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News & Views Curation

November 30, 2012

Israel: Solar Farm Prototype For Export

With the help of funding from the US and logistics from the UN and NGOs, Israeli start-up Energiya will be offering financing as well as technology, helping to set up solar farms throughout Africa. The goal is to deploy $20B by 2020 to build 10,000 MW and supply green energy to 50M people

November 29, 2012

Anthropocene Smash-up

An essay written by David Biello for the Los Angeles Review of Books, bears witness to Superstorm Sandy's worst surge from the POV of a New Yorker living in Zone C. Biello asks, “instead of imagining a world without us; try a world because of us

Tax Carbon, Maybe Not

Ten reasons to steer clear of a carbon tax

November 28, 2012

A Virtuous Circle

Grist is running a new chapter every day for a week from new book by @AlexSteffen about climate and cities, Carbon Zero

Cap, Trade and Spend

Not so fast — $500 million in cash from CA's cap-and-trade program has to be spent on greenhouse gas related programs — nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office says Governor Brown will only be able to use $100 million. CA Chamber of Commerce sues


The American Petroleum Institute says EPA went too far challenging its mandate for the use of 1.28 billion gallons of biodiesel in 2013, a 28% increase from the 2012 requirement.

November 27, 2012

City Oak, Country Oak

Cities as tools to make climate change work for us, exploiting CO2 absorption as a means to increase yield — could carbon dioxide be the answer?

Qatar: Doha Direct Dispatches

As the world warms, check in on the COP18 live feed or on-demand and follow the science

November 26, 2012

Hats Off To Hagman

Larry Hagman, best known for role as oilman J.R. Ewing on “Dallas” was a fierce proponent of solar energy. Before he died, Hagman installed the world's largest residential solar array on his estate and served on the board of the Solar Electric Light Fund.

Tale of Two Cities

What if a storm like Sandy hits Boston? US Rep Ed Markey led a town hall-style meeting at the Great Hall in Faneuil Hall to consider measures to take

November 25, 2012

This Is The End

All cities have a shelf life but that's no reason to move away now

November 21, 2012

Sea Level Resumes Its Rise

NOAA knows why there was a brief pause in global seal level last year

Hamburg: Sustainability Launch Pad

How is Hamburg, a classic industrial German city, transforming itself into a climate-friendly metropolis?

Science At Work: Solar Steam

A new technology holds the promise of using solar power to create steam without having to boil water

Ecuador: OPEC Carbon Tax

Ecuador asks OPEC to develop a carbon tax policy for oil-exporting nations

Grist Interviews Gore

Al Gore has a lot to say about climate politics in Washington and more

Growing Emissions Gap

The UN warns that the gap between atmospheric GHG targets and current emissions levels increases climate disruption risks

Jumpstarting Small Nuke Plants

The Department of Energy will assist development of small, modular nuclear reactors as part of its overall power strategy

Mapping Sandy In NYC

Multiple maps show myriad site-specific impacts of Frankenstorm Sandy

Either Or

A NY Post Op-Ed urges State regulators require Con Ed to spend money on waterproofing underground equipment instead of improving energy efficiency

November 20, 2012

San Francisco: Green Leases Questioned

Green leases for City government offices in San Francisco run into cost controversy

Science At Work: Climate Change By Region

Science refines its ability to predict changed climate impacts and adaptation needs at the regional level

Big Plans For Coal

A new study maps global plans and considers policy drivers for building 1,199 new coal-burning power plants

Ontario: Green Energy Plan Nixed

An Ontario green energy plan is struck down by the World Trade Organization over local content provisions

Nordics: Going Carbon Neutral

The International Energy Agency supports a nordic regopma; plans to achieve carbon neutral energy systems by 2050

UK: District Energy Plans

UK advocates pursue plans to get district-scale, combined heat & power systems up and running

Follow The Carbon Money

Under a proposed rule, 85% of California's CO2 market revenues will be rebated to utility rate payers [$ub Climatewire]

Map It

Deploy the power of digital mapping to see Sandy's impact and plan for tomorrow

November 19, 2012

Dawn Of The Microgrid Era

Will Sandy lighten the way to a more secure era of distributed power supplies?

Farewell Thanksgiving

Consider the climate risks facing the delicious food in a traditional Thanksgiving dinnner

One Out Of Five

One out of five residents of New York CIty public housing lost water, heat and power due to Sandy, why?

