Photo Credit: ©amazon pixels

News & Views Curation

February 28, 2014

Get Out Of The Cold

Sneak peak NYC's Low-Line Park March 1 & 2

The Pause That Won't Refresh

Scientists explain (again) why an apparent pause in rising global temperatures does not signal an end to global warming

California Disruptors

Elon Musk & Lyndon Rive are optimistic about the end of the electric utility era as we know it

Energy Efficiency Law, Maybe, Just Maybe

A bi-partisan Senate energy efficiency bill raises hopes as does a related "Tenant Star" House bill to recognize energy efficiency in rental spaces

Energy Scavenging

What? Yes!

Euro Utilities Leave Money On The Table

A Greenpeace report describes how Europe's big utilities missed out on the renewable energy boom

Germany: Utility Takes A Bath

A giant German power utility had a net loss of 3 billion euros for 2013, as the sector struggles with the renewable energy boom and a weak eurozone economy

Legal Eagle Explains Con Ed Settlement For You

A recently resolved Con Edison rate case has major implications for making NY's chief power utility a climate-innovative & resilient operation

City Spends $$$ To Rent Polluting Boilers

NYC is spending $1 million a month in rent for each of 26 temporary oil-burning boilers at Housing Authority buildings that were flooded by Sandy

February 27, 2014

Houston Does QECB's

Houston TX, issues federally-supported, low-cost Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds for energy efficiency upgrades at 18 libraries & other muni facilities

Tomorrow's Power Grid

Solar + energy storage tech = "real, near, and present" threat to the way utilities do business as customers unplug from the grid

ARPA-E Money Magnet

22 leading edge energy projects that got $95 million in ARPA-E federal funding raised $625 million in private-sector investment

Gee, It's Hot Here

February 26, 2014

Rezoning NYC

From up-zoning to down-zoning, what happened in the Bloomberg years and what was its impact on housing prices and community character?

South Africa: Carbon Tax Postposed

An $11/ metric ton carbon tax slated for this year, is delayed until 2016

One Price For Carbon

Economists make the case for setting a single binding minimum carbon price

Singapore: 300 Square Mile Lab

The city-state of Singapore makes itself a living lab for innovations to advance the cause of sustainable cities

Be Prepared

NY's power utilities will be preparing themselves to withstand climate change impacts as part of a recent rate case settlement

Solar Revival By The Bay

A revival in the solar power industry is lead by start-ups the California Bay Area

Australia: Gov't Halts Carbon Auction

Australia's Conservative government continues its war against pricing carbon by halting a carbon permit auction

Wanted: 25 Amazing Environmental Educators

The 2014 Community Climate Change Fellowship Program is a pilot initiative sponsored by EECapacity, with support from EPA, open to educators who want to address climate change issues in their communities

NEPA Napping

Federal projects subject to national environmental impact review still lack climate-impact & resilience standards

February 25, 2014

China: Air Pollution Slows Plant Growth

China's air is so dirty it interferes with plant photosynthesis & could spell future crop disasters

Honoring Bronx Ferry Bridges

Ferry bridges, historic transportation infrastructure in the Bronx Port Morris area, are added to the State & National Register of Historic Places

Musk Power

As Elon Musk steers Tesla into the energy storage business, electric utilities will face a new type of competition for customers

Meet The City Energy Project

The City Energy Project is a national initiative to grow healthier, more prosperous US cities by improving the energy efficiency of buildings & check out what member city Chicago's doing

Clean Energy: Anti-Poverty Agent

Committing to clean energy policies should be a US economic development tool able to address insufficient energy access for the global poor in an environmentally responsible way

RGGI Carbon Market Invests in Energy Efficiency

73% of RGGI investments went to energy efficiency programs in 2012 for the 9 participating states

Japan: Reversal On Nuclear Power

The Japanese government has rethought its rethinking about nuclear power and now favors long-term commitment to it


Join the $30 million competition to help NYC small businesses become more energy resilient

February 24, 2014

Philippines: Grid Woes

Filippino plans for new power supplies to come from renewable sources are not advancing, posing threats to economic growth

East New York Greens

A 64-unit affordable, LEED-certified multi-family building opens in East New York

C40: Sustainable Cities Unite

41 C40 cities have already called for the UN to create an urban sustainable development goal

Fusion Power: Science Fiction Fact

Scientists have cracked the code for generating power from nuclear fusion, but what then?

