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News & Views Curation

August 29, 2013

The President's PV

Some specs on the (re)installed solar panels atop the White House

Cap Carbon With RGGI Rules

If the federal government wants a way to cap carbon emissions the northeast states' RGGI program is where to start

Fear Free

A former senior regulator in the Obama administration rues the lack of public fear about the impacts of climate change

August 28, 2013

Wind Turbines Are Not Bad Neighbors

California home prices don't drop with wind turbines in the neighborhood


The final column from Leo Hickman, The Guardian's first climate blogger

Philly: Sharing Bike-Sharing Costs

Getting land-owners to kick in a share of Philadelphia's bike-sharing program is under consideration

Urban Green: Look Local

The greening of northern European urban power supplies might offer lessons for US cities & check out Euro smart grid developments

ICYMI - Climate Talk On The Radio

NPR interviews a leading climate no-action scientist and a leading climate-action scientist, they don't agree but they don't debate

Oceans: Where The Heat Is

Now we know, the oceans are at the leading edge of global warming, according to the leaked IPPC report

UK: Backpedaling On Clean Energy

The Cameron government shows signs of cut backs to its clean energy, carbon-cutting goals

Vermont Nuke Plant Signs Off

Saying it's no longer financially viable, the owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant will shut it down in 2014, but there's a dispute about the time needed to dismantle it

Science At Work: Grid Alert

Does spacial analysis make the case that the US power grid is inherently unstable?

August 27, 2013

Beyond Natural Gas

Wind, geothermal & solar power in western states could be cost-competitive with natural gas to create and deliver electric to consumers starting in 2025

China: Energy Future Goes Both Ways

In China, with 1,583 gigawatts of new power by 2030 half of it will come from renewables but coal will still dominate

Send Money

To make energy efficient buildings the new normal requires lots of money, so how to get big financial firms engaged?

Oceans: Variable Acidification Impacts

Research finds greater impacts of climate-related ocean acidification on areas already stressed

Tesla Testing

What's the truth behind Tesla's claim to be the safest car on the road?

Climate Chaos - Insurance Industry On The Case

The insurance industry is wrapping its arms around today's weird weather and not just waiting to see what tomorrow may bring

The Poor Pay More

Building benchmarking data discloses low-income Bronx households pay a bigger share of family income for electricity than other NYers

Climate Hawks Ready To Fly

Climate Hawks Vote, a new super-PAC dedicated to making climate protection matter in the 2014 elections launches

August 26, 2013

Al Jazeera America Covers The Climate

Newly-launched news network Al Jazeera America starts out with climate change coverage

Green Bonds Sale A Sell Out

Massachusetts' first $100 million green bond sale had more buyers than bonds, outpacing the rest of the state offering

Advisory Board Gets New Energy

The Department of Energy announces the new members of the Secretary's Advisory Board

That's No Refrigerator In Your Pocket

A take-down of last week's hyped story claiming cell phones use more power than refrigerators

Energy Efficient Applianes Cost Less

Despite regulators' fears that energy efficiency would raise appliances prices, their cost actually dropped

Learning From Urban Climate Leaders

What can Seoul, Houston & Rio teach other cities about preparing for a climate-action leadereship?

Nova Scotia: Tidal Power Opportunity

Will Nova Scotia make the most of its tidal resources and rising global demand for enabling technologies?

India: Support For A Green Code

The energy-conservation building code for the state of Andhra Pradesh gets funded

Things To Do On A Staycation

Visit these tourist-ready NYC subway entrances hiding in plain sight

Transportation By The Numbers

Movement metrics for NYC, starting with a billion subway riders

August 24, 2013

Don't Count On Band-Aids

Patching on fixes to today's building codes won't stormproof homes from tomorrow's Sandys

August 23, 2013

Securing Information And Power Supplies

Upgrading wireless communications & the electric distribution grid are on the recommendations list in the post-Sandy resilience report

US: Banned In China

A glut of waste plastics collected in US recycling programs leads to a Chinese import ban

Really Risky Business

Failure to plan for climate change impacts, which are always probable never certain, is the world's biggest risk management error

Smart Buildings 101

Get educated about the value of smart buildings

London: Fight Floods With Shrubs

A living wall of greenery in central London is designed to soak up storm water & minimize flood damage

Wade Into Tormorow

Coastal cities, wake up, see the waters rising and rethink edges, infrastructure & barriers

Doomed To Obsolescence

Invented in the same era, Edison's light bulb & today's power grid are goners

August 22, 2013

Turning A Profit

Wind turbine makers set to return to profitability this year

Sweden: Really High Performance Buildings

What is Sweden's secret to cutting the carbon footprint of its building stock?

