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News & Views Curation

August 31, 2011

Saved By An Inch

If harbor waters had risen by one more inch during Hurricane Irene, subways and tunnels in Manhattan would have been flooded.

Greenland: Pictures Of The Collapse

Before & after photos of the collapse of a portion of Greenland's Petermann Glacier, which was four-times bigger than Manhattan.

Evidence-Based LEED

Starting next year, buildings with LEED ratings will need to do more than put a plaque on the front door.

Working Science

What's the significance of those charts with wavy lines and zig-zags where scientists plot global climate data?

California RAMs It

Not everyone is pleased with the California Renewable Auction Mechanism, a market mechanism for creating 1000 MW of renewable energy in two years, without using costly feed-in tariffs.

The Economy And The EPA

Battle lines are shaping up for the coming combat over economic policy and jobs, with Republicans putting the EPA and greenhouse gas rules in their cross-hairs.

August 30, 2011

Green Jobs Pay More

Why do both highly-educated and low-credentialed workers get better paid compared to employees in conventional jobs?

Grow Greens On Greenpoint Roofs

Lettuce and other veggies and herbs are sprouting up on a Brooklyn roof.

Landmark Green

New Yorkers soon will have a guide for making their smaller landmarked buildings energy efficient.

Raise Your Wind IQ

The smart grid offers crucial -- if partial -- solutions for making wind power a regular part of the energy supply system.

Canada: Green Fatigue

Canadians report they are cynical about eco-claims for pricey products and disaffected with the green agenda.

Something In The Flood Water

Pesticides, sewage and other noxious things washed into Hurricane Irene's flood waters, adding an unnatural element to a natural disaster.

Germany: Facing Its Energy Future

Opinion piece or news story? the implications of Germany's decision to shutter its nuclear power plants start to appear.

August 29, 2011

Smarter Than Hurricanes

Making the case for smart electric grids that could keep the lights on despite severe weather events.

Wind From The East

While European wind turbine makers dominate world markets, China's turbine industry, with a slowdown in domestic installations, is gears up for exports.

Sunny Side Up

Energy experts predict the world could get half its power from the sun by 2060.

Raise The Gas Tax

Set to lapse on September 30, a Bloomberg News editorial calls for the federal fuel tax to be renewed and raised over time to benefit roads, tunnels and mass transit.

TX: Wind Power Star

During a scorching summer, Texas wind power exceeds expectations and helps keep Texans cool

Reimagining The Brooklyn Navy Yard

What would an ecological cutting-edge, thought experiment for new Brooklyn Navy Yard docks look like?

Rising Climate Consciousness

Polls report growing consumer concerns about the effects of climate change in Latin America and the Asia Pacific region and multi-national companies are taking note.

US Solar Surplus

in 2010, the US posted a $1.88 billion trade surplus in raw materials and equipment to make finished solar power products.

August 28, 2011

Too Cool

It's time to rethink and reset summertime thermostats.

August 27, 2011

NYC Incubates Hope

NYC leads the way on hatching new green tech businesses and products at its urban incubators.

August 26, 2011

China: WikiLeaks Reveal US Nuke Anxiety

US diplomatic cables expressing high anxiety about shoddy technology and increased risk of accidents at China's nuclear power plants are disclosed by WikiLeaks.

Japan: Financing Cloud Over Solar Power

Japan's plan to shift to solar and other forms of renewable power depends on willing investors.

Why A Climate Scientist Reaches Out Now

"We cannot afford to wait until the full effects of climate change become known and say, 'Oh, this is not the future I really wanted, can I just kind of roll back time a few decades and knock all that carbon dioxide out of the air and make some different choices?'"Katharine Hayhoe, Texas climate scientist

Utopia v The New Normal

Instead of pinning hopes on building a few visionary green cities from scratch, city building codes should require efficiency and durability for all construction.

Western Power At The Crossroads

Energy, environmental and regulatory experts make the case for 11 western states to invest in renewable energy and a smart grid instead of fossil fuels and analog technology.

