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News & Views Curation

July 29, 2011

PlaNYC For The Long-Haul

How can long-term urban environmental blueprints like PlaNYC survive the short-run election cycle?

UK: Green Light For Nuclear Project

For the first time in two decades, the UK approves construction of the a new nuclear power plant.

Japan: Nuclear Update

The future of the Japanese fleet of 54 nuclear reactors is still in play

Record-Breaking Weird Weather

The cost of severe weather events in the US is set to break records in 2011 and offer a taste of what's in store.

Looking For Permanent Volunteers

The Obama administration seeks localities willing to become permanent hosts for nuclear waste.

C+WM=Hot Climate Politics

What is it about Conservative White Males (C+WM) that form the core of US climate deniers and is there any solution to the climate equation?

NYC Green Building Info Resources

Check out this New York City web page loaded with information and links to new programs in its Greener, Greater Building Plan.

Free Energy Audits And Low-Interest Loans

With $5.6 million, NYSERDA funds free energy audits for small businesses and non-profits and creates a $13 million low-interest energy efficiency loan program for saving money every month.

UK: City-centric

The UK government creates a minister for cities to focus national policies and make urban areas its engines of economic revival.

July 28, 2011

Arctic Fire

A 2007 tundra fire in Alaska, a previously rare event, had climate feedback implications and doubled the size of Arctic burnt areas.

Toyota Supports US CAFE Proposal

Toyota is set to support President Obama's new auto fuel economy standards of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

Rubber Bands And Opinion Trends

An annual poll of Californians' opinions on environment and climate topics reveals changes that come and go and some that stick.

Germany's Post-Nuclear Strategy

Germany develops a three-part energy strategy for a post-nuclear power system.

What Zero Adds Up To

The House appropriations bill for international climate and energy efforts is a string of zeros.

France: Nuclear Industry Pulse

While order for fuel are down and its CEO is out, other parts of France's nuclear power giant, Areva, hold up.

Permaculture Takes Root

From NYC to San Francisco, and some places in between, permaculture is the thing to do.

July 27, 2011

Affordable Gold In Brooklyn

CAMBA a 209 unit Brooklyn housing development that aims at LEED Gold status and includes apartments for low income and special needs residents gets the green light.

Isle Of Lewis: Wave Power Loser

Losing its German utility partner, the word's biggest wave power project on Scotland's Lewis Island could fail.

Catching Up With C40

Rohit Aggarwalla, special advisor to the C-40 initiative, explains what cities working together can do to face their climate challenges.

London: Smart City Spending

Research Council awarded a £5.9m grant to the "digital city exchange" programme of Imperial College for establishing a smart cities tech center.

No LEED For Defense Department

The proposed federal budget zeros out funding for the Defense Department to obtain LEED certification for its buildings.

Cities In Hot Water

US cities face rising water-related risks from global warming.

The Lord Said To Noah

Wade into New York City's resilience planning for mid-century storms and floods linked to to a hotter planet.

Seoul: Extreme Storm

A record-breaking 11.5 inch rainstorm floods Seoul, South Korea.

NY Fracking Advisor: Job Description

While NY's Governor Cuomo has named a panel of hydrofracking advisors, expectations about its role are unclear and the Department of Energy looks for a role to provide scientific and environmental advice on this hotly-contested technology.

July 26, 2011

Fortune And Green Jobs

New York's Fortune Society uses a federal grant to train ex-offenders in green job skills, expecting to place 42 members of the graduating class.

The Limits To Climate 'Pragmatism'

Michael Levi asks what to make of the Breakthrough Institute climate agenda, which eschews the goal of avoiding big-time climate changes.

More Nuclear Power For The Planet

A UN watchdog agency predicts global use of nuclear power will increase.

Time To Convert

Sit in on the REBNY seminar about how NYC buildings can convert from using #6 oil for heat and hot water to #4, #2 or natural gas and read this EDF FAQ

Burned Up Over Gas Burn Off

New oil and gas hydrofrackers in Texas and North Dakota flare off gas rather than keeping out of the atmosphere.

$50 Million Bet At Vermont Yankee

Owners of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant spend $50 million on new fuel, hoping the facility will not be shut down by the state.

Denaturing America

House Republicans vow to pass crippling policy riders for the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency along with severe funding cuts.

