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News & Views Curation

September 30, 2008

UK: Nuclear Neighbors OK (Sort of)

A multi-year survey of folks living near nuclear power plants in the UK finds a qualified acceptance of new nuclear plants coming to their neighborhoods. Come closer

IT's Carbon Problem

IT design is still cranking out products with high levels of embedded carbon and short useful lives. Pay attention

Carbon Tax: Mixed Results

Despite its carbon tax, Norway's GHG emissions are up 15% while carbon taxers' Denmark and Sweden emissions are down. WSJ

September 29, 2008

What's Your Bag?

Delve into the use and misuse of reusable bags. WSJ

Carbon Auction Clears $38.5 Million

The nation's first auction of CO2 emissions permits found a price, $3.06 a ton, and that adds up to a tidy sum for energy efficiency programs and help for utility rate payers in the northeast RGGI states. Start here

Connect The Mega Dots

The world's twenty mega-cities use 75% of its energy. Now, Connected Urban Development proposes how to make mega-cities into low-carbon leaders. That's energetic

Scottish Sea Power

Scotland plans to install up to twenty domestically built tide-powered electric turbines. Next up, turbine exports. Surf's up!

September 28, 2008

Building & Eating Green

North Dakota farmers open a LEED-compliant restaurant serving farm-fresh produce in Washington. Dig in

September 26, 2008

Cutting Carbon Economically

A carbon price is the least-cost policy for cutting emissions and an R&D subsidy is the most-cost approach. Advance your economics

Will Buffet Buffet The Nuclear Industry?

Warren Buffet's buy-in at Constellation Energy might spell trouble for plans to build costly nuclear power plants. WSJ

Carbon Climbing

Worldwide carbon emissions are outstripping scientists' worst fears. Come on down and Highlights here

Ike & Gustav Clobber Oil Output

Two recent hurricanes are keeping Gulf of Mexico oil production down 40%; linked to the slow return of electric power. Prices up

September 25, 2008

Green Cities Rising

Global cities incubate eco-projects. They leap forward, but aren't perfect. See what's new

Zero is A Big Number

China's got a new zero emissions building that will be a 'living textbook' for energy researchers. Study it

Austria Nixes Nuke Power

Austria says no to nuclear power and yes to energy efficiency and renewables. Here's why [4.5 MB]

UK: New Nuclear Power By 2017

French nuclear power firm EDF sees the first new nuclear power plant in the UK buy 2017. Four more on the drawing board. Time flies

Wind Money For China & India

A major wind turbine maker will invest $5 billion in Chinese and Indian wind farms over the next five years. Look ahead

Will Solar Still Shine?

Worries are raised about the solar PV industry if installation rebates are rolled back. Plug in

September 24, 2008


Seven westerns states and four Canadian provinces launch the Western Climate Initiative. It will reduce GHG emissions through a regional cap and trade program as well as finance energy efficiency programs and defray consumers' utility bills with permit auction revenues. Bottoms up!

Methane Rising

Scientists discover that methane, a potent GHG, is bubbling up from Arctic ocean depths. Climate cause or effect?

French Company For UK Nuclear Growth

EDF, a French nuclear power developer edged out by Warren Buffet in the US, buys UK nuclear power plants and will build new ones. Channel crossing

New Nukes - Not So Fast

Reviving the US nuclear power industry might be slow-going, despite hefty federal subsidies. Stay tuned

September 23, 2008

Advisers Spar

Green, Inc.

Kate Galbraith's post about the two campaigns sparring over nuclear energy at the CDP Global Forum in New York, promted a response from Nancy about fine tuning the nuclear questions.

Excerpt from Kate Galbraith's post
The two campaigns also sparred over nuclear energy, a form of power generation that releases no carbon-dioxide emissions, though waste disposal and storage issues — as well as a generalized image problem — have plagued its expanded deployment in the United States.

"Senator McCain thinks we should take advantage of it in an aggressive way," said Mr. Holtz-Eakin, adding "He believes Yucca Mountain storage facility is one that will be safe," referring to a controversial proposed nuclear-waste storage site in Nevada.

Mr. Obama has said that he wants to address issues such as security and waste storage before embracing nuclear power.