Colorado Fracking Rules

A broad stakeholder coalition supports new fracking regulations in Colorado

Peak Car Era: Beginning And Ending

Can today's auto industry model survive the Peak Car Era in mega-cities or will it go extinct?

Washington DC: Benchmarking

Data collected by Washington, D.C.'s benchmarking law discovers which buildings are energy smart, but many buildings are MIA

Cert Granted: Supreme Court Carbon Case

A primer for the Supreme Court hearing on the source of EPA's ability to make carbon emissions rules

Rating Ratings

How much trust do sustainability experts put on corporate sustainability ratings?

February 22, 2014

It's A Bird, A Plane, A Flying Squirrel

Able to leap 150 feet, flying squirrels are found in NYC parks

February 21, 2014

Traffic Safety Lessons In The Snow

Washington, DC's snowy streets suggest a narrow path to safer ones

Microbes To The Rescue

Fracking could become more climate-friendly with methane-eating microbes being researched by the National Renewable Energy Lab

London: Investors Surge To Tide Power

A tide power company attracts $38 million in public funds and its IPO, some of which goes toward a Scottish project

California: Tackling The Tough Stuff

What is California doing about its deep drought & its carbon emissions? A carbon tax proposal is a long shot

Carbon Emissions: China, US, Everyone Else

Climate-Proofing Con Ed

New York State requires Con Edison to plan for and protect its electric, gas & steam systems from the effects of climate change

A Guide For The Perplexed

What you need to know now when buying light bulbs

When Principles Collide

Will a law suit seeking public disclosure of e-mails of a famous climate scientist succeed on the principle of freedom of information, when another law-suit attacking his probity failed?

February 20, 2014

UK: Facing Filthy Air Fines

Persistent air pollution coming from UK vehicles may lead to costly European Commission fines

Anxiety Central: Abrupt Climate Change

CHP Expo

Everything you need to know about NYSERDA's combined heat and power programs for commercial, industrial, and multifamily building owners & managers

Vanishing Arctic Ice

Old ice, new ice, it's all melting away in the Arctic

Fracking's Known Unknowns

Tracking & managing the vast volume of contaminated water produced by hydrofracking could be the biggest problem facing the industry and the public

NY's Energy Plan

While praising New York's energy policy goals, observers caution the devil will be in the details

Obama And The Court

The Supreme Court will hear argument next week on whether the President can regulate GHG emissions from power plants under the authority of the Clean Air Act

The Green Rift

True or False: stopping the Keystone XL pipeline would be a climate action victory?

February 19, 2014

Making The Invisible Visible

Imagine if you could see the Big Apple's annual GHG emissions, ICYMI

Nuke Power Loans Fading

While the US is about to provide billion in new loan guarantees for nuclear reactor projects, they could be the last ones

Affordable Passive Housing

Here's how Habitat for Humanity is building affordable and super-energy-efficient homes in Washington DC

What A REC

Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) are EPA-sanctioned corporate greenwashing critic claims

Energy Efficiency In Action

An unprecedented drop in electric power demand is credited to the impact of energy efficiency programs in the mid-west

Unmet Efficiency Promises

1-in-5 European energy-use labeled products don't perform as promised, according to the Energy Saving Trust

UK: Bird Risks Derail Wind Project

Assessing threats to a local bird species deal a blow to plans for the UK's 830 MW offshore wind power project

EU: Carbon Prices Hit 3-Year High

Signaling expectations of tighter rules for EU carbon emissions permits, prices are up 38% this year

Power Tool For Corporate Climate Disclosure

New York State's Martin Act could be an effective mechanism for putting corporate climate change risks on record

February 18, 2014

Chilling Pictures

Our polar vortex -- the NASA animation

LEED-Leading States

Which are the top ten states for LEED-certified buildings in 2013?

