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News & Views Curation

July 31, 2013

The Heat's Still On

Don't take comfort in reports that global heating is on "pause"

Climate Inaction Is The Economic Threat

In her first post-confirmation speech EPA Chief Gina McCarthy> defines failure to regulate GHGs as an economic threat

Science At Work: Climate And Methane Leaks

Another round in the great fracking debate, which is worse CO2 or CH4?

Red, White And Green

A national environmental group launches a media campaign supporting the President's clean air & climate action plan

First Sandy, Now Sand

Check out this sand castle in the canyons of Lower Manhattan

Ride The Waves, Not The Rails

Added ferry service from Sunset Park to Manhattan will ease problems of R train riders facing a 14 month station shutdown

July 30, 2013

Seize The Opportunity

New EPA chief Gina McCarthy sees climate action and job growth as part of one grand opportunity

2013 Hurricane Season

Are we safer this year?

Carbon Neutral Aviation

Can the global aviation industry go carbon neutral by 2020 at a cost it's willing to pay?

What If.....

What if it's more energy efficient buildings and vehicles & less energy demand - not natural gas - that explains the drop in US carbon emissions from 2011 to 2012?

Greening Historic Rowhouses

The manual for greening NYC's historic rowhouses, presented at the 2013 Passive House conference

France: Nuke Giant Exits US

French nuclear industry leader EDF pulls out of US, citing a price revolution linked to fracking for natural gas

JP Morgan's Energy Market Caper

JP Morgan could be close to settling federal charges stemming from turning inefficient power plants into profit centers

Climate Advocacy By A 90-Something

Former Republican Secretary of State George Schultz reflects on a history of Republican energy and climate policy and supports action now

July 29, 2013

Germany: Burn More Coal, See What Happens

German air pollution rises as more coal is burned to replace nuclear power

Recycling Mojo

One picture is worth a thousand words when it comes to recycling plastics

LEDs: A Gateway Drug

Consider Paris to see how conversion to energy efficient LED lights can be the first step toward a smart urban energy grid

China-Myanmar Energy Link

China now imports natural gas from Myanmar through a pipeline under the Indian Ocean

Aim For Carbon Revenues

While many climate policies focus on putting a price on carbon emissions, others target creating carbon revenues


A Congressional climate denier tries to defund NOAA scientific research

Climate Risks For Liquid Assets

Welcome Watermark, a new blog about water and climate change challenges

Do The Locomotion

What moves the New York Times about Mayoral hopefuls' transit ideas?

July 28, 2013

Cities Are Where It's At

Forget the White House or the State House, urban centers and big city Mayors are the engines of America

July 27, 2013

Adapt Or Go Away

A booming PV market signals creative destruction for the old-time electric utility industry

July 26, 2013

Germany: Heat Raises Prices

Energy prices soar during a heatwave in Germany

Renewable Hawaii

A new on-bill financing law makes it easier for home owners and renters to install solar power and make energy efficiency upgrades

Race, Class and Heatwaves

A look at how to beat the heat — or not — in neighborhoods like South Williamsburg

Another Kind Of Fossil

Polls finds an age-split among voters, with under-35's of both parties supporting Obama's climate action plan

CrystalCarbon Ball Gazing

In 2040, 80% of the world's energy will still come from fossil fuels according the the IEA, while others foresee "oil price shocks"

Amazon's A Green Laggard

Amazon isn't making the energy efficiency drives of other on-line giants

Bike Lanes In Brownsville

Changing attitudes about bike lanes in Brownsville through citizen support

The Macro And The Micro

What's is store for the relationship between macro-utilties and micro-trends?

Sensory Sanctuary

816 quiet places in NYC

July 25, 2013

Arctic Methane Uproar

Controversy flares over the scientific quality of methane predictions in the Nature publication on climate-induced Arctic calamity

Climate Action Predictions

Can the President's executive branch-only path to effective climate action succeed?

