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News & Views Curation

April 30, 2014

April 2014: The Cruelest Month

With average atmospheric levels above 400 ppm April 2014 sets a new record

East Asia: Demand Up For Solar Panel Stuff

Demand for polysilicon, used to make solar panels, rises 15% on Chinese & Japanese demand

For Better Climate Health

Using a medical analogy to describe and treat climate change could lead to more public buy-in

Fake Quote Alert

A mindful reader is on the alert for fake climate claim quotes & their echo chamber

The Recovery And Resilience Guy

An interview with Dan Zarrilli, NYC's top guy for post-Sandy recovery and resilience [Part 2]

Spain: Renewable Energy Resilience

Despite government slashing renewable energy support, Spain's Iberdrola utility sees rising revenues from its international renewables business

Join The Climate CoLab Contest

Got a great idea for how to grow green building demand? Here's a contest for you.

Future Value

Assuming politicians can agree to tax carbon can economists agree on its value?

A Greener Green Code

The NYC Council passes 4 bills to make Gotham healthier & more energy efficient

April 29, 2014

Durban: Enviro Justice Prize Winner

The Goldman environmental prize is awarded to Desmond D'Sa for shutting down a hazardous waste landfill in Durban, South Africa

Old And Efficient

9 tips for making old homes energy efficient

Cli-Fi Isn't Sci-Fi

Climate finance 'cli-fi' is the leading edge for renewable or low-carbon energy project funding

Supreme Court Upholds EPA Coal Rule

An EPA rule limiting interstate pollution from coal-fired power plants is upheld by the Supreme Court, 6-2

Reforming The Energy Vision

Major utility regulatory reform with distributed resource planning is coming to NY

A Google Query

What's driving Google's (and not just Google) green energy drive?

Stranger Than Fiction

Despite well-funded fossil fuel attacks on renewable energy, the greens might prevail state-by-state

April 28, 2014

Carbon: 2012 Vintage

40 rich nations saw their carbon emissions dip 1.3% in 2012

Coal And Nukes And Carbon

The carbon impact of retiring coal-fired power plants will be outweighed by shutting down nuclear power plants

EPA: African-Americans Needed

An engaged African-American community is necessary for climate action says the EPA

India: $24 M For Solar Power

GE invests $24 million as part of a 151 MW solar power project in India

Texas PACE-Setting

This Texas toolbox could scale up PACE for commercial buildings in a hurry

Shanghai v Rio: Subway Reach

Wave Goodbye

A project to harness wave power to create electricity runs aground In Oregon

Drinking Water Back In The Day

See the above-ground remnants of NYC's first drinking-water system

April 27, 2014

There Goes The Sun

Why the Koch Brothers put all that energy into fighting solar power

April 25, 2014

Obama's Climate

With less than 3 years left in office, will Obama move the climate action dial?

Green City Index

What cities are top performers & why

Giuliani Friends Indian Point

Calling it a vital part of the nation's energy portfolio former-NYC Mayor Giuliani favors the continued operation of the Indian Point nuclear power plant

Blowing With The Wind

ID'ing The Fixer

When utility repairs are made under the streets of Dayton, OH, a wireless tag identifying who fixed the street is required

The Great Feedstock Shift

Instead of burning hydrocarbons use them as feedstock for new materials & products

Solar Power Growth Numbers

Over the last 4 years US solar power grew 400% and now stands at 12,057 MW, 1.13% of total electric generation

April 24, 2014

Clearing The Air

Enforcement of existing air pollution laws a top concern at City Council hearings on newly proposed laws

April 23, 2014

China: What the World Needs Now

EU To China: We Think You Can

Now's the time for China to take global climate action leadership says EU chief

Everyone Into The Pool

The filter system for a jumbo swimming pool floating in the Hudson or East River gets tested

Where The Boys Are

What's with the male bias in media coverage on climate change?

Google 'Do No Evil' - Energy

Google data centers in Iowa to be powered with 407 MW of wind, enough for future needs too.

