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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Radio Show today on WARL 1320 and a new charging station in RI

As you know, we are live each Weds from 12-p, EST on WARL 1320 and on their worldwide stream.

Today's show is focusing on the economic vale of mass transit, and the return on investment seen by city's that invest heavily in mass transit.. In studio with me is Frank from EcoNewsRI, a writer for their great, on-line newspaper. We will have other expert guests with us from RI and MA.

Please call in with your comments and questions. Here are the numbers:
(401)273-1555, -6734 & (508)967-6817.

Feel free to listen on line and email, Tweet or send us a note through Facebook. No matter what, we will get it and get your comments and questions on the air.

The like to their web site: http://1320warlradio.com/gs/


Also, great news from Anchor Subaru on a new charging station in RI. This from Tina at Anchor:

"If all goes well it looks like our charging station will be up and running by the end of today. Yippee!!!"

Tina Freches

Internet Manager
Anchor Nissan / Subaru
1041 Eddie Dowling Highway
North Smithfield, RI 02896
401 767 5000 - Office
401 524 6256 - Cell
http://www.anchor-nissan.com/
Follow us on Twitter - @anchornissan
Read/write reviews on www.dealerrater.com


Yipee is right. Congratulations, Anchor. Welcome to the plug-in world.

Who is next?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Miracle Rice Uses Less Water to Grow, Emits Less Methane

Great story from Eco Geek on the work being done at the University of Agriculture at Bangalore, India to cultivate rice that uses much less water, emits less methane and is packed with significantly more protein. What a potential innovation to bring to our global food supply.


The story:

"A new type of rice being cultivated by the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bangalore, India has many advantages over typical rice varieties -- it requires less water to grow, it's higher in protein and it emits less methane over its life cycle.

This rice, which is not genetically modified but a hybrid crop, uses 60 percent less water than conventional rice crops. It only needs to be watered once a week even in arid climates and can go as long as 15 days without water.

From a nutritional standpoint, the rice has 14 to 15 percent protein compared to seven to eight percent in conventional rice. It also can be harvested more quickly with a similar yield to conventional rice, making it ideal for feeding the world's growing population.

So far, only about five percent of rice fields are using this new type of cultivation, but researchers are hopeful that as word spreads about this approach to rice, it will spread to more areas."



Also, our thanks to Occupational Medicine for their kind comments on our blog. Please feel free to send us your comments and suggestions. Also, be listening live on WARL 1320, and on their worldwide stream, on Weds, 12-1p when we will be discussing, with our guests, the economic impact mass transit has to a local and national economy. Please call or write in if you can.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Renewable Energy Projects Around the World: How Much is Installed and Where

Interesting article and graph from Eco Geek on renewable energy projects getting built around the world. Let us know if any of these stats surprise you:

Written by Megan Treacy on 14/11/11



The Economist has put together a nice graphic using data from Enel showing exactly how many gigawatts of each type of renewable energy were installed as of 2010 and where that power was located. As of the end of last year, the world had a total of 1,313 GW of installed renewable energy projects.

As of 2010, hydropower was still the global leader of renewable energy sources with 1,005 GW installed, but that could change in the coming years. Hydropower only increased in installed power by 3 percent from 2009, but solar power had the biggest year over year increase with a jump of 70 percent from 2009 to 40 GW.

Wind power also added a nice 24 percent in installed capacity from 2009 to 2010 and comes in second place globally, albeit a pretty distant second. If those trends continue, solar and wind power could catch up in the near future.

The greatest concentration of renewable energy projects are located in Europe, which accounts for 433 of the 1,313 GW. Asia is a close second with 420 GW and will likely eclipse Europe soon. Asia had the biggest growth in renewable energy installations with a 30 percent increase from 2009.

North America had 251 GW of renewable energy projects installed at the end of 2010.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Recent story in USA Today

USA Today just did a great study of stimulus funding into different companies, and the news, despite some set backs, was pretty good.

