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Introducing The Da Vinci Index: Biomimicry and Economics

  During an event at the San Diego Zoo Biomimicry, Dr. Lynn Reaser of the Fermanian Business & Economic Institute at Point Loma Nazarene University provided a unique look at The Da Vinci Index, the first economic index measuring activity in biomimcry and/or bio-inspired research and commercial application. Leonardo Da Vinci is also known to … Continued

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Can Protests Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline?

With a revolution in Libya grabbing headlines and the president on vacation, you might be forgiven for being unaware of major protests underway in Washington this week. The issue? Approval of a new oil pipeline from the Alberta tar sands to the US Gulf Coast. The so-called “Keystone XL” pipeline would greatly expand the ability … Continued

nys attorney general issues subpoenas to energy companies to disclose fracking risks

Fracking, Risk and Investment: NY Attorney General Adds Fuel to the Fire

Investors are growing increasingly wary of fracking, a method of natural gas extraction that involves pumping a chemical brine underground at high pressure. Full disclosure of the risks of fracking, including water contamination and the accuracy of estimates on well output have been the subject of a growing number of shareholder resolutions. Now the New … Continued

Ogunquit, Maine, photo by Leon Kaye, August 2011

Maine Commits to Reduce Oil 30% by 2030

With future energy efficiency concerns an issue, Maine’s Republican-dominated legislature passed An Act to Improve Maine’s Energy Security earlier this year.

Rep. Michele Bachmann

Would Candidate Michele Bachmann Approve Her Own Record on the EPA?

It’s never boring with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) around. I’m sure both fans and non-fans of the Republican presidential candidate would agree. One thing they might not agree on so much is her integrity. Critics especially like to point out major differences between the record of Representative Bachmann and the rhetoric of candidate Bachmann when … Continued

Nissan Leaf Will Power Homes in Japan

This week, automaker Nissan  announced a two-way charging system that will allow the new all-electric Nissan Leaf  to not only charge up, but also to reverse the flow of electricity to allow the car to power the home for brief periods during power outages or shortages. Considering the recent calamity in Japan’s power generation system, … Continued

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Can Innovation Lead Us to Growth (and Happiness) With Less Consumption?

I recently came across an article called, “How Can Innovation Decouple Growth and Consumption” I was intrigued by this as I’ve been wondering for some time if such a decoupling is possible. The piece describes a number of ways “to constrain consumption that do not continue to stress, deplete, degrade or waste our natural resource … Continued

A Soup Company and a Sporting Goods Manufacturer Walk into a Bar…

What does a Massachusetts-based soup company have in common with a global sporting goods manufacturer?  Industrial facilities – spaces where they both need to understand energy consumption and improve energy efficiency to operate optimally. 

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Why the U.S. Debt Crisis is Just the Tip of the Melting Iceberg

Boyd Cohen, Climate Strategist As many of this column’s readers know, I am from the U.S. and have lived in Europe and most recently Canada for the 10 years since getting my Ph.D. at the University of Colorado.  While I am no economist (my Ph.D. is in business), I believe that the recent U.S. debt … Continued

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“Last Stand” Against Brazil’s Belo Monte Dam Raises “True Cost” Questions

Opponents of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam system in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon are mounting a “last stand” attempt to halt development in the wake of the government awarding the contract to Norte Energia and the start of construction. Opposition groups say building what would be the world’s third-largest hydroelectric system would be a “folly” of epic proportions on economic, technical and environmental grounds.

SUNPATH, a new program of the SunShot initiative, to manufacture solar panels in U.S.

SunShot: $50 Million Closer to Cheap Solar Power and Green Jobs, Too

The Obama administration has been focusing on federal solar energy policies that create new green jobs, and the new SunShot initiative could turn out to be a major twofer for U.S. businesses. First, the program is designed to advance solar technology research that will make clean solar energy as cheap as, or cheaper than, fossil … Continued

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New CAFE Standards: Is 54.5 MPG by 2025 Really Enough?

Last week, the Obama administration made a dramatic announcement that unfortunately got lost in all the hoopla over the debt ceiling and the political maneuverings thereof. They announced a new set of ambitious fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks that will make a significant dent in our dependence on oil and our carbon … Continued

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Renewable Energy 2010: 16% of Global Energy; Nearly 11% in the US

REN21’s “Renewables 2011” Global Status Report is a remarkable one, particularly in light of the lasting effects of the “Great Recession” and all that took place in 2010. The REN21 report shows that renewable energy growth was strong last year. Renewable resources wound up supplying 16% of global final energy consumption and showed strong growth … Continued

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Trade War Looms Over Airlines’ Refusal to Comply with EU Cap-And-Trade Law

In June, I wrote about whether the US was right to seek an exemption from the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) for US airlines. The cap-and-trade scheme, designed to curb CO2 emissions, is being vigorously opposed by the American Air Transport Association, and a month on, it seems things are no less fractious, … Continued