Thursday, June 30, 2016

Capacity Crowd for Sports and Sustainability

We hope you caught this show live last week.  What an amazing group of experts.  Soon we will be adding a monthly show on sports and sustainability.

In the meantime get to our main site at Renewable to see the report we filed today:

Last week, RNN launched its 2016 Masters of Sustainability series, kicking things off with the Sports and Sustainability panel. The event was streamed live to a global audience and was also shot in front of a capacity audience who attended the event at Button Hole Golf in Providence, Rhode Island.

Participating in the event’s panel discussion were 5 time X-Games Gold Medalist, Kevin Robinson, professional golfer Aubrey “The Green Golfer” McCormick, and Jack Groh, Director NFL Environmental Program.  Hosting the panel was Peter Arpin from RNN’s Business Side of Green. The panel discussed everything from how sports of all kinds can begin to incorporate the principles to sustainability early on, all the way to how broadcasters and leagues could do more to bring awareness to the masses. The entire event will be available for on-demand viewing starting next week, but before than, we invite you to watch this short video of how the day culminated and interviews from those who attended.

- See more at:

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Columbus as Winner of Unprecedented $40 Million Smart City Challenge

Wow, what a win for a great city like Columbus Ohio.  We cannot wait to see the money invested across its many assets.

Note this money is just part of the raise;  total for Columbus for is $150MM.  Technology obviously plays a key role in improving their many services. Note, though, the key to their win was collaboration within the city.  That is the magic elixir to making transformation of our world take hold.  

 See much more at our main network site:  Renewable Now. biz

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced today that Columbus, OH has been selected as the winner of the U.S. Department of Transportation's (U.S. DOT)'s Smart City Challenge. As winner of the Challenge, Columbus will receive up to $40 million from U.S. DOT and up to $10 million from Paul G. Allen's Vulcan Inc. to supplement the $90 million that the city has already raised from other private partners to carry out its plan. Using these resources, Columbus will work to reshape its transportation system to become part of a fully-integrated city that harnesses the power and potential of data, technology, and creativity to reimagine how people and goods move throughout their city.

"Each of the seven finalists put forward an array of thoughtful, intelligent, and innovative ideas that defined a vision for the future of the American city and formed a blueprint to show the world what a fully integrated, forward-looking transportation network looks like," said Secretary Foxx. "The Smart City Challenge required each city to think about transportation as cross-functional, not in silos, but as a transportation ecosystem. The bold initiatives they proposed demonstrated that the future of transportation is not just about using technology to make our systems safer and more efficient – it's about using these advanced tools to make life better for all people, especially those living in underserved communities. While Columbus is the winner of the Challenge, we believe each city has come out of this process with a stronger sense of how to address transportation challenges with technology and innovation."

President and Chief Operating Officer of Vulcan Inc. Barbara Bennett, United States Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Mayor of Columbus Andrew Ginther announce the Smart City Challenge winner, Columbus, Ohio at the city's Douglas Community Recreation Center.

"We are thrilled to be America's first Smart City. Our collaboration between public, private and nonprofit sectors is the perfect example of how we lift up our residents and connect all communities," said Mayor Andrew Ginther. "Smart Columbus will deliver an unprecedented multimodal transportation system that will not only benefit the people of central Ohio, but potentially all mid-sized cities. I am grateful to President Obama, Secretary Foxx, the U.S. Department of Transportation, all of our partners and especially the Smart Columbus team."

The Smart City Challenge generated a significant amount of excitement and interest amongst cities. U.S. DOT received seventy-eight applications in total – one from nearly every mid-sized city in America. The Challenge called on cities to do more than merely introduce new technologies onto city streets, requiring them to boldly envision new solutions that would change the face of transportation in our cities by closing the gap between rich and poor; capturing the needs of both young and old; and bridging the digital divide through smart design so that the future of transportation meets the needs of all city residents.

The seven finalist cities that were announced at South by Southwest (SXSW) in March – Austin, Columbus, Denver, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Portland, and San Francisco – rose to the Smart City Challenge in an extraordinary way. They presented innovative concepts, proposing to create new first of a kind corridors for autonomous vehicles to move city residents, to electrify city fleets, and to collectively equip over thirteen thousand buses, taxis, and cars with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication.