Germany: Solar Hits New High

A new record is set for the amount of solar power generated in Germany, 5.1 terawatt hours (TWh) in July

What Global Warming Means For NY...

... and what you can do about it

Al Gore: Positive Signs

Al Gore sees reasons for optimism in the struggle against climate change

Sweet On Brooklyn

Rooftop beekeeping with a gazillion dollar view

Scientists At Work: Higher, Warmer, Faster

New research predicts high elevation regions will heat up more in winter than lower altitude areas

Waterfront Planning After Sandy

The East River Blueway Plan strives to provide access to the water and protection from it

Sandy's Wake Up Call For All Mayors

For Mike Bloomberg, Superstorm Sandy is the alert to mayors everywhere that cities must take the lead in defensive climate action

August 21, 2013

UK: Dumps Green Build Rules

The UK cuts the green parts out of its home building codes

Where The Floods Are

Welcome to the world's 20 cities most vulnerable to the cost of sea-level rise flooding by 2050

Energy Watchdog Growls

Timely rule-making & enforcement of US appliance energy efficiency standards is needed to make them matter

Do The Math

By some calculations, nuclear power is our cheapest non-fossil fuel option

China: Top Price For Carbon

At $7/metric ton China's pilot carbon emissions market price is above the European Union trading scheme

Fossil Fuels Power Exports

The value of US fossil fuel exports tops the charts in the Obama Administration

The Power Of Pricing

Time-of-day pricing is key to integrating solar power into smart grid systems

Become An Educated Renter

Now renters in Philadelphia can learn how much energy a building uses before making a leasing decisions

Building Market Transformation

Is the market for energy efficient building moving forward or marking time?

August 20, 2013

Big Insurer Mulls Carbon Credits

Europe's largest insurance company sees opportunity in the carbon emissions credit business

Seattle: Mayor v Coal Industry

A report commissioned by the Mayor of Seattle to examine the economic impact of expanding the city's coal export facilities sparks dispute with a pro-coal group

Climate Policy Polling

Gather some data on public opinion poll results about climate and energy policies

Climate Messaging Questioned

Is here-and-now messaging to mobilize climate action paying off?

Australia: Renewables At Election Risk

$4 billion in renewable power investment is at risk if the Conservatives win the September election and end the carbon tax

Wireless Resilience

The federal Sandy rebuilding report calls for making US wireless communications technologies & data centers more extreme weather-proof

Japan: Radioative Workers

Two workers at the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant were contamined with radioactive particles

Sandy Recovery Report

Federal guidance for post-Sandy protective rebuilding, with implications for the remaining $40 billion is disaster relief

August 19, 2013

$11 Million For Energy Efficiency

The Department of Energy announces $11 million in awards for 12 energy efficiency technology and equipment projects

Sydney Monorail: RIP

The inner city monorail of Sydney, Australia is gone, but was it ever a good idea?

NY and CA Solar Access Stars

Learn from the states in the lead on cutting both red tape and costs for installing solar power

Working With Energy Efficiency

Promoting energy efficiency is a successful route to growing manufacturing jobs & boosting global competitiveness

3 Feet x 2100

Climate scientists find it is 'extremely likely' for global sea levels to rise three feet by 2100

NYC Needs Another Green Mayor

The New York Times wants the next Mayor to have an energetic, pro-environment agenda and weighs in on the candidates

Tweeting For Urban Resilience

Q&A with climate insurance aces, @DavidBresch and @AndreasSpiegel1, at a live Twitter event August 20, 2–3 pm EDT to discuss what urban resilience means @ClimateGroup using the hashtag #CWNYC

August 18, 2013

Rating The Bloomberg Era

"Taking measures against carbon emissions while traveling on a private jet" is one way to sum up the contradictions of Mayor Bloomberg's 12 years in office

August 16, 2013

New Zealand: 5x20

Is the government announcement that New Zealand will cut its carbon emission 5% by 2020 a joke?

