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News & Views Curation

December 31, 2012

If Winter's Here...

The final segment of the High Line park is scheduled for 2013 completion, opening spring 2014

Demand for Energy Finance Parity

A Senate bill would establish parity for financing fossil fuel and renewable energy projects by way of master limited partnerships

Euro Debate: Europe Lags On Green Growth

European observers argue over green growth dynamics and prospects

2012: A Banner Energy And Climate Year

Gushers of cheap shale gas, Obama's re-election & a 4% drop in US carbon emissions were 2012 climate highlights (Note: some readers will disagree)

Not Crying Wolf

Facing a planetary emergency, Bill McKibben makes an urgent call for 2013 climate action

France: Wind Farm Sale

Facing financial pressures, Spanish wind power giant Iberdrola sells 32 French wind farms to a GE consortium & sheds two US companies

Cheers For Urban Eco-Leadership

Ring out the old year with bold, bright green ideas for America's cities

California: State's Right

Optimism and jitters abound as California's climate law, AB 32, takes effect in 2013

December 28, 2012

Recalculating The Cost

The utility calculus that made post-disaster repairs rather than system upgrades the business decision of choice is facing new math in the wake of Sandy

Japan: Review No-Nuke Pledge

The new Japanese government will reconsider a pledge to end reliance on nuclear power

Washington DC: Environmental Capital

Washington DC the city shines as an environmental leader

Urban Climate Perserverance

2012 showed cities continued to be climate action leaders and the price they paid for federal inaction

Why Jackson's Leaving

Is the Obama administration stance on the Keystone pipeline and climate action the reason for Jackson's departure from the top EPA job?

After The Editorial - Read the Comments

Comments responding to the New York Times editorial calling for Presidential climate action make interesting reading

Blogging Sustainable Cities

Five top blog posts of 2012 about sustainable city innovation and building makeovers

Gowanus Clean-Up

The EPA releases its $500 million Superfund clean-up plan for the 1.8 mile long Gowanus Canal for public comment

UK: Chilling The Climate Committee

A lesson in how UK politics neuters its own climate change advisory committee

Subway App Arrives

The MTA releases an app to provide train arrival times on 7 of its 24 subway lines

December 27, 2012

UK: Sun Shines On Solar Power

It's official, British energy policy embraces photovoltaics

Fact Checking Renewable Energy Predictions

Compare 2012 renewable energy business predictions with actual outcomes

Private Public Parks

Consider this boomlet in urban parks that are publicly owned but funded and operated by private concerns

EPA Chief Steps Down

Lisa Jackson, EPA's top administrator, calls it quits, leaving a mixed legacy. Who might replace her?

UK: More Heat Coming

The UK Met Office lists 2012 as the ninth hottest year on record with a hotter global 2013 on the way

Hydrofracking On The Cusp

Expect New York to issue hydrofracking rules in February and stay tuned to see what Governor Cuomo does about his moratorium

2013 Energy Efficiency Resolutions

Make some New Year's home energy efficiency resolutions based on this list of doable ideas

2012's Green Good Guys

Leading with Bill McKibben, Marc Gunther's list of the year's top climate and sustainability good guys (yes, all guys)

Obama Signs Energy Efficiency Bill

Read all about it

December 26, 2012

UK: Refrigerator Revolution

At least one British supermarket chain doesn't have cold feet about enclosing refrigerated products & saving on energy bills

Los Angeles: Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

An exhibit explores a Los Angeles that never got built

After Sandy - SUDS

SUDS - Send Us Your Dirt - is a research project to discover what kinds of pollutants were spread around by Sandy's sludge

Barcelona: Bio-Concrete For Vertical Gardens

Researchers develop a new kind of concrete that could foster vegetated walls and vertical gardens

Cheap Natural Gas v Renewables

In North Carolina, record-low natural gas prices could undercut utility payments supporting renewable energy

US: Year's Top Environmental Stories

The world's biggest environmental news in 2012 from from a US perspective

UK: Year's Top Environmental Stories

The world's biggest environmental news in 2012 from a British perspective

Smart, Green Businesses 101

Start-up or well-established in business, new ways to do well by going green

December 25, 2012

Not All Buildings Are Equal

Energy use of NYC's big office buildings is all over the map & benchmarking data has surprises for some certified green buildings

Getting On the A List

After Sandy's unforeseen flooding, will NYC neighborhoods get moved to mandatory evacuation A zones?

