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News & Views Curation

June 30, 2015

Brazil-US: Climate Buddies

Presidents Rousseff & Obama announce new climate and clean energy goals

Trouble Ahead

Why the Supreme Court decision striking down EPA's air toxic rule could make carbon rule-writing harder

Demand A Recount

Turns out, official numbers on US solar power omit a big piece of the action

June 29, 2015

Supreme Court Toxic Ruling - Meh

Why striking down the EPA mercury emission rule may be a 'pointless' Supreme Court decision

Paying The Price For Climate Inaction

As nations ramp up low-carbon climate actions stranded assets like coal mines will cost countries like Australia dearly

Why Wind Matters

Passing a MA offshore wind bill is necessary for the northeast & here's why

Walking In Grids

China: Stepping Up On Climate

Media reports China about to announce bold climate action steps

Australia: Everyone But Abbott

Business & labor, left & right back strong climate action & push-back on current government policies

NY Utilities Eager Over REV

Energy efficiency, customer engagement & distributed resources top NY utilities' application lists for REV demonstration projects

Supreme Court Blocks Pollution Action Plan

In a 5-4 decision the Supreme Court blocks EPA's rules for cutting mercury & other toxic emissions from coal-burning power plants

June 26, 2015

NY REV Energy Goals

50% solar & wind energy, 100% access

Alberta: Carbon Tax Going Up

A center of oil production,Alberta, Canada, will double its carbon tax by 2017

Scotland: 49.8% Renewables Now

As off-shore wind energy grows, Scotland's overall renewable energy use nears 50%

Gingrich: Green Is Good For GOP

Environment & energy issues can be GOP ballot box winners says Newt Gingrich

Brazil/US Climate Talks

When Presidents Rousseff & Obama meet next week, climate change is on their agenda

Getting Energy Efficient 3/3

Why good policy needs good evidence

Getting Energy Efficient 2/3

If improving building energy performance solves so many problems & is cost effective, how can we prove it?

June 25, 2015

Getting Energy Efficient 1/3

While a report cited in the New York Times that is highly critical of building energy efficiency programs makes some valid points, it misses crucial facts

Green For Smaller Multi-Famiy Builidngs

NYC kicks off a Green Housing Preservation Program aimed at improving the energy performance of small & mid-sized apartment buildings with $45 million

Googling Alabama

An old coal-burning power plant site in Alabama will be converted into a renewable energy data center by Google

You Don't What You've Got Til It's Gone

Tips for cutting your water footprint

Airflow Adds To Temperature Woes

Scientists link changing atmospheric air flow patterns to extreme heat & cold incidents, but the changes may not be climate-change related

June 24, 2015

LEED's Latest Roll-Out

What is a LEED Dynamic Plaque & what can it do for owners & occupants in existing buildings?

How To Succeed At Climate Adaptation

When failure is not an option, don't ignore key competing interests when making climate adaptation plans

Climate Carbon Tax Prediction

Senator Schumer (D.-NY) says a federal carbon tax could become a reality with a Clinton Presidency

Solar Flight Delay

A cross-Pacific leg of the Solar Impulse round the wold flight delayed again by bad weather

Give A Hoot For Wind Power

Scientists study owls wings to figure out how to make wind turbines quieter

Netherlands: Court Rules For Climate

Ruling on citizen climate suit, a Dutch court orders the government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020

Flat Power Demand Predicted For NY

The organization that calculates how much electricity NY needs, cites the role of distributed power & energy efficiency in flat-lining peak demand on the grid over the coming decade

June 23, 2015

Retrofitting Affordability Launch

Urban Recycling Now

Hey NYC, lots of other US cities are way ahead of you on recycling, even if they're not perfect

Science At Work: A Fine Distinction

To understand how climate change affects weird weather, scientists distinguish between dynamics & thermodynamcis

Green Enegy Anxiety

Why are some electric utilities hot and bothered about renewable power & energy efficiency insurgency? "It's a Hannah Arendt thing".

