Friday, January 15th, 2010
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Global investors representing $13 trillion in assets called on the United States and other countries on Thursday to adopt policies to fight climate change they said would unleash a potential flood of private money into renewable and efficient energy.
“Without policies that create a stable investment environment our hands are tied,” Anne Stausboll, chief executive of the California Public Employees Retirement System, a pension fund with more than $205 billion in assets, said at a meeting called the Investor Summit on Climate Risk.
“We are ready and willing to up the ante to finance the transition to a low carbon global economy but you need to have the courage to act,” said Mindy Lubber, the president of Ceres, a coalition of investors and environmentalists which was hosting the meeting.
Thursday, January 14th, 2010
Citing the “chaotic” Copenhagen climate talks, Jonathan Pershing, the U.S.’s deputy special envoy for climate change, said the UN must relinquish the central role in future climate negotiations to major nations such as the U.S., China, and India.
Pershing, who participated in the Copenhagen talks, said in a speech in Washington that it was virtually impossible to conduct a serious negotiation with 192 nations present in Copenhagen and called for giving more power in future climate talks to the world’s major CO2 emitters.
Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
Faced with a faltering economy, fatigue over the health care fight, and the prospect of congressional elections this November, proponents of a carbon cap-and-trade bill in the U.S. Senate face high hurdles when Congress returns from its winter recess next week.
The Obama administration and Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the lead author on the climate bill, insist that they are proceeding with plans to pass climate and energy legislation this year.
Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
The AFCOM association recently revealed the results of a survey of 436 data center sites that showed the following trends: Cyber terrorism is an increasing concern, mainframe deployment is declining, storage deployment is increasing, and “green” technologies are definitely happening.
AFCOM found that there is a shift in data centers away from mainframe computers and toward other types of servers. That makes total sense as virtualization is the mantra of the day for those companies that are interested in optimizing their power by having several operating systems function within just one server. Data processing and storage is done within one server as opposed to a traditional system where the network is distributed in an elaborate design comprising of several servers and workstations all attached to their own separate hardware components. Similar to a virtual environment, all the physical resources such as additional servers, PCs, storage, hard drives, processors, and mother boards are totally eliminated. That way, not only are we saving big time in hardware investment (good for the planet!), we are also avoiding excess maintenance costs. That’s a big thumbs up!
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
A state panel recommended that most of the proceeds from a proposed carbon tax in California, set to take effect in 2012, should be given back to consumers. The 16-member Economic and Allocation Advisory Committee, charged with figuring out the most cost-effective way to implement a tax on carbon emissions, threw its support behind a so-called “cap-and-dividend” approach.
Such a plan would set a steadily decreasing limit on CO2 releases by major emitters, place a price on carbon dioxide emissions, and then give most of the revenue back to citizens.
Tuesday, December 29th, 2009
Mike Hulme’s “Why We Disagree About Climate Change” came out in May and was recently listed as one of the “Best Books of 2009″ by The Economist.
A former member of the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University – home to the infamous “ClimateGate” e-mails – Hulme has been a polarizing figure for all sides in the climate debate.
“Too often, when we think we are arguing over scientific evidence for climate change, we are in fact disagreeing about our different political preferences, ethical principles and value systems,” Hulme told the Wall Street Journal about the leaked e-mails. “Climate scientists, knowingly or not, become proxies for political battles.”
With “Why We Disagree About Climate Change,” Hulme argues how the inevitable gaps and ambiguities of science have laid open a wellspring of emotion, rendering it impossible to disentangle scientific insight from politics and culture.
Hulme spoke with CleanTechies on December 18, shortly before Copenhagen closed.
Monday, December 28th, 2009
The US EPA is the source of most air quality impact assessment models used in the US for regulatory purposes, such as predicting the potential impacts from proposed stationary sources of air pollutants and mobile sources such as motor vehicles. Since motor vehicle emissions vary with regulatory changes in required emission level, it is important that impact modeling be performed with the most up-to-date models.
EPA recently announced that an updated version of the Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) model — MOVES2010 — is now available for use to estimate air pollution from cars, trucks, and other on-road mobile sources. The model can also calculate the emissions reduction benefits from a range of mobile source control strategies, such as inspection and maintenance programs and local fuel standards.
Saturday, December 26th, 2009
When the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog embraces nuclear power, genetically engineered crops, and geoengineering schemes to cool the planet, you know things have changed in the environmental movement. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Stewart Brand explains how the passage of four decades — and the advent of global warming — have shifted his thinking about what it means to be green.
Stewart Brand helped shape the environmental consciousness of the 1960s and ‘70s with his Whole Earth Catalog, which became a bible of the counterculture and the back-to-the-land movement. An eclectic compendium of information and “tools” for innovative, environmentally friendly living, the Whole Earth Catalog reflected Brand’s ecological and technological interests, foreshadowing the rise of the San Francisco Bay Area’s computer and green cultures.
Friday, December 25th, 2009
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced an agreement with U.S. dairy producers to accelerate adoption of innovative manure to energy projects on American dairy farms. The agreement represents a dynamic public/private partnership and is another demonstration of the Obama Administration’s commitment to curb the emissions of greenhouse gases.
“This historic agreement, the first of its kind, will help us achieve the ambitious goal of drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions while benefitting dairy farmers,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The “Use of manure to electricity technology is a win for everyone because it provides an untapped source of income for famers, provides a source of renewable electricity, reduces our dependence on foreign fossil fuels, and provides a wealth of additional environmental benefits.”
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009
The US EPA and Duke Energy have reached a settlement in another New Source Review enforcement action.
Duke Energy, one of the largest electric power companies in the nation, will spend approximately $85 million to significantly reduce harmful air pollution at an Indiana power plant and pay a $1.75 million civil penalty, under a settlement to resolve violations of federal clean air laws, the Justice Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today. The settlement also requires Duke to spend $6.25 million on environmental mitigation projects.
The agreement, filed in federal court in Indianapolis, resolves violations of the Clean Air Act’s new source review requirements found at the company’s Gallagher coal-fired power plant in New Albany, Ind., located directly across the Ohio River from Louisville, Ky. (more…)