A Second Look At Geoengineering

The idea of planet-wide engineering to cool the planet gets a second look in Washington.

SAVE Act For Homes

Keep an eye out for Congressional action on SAVE, the Sensible Accounting to Value Energy Act that would favor energy efficient homes by requiring federal loan agencies to include projected energy costs when determining mortgage values. More info here.

August 25, 2011

NYC Looks To Green Its Sewage Treatment System

As NYC's largest energy users, 22 sewage treatment plants usually do a good job but rainy weather changes everything and now a debate over "green infrastructure" rages.

World's Top Ethanol Exporter

The US is set to overtake Brazil as the world leading exporter of ethanol this year, but Brazilian exports to the US could rise shortly.

Staying Dry

New York City maps areas vulnerable to flooding and hurricane storm surges and where to go if evacuation is necessary.

Australia: Carbon Price Prediction

The cost of carbon emissions permits in Australia is projected to drop from A$25 to A$16 during the first year of market trading.

Green MBA Job Futures

Graduates with MBAs that focus on environmental studies find bright job prospects

Van Jones v NY Times

Political activist Van Jones accuses the New York Times of getting a story about green jobs all wrong by misrepresenting what he's frustrated about.

Pipeline Battle In Puerto Rico

Plans for a 93 mile long natural gas pipeline, sponsored by the Governor of Puerto Rico, arouses local and Congressional opposition.

CA Cap and Trade Inches Forward

California's clean air regulator, CARB, reaffirms the state's carbon cap and trade plan, but new legal challenges could lie ahead.

Cross Winds

Getting 1,500 MW of mostly wind power to utility customers in the west and southwest could depend on a pending court decision whether to block construction of electric transmission lines between Montana and Idaho.

August 24, 2011

It's Green It's Platinum, It's In Victoria

Take a tour of Dockside Green, a new LEED Platinum center-city neighborhood in Victoria, British Columbia.

Canada: Investing In 54.5 MPG

Federal and state government in Canada pours millions of dollars into university R&D and a battery parts plant to help buildhe next generation of vehicles that must meet US 54.5 MPG standards.

Japan: The Nuclear Blame Game

The Japanese government claims the utility owner of the Fukushima nuclear power plant knew prior to the earthquake and tsunami that it would not withstand a major natural disaster.

Maine Gets Millions For Wind

The DOE gives $102 million in loan guarantees to build 50.6 MW of wind power and a transmission line in Maine.

Decongesting Stockholm, London And...

There's more than one way to do congestion pricing as this comparison of Stockholm and London programs reveals. Also, four cities that could use some congestion pricing.

212 Arrests At White House

Protesting the pending Obama Administration approval of a plan to import oil from Canadian tar sands, 212 demonstrators have been arrested in front of the White House. Need some background on the pipeline project? (Update 8/24 2:40 pm 275 arrested)

Life As We Know It

Earth is home to at least 8.7 million species, most of them live on land and the majority are insects.

Greening Gown And Town

While college sustainability is all the rage, green efforts beyond the campus are just starting.

August 23, 2011

EU: Contemplating Kyoto

The EU considers whether to voluntarily honor the Kyoto Climate Protocol after it expires.

Speculating On Oil

Cracks appear in the consensus that today, fundamentals not speculation put a global price on oil.

LEED Foe Fails In Court

A federal court dismisses a law suit against the US Green Building Council for false advertising on the energy performance of LEED-certified buildings.

Don't Mourn, Organize

If it's not a white, liberal, elite mindset that accounts for failed climate action politics, what does?

Hot Seat On The Science Beat

What should reporters on the science beat do when covering candidates like Rick Perry who blow off the science on political hot-potatoes like climate?

August 22, 2011

The Lower East Side Gets Cooler

35,000 square feet of rooftop space on Manhattan's Lower East Side will be painted white to stay cool.

Furor Over Oil From Tar Sands

Look into the Keystone XL pipeline story for the hottest domestic energy policy debate of the year.