April 22, 2014

PlaNYC: 2014 Edition

Mayor de Blasio releases an updated PlaNYC report, with an emphasis on resiliency ideas

John Stewart Meets Gina McCarthy

The Daily Show does climate change & then some

UK: Renewable Legacy Of Norman Conquest

The Crown Estate, British lands taken by William the Conquerer, invests in off-shore wind projects now

Breaking Through The Heat Cap

The idea that global temperature rise can be kept below 2°C looks increasingly delusional

Read Their Lips

California Beamin'

With more than 100,00 solar roofs California utility calls for a 'sustainable' energy policy

How Apple Celebrates Earth Day

What's happening as Apple gets into clean energy & a smaller carbon footprint?

OK's OK With Taxing Solar Power...

... but Jigar Shah explains why it's not OK for you

April 21, 2014

April Makes History

April 2014 could be the first month in human history where atmosphere CO2 levels are above 400 ppm every day

Bogtoa: An Earth Day, Every Day Mantra

Microgrids 101

Psst want to buy a microgrid? Here are some basics

Japan: Energy Theory Meets Infrastrucutre

Japan's plan for a natural gas exchange stumped by lack of a national pipeline network

Climate Action: The Political Path

Advocate for climate action idea that are politically feasible and bid farewell to brilliant ones that aren't

A Sunnier Con Ed

Looking to the future Con Ed sees solar power in its future

Rebuilding After Sandy: One Community's Story

Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn finds it really does take a village to rebuild

Super-Green Super-Affordable Bushwick

The nation's first affordable apartments built to 'passive house' standards open in Bushwick

Re-Imagine NY

Imagine traveling the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront by streetcar

April 19, 2014

Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow

Environmental and civil rights activist Michelle DePass evaluates the Bloomberg years, the first 100 days of the de Blasio administration and what it could be doing

Solar Power: Not Either/Or

Get over the idea that rooftop solar power and utilities must be at war

Paul Krugman: Renewables Skeptic No More

"I was wrong" to dismiss the power of renewables in combating climate change, writes Paul Krugman

Climate Report: Emissions Trends

While the latest IPCC report finds global GHG emissions continuing to rise the meaning of trends within countries needs to be understood in the context of development & trade

April 18, 2014

Renewable Power Leaders

Resilient Rebuilder

Daniel Zarrilli to lead Mayor de Blasio's post-Sandy rebuilding and resiliency efforts

Germany: Utilities' Last Stand

The success of renewable energy spells big trouble for Germany's traditional power utilities

Johannesburg: Green Bond Debut

$138 million in bonds for low carbon buses & buildings will be offered by Johannesburg, S.A. next month

Follow The Parks Money

Does Mayor De Blasio's proposed budget for NYC parks advance his equity agenda?

Shut It Down Then Sell It Off

Final rites for the San Onofre nuclear power plant

Inhale Data, Exhale Ideas

From building energy use data bright ideas about citywide efficiency can arise

The City Energy Project

How cities are upping their energy efficiency game

April 17, 2014

Canada: The Art Of The Carbon Tax

Lessons to be learned from Canada's failed effort to enact a carbon tax

Canada: See The Tar Sands Emissions

State Of The Planet

First photos from the new EU Sentinel satellite with a mission to monitor the state of the Earth

Comptroller To Audit Sandy Rebuild Program

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer will audit Build It Back, the home rebuilding Sandy recovery program

The Engine Of Climate Action

Here's a thought, climate action will come from the top down, not the grass roots up

Finding The Right Supply-Demand Mix

When it comes to energy transitions making the right supply-demand sequence can be tough

Science At Work: Statiscal Proof

Statistical analysis of temperature data since 1500 rules out natural fluctuations as the cause of a hotter world

Washington: Streetcar Revivial

Washington DC to reintroduce trolleys, gone since 1949

Net Zero At P.S. 62

When P.S. 62 opens on Staten Island it will produce at least as much energy as it consumes and possibly sell energy back to the grid