Johannesburg: C40 Report

A gathering of 45 world cities in Johannesburg, South Africa focused on scaling up transportation planning, traffic safety & air quality to make urban life sustainable

Get Practical: Energy Efficient Window Coverings

Advice and on-line resources to pick energy efficient window awnings, shades & films

White House Keeps On Truckin'

The White House announces plans for increasing the fuel efficiency of heavy and mid-weight trucks as part of its climate action agenda and why this matters

Science At Work: Pacific Trade Winds

Science seeks answers to an apparent slowing of higher annual air temperatures in the impact of Pacific Ocean trade winds

Australia: 20x20, Maybe Not

The Australian government will renew its binding pledge to get 20% of its power from renewables by 2020 and environmentalists worry about a rollback

Climate Change In Cities

While the next UCCRN report is being written, watch the video

Rwanda-Israel: Solar Deal

Rwanda partners with Israeli financial sources to develop an 8.5 MW utility-scale solar power field

February 17, 2014

Collaborate To Solve Our Climate Crisis

Check out the new MIT on-line platform where millions of people can solve climate challenges together

NJ: Explaining Solar Sucess

What explains New Jersey's status as the second biggest solar state in the US?

TV: Climate Change Meets The Press

Fact checking the Meet the Press climate face-off on between Bill Nye and Marsha Blackburn

Australia: State of Denial

Prime Minister Abbott is a serial climate change denier in drought-ravaged Australia

The Geography of Renewable Energy

Why It's Dry

Scientists debate whether current droughts in the American west are symptoms of a changing climate, but there's no dispute that hot weather has only made things worse

France And Germany: United On Renewables

What is the rationale for a common renewable energy policy that France will propose to Germany?

February 15, 2014

Going, Going....

Climate change will wipe out up to half of the world's species within a century and Elizabeth Kolbert faces this calamity in her new book The Sixth Extinction and an interview with the author

An Internet of Energy

What's new at ARPA-E, the federal incubator for the best & brightest in energy innovation?

February 14, 2014

Oceans Could Flip Heat Switch On

ICYMI this year's predicted return of El Nino in the Pacific could kick global warming into high gear

Mighty Mini Mechanical City

The Emergent City, a gallery-size mechanical metropolis running on London's vibrations & sounds

Science At Work: Weird Weather/Climate Science

Mining mountains of data will advance a grasp of extreme weather events for climate science

Prize-Winning Queensway

What's the vision for the rebirth of a 3.5 mile-long abandoned rail freight line in Queens?

The Methane Mess

Methane escaping from drilling & pipelines poses a bigger climate threat than diesel fuel for vehicles but it's better than coal as a power source. Can the natural gas industry stop the leaks? And, is this a salient -- let alone an accurate -- climate action agenda?

First Or Last

California's new utility-scale thermal solar power plant may be the first and last of its type to be built in the US, but let's look on the bright side

The Post-Incandescent Era

How to live - happily - with LEDs

February 13, 2014

UK: Wettest Weather In 248 Years

Scientists want to know why

Efficient Investment

Compare the ROIs for energy efficiency v the Stock Market, all in one infographic

Norway: Sun Shines For Solar Investor

A $1.3 billion Norwegian investment fund sees great opportunities in the solar power industry

Green Bank: Proposals Wanted

The NY Green Bank is soliciting proposals for energy efficiency & renewable energy projects from energy service companies, developers, manufacturers, financial institutions & private sector lenders

Solar Power: Where The Costs Are

While the cost of utility-scale solar power plummets, soft costs of installation, permitting, & inspection remain high