RGGI Battle-Lines

Hoping to tighten its carbon caps, RGGI, the nation's only carbon cap and trade program could either gain traction or lose big-time in 2012 as Governor Christie vetoes a bill that would restore New Jersey into the program.

2011: Hyper Hurricane Year

2011 is shaping up to be a very active for hurricanes, with Irene, the ninth of the year.

Parsing Perry's Energy Policy

EPA cuts are squarely in Rick Perry's campaign sites, but what's the significance of his Texas energy policy?

NY Sketches Its Smart Grid

Everybody's talking about the smart grid, here's what New York is doing about it.

August 20, 2011

Obama's Eco Skeptics

With major environmental rule decisions pending, greens raise red flags about the Obama administration.

August 19, 2011

Green Roof Curmudgeon

Saying dirt is not insulation, this green building fan grumps about green roofs.

Everyone's Talking

Now it's time to talk about climate change when talking about the weather.

Antarctica: Go With The Flow

Scientists map and NASA animates the transcontinental movement of Antarctic ice.

Green Investment Drought

With the global economic downtown, the green technology goes thirsty as investor funds dry up.

A New Climate Action Alliance

Water utilities link up with climate scientists to more accurately predict area-specific climate change impacts, including droughts and floods, to ensure quality service and reliability for their customers.

Green Job Growth Slow

Why has the number of new green jobs fallen below expectations?

Huntsman Stands Up For Climate Science

Alone among Republican Presidential hopefuls, John Huntsman tweets "To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy."

Crowd-Sourcing In Action

Want to combat climate change? Get together and do something.

US Hobbled In Polar Race

As the icebound Arctic Ocean melts, the US will face challenges because it never signed the UN Law of the Sea treaty.

NYC's Electric History

Since the 1880's, New York has depended on Edison's electric power system but now new solutions are needed to keep Gotham plugged in.

A Climate Science Refresher

Why does pumping CO2 into the atmosphere cause climate chaos and what's wrong with the Galileo Movement denial?

August 18, 2011

So Cool, It's School

Does your school or alma mater make the cut on the Sierra Magazine list of America's coolest, greenest schools?

China: Focused Carbon Caps

China considers imposing carbon caps on selected areas of the country.

Brazil: High Noon For Wind

An energy auction in Brazil this week will demonstrate whether wind power is ready for prime-time. UPDATE: Wind wins

AG Demands Gas-Drilling Data

The New York Attorney General subpoenas three energy companies about the accuracy of data on gas reserves given to their investors, including the State's pension fund.

Saudi Arabia: 16x31

Saudi Arabia plans to build 20 nuclear power plants over the next two decades at a cost of $112 billion.

Be Careful What You Wish For

Michelle Bachmann's promise of $2-a-gallon fuel can mean only one thing, another Great Recession.

City Flexes Its Mussels

New York City uses mussels, instead of steel and concrete to clean up pollution in Jamaica Bay.

Perry Takes Heat On Global Warming

Rick Perry's hostile views on climate action are challenged in New Hampshire whilethe Jon Huntsman campaign takes a swing at the Texan's climate denier stance.

August 17, 2011

Happy Feet Heads Home

Happy Feet, the penguin that waddled ashore on a New Zealand beach, is heading home to Antarctica.

NYC's New Green Leader

Carter Strickland, Jr. is the new commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

India: Coal Is Golden

Coal India surges to the highest market-valued company in an economy pressing for power.

Trout Fishing In America

Trout-fishing won't be the same as climate change warms US rivers and alters rainfall and snowmelt patterns..

August 16, 2011

The Latest In LEED

Soon, buldings can earn LEED points if they participate in electricity demand-response programs, which relieve power system stress.

Canada: A Carbon Tax Victory

British Columbia, with no help from the federal government imposes a popular carbon tax.

North Goes South For Carbon Credits

The Nordic Carbon Fund invests in ten Indian and southeast Asian clean energy projects by purchasing UN-backed emissions credits.

Germany: Cloudy Solar Business

Facing lower revenues, a German solar panel maker cuts 15% of its work force and closes a manufacturing plant in Arizona.