December 24, 2012

A Different Type Of Drone Deployment

Post-Sandy, NY metro-area utilities may buy drones to provide faster information on disaster impacts and speed up system repairs - and that's not all

Renewable Funding Slump

Is the 2012 drop in global renewable energy investment a hiccup or the start of a trend?

EU: Climate Hopes For Kerry

An EU official & US lawmakers express hope that as Secretary of State, John Kerry will tackle climate change

Yule Log Forever

Celebrate the holidays with the pollution-free yule log that forever burns

Winter Solstice Solar Power

Wintertime solar power production sets records in California

Antarctica: Heats Up Fastest

Data from 1958-2010 finds that western Antarctica is one of the fastest heating places on Earth

More Green For Less Green

Passive house-type affordable housing find buyers in Washington DC


Maine has plans for 5 gigawatts of floating offshore wind power by 2030

December 22, 2012

Google Analytics

Did Google searches for Hurricane Sandy have an impact on climate change searches?

December 21, 2012

Energy Efficient Illinois Code

Starting January 1, a controversial (to some) Illinois energy efficient building code will take effect

Spain: Unsubsidiized Solar

Benefiting from crashed equipment prices, develops might build large solar power plants in Spain without using subsidies

Ireland: Winter Solstice

Built around 3,20 BC, the Newgrange astronomical calendar in Ireland still perfectly marks the winter solstice

Needed: Ciimate Can-Do Cities

To wrap up the year, we are reposting Mayor Bloomberg's 02.12 speech about the key role of cities in creating a sustainable global tomorrow

The 2012 Review

Another year of shattered climate records, notable energy news & some critter stories

A Warm New Year

A much warmer than average 2013 is on tap according to UK experts

Climate On Obama Agenda

President Obama cites climate action as one of his top three agenda items

NYC Waste To Niagara Energy

A deal is pending to export NYC waste to a Niagara Falls to fuel a power plant for local businesses

December 20, 2012

The Carbon Cliff

With annual global carbon emissions still rising, prospects fade for limiting how hot the world will get

Top Energy Stories of The Year

Pix and prose about the eight biggest energy stories of 2012

Dim View Of US Fossil Fuel Futures

As many project endless gushers of US shale gas and tight oil, a contrarian weighs in

UK: Big Bucks For Offshore Wind

Britain's Green Investment Bank inks a $365 million loan to develop off-shore wind power

Sustained Ferry Service

With high rider demand, East River ferries will get an added five years of City support and maybe more ferries

Keep All Our Kids Safe

A post-Newtown meditation that reaches to climate change and protecting everyone's kids

Sandy's Brownfields

Damaged fuel storage tanks create new Brownfields cleanup woes on
Long Island

Reasons To Cheer

Americans act to reduce their carbon footprints & talk about climate change

December 19, 2012

Germany: Power Autobahns

The German cabinet supports construction of three transmission systems to send renewable power from north to south

UK: Carbon Decision Delay

The British government puts off decisions on transportation carbon targets until after the next general election in 2016

Don't Just Rebuild - Rethink

Will federal funds for post-Sandy rebuilding rethink long-standing premises and embrace climate-smart standards?

NYC Building Resilience Launch

A 100-member Task Force for making recommendations about NYC building code changes to increase weird-weather resilience has its first meeting

In Praise Of Zeronauts

Zeronauts, a new book by a corporate consultant, makes the case that incrementalism is the wrong path to meaningful climate action

UN: Blurry Vision For Climate Fund

The UN-initiated, privately-financed Green Climate Fund seems unsure of its purpose and how to proceed

Eat That Wall

Bring greens, edible and otherwise, into urban building sites

Demand Release of Health Fracking Study

Environmental groups call for the public release and chance to add input to a government study of the impact of fracking on New Yorker's health

Get Carbon Off Campus

Join the debate over the campus movement to make universities sell off their fossil fuel stocks

Care And Feeding Of Green Buildings

Like many things, high performance buildings work best with continuous monitoring & ongoing improvements

December 18, 2012

Learning From Storm Survivors

The NYC Planning Department looks at buildings that survived Sandy to help formulate better building codes & the NYC Council drafts flood-proofing legislation

Sweden: Could Miss 49x20 Target

Lack of transmission capacity for wind power could make Sweden miss its 2020 target of 49% renewable energy

Parsing The Polling

What is the significance of recent public opinion polls detecting shifts in the climate views of US conservatives?