Here's the headline: Stimulus funds helped some stocks soar


Opening paragraph: "As Congress and the White House launch investigations into renewable-energy loan guarantees made to companies such as Solyndra under the 2009 stimulus bill and related legislation, a USA TODAY analysis shows that a series of public companies that got help have soundly beaten the stock market and most venture-capital funds raised in 2008."

Even more impressive, and encouraging as far as the government's investment and growing ROI coming from these companies, is this chart:

'Stimulus' stocks in USA TODAY's analysis

The companies below were major beneficiaries of a $100 billion pot of federal money to stimulate emerging technology industries, targeted by the 2009 stimulus bill and related legislation. Stocks in most of the targeted sectors, including smart grids and electronic medical records, have outperformed the broader stock market. This chart compares their stock prices on President Obama's inauguration day, or the date of a company's initial public stock offering, and on Nov. 18. Companies listed without stock trading information have filed for IPOs but have not yet begun trading.

Category Company Symbol 1/20/2009 or IPO Date 11/18/2011 Change

Energy efficiency Comverge COMV $4 $1.42 -65%

Energy efficiency Enernoc ENOC $8.23 $9.76 19%

Energy efficiency Honeywell HON $29.04 $52.75 82%

Energy efficiency Johnson Controls JCI $13.98 $29.76 113%

Smart Grid Accenture ACN $30.09 $55.1 83%

Smart Grid Cooper Industries CBE $25.95 $52.14 101%

Smart Grid Cisco Systems CSCO $14.84 $18.42 24%

Smart Grid Esco ESE $35.10 $27.75 -21%

Smart Grid Echelon ELON $6.92 $5.49 -21%

Smart Grid General Electric GE $11.68 $15.65 34%

Smart Grid IBM IBM $77.87 $185.24 138%

Smart Grid Itron ITRI $58 $35.01 -40%

Smart Grid Oracle ORCL $15.74 $30.60 94

Electronic Medical Records Accenture ACN $30.09 $55.10 83%

Electronic Medical Records Athenahealth ATHN $33.84 $52.61 55%

Electronic Medical Records Cerner CERN $19.68 $57.95 194%

Electronic Medical Records Computer Programs & Systems CPSI $22.17 $45.35 105%

Electronic Medical Records Dell DELL $9.85 $14.91 51%

Electronic Medical Records General Electric GE $11.68 $15.65 34%

Electronic Medical Records McKesson MCK $39.09 $80.01 105%

Electronic Medical Records Allscripts Healthcare Solutions MDRX $8.18 $19.14 134%