Advocating Anti-Fragility

The economist who coined the concept of 'black swans' now advocates the value of 'antifragility' for a volatile world

Carbon Tax: Yeas and Nays

Who is saying what about the controversial proposal for a federal carbon tax?

Corporate Plea For Pricing Carbon

Over 100 global corporations are convinced, “Effective carbon pricing offers the potential to mobilize finance at a scale that can impact the climate challenge”

World Bank's Climate Plea

With the release of a study on the devastating threats posed by a destabilized climate, the chief of the World Bank urges committed global action

Back It Up, High Up

Even NYC buildings with back-up generators above basement levels found more system changes would be needed to face down the next Sandy

November 17, 2012

Long Island Power: Outta Poles, Outta Cash, Outta Luck

The back story on why it took almost three weeks for Long Islanders to get their power back

Rx For High-Priced Oil

Energy efficiency is the best cure for high oil prices says the chief economist of the International Energy Agency

November 16, 2012

China: Green Rules As Human Rights Threat

Observers worry that "social risk assessment" rules, now part of proposed project requirements, may be a cover for human rights repression

A Tax Exxon Likes

Exxon likes the idea of a carbon tax -- along with heading off EPA regulations and corporate tax code changes

Risks On The Roof

Are NYC rooftops the best place for fuel tanks and telecom equipment to help face future weird weather events?

Germany: Retain Renewable Tariff

Germany extends its current surcharge for renewable power through 2014

Maine Climate Action, Fuggedaboutit

The climate adaption assistance plans of a former Democratic Maine Governor were removed from the state's website by his Republican successor [$ub EE News]

Australia: Early Sunset

Australia will end home solar power incentives six months ahead of plan to keep utility bills down

Worries About Canal's Toxic Legacy

What is in the residue from the toxics-laced Gowanus Canal floods caused by Sandy?

Coping With 100 30 Year Storms

What NYC knows now and what's ahead as a climate scientist considers Sandy's impact

November 15, 2012

Korea: Carbon Market Testing

Tests will be begin next year for a carbon trading market in Korea, a fast-growing GHG emitter

Japan: PV Market Heats Up

With new feed-in tariffs, domestic sales of locally produced and imported solar panels rises sharply in Japan

Cuomo's Call To Climate Action

New York's devastation of Storms Irene and Sandy focuses the Governor on climate and energy policy leadership

Don't Mix Electricity And Water

Smart grid technology & off-grid distributed power systems could optimize adaptation to future fierce weather [$ub EE News]

California Pours Green Into Green

California boosts green power and energy efficiency with unprecedented levels of public funding from Prop. 39 and its cap & trade program

Second Term, Second Chance

President Obama's remarks on climate change spark a spate of crystal ball gazing

Carbon Tax Collection

If carbon taxes should move from the politically impossible to the inevitable, never passing through the probable, here are ideas about how to collect them

November 14, 2012

Grid Attack

The National Academy of Sciences finds critical transformers are the weak link in the electric grid and vulnerable to cyberattack

Follow The Power Money

Why are star investors like Warren Buffet doing renewable power deals?

A Curious Carbon Tax Coalition

How carbon tax politics might make strange bedfellows, but not with the Koch Brothers

Germany: Coal Utility Prospers

A German utility with coal-fired power plants profits with low lignite prices & cheap carbon emissions permits

Bronx Grads Get Green Jobs

A Bronx green jobs-training program claims some two-thirds of its graduates get hired to do what they trained for

The End of Grandma's Infrastructure

Could widely distributed, local combined heat and power systems keep us and secure next time?

Science At Work: Antarctic Ice And Water

Increased field data collection over the last decade advance understanding of changing conditions in Antarctica

Germany: Utility Blames Renewables

Germany's biggest utility blames surging renewable power and weak economies on its poor profits at natural gas-fueled power plants

Germany: 80x50

Germany leads the way toward a low-carbon energy future, will others take up this task?

November 13, 2012

Mass Extinction For Coal

With the cost of pollution fixes, some 353 US coal-burning power plants face retirement because their power will cost more than natural gas and wind-powered plants

EU: Carbon Market Sinks

A proposed fix for excess carbon emissions permits did not stem price plunges

Norquist Doesn't Nix Carbon Tax

Arch anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist might be open to a carbon tax, under certain conditions

Images Of Climate Disruption

Call it climate disruption or weird weather, here's what it looks like

MTA: Flirting With True Love

Will the surge of post-Sandy adoration translate into giving the MTA the funding it needs for its subways and buses?