Decoding Smart Cities

To figure out what makes a city smart, take a walk and read some books

A Tale Of Four Megacities

How do Shanghai, Cairo, Mumbai and Bogota confront the challenges facing today's megacities?

Australia: Framing The Future

An Australian White Paper blazes trails for producing & consuming energy as part of restructuring the national economy

Climate In Obama's 2nd Term

The probable appointment of climate-hawk John Kerry as Secretary of State could signal a tilt toward action by Obama

Coal For Steel And Cement

The IEA projects electric demand to make steel and cement will raise global coal consumption to parity with oil

Congressional Energy Caucus

A bi-partisan Congressional caucus will examine why funds to make federal buildings more energy efficient remain unspent

Reasons To Love New York

Long Island City
New York Magazine Reason No. 35 — a shout-out for Queens West, a Long Island City waterfront development on former brownfields, kept its thousands of residents superstorm-safe by accounting for sea-level rise

December 17, 2012

Northeast Winter Forecast

Climate scientists predict that winters in the northeast will get warmer, wetter and less snowy

Brazil: Wind Power Bargains

What is the secret of rock-bottom prices for wind power in Brazil?

Toronto: Managing Climate Risks

To face changing climate conditions and costs, Toronto reviews its infrastructure with an eye toward resilience enhancements

Japan: Election Elates Utility Stocks

The Japanese election victory for the nuclear-power friendly LDP, boosts electric utility stocks

The Dark Side of Solar Power

California utilities cry foul over the net metering costs of rooftop solar power

Green Investment Contrarian

Not everyone's on board with the investment value of renewable energy

The Science Of Memes

If memes are the basic unit of cultural transmission, what's the best meme for mobilizing climate action?

LEDs Shine, Incandescents Dim

A global trend toward LED lighting puts the squeeze on old-fashioned bulb makers

Loathed Landfill Redeems Itself

The ex-Freshkills Landfill protected nearby neighborhoods from Sandy's wrath and should get fast-tracked to reopen as a park

December 14, 2012

India: A Better Way To Beat The Heat

An energy-sipping fan can help beat the heat and tread lightly on India's overstressed power supply

UK: No Free Clean Power Lunch

Increased renewable power will raise utility prices 54% by 2020, including the cost of upgrading transmission lines

Pessimism On Obama Climate Action

While there are bight spots on the climate action front, the White House is not one of them

Shifting Science-Skeptics Sentiments

Belief in climate change is growing fastest among American science-skeptics a new poll finds

Old Amsterdam Lessons For The New

New Yorkers have much to learn about Amsterdam's long battle to keep the sea at bay

Fabricating The Lowline Maps

Lucky enough to visit the Lowline Park installation this fall? Now, see how the Manhattan maps were made

Climate Skeptic Leaks New IPCC Report

The fifth IPCC report, due for publication in 2013, is posted on-line by a US climate skeptic who thinks cosmic rays disprove climate science

Antarctica: Fuggedaboutit

Scientists describe how the higher, colder part of Antarctica will add to, not prevent, more sea level rise

December 13, 2012

Dredge Tour In NY Harbor

What are the impacts & implications of dredging in New York Harbor?

Building For Tomorrow

With the right technical & financial capacities, better building for a climate-changing world is achievable

Mexico City: GHG Control

C40 calls out Mexico City as an innovator in measuring and controlling its GHG emissions

Uptick In Mass Transit

Mass transit ridership in the US rises 2.6% with trains doing better than buses

UK OK's Fracking

With 'stringent' controls, the UK approves fracking for shale gas

Jordan: Green Agriculture

Jordan will build a solar-thermal system that evaporates sea water to get fresh water for agriculture

Stricter Code For Climate Concerns

A Quinnipiac poll finds that after Sandy New Yorkers want stricter building codes to face climate chaos at home

December 12, 2012

Disaster Rx: Better Building Codes

If a disaster knocks out electric power, energy efficient building codes can help keep you safe

Rachel Carson - And More - Reconsidered

Rachel Carson rocks, but she was no saint and neither is the current environmental movement

Tracking Sandy By Satellite

Without polar-orbiting satellite data, forecasters would have been way off in predicting where Sandy would make landfall

UK: Smart Grid Privacy

The UK is working on rules to protect the privacy of electric utility customers with smart meters

Cutting Costs With Policy

How can the relationship between lowering production costs of green tech products and public policy be improved?