Gore Sees A Denial Pattern

Al Gore makes the case for a shared identity of debt ceiling deniers and climate deniers.

July 25, 2011

GHGs: The Chart

Here's a color-coded chart graphing the sources of the globe's GHG burden.

Relocate Your Grandkids

Global warming will increase flood-vulnerable areas of the US 40-45% by the end of the century.

Vacation Bummer

If a House appropriations vote scheduled for his week become law, environmental quality at favorite US vacation destinations will suffer.

Trends In Rating Energy Performance

The idea of rating and comparing buildings' energy performance is catching on around the US.

Putting Sustainability On Local Agendas

A survey finds local governments are just beginning to tackle sustainability issues.

Traders Shun Carbon Market

The global market to purchase carbon offsets while protecting forests attracts few buyers.

China: The Winning PV Game Plan

China beats the PV competition with a business model that generates funds for developing new technologies.

China: Bullet Train Background

After the fatal crash of a Chinese bullet train, take a look into what's driving the plan.

July 22, 2011

EU: Carbon Market Distress

What's ailing the EU's carbon emissions trading system?

Indonesia: Renewables Rise, Coal Too

Economic growth in Indonesia propels hydro & geothermal power expansion, but coal use will rise to 60% of the energy mix.

London: Fuel Efficient Cabbies

Can London taxi drivers cut fuel use by changing their driving habits?

Fort Worth Faces Fracking Disposal Decision

Local authorities must vote on a moratorium slated to end on July 31 on reusing salty, chemical-laced fracking fluid from wells in Fort Worth, Texas.

Don't Bake In The Big Apple

No AC? Find a cooling center in your NYC neighborhood. Meanwhile, state budget cuts make it hard for some to pay their utility bills.

A Climate Tale Of 2 Cities

Consider the different ways Washington and New York approach the climate change challenge.

Growing The Grid

Federal regulators roll out rules to make the nation's electric power grid more cohesive and friendly to renewable energy.

July 21, 2011

Steelmakers Sue EU Carbon Scheme

Calling EU standards for free carbon emissions permits unrealistic, steelmakers sue the European carbon market governing body.

Climate History: More Than Academic

James Hansen & Makiko Sato explain why understanding the dynamics of Earth's paleoclimate is key to understanding what's happening now.

Bloomberg $$ Fights Coal Power

Bloomberg Philanthropies gives the Sierra Club $50 million for its campaign against coal-fired power plants and for more clean energy.

Fracking: NY's Green Family Feud

Will the fight over hydrofracking for natural gas extraction split New York's environmental movement?

TV Drama

Watch climate scientist Steven Schneider take on Australian climate skeptics -- it's worth 45 minutes of your day.

UN Skips A Climate Decision

The UN won't decide whether climate change impacts will cause peacekeeping threats.

New Amsterdam And Old In 2040

Imagine New York City and Amsterdam, both shoreline cities, in 2040 at this summer exhibition.

July 20, 2011

Fukushima: Situation 'Stabilized'

Conditions at the devastated Fukushima nuclear power reactors have been stabilized and plans for a final shutdown can begin. Here's what a final teardown looks like.

PACE Revival

PACE, a program to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades in homes and offices that sank under the weight of federal officialdom, may see the light if new legislation passes Congress.

NY Frack S-DGEIS Questions

With the release of New York's proposed supplemental environmental review on hydrofracking for natural gas, questions start rolling in.

China Buys Canada Oil Biz

A major Chinese oil extractor buys Canadian oil sands reserves for $2.1 billion.

Boulder: Energy Ballot Breakdown

Plans for a November energy ballot in Boulder, Colorado break down on a dispute about wind power between the city and its electric utility.

Japan: Avoidance Behavior

The Financial Times editorializes about the absence of short or long term government decisions on Japan's energy future.

Weird Weather Galore

Heat records set around the nation while some places are more humid than ever and other more arid. Good time for some cool cooling ideas.

Probabilities And Climate Action

"When you make a decision about the future -- whether it is based on theory or observation -- it is a sort of gamble. You can never know what is going to happen. When we make decisions about how to tackle climate change it is no different," David Stainforth, Confidence in Climate project

ARPA-E Good News/Bad News

The House votes to give DOE's energy research wing, ARPA-E, an $80 million budget boost, but this falls far short of recommended targets.