NY Fracking Decision

Not yet

Toronto: Extreme Cost Of Extreme Weather

This summer's storm-caused floods in Toronto will cost insurers a record-breaking $850 million

Nuclear 'Just-So' Story

This year's pro-nuclear documentary film, Pandora's Promise, is still a lightening rod

Energy Rx For NJ Hospitals

A New Jersey program to improve hospitals' energy efficiency gets a boost from power utility involvement at 22 facilities, with 10 more in the works

NYer's Like Mike's Bikes

While New Yorkers approve of the bike lanes & bike-sharing programs established by Mayor Bloomberg by wide margins, the rest of his legacy is controversial

This Cloud Slurps Energy

Using 10% of the world's electricity and facing demands for 24/7 reliability, can the world’s Information-Communications-Technologies (ICT) system, be made climate-friendly?

Baselining NY Building Energy Use

Measuring the energy performance of New York public buildings today is the first step to improving their energy performance tomorrow

August 15, 2013

Electric Companies - Mall Or Be Mauled

What's an energy mall and why is it more sustainable business model than today's electric power utilities?

Germany: Renewables Revolution Is Real

Amory Lovins tackles three claims about why Germany's turn to a renewable energy path won't work

The Green Roof Test

What's the best kind of green roof for abating sewage treatment system overflows?

Not Talking The Talk

Environmental protection is just one of the urban issues NYC's Mayoral hopefuls are ignoring

The Hills Of Governors Island

Coming in 2015, construction debris will be the foundation for parkland hills on Governor's Island

A House Without A Furnace Is Like...

In the US, passive houses have it all, except market share

End Climate Denialism

What will it take to make climate denialism toxic for politicians?

Platinum Court House

Construction begins on a federal courthouse in Los Angeles going for a LEED Platinum rating

August 14, 2013

Media Misses The Message

News outlets like the New York Times take heat for inadequate coverage of major climate science stories

Energy Infrastructure Barely Passes

The electric power grid and fossil fuel systems get a D on an engineering report card for the nation's infrastructure

Footie: The Carbon Bootprint

How big is the carbon footprint for viewing a recent Manchester United v Wigan football (a/k/a soccer) match?

UK: Energy Efficiency Squads

Going door-to-door, UK energy efficiency teams seek homeowners to sign up for services

Unicorns For Climate Deniers

An Obama climate-action support group tweets its legislators' climate denier award

Nuclear Renaissance — Not

Don't hold your breath for the revitalization of the nuclear power industry, former NRC Commissioner cautions

East Asia: Solar Upswing

An upturn in global markets for solar panels boosts Chinese & Taiwanese production

Connected By Carbon

The way we live now — with smart phones, wi-fi & cloud storage — is creating a mega carbon footprint

Coal Plant Die-Off

Owners of 13 coal-burning power plants i Illinois could be facing financial ruin

August 13, 2013

Affordable Energy Efficiency

Will tougher Energy Star standards for windows and other energy efficiency improvements make them too expensive for many home-owners?

A New Corporate Culture

'Don't go it alone' is the message for today's sustainability-oriented businesses

The Next Blackout

While the power grid's a lot stronger now than before the last big blackout, it's vulnerable to extreme weather and few changes in grid operations

Citibike Timeline

A brief history of the Citibike program


Meet the hyperloop, Elon Musk's vision of solar-powered mass transit at 800 mph, but could it be a political manifesto?

Greenlighting Rules For Greener Gear

The Department of Energy will start on overdue rules to upgrade appliances' energy efficiency

Back To The Eemian

The Eemian Epoch had temperatures we might be seeing soon -- and sea levels jumped to 30 feet higher than now

August 12, 2013

Here's Lookng At Mars

I know there are no cities on Mars, but still, don't miss these satellite ice cap photos

California Carbon Offsets

What happens in California won't stay in California, but is that good?