Cities Factor In Climate Risks

Cities begin to enhance long-term security by factoring climate risks into their physical design.

Earth Is Also A Garden In Space

Gee, wish I could write like Diane Ackerman.

Water: Business Lifeblood

A US business alliance will assess access to a reliable supply of water as a fundamental part of risk assessment for companies around the world.

The Political Climate

A political scientist looks at pubic opinion and political fund-raising data to explain the polarization and rightward shift of US politics.

Age Mattters

The US power plant fleet ranges in age from 60+ to less than ten years and the fashion in fuel options shifts over time.

Sustainable Creditworthiness

If S&P wants to accurately rate US creditworthiness, it should assess how the nation values its environmental resources.

August 15, 2011

Rick Perry On Green Issues

What does Presidential hopeful Rick Perry think of the nation's environmental needs? Not much

Germany: Plug In And Go Far

German students build an electric car that travels 1,013.77 miles on a single charge.

Germany: Carbon Fraudsters On Trial

Six traders on trial for for $282 million in tax evasion on the European carbon emissions trading market could face jail time.

Israel: Energy Efficient Bacteria

Israelis develop a fuel cell to clean up sewage with energy-saving bacteria and attract international investment.

Muddy CAFE

CAFE, the newly tightened, federal fuel efficiency standards are only as good as the metrics EPA devises for auto makers.

What Makes Social Movements Move

Thesis: A movement to do something about climate change need organization to make things happen. Is climate organizing MIA?

There's No Business Like Coal Business

Get introduced to the complexities of variable pricing for coal-powered electricity, grid access, capacity and utility competition.

The Neighborhood Project

"Using evolution to improve my city, one block at a time" - a book preview.

Green Jobs: Walk The Talk

The President talks about the potential of green collar jobs, find out what New York is doing about it while Congress needs to set up a framework.

August 12, 2011

The Gowanus Lowline

Not far from Manhattan's famous High Line, Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal has a Lowline competition winner.

Fare Hikes: It's Up To The Govs

The Port Authority of NY & NJ receives no tax payer support, but will Governors Cuomo and Christie approve the proposed toll hikes?

Tomorrow's Computer

Looking for more computer power and energy efficiency? then innovations in heat sink technology could be the key.

Sadik Khan's Mobility Message

NYC Transportation Commissioner Sadik Khan maps out how to move the metropolis.

State Of The Nation

Food prices are set to soar as a result of the mid-west drought, while electric utilities raise doubts about their capacity to comply with new clear air rules.

August 11, 2011

See The Drought

This is what the record-breaking drought in Texas, New Mexico & Georgia looks like.

Japan: Testing For Radioactive Rice

After Fukushima and before the harvest season, Japan tests its rice crop for possible radioactive contamination.

E-Bay Thinks Outside The Box

E-Bay designs packaging meant to be reused, cut costs, and upgrade its brand.

In Brooklyn White Is The New Green

Painting roofs cool white kicks-off the Brooklyn Greens three year action plan. What's next?

UK: Curb Your Enthusiasm

An analysis of a pilot British home energy efficiency program finds people are just not that interested.

Indigenous Communities In A Changing Climate

The Museum of the American Indian installs an exhibit on the impact of an increasingly chaotic climate on indigenous communities around the world.

The Limits Of Resilience

While Earth and its living creatures have demonstrated resilience in the face of previous climate changes, it would be unwise to count on it now.

Helping Hand For Hydrofracking

A report for the Department of Energy urges better environmental impact controls through improved monitoring and information disclosure but does not recommend federal regulatory changes. Critics, from all sides, weigh in.

Shanghai To Beijing High Speed Delays

With delays plaguing construction of a high speed rail line from Shanghai to Beijing and pressing safety concerns, authorities suspend bullet train production.

August 10, 2011

Nuke Reactor Design OKed

Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff approves the Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactor safety design slated for construction in Georgia.

Fact Meets Fiction

An English publisher will issue a book of short stories themed on facing the climate crisis.

The Opposite Of Silent

Tune into a John Cage approach to the sound of New York City gridlock.