Quebec: Carbon Trade On The Way

Quebec kicks off a carbon trading pilot program in 2012 covering 100 facilities, with carbon caps coming in 2013.

Urban Arborist: A Day In The Life

Learn what a Brooklyn arborist does and maybe you'll want to do it too.

July 19, 2011

Sun Rises In The East

China's ascendancy in the global PV equipment sector is felt in Europe

India: Uranium Find

Despite the discovery of large uranium deposits, India is unable to be self-sufficient in fuel for its nuclear power plants.

Leafs Sprouting

US sales of the Leaf electric car are strong enough for Nisssan to raise the sticker price.

Closed Wiki, Closed Minds

The climate-change denying Heartland Institute launches a closed climate change wiki.

Est. 1830, Green 2011

Here's a menu of ideas about how the venerable Henry Street Settlement, located in 1830-era row houses, could go 21st Century green.

Equity For Euro-Solar Power

A US private equity investor joins with Munich Re in 42 Spanish and Italian PV projects.

Congestion Pricing Fogs A Mirror

Signs of life for a congestion pricing program have been detected in Albany.

July 18, 2011

Fracking In PA

This American Life drills deep into the science and politics of hydrofracking for natural gas in Pennsylvania.

Australia: Don't Tax Our Carbon

Polling finds 53% of Australian voters oppose a tax on carbon emissions.

High Speed Rail: Mind The Gap

Will Obama Administration hopes for high speed trains get derailed in California due to a funding gap? Meanwhile NYC's aging transit resources are stuck in a rut.

UK: What Would Labour Do

Enough about Murdochgate! What about a green growth policy in Britain if the Conservative government falls?

Meet The Climate Historian

Historian Naomi Oreskes is a leading defender of the climate science profession and its work.

White House Visits Brooklyn Green Jobs Magnet

The head of the President's Council on Environmental Quality visits IceStone the energy efficient Brooklyn manufacturer of kitchen counters made from recycled glass.

Hong Kong: Baby, It's Cold Indoors

Frigid air conditioning is not the right response to Hong Kong's scorching summers.

Redskins Go Green

The Washington Redskins stadium is getting 2 MW of solar power while promoting renewable power to the fan base.

NYC: New Tech U

Mayor Bloomberg takes another step in creating a top-tier science & engineering university campus in NYC

Investors Alert For Carbon Bubble

Are institutional investment managers overweighted in fossil fuel stocks that are forming a risky carbon bubble?

July 15, 2011

US Tide Power Potential

Explore this interactive map of tide power potential for the US being developed by Georgia Tech.

India: King Coal

The Indian state of Andhra Pradesh is poised to build 37 coal-fired power plants and is on course to become a world-class GHG emitter.

Japan: From TVs To Green Homes

Panasonic plans to convert former factories into homes in Japan with energy efficient appliances and PV panels.

Australian Firm Gets US Shale Gas Assets

Australian-based BHP Billiton snaps up its second US shale gas company for $12.1 billion. Reuters commentary

The Winningest Energy Stars

The federal government rolls out a new Energy Star pilot program that covers an array of the most efficient gear-in-class.

July 14, 2011

Putting Aging Aqueducts At Risk

A national environmental group fears that New York's proposed hydrofracking rules will imperil the decades-old underground tunnels which supply New York City's drinking water

Turning Up The Heat

Scorching summer temperatures in the midwest are heading east.

Beware The Great Unraveling

While climate change might be our undoing in the long run, Vaclav Smil thinks the Great Unraveling of the world's rich economies will get us first.

France: Open To Wind Power

France shows a rising interest in wind power with 148 MW of installed capacity.

London: Anger Over Air Pollution

Clean air activists in London are alarmed over lack of progress and policy rollbacks.

Endless Carbon Could Cost A Lot

Adding to a controversial aspect of climate policy, a new study pegs the social cost CO2 levels at $900 per ton of CO2 emissions.

Hot Science

MIT uses nanotubes to build a rechargeable battery that stores solar heat to create energy.

Renewables Inch Up

While US renewable power numbers are rising, is this trend enough to make a difference?

Rx For Bike-Phobia

In cities across Europe, people are riding bikes to get around, but not in American metropolises. What's the problem?

Cool Roof Research

Research models the urban temperature impact of cool urban surfaces and also considers large solar arrays.