Candidates' Post-Sandy Agendas

Tweeting about a radio interview with NYC Mayoral candidates' ideas for post-Sandy recovery & rebuilding

Climate Contrast For Coastal States

Compare and contrast the climate-change impact preparedness of Connecticut and North Carolina

Adapt Oakland

Oakland's a leader for putting natural systems to work to clean up urban pollution

China: Wind Power Update

Will China upgrade its electric power grid for making good use of wind energy?

Higher Ed Going For Gold

Explore the design of the New School's soon-to-open multi-function building that's going for LEED Gold

Australia: Blame The Carbon Tax

Conservative candidate for Australia's top political job faults the carbon tax for slumping coal & iron mining, while it's cited as most at-risk developed nation on Earth

Germany: Utility Slump

Markets give the thumbs down to German power utilities

Highline Graffiti

Something old, something new it's all metropolitan

August 11, 2013

Aleppo, Benghazi, Salina

How the fossil fuel monocultures of the Mideast support the farming monoculture of the Midwest and we are all harmed

August 09, 2013

Why Love Paris

What can happen when an old Paris railway is abandoned

China: Another First

China is on track to become the word's biggest net oil importer this year

Detroit: Farming Futures

Can retail agriculture create a sustainable future for Detroit?

Washington DC: Energy Data Maps

Data lovers, get up-to-the-minute energy use info in a portfolio of Washington DC buildings

Engineering Climate Action

A geo-engineering proponent explains his approach to chilling out a hotter planet

TGIF: Listen Up

Enjoy this essay on how sound and silence add to place-making

London: Tube Map App

Now there's an app for the London Underground that shows where all trains are in real time

Another Century Of Fossil Fuels

Think the 21st Century will see the dawn of the post-carbon era? Think again

Green Group Makes An Endorsement

The NY League of Conservation Voters gives the thumbs-up to Julie Menin for Manhattan Borough President

The Great LEED Debate

A full frontal attack on LEEDs ability to lead to energy efficient buildings and the debate it stirred up. Here's more

Don't Count On Wasted Energy

Exergy, a measure of energy actually used, is a better way to think about policy and economic productivity

August 08, 2013

The Value Of Sunlight

By some calculations, the dollar value of solar power is now higher in Connecticut & New York than in California

Clean Energy Success Story

How one well-connected lobbying group tried to roll back renewable energy portfolio standards and failed

Blue-Green Uneasy Alliance

Strategic alliances between US labor and environmentalists are a sometime thing

Food Scraps: The Final Recycling Frontier

NYC can save $85 million a year as it shifts from landfilling food waste to composting it, other cities do the same

EU: Solar Skeptics

Are troubles in the EU solar power equipment-making sector signs of policy failure or just market shakeout?

Sick Sea Lions And More

Sick sick lion pups are just one sign of climate change impacting the California coastline

UK: Anatomy Of A Fracking Protest

What do anti-fracking protest signal at an English site where oil - not gas - drilling gets underway?

Climate Change Is A Material Risk

Asset owners and managers consider climate change effects as a material risk across their investment portfolios

August 07, 2013

Copenhagen: Bike-Riding Capital

36% of Copenhageners ride bikes to work or school, compared to US' most bike-riding city, Portland, Oregon, with a 6% score

No Train To The Plane

Why most US airports don't have Amtrak connections

Getting Around Now

Mayoral candidates should gear up about the new transit choices of young voters

Rockaway Renaissance

Finalists are announced in Phase 1 of the competition for redeveloping a resilient Rockaway

Climate Change Is Us

Human activities are the motor of climate change, so we'd better change our ways

Change The Channel

Conservative media like Fox News erodes its audience's trust in the science of climate change, according to research published in Public Understanding of Science

Japan: Battery-Operated Grid

Japan tests the integration of battery storage into its electric grid to handle large power surpluses and jump-start a global market

Georgia: Beyond Coal

Georgia regulators OK the shutdown of the state's oldest coal-fired power plants and order the addition 525 MW of solar power

