Van Jones, Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), yesterday answered questions from Facebook and the White House website about President Obama’s vision for a clean energy economy.
If you missed the live chat, here’s the video of the event. (more…)
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Of all the lines in the envisioned US high speed rail network, California is the one with the most momentum behind it. The state has started to fund the line that is designed to take passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in two and a half hours. Money is the biggest obstacle to realizing America’s rail modernization, but California is countering this problem by showing the value added these trains will bring to the state.
Concerns over cost is the principle argument against high speed rail in the US, but independent economic studies done on the feasibility of the project show that the line will generate $1 billion in surplus revenue annually after completion. Start-up costs for this infrastructure in the nation’s most populous state are estimated to be roughly half of what it would cost not to build the route. Highway and airport expansion would be much more costly and detrimental to the environment. These facts are pushing California to have the nation’s first true high speed rail at the current pace of development.
A little two-man submarine in Lake Tahoe, California, is searching for jobs under the water.
What’s down there? A nonprofit called the Undersea Voyager Project is getting ready to launch a five-year mission in 2011 to look for ideas on how to restore endangered bodies of water around the world, USA Today reports.
The one problem with water issues is that it’s hard for people to be concerned about what they can’t see.
Only 1 percent of the water column and 3 percent of the ocean floor has been explored on Planet Earth, says the group, led by Scott Cassell.
Project leaders hopes the sub’s explorations will attract attention on pollution and overfishing.
Green roofs have been a part of building for over a thousand years. The current green building movement has, however, had the greatest impact on the growth of the green roofing industry.
A green roof is commonly defined as a roof that consists of vegetation and soil, or a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. There are two basic types of green roofs, an extensive roof, which has a few inches of soil cover and an intensive roof that has two feet or more of soil for a variety of grass, trees, bushes and shrubs.
That was to be read to the tune of “Speed Racer.” If this makes no sense….check out the video below.
Consolidation is happening fast – and those with cash…. win.
Following their big announcement last week of breaking the $1/watt barrier, this morning First Solar announced that it has bought up OptiSolar’s deal pipeline for a cool $400M. While this is truly huge news, that OptiSolar was going to sell its projects should not come as too big a shocker given OptiSolar’s slashed its headcount by 50% and decided not move ahead with it’s central valley production facility.
45 minutes of engaging discourse – last night Van Jones, president and founder of “Green For All”, had his audience, made up largely of members of the greater Berkeley community, enthralled. In an age of public relations, spin and hype we had before us one of the rare respites of integrity, in a man that gets the (positive) credit he deserves. If you’ve not yet heard him speak, check out the clip below, you will hear a very compelling and articulate argument to invest in our capacity by developing our workforce.
As I looked around the room there were students, faculty, venture capitalists, social workers, community activists, environmentalists, non-profit organizers and reporters; Van can bring people together like no other, but being on a university campus brought an even more diverse group of people to the event. I thought back to the countless symposiums (symposia?) I have been to over the years – without fail it has been those organized by the universities have brought the most diverse audiences of participants together – and in that mix, the magic of cross pollination happens.
Amongst the hoo-ha of the US presidential inauguration I noted a small article stating that the new President is getting some pressure to turn the White House lawn into a vegetable patch all be it a somewhat large one, under the spiffy banner of eat the view. Putting aside for the moment critical considerations this would create, such as defining if broccoli was patriotic enough to be planted, and if a composter would be seen as a threat to the nation. There may be mileage in taking this idea a step further to demonstrate his by now well documented and stated clean tech commitments.
An Earthship is a type of passive solar home made of natural and recycled materials. Designed and marketed by Earthship Biotecture of Taos, NM. Earthships are a type of off-grid home, which minimizes their reliance on public utilities and fossil fuels. Passive solar home made of natural and recycled materials, thermal mass construction for temperature stabilization and renewable energy & integrated water systems make the Earthship an off-grid home with little to no utility bills. Watch the video after the jump.
Job seekers, chin up! You are not alone. You have company, but you’ll need to have some tenacity because Q1 2009 will not provide you with many easy opportunities. If you are keen on getting a job in renewable energy and you don’t have any experience or situational awareness…. then you had better start getting some or else the 300 former Optisolar employees will get your gig. Optisolar’s struggle to find additional financing is not unique. In the Bay Area companies that received funding with the expectation of raising another round in late ‘08 early ‘09 will continue to slash their burn rate by going through the painful process of off loading expensive and experienced workers that they painstakingly researched, hired and trained in previous months.
If you are tight on time jump over to 1:50; President-Elect Obama sees upgrades to the US’ infrastructure, the development of alternative energy and the implementation of alternative energy projects as critical components to the country’s economic recovery.
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