El Nino No, La Nina, Probably

What are the US implications of NOAA dropping El Nino predictions in favor of an emerging La Nina trend?

3 Climate Actions For A 2nd Term

Three climate actions President Obama should start on now

Venice: Learning From La Serenissima

World cities have much to learn from how Venice copes with chronic flooding

November 12, 2012

It Can Happen Here

Save a tree while trying to save the planet by downloading an e-book about Germany's energy transformation for 99 cents

Creative Disruption

How benchmarking and disclosing building energy performance could create new market and value networks for urban real estate

More Climate Change Believers

A Rasmussen poll finds more Americans believe climate change is happening, but 38% cite planetary causes and 30% are still in denial, yet a Yale poll provides more encouraging numbers

World: What Energy Efficiency Means

The IEA lauds energy efficiency as giving the world an extra five years to avoid plunging off the climate cliff

World: Renewables Rising

By 2035, the IEA projects renewables could rival coal as the world's major energy supplier, but won't be able to control global heating

Science At Work: Better Storage Batteries

The fate of renewable power hangs on development and marketing grid-scale storage batteries

For More Effective Relief

Contact Occupy Sandy instead of the Red Cross

US: Biggest Oil Gusher

The EIA projects fracking technology will make the US the world's biggest oil producer by 2017

Manhattan Project 2.0

Venice is a gem, but it's no model for a durable New York metro region. The time is now to make smart, effective plans

November 10, 2012

UK: Carbon Tax Benefits

What are the best economy-boosting uses for the carbon tax revenues levied on the UK's biggest emitters?

Australia In, N.Z. Out

Unlike New Zealand, Australia pledges with the EU to stick to Kyoto Treaty GHG goals

Baby, It's Warm Inside

The ABC's of indoor insulation, basic to any high performance home

November 09, 2012

Staten Island Bluebelt Meet Sandy

How did a natural system meant to soak up rainwater cope with Sandy's flooding?

Why Climate Science Is Like Nate Silver

HINT: It's data-driven

Dig Down For Reliable Power

Could geothermal power keep the lights on after the next Fierce storm hit NYC?

UK: Stop Making Sense

Does politics explain the UK's shambolic renewable energy policy?

Another NYC Icon Gets Green

The Chrysler Building earns an Energy Star and a LEED-EB Gold rating

Carbon Production Consumption Tax

Could a carbon consumption tax be the key to throttling emissions globally?

November 08, 2012

Turkey: Wind Powering

Turkey is developing a 97 MW wind farm, with a national wind goal of 20,000 MW by 2023

And The Culprit Is...

The finger points at the climate-caused 8 inch sea-level rise in NY Harbor as the reason for Sandy's great destructiveness

New Day For LED's

New production methods could shrink energy-efficient LED costs and end the dominance of workplace fluorescent lights

If Sandy Sinks Property Values

Will speculation about Sandy's erosion of Manhattan real estate values lead to investment in resilience upgrades?

Storm Waste And Biomass

How New Orleans and Japanese cities converted Katrina and tsunami debris into biomass fuel

China: Calls For Conservation

Hu Jintao, China's outgoing President, calls for drastic cuts in energy and natural resource use and pollution curbs

Read The Fine Tariff Print

Although US tariffs on Chinese solar panels are in place, they may not work because some production takes place outside of China

25x25 Defeated In Michigan

Michigan voters reject an initiative requiring 25% of the state's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2025

San Francisco Nixes Water Prop

San Francisco voters swamp a ballot proposal to dismantle its drinking water supply system

November 07, 2012

Scary Sewage

Scientists find an antibiotic-resistant microbe entering sewage treatment plants

The Global Decarbonization Race Is On

Join the contest for spelling out the best ways to decarbonize the world's energy supply

Australia: First Steps For Carbon Market

Australia begins to put the emission trading pieces in place to launch its carbon trading market

Supergrid From DC To AC

Innovative heavy-duty circuit breakers can integrate more DC renewable power into the AC electric transmission grid