Columbus was selected as the winner because it put forward an impressive, holistic vision for how technology can help all of the city's residents to move more easily and to access opportunity. The city proposed to deploy three electric self-driving shuttles to link a new bus rapid transit center to a retail district, connecting more residents to jobs. Columbus also plans to use data analytics to improve health care access in a neighborhood that currently has an infant mortality rate four times that of the national average, allowing them to provide improved transportation options to those most in need of prenatal care.

Public-private partnerships were essential to the success of the Smart City Challenge. The Department announced partnerships with some of the most innovative folks in the private sector, including launch partner Paul G. Allen's Vulcan Inc., cloud partner Amazon Web Services, NXP® Semiconductors, Mobileye, Autodesk, Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs, AT&T, DC Solar and Continental Automotive.  In addition, these seven cities were able to leverage U.S. DOT's $40 million grant to raise approximately $500 million more in funding – a vast majority of which comes from a diverse group of over 150 partners.  These partnerships illustrated the private-sector enthusiasm to help build an inclusive transportation system of the future.

- See more at:

Forward Thinking: What Would a Sustainable World Look Like?

Good article from Bloomberg.  Because we are making progress on all fronts, we can start to imagine and tantalize our sensors with images of a smarter planet.  For people and animals they preach getting our systems in balance for healthy living.  Should it be any different for our world?  Balance brings beauty and stability.  It will bring us prosperity as well without chewing up our natural capital.

Will technology make our energy and transportation habits obsolete?

BY:  Caroline Connan

We've relied on fossil fuels for generations.
Every day, nearly 100 million barrels of oil are used around the world. In 2014, fossil fuels still accounted for 85% of our global energy consumption.
But the volatility in oil prices and the devastating impact of carbon dioxide emissions on climate change and pollution have made us rethink our strategy towards greener technologies.
The economics of renewables are supporting this dramatic energy transition. In the last five years, solar prices have plunged about 75%, while wind energy has become 25% cheaper.
While enough sun falls on the surface of the earth in one hour to power the entire planet for one year, storing energy at night remains a technological challenge.
One country wants to be at the center of this revolution. On the edge of the Sahara desert, Morocco has just switched on the world's largest solar power plant. When completed, the gigantic Noor project will provide solar energy for 2 million people.
Transportation is also undergoing the biggest transformation since we transitioned from horses to cars. Vehicles will go from fossil fuels to electric, from human-driven to automated, and from car ownership to car-sharing. We may see the end of the automotive industry as we know it.
Will the technology disruption be enough to irreversibly change our energy mix? Are we on the verge of an energy revolution?

Forward Thinking: Making Sense of Tomorrow’s Problems

A six-part series that seeks to understand the challenges facing our world using the latest Bloomberg data and analysis. Watch on Bloomberg TV and

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The 4th Largest Economy In The World Just Generated 90 Percent Of The Power It Needs From Renewables

God must have been beaming down on Germany on a Sunday morning when they generated 90% of their power needs with renewables.  What a remarkable achievement for a country running on as much sun as Alaska.

Noted here this is powering a huge economy.  For the rest of us we have a standard set and can hope for a similar Sunday morning when our communities are running on clean power.  Bringing energy production local is a huge boast to every state and country.  Not importing large quantities of fossil fuel brings instance financial benefits and local job creation. 

Interesting to note how individuals in Germany are driving much of this change.  Proves again we can all make a material difference in our migration away from a fossil-fuel economy. 

The 4th Largest Economy In The World Just Generated 90 Percent Of The Power It Needs From Renewables

On Sunday, for a brief, shining moment, renewable power output in Germany reached 90 percent of the country’s total electricity demand.

That’s a big deal. On May 8th, at 11 a.m. local time, the total output of German solar, wind, hydropower, and biomass reached 55 gigawatts (GW), just short of the 58 GW consumed by every light bulb, washing machine, water heater and personal computer humming away on Sunday morning. See the graph below, courtesy Agora Energiewende, a German clean energy think tank. (It’s important to note that most likely, not all of that 55 GW could be used at the time it was generated due to system and grid limitations, but it’s still noteworthy that this quantity of power was produced.)

Germany is the fourth-largest economy on the planet. Germany’s $3.7 trillion GDP beats the economic output of any other country in Europe or, for that matter, any U.S. state. Sunday’s spike in renewable output shows that wind and solar can keep pace with the demands of an economic powerhouse. What’s more, the growth of clean energy has tracked the growth of Germany’s economy.
Germany is an unlikely leader in solar. Germany ranks second in installed photovoltaic solar capacity, according to the International Energy Agency. Until recently it was the world leader. It’s notable that, on solar, Germany is outpacing the United States, a country four times as populous. What’s more remarkable is that Germany sees about as much sunshine as Alaska.

