Forged Letters Sent to Congressman to Undermine Climate Legislation

When considering how he’d vote on the Waxman-Markety bill last month, Charlottesville, Virginia Representative, Tom Perriello, did what any legislator should. He listened to his constituents. Among the thousands of emails, letters, and faxes he received, a handful in particular stood out. One was written by Creciendo Juntos, a nonprofit network that works with Charlottesville’s … Continued

SolFocus Designs CPV Solar Panels for Commercial Scale Deployment

Concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) is not a new technology, but commercial utilization is. In the past, panels demonstrated high efficiency in the laboratory, but were not designed for manufacturability. Since SolFocus was founded in 2005, the company has taken a different approach to this technology. “We have designed our product for manufacturability,” says Nancy Hartsoch, VP … Continued

Renewable Power Feed-In Tariffs: Simpler, Cheaper, More Effective

Feed-in tariffs may be the single most effective and beneficial behind the rapid growth of renewable power technology in markets in EU countries such as Denmark, Germany and Spain. A policy paper sponsored by the DC-based Heinrich Boell Institute’s Transatlantic Climate Group asserts that they could have the same impact here in the US…if state governments and/or the federal government employs them.

Cityscape Farms – The Evolution of a New Agricultural Model

Cityscape Farms, a greenhouse based urban farming initiative, promotes their mission with the slogan, “An idea whose time has come.” Whether it’s San Francisco’s new aggressive regional food policy or the famous organic garden on the White House lawn, the local food movement—specifically the urban local food movement—is garnering increasing media attention and validity. Yet, … Continued

Microcharity Shows Donors the Money

In some ways, donating to a charity can be like cleaning a really dirty house: when a cleaning sesh provides really visible results, it provides a heightened sense of satisfaction, thereby encouraging future clean up endeavors. A remarkable new startup, the Jolkona Foundation, is banking on this parallel. The organization encourages young donors to give … Continued

The “Green Trade War” – Business Groups up in Arms over Carbon Tariffs

  “Business Groups: U.S. Faces ‘Green Trade War’ over Carbon Tariffs.” When I read this Environmental Leader headline, the idealist in me sighed. Wouldn’t it be nice if passing environmentally helpful legislation was, well, easy? In reality, though, businesses are expressing strong concerns – and warnings – as legislators attempt to shape a more eco-friendly … Continued

Australian Prime Minister Fights Unemployment, Seeks to Create Green Jobs

It’s a great day, apparently, for Australian green job enthusiasts. Australia’s Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, promised today to create 50,000 such jobs (and apprenticeships) and tackle climate change, the Boston Globe reports. His promise is part of a greater pledge to prioritize environmental legislation while tackling the country’s burgeoning unemployment problem. The PM’s 94 million … Continued

Cambridge Outlines “Critical” Options to Reduce Transportation GHGs

As long as gasoline-powered vehicles ply the nation’s highways reducing transportation pollution is perhaps the most critical element in the effort to slash greenhouse gas emissions, according to a report from group of federal agencies and advocacy groups, including the Environmental Defense Fund. Once that realization sinks fully in and actions are implemented it will … Continued

Senate Passes Energy and Water Bill – Will Close Nuclear Waste Storage Facility

Big news in the environmental legislation world: the Senate passed a $34.3 billion energy spending bill yesterday that will cover hundreds of Army Corps of Engineers water projects and allow for the closing of the Yucca Mountain (Nevada) nuclear waste facility. (Obama promised, during his campaign, to close the facility.) According to an NPR report, … Continued

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Spanish Study Claims Each Green Job Costs More than Two Traditional Ones

There are too many economists. That, it seems, is the surest deduction one could make about a new Spanish study, which claims that for every renewable energy job financed by the government, approximately 2.2 traditional jobs are lost. The key phrase is “financed by the government.” The study (PDF), written by Professor Gabriel Calzada Álvarez … Continued

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The Latest Open Source Innovators: Nike and Best Buy?

Nike and Creative Commons are not two organizations you’d typically hear in the same sentence. And especially not working together. Try, “…a project of Nike, Creative Commons, and Best Buy.” That’s what GreenXchange is. Here’s a video laying the groundwork: GreenXchange is a part of CC’s Science Commons project. As in other Creative Commons efforts, … Continued

The Walmart Sustainability Index: The Private Label Innovation Push

Since the unveiling of Walmart’s Sustainability Index on July 16th, the industry has been abuzz trying to assess the potential implications. While much of the press headlines have focused on the Index as a green product rating scheme, which may be 5 years away, a key point seems to be getting lost in the shuffle. … Continued

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Bottled Water Offered on AirTran Flights Touted as Green

AirTran is a budget airline that you’re most likely familiar with for popping up on all the flight promo aggregators online. Today, they made an interesting announcement. They will feature the world’s first Carbon Neutral water. Carbon Neutral water you say? Yes, starting today, passengers on AirTran flights will get treated to bottles of Icelandic … Continued

Are Carbon Tariffs a Good Idea?

Imposing a tax on imported goods that are carbon-intensive is an idea being tossed around as much these days as driftwood on a shore. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said, “If other countries don’t impose a cost on carbon, then we will be at a disadvantage…[and] we would look at considering perhaps duties that would offset … Continued

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All-Electric Commercial Vehicles: Now Available in the U.S.

Photo Credit: Vi Photography I have heard the future.  And it sounds… quiet.  As a new transplant to DC, I started accepting road noise and grimy air as inevitabilities of city life.  On Tuesday, Bryan Hansel, CEO of Smith Electric Vehicles, showed me an alternative.  (Thank you, Bryan.) On Tuesday, at the footsteps of the … Continued