Methane Measurement Maze

Think measuring methane leaks is straightforward? Think again

Leave It In The Ground Here

True or False? More renewable & next generation nuclear power cannot cut total carbon emissions as long as the US rate of extracting fossil fuels rises

August 06, 2013

2012: One Of Ten Warmest On Record

The American Meteorological Society reports on notable things about world weather in 2012

China: Tallest CHP building

When it opens in 2014, the tallest building in China will have an on-site combined heat and power systems

Global Energy Infographic

Map the world in terms of what fuels its power plants

Australia: Conservatives Target Carbon Tax

If elected, Australian Conservatives vow to abolish the nation's carbon tax

US: Energy Innovator Also-Ran

Arnold Schwarzenegger fears that the US economy is losing the global energy innovation race

Don't Waste Waste Sites

Closed landfills or other contaminated sites in NY and other states could be repurposed for solar power and other types of renewable power

Details Details

Check out the design of a super energy efficient home in Utah and ask, "What's in a label?"

The School With The Solar Skin

PS 62 on Staten Island will be home to the northeast's first net-zero energy school, clad in solar panels

$24 Million For Energy Efficiency

NYSERDA will issue $24 million in bonds to provide low-cost loans for energy efficiency upgrades in 1-4 family homes

August 05, 2013

'Help My House'

On-bill financing is key to a South Carolina program to upgrade energy efficiency in affordable homes and save occupants $300 a year

Marine Life: Feeling The Heat

Marine life reacts faster to a heating climate than land-based plants and animals

Palo Alto: All Renewable

Palo Alto, California now requires 100% of its energy to come from renewable sources

Subway Riders Save Money

Reuse of NYC Metrocards soars with $1 fee for buying new ones

China: Better Air For People And Planet

Making China's air safe to breathe goes in hand in hand with cutting GHGs

Teamsters Hall Built By PACE

The energy efficient Teamsters Union Hall is the first PACE-financed project in Los Angeles county

Reinvent Or Go Extinct

Europe's electric utility industry confronts the need to fundamentally change or else

Eco-Consumer Surveys 2.0

What can be done to upgrade consumer surveys on energy efficiency and renewable power?

For Your Consideration

Five ideas for a more sustainable (in every sense) NYC

August 02, 2013

London: Stocking Up On Renewables

Stock market IPO's for renewable energy firms are on the upswing in London

Former EPA Chiefs Cheer Carbon Tax

Four previous EPA leaders confirm that climate change is real and needs to be tackled head on with a carbon tax

Global Climate Report - Coming Soon

Meet climate scientists engaged in the latest report of the International Panel on Climate Change due out this fall

German Green Glow Dims

Great hopes for German leadership on how to end our fossil fuel addiction are fading

Killer Ladybugs

140,000 ladybugs turned loose in Central Park to combat pests without using toxic chemical

Just The Facts Ma'am

Washington DC gets its first real-time, energy use monitoring system for public buildings

Hot Rocks

Could fracking create enhanced geothermal systems to amp up the world's zero-carbon energy supply?

August 01, 2013

Words Fail Me

Scientists' picture of Earth temperatures today and the blistering speed of change by 2100

Helsinki: Density Does It

Residents in a new, densely developed Helsinki neighborhood choose to to trade more space for urban amenities

New Zealand: Adapt We Must

New Zealand must take steps to adapt to climate change but critics note the nation has yet to put a price on carbon


Installing and linking 1,000 high-tech monitors on the US electric power grid could eliminate future blackouts

Germany: Nixes Smart Meters

Calling EU standards for installing smart meters in 80% of homes by 2020 too costly for consumers, Germany won't adopt them

Boston's Bragging Rights

Boston has the software to back up its energy and water conservation claims

Hooray For Hollywood

Film and TV productions can slash their energy consumption 50% with plasma lighting

First Look At 2nd Avenue Subway

Come on down and see the birth of NYC's newest subway line

Microgrids: Get What You Need

$16 million for nine new microgrid systems in Connecticut is nothing to sneeze at, but the power supply will be more local, more resilient and weather-resistant, and produce much less CO2