Individuals are driving Germany’s energy revolution. Sunday’s performance highlights the success of the Energiewende, or “energy transition,” Germany’s push to expand clean energy, increase energy efficiency, and democratize power generation. Smart policies have opened the renewable energy market to utilities, businesses and homeowners. As of 2012, individuals owned more than a third of Germany’s renewable energy capacity.

Germany still gets most of its power from fossil fuels. Sunday’s spike resulted from a combination of reduced demand — a Sunday morning lull in power consumption. It also came from robust supply — an abundance of wind and sunshine to drive up renewable energy output. On average, renewables supply 30 percent of the country’s power. That is nonetheless a huge proportion. By comparison, the U.S. gets just 13 percent of its power from renewables.

Oceans Gasping for Breath

Think about your own lungs filled with emissions gasping for breath.  Destroying our natural capital destroys us and the economic stability these assets offer. 

Oceans Gasping for Breath, Oxygen Running Low!

Deoxgenation due to climate change is already detectable in some parts of the ocean. New research from NCAR finds that it will likely become widespread between 2030 and 2040. Other parts of the ocean, shown in gray, will not have detectable loss of oxygen due to climate change even by 2100. Image Credit: NCAR
Deoxgenation due to climate change is already detectable in some parts of the ocean. New research from NCAR finds that it will likely become widespread between 2030 and 2040. Other parts of the ocean, shown in gray, will not have detectable loss of oxygen due to climate change even by 2100. 

 Rising levels of CO2 are making it hard for fish to breathe in addition to exacerbating global warming and ocean acidification.
Climate change has caused a drop in the amount of oxygen dissolved in the oceans in some parts of the world, and those effects should become evident across large parts of the ocean between 2030 and 2040, according to a new study led by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado.
The oceans receive their oxygen supply from the surface via the atmosphere or from phytoplankton, which release oxygen in the water by photosynthesis.
When the oceans are warmed they absorb less oxygen and marine life tend to move more slowly. The oxygen that is absorbed has a harder time reaching deeper into the ocean because when water heats up, it expands and becomes lighter than the water below it and is less likely to sink, according to the National Science Foundation report.
Curtis Deutsch, associate professor at the University of Washington’s School of Oceanography, studies how increasing global temperatures are altering the levels of dissolved oxygen in the world’s oceans. 
Scientists have been warning that decreasing amounts of available oxygen will increase stress on a range of species, even as they also face the effects of rising temperatures and ocean acidification.
"Since oxygen concentrations in the ocean naturally vary depending on variations in winds and temperature at the surface, it's been challenging to attribute any deoxygenation to climate change. This new study tells us when we can expect the effect from climate change to overwhelm the natural variability," said lead author Matthew Long of NCAR.
The researchers discovered that deoxygenation caused by climate change could already be detected in the southern Indian Ocean and parts of the eastern tropical Pacific and Atlantic basins. 
However, the study shows that at least in some parts of the ocean—including areas off the east coasts of Africa, Australia, and Southeast Asia—deoxygenation from climate change may not be evident even by 2100.

Monday, June 27, 2016

New Battery Technology Has Off The Charts Charging Capacity

New Battery Technology Has Off The Charts Charging Capacity

A nanowire-based battery material that can be recharged hundreds of thousands of times has been developed by researchers at University of California, Irvine, edging us closer to a battery that would never require replacement. The breakthrough invention could lead to commercial batteries with vastly lengthened lifespans for smartphones, computers, cars and spacecraft.
The findings were published in the American Chemical Society’s Energy Letters.

  Scientists have long attempted to use nanowires in batteries. Thousands of times thinner than a human hair, they’re highly conductive and feature a large surface area for the storage and transfer of electrons.

However, these filaments are highly fragile and don’t hold up well to repeated discharging and recharging, or cycling. In a typical lithium-ion battery, they expand and grow brittle, which leads to cracking.

The researchers solved this problem by coating a gold nanowire in a manganese dioxide shell and encasing the assembly in an electrolyte made of a Plexiglas-like gel. The combination is reliable and resistant to failure.

Hard work combined with serendipity paid off in this case, according to senior author Reginald Penner.