China: Snaps Up US Solar Tech

A Chinese PV panel maker buys a US thin-film solar tech company

Australlia: Tide Comes In

A 40 MW tide-power project gets government approval in western Australia

Zoning Isn't City Planning

A New York Times critic decries the Mayor's proposed mid-town rezoning and readers weigh in

Philadelphia: Benchmarking Rules

Philadelphia issues rules for large commercial buildings to meet their energy benchmarking & disclosure requirements

Farm-Foods For NYers Goes Bust

A project bringing small and mid sized farm produce to NYC residents files for bankruptcy

Tick-Tock Tick-Tock

NY greens challenge Mayor Bloomberg to act on list of key environmental policies before leaving office

Climate Scientist Sues

After attacks on the honesty of his research by climate change deniers, scientist Michael Mann starts a defamation suit that advances in court

July 24, 2013

Droughts And Climate Change

Although droughts have complex causes, a hotter planet will magnify their impact

A Carbon Tax By Any Other Name

Now that Australia has ended its carbon tax, will cap and trade be an equivalent substitute?

$60 Trillion Time Bomb

Scientists warn that climate-induced Arctic warming will create $60 trillion of damage to crops, flood properties & wreck infrastructure elsewhere on the planet

Take The X Train

The 2013 NYC Mayoral race is a perfect time to take a close look at the Triboro-Rx subway proposal from 1996

Lovins: Things Are (Mostly) Looking Up

Energy guru Amory Lovins sees momentum growing for energy efficiency, renewables & distributed power

Milwaukee: Improve Now Pay Later

A new Milwaukee law allows building owners to improve energy efficiency and pay for it over time as a real estate tax add-on

Generating Resilience

Advice from the pros on how to keep urban buildings inhabitable after storms, floods and blackouts

Red-Hot Renewables Debate

ICYMI, the latest round in the fierce dispute over if, when and how renewables can zero-out fossil fuels

July 23, 2013

The Solar 12

Lessons worth learning from the twelve states with the most installed solar power

Hotter Under The Sea

Scientists see crucial climate change evidence in data on rising ocean temperatures

Investing In Your Future

The financial sector, particularly institutional investors, must re-allocate investments to cut global GHG emissions at a pace and scale that matter

Fun Facts About East Coast Wind Power

See if there's wind power on the way in your Atlantic state

Starchitect Prizes Solar Skins

World-famous architect, Sir Norman Foster, integrates solar panels into the exterior of buildings he designs

Solar Power With Union Labor

A New York solar power firm puts unionized workers on its PV installation jobs

Big Bucks For Mass Transit

Subway, bus & commuter rail service in the NY metro area get a multi-million dollar budget boost from the state

Electric Use Sets Record

Electric consumption in NYC hit an all time high of 13,322 MW last Friday, but it wasn't the hottest July 20 on record

July 22, 2013

NYC Dodges Disaster

Looking for buildable space in NYC? Here's an early 20th century proposal to fill in the Hudson River and more!

Majority Supports Obama Climate Plan

61% of American voters polled about President Obama's climate action plan give it a thumbs up

Social Science At Work: Benchmarking

Research on targeted transparency policy could enhance the impact of building energy benchmarking laws

California's Not Dreaming

California has a 40 year track record to show the other 49 state how to get energy efficient

UK: Re-Do The Energy Maths

Is it possible that renewable energy will soon become the cost-effective choice?

Thumbs Up For Negawatts

Resilience of the metro area's power supply during last week's heat wave owes a lot to effective demand response programs

Together Again

Could NYC's traffic czarina Janette Sadik-Khan & Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden have joint plans for an urban sustainability enterprise?

July 21, 2013

Electric Prices Soar With The Heat

What it costs you to stay cool

Too Cool For School

Do you run your AC at the recommended 78 degrees?

July 20, 2013

Storing Sunlight

Is dawn breaking for the solar power storage industry?

July 19, 2013

Sunny Geothermal Italy

Italy produces more low-cost geothermal power than any other country in Europe

Rebuilding Rockaway

Four semifinalists named in the design competition to rebuild Sandy-ravaged Rockaway waterfront communities

EU: Nuclear Support

The EU considers rules to clarify how governments could offer subsidies to build and operate nuclear power plants

Taking Credit For Giving Credit

Co-ordinating federal loan programs could accelerate the President's climate action agenda

Hong Kong: Carbon Footprinting For Consumers

A voluntary product labeling scheme will educate Hong Kong businesses and consumers about their carbon footprints

So Long Snow And Ice

The hottest climate news of 2013 is the rapid melt of northern snow and Arctic sea ice

Energy Efficiency: Not A Done Deal

Why achieving scale remains an elusive goal for the building energy efficiency market