Recycling With 3D-Printed Buildings

Recycled paper and tires could be the raw materials for tomorrow's 3-D buildings

Expect More Extreme Weather Ills

Consider the health impacts of the incidence of extreme weather events forecast for coming years

The BMT At 100

Serving Brooklyn since 1915, the subway line that changed the borough

Australia: 59x40

Regardless of public policy, Australia will get 59% of its power from renewable sources by 2040 & also see BNEF report

Netherlands: Eco-Multitasking

Installation of solar power & noise-blocking panels along highways & rail lines gets a test run in Holland

June 22, 2015

Santiago: Air Pollution Emergency

Dirty air in Santiago has Chilean officials declare an emergency, shutting down industry & keeping 40% of cars at home

Climate Inertia Will Be Costly

The EPA puts a price tag on the cost of climate inaction -- and it's very, very big

NYC: Energy Messaging Mavens

A top-ten list of New York's energy-issue communicators for 2015

Reno: Rebranding With Tesla Batteries

Reno hopes for an image makeover as the new home of Tesla's giant battery plant

Poland: Carbon Carve-Out

Will coal-reliant Poland seek an opt-out from the EU climate pact?

Carbon Capture Innovation Accelarates Climate Action

Reasons for resins

Solar Innovation Accelerates Climate Action

REV: Next Round Of Fine Print

The NY Public Service Commission issues the next installment of REV, its re-do of the rules of the game for electric power suppliers, an Order Adopting Dynamic Load Management filings with Modifications

June 19, 2015

Senate Committe Targets Eco-Budgets

A Senate committee approves a budget bill that is $400 million less last year's funds for EPA and Interior and falls $2.2 billion below what Obama proposes

Singapore: EV Taxi

A next generation EV taxi that recharges in 15 minutes & has seat-specific AC, hits the roads of SIngapore

Solar YieldCos Raise Millions

Solar power investors put $420 million into new-fangled investment tools in a stock launch on NASDAQ

Toronto: LEED Gets Dynamic

A LEED Platinum-rated Toronto office tower ramps up to LEED Dynamic, a near-real-time monitoring tool for displaying building performance across five categories

Before The BQE

The Cost Of Water 5/5

Go with the flow, the impact of 8 million toilets on NYC's waterways

Hottest May On Record

NOAA finds "The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for May 2015 was the highest for May in the 136-year period of record"

Climate Facts - Just A Click Away

A website full of climate change facts & charts from a federal agency always facing chronic budget cuts

June 18, 2015

Sun Rise For Buffalo

The SolarCity PV plant, the largest in North America & being built in Buffalo, NY, will energize an entire local supply chain

Tesla Locks Up Battery Brain

Tesla inks an exclusive relationship with a leading battery expert in an effort to cut energy storage costs

Yes, There Is An Afterlife...

...For EV batteries

June 17, 2015

The Real Climate Science Consensus

A meta-study of the peer review literature published 2013-2014 finds a 99.9% agreement among scientists on climate change

House Committee: Eco-Obstacle

The House Appropriations Committee votes to cut the EPA budget by 9% & block proposed environmental protection rules

China: The Sponge City Bet

China is counting on urban infrastructures designs that will soak up rain & support resilient cities during floods and droughts

Microgrids Mean Power To The People

The disbursed distribution of microgrids holds the promise for ending utility monopolization of the power supply

We'll Always Have Paris

Pros & cons on whether an inadequate agreement at the U.N. Paris climate summit is better than none

More Reasons To Love Green Roofs

Japan: Offshore Wind Wins

By adding a 7 MW turbine , a floating, offshore wind power project in Fukushima Japan will be the world's largest

The Cost Of Water 3/5

After decades of planning & protest NYC opens its drinking water filtration plant at a cost of $3.5 billion

June 16, 2015

$4 Billion For Clean Energy

The Obama Administration stakes $4 billion to create a new fund that links investors with clean energy companies

Say You Want A Revolution

Start by making clean energy the default setting

New Carbon Tax Bill In Senate

What's it all about?

Blown Away

Paris: A Car-Free Right Bank

The Mayor of Paris to create a car-free zone along a Seine-side section of the Right Bank in 2016

Bloomberg Gift Includes Green

Mike Blooomberg's $100 million gift to the Roosevelt Island campus of Cornell University will help fund an academic building designed to be self-sufficient in energy use

The Cost Of Water 2/5

The biggest, longest underground pipe that brings drinking water to NYC is leaking

Zero x 50

Does a proposal to power the nation with 100% renewables by 2050 pass the laugh test?