Electronic Medical Records Quality Systems QSII $37.20 $36.25 -3%

Electronic Medical Records Siemens AG SI $49.55 $97.04 96%

Electronic Medical Records UnitedHealth Group UNH $23.61 $44.55 89%

Green Cars Ford F $2.13 $10.10 374%

Green Cars Nissan NSANY $6.93 $17.44 152%

Green Cars Tesla* TSLA $7.53 $32.60 333%

Renewables A123 Systems AONE $13.50 $2.32 -83

Renewables Beacon Power BCON.PK $3.70 $0.08 -98%

Renewables First Solar FSLR $137.76 $45.44 -67%

Renewables Satcon Technology SATC $1.46 $0.78 -47%

Renewables Sunpower SPWR $30.85 $6.87 -78%

Stimulus-related IPO Ameresco AMRC $10 $11.07 11%

Stimulus-related IPO Amyris AMRS $16 $11.70 -27%

Stimulus-related IPO A123 Systems AONE $13.50 $2.32 -83%

Stimulus-related IPO Calix CALX $13 $8.41 -35%

Stimulus-related IPO Kior KIOR $15 $15.21 1%

Stimulus-related IPO Neophotonics NPTN $11 $4.43 -60%

Stimulus-related IPO Smart Technologies SMT $17 $4.92 -71%

Stimulus-related IPO Solazyme SZYM $18 $11.61 -36%

Stimulus-related IPO Tesla Motors* TSLA $17 $32.60 92%

Pending IPO BrightSource Energy

Pending IPO Ceres

Pending IPO Elevance Renewable Sciences

Pending IPO Fulcrum Bioenergy

Pending IPO Genomatica

Pending IPO Greenway Technologies

Pending IPO Myriant

Pending IPO Silver Spring Networks

Pending IPO Vocera

* = Tesla's initial valuation of $7.53 a share is derived from the round of venture capital raised closest to when it received its federal loan guarantee. It went public at $17 a share.
Source: International Data Corp., USA TODAY research

From a business side of green, a pretty encouraging report. We love seeing Telsa growing.

Enjoy a great holiday and weekend.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New Book

Thought everyone might be interested in this:

The Power of Green - How Greener Products Can Help You Meet Customers’ Needs & Build Brand Loyalty

SUMMARY:

Excellent book! Sheds new and important light on the business case for why companies must provide greener and more sustainable products, as well as best practices for marketing greener products. Al Iannuzzi’s book will be of interest to corporations that desire to present new insights on how best to make greener products and for those of us in higher education, who seek to prepare the next generation of business leadership on now to make and market sustainable brands as part of a comprehensive strategy to achieve competitive advantage.
—Robert L. Lattimer, Senior Fellow, Diversity Studies, John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Rutgers University; Chair, Board of Directors, American Society for Competitiveness (ASC)

PS: Thanks for a great show today. We'll be with you next Weds on WARl 1320AM.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Additional information on tomorrow's show

Tomorrow's show will be jam packed with Frank calling in from CA, Al updating us from Project Get Ready and Gina from Boston talking to us about her recent test drive with the Chevy Volt.

See our earlier post on how you can tune in and call in tomorrow.

Feel free to post any comments here you want talked about on the show as well.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Radio Show tomorrow on WARL 1320 AM

As you know, we are live each Weds from 12-p, EST on WARL 1320 and on their worldwide stream.

Tomorrow's show is focusing on electric vehicles. In studio with me is Tim from EcoNewsRI, a writer for their great, on-line newspaper, and an expert on EV's. We will have other guests calling in.

Please call in with your comments and questions. Here are the numbers:
(401)273-1555, -6734 & (508)967-6817.

Feel free to listen on line and email, Tweet or send us a note through Facebook. No matter what, we will get it and get your comments and questions on the air.

The like to their web site: http://1320warlradio.com/gs/

We will have more news for you later today.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Motorola, Deutsche Bank, Bloomberg Sign up to Windmade Label

Major global companies including Motorola Mobility, Deutsche Bank and Bloomberg have produced or have pledged to procure at least 25 percent of their operations’ power consumption from wind energy.

The companies will display this achievement using the “WindMade” badge – the world’s first wind power consumer label.

Firms using the label can source the wind powered portion of their electricity through a company-owned wind power generation facility, a long-term power purchase agreement for wind power, or the purchase of high quality renewable energy certificates approved by WindMade.

The exact percentage of the company’s wind energy share will be stated on the WindMade label.

WindMade’s founder companies are:

Motorola Mobility (mobile device and set-top manufacturer)
Deutsche Bank (financial services provider)
BD (medical technology)
Method (maker of home and personal care products)
Better Place (electric car infrastructure)
Widex (hearing aid manufacturer)
Droga5 (independent advertising agency)
G24 Innovation (solar energy)
Engraw (textile producer)
RenewAire (energy recovery ventilator firm)
TTTech (supplier of communication and control platforms)
Vestas Wind Systems (wind turbine manufacturer)
PwC DK (professional services)
Bloomberg (financial news and data service)
LEGO Group (toy manufacturer)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mrs Green's World and the Chevy Volt

I will be interview at 2p, EST today for an hour on Mrs. Green's World, a wonderful, informative, vibrant show that is hosted by Mrs. Green each Saturday from Tuscon, AZ.  If you miss it today, it will be on demand on her site for weeks to come.


