, a person holding a chocolate bar runs into a person holding a open jar of peanut butter, causing the chocolate bar to drop into the peanut butter. They exclaim in dismay:

— "You got peanut butter in my chocolate!"
— "You got chocolate in my peanut butter!"

But, as the slogan goes, they discover that "two great tastes that taste great together", and candy lovers everywhere rejoice in the finding.

Not unlike the chocolate-peanut butter collision, two transformative movements of our time are poised to slam together into a concoction no less delightful than the Peanut Butter Cup (particularly to green enthusiasts of geekly tendencies): the Open Data movement and high-performance green building.

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Climate Change & Environmental Impact Statements
June 01, 2009
By Michael B. Gerrard

All levels of government -- federal, state and local -- are beginning to consider climate change in the environmental review process, and all three seem on the verge of making it mandatory for almost all projects that require an environmental impact statement (EIS).

This is good news for proponents of environmentally sound development. If sound rules are adopted, applicants and approving agencies would be required to consider systematically -- and perhaps quantitatively -- the greenhouse gas (GHG) implications of projects they are considering, of feasible alternatives, and of mitigation measures. Consideration would also be required of the impacts of climate change on projects, such as rising sea and groundwater levels.

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Another Berkeley FIRST
March 01, 2009
By Mayor Tom Bates

Many urban eco-game changing ideas are born in Berkeley California. Despite some initial skepticism, many of our programs go on to be adopted in cities everywhere. Just a sampling of these Berkeley-spun ideas includes: a ban on Styrofoam, a switch to biodiesel for city vehicles, and curbside recycling. The City's latest first, however, may be it's most important innovation in relation to climate change.

What is Berkeley FIRST?
Berkeley FIRST (Financing Initiative for Renewable and Solar Technology) is an innovative renewable energy financing program designed to overcome the barriers to property owners' adoption of renewable energy technologies.

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New Space, New Faces
February 02, 2009
By John Tepper-Marlin

Green jobs sound like a business opportunity. President Obama is committed to creating five million new green jobs via subsidizing energy alternatives and conservation, and discouraging reliance on fossil fuels. The same commitment is occurring at the state and local level. On January 26 New York's Governor David Paterson told a conference on green jobs that he intended to convert 45 percent of the state's energy use to alternative sources by 2015.

Do New York City's green entrepreneurs have "shovel-ready" business plans? The Sallan Foundation has asked me to look at the green movement through the prism of a new (less than a year old) eco-incubator in Brooklyn called Green Spaces. I come to the assignment having worked on the 1999 study of the New York City software industry undertaken by the then City Comptroller, Alan Hevesi. From that study, I became enamored of Henry Etzkowitz's concept of the "Triple Helix" — bringing together government, business and university resources to create new companies.

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