Start Small

California kids learn how to be energy efficient.

Heidelberg: A Real Energy Star

Municipal buildings in Heidelberg, Germany have slashed their energy use by 50% and has plans for a zero-emissions project.

Canada: Selling Its Oil

Does a Canadian oil drilling project with a pipeline to refineries along the Gulf Coast need its US market?

A Plea For High-Speed Rail

Here's why the fatal crashes on China's high speed rail system should not shut down US intercity plans.

The Low Carbon Cloud

If the energy efficiency claims of cloud computing hold up, the climate could be a winner.

August 09, 2011

NJ: Green Legal Eagles

If you practice law in the Garden State, this Going Green issue of New Jersey Lawyer is for you.

Be Careful What You Pray For

After praying for rain, Texas Governor Rick Perry is praying for a rollback of EPA's air emissions rules.

China: Carbon Cap Won't Cut It

China's proposed cap on carbon emissions may not be enough to keep cash flowing in from the Kyoto Clean Development Mechanism.

Where The Jobs Are

Michigan and Ohio lead the nation on jobs in clean car technologies.

New Building Rules Rule

The impact of energy-conscious building regulations is being felt throughout California.

Walking The High Line

Stroll through the history of New York's wildly popular new park, the High Line.

August 08, 2011

Not Your Mama's Wind Turbine

In the field of wind power, technology and installation decisions are making great advances.

Carbon Offset Prices Tank

The price crash for carbon offsets, a program established by the Kyoto Protocol, makes it them world's worst-performing commodity. Meanwhile, the Chicago Climate Futures Exchange will shut down in 2012.

M&A Transforms Utlity Landscape

High levels of mergers and acquisitions, driven by the search for new capital, cheap natural gas and a changed regulatory climate, is changing the US utility industry.

Germany: Big Energy Headache

Bayer threatens to move its pharmaceutical production out of Germany in the face of rising energy prices linked to its nuclear power shutdown.

Exercise Judgement While Exercising

Be alert for heat-related illness when exercising on hot summer days.

Nuke Power - Who Pays The Piper

As construction plans for two nuclear reactors in Georgia gear up, so does questions on who should pay for cost overruns.

Financing Green In Hard Times

This Daily News editorial on how to pay for a waterfront park in Brooklyn will not be the last word on to to protect green urban assets in these hard times.

IKEA Buys UK Renewable Power

Taking steps to meet it's 100% clean energy goal, IKEA buys a Scottish wind farm and will install 39.000 PV units on its British stores.

NY Nuke Leak

When a containment vessel leak was suspected over the weekend at New York's Nine Mile Point nuclear power generator, the plant was shut down.

Insurance Giant Courts Clean Energy

Allianz, Europe's largest insurance firm, aims to invest in solar and wind power companies to boost its bottom line

August 05, 2011

Clean Energy Stocks Tank

Why is the market value of clean energy stocks at record lows everywhere?

UK: Corporate Carbon Counter-Offensive

Britain's largest manufacturing GHG polluters demand an end to plans for putting a price on CO2 emissions.

Gold Keys To Pipeline Project

Which major fossil fuel companies stand to benefit from federal approval of the controversial Keystone pipeline project?

Energy Efficiency Is Economic Efficiency

It's time for the US to learn the California lesson that energy efficiency is a power tool for creating economic resilience.

Long Island Uitility Takes Some Heat

When electric use peaks, LIPA fails to exercise its ability to control customers' thermostats in a voluntary demand reduction program.

What Do You Know

The Albany Times Union editorializes on how little is publicly known about the risks of hydrofracking.

August 04, 2011

The Texas Grid Is Our Energy Future

Soaring costs and a decades-old electric grid add to the woes of record-breaking heat in Texas and the northeast power supply system is not far behind.

About Those Volcanos

What's wrong with the claim that volcano eruptions are the cause of climate change?

Time To Start Talking About Climate Change

Gunther pushes back on Shellenberger's siren call to stop talking about climate change.

