Photo Credit: ©amazon pixels

News & Views Curation

December 31, 2013

When Less Is More

NYC greenhouse gas emissions down 19% since 2005, let's make more of less in 2014. Mayor Bloomberg's final climate press release

Mid-Term Elections To Watch

Climate and sustainable energy supporters should keep an eye on these eight races

Become An Effective Climate Advocate

As Archy (admirer of Mehitabel) knows, story telling is a top way to change minds

"it wont be long now it won't be long/
till earth is barren as the moon/
and sapless as a mumbled bone/

dear boss I relay this information/
without any fear that humanity/
will take warning and reform"

Climate And Energy - 2013 Highlights

Reasons to take heart on the US climate and energy front

Australia: Green Expectations

All new Australian power projects through 2020 are predicted to use renewable energy

How To Become An Earth Angel

Learn to get on with nature before nature learns to get on without us

Edinburgh: How To Become a Panda Keeper

Glad you asked

Australia: The Insanity Clause

An economic advisor to Australia's Prime Minister says nation's taken hostage by climate madness

Highest Performance Building

Seattle's Bulllitt Center rates as the most sustainable building of the year

December 30, 2013

US Military: Go Greener

Military construction now can aim for LEED Gold and Platinum in the budget authorization bill signed by Obama

Solar Securitization: Making It Work

Study up on securitization, the hot new way to finance solar power installations

Milan's Sky-High Greenery

Can trees be an integral part of new skyscrapers?

Berlin: Re Cycling

With a column titled 'Suicide Cycling in Berlin", you're in for quite a ride

The Good, The Dumb, The Hilarious

Energy saving tips that run the gamut from love 'em to laughable

Pedal Power For New Year's

The Times Square New Year's Eve ball will be powered by Citibikes

Mystery Attack On CA Power Plant

A 'military style' attack on a California power plant shocks officials -- FBI is investigating

December 28, 2013

Follow The Dark Money

A scholarly study sheds light on 'dark money' funding of climate denial projects that conceal donors' identities

Resolutions 2014

A short list of eco-friendly New Year resolutions make & keep

December 27, 2013

2014 Predictions

One insider's list of the climate and energy stories to watch next year

What FEMA Knew

FEMA knew NYC was using inaccurate flood maps before Sandy blew into town

Local Activist Makes Good

Majora Carter tells her story of becoming a star urban environmental justice activist

Raise The Gas Tax

Raise the federal gas tax and stop raiding other revenues to pay for road, bridge & rail programs

Hawaii: Too Much Solar Success

The soaring success of solar power in Hawaii creates a utility backlash and how Hawaiian Electric treats the heat

2014 Month by Month

Columbia University climate scientists get their very own 2014 pin-up calendar

December 26, 2013

Better Than Net Metering

Making the case for feed-in tariffs, not net-metering, as the policy tool for ramping up distributed renewable power supplies

Don't Blame The Sun

New research finds solar flares cannot be blamed for most temperature changes on Earth over the last 1,000 years

Solar-Power Payback

How long does it take to recoup the costs of installing rooftop solar panels?

Fed-Ex Ads Won't Cool The Planet

Despite adorable Fed-Ex animated ads about its hybrid-fuel truck fleet, real world fleet numbers are not so cute

December 25, 2013

Carbon Math

All math is political when calculating how to cut global carbon emissions

December 24, 2013

What's Ahead For Climate Change

Spoiler Alert: The future's not looking rosy, but there are signs of positive action

GHG Reductions - Go Short, Go Long

Scientists call for parallel strategies to cut both short and long-lived GHG emissions

California Dreamin' Battery Storage

It's no dream, California utilities to install big banks of batteries to store surplus PV power for use at night

UK: Spain Out, Japan In

Spanish utility Iberdrola sells its 50% stake in a British venture to build a 3.6 gigawatt nuclear power plant to Japanese firm Toshiba

Clinton v Warren

Start your 2016 Presidential candidate scorecard now

Harlem: On The Cutting Energy Edge

A Harlem-based start up is developing cutting-edge energy storage gear from off-the-shelf chemicals & little fans

December 23, 2013

The Gaping Performance Gap

Based on data from 17,000 apartment buildings, the best energy performers have utility bills 8 times lower than the slurpers

Dim Forecast For Utilities

Why is the outlook negative for the financial health of the global utility sector in 2014?