NOLA Solar Housing

A new mixed income housing development in New Orleans provides residents low-cost rooftop solar power

Odds For Climate Action

While the odds are low for US action on climate change during Obama's second term, that is better than no odds at all

Rewrite That Climate Memo

With Wall Street recently underwater and Main Street still deluged by Sandy, now could be the time to rewrite the nation's climate action memo

Not A Teachable Moment

Recent research suggests cognitive views and political values may block Sandy's power to mobilize public action on climate change

November 06, 2012

Where To Get Warm

Home heat still out after Sandy? Here's a list of daytime warming centers around the five boroughs

UK: Nuke Deal Teeters

Plans by a French utility giant for a new nuclear plant in the UK could collapse over guaranteed power prices that are being called a nuclear industry subsidy

Past Performance Is No Guarantee

Don't expect a President Romney to adopt the smart growth and urban sustainability policies he had as Governor

Solar Power Lights Up Rockaway

Socked by Sandy, some lights will come in the Rockaways with mobile solar panels & batteries that store power for night time use

China: Water Scarcity Means Power Scarcity

Will the blistering pace of new power demands from Beijing to rural China be chilled for lack of water and a changing climate?

UK: Looming Energy Shortage

High natural gas prices and mixed government signals could delay new UK power projects and lead to shortages

Sandy's Havoc No Surprise

The vulnerability of metro NY metro assets and infrastructure and to wind, tide and water has been known for years

Calculating Climate Impacts

GDP, NDP and depreciation are economists' tools for measuring the cost of weird weather

Watch Your Franchise

Governor Cuomo warns utilities to get the lights back on or risk losing their state-issued franchises

November 05, 2012

Let's Get Serious

Federal climate action slipped away after Katrina, will we act in the wake of Sandy?

Infrastructure Security Is National Security

No doubt about it

South Africa: Enter The iShack

iShacks springing up near Cape Town could ease the housing crisis in an energy efficient way

November 04, 2012

Water Safe And Sewage Treated

Good infrastructure news, NYC's drinking water is safe to drink and sewage treatment plants are processing 99% of their wastewater

Sturdy Golden-Oldies

Many of New York's oldest structures were built to last and came through the storm intact

Dinner With Humor

Imagine the chit-chat at a post-Sandy dinner with Hizzoner, Governors Christie & Cuomo, and the President

November 03, 2012

The Arctic: Passive House

How to stay warm and zero-carbon where it's very cold

Help FEMA, Help Us

Check out this crowd-sourcing tool for helping in the post-Sandy clean up

Soft-Edged Safety

Time to consider making New York City safer with soft edges

Solar Jobs Spurt

The US solar industry job growth outpaces other sectors of the economy

November 02, 2012

What Every Octopus Knows

Malaysia: Green Mega City

Plans are underway for Iskandar, an eco-smart city of 3 million near Singapore

UK: Spinning The Wind

Pay close attention to make sense of what the UK government is up to on the wind power front

You Don't Need A Weatherman

In this social media era, the Weather Channel is trying to redefine itself

Silver Bullets For Energy Vampires

New gadgets can put an end to pesky energy vampires

New Zealand: Carbon Market RIP

With nothing to replace the Kyoto Treaty, plunging carbon prices lead to the indefinite suspension of New Zealand's ETS

Hard-Headed Safety

Ideas learned the hard way from airline disasters and other calamities for making cities more resilient in a climate-disturbed world

Storm-Surge Pollution

Fuel oil, pesticides and other pollutants spilled into New York Harbor due to Sandy flooding should not be overlooked

Pricing In Urban Emergencies

An economics look behind the headlines about scarcity of gas and other post-Sandy necessities

November 01, 2012

Four Words And One Photo

Bloomberg Businessweek cover
Cover of Bloomberg Businessweek says it all

Germany: Denuclearize Finland

Germany's biggest electric utility abandons development of new nuclear power in Finland, meaning more energy imports

India: No Buyers

India is glutted with renewable energy credits because electric utilities are failing to meet their targets

Rethinking CEQRA

California might redo its Environmental Quality Review Act to ease the path for new development

Science At Work: Temperature Trends

How do scientists sort out temperature trends from data noise?

Regional Power And Transit Update

Who's still in the dark in the New York metro area and what mass transit is in operation

At-Risk Cities

Why in New York more vulnerable to hurricane damage than Miami?