Here's the link:  http://www.mrsgreensworld.com/  Return to Home Page


Please call in as well.

More News:

As you know, we spent last Saturday running test drives of the Chevy Volt at a sold out Farmer's Market.  We sold out test drives that day as well.

Here's the link to the finished video, which we produced in conjunction with Eco News:  https://snt130.mail.live.com/default.aspx?id=64855#fid=219b095b129941ef991819566136fe5d&n=702911449&mid=edeb3f15-11f8-11e1-b3db-002264c17d7c&fv=1

Also, we will be putting it up on our player on this page soon.

Al Cerrone, the owner of the dealer who let us take the car for three days (thanks very much), got a call yesterday from GM asking him how he has generated so much positive PR for the Volt in the last week.  He told them it was us, Renewable Now, so we are very proud of that.

I look forward to your calls today on the show.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Miners turn to renewable energy to cut costs

We were up in Toronto this week and found this great article in the Globe and Mail, which is a great newspaper:
Barrick's Punta Colorada wind farm in Chile - Barrick's Punta Colorada wind farm in Chile | Barrick


"Mining companies are gluttons when it comes to energy use as they haul, grind and process ore, but soaring costs and environmental concerns have many turning to cleaner alternatives.
With energy now representing about 25 per cent of production costs, more companies are making huge long-term investments in wind, solar and other renewable energy projects to cut expenses and clean up their operations.
Companies such as Barrick Gold Corp., Teck Resources Ltd. and Rio Tinto PLC have ambitious wind-farm projects under way that will reduce energy costs and provide the much-needed social benefit of showing the communities where they work that progress is being made to reduce their environmental footprint.
The investments are being made even as governments are still trying to figure out ways to reduce carbon emissions and regulate the industry through measures such as carbon taxes and credits.
Barrick Gold Corp, the world’s largest gold miner, is pushing ahead with alternative energy projects, and this week will inaugurate its $70-million Punta Colorada wind operation, the firstwind farm built by a mining company in Chile."
So, interesting contrast of a mining company, certainly not well liked by an environmentalist, but a very profitable industry that employees many people, investing heavily in renewable energy thereby reducing their carbon footprint.  Given that they are energy gluttons, as noted in the article, and 25% of their operating costs is energy related, this will be, at least, as marked improvement in their overall environmental performance while increasing their earnings.
Again, an example of a win-win in which a company invest in better managing their ecological discharge while getting more efficient and generating additional cash flow.
Thanks to the Globe and Mail for a great article.



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanks, again, to Mark Learn for the following good news on solar



Major Solar Cell Breakthrough About to Rock the Photovoltaic Industry

PDFPrintE-mail
Written by Science Progress   
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 13:44


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"Too often, when talking about research and innovation on clean energy technologies, policymakers, pundits, and the media tend to assume that the biggest breakthrough will come from a completely novel technology. The discovery of some new and sexy clean energy technology will suddenly change the game and make clean energy abundant and affordable overnight.


In practice that rarely happens. A more likely scenario is that humble, behind-the-scenes “process innovations” will continue to increase the efficiency and drive down the costs of manufacturing the technologies we already know work.
The Department of Energy has recently completed testing on just such a humble breakthrough. TheOptical Cavity Furnace is a new piece of equipment for making solar cells that is about to rock the photovoltaic industry by slashing costs and increasing efficiency. The news should not just excite tech nerds—by reducing the cost of producing solar cells by nearly three-quarters, this new technology represents another big step on the path to making clean energy the cheap kind of energy.


