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News & Views Curation

July 30, 2010

Green Bank In Queens

A LEED Platinum branch of TD Bank opens in Queens as part of the company's pledge to go carbon neutral. Get a statement

From Consumer Electronics To The Future

Panasonic branches out from TV and stereos by paying $9.5 billion for companies specializing in battery storage and solar technologies. Look ahead

How Science Advances

Good science is about ongoing learning, testing and relearning. It's not a closed-end undertaking. A climate lesson

Profiles In Energy Block Grants

Learn what US cities have done with $3.2 million in available federal energy efficiency block grants since last year. What next?

July 29, 2010

NYC: Cleaner Air & Cleaner Energy

The Mayor and the City Council agree on legislation to cut the sulfur content of fuel oil and require the addition of 2% biofuel. Breathe easier

EPA Nixes Climate Challenges

The EPA dismisses petitions challenging the scientific basis for its authority to regulate GHGs. Yes it can

No BRT For Berkeley

Berkeley, California rejects plans for a bus rapid transit system. Not fare

New Nuclear Tech=New Problems

France's next-generation nuclear power plant now under construction faces a new breed of safety risks. Look into this

Is There A Pulse?

Since the politics will have to change before the US gets a climate bill, are there any signs of life on the climate front now? Thump

Control Carbon: Embrace The Alternative

What is "fee and dividend" and who would support it now that "cap and trade" has collapsed? Learn more

July 28, 2010

The Future Is Now

It's official. NOAA is certain that climate change is happening now. Want more?

The Senate Action Option

Legislation to restore the PACE bond program could pass the Senate, if it gets Republican support. Stay tuned

Cities Seek Hybrid Power

Cities seek a federal law giving them power to impose local fuel efficiency standards on taxi fleets. Beep beep

Future: A Lot Different Than Now

The National Academy of Sciences report on adapting to climate change grapples with how to plan for some big unknowns. Dig in

Green Starchticture

Find out who's on the G-List of the top green buildings and ask yourself about the lack of overlap with conventional architectural A-Lists. Start here

Wind+Batteries=Steady Power

The practicalities of using wind power surge with new technologies that store the electricity from the time it's created until the time it's needed. Plug in

The Future Is Coming

In preparation for a legislative overhaul of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, the Obama administration is convening an August public advisory meeting. Stay tuned

No Capture No Coal

No new coal burning power plants can be built in England without carbon capture and storage capacity. Plan A?

Blown Away

Without federal action, the renewable energy industry fears drastic downsizing. Watts up?

July 27, 2010

Our Old Friend: The Clean Air Act

With climate legislation off the agenda, the only federal resource for requiring GHG emissions cuts is the Clean Air Act, but there are big hurdles ahead. Get re-acquainted

15x20 - Will UK Reach It?

While calling the EU's renewable power goal of %15 by 2020 a "stretch", the UK Energy secretary gives a thumbs up to wind and nuclear power. Learn more

Turbine Power!

Construction begins in California on the word's largest wind power project, adding to the nation's biggest alternative power sector. Turn in

Waves Could Make Water

Australia will try to use ocean waves to power a water desalinization plant. Gulp

We're The Canaries

Photos of a world at risk. Home here

None Like It Hot

With prospects of ever-hotter weather, learn about the impact of heat on human health. Cold comfort

Is Fusion Feasible?

Experts debate the technical and financial challenges of making nuclear fusion a global power source. Look into it


A Colorado Congressman introduces EDGE legislation to support installation of small solar power systems with increased tax investment credits and to be an economic stimulus until PACE bond problems are solved. Edgy

July 26, 2010

Incredible Shrinking PV

Scientists are working on photovoltaic cells so thin, they could be used like adhesive tape. And there's more!

The Enthusiasm Gap

Was the death of the climate bill the result of tepid support or fear of the unknown?