Make Room For Recycling

To boost recycling, New York City soon could require new residential buildings to provide more materials storage space

The Case For Optimism

Reasons for cautious optimism for climate-friendly US and global energy policy action

Solar Market Heats Up

US installation of solar panels rises 44% over 2011 levels

December 11, 2012

Hong Kong: 25x30

The Hong Kong Green Building Council calls for cutting energy use 25% by 2030

Beyond RGGI

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has delivered on many of its promises, but now it's time to move on

Faiure To Managae Climate Risk

A global survey of corporate climate risk-management give low scores to US firms

Germany: Transmission Investment Needed

Investment is needed to upgrade the German electric transmissions system to carry rising renewable energy inputs

Asia: Changing Energy Roles

Major Asian nations are shifting global patterns of energy supply and demand

25 Energy Efficiency Tips

Practical suggestions for walking-the-walk on energy efficiency

Solar From Sandy

Use of solar panels after Sandy emergency deployment could become habit-forming

Harlem: LEED Gold Eatery

Harlem gets a (soon to be) LEED Gold-rated Applebee's restaurant

Chicago: Energy Clusters

New York is not the only city with a Mayor advancing climate-friendly energy policies

December 10, 2012

Hotter Than Ever

January - November 2012 US hot weather regional rankings

Saudi Arabia: Solar Power

More signs that solar power has matured from the margins to the mainstream

In Praise Of Pigou

If consumption taxes are a time-tested way to change behavior, then a carbon tax should be a tool for climate action

Detroit: Urban Farming Or Not

Detroit confronts a controversy over a plan to sell vacant land for use as an urban farm

Doha: Lessons Learned

Don't expect nation states to be the leaders on climate action. BREAKING NEWS Former SSRs may exit Kyoto treaty

Stormproofing With CHP

Lessons learned from buildings with combined heat & power systems that rode out Superstorm Sandy

Solar CHP Saves Water

Concentrated solar power systems that generate heat and power have the added benefit of conserving water in operations & maintenance

UK: Long Term, Lower Cost Energy Contracts

The UK commits 25 million pounds to long-term contracts for energy from waste and biomass at favorable prices


New exteriors for old buildings help make them energy efficient

December 08, 2012

Doha Focus: Turkey

Turkish energy policy still relies on fossil fuel imports and exploration

December 07, 2012

Vietnam: Coastal Erosion

Residents of Vietnam's central coast and the Mekong Delta in the south face the same threat of losing their homes as the sea level rises. In this six-part series, Thuy Binh of Hanoi Radio and TV looks into how their environment is being changed by fiercer storms and how they are coping

Rethinking NewYork

The great debate begins over how a city can plan for climate chaos

December 06, 2012

Levy Oil to Fill Climate Fund

In Vienna at the upcoming meeting of OPEC on 12 Dec., a proposal will be made by Ecuador to put a levy on every barrel of oil sold by OPEC members to help fund projects that cut greenhouse gases.

UK: Offshore Wind Better Than Gas

Economy would be 20 billion pounds ($32 billion) larger by 2030 if the nation uses offshore wind to meet power demand instead of relying on gas

Introduced By Al Gore

Mayor Bloomberg spoke at "STEM in the City: Powering New York's Future" summit hosted by U.S. News & World Report, New York Daily News and City University of New York. Here are his remarks as delivered

December 05, 2012

The Carbon Tax Slug Fest

Join in for another round on the great carbon tax debate: Komanoff v Roberts

December 01, 2012

First Lease Sales for Wind

All-of-the-above strategy continues to expand US domestic energy production, DOI and BOEM announced first competitive lease sales for renewable energy development in two wind energy areas (WEAs) in federal waters. BOEM proposes leasing nearly 278,000 acres offshore RI, MA and VA for wind energy