Sarah Harper is a professional writer based in San Francisco, California. Her interests include sustainability, government policy, and international politics. In her free time, Sarah enjoys toying with the idea of holistic health, overanalysis, and plotting world exploration.

U.S. Energy Secretary Orders Burying of Coal-Produced CO2 – What Are the Implications?

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced Monday that a technology for burying coal-produced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must be ready for deployment by 2017, Reuters reports. This is good news for the environment (given the fact that coal accounts for 40 percent of the world’s carbon emissions) and, hopefully, for the world’s climate change rate … Continued

HVAC Industry Proposes Regional Efficiency Standards

A group of U.S. HVAC (heating, venting and air conditioning) manufacturers signed a deal Tuesday designed to improve regional efficiency standards and building codes throughout the country. The proposed standards are also aimed at balancing the desire for greater state and regional flexibility with the need for a uniform HVAC marketplace, and stabilizing the HVAC … Continued

Blue Source, Goldman in “Largest Publicly Announced” Carbon Offset Deal

Carbon offset developer Blue Source announced the completion of the “largest publicly announced U.S. offset deal” (his description, reportedly): a $12 million carbon transaction between Blue Source and Goldman Sachs Group. The deal reportedly met Climate Action Reserve (CAR) and Voluntary Carbon Standard quality standards. It also included credits from North Carolina’s Alligator River Forestry … Continued

Obama’s Nobel Prize – What Effect Could it Have on the Copenhagen Conference?

Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize score could have numerous implications – including potential benefits for the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen (scheduled for December 7th through 18th). According to a Reuters report, some analysts believe the award could push Obama to attend the Conference, in part because officials will hand over the prize in nearby Oslo … Continued

Streamlining the Smart Grid – the Key to Helping States Meet Renewable Energy Goals?

A recent USA Today report on (many) states’ failure to meet their renewable energy goals highlights a number of issues, one of which being the value of setting standards for a national clean energy infrastructure (“smart grid”). Without such standards, the likelihood of energy inefficiency is greater and the risk of investing in green technology … Continued

Curbing Climate Change, One Potato Chip at a Time: PepsiCo’s Carbon Footprinting Techniques

Since 2007, PepsiCo has been “doing the world a flavour” in calculating the carbon footprint of its Walkers Crisps, potato chips sold in the UK which carry the Carbon Reduction Label. PepsiCo recently revealed its footprint-calculating methodology, the implications of which could be significant for the mass food production sector and the development of sustainable … Continued

Saudi Arabia to Seek Financial Aid if World Reduces Oil Dependence

Saudi Arabia may join the list of countries seeking financial aid over the UN climate deal. According to a Forbes.com report, during the UN’s recent greenhouse gas talks in Bangkok, Saudi Arabia campaigned quietly for financial compensation should a climate deal substantially reduce the world’s use of fossil fuels. The country appears to be motivated … Continued

Obama Declares October National Energy Awareness Month

President Obama declared October “National Energy Awareness Month” Wednesday, in a statement published on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) website. Obama underscored the role of energy efficiency and clean energy in the well-being of the nation’s economy and the environment. He also called on the American people to focus on making clean energy choices … Continued

Does Nuclear Energy Have the Power to Save the Climate Bill?

Is nuclear energy the solution to our environmental woes – and can it save the climate bill? Apparently, the answer depends on who you ask. Some promote the benefits of nuclear power (for example, its lack of carbon emissions), while others argue its drawbacks (for example, the issue of storage, and whether nuclear is the … Continued

John Mackey, “Whole Foolishness”, and a Microcosm of the Green Movement

When it comes to healthcare, the adage “opinions are like behinds: everyone has one” is an understatement. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey is no exception. His two cents on the matter have garnered a lot of attention recently: first, through his op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), and, second, through a subsequent damage-control-type … Continued

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Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s Uphill Battle for Green Jobs

Michigan, one of the nation’s manufacturing and auto industry hubs, was among the states hardest hit by carmakers’ decline. Its governor, Jennifer M. Granholm, now faces the daunting task of rebuilding the state’s job market. The Washington Post reports on Granholm’s approach to the task, which includes turning to green industries to provide jobs. Apparently, … Continued

Obama Aide Says Passage of Climate Bill Before Copenhagen Is Unlikely

President Obama’s aide and top climate and energy official, Carol Browner, confirmed Friday what many already feared: there is virtually no chance Congress will have a climate bill ready in time for the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December. Browner’s statement was the administration’s first definitive statement regarding passage of a climate and energy … Continued

Facebook, “Gross National Happiness,” and… Sustainable Business?

Is it possible to establish the overall mood of a nation? Apparently it is–if you’re Facebook (FB). The popular social networking site recently developed a new app by which it aims to determine its users’ “gross national happiness.” By searching public and semi-public FB forums for words and phrases deemed “happy,” “sad,” or “indifferent” by … Continued

Your Pure Honey – Startup Uses Shares in Beehives to Protect Native Tree Populations

New Zealand-based startup Your Pure Honey is putting the connection between consumer investment and resource preservation to the test. The organization allows consumers to purchase a share (or more) of a beehive in exchange for the Manuka honey the hive produces. The exchange also helps protect Manuka forests in the region while providing income for … Continued

California Environment Initiatives Garner International Interest

Several dozen local officials and environmental groups from forest-rich nations (including Brazil and Mexico) gathered this week at Schwarzenegger’s Global Climate Summit, which was sponsored for the first time by the U.N. These leaders sought, in part, to determine ways to provide carbon credits to (California) companies willing to pay for industrial emissions offsets. By … Continued