New Orleans: Go With The Flow

A rebuilt, resilient New Orleans must befriend the water, not fight it

MTA: The Catastrophe Bond

The MTA re-thinks disaster insurance in the wake of Superstorm Sandy and tries something new

China: Making It Worse By Making It Better

Why manufacturing a less polluting synthetic fuel for Chinese cities could be a climate catastrophe


Call it climate change, call it climate chaos, but the National Academy of Sciences warns expect abrupt changes

February 12, 2014

EU: Down On UK Renewables

The EU has doubts about financing schemes for UK renewable energy projects

Book Report: The World We Made

Better than sci-fi, a look a sustainable world from the POV of 2050

Japan: Dunkin Donuts Supercomputers

To save energy, Japanese researchers cool a supercomputer by submerging it in mineral oil

Life After Nuclear Shutdown

California works on an energy plan to address the retirement of the 2,200 MW San Onofre nuclear power plant

Carbon Tax Knight-In-Shining Armour

Who is Charles Komanoff and why is he fighting for a federal carbon tax?

Embracing Climate And Energy Action

By large margins, Americans endorse climate research funding, rebates for energy efficient purchases & cutting tax subsidies for the fossil fuel industry

NY Green Bank Launch

There's a new place to go for financing energy-smart & resilient projects in New York

Phila: Commuter Trains Sell Their Power

Electric created by braking metro-Philadelphia commuter trains is purchased by the PJM power grid

February 11, 2014

Guerilla Subway Signs

Someone's been posting way-finding signs in NYC subways, but it's not the MTA

Self-Cooling Magic Mushroom Building

PS 1 will be home this summer to a self-cooling tower built with bricks made from plant waste & fungal spores

Scotland: No Trump

Scotland rejects Donald Trump's fight to stop a wind turbine farm near his golf resort

Berlin: The Wrong Kind Of Green

Some Berlin landlords make eco-promises tenants to jack up rents

Close The Clean Energy Investment Gap

Insurance companies & pension fund investors can make sound choices by putting their money in clean energy infrastructure projects

EVs Are Superstars

NASA employee-driven EV test vehicles beat CO2-saving expectations

India v US

A trade dispute with the US heats over India's restrictions on imported solar panels

Meet Kate Gordon

From the Apollo Alliance and the Center for American Progress, now at Next Generation to lead the "Risky Business" initiative, Kate Gordon is the climate & energy action dynamo to watch

Citywide Energy Storage For NY

Con Ed will put real money on the table for installing energy storage gear and batteries to cut energy demand

February 08, 2014

New To Google Earth

Global temperatures now posted on Google Earth

February 07, 2014

Urban Potential

Cities, with their wealth, their greater sustainability, and their democratic values and organization, are the natural pillars for building a high-road economy and society. That’s their promise. Here's how to make it happen

$800 Million For NY Energy Efficiency

The New York Power Authority launches an $800 million, multi-year, public-private partnership to improve buildings' energy performance

Municipal Waterfront Alliance Update

Superstorm Sandy altered coastlines and rearranged underwater geography, creating new dangers to navigation, particularly in the Port of NY & NJ.

Using ships, aircraft and satellites, three federal agencies have been remapping Sandy-impacted areas of the East Coast that document altered shorelines, remeasure water depths and search for submerged debris. A new chart for New York Harbor has been top priority

Useful Knowledge For Greener Education

616 universities & colleges submitted 1,998 Greenhouse Gas Inventories to the ACUPPC in 2013

EU: First Aid For Carbon Market

To lift sagging carbon emissions permit prices, the EU agrees to cut the number of tradeable permits

Bavaria: Not A Wind Power Player

The German state of Bavaria threatens to scuttle plans for building north-south wind power transmission lines

Caribbean: Clearing The Air

Several Caribbean islands will dump dirty diesel generators for renewable energy

Meet Mike Boots

Mike Boots is named the acting director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality

February 06, 2014

India: Super Solar Power

India plans to build the world's largest solar power plant, producing 4000 MW of power & costing $4.4 billion, but environmental critics worry about electricity lost on leaky transmission lines

China: Air Pollution Travels

Chinese air pollution creates health and weather impacts around Asia and the Pacific

Greenland: Warmest Anomaly On Earth

Living Building Award

What's a living building & what's special about the award-winning Smith College project?