Gowanus Green Leases

A Gowanus Canal area property owner adds sustainability and other neighborhood-friendly provisions to his leases

Two Green Peas In A POD

Distributed power and renewable energy go together for greening data centers

July 18, 2013

Be A Safer Cycler

Top tips for urban bike riders

Two Kinds Of Power Shift

The rise of IT-enabled distributed electric & heat power production could raise the power of cities

WTC: Transit Hubba Hubba

The multi-billion dollar transit hub at the World Trade center site starts to shape up

California: Carbon Offset Deal

Utilities and green groups agree, foreign forest emissions offsets should be used in California's carbon cap & trade program

EU ETS: When Less Is More

Betting that fewer emissions permits on the market, prices rise for EU carbon trading

Urban Heat Islands

Why you might be feeling a little hotter

Cost Is The Killer

Are old nuclear plants too costly to repair and keep in operation, while new ones are too expensive to build?

July 17, 2013

Feds Walk-The-Walk On Energy Efficiency

A review of federal energy efficiency policy shows it's more than talk

Spain: Renewable Energy At Risk

Spanish developers fear cuts in government renewable energy support could bankrupt them

Shifting Power Supplies

Leaders & laggards from 2005-2012 in shifting power supplies by US electric utilities

The Cool Battery

Con Ed and other utilities to test out energy storage batteries to keep urban ACs going on the hottest days, without needing a bigger energy supply

Getting To Yes On Energy Disclosure

Boston discovers education & resources to act are the keys to real estate buy in on benchmarking, building energy disclosure laws

Carbon Tax - Fuggedaboutit

Conservatives launch an attack aimed at killing off chances for a federal carbon tax

LEDs Come Of Age

With prices dropping and light quality improving LED bulbs are ready for prime time

EU-ETS: The Cap's The Thing

Defenders of the EU carbon trading scheme claim it's carbon caps, not prices, that matter

July 16, 2013

State Energy Snapshots

New York State's energy snapshot is just one of 51 on this AEE web portal

China: Clean Energy Investment Sags

Chinese clean energy investments by equipment makers and utilities are predicted to drop by $49 billion this year

Saved By Oysters

Oysters, sand dunes, wetlands and other 'soft' coastal natural resources can protect vulnerable US coastlines for free

East River - Floating Pool

Could dreams of a floating, filtered-water pool in the East River become a reality?

Australia: PM Kills Carbon Tax

PM Kevin Rudd ends the carbon tax and speed up introduction of a emissions permit market, but revenues will drop

Republican Seeks Out Administration

Senator Vitter (R-La.) presses for testimony from the Obama Administration, not just scientists, at climate science hearings

Cooling Centers Go Unused

Few New Yorkers go to any of 500 cooling centers to beat the summer heat

July 15, 2013

Conventional Climate Economics Challenged

A new study undermines some givens of climate economics

The Climate Culture Calendar

New York's autumn cultural calendar features climate-themed events

Defining Your Goals

Where's the best place to locate a wind or solar power installation? It depends

Your Number Is Up

Infographic of NYC buildings' aggregate resource consumption

Senate Climate Hearings On Tap

The witness list for Senate Environmental & Public Works Committee "Climate Change: It’s Happening Now" hearings on July 18

UK: Stop Climate Chaos

Next year the UK climate movement plans to relaunch with high profile public mobilizations and engage in 10-15 Parliamentary elections

China-US: Carbon Friending

China and the US find several carbon-cutting actions to pursue together

India: Wind Gains Momentum

Ten reasons why wind power is making inroads into coal-generated electric power

Why Chicago Should Benchmark

NRDC makes the case for why Chicago should join the ranks of cities with building benchmarking laws

July 13, 2013

Storm Brewing Over Hurricane Science

A new round of controversy erupts among climate scientists over predicted changes in the frequency & severity of hurricanes

You Say You Want An Energy Revolution

With 500 separate owners of power transmission lines, improving the overall system by adding more renewable power could be impossible

July 12, 2013

Solar Georgia On My Mind

Regulators require Georgia Power to buy 525 MW solar power as part of their energy mix

Visit Now

Five famous sites on the National Trust for Historic Preservation list threatened by climate change flooding