Russian JIMs

15 carbon-reducing Russian energy projects will receive financial support under the Kyoto Protocols Joint Implementation Mechanism. Details not yet available. Stay tuned

Sea Ice & Us

A warming Arctic can cause weird weather elsewhere on the planet while sea ice is thinner than ever. Learn more

NYSERDA Plans Ahead

The New York Energy Research and Development Authority has a new strategic plan for a secure, sustainable and reliable energy future in challenging times. Fine print

July 23, 2010

Chicago Gets Korean Smart Tech

Korea will install $25 million in smart, energy efficiency technologies in Chicago buildings. Enter here

Staying Current

Here's a status report on the PACE bond front. Catch up

US Senate: Plan C

A draft memo for a new climate bill, written by electric utilities and environmental groups, is circulating in Washington. WRI report finds more than just federal action is needed

US Senate: Plan B

With climate legislation DOA, just what is the Senate's energy legislation? Think small

Town Goes BANANAs Over Wind Power

When it comes to offshore wind power Greece, New York's position is Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody. Peel here

A Bargain: Chinese PV at Rutgers

A $10 million investment in Chinese-made, low cost solar panels installed at Rutgers is saving the university $200,00 a year. Plug in

Greens Slam Gillard Over Carbon

Australia's new Prime Minister, facing August elections, takes heat for foot-dragging on climate action. Learn more

Could Be

The Senate's failure to act on a climate bill could be the start of something great. Join the conversation

July 22, 2010

UK: Climate Watchdog Out

Despite cost savings for government operations, the British Sustainable Development Commission is getting the ax. Chop chop

Can't Blame The Sun

This year is hot, hot, hot despite diminished solar radiation. Whew!

Behavior Counts

Understanding residential energy use behavior is one way to improve home energy efficiency in the absence of a price on carbon. Study here

Climate Bill: RIP

Two EPA staffers savage the offset provisions of Congress' climate bills, calling them fatally flawed. Nothing's better

The Sound Of One Shoe Dropping

The Senate will not act on a comprehensive energy bill this year and hope ebbs for a climate bill.

True or False - Market Manipulation Is Bad

Consider the impact price fixing by a major New York energy company on prospects for clean energy. It's complicated

Suicide By Coal

Just saying "no" may no longer be a bullet-proof strategy for the US coal industry. Dig in

July 21, 2010

Make It Legal

An economist's argument for passing federal cap and trade legislation rests on this fact: without legislation dirty energy will remain cheap energy. Count on it

Is Less More?

The UN seeks to pump life into a new climate agreement by lowering ratification requirements. Plan B, C or D

Want A Rebate? Hurry Up Or Wait

State rebate programs for buying energy efficient appliances diverge widely in the number of days it takes to give out what they've got. Chart it here

From The Jaws of Victory

Despite passage by the House and strong public support, the Home Star bill to boost residential energy efficiency projects, could die in the Senate. Feel defeated?

Wednesday, Wednesday

On July 21, the Federal Housing Finance Agency will announce whether it will go forward with a PACE bond finance pilot program proposed by Congress member Steve Israel. Stay tuned Update: NO NEWS YET

July 20, 2010

Watts Up With Google?

Google enters the green power market with wind purchases it resells on spot markets and uses proceeds to buy RECs for offsetting its own CO2 emissions. Search here

Please Mr. President

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and 59 other Congress members write to President Obama asking him to do what he can to save the PACE bond program. Open the letter

China: It Ain't Me Babe

China denies western media reports that it's now the biggest energy consuming nation on the planet, but it doesn't offer its own figures. Look into it

China: Walking A Fine Green Line

A new generation of Chinese environmental activists face institutional and political challenges. First steps

UK: 0.01% Is No Solution

The UK spends just 0.01% of its GDP on low-carbon energy technologies, not enough to make a difference according to a government climate committee. Invest some time

UK: Asking But Not Telling

One third of British enterprises that must make energy use date public this fall are at risk of missing the deadline. Learn more

Let The Sunshine Work

The Negev Desert could become the source of enough solar power to provide Israel 20% of its electricity by 2020. Plug in