Polar Bear Plight

See photos of the latest woes for the poster child of climate change, the polar bear

How To Make A Buck On Energy Efficiency

ICYMI, regulators must decouple power production from profits to ramp up utility engagement with energy efficiency

France: Taxing Carbon

France's Parliament OKs a broad fossil fuel tax starting in 2014

Manchester: Taken With Trams

21 years in the making, Manchester's tram system is a hit with commuters

Science At Work: Communicating And Advocating

One of today's most controversial climate science arenas is how to communicate and the place of advocacy

December 20, 2013

Climate: Year End Review

So many lists, so little time, still, read this one

Scotland: Scores High On Renewables

40% of electricity in Scotland now comes fro renewable sources, with a 50x15 goal

From Brownfields To Clean Soil

A clean soil bank for greening former brownfield sites to open in NYC

Banking On Green

New York officially launches the Green Bank with $165 million to attract greater investment, accelerate clean energy deployment, grid modernization & raise community resilience

Shanghai: Bad Air's Back

Heavy air pollution smothers Shanghai again

Last Minute Enviro Action

A modified ban on styrofoam containers & changes to commercial food waste recycling are among the final bills passed by the current NYC Council

Green Pilgrimage Map

With pilgrimage being a top reason to travel the world, a green map helps transform the pilgrim experience & ameliorate the eco-footprint on historic and holy sites

Mann v Silver

Scientist Michael Mann isn't happy with uber-numbers guy Nate Silver when it comes to climate change

Strategy For Scaling Up Energy Efficiency

The best way to scale up energy efficiency retrofitting is to have the right plan

Energy Crystal Ball - Clear Or Cloudy

Bloomberg NEF's global energy analyst reviews the accuracy of his 2013 predictions

December 19, 2013

NJ: Do The Right Thing

Do Gov. Christie's national political ambitions interfere with making New Jersey more climate-resilient

Japan: Fossil Fuels At Record Highs

Following its nuclear power shutdown, Japan is burning more coal & LNG then ever for its power supply

Smart Power Leadership Forum

What are some of 2013's sharpest energy insights?

Los Angeles: So Cool

Los Angeles to require all new and replacement home roofs to be light reflecting to stay cooler

Bold Green Bonds

Prize-winning financing for green projects is in a New York State of mind

Blogging Buildings

Five worth-reading building innovation blogs from 2013

We're Not There Yet

Most global corporations still have a long way to go to meet science-based GHG reduction goals

EU: Carbon Market Doldrums

How do carbon emissions permits traders survive in a swooning market?

Securitizing Tomorrow

How securitization can be the tool to standardize & streamline project funding for energy efficient building

December 18, 2013

Germany: No Energy Probe

German P.M. Merkel rejects an EU call to disclose discounts to companies who pay renewable energy program fees

100 Resilient Cities: Quito

What challenges face Quito, Ecuador? one of the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 resilient cities

Enveloping Energy Efficiency

What the right building envelope can do to advance energy efficiency

Pop-Up Playgrounds

Pop-up playgrounds, low cost & made of flexible parts, are being beta-tested in Brooklyn

Singapore: Green Star Rising

With 1,534 green certified new buildings and 215 pre-existing ones, Singapore has become Asia's high performance leader

Philippines: Typhoon's Warning

While offering recovery aid to parts of the Philippines devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, John Kerry sees a warning of what climate change can look like

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Bill McKibben's take-down of the President's climate-friendly words

Apple-Solar-Reno: It's Complicated

Apple's 85% property tax break shades the story of its new solar-powered data center in Reno, NV

Styrofoam: RIP

NYC to ban use of foam plastic food containers

December 17, 2013

EU: $4.96 Billion Richer In 2013

Income from EU carbon emissions permit sales totaled $4.96 billion for participating nations

In The Nick Of Time

Construction starts at the offshore Cape Wind project in Massachusetts in time to obtain a $780 million federal tax credit

Earth: November 2013

NOAA's record-breaking global temperature data for November 2013

Wait No More

Ain't it the truth!

Mass Transit For One

After five years of construction costing $2 billion, the #7 subway extension gets its first rider, Mayor Bloomberg

New York In More Motion

Is a bus rapid transit network the way to increase accessible & equitable mass transit in NYC?