$200 Milllion For Better Energy

Con Ed will offer New Yorkers $161 million to cut electric consumption by 100 MW & $40 million for 25 MW in distributed power projects

Radiator Wrangling

For everyone living in apartment buildings heated with steam, there's hope for taming your radiator

Investor Warning On Fracking

Investors are concerned over the volume of water needed for fossil fuel fracking that may be unmeetable in water-stressed regions

Enviros Err In XL Pipeline Focus

Environmental gadflies Nordhaus & Shellenberger claim the movement cannot stop the Keystone XL Pipeline because there is no global alternative to oil for transportation fuel now

February 05, 2014

Storage Power

What do California & the Marine Corps have in common when it comes to the energy revolution?

3M + China For Energy Efficiency

The 3M Company teams up with China to develop energy efficient building materials, tools & practices

It's Not Easy To Write A Carbon Rule

A peek into the EPA job of writing the rule to regulate carbon emissions

Sochi Olympics: Eco-Activist Jailed

Russian authorities arrest an eco-activist monitoring the environmental impacts of the Sochi Olympics

C40: Cities Gear Up Climate Action

In just two years 63 metropolitan members of C40 have doubled their climate-friendly actions

What The Port Authority Wants

$27.6 billion is the sum proposed by the NY-NJ Port Authority for its 10-year capital budget

Polling On Climate And Enegy

A Sierra Club public opinion survey on climate & energy suggests support won't be toxic in 2014's elections

Australia: Axing The Carbon Tax

Even as power plant emissions start to drop, Australia will end its carbon tax in July, with the Environmental Minister saying "“The carbon tax doesn’t work" in the world's biggest per capita polluter

Well Known Carbon Paradox

It's well known: a carbon tax is the most direct way to cut climate-harming emissions & prospects for federal carbon tax are bleak

February 04, 2014

Air Schmutz: Awful v Bad

Solar Thermal Power - Just Add Water

Awkward timing for opening the world's largest solar thermal power plant during California's mega-drought, forcing operators to seek other cooling measures to cut water use

Green Bonds 101

Green bonds, an emerging tool to finance low-carbon energy tech & infrastructure projects, with standardized protocols on the way

Power Rules In Power Shift

Expect some big changes in Pubic Service Commission rules governing renewable and distributed power resources in New York State

More Competition For Less Carbon

Which cities will win California's carbon cutting-competition?

CHP Scorecards

Japan, Finland & Korea get rated by the IEA for their approaches to combined heat and power

Fashion Foibles - Glass Walls

Think it's cool to occupy a building with glass walls & great views? Think again

Bringing It All Back Home

To mobilize climate action, climate impacts must be understood as local, relevant & familiar

February 03, 2014

More Hot Water

Ocean temperatures keep going up & sea levels continue rising, so forget about any 'pause' in climate change

UK: Climate Tories Take On Skeptics

Conservative Party climate activists in the UK call for a £5bn-a-year boost for eco-friendly economic growth

Boost Renewables With Better Batteries

Breakthroughs in battery technology could supercharge use of renewable power

Closer To Closure

Six in-use nuclear power plants, three of them in NY, are at real risk of closing down

Carbon Neutrality On An East River Island

Roosevelt Island's new Cornell NYCTech will have buildings designed to be carbon neutral

Energy Efficiency - The Video

Here's how New Yorkers can get a comprehensive home energy assessment

Enough With The High Lines

Not all disused urban space should be converted to greenery. Why's that?

A Love Letter To L.A.

What s Los Angeles gott that your city doesn't?

February 01, 2014

Manhattan 2409: See It Now

Interact with Mannahatta 2409 to envision the future city