Leading With The Good News

The IEA, a leading global energy association, reports energy-related emissions flatlined in for the other findings

June 15, 2015

Stepping Up Solar In The Sunshine State

Florida's biggest power utility plans for a commercial-scale solar power & research project

Carbon Divestment - Feel The Burn Or Not

Honey, I Shrunk The Nukes

Federal officials look to a next-generation of 300 MW modular nuclear reactors as key to future energy policy

CA: Net-Zero x 2020

What is California's plan for getting all new homes to use no more energy than than they create by 2020?

Solar Flight Is A Wow

The Solar Impulse 2 round the world flight continues to amaze

Science Historian As Climate Hero/Lightning Rod

Meet Naomi Oreskes

Read It Now

Climate Shock, The economic Consequences of A Hotter Planet makes singular contributions to the climate action agenda says Yale economist William Nordhaus

The Cost Of Water 1/5

The best things in life are rarely free, including NYC's unfiltered drinking water

June 13, 2015

Big, Tall And Passive

The Cornell-Tecnion campus on Roosevelt Island will be home to the world's largest, tallest Passive House residential building

June 12, 2015

India: Solar-Paneled Trains

Hoping to cut its diesel appetite, India's rail system starts testing solar panels to light rail coaches that carry 23 million passengers daily

Urban Transportation, No Nostalgia Necessary

Legal Eagles: Using The Clean Air Act To Cut GHGs

Is Section 112 or Section 11(d) of the Clean Air Act the better way to cut GHG emissions?

Watch Out Enviro Deadbeats

NYC businesses that fail to pay their Environmental Control Board fines could lose their licenses with passage of a proposed City Council bill

A Green City Street Is A Resilient City Street

There's even more to gain from greening city streets than summertime shade

Japan: Addicted To Coal Subsidies

Japan's refusal to endorse an end to coal subsidies, stalemates an OECD proposal

Australia: Unstoppable Solar Power

Australians' embrace of rooftop solar panels unfazed by loss of government support. And talk about embrace, a bonus koala story for our readers

NYC: Cool Places To See For Free

New mosaic murals in the 191 Street, Washington Heights subway station

June 11, 2015

Googling Gotham

Seeing opportunities to improve city life, Google starts up a new company, Sidewalk Labs, headed by Dan Doctoroff

June 10, 2015

NY Passive House 2015

Court Rejects Challenge To GHG Rule

The D.C. federal appeals court rejects a bid by red states, coal companies and other industry groups to block the EPA from finalizing its greenhouse gas standards for existing power plants. The judges unanimously ruled the petitioners could not challenge the regulation since it is not yet finalized

June 09, 2015

China-EU: Climate Pact

On June 29, China and the EU will sign a climate pact crafted to foster closer ties in using low-emission tech, developing carbon markets & sustainable cities

London: 24/7 Rush Hour

What explains London's jam-packed mass transit system & its links to changed work patterns

Detroit: A Climate-Changed Tomorrow

Hard-luck Detroit faces a climate-disrupted future

Climate Action Based On Insurance

The challenges of climate change, it's global. long term, irreversible & uncertain mean effective action is a type of risk insurance policy

Incredible Shrinking Shale Oil

Why is the once-booming US shale oil industry tumbling now?

The MTA Capital Budget Plan Maze

While underfunding is a huge problem for the MTA and the NY metro-region, so is slow capital budget spending

Frogging On Staten Island

Urban ecologist discovers a new amphibian species on Staten Island, the Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog

De Blasio Blasts NJ-Exxon Settlement

Mayor de Blasio wants NJ to modify a proposed $225 million settlement with Exxon because it's worth just 3% of the damages

North Carolina: Renewable Energy Battleground

The outcome of the fight to protect the North Carolina renewable energy portfolio will be felt outside the state

June 08, 2015

Best Headline Of The Century

G7 leaders agree to phase out fossil fuels

Here Comes Solar NYC

Interested in powering your home with the sun? Start here

Sandy's Not Over Yet

Nearly 2 years after Superstorm Sandy blew into town, impacts linger in NYC

Guide For The Carbon Tax Perplexed

Since modeling a carbon tax is at least as contentious as imposing one, the debate starts here

Carbon Tax - Just Say No

The anti-carbon tax position of a climate activist

G-7: Merkel Aims High On Climate

German Chancellor Merkel presses G-7 members to adopt tough climate action goals

This Is Dense

210 years of Manhattan population density in a 2 minute animated map

Waste Not With Compost

Soon, much more of NYC's food waste could be converted into useful compost, but where?

