President Barack Obama today announced that the federal government will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent by 2020.
Cleanup crews and 27 skimmer boats are working to contain and remove oil from a massive spill that happened when a crude oil tanker and a barge collided Saturday in the Port Arthur Ship Channel.
One year after he was inaugurated with promises of “hope” and “change,” President Barack Obama has earned only a grade of “C” for his handling of endangered species, climate, energy, public lands, and oceans from one conservation group but an overall grade of “B+” on climate and energy from another.
Can schoolkids do what world leaders in Copenhagen failed to do last month: lower greenhouse gas emissions in the face of climate change? You may have already seen how some students challenged leaders in Denmark with patches from the climate quilt; now, the Green Schools Alliance (a sponsor of the quilt) has persuaded 128 schools in 22 states to take direct action against global warming by participating in the Green Cup Challenge.
Solar power in Michigan? Really?
While it’s probably not the last state you’d associate with solar power (that’s Alaska), Michigan likely appears far down on your list of places ideal for a large-scale solar power installation. Attorney Sam Fields, his son Connor, and two other partners hope to prove you wrong with their 700-panel array in Galesburg.
Article: Sundance environmental films: energy
Imagine receiving a lucrative offer from an energy company to drill for natural gas on property you own. Would you take it? What would that drilling mean in terms of environmental quality for the land itself and the surrounding community? Filmmaker Josh Fox received such an offer, and his documentary GASLAND, which has its world premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, explores the impact of gas extraction, especially the process of “fracking,” and the environmental consequences that can come from the quest for this “clean” energy source.
Ice plugged an inactive pipeline, causing it to burst, officials said Tuesday in an attempt to explain how 46,000 gallons of crude oil spewed onto the tundra near a BP Exploration processing center at Prudhoe Bay on Alaska’s North Slope
Article: Poop to power comes to China
You may have already heard of various projects that turn farm animal wastes into energy: from Connecticut to South Africa, farmers and energy experts are finding innovative ways of turning this waste material (and often pollutant) into power for cooking, heating, and even electricity generation.
Arizona has massive solar power resources. Texas, Kansas, and South Dakota together could power the whole country with wind. And the Rocky Mountain region holds vast potential for geothermal power generation. Traditional thinking in renewable energy development holds that we should tap these resources, and then move the power generated around via a next-generation national electric grid.
A new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance challenges this conventional wisdom, though, and makes the rather startling claim that 30 of the 50 US states could meet their own electricity demand entirely from in-state sources; seven more could generate 75% of their electricity needs this way. Thus, major (and expensive) improvements to the national grid may not be the most efficient use of resources.
While certified green theatre may still be an anomaly, the live entertainment design community is discussing its environmental impact, as well as broader notions of sustainability, both online and in person. Yesterday, Live Design magazine published a blog post (the first in a series) from lighting designer and theatre consultant Curtis Kasefang on the concept of “sustainable theatres.” Kasefang’s notion of a sustainable performance space can be summed in up in one word: reuse.
Article: The Solar Decathlon is coming to DC
With all of the talk of green jobs as a source of recovery from the economic doldrums, and climate change as a top priority for legislative action, the timing couldn’t be better for the next edition of the Solar Decathlon. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, this event brings twenty teams of college students from around the world together every two years to compete not in running, jumping, and throwing, but designing, building, and displaying a home that runs completely on solar energy.
In a historic ruling, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with states and private land trusts that sued large power companies to make them curb their greenhouse gas emissions.
Article: Green tech finds (8/20/09)
From recycled plastic plywood to giraffe poop in your tank, it’s a green tech-a-palooza… here are this week’s finds:
Don’t have an iPhone? Not to worry… 3rdWhale’s comprehensive green information app is now available for open-source mobile platform Android, and a Blackberry Storm version is on the way.
Don’t want an iPhone? Samsung’s new Reclaim boasts a casing made from 40% bioplastic, outer packaging made from 70% recycled materials, very few nasty chemicals, and a very efficient charger.