Study leader, UCI doctoral candidate Mya Le Thai, was playing around, said Penner, and:
“She coated this whole thing with a very thin gel layer and started to cycle it. She discovered that just by using this gel, she could cycle it hundreds of thousands of times without losing any capacity.
That was crazy. because these things typically die in dramatic fashion after 5,000 or 6,000 or 7,000 cycles at most.”
Thai cycled the testing electrode up to 200,000 times over three months without detecting any loss of capacity or power and without fracturing any nanowires. The researchers believe the gel plasticizes the metal oxide in the battery and gives it flexibility, preventing cracking.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Climate Change isn’t Gloom and Doom

Interesting perspective.  We would agree the future looks bright given our collaboration about accelerating our push from a fossil-fuel economy to one driven by clean energy.  We see this challenge more as a 7 trillion dollar financial boom than a catostrophic enivronmental disaster (we hope, anyway).

We will try to book Mr Somerville on the radio show.

Climate Change isn’t Gloom and Doom Issue, says Climatologist Richard Somerville

Climate Change isn’t Gloom and Doom Issue, says Climatologist Richard Somerville
Undoubtedly, climate change is a real phenomenon and our planet is warming rapidly. Due to climate change, many changes in weather patterns have been noticed across the world. Many studies and climate scientists have shown a fearsome forecast of climate change. However, climatologist Richard Somerville offers hopeful outlook for the planet’s worsening conditions.

Richard Somerville, a climatologist and professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, has noticed a glimmer of light amid climate change’s depressing predictions. On Thursday, the professor will have a discussion at University of California, San Diego, on global warming.

Earth’s temperature is rising continuously and many regions on the planet are experiencing ill-effects of global warming, but it doesn’t mean conditions cannot be improved, said Somerville. It’s a serious issue, but not a gloom and doom issue, he added. Somerville believes the world has realized that climate change is happening and steps that different nations are taking to deal with it are in the right direction.Somerville will guide people how to deal with climate change in his talk named ‘Climate Change: Strong Science, Forceful Actions, Positive Outcomes’.

In a statement, Somerville said, “I really want to do several things, including cover the status of climate science and then I’m going to talk about the task ahead and what the world needs to find a way to do, in order to limit climate change to moderate levels, and not let it spiral out of control”.

The climate expert will also tell what he feels about the Paris climate talks. According to him, there are no strict mechanisms, but still it is a good first step to combat global warming. The Paris talks last fall alone has achieved more than what other previous climate talks accomplished together, Somerville said.

Governments have a plan to reduce CO2 and other harmful gases that are harming earth’s environment, and continued. It is very hopeful, he added.

A report published in Goskagit revealed, "The more accurate way to discuss the issue is to use "global warming." That phrase emphasizes that it is a global temperature increase over thousands of years, and this occurs roughly every 100,000 years. We are in an intergalactic warm period and should be thankful. Glaciers are not covering half of the U.S."

Those that would like to be really informed about the scientific facts of the case need to do a little research of their own. I can suggest a search for Easterbrook, Salby and Tim Ball. The latter has a book called "The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science" that demonstrates how this all developed. It stems from the exaggerated claims of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

"Science can flourish when experts disagree, but in the governmental realm uncertainty can lead to inadequate policy and preparedness. When it comes to climate change, it can be OK for computational models to differ on what future sea levels will be. The same flexibility does not exist for determining the height of a seawall needed to protect people from devastating floods," according to a news report published by EurekAlert.

"Scientists working in climate change know that the models used throughout climate research have shortcomings. At the same time policymakers need to know the future of sea-level rise, and they need as robust a prediction as we can give," said Michael Oppenheimer, Princeton's Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs and the Princeton Environmental Institute and first author of the paper.

According to a report in San Diego Union Tribune by Deborah Sullivan Brennan, "Somerville, a distinguished professor emeritus and research professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, will speak at U.C. San Diego Thursday about the prospects for turning the tide on the worst impacts of global warming."

“I think the Paris talks accomplished more than all the previous talks put together,” he said. “They produced an action plan, in which governments committed to what they would do to reduce carbon dioxide and other heat trapping gases into the atmosphere. It provides a means of tracking that, and for governments to revisit it every few years. I think it’s very hopeful, and I’m guardedly optimistic.”

Ford confirms 200-mile

Great news on the EV front.  As the article points out, 200 miles seems to be the holy grail for electric cars.  Looks as if those options will hit the market in 2017.

