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News & Views Curation

January 31, 2014

High Performance Homes Take A Winter Test

Winter 2014 tests the ability of super-insulated homes to keep folks warm in the Northeast

Bloomberg's Back

Mike Bloomberg is on-tap to be named the U.N special envoy for cities & climate change

Paris: Next Mayor Could Be A Sustainability She

Anne Hidalgo, the Socialist candidate in race for the next Mayor of Paris highlights a sustainable transit agenda

Spotlight On South Africa

South Africa tops the list as the most attractive emerging country for solar energy

Renewable Energy Champs

Of 1,400 corporate participants in EPA's Green Power Partnerships, here are the top five renewable energy users

Malawi: Climate Change Corruption=Catastrophe

One country's saga

Sustainability Scores At The Super Bowl

There are 61 sustainability measures for Super Bowl XLVIII at the MetLife Stadium as PV scores at leading US sports venues

Benchmarking In Philly

Philadelphia releases its first report on energy benchmarking in over 250 municipal buildings

Causes Of Climate Change

One stop, one chart

January 30, 2014

This Won't Hurt A Bit

Dump Fossil Fuel Stocks

17 foundations, 22 cities, two counties, 20 religious organizations, 9 colleges/universities and 6 other institutions commit to stripping their portfolios of fossil fuel investments

Poland: Downsizing Its Coal Addiction

Coal-dependent Poland gears up to develop its first nuclear power plant

EU: The Power Price Gap

Industry claims that the EU's expensive electric power prices will hurt industry could undermine climate-action policies

China: Something New Under The Sun

What are Chinese PV makers doing to counteract sagging sales in a saturated market?

Its' A Bird, It's A Plane, It's A Water Tower

Look up at some of NYC's most creative bits of infrastructure

New City Energy Project

Ten US cities are charter members of the City Energy Project, dedicated to advancing energy efficient buildings -- guess which city didn't join

The Intermittent Energy Revolution

A former TV factory now houses a start up, low-cost battery maker that could make solar & other intermittent renewable power the new normal

De Blasio's Ciimate and Resilience Opportunities

Mayor de Blasio has the opportunity to overcome errors in the Bloomberg climate resilience plan, especially when it come to locating sustainable affordable housing & infrastructure

Tallinn: The Free Transit Experiment

What's been learned from the Tallinn, Estonia year-long experiment with free mass transit?

January 29, 2014

Eco-Scores For NYC Council

How eco-friendly was your NYC Council representative in 2012-2013, when the new Council Speaker, Ms. Mark-Viverito, scored 100?

2014: The End Of Energy Orthodoxy

Signs of vast transformation in the global energy system are clear, see them here

Denmark: Mega-Wind

The world's largest wind turbine spins into action at the Danish National Test Center

Germany: Solar Job Slump

German solar power manufacturers cut 50% jobs by 50% in just 2 years

Menu Of SOTU's Energy And Climate Comments

Obama plays Jekyll & Hyde; or President promises a strong climate agenda; or restrained address left much unsaid; or his administration is ready to get down to business on climate change; and "climate change is a fact"

Science For You: Wind Chill

Good news! you are not as cold as you feel

Moving A NYC Transportation Agenda

Ydanis Rodriguez, the new chair of the NYC Council Transportation Committee has a long to-do list

How Knoweldge Can Save Money

Based on benchmarking data, Seattle projects potential energy savings worth $90 million a year

January 28, 2014

WTO: Tariff-Free Environmental Goods

A World Trade Organization group of 14 explores free trade in goods that benefit the environment

White House CEQ: Help Wanted

With top level vacancies at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, who's on the short list for a leadership position?

Microsoft's Energy Edge

Microsoft taps big data to drive down its energy use with a software cost payback of 18 months

SOTU: Obama's Climate

What will the President say about climate change in his State of the Union address and is he behind the curve of current pubic opinion?

