Tuesday, October 13th, 2009
Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have recommended dramatically scaling back oil drilling plans off U.S. coasts and have proposed a ban on oil and gas exploration in the Arctic until oil companies significantly improve their ability to prevent and clean up oil spills.
The non-binding recommendations to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar represent a stark reversal from the pro-drilling policies of the Bush administration; the new administrator of NOAA, Jane Lubchenco, is an oceanographer who has vowed to restore science to federal environmental policy.
Friday, October 9th, 2009
Renewable energy and energy efficiency are key to solving crises in the economy, climate and security, said Al Gore on Friday (videos below).
The former vice president lauded fellow Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Barack Obama for efforts including an economic stimulus package with a significant renewable energy component.
“One way or another the reductions in emissions are about to accelerate,” said Gore at the conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists in Madison, Wis. “What is important, directly or indirectly, is that we put a price on carbon.”
He expressed hope that the U.S. Senate will pass a bill similar to that of the House, even in advance of the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December. “There is much more bipartisan dialogue behind the scenes than is publicly visible,” he added.
Tuesday, September 29th, 2009
Mob mentality is being used to convince businesses to combat global warming. How? Through Carrotmob, a “reverse boycott” phenomenon taking hold worldwide.
According to their Web site, Carrotmob is “a network of consumers who buy products in order to reward businesses who are being socially responsible.” It uses consumer buying power as leverage to convince businesses to act more responsibly and to improve the way their business operates in relation to environmental impacts.
A good example is their first ever action, which happened in San Francisco (see the video below). Founder Brent Schulkin visited bottle stores in his neighborhood and asked them to pledge a certain amount of their daily takings to “greening” their business.
Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009
Warning that the global climate threat could produce “an irreversible catastrophe,” President Obama told world leaders gathered at the United Nations that developed nations should take the lead in finding solutions, but that emerging countries must also be ready to act.
And while conceding that the economic recession has added to the challenge, he vowed that the U.S. “will meet our responsibility to future generations.”
Obama urged leaders to find a compromise as the world approaches global climate talks in Copenhagen in December.
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
“We will have solar energy as soon as the utility companies solve one technical problem – how to run a sunbeam through a meter” — anonymous
There is a lot of buzz going on these days about the role solar will play in the current clean tech revolution occurring around the world. Many people find solar interesting but don’t know how it works, why it is gaining so much popularity and how they can get involved. Below are some of the resources I have used to make the world of solar easier to understand.
First question to answer: What is solar? For this you should read the wiki description of solar power.
Now that you understand some of the history of solar power, you may want to understand one of the most common ways that solar power is converted into electricity, for this you should read about photovoltaics or PV.
Friday, July 31st, 2009
The goal is to enable power generation from low-temperature geothermal resources at an economical cost. In addition to being a clean energy source without any greenhouse gas emissions, geothermal is also a steady and dependable source of power.
A new method for capturing significantly more heat from low-temperature geothermal resources holds promise for generating virtually pollution-free electrical energy. Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are testing a new innovative approach to safely and economically extract and convert heat from vast untapped geothermal resources.
Friday, July 24th, 2009
I don’t have a TV, and while I’m generally pretty happy with the state of affairs, I definitely miss the Daily Show… thanks to Hulu, I now don’t have to.
If you missed Jon Stewart’s take on the progress of Waxman-Markey here is a recommended Friday afternoon break. Stick through and you’ll get to catch up with Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who doesn’t do a bad job spinning a joke for Nobel Laureate.
Monday, July 13th, 2009
It’s good to have friends in high places. The Windy City is privileged to have the support of the man holding the highest office in the land, President Obama, to back a hub-and spoke high speed transit network with Chicago as its epicenter. The wheel sprawls in all directions, covering most of the major cities of the Midwest.
Obama is not the only proponent of the high speed rail in the Midwest. Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle is firmly behind the proposal. His conviction comes from a fact-finding mission to Spain he undertook this past winter. The Governor traveled on the Spanish high speed rail, the AVE (Alta Velocidad Española), and came back a believer of the system.
Governor Doyle was not only impressed by the comfort and speed of his journey, he saw the potential for jobs to be created in the manufacturing, maintenance and operation of an American high speed rail network running through his state into Chicago and beyond.
Thursday, June 25th, 2009
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.
Thursday, June 25th, 2009
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.