Article: Las Vegas betting on green
As a former resident of Las Vegas, I can attest to the obvious: with its air conditioned high-rise hotel/casinos, massive water features, and cookie-cutter gated developments as far as the eye can see, Sin City isn’t exactly a model of resource efficiency. Of course, many places aren’t… but Vegas’ unique combination of resource scarcity and…
Article: Green tech finds (8/13/09)
Can the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid really deliver 230 mpg? Can you power your DVD player with your exercise bike? Answers to these questions and more in this week’s green tech finds…
- Powering up with your bicycle: Exercise bikes aren’t just good for keeping fit; many people are figuring out innovative ways to harness that power and create electricity.
- A showcase green home in Silicon Valley: Eco-entrepreneur Marc Porat has turned his 1936 English Tudor Revival home into a carbon-neutral showcase of green tech.
Article: The Earth Angel hand-powered vibe
It’s kind of ironic: women turn to vibrators so their hands don’t have to do the work, but with the new Earth Angel vibe you have to hand-crank it to get it to work. Of course, it’s for a good cause: renewable, sustainable energy! And we suppose if you crank using both hands equally, you…
Article: The Saudi Arabia of cliches
A view of one of the Saudi Arabias of wind — Texas The US’ discussion over our energy future hasn’t just produced many innovative ideas for harnessing cleaner and renewable sources of power; it’s also given rise to its own collection of cliches. Arguably, the most prevalent among these is “_______ (a location) is the…
The House’s passage of Waxman-Markey (aka the American Clean Energy and Security Act) isn’t just a step forward in moving the United States away from addiction to fossil fuels, and towards a cleaner energy economy; it’s also evidence that President Barack Obama plans to fight for many of the campaign promises he made on energy and the environment. Candidate Obama laid out a very ambitious and comprehensive approach to energy policy, recognizing that it’s intimately tied to environmental concerns and economic growth and development.
Article: Green tech finds (7/10/09)
Techies rejoice! Here’s your weekly run-down of some of the cooler green tech stories out there…
Free energy? There’s a ton of it out there — 7 quadrillion BTUs — in the form of wasted heat. The Department of Energy has announced funding opportunities for R&D on how to tap this massive source of energy. (via Cleantechnica)
NYC — the wind energy capital? It seems counterintuitive, but the Carnegie Institution and California State University have found that high-altitude winds, which are concentrated over the Big Apple (among other places), “contain enough energy to meet world demand 100 times over.” (via Green Living Ideas)
Article: Independence (from oil) Day
The concept of July 4th as “Oil Independence Day” or “Energy Independence Day” has been floating around for several years: everyone from bloggers to magazines to the Speaker of the House has touted the concept. This July 4th, New York-based artist Michael D’Antuono will add his voice to the debate with the unveiling of the…
Friday’s passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) signaled a definite shift in US policy towards energy use and climate change. Though the bill had its detractors — most notably Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and even progressive Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) — ACES, or Waxman-Markey, set new standards for clean energy adoption, energy efficiency, and, most notably, greenhouse gas emissions.
You may have gotten your fill of the phrase “energy independence” with last year’s election: both parties and presidential candidates touted the idea repeatedly. It’s a compelling concept… it’s also contentious. For some, energy independence means harvesting solar, wind, and geothermal power; for others, it’s the motivation behind “Drill, baby, drill!” Either way, it’s a challenging goal at the national level.
Most tips and suggestions for living more sustainably focus on your home. That makes sense, as you have the most control over the energy and other resources you use there. But what about the office? Have you noticed practices there that make your inner greenie cringe, or even scream?
The US Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program has just released a video featuring eco-lifestyle guru Danny Seo discussing ideas for bringing green to work.
Dreaming of a green home? Already got a picture in your head of your carbon neutral, low impact house? Even if it’s just an upgraded version of your current home, that picture almost certainly includes solar panels on the roof, and/or a wind turbine situated on your land.
It’s an inspiring image. In reality, it may also be one that’s going to produce more headaches (financial and otherwise) than clean energy… unless you do your homework.
Learn more on what you need to do if you want to use solar or wind energy on your property…
Article: Green tech finds (5/14/09)
Just in time for the weekend — your round-up of cool green technology news and notes.
Not planning to download one of the coal industry’s new ringtones? How about one of these greener alternatives…
The fight against deforestation may one day have its own version of the daisy cutter: the Seedbomb (via Treehugger)