Take The Guesswork Out Of Green Home-Buying

How energy efficiency information can make buying a high-performance home easier

Get A Horse Smart Phone

Smart phones are the new power tool of community environmental activists

Distributed Power: If Is Not The Question

The future of distributed power generation and its interface with utility owners & grid operators is is all about how, not if

UAE: Follw The Shale Gas

The United Arab Emirates eyes North American shale gas investments to bring its low cost energy home

The Heat Is On

World temperatures continue to trend up, while El Nino cycles explain why a trend is not straight line

January 27, 2014

Executive Climate Action Menu

Innovative energy-efficiency policies that could be implemented by the Obama administration through executive rather than Congressional action

31,000 Carbon Footprints

Interact with this map of the average household carbon footprints in 31,000 US zips codes. Mine is 33.5 metric tons of CO2e

Climate Journalism

Andy Revkin weighs traditional climate beat reporting against blogging

New Role For Wind Power

Contrary to conventional wisdom wind power can serve as a lucrative energy backup & improve grid reliability

88 Acres For Clean Tech Buffalo

New York State to acquire an 88 acre tract for a high-tech & clean-energy complex in Buffalo

Service Delays

The opening date for the 7 subway westside extension has been pushed back by the MTA

January 26, 2014

Cowgirls For Conservation

Texas utility customers see more value in energy conservation than paying higher rates to finance new backup power

Solar Power Splits G.O.P.

Rooftop solar panel power is raising a ruckus over who pays for what by homeowners and utilities

January 25, 2014

Power Plants 2014

A US map showing where utility scale power plants are slated to come on line this year

January 24, 2014

China: Coal Mining Blues

Chinese bank regulators are said to issue an alert about loans to the coal mining industry

Davos: Risk Of Climate Complacency

A survey of what keeps Davos-going CEO's up at night reveals a complacency about business-linked climate risks

Sweden: Google Wind

Google will buy 59 MW of power from four Swedish wind energy farms

Something New Under The Sun

IBM invents a new kind of solar power generating system

Kansas Likes RPS

Despite efforts to repeal its renewable portfolio standard law, most Kansas voters, Republican & Democrat, support it

Tokyo: Hot Topic In Governor's Race

Nuclear power is a hot topic in the Tokyo Governor's race & could be a referendum on national energy policy

The Obama Tapes

Scroll down for the President's views on the climate & prospects for action in an interview by David Remnick

Latino Support For Climate Action

Latinos are strong supporters of taking action on climate & energy efficiency, finds an NRDC poll

Some Things Don't Go Better With Coke

Coca-Cola, Nike and other global companies start to worry about the impact of climate chaos of their bottom lines

January 23, 2014

China: Solar Market Booms

With a 16 US cents per kWh feed-in tariff for large PV projects connecting to the transmission grid, China installed an unprecedented 12 GW of solar power last year

Amplifying El Nino

What to expect when an El Nino-heated year meets rising global temperatures

EU: Energy Policy Matters

EU renewable energy firms fear disinvestment with toothless EU policy on renewable energy targets

High Performance Optimists

10 predictions for major trends in high performance building

Green Mortgages: A Work In Progress

Here's how the tried-and true property mortgage is starting to be reconfigured for energy efficient building finance

London: Solar Bridge For Rail Station Power

A new London bridge covered in solar panels provides almost half the power for Blackfriar's rail station

January 22, 2014

Germany: The Trouble With No-Nuke Policy

Some blame Germany's slowing renewable energy campaign to the phasing-out nuclear power, but Eurowide fossi-fueled utilities struggling with plunging demand

Climate Change - Threat Multiplier

In the language of risk assessment, climate change is a threat multiplier

EU: Toothless Promises

The EU proposes goals for cutting GHGs with no binding renewable energy commitments

Public Procurement: Climate Tool

With public procurement at 19% of the EU's gross domestic product, it's a powerful lever for carbon-footprint cutting

Sustainability: The Eye-Brain Link

Can public art installations be a powerful medium for urban sustainability messaging?

IP As Key To Fossil Fuel Era

Since intellectual property law is the legal bastion protecting the fossil fuel industry, it's a key arena for climate action challenge

Houston: LEED Platinum

Still under construction a Houston office tower is pre-certified for a LEED Platinum rating

$880M For Mass Transit Fixes

The federal government will provide $880 million to repair Sandy's subway damage & strengthen track tunnels

2013: Fourth Hottest In History

NOAA reports 2013 was the fourth hottest year since record-keeping began in 1880

January 21, 2014

Climate Scientsts Face FOILs

Climate scientists at public universities & colleges learn to deal with opponents' demands for their emails

Sunny Side Up

Seven heart-warming stories of solar power successes

Detroit: Mass Salvation

Detroit bids to bring itself back from the edge with new development planned around mass transit access

