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.
Category: Policy & Government
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
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
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
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
Remember the old days when the auto manufacturers would line up in lockstep opposition to any fuel economy (CAFE) standards? Even the unions would oppose it, concerned about job losses. And lord knows…there was probably a gushing river of oil industry money flowing through the halls of congress to prevent America from moving in sustainable … Continued
While the fight in Washington over the debt ceiling seems to be over, it is not clear yet what cuts will be made in the food stamps program. Although food stamps would be exempt from the automatic cuts, they still might be subject to cuts coming from the special bipartisan committee that would be established … Continued
Yesterday, an agreement was made between the President and Congress to raise the debt ceiling. It is expected to pass both Houses and get the President’s signature. The question remains, is it really sustainable to raise the debt ceiling? If we hold true to the definition of sustainability as to “meet the needs of the present … Continued
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
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?