July 13, 2011

Japan: A Post-Nuclear Era

If Japan shuts down its nuclear power plants, it will miss its GHG reduction goals by a wide margin. Meanwhile, heatstroke deaths rise as power production stays low.

TKO In Lightbulb Battle

The Congressional effort to toss out light bulb efficiency standards blows a fuse while, as a result of the 2007 efficiency law, technical innovations in 21st century lighting booms.

Build Better Buildings

The federal Better Building Challenge kicks off with 14 partners who will mobilize private investment to make commercial and residential buildings more energy efficient while sharing their how-to strategies.

Good News Is Bright Green

The Brookings Institute reports a booming US the clean industry sector with 2.7 million jobs and high export values. BTW, which metro area ranks #1 in clean industry jobs?

Up On The Highline

It's summertime and New York City is filled with public art in its parks, streets, roofs and storefronts.

China: Wind Project Tempest

The business relationship between a Chinese wind turbine maker and American Superconductor is in disarray over technology access and slow markets.

July 12, 2011

NYC Gets Less From Indian Point

OK, this story about how Indian Point, seeking higher profit margins, is selling less power to New York City, ran in December 2010, but it's news to me

Microgrids Join the Military

The US military deploys electric power microgrids in Afghanistan to cut dependence on the tough task of trucking in fossil fuel.

India: Environmental Minister Ousted

Jairam Ramesh, India's activist environmental minister is blamed for blocking development and loses his cabinet seat.

California: Zero x 30

California wants to build a zero net energy (ZNE) homes and offices future by 2030.

House Energy Votes

The House will vote on Tuesday on cuts to energy efficiency and education funding, while other energy and environmental budget bills are pending.

How To Get A Green Job

Looking for a career in the green space? Look here

Park Here

New York City could seek private investors to modernize its municipal parking meter system.

Life Is Not Elsewhere

Only if people have a sense of place in their cities and neighborhoods will a sustainability agenda thrive.

July 11, 2011

Clean Air: The Sporting Thing

Make the connection between air pollution and its toll on athletes and youth.

What's In A Word

Does it matter that at last week's Presidential Twitter-Town Hall, Obama chose words like "clean" energy, but did not say "green" or "sustainable"?

Huntsman Hires Environmentalist

Republican Presidential hopeful John Huntsman names environmental activist, Mark McIntosh, as his energy advisor.

Australia: Global Climate Leader

With coal-reliant Australia's commitment to cutting GHG emissions via a carbon tax and a market price, it could re-energize climate actions around the world but will Prime Minster Gillard prevail at home?

A Dimmer Tea Party

With only a handful of successful Tea Party-inspired energy proposals, will its light bulb bill go dark?

Rx For Indian Point

To keep the lights on in NYC and Westchester if Indian Point is shut down, what are the power transmission options? and what would be the local economic impact?

Study Your School At School

For students in high performance school buildings, a green curriculum is all around them.

Home Imprivements: The Window

The ABC's of window installation and energy efficiency.

July 08, 2011

The Time Is Could Be Now

Here's the argument for reauthorizing a federal transportation law in 2011.

UK: PV Launch Beats The Clock

With steep cuts in electric feed-in support coming in August, 2.4 MW of PV go on-line in Britain.

EU: The End For Bio-Diesel

A report documenting the ecological downside of biofuel production may signal the end for this industry in the EU

NYC Needs Bike Death Inquest

After the recent road deaths of three NYC bike riders, iis it time for a publicly-available Police Department study of what happened and how City streets can be made safe?

Muni Laws Could Stop Fracking

Plans to drill for natural gas with hydrofracking that don't meet local legal standards could be stopped in court if local officials sue - or drillers might sue them.

Seeking Cuomo's New Power Support

Governor Cuomo is being urged to get behind a project to bring Canadian hydropower to the NYC area through a cable buried in the Hudson River.

Canada: Investing in Light Rail

Ottowa, Vancouver and other Canadian cities get federal funds to build light rail systems for decreasing their traffic congestion problems and improving their economic competitiveness.

Cap and Trade Extinction

In the US and around the world, why are cap and trade programs for cutting GHG emissions fading away?

Climate Change At Murdoch's Media Empire

Beyond the hackinging headlines about Murdoch's media empire, is there a generational shift coming on its climate opinions?