100 Resilient Cities: Durban

What challenges face Durban, South Africa? one of the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 resilient cities

Better Energy: Year End News

Check out this Energy Gang podcast for late-breaking renewables & energy storage developments and more

Mind The Action Gap

Four ideas for Americans who are aware of energy efficiency but not doing much to achieve it

December 16, 2013

Coal: Believe It Or Not

Falling Chinese demand for coal could strand investments in Australian mines & export facilities

Miracle Drug Discovery

Medical science finds walking is good for almost whatever ails you, another reason to value pedestrian-friendly city streets

Getting Warmer

USGS predictions of how hot the US will get in 50 years

Minneapolis: Benchmarking Leader

Minneapolis leads on developing good ways to measure multi-tenant building energy scores with DOE

Why We Love NY

Post-Sandy rebuilding

UK Wind Power Risks

What makes investors anxious about developing UK wind power projects?

Vietnam: Climate Adaptation Aid

The US pledges $17 million in climate adaptation aid to at-risk river areas in Vietnam

2014: Glad Tidings

2014 could be the year the federal government starts to actually do something about climate change

Science At Work: Hurricanes

Is climate change stirring up stronger hurricanes in the North Atlantic & other regions?

Tis A Gift

Now consumers can rate the recyclability of their electronic gadgets and retailers can be rated for taking back outdated electronic gizmos, just EPEAT and WRAP

December 15, 2013

One Man's Carbon Footprint

Calculating your annual carbon footprint is hard but doable, cutting it is doable but harder

December 14, 2013

US Cities: Climate Bi-Polarity

Der Spiegel, a German news magazine, looks at US cities climate impact preparedness and sees polar opposites

December 13, 2013

Germany: Burn Dirty Coal

In forming a coalition government, Germany to permit burning of lignite, the dirtiest coal, in power plants

France: Power Shift

France contemplates shifting funds from nuclear power to renewables & efficiency

New Yorkers Support Sustainability

A diverse set of New York organizations urges the de Blasio administration to advance a climate action agenda and keep the sustainability office under the Mayor's direct jurisdiction

Feedback For Sustainability

To be effective sustainability technologies must give feedback to building occupants & system users

Science At Work: The Cloud Gap

Scientists seek clarity the role clouds play in climate change

EV's Charge Ahead

The NYC Council passes a bill opening the way for installing 10,000 electric vehicle recharging stations in open parking lots & garages

AG's Million Dollar Home Improvement Fund

Low-income Syracuse & Rochester residents can upgrade the safety and energy efficiency of their homes with help from a $1 million fund established by NYS Attorney General Schneiderman

100 Resilient Cities: Ashkelon

What lies ahead for Ashkelon, Isreae, one of the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 resilient cities

East Coast Sea Levels Rise

Up, up, up for over a century

December 12, 2013

Yes They Can

Electric utilities can make money when regulations decouple energy sales from profits and energy efficiency can become a robust revenue source

US: Death By Breathing

A petition to cut ozone emissions filed with the EPA by 8 northeast states calculates cleaner air will reduce the number of premature deaths by 34,000 a year

China: Death By Breathing

In 2011, 250,00 Chinese died prematurely due to inhaling coal-polluted air, according to a study commissioned by Greenpeace

Waging War On Energy Waste

The US military deploys virtual audits to locate and eliminate energy waste at 640 facilities

How To Fill The Energy Gap

While 'megatons to megawatts' was the mantra of an era now ending, energy efficiency should be the mantra of our times

Houston: We've Got A Problem Here

Houston, TX Mayor Annise Parker says federal, state and local governments must make hard decisions, based on good science, on climate action

Berlin: Modeling Sacramento MUD

Berliners seeking to ditch coal power turn to Sacramento, California's power utility, MUD, publicly owned since 1923

Other High Lines

Tour 10 urban elevated, at-grade or below-grade parks that once were rail lines

Park It Here

A survey of how many New Yorkers visit small city parks and playgrounds finds high warm-weather use

December 11, 2013

London: Barclays Ditches Boris Bikes

Citing anemic program revenues, Barclays Bank to stop bankrolling London's bike share program

Science At Work: Ice And Fire

How change in the jet stream resulting from melting Arctic ice cover leads to more heat extremes at mid-latitudes

Sun Leasing

Is the chance to lease rooftop PV panels driving the US boom in solar power?

No Pause On Earth

The climate change pause - Fuggedaboutit!

