RP Siegel

RP Siegel, author and inventor, shines a powerful light on numerous environmental and technological topics. His publications include business and technical articles as well as books. His third, co-authored with Roger Saillant, is Vapor Trails, an adventure novel that shows climate change from a human perspective. RP is a professional engineer - a prolific inventor with 52 patents and President of Rain Mountain LLC a an independent product development group. He is also active in his community of Rochester, NY. A regular contributor to Mechanical Engineering magazine, RP recently returned from Abu Dhabi where he traveled as the winner to the 2015 Sustainability Week blogging competition.. Follow @RPSiegel on Twitter. Contact: bobolink52@gmail.com

Solar Africa

Developing Nations’ Renewable Investments to Exceed Those of Developed World

The combined clean energy investment of developing countries, including China, Brazil, India and South Africa, totaled $131 billion in 2014, only 6 percent less than the combined total for developed countries. The gap is narrowing and is expected to close soon. Then, we will be the ones doing the chasing.

SAP employees share their knowledge with the crowd at SAP Mentors TechEd Las Vegas in 2012.

SAP Develops Workforce of the Future

SAP has turned workforce management into a competitive advantage through some outside-the-box thinking. Programs that support employees with autism widen the hiring pool, and formal opportunities in “intrapreneurship” give high-energy employees the chance to give entrepreneurship a try.

Obama

Obama Calls Climate Change ‘Immediate Threat’

Speaking to this year’s graduating class of the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, President Barack Obama called climate change “a serious threat to global security” and “an immediate risk to our national security.”

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CVS Sets Example by Taking the High Road on Tobacco Sales

Every now and then, a company takes a bold step, walking away from a profitable line of business because it doesn’t support their mission, or because it simply is the right thing to do. Retail pharmacy chain CVS took such a step last year when it decided to stop selling tobacco products. RP Siegel talks with Eileen Howard Boone, SVP of corporate social responsibility and philanthropy at CVS, to better understand the thinking behind this decision.

Lamar Smith

NASA Climate Budget Sees Cuts As CO2 Levels Surpass 400 PPM

In a shocking development, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, headed by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Texas), submitted a new budget for NASA that would cut the earth science budget by $300 million. Ironically, this is happening at a time when NASA just reported that atmospheric carbon dioxide has exceeded 400 parts per million for the first time in human history.

Money bubbles

Finding the ROI in Sustainability

Just about anyone who has worked in the area of sustainability has had to deal with the question of justifying long-term investments on a financial basis. Some measures, like fixing leaks and making efficiency improvements, pay off quickly and are therefore easy to approve. It’s when the investments take a little longer to pay off in dollars and cents that the conversation between sustainability director and CFO becomes a little more challenging.

Autodesk Venzuela

Design as an Agent of World Benefit

Autodesk is well-positioned to help creative types tackle sustainable design with tools that provide the electronic equivalent of a sustainability guru looking over their shoulders and guiding them as they produce their solutions.

Elf reduced

Solar-Pedal Trike Fits the Niche Between Bikes and Cars

In the bicycle world there’s a ‘great blue ocean’ of market opportunity. That’s the 80 percent of people who could be riding bicycles but don’t. Enter the ELF: a three-wheeled, covered bicycle that you can pedal or drive with a solar-powered motor.

Women-owned nonprofit Untapped Shores provides an opportunity for travelers to make a difference by carrying and delivering a life-saving business-in-a-box to a woman or a family in need.

What’s Behind the Boom in Women Entrepreneurs?

In the past 15 years, the number of women-owned businesses grew by 54 percent. There are now 8.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States. Together they employ more people than McDonald’s, IBM and Wal-Mart combined, and their revenue of $1.3 trillion exceeds the market capitalization of Apple, Microsoft, GE, Google and Sony. What is behind this trend? How have women managed to achieve this in business, which has traditionally been a man’s world? Is this something that women are inherently better at, or is it simply part of a larger trend?

rural wind farm

Report: Climate Change Poses High Risk for Low-Income Rural Communities

If you live on a fixed income, fluctuations in energy prices can have a dizzying impact. As climate justice advocate Gerald Durley put it during a recent conference call hosted by the Natural Resources Defense Council: “When unprecedented weather disasters devastate the poorest neighborhoods in places like New Orleans, New Jersey and New York, [climate change] is a civil rights issue.”

Public health

Obama Links Climate Change with Public Health

This week is National Public Health Week. One of the events commemorating the occasion was a roundtable discussion on Tuesday at Howard University’s College of Medicine, where President Barack Obama joined U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to discuss the link between climate change and public health.

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How Can We Get More Women Involved in STEM Fields?

There is an economic recovery happening, though it isn’t happening everywhere. Some localities and some skills are seeing much higher levels of job growth than others. Jobs in STEM-related fields grew by 17 percent last year compared to almost 10 percent for non-STEM careers, according to the U.S Department of Commerce. Those are good jobs too, paying 26 percent more than their non-STEM counterparts. But those jobs are primarily going to men.

Polar bear

Pressure Builds on Holdouts as More Companies Ditch ALEC

SourceWatch lists a total of over 100 companies and nonprofits that have now withdrawn from the American Legislative Exchange Council, commonly known as ALEC. As more companies break ties with the organization, pressure builds on holdouts like Exxon-Mobil and Peabody Energy to reconsider their positions.