Here’s how it works.  By using optics to more efficiently focus visible and infrared light, the Optical Cavity Furnace can heat silicon wafers used in solar cell production much more precisely and uniformly than previous forms of solar cell manufacture. The resulting solar cells are stronger, more efficient, and have fewer impurities. The National Renewable Energy Lab, or NREL, the DOE office responsible for the research, and a corporate partner AOS Inc. are now working to bring this technology to scale. The partners plan to build an industrial-scale Optical Cavity Furnace capable of producing 1,200 highly efficient solar cells per hour. NREL has cooperative research agreements with many of the country’s biggest solar cell producers.
Even better, in addition to producing solar cells more reliably, quickly, and therefore cheaply, the Optical Cavity Furnace itself is cheaper than traditional equipment used to produce cells. As the cost of manufacturing solar cells goes down, elementary economics suggests the accessibility of solar cells will soar.  Then it’s a matter of harnessing their power in a myriad of other industries in a clean energy domino effect."


Driving north of Toronto, we are seeing massive wind turbines on working farms.  The utility is paying the famer's $1500cdn a month for a lease per turbine, and they get free electricity to run the farm.  It is a perpetual lease unless the utility agrees to a termination.


The economics appear very good on this program...great use of land, that does not disturb their ability to continue farming, reasonable lease rates and, we'd assume, reasonable renewable energy rates coming out of those turbines. 


We're not sure how much kw is generated per turbine, but they are big units that have come in from Germany and are spinning constantly.


And, it does not disturb the gentleness of the landscape.  In fact, the turbines look majestic against the green fields and open skies.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

In Toronto

We are up here this week and will be focusing on some of this city's efforts to craft a cleaner, brighter future.  In fact, tomorrow I will be calling into our weekly radio show (WARL 1320 AM, Weds, 12-1p, EST) from Toronto.

Here's the first of our stories this week: 
Toronto's Sustainable Energy Plan*
*Playing your part in drafting Toronto's Energy Plan*

Toronto is facing a growing number of challenges caused by our increasing energy use. Some of these challenges are:
  • poor air quality and climate change caused by coal and fossil fuels
  • potential rotating power losses (brownouts or blackouts)
  • increasing energy costs, equalling almost $4.5 billion annually spent on energy purchases
We listened to Torontonians and created the Climate Change, Clean Air and Sustainable Energy Plan. The plan has been approved by the Parks & Environment Committee and Executive Committee. In July 2007, the plan was also approved by City Council.

Climate Change, Clean Air and Sustainable Energy Action Plan
Learn more about how we created the Energy Plan.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thanks to Mark Learn

For providing this story:

Nissan to Market D.C. Fast Charger for Under $10,000

"Nissan North America, with its partner Sumitomo, will market a 480-volt D.C. fast charger in the United States next year, the automaker announced Thursday night. The charger will sell for less than $10,000, a precipitous drop compared to units now on the market, which cost as much as $50,000.
The charger, capable of 480 volts, was developed in tandem with Sumimoto Corporation.The charger, capable of 480 volts, was developed in tandem with the Sumitomo Corporation.
Brendan Jones, the director of Leaf marketing and sales strategy at Nissan, said in an interview that large gas station chains were “a very big interested party.” He also said that deployment of the chargers would not be subsidized through the federally supported EV Project.
Technical breakthroughs enabled the low price, Mr. Jones said.
The charger, priced at $9,900, will use the Japanese plug design and charging protocol developed by Tokyo Electric Power, known as Chademo. The 2012 Leaf is equipped for fast charging and uses this protocol, although a new American standard developed by SAE International is expected early next year. Mr. Jones said Nissan could not wait for the SAE standard to be commercialized before bringing the low-price charger to market..."
We are on the road this week, but will try to post each day.  If not, we will definitely be posting again on Thursday.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Update on today's test drives at Farmer's Market

We had a great turnout today.  We spent over two hours satisfying everyone's quest to test drive the Chevy Volt.  Included in the crowd was Senator Miller, whose show with us will be on News 5 tomorrow morning at 9a (please tune in), and who is an important cog in finalizing RI's newest legislation aimed at pushing the State to the top of the sustainability heap.  He loved it and is ready to trade in his 12-year old car.