July 19, 2010

Follow Exxon's Money

After backing away from funding climate deniers, Exxon is at it again. Targeted spending

BEST For Buildings In The Bronx

Green collar workers at BEST for Buildings go door to door in the South Bronx seeking property owners interested in weatherization and saving money. Greewire [Subscription firewall]

UK: Budget Cuts Cut Deep

A £34 million cut to the UK's low carbon programs could cripple efforts to develop and deploy climate friendly technologies. Money matters

PACE Bonds: A Legal Defense

A legal white paper on California's PACE bond program asserts that first liens do not violate the Contracts Clause of the Constitution. Approach the bench

CSS: Green - As In Not Ripe

The GAO reports carbon capture and sequestration is not a mature technology and the Department of Energy should provide more information on the current state of climate-friendly technologies. Fine print

Star Power For Geothermal

Bjork, Iceland's reigning pop star, joins the opposition to a government plan for selling a geothermal power company to a Canadian firm. Drill down

City Hall: Sort of Greener

$106 million in renovations for NYC's 200 year old City Hall will include some moderate environmental upgrades. WSJ

What Counts In Counting Carbon

A University of Nebraska study includes the carbon emissions linked to US military commitments in the Middle East when comparing the climate impact of ethanol to gasoline. Go granular

China Outstrips US Energy Use

It's official. China is the world's biggest energy consumer, burning 4% more "oil equivalent" last year than the US. WSJ

July 17, 2010

If It's Broke, Fix It

With all the plusses of the PACE bond program, why not try to fix its problems? Lots of links

July 16, 2010

A Nation Of Unbelievers

Why do reports from top US scientific organizations on the evidence of climate change get so little public respect? Ask Andy

Let Us In!

The latest wrinkle in climate legislation might be a cap and trade opt-in provisions for manufacturers. Uh-oh

Moore's Curse

Unlike Moore's law, which states that microchip capacity will double every 18-24 months, don't expect global green energy capacity to do any such thing. But don't tell these scientists at work

Born Yesterday

See what warp speed urban growth looks like in China. Just click


The Washington Post runs an ad campaign touting CO2 as green and targets federal climate legislation. Slithy toves!

Reframing Disaster

Reframe the lessons we need to learn from the BP oil disaster to get real change. Learn from Lakoff

Make Overs For Suburbia?

The new urbanism, making suburbs and cities denser and building mass transit that attracts riders, faces ongoing hurdles. Start here

NYC Business Incubator Hatches Green Chicks

After one year in operation, the Varick Street Business Incubator sees its first green business grow up and move on. Learn more

UK Cuts Green Energy Funds

The British government reverses a Labor pledge to invest $1.5 billion in private offshore wind and CCS projects with proceeds from a public assets sale. Off switch

The iPad Of Water Heaters

Homeowners flock to sleek designs for energy efficient boilers and such, along with reduced price tags courtesy of government programs. WSJ

July 15, 2010

Another Subprime Victim

The PACE bond program, an innovative way to finance energy efficiency upgrades falls victim to market fears set off by the subprime mortgage crisis. Punishing

Romm's World Cup

Get Joe Romm's take away on the World Cup, where China advertised a green technology company and the US advertised MacDonalds. Gooaal!

De: Going Underground

Germany proposes a law to regulate the capture and long-term storage of CO2. Peer in

Aim Higher

England, France and Germany call for more ambitious climate goals of cutting GHG emissions 30% by 2020 instead of the current 20% target. Want more?

Babylon Fights Back

The town of Babylon, NY rallies to keep its PACE bond program alive. Stay tuned »

July 14, 2010

CA Goes to Court

California sues Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for denying PACE loans for properties in their portfolios. CA argues the federal government cannot set local tax law rules — calls for Congress to take legislative action.

Politics & Lunch

President Obama invites Democratic Senators to have lunch with him today and discuss passage of energy legislation. Pass the CO please

Hey Big Carbon Spenders

Major European energy companies and heavy industries spent £800 million last year to buy emissions credits linked to often-controversial developing world GHG control projects. What was gained?