April 16, 2014

From China With Love

Chinese air pollution could be making US weather weirder

Good Year For Clean Energy Inveesment

With solar power demand in the lead, global clean energy & efficiency investments up 9% in 2014

Holes In Grid Security Vex Feds

Improving electric grid security is a challenge for domestic security authorities

Bikeshare: Compare And Contrast

One bikeshare tourist checks out the NY, Montreal & Boston scenes

Greenhouse Emissions Drop

From 2011-2012 US greenhouse gas emissions went down 3.4%, details here

Bejing: Polllution In The 'Hood

Urban Studies 2.0

Hudson Yards, a mixed used development rising in Manhattan, will become a first-ever environmental data source for the NYU Center for Urban Science & Progress

Clean Tech Will Rise

McKinsey & Co. predicts clean tech will be part of the rising tide of the new industrial revolution

1st Building Energy Test Lab

The first test lab dedicated to improving building energy performance opens in Berkeley

April 15, 2014

Germany: Lumps Of Coal

Traditional German power utilities burn more coal than any time since 2007, while stock value sinks

Ireland: Wind Export Deal Dead

Plans to export 5,000 MW of Irish wind power to the UK fizzles

Dam Apple

Apple buys a mini-dam project to power some of its Oregon operations

China: More Environmental Muscle

China set to pass laws that could rebalance relationships between conventional development & environmental protection

Cleveland To Ohio, US, World: Act Now

A Cleveland Plain Deal editorial takes the UN climate panel call-to-action to heart

Protection Against Gas Leaks

What can New York & Con Ed do to prevent gas leaks?

Demand Reduction: US v Germany

What area of decarbonized energy policy does the US outstrip Germany?

When A Subway Is More Than A Subway

Philadelphia subways will earn more revenue for the city by storing more of the power they create and selling it to the electric utility

On-Purpose Blackouts

How vulnerable is the US power grid to attackers & hackers and what's the solution?

April 14, 2014


Consider the dimensions of a potential amalgamation of Beijing and nearby regional centers

30-Years Of Light Rail Results

Have urban light rail systems met their planning goals?

Lone Star Wind Power

Why the boom in Texas wind power keeps booming

Graphing Citi-Bikes

Doing the Citi-Bike dance in 2013

Japan: Embracing Coal Not Renewables

Coal will play a big part in Japan's energy future, renewable energy not so much

Denialst Tactics Take A Toll

Academic journals have hard lessons to learn when attacked by climate deniers

San Francisco: Innovators In City Hall

Six tech start ups will partner with San Francisco city agencies to advance infrastructure, planning and eco innovations

Bronx: Mixed-Use, Mixed-Income, Green

Construction will start in 2015 on a mixed-use, affordable rental, green & healthy development in the South Bronx

April 13, 2014

Silvery Lining In Dark Climate Clouds

The IPCC panel sees great climate risks coming but also sees possibility of rapid political mobilization + mitigation summary for policy makers

April 12, 2014

Canada: Least Vulnerable, Most Adaptive

Toronto, Vancouver & Calgary are ranked the most resilient cites in the world

Street-Hacking NYC Style

Go outside and do something!

April 11, 2014

Science At Work - Impacts Of Arctic Warming

Is rapid Arctic warming driving weird weather in lower latitudes?