Our thanks to everyone who packed the Farmer's Market and our back parking lot on a beautiful, sunny day.  It could not have been a better day for driving a brand new, very fun EV.

Even more interesting, when we returned the car to Cerrone, we were told that the car, the one we had for 3 days, had sold to the Farelly brothers, and was shipping out right away for an appearance in a new movie.  A star is born.

We are on the road next week, up in sustainable Toronto, but will try hard to post a blog each day.  Also, I will be calling into our live radio show on Weds, 12-1p EST, and will give an update from that great city.

Please watch our TV show tomorrow, and listen in, and call-in, to us this Weds.

Please post any comments you may have on the Volt right here, and feel free to offer advise on other EV's as well.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Come to a great Farmer's Market and test drive the Volt at the same time

What a great combination:  Strolling around the best, indoor Farmer's Market in the state, which is held every Sat at the Hope Artiste Village and, this Saturday, testing driving the Volt in between shopping.

Make sure you click below on the link to reserve your spot.  The first 20 get a test drive, and we are getting close to hitting that number.  You can still come by and see the car, of course, but you can test drive only if you have a reservation.

If you come, please post your comments on our blog, and also call into our live radio show next Weds, 12p-1p, on WARL 1320 (listen over the air or on line) and tell us how you like the car.

Also, take a look at our video on this blog as I test drive the Volt and offer some comments as well.

It is going to be a great weekend.  See you Sat.

And, watch our show on the Cox Cable system this Sunday, News  Channel 5, at 9a.

Volt-3

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thank you to Al Cerrone and GM for letting us test drive the Volt

Interesting day yesterday.  We did our first live, call-in show (and thank you to those of you who contacted us during the show), and Al Cerrone called in and offered to let us take a Chevy Volt for three days to test drive and report back to our readers and viewers.  Thank you so much, Al and GM, for this opportunity.


Funny that Sierra Club just reported on their test drive as well.  In a word, if you ask us about the Volt: GREAT.

It is easy to use, charge (I plugged it in last night, into my normal outside outlet, running at 120, and it was charged this morning), very comfortable, great creature comforts, including free satellite radio and free On Star, fantastic information systems on the mile range of both electric and gas, and flawless in switching back and forth.

So wonderful to drive and see an average mpg of 77-78 mpg.  No worries about range, recharging or refueling since you can easily do both...quiet, clean, high-tech, well built and faster, more responsive, more fun than many of the comparable small-medium cars.  Take a test drive and your anxiety about switching to an electric vehicle will melt away.  In fact, you will hate to give it up and get back into your noisy, dirty and run-of-the mill gas-powered car.

Congratulations to GM, and their dealers, for driving us into a clean, brighter more profitable future.  We love it.  Let's make sure GM, Nissan, all of them sell lots of electric cars and sees a great ROI on their investments.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

We are live today from 12-1p EST on WARL 1320 AM

Today, we do our first live, call-in radio show, and look forward to having you call in , tweet us or email us directly or off of Facebook.  Go to: http://www.ecori.org/ and click on the banner ad for the show which will bring you to a video that will profile the new radio show.  You can reach us right through EcoRInews or through the radio station at:  http://1320warlradio.com/gs/ or call us at:  (401)273-1555, -(401) 273-6734 & (508)967-6817.


You can listen over the air on WARL 1320 AM, or listen on the stations stream at:  http://1320warlradio.com/gs/

The show will run live every Weds, same time, and from 1-2p the station will be carrying the audio from the TV shows that you can see on the Arpin Broadcast Network (arpin.tv.com) or on News Channel 5 in RI.

We look forward to expanding our radio and TV outlets, and hope to be broadcasting from some of the national internet TV sites soon as well.