Nancy's Comment
A much sharper light would have been shed on the issue of nuclear power if questions had been posed about (1) the cost of building new nuclear plants (which has been estimated at $5-12 billion a pop) in comparison to other energy sources and (2) the kinds and levels of federal support available to the nuclear industry. After all, Congress is currently debating whether to expand its already generous nuclear power plant loan guarantee program.

Let's remember, the audience at this Carbon Disclosure Project-sponsored event was full of financial experts; surely, they could have handled the data.

LEEDing Forward

As a sign of the times, the USGBC updates its LEED Strategic Plan for 2009-2013. Learn more

Voters Want Clean Power

Polling finds American voters of both parties support clean, renewable power, although they differ on nuclear power. Pull the lever

Dumb & Dumber

Read this blistering take on Congress' efforts to pass an energy bill. Just click

Buffet's Antes Up $1 Billion

Constellation Energy, a major US nuclear power plant owner, got $1 billion from investor Warren Buffet to fend off a take-over by French firm, EDF. Follow the $

September 22, 2008

Aussie PM Goes For Coal

Kevin Rudd, Australia's Prime Minister, pledges $100 million for a clean-coal technology institute. Look into it

Pollute For Free In Germany

Germany will continue to hand out free CO2 emissions permits to domestic industry despite an EU policy to make companies start paying for them. Next?

Times They Are A Changin'

Researchers assess the climate change business and risk potential of six key industrial sectors and estimate their potential business cash flows against future scenarios in which governments and consumers shift toward a low-carbon economy. Who's a winner? [4.1MB]

Investors Demand Carbon Disclosure

Institutional investors in the UK and US want information from oil and gas companies about the carbon intensity of their reserves. Risky business?

Who's The Greenest Of Them All?

Once again, Sustain Lane rates Portland Oregon the greenest city in the US, but this year, NYC breaks into the top five. Here's what the ratings mean

September 19, 2008

Do Good and Do Well

A UK government pledge to invest 1 billion pounds in residential energy efficiency would give a boost to green tech manufacturers and investors. Makes sense

Energy Law Unlikely

Prospects dim for Senate action on a massive energy bill that includes both offshore oil drilling and tax breaks for alternate energy providers. An alternate energy tax bill may be passed separately. Any cheering?

Chicago's Green Building Blueprint

Chicago's got a plan for making energy efficient buildings its new normal. Fine print [7.22MB]

Chicago! Chicago!

It's a wonderful town, let me show you around it's ambitious plan to combat climate change. Chicago!

September 18, 2008

Make It Now, Use It Later

Can flywheels be the killer app to store electric power for future use? A pilot project will launch later this year. Turn, turn

Get A Smarter Grid

GE and Google join to lobby Washington for expanding the nation's electric power grid by using advanced technology. An expanded grid would make it easier to carry electricity coming from renewable resources. Plug in

Making Connections

Energy-ethanol-corn-agribusiness-politics. Look into it

Everything Changes

Need something else to worry about - try the science of abrupt climate change. Fine print

September 17, 2008

Is This The End Of RGGI?

Responding to worries that a new Executive Order spells the end for RGGI in New York, Governor Paterson states his commitment to this carbon cap and trade program. Stay tuned

Berkeley OKs Solar Loans

Berkeley CA's City Council approves a loan program for solar panels with repayments based on utility bill savings, but lenders haven't lined up yet. Banks a lot!

What Moves Markets?

A report by the American Physical Society finds that federal climate action is key to bringing existing and emerging low-carbon technologies to mass markets. Efficiency's the thing

What's The Discount Rate Got To Do With It?

Setting a discount rate in the economics of global warming economic policy is one hot topic! Here's the speed-dating version of the debate. Love it

September 16, 2008

A Dimmer Energy Star

Consumers Union reports that some Energy Star-rated appliances do not perform as promised and calls for an improved EPA rating system. Label that

Lehman's Carbon Fallout

The carbon emissions trading desk in London is one victim of the Lehman collapse. Gone

The Google Float

Google floats the concept of water-based data centers that would get their electricity from wave power. Dream boat?

Credit Crunches Clean Power

The European clean energy sector faces bleak financial markets. Plug in

RGGI: Market Failure?

With the launch of RGGI--the ten state market for CO2--just weeks away, questions are being raised about the volume of available emissions credits . Stay tuned

September 15, 2008

Will Climate & Trade Policies Collide?