China: Mad As Hell

A rising Chinese urban middle class targets pollution as a major source of discontent

Oceans: Deep Heating

Re-analysis of existing data finds sharply rising temperatures in deep ocean waters, a trend predicted by climate change science

Japan: Alarming Radioactive Leaks

Japanese regulators grow more alarmed over radioactive materials escaping from the shuttered Fukushima nuclear power plant

Another Blue Planet

NASA photo of HD 189733b, a planet 63 light years away

Promoting Greener B Schools

Seven practical ideas for integrating sustainability & a climate curriculum into MBA programs

July 11, 2013

More Money For Clean Energy

With China, South Africa and th US in the lead, global investment in clean energy is on the rebound

Hip-Hop Hooray

A history of hip-hop — where it grew up — in NYC parks

More Solar For Less Money

New York State solar power support programs are paying off

The Zombie Apocalypse

Behind the scare headlines lie numerous reasons for developing microgrids

Breaking The Emissions-Economic Growth Link

Cities are living labs for linking economic growth to energy efficiency instead of burning more fuel

Stuck In Carbon

The renewable energy share of the world's total energy use has not grown over the last 20 years

Demystifying Energy Futures

The short version of why future global energy predictions are all over the map and why that matters

Switzerland: 50% Polluters

50% of a Swiss town's carbon emission come from 21% of its households

The New Yellow Green Pages

The Green Business Directory will help companies find eco-friendly services and suppliers

July 10, 2013

Skanska Leaves The Chamber

Objecting to efforts to undercut LEED standards for federal building Skansa, a global project development and construction firm, quits the US Chamber of Commerce

More Good News - Sandy Success Stories

20 cases of planning and design that worked well in the face of Superstorm Sandy

Good News -- At Last

Utility-run energy efficiency programs get more funding and generate energy efficiency, while coal-burning decreases

20 Cities Track Their Progress

Citizens of 20 Minnesota cities can track annual GHG emissions and other environmental indicators on an interactive website

Scotland: Less Tide Power

Scientists find estimates of 14 GW of potential tidal power from the Pentland Firth should be cut to 1 -2 GW

Bulkheads v Noah's Ark

What to do about NYC neighborhood's subject to chronic flooding and in harm's way when storms hit and seas surge?

Power From The Desert Sun

Dust and distance are hurdles to making solar power from desert sites a new normal

July 09, 2013

One Graph Is Worth A 1,000 Words

See rising global temperature patterns decade-by-decade

Tesla Makes It On Wall Street

The stock of electric car maker Tesla enters the Nasdaq 100 Index

5 States To Teach About Climate

Rhode Island, Kentucky, Kansas, Maryland & Vermont adopt school science course standards that include teaching about climate change

Science At Work - Hurricanes

New research predicts more GHG emissions will lead to more and fiercer hurricanes in this century

Science At Work - Sea Ice

Uproar over getting the facts right about the melting of Arctic sea ice

145 Days

The EPA has been without a chief for 145 days with Gina McCarthy's nomination still stalled in the Senate

China: Coal Kills

Breathing air polluted by coal-burning power plants cuts 5.5 years off lives in northern China

UK: Hail To The Green Queen

Queen Elizabeth harnesses Thames River water to power
Windsor Castle
and meters its energy use

Build A Better LED

Research on new materials to build more lovable LED light bulbs

July 08, 2013

Yogurt Power

Greek yogurt makers in New York have an electrifying way with 'whey'

Cute Energy Saving Clips

Sometimes it pays to watch YouTube

Cutting Carbon: Tall Order For China

Consider the challenges on China's path from pilot to national carbon reduction programs

Europe: The Water-Climate-Nuke Cost Nexus

As climate change warms the water resources used in southern Europe to cool down nuclear reactors, the cost of this non-fossil energy source will rise

Australia: Expect More Extreme Summers

Climate change impacts will be felt in the form of even hotter summers in Australia

Google Energy

Is Google adding big energy company to its corporate focus?