Please call, write and tweet us.  We expect it to be a great first show.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

United Launching Biofuel Flight Today, with Alaska on Its Heels

Congratulations to United and Alaska Air for starting to fly on a mix of bio-fuels.  Such a transformation, across the aviation industry, including regional and private fleets, would help clean our skys and make it easier for us to offset our travel carbon footprint.

Even better, the mix is a use of algae-based bio-fuel, which puts less pressure on the food supply, not using corn, and helps grow a new product that has amazing uses and potential.  The perfect win-win, we think, between helping the global economy and protecting the envirnonment. 

Take a look and let the airlines know you endorse and support this transition to bio-fuels:  http://www.environmentalleader.com/2011/11/07/united-alaska-biofuel-flights-taking-off-this-week/

Part of the story:  " United Airlines and Alaska Airlines are both launching commercial flights powered by biofuel this week.

United, the world’s largest airline, will use algae-based biofuel for a Boeing 737-800 flying today from Houston to Chicago, Reuters reports. The fuel blend from Solazyme uses 60 percent traditional jet fuel and 40 percent biofuel.Meanwhile Alaska Airlines says it will power 75 commercial passenger flights by a 20 percent biofuel blend, made from used cooking oil, starting this Wednesday. It will use the blend on flights originating in Seattle, going to Portland, Ore., and Washington, D.C..."

It is worth reading the rest of the story, and we'd love your feedback, particularly if you are in the industry, as we move towards a show profiling this and other aviation eco changes that can help fly us towards a brighter future.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Andy Rooney

We note, with sadness, the passing of Andy Rooney.

Couple of interesting quotes that Andy left behind that offer insight and value here: "Making duplicate copies and computer printouts of things no one wanted even one of in the first place is giving America a new sense of purpose."
Andy Rooney

"Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don't need to be done."
Andy Rooney

Despite the large-scale projects and changes that we, many times, focus on there, it is very much all of us, collectively, doing small things to reduce our footprint, that will be the heart of soul of transforming the world to a cleaner, more sustainable planet.

Innovations, like computers, and as Mr. Rooney pointed out, bring a two-edged sword...some amazing efficiency, but some waste and high-energy use baggage, too.  It is our proper use of this technology that tips the scales in favor of benefit versus liability.

That scale also tips financially in our favor when we save paper, electricity, gas, etc, on our everyday use of computer, phones cars and lots more.

Andy, we hope to honor you, and many others, in guiding our lives and the lives of future generations into a zero-waste but highly profitable economic and environmental world.  

RIP.  

Friday, November 4, 2011

The sweetest, greenest spot on the planet

Interesting article from Terra Pass on one US city's tremendous work in reducing emissions.  On the surface, a great model for all cities, in every part of the world.


That ciity is...San Francisco. How is this for some progress:  "On October 19, Mayor Ed Lee announced that San Francisco has already achieved a 12 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels, amidst an increasing population and an increase in electricity consumption. This is an extraordinary accomplishment - it surpasses the Kyoto target of 7 percent reduction by 2012 as well as the recently passed AB 32 measure calling for a return to 1990 levels. If you’re more numbers-inclined, check out these pretty bar charts (.pdf) and graphs (.pdf)."


Now, the article does a great job of going past the basic stats and looks at how they did it, and how easy would it be for other cities to replicate their success.  The answers, in fact, are not so easy and predictable.  Here's more:  "But a small concern. I can’t help but wonder, does San Francisco (and California) have an unfair advantage over other cities? To answer that, we should take a look at how SF got where it has...
1. “The largest contributing factor to the carbon reductions was the closure of the City’s two remaining inefficient natural gas power plants at Hunter’s Point in 2006 and Potrero last year.”
Getting rid of dirty power. It’s certainly not an easy step, and like everything else, comes with a price - so the economics will vary from city to city. But this isn’t unique to SF.
2. “San Francisco’s electricity mix is growing increasingly cleaner. Electricity for the City’s municipal operations comes primarily from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s carbon-free Hetch Hetchy hydroelectric system in the Sierras, and approximately seven megawatts of solar projects on municipal facilities around the City.”
To read more, go to:  http://www.terrapass.com/blog/posts/the-sweetest-greenest-spot-on-the-planet?utm_source=bronto&utm_medium=email&utm_term=The+sweetest%2C+greenest+spot+on+the+planet&utm_content=peterarpin%40msn.com&utm_campaign=Newsletter+11%2F03%2F2011