July 07, 2011

NY Eco-Layoff Rumor

Will the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation lay off 86 staffers, including scientists, engineers and attorneys, today?

Australia Counts Carbon Taxpayers

Australia calculates that 500 companies will have to pay a carbon tax, while households will be compensated.

House Bulldozes EPA Budget

If The Supreme Court thinks EPA has a climate job to do, apparently Congress does not based on its EPA budget cuts.

Solar Could Be Smarter

The potential for getting electricity from PV panels atop New York City schools and other roofs could be an energy game changer.

Japan: Nuclear Stress

The restart of nuclear power plants in Japan is likely to be delayed by local government objections.

Huhne's High Climate Anxiety

British Cabinet member Chris Huhne explains why climate change is a 'systemic risk' to food, water energy security, human health, trade flows and political stability.

Working In The Climate Corps

What happens when a volunteer environmental army, the EDF Climate Corps, fans out into corporate America?

July 06, 2011

The Price Of Fuel and H2O

What's the link between US diesel fuel prices and the cost of water used at China's coal-burning power plants?

Continents Apart

Media coverage of climate change in the US and Europe is a study in contrasts

Tweet The President

Got a climate question for President Obama today? Ask it

EPA Stays The Course

The EPA says it is committed to its agenda for issuing a host of hotly contested air pollution and CO2 rules.

Voters' Eco Choices

Scholars find Democrats and Independents are more likely to vote for candidates favoring climate and green policies while Republicans voters respond neutrally.

UK: Home In A Green Cube

Visit a 1.000 cubic foot home that's carbon neutral, offers all the mod cons and generates income.

Japan: Radioactive Soil

Radioactive cesium above regulated thresholds is detected in the soil of a Japanese city 60 kilometers from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plants.

UK: Warm Nuclear Welcome

The British energy minister calls for nation to become a magnet for new nuclear power plants. Learn more

July 05, 2011

NY Frack Advisors

The first appointments to the New York DEC hydrofracking advisory council are made. Naming names

NYC: Retrofitting History

There are many opportunities to green NYC's trove of historic building. Start here

US 1, China 0

The World Trade Organization rules in favor of a US complaint over China's 'green' export restrictions. Trade up

Cuomo v Indian Point

Can Governor Cuomo succeed in shutting down the Indian Point nuclear power plant if it keeps its federal operating permit? Consider this

Top Markets For Green Building

Which US cities top the index in the second annual survey of green building opportunities and why? Look into it

EU: Let's Not Cut Carbon Emissions

The European parliament blocks a move to increase its CO2 cutting target from 20% to 30%. What, we worry?

China: Coal Burning Cloaks Climate Change

Release of sulfur into the air from Chinese coal burning tamps down rising global temperatures. Say what?

Urban Ratings Are Question Dependent

Explore the input that shapes the output in trendy urban sustainability ratings.

Argentina: Fracking A Dead Cow

Vaca Muerta, or "dead cow" contains Argentine oil deposits that could be obtained by hydrofracking. Moo-ve over

Canada: Green Power And Green Jobs

A political fight brews over growing a green economy as wind and solar projects advance in Ontario, Canada. Learn more

Fracking In Poland

Poland has much to gain and much to lose if it uses hydrofracking to extract its natural gas resources. Drill down

July 04, 2011

Fish In Briny Brooklyn

A Brooklyn College Lab is home to tilapia; could this become a new way to fish for supper?

Water v Wind

With a water glut in the northwest, hydropower drowns out wind power. Dive in

July 01, 2011

Japan:The Mother Of Invention

With power supplies slashed, Major Japanese manufacturers are changing the way they work to cut energy use by 15%. A must

Reactor Safety Concerns

Westinghouse, maker of the AP 1000 nuclear power generator, seeks to reassure the NRC about its safety and pave the way for 14 new US power plants. EE News [Subscription]

Sunny Upside For NYC

Now that NYC has a solar map, it's time to crunch some solar power numbers. Start counting

UK: Green And Black Energy Up

Britain reports sharp increases in the use of renewable energy sources and coal for creating electric power. Plug in

Fracking In Texas

What's the scorecard on hydrofracking for oil in Texas? Wins & losses

CO2 - Then And Now

What is the PETM and why do climate scientists care about it now? Find out

Crackdown On Chinese Eco-Activists

Budding public participation in decisions like building new hydropower projects, is nipped in China. Learn more