June 07, 2015

7 Cheers For A Carbon Tax

Endorsement of a carbon tax by six big fossil fuel companies gets editorial kudos from the New York Times

June 05, 2015

Norway: Dump Coal

The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund will divest from most of its coal investments

Hybrid Electric Buildings

How AMS, a woman-owned start-up, connected with Tesla on a hybrid electric building deal

From Portland To Washington

Former Portland, OR Mayor Sam Adams takes his climate agenda to Washington, DC

More Green For Green

Sustainable investment rises in the US, jumping 76% from 2012 to the start of 2014

Promises, Promises

31 advanced industrial nations are falling far short of their GHG reduction pledges

NOAA Says No Warming Pause

A NOAA re-analysis of existing global temperature data knocks down claims of a warming hiatus

June 04, 2015

The Limits Of Renewable Energy

Replete with charts & graphs, a dollar and cents case for the limits to renewable energy growth

Australia: Hope Revives For Renewables

After a tough year and government hostility to climate action, investment in the Australian renewable energy sector sees better times ahead

What, We Worry - Not

Big coal uscathed by international fossil fuel disinvestment campaigns -- for now

Rick Santorum And The Pope

No, this is not an Onion spoof

California's Ambitious Climate Bill

The California Senate approves legislation to set new renewable energy targets, cut gasoline use & boost building energy efficiency

Buffalo Embraces Musk

An editorial in The Buffalo News favors government assistance to develop Elon Musk's SolarCity, a full-service solar power systems business

Paris: The Risks Of Getting To Yes

Diplomatic success for an international climate agreement at the upcoming Paris meetings could come at the price of non-binding GHG cutting goals

Big Bucks For Big Renewables

To grow utility scale renewable energy projects, New York outlines a $1.5 billion, 10-year plan

June 03, 2015

The Weird-Warm Nexus

Getting clear on the probability link between extreme weather events an global warming

Energy Cluelessness

Since people care about saving energy, why are they clueless about how much they're actually using?

Funding Energy Storage Projects

As part of NY's ambitious make-over of its utility sector, REV funding is on tap to scale up projects or demonstrate how energy storage can help transform the electricity grid

Climate Action Plan Nears Completion

The EPA sends its draft carbon emissions rules to the White House for review and finalization by August

Speaking Sternly About Climate Agreement

Economist Nicholas Stern isn't prepared to call prospects for success of the Paris climate negotiations a failure but economist William Nordhaus insists a stiff tariff on imports from non-signatory nations will be needed if there's hope for avoiding the worst

June 02, 2015

The Biggest Disruptor

Even more than pending CO2, emissions regulations the rise of distributed power generation could be the biggest challenge to business as usual in the utility sector

Japan (2): 26x30

Japan pledges to cut its GHG emissions 26% from 2013 levels by 2030

Japan (1): Biggest Coal Lender

Japan beats China as the world's biggest coal project lender

Turning Information Into Cash

How building energy performance data can be valued when it comes time to sell your home

ICYMI -- More Thoughts On Going Passive

Building codes & industry inertia are the greatest obstacles to making passive house design the new normal, so what can be done?

The City Energy Project

10 US cities pioneer a national initiative to improve the energy efficiency of buildings & support innovative and practical solutions to cut pollution, grow local economies and foster a healthier environment

June 01, 2015

Top Cities For EVs

The 10 best US cities for electric car ownership

Katrina: Ten Years After

Reflections on the most devastating hurricane season ever

Ahmedabad: Heat Action Plan

An urban heatwave early warning system pioneered by the Indian city of Ahmendabad

Climate Risks For Western Utilities

With nearly half of the power supply in western states facing an array of climate-change related risks, only energy efficiency looks like a sure thing

Clarifying The Climate Denial-Faith Link

What is it about certain religious beliefs that tie in with denying the reality of climate change?

Whitney Plans For Dry Art

Just steps away from the Hudson River, the Whitney Museum builds in flood-proofing features

GOP: Same-O On Environmental Protection

Republicans are nothing if not consistent in their vow to roll back Obama's environmental and climate protection rules

France: Not As Nuclear

The dominance of the French nuclear power industry is no longer a sure thing

Japan: Solar Flight Delay

Solar Impulse, the first attempted round the world flight by a solar-powered plane, delayed by bad weather in Japan