Thank you Terra Pass for a great article that merits lots of thought.  We applaud San Francisco's leadership while maintaining a vibrant, solid economy.  To us, that is the trick...that is "the business 
side of green".


Later today or tomorrow we will be back with some more interesting graphs and data, as promised yesterday.  

Thursday, November 3, 2011

U.S. Residential Renewable Energy Consumption, by Source 1990-2010

Some interesting charts/graphs in Environmental Leader this week.  Here's the first:  We publish a second one tomorrow:


U.S. Residential Renewable Energy Consumption, by Source 1990-2010

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U.S. Residential Renewable Energy Consumption, by Source 1990-2010

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bring on the Electric Cars

Before we get to today's blog, we want to thank Pick Up America and Greenopolis for offering positive comments on our blogs.  We love the feedback and look forward to having them both on a radio or TV show of ours.  Please keep the feedback coming and, of course, ideas for stories and shows.

Now, on to today's post.  As you know, we are huge believers in the ecological and economic nirvana of transforming to EV's.  We've done shows and blogs on this, and will continue to do so.

So, we're glad to share news of a great new documentary, sent to us by Sierra Club, called "Revenge of the Electric Car".  It looks great.  Here is the link to the trailer--take a look:  http://sierraclub.typepad.com/compass/2011/10/revenge-of-the-electric-car.html

Part of the story:  "If you're lucky enough to live near one of the 30+ cities where the film Revenge of the Electric Car will be showing now and in the coming weeks, don't miss the chance. And if you're even luckier to live near San Francisco, Ann Arbor, Cambridge, Portland (OR), or Chicago, you are cordially invited to walk the green carpet to a special viewing of the film. Tickets are going fast, so I recommend you order them online where available.




Not only is Revenge a really fun and fast-paced documentary (yes, even a documentary can be fun), but it's an important look into an industry that is both a big part of the climate change problem and can be a big part of the innovative solutions we need.  A switch to electric vehicles (EVs) offers us one essential way to reduce emissions and our dependence on oil –- even on today's electricity sources..."


Some of the Chevy Volts are now getting into Northeast cities and showing up on car dealer lots and showrooms.  The Leaf and others will follow soon.  Please, take a look and give long and careful consideration to an EV when you get ready to buy a new car.


Let's stop importing 20 million barrels of oil a day, and use domestically produced energy, recapturing those dollars and jobs.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

EarthSky on WARL 1320 AM

EarthSky is a great site is a great site, titled the "Clear Voice for Science", and they also have some fantastic radio updates, mostly five minutes in length, which you can hear on WARL 1320 AM, one of our media partners, and the home of our new, live-call in show that will debut next Weds, 12-1p, EST.

Here's a recent piece from them on the expanded use of satellites to monitor our earth's environmental and climate changes, how to best manage those changes, and how to better use our resources, while still allowing economic growth, as we race towards a world population of 9b.

Here's the link: http://earthsky.org/

The story:


"Satellites let scientists collect data from places and perspectives that were previously impossible, and give scientists an accurate and detailed picture of what’s happening across our whole planet. The Aqua and Terra satellite missions – both part of NASA’s Earth Observing System – gather data about Earth to help unravel the mysteries of climate and environmental change."


This is a great use of technology as we find news ways of accurately measuring our ecological impact, and find better ways to balance man's use of the planet, and its resources, with sustaining a global future of sustainable economic growth.


Enjoy.