Climate Chaos Makes Food Cost More

The impact of climate chaos is inflating prices all along the global food supply chain

The Wrong Kind Of Green

Donald Trump's Bronx golf course development will cost NYC $236 million, 10 times more than the original estimate

From Slurping To Sipping

Focusing on real estate portfolios is a critical path for making energy-efficient buildings the new normal

Friendly Persuasion

An environmental press conference on the steps of City Hallpressed the Mayor to advance its NYC sustainability agenda

Urban Energy Stars

The ten US cities with the largest number of Energy Star-certified buildings & a building tally for the top 25

Medellin: Street-Level Makeover

Investing In The Anthropocene

How the logic of financial investment is transformed in a carbon & resource constrained world

Japan: Turning The Power Page

Starting as short term energy savings behaviors after Fukushima, are becoming durable energy efficiency solutions in Japan

April 10, 2014

Wanted: $80 Million Carbon Scammer

Germany is on the lookout for a UK carbon permit trading scam artist

Hedging With The Wind

IKEA buys its first US wind farm and gets 98 MW of renewable power, while hedging on energy price fluctuations

LEDs Light Up Cities

LED bulb makers pursue long-term contracts to install & maintain municipal lighting systems

Not Your Grandma's Energy Pricing

A Tangled Tale NYC-Style

Finding money for Brooklyn waterfront park operations is entangled with real estate deals and zoning rules

Stop Wasting Time

Tax carbon, don't tax renewable power, make building codes and power plants more energy efficient, NOW

Use The Future As A Reference

What the Dutch can teach us about designing storm and flood-resilient cities

World's First Chief Resilience Officer

Meet Patrick Otellini of San Francisco

Barclays Center Green Roof Rationale

The marketing benefits of a green roof atop the Barclays Center are springing into view

April 09, 2014

Crystal Ball Gazing

Global renewable energy investments will soar & here's why

Scotland: More Independent, More Carbon

Scottish independence from the UK could undermine low-carbon efforts due to higher costs for the smaller nation

Corporate Carbon Cap Call

Will governments heed the call of companies like Shell & Unilever for a global cap on carbon emissions?

Green Power In The Green Mountain State

Vermont's solar net metering program succeeds without strife - what's the secret?

Science At Work: Climate Sensitivity

Climate scientists work feverishly to predict the relationship between temperature changes and GHG levels in the atmosphere

Savvy, Sustainable Shopping

Let your fingers do the walking through this NREL data base comparing the energy efficiency of products

MA: A Green Bond First

Massachusetts is the first state in the US to issue $100 million in bonds to fund a range of environmental projects

Crowdfunding For Solar Power

Rooftop solar power projects could attract $5 billion in crowdsourcing

Powering America

April 08, 2014

World Bank: Climate Laggard

75% of projects proposed to the World Bank still don't get a climate impact assessment

UK: New High For Offshore Wind Power

Investor Faces Climate Change

Interview with a corporate investor who weighs the risks of climate change for the bottom line

Electric Hybrid Trains On Track

32 US-made, diesel-electric hybrid passenger trains will start service in 2016

New Energy Pioneers

What do the 10 winners of the Bloomberg New Energy Pioneers award do?

Evidence, Persuasion And Politics

It turns out that more evidence alone doesn't change people's minds on politically-charged subjects like climate change

NY Energy Storage Firm Expands To China

An Oneonta, NY energy storage tech firm raises $21 million to open a plant in China

Boston Joins C40

Boston is the 67th city to step up as a global urban climate action leader

April 07, 2014

Japan: Nukes For Base-Load Power

Japanese energy policy deems nuclear a base-load power source but does not set mandatory renewables goals

India: Solar Power Failure

Plans are dropped for a 20 MW solar power project in India due to rising costs & supply problems

Clean Up Fracking

Can the methane leaks & fugitive emissions from hydrofracking that threaten to accelerate climate change be tamed?

ICYMI: Years Of Living Dangerously

A review -- and a chance to see -- Episode 1 of the 9-part TV climate change documentary

Death By Bike Riding

Mass Transit: City v State

While cities are finding new enthusiasm for mass transit state governments aren't

Normalizing Solar Financing

Scaling up solar power use requires scaling up conventional approaches to home financing

UN Climate Report: Decarbonize Now

Billions in new renewable power investments are needed to avoid a runaway hotter world finds draft UN climate report

NYC: Hard To Break It's Heating Oil Addiction

3 years into a 4-year commitment to stop burning dirty heating oil, NYC is only part-way there

April 04, 2014

UK: All Wind Politics Is Local

Planned wind power projects in Cornwall could shake up next year's national elections

Beam Me Down, Scottie

US military researchers work on satellite tech that could beam solar power down to Earth

Globe: Quick Energy Fact

The world has twice as much renewable energy capacity as it had in 2000

Sydney: Take The Bus

Energy Software IPO

What does the NY Stock Exchange launch of energy software company Opower say about the future of this high tech sector?