The US is not alone in struggling over climate change and international trade policies. Import that

Carbon Capture Options

With atmospheric CO2 levels relentlessly rising, can we pass up carbon capture? It's debatable

September 12, 2008

Pricing Carbon: Deep Thoughts

A new study of carbon cap & trade predicts both differential impacts on emissions and significant revenues. Fine print

African Rainfall & Climate Change

Scientists see links between drought in central Africa to climate change by way of ocean warming. Connect here

A Sea-Change On Ocean Drilling

Congressional Democrats are supporting off-shore oil drilling, but will they insist on extending the alternative energy tax credit and clean fuel utility requirements? Stay tuned

Fannie! Freddie! GM?

US auto makers ask for billions in loans from Washington to gear up for energy efficiency. Oh please

Palin - Just Say No

In August, Governor Palin urged Governor Schwarzenegger to veto emissions fees at California shipping ports. And then?

Sunny Money Going Global

Korean electronics giant LG buys into a German solar module plant, it's first international investment in this sector. Plug in

September 11, 2008

Insulation-Sexy No, Warm Yes

Enhanced building insulation is a centerpiece of PM Brown's new energy policy; but silent on "windfall" taxes. Read on

Carbon Markets: Later For That

Cap and trade pros are bearish about the chances for passage of federal climate legislation any time soon. Climate Wire [Subscribers only]

Deep Green

Tom Friedman once wrote, "Green is the new red, white and blue". Now, listen to a conversation with Tom on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross about his new book and America's current color.

Tougher Tidal Turbines

Scots researchers are testing a new contra-rotating tidal turbine. Spin in

September 10, 2008

Paint It White

Scientists quantify the global warming value of 100 global cities converting to white roofs and light color pavements. Just do it

2008: How Cool

What to make of reports about plunging global temperatures? Think in patterns

Remember The Marcellus Shale

A possible source of natural gas, the Marcellus Shale is in the NYC watershed and drilling could pose a threat to this water supply. Now, legislation might head off this environmental risk. Dig in

September 09, 2008

Chew On This

Researchers find the climate impact of food choices is greatest for red-meat eaters not for those who eat food grown at a distance. Dig in

Numb To Drilling

The media got the facts wrong when reporting on offshore oil drilling and its impact on the price of gas. That's right

September 08, 2008

Double Up

Not seen on City streets since 1953, the MTA is test-driving double decker buses. Hop aboard

Our Greatest Liquid Asset?

NYC's underground drinking water filtration plant in the Bronx is six years late and 400% more expensive than planned. Bottoms up

Nothing Ventured

Rizhao, a Chinese resort city, aims to go carbon neutral. Nothing gained

Is China's Climate on Climate Changing?

A government advisor publicly breaks with orthodoxy, calling for China to accept binding GHG emission cuts. Move on

September 05, 2008

Up Yes, Down Maybe

The spike in gas prices rippled through the local economy this year, but the recent fall in the price of gas hasn't made its mark. Waiting?

Geothermal Pals

Australia, Iceland and the US create an International Partnership for Geothermal Technology. Cool

Climate-Friendly Cement, Really

Cement-making, a major source of C02, could soon become climate-friendly. Get set

RGGI At Risk

The role of New York in the northeast's plan to cut GHG's could shrink due to an order drafted by Governor Paterson. Stay tuned

Will Your Feet Get Wet?

Here's a review of new scientific papers on sea level rise and global warming. Jump in

September 04, 2008

Clean Coal Power For Germany

A pilot carbon sequestration project at a coal-fired power plant in Germany launches next week. Questions raised over Euro-scale funding. Stay tuned

For Loss Of A Tax Credit...

Congress' failure to extend tax credits for renewable energy isn't getting much coverage now, but it should.

Scientists find that the 1998 'hockey stick' graph of temperature changes in the northern hemisphere, is validated by current data. Get the score & Get the backstory

Lomberg v Yohe: Moving On

While Bjorn Lomborg and Gary Yohe disagree on many critical global warming issues, they agree that now's the time for smart solutions. Read more

UK Green Firm Upbeat On Growth

Britain's biggest home energy efficiency services firm sees green markets growing despite current losses. Look into it

September 02, 2008

New Mayor New Plan

London's new Mayor issues his urban climate adaptation plan. Fine print [2.8MB]

Zen Threatened

Kyoto's Zen temple gardens are imperiled by global warming. Go now

And The Wind-Power Champ Is...

Romania. Who knew!