Banksy's Writing On the Wall

Climate Grant

Invoking the Cause will fund a “creative pause” for two or more people to engage in collaborative conversations and develop ideas about how to craft a meaningful social response to the urgent challenge(s) of climate change Application deadline Jan. 31

Help Wanted

Check out this job announcement for COO at the NYC-based Municipal Waterfront Alliance

Davos: Climate Leads Agenda

At the 2014 World Economic Forum climate action tops the agenda & can generate business consensus [EENews $ub]

EU: Aligning Sustainability With Competitivenes

Making the case for poiicy-making that's effective for carbon cutting & economic growth

EU: Industry Frets Over Carbon Limits

Raising the fear of harm to market share, a global steel making & mining calls for easing EU carbon reduction goals

January 19, 2014

The Trillion Campaign

Climate investment activists announce a campaign to direct $1 trillion in clean energy investments over the coming 3 decades

Neglected News

Nick Kristof's NYT readers declare climate change the subject needing more news coverage

January 18, 2014

6 Words For Climate Scientists

Michael Mann insists, "If you see something, say something"

Accounting For Carbon

The right SEC accounting rules are key to cutting carbon emissions says ex-Treasury chief Robert Rubin

Beyond Fossil Fuel

Ideas for institutional investors on converting fossil-fuel corporations to something else

January 17, 2014

Solar Securitization

Everything you want to know about solar securitization, but were afraid to ask

Beijing: Sunset On TV

End 'All Of The Above'

Environmental groups call on the President to end his 'all of the above' energy strategy & replace it with
clean energy solutions

Sun Rises In The West

By 2020, California could get 11% of its electric from industrial-scale solar power arrays, while the east will see more small-scale systems

Green Patent Update

What's new in the green tech IP arena?

Energy Efficient Paper

Paper making, an energy intensive, technically old fashioned industry, could be on the edge of energy-cutting changes

Shrink That Footprint

Start here with finding the size of your carbon footprint by zip code & take it from there

Good Time For Lighting Controls

Opportunities abound in lighting controls

January 16, 2014

Climate Budget OKed

Obama's climate agenda makes it through the Congressional budget process with just one limiting rider

Ask Umbra

Why is the gear to store renewable power such a big deal?

BlindSpot Think Tank

'Like Archimedes, we must shift the axis of planetary paradigms' Something to think about

Microgrids - Scaling Up

India confronts the challenge of providing electricity to millions via microgrids

Canada: 38 x 30

Canada's GHG emissions could soar 38% by 2030 due to tar sands drilling

Science At Work: Climate Variability

The debate still rages over whether & how much heat wave are getting weirder

Australia: Loading Hot Dice

Australia has hot summers, but now heat waves hotter, more frequent & lasting longer, with GHG emissions 'loading the dice'

Dancin' In The Streets

Watch this NYC street metamorphosis and leave the 'good old days' behind

January 15, 2014

Some Like It Cold

Fox and other climate-denialist media outlets air anti-warming stories on cold days

Downtrend In Clean Energy Investments

What explains another down year for global clean energy investing?

Denmark: Wind Power Champ

Producing 33.22% of its electricity from wind power in 2013, Denmark leads the world

Japan: Cut Energy Import Bills

In the face of fast-rising post-Fukushima energy rates, Japanese utilities seeks to cut the costs of imported LNG

Utility Shareholder Climate Activists

Shareholders, including NY & CT public pension funds obtain agreement from FirstEnergy to report on how it could cut carbon emissions 80% by 2050

9 States Cut Carbon Caps

The nine northeast states in RGGI will lower their 2014 carbon emissions caps to 91 million tons, a 45% reduction from last year, with annual cuts of 2.5 thereafter

Sign-Up For Sustainability Biking

NYC's 5-boro bike tour to get a responsible sport certification, registration opens next week

The Frontiers of Sustainability

What to do about a pattern of corporate disconnects between praising sustainability and doing something about it?

EU: 35-40 X 2030

Here's how the EU backs off from its carbon-cutting commitment

January 14, 2014

LOL: Hot And Cold On YouTube

Need to explain global warming and the polar vortex to a friend?