Driving Toward EVs

What are the crucial factors that predict whether electric vehicles can compete in the marketplace?

Tim Pawlenty - Mr. Natural

Presidential-hopeful Tim Pawlenty says that climate change is caused by nature.

Dominican Republic: Wants Wind Power

To meet its goal of 25% renewable power 2020, the fossil-fuel poor Dominican Republic offers sweet deals for wind power developers.

China: Caps Coming

China plans to cap its energy use in 2015, but still allow 25% more consumption than in 2010.

Cholera And Social Change

The history of London's success at vanquishing cholera holds lessons for today's urban eco-activists.

South African Frack Fight

The possibility of hydrofracking for natural gas in a semi-arid area of South Africa creates government hope and local opposition.

WSJ v Amory Lovins

Amory Lovins takes on the WSJ editorial page about the value of clean fuel switching in the US military.

NY Needs Energy Leadership

Energy experts call for a sustainable energy policy plan for New York to ensure reliable electric supplies, more efficiency and cleaner power.

UK: Nuke Fuel Plant Shuttered

The British facility that reprocesses spent nuclear fuel closes after losing its sole customer, Japanese reactors.

Good Vibrations

Scientists are learning to capture the power of electromagnetic waves that surround us to power grids of microprocessors.

August 03, 2011

Beware HR 2534

HR 2534 is the House budget brownprint for what it wants to do to the EPA and the Department of the Interior.

What If The Grid's Too Smart

Smart grid deployment must be coordinated with electricity pricing or there could be trouble ahead in the form of new demand spikes.

Mapping US Climate Impacts

More drought, heat, infectious disease, floods and air pollution are already happening. Are you at risk?

Tomorrow Is Another Day

Senate leadership starts to develop a clean energy and jobs legislative agenda for the fall.

Georgia, Georgia

Plans for two new nuclear reactors near Augusta, Georgia are proceeding, for now.

UK: High-Speed Skeptic

What's the argument against building high speed rail service between Birmingham and London?

August 02, 2011

Can't Make This Stuff Up

A government investigation finds the US Interior Department, busy with an investigation of its polar bear scientist, failed to collect tens of billions of dollars in oil & gas company royalties.

Australia: More Murdoch Media News

The Australian Prime Minister will meet with Murdoch newspaper editors over their coverage of a proposed climate tax.

Isn't It Ironic

German auto maker BMW sponsors a Guggenheim Museum pop-up for stimulating discussion about urban living.

Hot And Bothered

It's official, July broke hot weather records all around the US and don't expect a cool August.

UK: Industry Attacks Climate Policy

British industry mounts a campaign against government climate and energy policy, calling it too costly for the economy.

EPA Takes Aim At Air Pollution From Fracking

EPA announces plans to regulate air pollutants linked to hydrofracking for oil and natural gas extraction.

August 01, 2011

Map Your Transit Trip

Are you in a big city? Learn about its mass transit system and how long it will take you to get from A to B.

China: Pricing PV Power

China pegs the price of PV power that grid operators must pay to generators at 18 cents a kilowatt-hour.

UK: Dispute Over Cost Of Carbon Disclosure

Government cold feet over the high cost it calculates for CO2 emissions reporting is challenged by a green-leaning industry group.

Shedding Light On The Sun

Contrary to the claims of some climate deniers, the sun is not the culprit in the current era of global warming.

Fracking: When The Times Becomes The Story

Why has recent New York Times reporting on hydrofracking for natural gas become its own news story?

Finding Ways To Finance Green Building

While financing is a major challenge for all builders in this tough economy, financing high performance buildings must find its own path

Data Centers Use Less Power

The energy appetite of the world's data centers is smaller than predicted in 2007, but separating the impact of the Great Recession from improved energy efficiency is hard to do.

Cement The Problem

A bill in Congress seeks to delay application of rules cutting the CO2 emissions of portland cement, source of 5% of the globe's GHG emissions. [$$]

Stop Wasting Water

A New Yorker, who grew up in water-scarce Africa, wonders how to get urbanites to turn off their taps.