Image courtesy of Celsias

South Africa Enacts CO2 Emissions Cap as UN Climate Negotiators to Converge on Durban

The South African government will enact an emissions cap and new energy industry regulations in an effort to spur development of alternative, clean and renewable energy and mitigate climate change. The new regulations will penalize heavy polluters that don’t comply with greenhouse gas emission limits with fines.

The new plan was adopted by the South African cabinet of President Jacob Zuma Tuesday in advance of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change representatives from around the world converging on the South African coastal city of Durban later this year in what’s set to be the most important round of UN efforts to hammer out a successor or alternative to the 1992 Kyoto Protocol since the UNFCCC’s 2009 Conference of Parties gathering in Copenhagen in 2009.

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Solar Industry Shows Massive Job Growth, Now Topping 100,000

The solar energy industry is churning out new green jobs at a steady clip, according to a new report commissioned by The Solar Foundation, a nonprofit trade group. That’s a pretty astounding piece of news considering the overall state of job creation in this economy, and The Solar Foundation has been quick to take advantage … Continued

Demonstrators in front of the Greek Parliament give a collective moutza on June 29, 2011. (Photo credit: ggia, Wikimedia Commons)

A Collective Moutza from the Greeks

The taxi drivers in Athens aren’t happy. Neither are the café owners or the workers at the state-owned power monopoly. Its plain Greece’s 700,000 government civil servants are also upset, not to mention the multitudes of retirees younger than 55. The bruising cuts and taxes being foisted on them, politely called “austerity measures,” are being used to combat what is now famously called the Greek Debt Crisis. The citizens of Greece say they are just too much to bear. And so they instinctively respond to it all with a “moutza.”

Photo courtesy of SanFranciscoSentinel.com.

President Obama Retracted EPA Ozone Standards. Would You?

According to the EPA, ground-level ozone and the smog it helps produce is responsible for human health problems such as emphysema, asthma, bronchitis, congestion, chest pain, premature heart attacks, and overall, reduced lung function. So if ground-level ozone is so harmful, why did U.S. President Barack Obama let the oil industry off the hook last month by allowing them to delay complying with increased standards?

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In Defense of Environmental Regulations

Three arguments, based on history, economics, and independent studies, against the assertion that the EPA and environmental regulations are killing jobs and destroying the economy.

Student Loans are bad

Forgiving Student Loans: A Stimulus Measure to Revitalize the Middle Class

Millennials are being strangled by record high student loan payments, more than any previous generation due to the skyrocketing costs of higher education, high unemployment, and stagnant wages. A whole generation is seeing their plans and ambitions shackled by the extra weight of their student loan payments. Unable to buy a home, start a family, and do the socially important but underpaid jobs they were trained to do, like teaching and working in the social services sector.

That's a lot of mad workers!

Chinese Factory Riots Show Solar Isn’t Always Sustainable

Recent riots at a solar panel factory in China should be seen as a dire reminder to the international business community and political caste that sustainability is a three-legged stool that grows very unstable when the social leg is ignored.

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IBM Joins EcoGrid EU Renewable Energy-Smart Grid Consortium

IBM’s signing on as a member of EcoGrid EU, a consortium of companies that is planning a European Union (EU) smart grid that will source at least 50% of its electrical power from renewable sources, such as wind, solar and biogas. Smart grids are central elements in making the transition from fossil fuel-based to clean, renewable energy systems. It will take massive investments in electrical power infrastructure and may take a decade or more to make the transition worldwide. The EcoGrid EU project is likely to speed up the process substantially.

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European Court Opinion: U.S. Airlines Must Buy Carbon Allowances

Europe’s highest court released an opinion on October 6th, finding that the proposed mandatory inclusion of non-European based airlines in the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), is compatible with international law. The opinion by the Advocate General constitutes the latest development in the ongoing dispute. Under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, beginning on January 1st … Continued

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Pre-Occupied with Wall Street: A Systems Thinking Perspective

The Occupy Wall Street movement has grown exponentially over the past week. What began as a movement targeting Wall Street has turned into something larger than just economic circumstances, but encompassing social and environmental concerns. Let’s take a systems thinking look at just blaming Wall Street, and why Wall Street is only a symptom of the … Continued

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New Evidence that Urban Trees Add Value – As in Dollars

The value of urban trees is pretty clear to anyone who has finally reached a soothing green canopy after trudging down a hot city street, and now studies are emerging that put a dollar sign on trees in urban neighbohoods. In that regard, the world of urban forestry is right in step with Mark Tercek … Continued