Ford confirms 200-mile electric vehicle in the works

© Provided by MotorTrend 2015-Ford-Focus-Electric-badge
Yes, Ford is developing an electric vehicle with a range of 200 miles, CEO Mark Fields confirmed

Fields provided few details, but the acknowledgement is significant given that Ford executives are usually reluctant to discuss future vehicles. He did not divulge details of the vehicle or timing.

Ford wants to make sure it is among the best, or the leader, in all categories, and that includes a 200-mile electric vehicle, Fields said. "Clearly it is something we are developing for."

Ford has the Focus Electric compact car which improves its range to 100 miles for the 2017 model year--a feat Fields says is "competitive at its pricepoint."

But 200 miles seems to be the holy grail for electric vehicle range. General Motors is launching the Chevrolet Bolt this fall which will start at $37,500 and will be able to travel that distance between charges.

And Tesla's Model 3 will also be an affordable 200-miler but it is not slated for launch until late 2017 and if past history is an indication, it could be delayed beyond that timeframe. It is slated to start at $35,000. There is interest in an affordable electric car--at least if it is a Tesla--given that almost 400,000 would-be buyers have secured their place in line with a refundable $1,000 deposit.

Hyundai has the new Ioniq electric car coming early next year with a range of about 110 miles, similar to the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3 and the Focus Electric.Nissan has said it will offer a 200-mile-range Leaf in 2018.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Scientists Invented

More good news on technology.

Scientists Invented A Sensor That Detects Air Pollutants In Houses

Air Pollutants Reaches High Level Across London
Air pollutants at home can detect by a graphene-based sensor, which is created by the scientists.
Researchers from Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) and the University of Southampton developed the Graphene-based sensor. It is a device that can detect harmful air pollutants at your house.

According to Gizmag, the device can identify volatile organic compound (VOC) gas molecules and the airborne CO2 molecules. Graphene is described as the single thin layer of pure carbon that is linked and bonded together as hexagonal honeycomb lattice. It is considered the thinnest and lightest material and extremely sensitive in detecting chemical gases.

When VOC and CO2 molecules connect with the graphene and are then released, the electrical resistance of the graphene is modified. The sensor is capable of identifying those changes and determines any substances that are visible in the atmosphere. Lab tests were conducted and its prototype identified CO2 gas within minutes just when a gas was released in the room.

Tech Times states that the sensor could help in fighting the sick building syndrome (SBS). This is a condition wherein the occupants of the building are experiencing acute health due to spending time in the building. Among the symptoms of SBS are nausea, headaches, dry cough, allergies, eye, throat and nose irritations, fatigue, hoarseness of voice, flu-like symptoms, cold, personality changes and incidence of asthma attacks.

The sensor can identify chemical gases with the concentration of parts per million (ppm). Professor Hiroshi Mizuta, one of the researchers said that the extreme sensing technology enables them to realize important miniaturization that may result in cost and weight reduction besides its remarkable improvement detection limit from the ppm (parts-per-million) levels to ppb (parts-per-billion) levels.
Furthermore, the graphene-based sensor is very compact. It is lighter and low-cost pollutant-detecting device. It is also energy efficient that needs less than three volts to work.

The U.N.'s scientific panel

Perhaps no greater report will be written in this century.  We look forward to following the blueprint to a cleaner, brighter future.

The U.N.'s scientific panel on climate change has decided to write a special report on how to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F), compared with pre-industrial times

The Associated Press FILE - This is a Monday, Dec. 8, 2014 file photo of birds as they fly past at sun set as smoke emits from a chimney at a factory in Ahmadabad, India. The U.N.'s scientific panel on climate change will write a special report on how to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) compared with pre-industrial times. Temperatures have already risen almost 1 degree C (1.8 F) since humans started burning fossil fuels — the biggest source of greenhouse gases — on an industrial scale in the 19th century. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki, File)

Associated Press + More

STOCKHOLM (AP) — The U.N.'s scientific panel on climate change will write a special report on how to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) compared with pre-industrial times.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change agreed Thursday to explore the issue after a request by world governments in Paris last December.

Many scientists say it will be virtually impossible to keep warming below that level without removing vast quantities of heat-trapping greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

Temperatures have already risen almost 1 degree C (1.8 F) since humans started burning fossil fuels — the biggest source of greenhouse gases — on an industrial scale in the 19th century.