How To Talk About Sustainability

Serve up bite-sized bits, not a laundry list, when seeking new sustainability converts

Johannesburg: Hosting C40

Johannesburg, S.A. will host the next C40 Summit in February and quantify its impact to date

LEED's Energy Performance

There's room for improvement & more specifics in LEED reporting on the energy performance of rated buildings

Green Mortgages Get A Hand

The NYC Energy Efficiency Corp. has two programs to support mortgages for energy efficient buildings

Rotterdam: Power Planner

Waste energy from the massive Port of Rotterdam will be harnessed for district heat and electricity systems around the city

UK: Paint It Black And Sunny

Only blackouts will awaken the UK energy establishment to the urgent need for new investment says Labour advisor, just as solar panel parks bloom

Aarhus: A Greener Greenhouse

The Botanic Garden greenhouse of Aarhus Denmark gets a light and energy aware upgrade

Google Energy Gadgets

With its $3.2 billion purchase of Nest, Google enters the world of home energy management by way of internet-accessed thermostats

Bringing Co-op City Closer

50,000 Co-op City residents would have direct train access to Manhattan or Stamford CT with the proposed Metro-North rail spur, but some want more bus service

January 13, 2014

Benchmarking Matters

Energy benchmarking makes the top-10 list of innovative energy impacts in 2013

Smart Meters Make Smart Grids

Smart electric meters could enable voltage control on the power grid and cut system stress

Climate Psychology

Why do people mistake hot or cold weather for climate change?

NYC Mayor Climate Activist

Mike Bloomberg announces more members of his climate action initiative, Risky Business

Baltimore: Make DR Loveable

To attract demand response (DR) participants, Baltimore's utility offers alluring incentives to its smart meter customers

Coal Makes US Carbon Footprint Grow

For the first time in three years, US GHG emissions will grow due to increased coal-burning

Australia: Carbon Big Foot

With Australia's persistent reliance on coal, it ranks as the second biggest GHG polluter per unit of GDP among 34 OECD nations

UK: PM Sweetens Fracking

Prime Minister Cameron offers localities 100% of the tax revenues from fracking operations in their jurisdictions

January 12, 2014

Economists' SOS For Climate Action

Review of Climate Casino prize-winning economist William Nordhaus & other reads

January 10, 2014

UK: Build A Better Turbine

Better offshore wind turbine technology is needed for the UK to cut power costs

Solar Powered With $1 Billion

The Governor of NY proposes to spend $1 billion over the next decade to add 3,000 MW of solar power, use state schools as “demonstration hubs” & launches a $40 million prize competition to grow community microgrids

Friday's Carbon Quiz

What impact will EPA's CO2 proposed rule have on building new coal-burning power plants?

10 Urban Oases

Cold winter weekends are ideal times to visit NYC's public indoor green spaces

Greening The Building Appraisal

Recommendations for how to value new and retrofit green features in a building appraisal

Targeting Energy Makeovers

What makes car dealerships, supermarket chains & college campuses good candidates for deep energy retrofits?

Map Your Footprint

Interact with a map that shows US carbon footprints at the zip code level

January 09, 2014

Germany: Lumps Of Coal

What are the pollution implications of Germany's increased use of coal for making energy?

China: Car Sales Surge Slows

Soaring car sales slow slightly with Chinese air pollution & traffic jam woes

Up With Urban Clean Tech

Meet new urban tech clean tech start up firms

Italy: 7 Percent Solar

Italy got more energy from solar power in 2013 than another other large nation, with renewable energy from all sources at 30%

Restart Climate Action Drive

Senate Democrats to take on the climate action challenge, pricing carbon included

Talking Transition

With the City Hall transition complete, time to revisit the NYC sustainability Talking Transition event and move ahead

Metro-North Proposal

Some initial background details & queries about Governor Cuomo's Metro-North extension proposal

Happy Bithday CA Cap/Trade

There's much to celebrate on the first birthday of the California carbon cap & trade market

Cuomo Gets On Board

In his State-of-the-State Address, Governor Cuomo calls for more Bronx rail service

January 08, 2014

Climate News NOT Growing

A review of recent reports that 2013 saw rebounding media coverage of climate change concludes there was no growth after all

Haiti: Solar-Powered Hospital

The world's biggest solar powered hospital opens in energy-poor Haiti


Watch Jon Stewart slap-down Fox News climate coverage

Climate Scientists On Trial

A Virginia court will hear argument about whether correspondence of climate scientist Michael Mann and others can be kept private

The Bright Side

Need a climate/energy pick-me-up? Read on

Asia: Greener Industry

Asian industry sets out on a path toward more environmentally responsible manufacturing practices