Reading Green White House Tea Leaves

With the return of John Podesta as a White House advisor, observers see renewed climate and environmental focus

Sandy Recovery - A Tale of Two Cities

Restoring the housing devastated by Sandy is far from complete and Mayor de Blasio should commit to completing the job

100 Resilient Cities: Byblos

What lies ahead for Byblos, Lebanon? one of the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 resilient cities

Dear Mr. Incoming-Mayor

A plea to the de Blasio Administration to advance the Bloomberg green legacy and maintain momentum on climate action & resiliency

Better City Lights

Is your city a leader or a laggard in the market for LED & CFL bulbs?

December 10, 2013

Cut Cash For Coal

The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development to cut funds for coal-burning power plants and ramp up support for energy efficiency & renewables, 2014-2018

Mexico City: Eating Pollution For Lunch

The facade of a Mexico City hospital cuts air pollution by 'eating' smog

Ronald Regan: Climate Champ

Scientists detect a climate benefit stemming from the Montreal Protocol negotiated by the Regan Administration -- and more is possible

Renewables: US Lead Or Lose

Will the US abandon its forward position on the renewable energy to nations with greener development politics?

Cuomo Doesn't Sign On

Of the eight northeast states seeking relief from midwest/southern state air pollution, only Governor Cuomo did not sign a letter calling for stronger pollution controls

Reflections Upon Visiting Battery Park

Visiting Battery Park & the South Ferry subway station make it clear why the pre-Sandy days are over forever

Picking Up The Solar Pace

How to bring down the soft costs of installing rooftop solar power

NJ: From Recovery To Renewal

Environmentalists start to transition from Sandy recovery to renewed climate activism in New Jersey

China: Not Ready For Climate Prime-Time

The Chinese government rates the nation as unprepared for the myriad impacts of climate change

December 09, 2013

PFTBA: Not A Good Gas

Scientists find perfluorotributylamine, a super-potent and long-lived GHG, in the Earth's atmosphere

California: Solar Leases Boom

In California, leasing residential rooftop solar equipment beats buying it

$30 Million For NY Solar

New York adds $30 million for solar power projects up to 200 kW in NYC & the Hudson Valley

Wanted: Institutional Renewables Investors

What are the barriers to attracting large scale institutional investors in EU renewable energy operations?

Spain: Speedier Review of Energy Projects

Who will be the winners in Spain's new fast-track environmental review of energy projects?

UK: Funding New Energy Storage Tech

Hopes for developing new energy storage technologies to make the grid greener and more reliable get a funding infusion

Annual Energy Efficiency Wrap-Up

Highlights of 2013 state, regional & national energy efficiency policy developments

Collateral Benefits Of Bike-Sharing

NYC's Citibike program found to have unexpected benefits, sociability & place-making and Janette Sadik-Khans' TED Talk

Don't Hold Your Breath

While the Supreme Court hears argument over interstate air pollution, a call for Congress to clarify 'good neighbor' language in the Clean Air Act seems quixotic

When Good Intentions Are Not Enough

The real estate sector needs robust, reliable metrics to measure the sustainability of properties and portfolios & here's a place to start

December 07, 2013

Science At Work - The Pacific-Warming Link

The depths of the Pacific Ocean are heating up, global warming isn't pausing

Ruled In

Advocates urge the EPA to include energy efficiency in its GHG emissions-limit rules for existing power plants

Seduced By The View

It's time for big cities' big buildings to get over their addiction to glass, tenants have

Renewables And Carbon Emissions On The Rise

Renewable energy is on the rise, but so are carbon emissions, what does this imply for US energy policy?

The Road Less Driven

Which US cities lead in less driving?

December 06, 2013

Metropolitan Life Lessons

Why have cities become the new centers of innovation?

Australia: Warming To Solar Power

With just 180 MW of solar power in 2009, Australia now has 3 gigawatts, most of it on rooftops

Japan: Energy Storage Leader

Japan ramps up installation of energy storage technologies produced by domestic firms

Shanghai: Smog Stops Traffic

Shanghai bans driving and cuts factory output as the city endures sky-high air pollution

What Gotham's GHGs Look Like

Check out this award-winning animated infographic of NYC's greenhouse gas emissions

News From December RGGI Sale

The December 2013 auction of 38,329,378 RGGI carbon allowances raises $114.9 million

NYers Pay The Price For Outdated FEMA Flood Maps

When Sandy hit, FEMA knew its flood maps were outdated & needed revision, leaving New Yorkers in harm's way

Leading NY's Green Bank

Alfred Griffin is named the first president of the New York Green Bank

Some Cheers For LEED

Energy performance data on LEED buildings has some good news but raises hard questions too

Benchmarking Minneapolis

What's to be learned from the Minneapolis first annual building benchmarking report?