July 13, 2010

Renewing Portual With Renewable Power

Led by public policy, making and deploying renewable power equipment is a bright spot for the Portuguese economy. What's watt

UN: Refining Carbon Rules

An administrative overhaul of the UN's Clean Development Mechanism that issues certified emissions reductions credits should boost new project approvals. Here's how

Nuclear Reprocessing - Don't

At hearings this week, a nuclear waste watchdog will testify that reprocessing spent nuclear fuel is a bad option because of the contaminated fluids it would create. Store that

The Newer Normal

With polls showing falling support for fighting climate change, more conventional climate-as-interest-group politics could take its place. And then?


The International Energy Association predicts global oil demand will slow next year, despite economic growth, and sees a decoupling of oil consumption from economic performance. Learn more

A Friend Of Fracking

A Pennsylvania geoscientist makes the case for using hydrofracking to obtain natural gas. Drill down

Smart Water Meters

By 2012, NYC's water utility, DEP, will offer customers on-line data about how much water they are using and what it costs, but only for those with automated meters. WSJ

Keep Cool With Heat

The Department of Energy awards $2.54 million to improve a technology that converts waste heat to air conditioning. BEET-IT

July 12, 2010

Down Under: Efficiency Ahead

By 2020, efficiency could cut more GHG emissions in Australia than taking every car off the roads. Vroom!

Place Your Bets

Senate action will soon determine whether the US can act on energy or carbon before the mid-term elections. Maybe baby

New Hope For Carbon Markets

New EPA rules to control power plant pollutants like smog and acid rain could revive chances for markets that trade CO2 emissions. Stay tuned

Italy: PV Power Rising?

If Italy cuts solar power feed-in tariffs but leaves utility rates as is, experts see a near-term solar gold rush. Plug in

The 7.95% Solution

EPA rules will require that 7.95% of gasoline sold in 2011 come from renewable sources. Such as?

Media Shy

The IPCC's cautionary advice to climate scientists in dealing with the media elicits more advice. Work-in-progress

Learning By Loaning

Six case studies of government and utility clean energy loan programs paint a complex picture. Fine print

News To Me

In an era of multiple and disaggregated news media, is there one right way to report on climate science? Discuss

July 11, 2010

New Face For Climate Science

The Union of Concerned Scientists launches a media campaign to show the human side of climatologists. Friendly persuasion

July 09, 2010

A New Normal

As a hotter, different world becomes the norm, will people think that's just how it is rather than act to contain climate weirdness? Mull it over

Location Counts

Notice that last year's media coverage about charges of shoddy climate science were front page news, but recent findings that disproved the allegations were not? Look into it

Solar Saves The Day

Germany has enough solar power capacity to keep the electricity on even if a heat wave cuts conventional power supplies. Cool

Bloom Servers In Service

Tennessee gets its first Bloom energy servers, fuel cells with ultra small carbon footprints that can make electricity out of any gaseous fuel. Plug in

Energy Alternatives For Local Businesses

Small businesses in NYC are saving money by opting for energy efficiency. Learn more

World Cup Solar Sponsor

A Chinese solar panel maker advertises regularly at World Cup soccer games. Ads up

What's It All About?

Take a wide-angle view of overlaps between international arms and spy politics with energy interests. Connecting dots

Did Obama Use The C Word?

At Kansas City fundraiser, President Obama's called for electric cars, clean energy and more jobs, but was silent on controlling carbon. Read it

New Jersey All Stars

Federal stimulus funds allow New Jersey to extend rebates for the purchase of efficient Energy Star home appliances. Plug in

July 08, 2010

Don't Do Debt

The Treasury Department issues new rules that requires banks to reduce a home equity line of credit to take account of a home's PACE bond loan. Bang, bang

Australia: Thinking It Over

The Australian government announces it will review its plan for a carbon market in 2012. Is that all folks?

Cheaper Capture

The US Energy Department will spend $67 million to find less costly ways of capturing CO2 emissions from coal-burning power plants. And then?