Energy Efficiency Saves Big Bucks

A $1 billion energy efficiency investment by California utilities saves customers $850 million in just 2 years

January 07, 2014

City v Suburb

The smaller carbon footprint of urbanites is canceled out by suburbanites' big residential footprints

Cold Strains Energy Systems

A major power supplier, PJM, strains & energy prices soar to keep people warm in frigid weather

2013 Was Less Disasterous

Insurance claims for floods, storms and other natural disasters down 52% in 2013

Science At Work: The Polar Vortex

What made the polar vortex weak and why North Americans are so cold today

Boulder: Roll Your Own

Boulder, CO takes a key step toward municipalizing its power utility

PlaNYC 2013

What progress did NYC make in keeping its PlaNYC promises?

January 06, 2014

The Jet Stream Did It

Track the jet stream to see why it's frigid in North America, weirdly warm in Europe & how the extremes are related

Caifornia In Retrograde

What explains California's dismal energy efficiency track record and how can it be turned around?

Clean Energy Investing

Clean energy stock performance in 2013 was meh, but things are looking up for 2014

For Energy Efficiency Investing - KISS

Here's the place to start for investors who will turn to energy efficiency if the process & the metrics can be standardized

Worldwide: 2014 Weather Predictions

Wild & weird

A Lot To Chew Over

What does the New York Times long-form story on genetically modified foods and their liberal opponents say about climate deniers, science and the media?

Spain: Solar Power Promises

Turns out Spain was just kidding when it offered 25 year price guarantees for solar power

Boston Sewer Harbor

Once called a sewer by George H.W. Bush, the clean up of Boston Harbor is now called a cornerstone of the city's rebirth

Ferry Service Pays Off

Access to East River ferry services adds value to residential real estate in Brooklyn & Queens waterfront neighborhoods

January 05, 2014

Get Happy

Social connectedness - commuting time + access to green spaces = >happiness for urbanites

January 04, 2014

New Yorker To Lead Federal Sandy Program

Holly Leict is named to head the federal HUD program for post-Sandy regional rebuilding & resilience

Solar Trends

Trends to watch in solar power v utility power tango

January 03, 2014

UK: No Plans For Tomorrow

Whether or not the UK's weird weather driven by climate change, it's time to use data and plan for a resilient future

Seattle: The Real Emerald City

Keep an eye on Seattle and learn from a LEED Plantinum-leaning leader

Science At Work: Antarctic Warming

Why sea ice increases even as the Antarctic warms

Climate And Energy Combat

From election contests to issue campaigns 2014 will see climate and energy become hot-button issues around the US

Weather Porn

What's replaced traditional forecasting in today's weather reports & why?

Redefining Governors Island

Eyeliners are an innovative contour feature of the Governors Island open space development

Thailand: Pedal For Clean Air

Inventors in Thailand design a bicycle that filters polluted air and creates oxygen

Awaiting Bill's Green Team

Mayor de Blasio has yet to fill several key environmental positions in his administration

Carbon Bear Market

The value of CO2 on global markets plunged 38% last year

January 02, 2014

Australia: Temperature To Hit 50 Degrees

50 degrees celsius

Three Vows For NYC Transportation

Polly Trottenberg, NYC's new DOT commissioner, vows to make transportation safe, accessible to all and sustainable

Super Supermarket In Brooklyn

Brooklyn's new Whole Foods supermarket raises the bar for energy-smart food retailing

Maybe It's The Weather Or Something Like That

Media coverage of climate change and weird weather rebounds 30% in 2013 (but NY Times coverage drops)

New Rules For Resilience

How NYC's new zoning rules make buildings safe from flood damage while ensuring low-rise neighborhoods stay that way

Climate Negotiation Rx From A Climate Negotiator

A leading UK climate treaty negotiator focuses on redirecting national energy policies in a low carbon direction

Take The Challenge

NYC's brand new Carbon Challenge Handbook for Co-ops & Condos

Argentina: Fatal Heat Wave

The worst heat wave in Argentine history kills seven

China: Giga Solar Goal

China plans a one gigawatt solar power farm, with construction starting in 2014

January 01, 2014

Multifamily Climate Challenge

10 of NYC's biggest residential property managers accept the challenge of cutting GHG emissions 30% in just 10 years, starting with energy efficiency upgrades

NY Green Bank Goals

The critical goal of the NY Green Bank could be turning a profit, thus using government support to build a self-sustaining clean energy engine