Costs Of Climate Change

While current economic models for calculating the costs of climate change are not perfect estimates for the social cost of carbon are useful for policy-making

Standardize, Simplify, Succeed

The key to scaling up the number of energy-retrofitted NYC homes is standardization & simplification according to a Pratt Center interim report

10 Storm-Proofing Finalists

What are the top-ten plans under review for storm-proofing NYC?

I'll Have What She's Having

California to require all buildings to install "grid smart" thermostats

April 03, 2014

Solar K-12 And Beyond

The new National Solar Schools Consortium aims at powering schools across the US with sunshine

Concentrate On Urban Sprawl

The newest index comparing sprawl patterns around US cities

Stern Words For Australia

Economist Nicholas Stern calls on Australia to do its fair share & set a better climate action example

Birmingham: It's Biophilic

Birmingham, UK joins biophilic city club, along with Oslo & San Francisco, so what does that mean?

3 Nations Rise Above The Trend

China, the US & Japan saw rising clean energy investments, in a global context of lower spending

When Money Isn't Enough

What can Mad Men teach us about getting people to buy into climate-friendly choices?

Greenpeace Clean Energy Scorecard

Amazon's cloud computing gets cited for its big carbon footprint by Greenpeace, but it's not the only dirty cloud maker

NY: Natural Gas State

The phase out of dirty heating oil combined with low prices means more natural gas than ever heats and powers New York

April 02, 2014

Try To See Frankfurt At Night

Be Prepared

When it comes to climate change impacts, is there any way to be really prepared?

Greenpeace Upgrades

Long getting the thumbs-down from Greenpeace, Apple, Facebook & Amazon are now getting some love

Washington: Public Media Gold

National Public Radio's new headquarters in Washington, D.C. is LEED Gold certified

Germany: Fewer Wind Power Cuts

German Prime Minister Merkel may ease up on proposed cuts to the wind power industry

Taking The Heat On Climate Change

We have met the enemy, it's us & it's time to do something about that

States Are Energy Resilience Labs

Connecticut and Massachusetts roll out different models of resilient distributed power systems

Boston: Rx-A-Bike

Boston doctors can prescribe $5 memberships for low income patients to Hubway, the city's bike share program,

EU: Climate Is Risky For Business

A survey of 270 EU big businesses finds climate change spells more risks than opportunities

April 01, 2014

Survival Handbook

Think of the new IPCC report as an adaptation guide for a life in a climate-changed world

China: Just Inhale

Bags of mountain air are being provided to smog-suffering Zhengzhou, China city dwellers

Tomorrow's Power Supply

Face fundamental changes in our power supply system with five ideas for reinventing it better

Hong Kong: Sliver Lining In Solar Gloom

No April Fool this Hong Kong investor snaps up distressed solar panel manufacturers

Exxon's Upbeat About Itself

Exxon predicts the world won't meet its GHG reduction targets and its own fossil fuel assets won't be stranded by policy requirements

If You Hear Something, Do Something

The latest IPCC report makes the case, climate signals are getting louder & action must be taken urges a New York Times editorial

Fashion For A Hotter Planet

An interview with Catherine Young, a climate change designer-explorer

Bigger Bus Station

Seeking to build an annex for its west side bus terminal the Port Authority hopes to provide off-street parking depot

Get A Horse

Manhattan's Hudson Yards could flood the area with 24 million more people annually, but there's not enough mass transit to serve them