Johnson Controls recently made headlines with an energy efficiency upgrade of the iconic Empire State Building, and it has just announced an equally ambitious foray into the field of electric vehicles. The company has opened the largest advanced energy storage research and development center in North America. The new project, funded partly by a $299 … Continued
Category: Policy & Government
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is well known for market-based environmentalism and its cooperative engagements with business. Through its relationships with companies like McDonald’s and Walmart, as well as its innovative Climate Corps program, the NGO has become a leader in proactive collaborations between the for-profit and the not-for-profit sectors. Certainly, such forward-thinking engagements are vital … Continued
The reporting on Detroit seems to be shifting away from the narrative of the once great American City disintegrating into a burned out warzone-like state as citizens flee to greener, safer, more vibrant locales.
First, there were solar systems with a hefty up-front price that not many households and companies could afford. Then came the solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) and solar leasing that transformed solar systems from a product into an affordable service. One of the cornerstones of the new model is a 30 percent federal tax credit … Continued
Last week, the National Summit on Energy Security took place in Washington DC. Government, military and business leaders gathered to address America’s reliance on foreign oil. Part of the proceedings involved a war-game like simulation called the “Oil shockWave.” First run in 2005, the simulation serves to generate a number of destabilizing geo-political scenarios, forcing … Continued
Boyd Cohen, Ph.D., Climate Strategist George Monbiot would argue we need to stop jetsetting around the world if we want to get our carbon emissions in check and instead fly infrequently for “love miles” only (see video explanation below). He definitely has a point since we are on pace to emit 1.5 billon tons of … Continued
Suburbs are a uniquely American and relatively recent phenomenon; an experiment, if you will, that came about as the result of the simultaneous surge in prosperity with the emergence of the automobile and the availability of relatively cheap land surrounding our cities. Given the enormous growth that this suburban lifestyle has experienced, it has truly become equated with the American Way of Life.
But a number of people are beginning to question the wisdom of this outward migration, leaving many cities on the brink of collapse after having drained the rural landscape of its inhabitants. Are the suburbs sustainable?
An International Maritime Organization panel adopted what it calls mandatory design and operational measures to reduce greenhouse gases from international shipping. According to the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee, which has met 62 times on this issue, this month’s action is the “first ever mandatory greenhouse gas reduction regime for an international industry sector.” It … Continued
In partnership with 175 solar power systems installers, One Block Off the Grid has launched its nationwide”One Nation Off the Grid” project, which includes offering group buying solar power systems deals at the county level across 34 US states, as well as a public US Solar Map detailing state renewable energy policies and potential job creation should stronger policies be enacted.
Businesses beg for definitive rulings on issues such as carbon pricing and environmental social governance (ESG) reporting requirements, meanwhile the legislature clamors (successfully) “drill baby drill” and accuses environmentalists of favoring spotted owls over jobs. Our leaders’ attitude seems to be climate change has to wait until the economy has turned around.
Last Sunday the Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, announced a new a plan to tax carbon emissions from the country’s 500 worst polluters. Starting next year, these companies will pay for each ton of carbon dioxide emitted, first through a fixed carbon tax and from 2015 via a carbon trading scheme. This plan came to … Continued
The smart grid is getting more and more attention these days. With all this talk, a few questions lingers in the mind. What exactly is the smart grid? When will we actually get the smart grid in place? How smart can the grid really be? Recently, Southern California Edison (SCE) held a smart grid roundtable … Continued
For some a lifetime trolley-bus pass might sound like the third-place prize in a contest where $1 million goes to the first-place winner. Or maybe the wrong choice of doors in a Let’s Make a Deal episode. For urban dwellers it might be the economic incentive that gets unnecessary and polluting cars off of crowded … Continued
…they only need to look as far as their own checkbooks to see that something very disruptive and damaging is happening. In 2005, in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, damages reached 173 billion worldwide. Here in the US, damages from catastrophic losses cost the insurance industry $62 billion that year, up by 50% from the 1990’s. Back in the 50’s that number was only $4 billion. The number of reported natural disasters has been climbing steadily from around 70 in 1975, climbing into the two hundred range in the 80’s, to an average of around 400 over the past decade. The awakening of insurance executives to the fact that “something is happening here…” seems to be beginning with the re-insurance firms, those that insure the insurance companies that insure us.