December 05, 2013

Psst! Pipeline's Piping

Without fanfare and just some vigorous protest, the Spectra pipeline is NYC's newest natural gas supplier

True Or False

The Northeast doesn’t have much renewable energy: it's too expensive and the weather is unsuitable -- do some fact checking

The Report Behind The Headlines

Read the CDP report on corporate carbon pricing that's making front-page news

2nd Avenue Subway Saga

Decades in the making, a brief history of the Second Avenue subway

Passive Housing In Harlem

Construction plans advance for a 40-unit, market-rate Harlem apartment building built to Passive House standards advance

Madrid: Cars Come Last

In Madrid's new traffic hierarchy, foot traffic will come first, cars last, but where's the money to make this a reality?

Let's Decarbonize

Environmentalists & economists roll out an global-scale economic plan to end our carbon addiction

December 04, 2013

LEED Gold in 140 Characters

Twitter might lease space in a new LEED-Gold-hopeful tower on NYC's Astor Place

Opening For Smart Windows

Shanghai University researchers develop glass that 'knows' when to let the sunshine in

China: Doubling Renewable Power

China adds 36 gigawatts of non-fossil fuel power production so far this year & is the world's biggest renewable energy marke

Ohio Energy Showdown

Will Ohio please utilities by repealing its renewable power and energy efficiency laws today? Lacking a majority, vote canceled

UN: Green Climate Fund Update

A work-in-progress, the UN Green Climate Fund could attract pension funds seeking secure investments with higher yields than government bonds

Valuing Corporate Sustainabiity

If "62% of CEOs said they couldn't accurately quantify the business value of their sustainability initiatives", what strategies can make the case to investors?

Energy Efficiency: KISS

Simple, standardized energy efficiency plans for NYC single family homes can be the key to scaling up

Better Building Accelerator

The Obama Administration kicks off a program to improve industrial, government & apartment building energy efficiency and what it can achieve

Yield Co: The Next Big Thing

What is a "yield co" and why are renewable energy investors exited?

December 03, 2013

Unprepared For Abrupt Climate Changes

While there are some abrupt climate change impacts today, your grandchildren and their kids will face the life-changing jolts. Access the source report

Okinawa: Solar Stoarge

Okinawa's utility will develop storage batteries for the island's solar power, with the grid nearing its carrying capacity

EPA: We're Flexible

EPA chief McCarthy says the agency will grant states great flexibility to meet carbon emissions standards for power plants

Bloomberg: Carbon Tracker

Bloomberg LP announces a carbon valuation risk tool for investors quantify how climate policies and risks might depress earnings & stocks of individual fossil fuel firms

Wanted: Carbon Tax Swapping

What's a state-level carbon tax swap and why is it good for the planet, good for New Yorkers & good for business?

Making Urban Resilience Stronger

The Ford Foundation announces grants to New York and 32 other cities for resiliency plans to decrease their vulnerabilities

LEED 4 Energy Advances

The new version of LEED standards takes innovate energy managemnt to heart

Science At Work: Energy Tech

To pull the world back from climate catastrophe, cutting edge innovation from energy scientists will play a leading role

December 02, 2013

Solar Obits - 2009 -2013

A list of bankrupt or "fire sale" US & EU solar power companies over the last half-decade

Maryland Rethinks LEED

Maryland is set to accept non-LEED standards for construction of public building

Answers To The Energy Enigma

50 top experts tackle the toughest energy system challenges of the era

The Guide To Greening Cities

Read the review of the Sustainability Directors Network new book written from the municipal policy maker's POV

The Well-Insulated House

Putting numbers on what home insulation can mean to you in kWh/m2a

EU: Carbon Prices Tank

A lack of political agreement for cutting permit supplies leads to EU carbon prices plunging 9.4%

Australia: Record Heat

Australia has it's hottest spring ever, with temperatures 1.57C above the 1961-1990 average

Chicago: Deco, Affordable And Green

A faded gem of Chicago art-deco is renewed as low-income community, energy-efficient housing

UK: New Nuke Plant Not Done Deal

The deal for a new nuclear power plant in the UK might come undone over Chinese participation