Meet Ethical Electric

Get acquainted with a new breed of electric power utility

Desiring A Streetcar

In Redhook, Brooklyn the desire for a streetcar might be fulfilled

July 06, 2013

Listen Up - The Message Matters

Want to move people with your climate message? Start here

Climate Change - The Novels

Novels using climate change as the plot device don't register as a science fiction

July 05, 2013

Quivering Coal

Attack campaigns against the environmental movement by the coal industry suggest greens are winning

Conservatives Must Lean-In On Climate

Bob Inglis, a leading conservative for climate and energy action, offers a free enterprise agenda

UK: PM Cuts Offshore Wind Ribbon

Prime Minister Cameron launches the London Array, an offshore wind farm in a country with more installed capacity than the rest of the world combined

Big Solar - Big Questions

Can we count on the development of mega-scale solar power projects?

Asia: Planet Roast

Asian nations as well as the World Bank & the Asian Development Bank must make climate friendly choices, or else

Science St Work - Tracking The Jet Stream

Wiggles an wobbles in the jet stream over North America have a big impact on the weather

How Cities Can Help Distribute The Power

Making cities centers of distributed, district energy will require forward-thinking government policies

July 04, 2013

ETA Solar-Powered Plane

The cross country flight of a plane powered solely by sunlight is due to end with its NYC landing this weekend. Here's some backstory

Soot Masks Climate Impact

Research finds small air pollution particles mask climate-related rainfall increases, so less soot will mean wetter weather in soggy areas

July 03, 2013

Rooftop Farm Airport

In 1946, a NYC developer had plans for a 990-acre Manhattan airport 200 feet above street level

A New Green Home Challenge

A Chicago suburb house is the first in the nation to meet new high performance levels, the Green Home Challenge

Paris: Bank Signs Green Lease

The green lease idea gets space in Paris

Hong Kong: Micro-Carbon App

Now there's an app to help Hong Kong residents live smarter with a smaller carbon footprint

Hot Start To 21st Century

2000-2010 had the hottest temperatures in 160 years and plenty of weird weather too

Distributed Energy 101

Developmet and financing basics for urban distributed energy systems

Science At Work - Tap Water From The Sea

While desalinization is a standard technology, an energy efficient way to get drinking water from the ocean is brand new

For Computer Gamers

Long summer weekend ahead, time to play a computer game about sustainable energy resources

Cookin' With The Climate

As usual, Mark Bittman says it best

July 02, 2013

Less Carbon, More Work

How Obama's plan to cut carbon emissions could create more jobs, especially in energy efficiency

Light And Body Heat

A fifteen year old invents a flashlight powered with body heat

Grading Energy Efficiency

Is America getting more energy efficient? Here's a detailed report card

The Devil's In the Details

Key to meeting a building's energy efficiency goals is attention to detail during construction and in facility operations

High Performance Bikes

Think Lamborghini, not Citibike

Looking Ahead With Numbers

With predictions of US carbon emissions rising 2013-2020, consider the numbers and projections of what's needed to meet Obama's carbon reduction goal

UN: Nuke Industry Learns Its Lesson

The UN International Atomic Energy Agency sees a feasible future for nuclear energy because it's learned the lessons of Fukushima

Norway: Keep It In The Ground

A Norwegian economist wins an EU prize for proposing to combat climate change by paying nations for their fossil fuel extraction rights

July 01, 2013

New Uses For Old Infrastructure

Ideas for reusing old bits of Boston's infrastructure for 21 century urban needs

DOE: Don't Rule Out Coal

Federal energy czar Ernest Moniz says coal will remain a significant part of the nation's energy supply mix

Energy Efficiency Save Lives

One Marine was killed or wounded for every 50 fuel and water truck convoys in Afghanistan, and one in 17 of the convoys was disrupted by an improvised explosive device — that's unacceptable. Now, the USMC leads the way on innovative and energy-efficient gear

Renewables Ready For Prime Time

Four reasons why renewable energy is up to Obama's climate action challenge

China: More Offshore Wind

A Chinese company announces its prototype 6.5 MW offshore wind turbine is ready for action

Getting To Yes For Gina

Here's a pathway for Senate confirmation of Gina McCarthy to lead the EPA

ICYMI - Supreme Court On EPA Powers

The Supreme Court will hear a case next session that could reinstate certain EPA powers to regular CO2 emissions from power plants

Spain: Capping Renewable Profits

Spain will announce caps on allowable profits to the deeply indebted renewable energy industry

Melbourne/Sydney: Still Addicited To Carbon

Relying on coal-fired power plants located outside city limits, Melbourne & Sydney need a renewable energy revolution