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

The Department of Energy fails to live up to its own energy efficiency recommendations. Learn to save

Green Leasing In Portland

New Yorkers talk about green leases, in Portland Oregon they're inking them. Go west

Climate Bill Would Cut Deficit

The Congressional Budget Office reports that with passage of the Kerry-Lieberman climate bill, the federal deficit would decrease $19 billion while discretionary spending would increase by $48 billion. Here's how

July 07, 2010

Less Carbon For Liverpool

1,200 inner city Liverpool homes will get smart meters, solar panels or wind turbines and plug ins to recharge electric cars from a Scottish utility. Learn by doing

Climate Bill Soon? What It Needs

If the Senate acts on climate and energy, here are ten ideas to include. Read on

No Climate Bill, Now What?

Seven observers ones weigh in on moving past a failed Senate climate bill to actions that can make a difference. Think hard

Kill The Messenger?

US climate scientists are targets of hate mail and death threats with spikes linked to "high-profile attack pieces on talk radio and other fringe media outlets." Look into it

China: Fossil Fuel Tax

China imposes a 5% tax on coal, oil and natural gas mined in its western provinces with revenues going to support regional development. Dig in

UK: Tidying Up

The government agency responsible for handling waste from the UK's nuclear power plants has a plan but no disposal sites. Stay tuned

July 06, 2010

Hot Enought For You?

US cities report record heat in June. 101 in July

To Act Or Not To Act

How should a society decide which future risks to confront or how to calculate the costs of inaction? Start here

Greece: Think Regional

Greece calls for a Mediterranean area approach to solving climate problems in the absence of global action. Look into it

Economists Don't Do Energy

What do economist have to say about what's coming in an energy constrained world? Not much

Thumbs Up To IPCC Report

In yet another show of support for the findings of 2007 IPCC report on climate change, a Dutch study concludes that it stands up to scrutiny. OK

Canararies: Eco Rating At Risk

Too much beach front development threatens the UN designation of Lanzarote as an eco-tourist destination. Truth-in-labeling


Looking for a more compelling, clear and effective way to explain the greenhouse gas effect? Model talk & comments

Aiming For Zero

By combining old-fashioned building design and 21st century energy technology, a new federal research lab can be an off-the-grid net zero energy star. Unplug

Samso: The Little Island That Could

The Danish island of Samso launched a self-sufficient, renewable energy project in 1997. Progress report

July 04, 2010

Green Rx: Take For Financial Blues

Carbon taxes or cap and trade can be a powerful cure for the Great Recession amd help reduce long-term deficits. Learn more

DOE Can't Lien On PACE

The federal mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac turn down a Department of Energy appeal to support PACE bond financing for home energy improvements. Stop by or Visit Grist

July 02, 2010

Fannie/Freddie Bonds Thrive

Investors snap up government-backed home mortgage bonds, keeping interest rates for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issues at historic lows. WSJ

Off Gas

Should the environmental cost of obtaining natural gas should rule it out as the transition fuel of choice? Look into it

The Banana's Footprint

Wonder what the carbon footprint of a banana might be and how it compares to other things you like to eat? Dig in

Energy Hedge Funds Sink

European energy hedge funds worth $158 million have closed this year based on sliding prices. You bet

What's Up In Brooklyn?

Eagle Street in Brooklyn is home to a thriving roof-top farm. E-I-E-I-O

Nuclear North

Finland and Sweden vote for more nuclear power plants. Plug in

It's Not Easy Being Smeared

A climate change scientist accused by climate deniers of distorting research data is cleared by his university. Climategate NOT

July 01, 2010


Households with smart electric meters show modest consumption cuts, but for deeper cuts, utilities will have to do a lot more. Wise up

EU: New Power Plan

An EU renewable energy plan for 2020 proposes sweeping increases in onshore and offshore wind power. Plug in

Denmark's Energy Portal

Check out this interactive green energy resources map from Denmark. Head north