Meeting in Nairobi, the IPCC also said it will release its sixth assessment of global warming in 2020-2022.

Bill Gates is pushing

This is pretty exciting stuff.  Sustainability is defined many times by converting a liability, like waste, into an energy.  Here we can see a complete transformation of the nuclear business, including reusing spent waste.  Remarkable.

China would be a great place to perfect the technology.  Bringing clean energy to China would be a bonanza for all mankind and quickly help to abate their critical air pollution problems.  What a great approach to reinvigorating the nuclear business and creating new jobs.

Sometimes old is new.  Technology is changing the game in so many ways.

Bill Gates is pushing a new clean energy, but it's not solar or wind

by Danielle Muoio

Bill Gates is looking for an energy miracle.

Clean energy may still be in its early stages, but Gates sees a lot of different paths to getting us there other than with solar and wind energy.

One solution the wealthiest human alive is particularly keen on: nuclear fission. This is essentially the process of splitting two atoms to create electricity.

In a Q&A with MIT Technology Review, Gates talked about his involvement with private nuclear-fission company TerraPower. Gates serves as its chairman of alongside vice chairman Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft's former chief technology officer.

In the interview, Gates said that TerraPower's pilot plant will be built in China with a slated completion date of 2024. That arrival date would mean "sometime in the 2030s you'd have a design that you'd hope all new nuclear builds would adopt, because the economics, safety, waste, and all the key parameters are dramatically improved," Gates said in the interview.

TerraPower is creating a traveling wave reactor to get nuclear fission on the clean-energy map. The big upside of the traveling wave reactor is that it converts depleted uranium, a byproduct of the nuclear-fission process, into usable fuel.

But Gates notes that TerraPower isn't the only possibility to pushing nuclear fission forward.
"There are countries like India, Korea, Japan, France, and the U.S. that have done advanced nuclear stuff, but today about half of all the nuclear plants being built in the world are being built in China, and China's ability to do engineering is very impressive," he said.

In an interview with Tech Insider's Drake Baer, Gates said that for nuclear fission to really become a reality, it will need to be "cheap enough and safe enough that people broadly embrace it," but once that happens he thinks it could be "scaled up."

Either way, for anything to get done, there needs to be a channel for more funding on the research and development of clean-energy solutions, from wind to solar to nuclear fission.

"You know, it's possible there's some guy in a laboratory today who's inventing something miraculous, but because of climate change and the value of having cheaper energy, we shouldn't just sit around and hope for his miracle," Gates said in the MIT Review interview. "We should tilt the odds in our favor by doubling the R&D budget."

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sports and Sustainability/Our panelist for Thursday's live broadcast

NFL Green's Jack Groh

June is our month for celebrating sports and their relationship to the principals of sustainability as we build up to our live event, “Sports and Sustainability," on Thursday, June 23. So this week, we profiled one of guests who will be part of our sports panel on the 23, and that is Jack Groh, Director of the National Football League's Environmental Program. With over two decades of leading the NFL’s initiatives and programs relating to sustainability, Jack has amassed a tremendous amount of experience when it comes to showcasing the positive returns when it comes to being eco-smart, and social responsible. But this sustainable pioneer’s journey didn’t start with the NFL, but rather started from a career in communication - See more at:

"The Green Golfer,"  Aubrey McCormick
Spreading the Principles of Sustainability through Golf
As we continue celebrating the month of June with sports and their relationship to the principles of sustainability, we are building up toward our live event, “Sports and Sustainability" on Thursday, June 23. As we continue to profile special guests who will be part of our sports panel on the 23rd, this week we are excited to introduce you to “The Green Golfer,” Aubrey McCormick.

Aubrey McCormick is the CEO and Co-Founder of IMPACT360 Group. She is a professional golfer with 15 years of experience working within the golf industry. McCormick’s experience includes varying positions within tournament competition, operations and maintenance, food and beverage, golf instruction, and assisting in public and private club management, along with being mentored by some of the industry's top golf course superintendents.

X Games Gold Medalist to Explain
Extreme Sustainability on Thursday, June 23

When you think "extreme sports," do you think of sustainability? Well if you don't, one of the greatest stars of extreme sports is going to tell you why you should.
Kevin Robinson, professional BMX rider and 5 time X Games Gold Medalist understands his sports has provided him with the opportunity to give back. In May of 2010, Kevin started the K-Rob Foundation with the mission to positively transform the lives of deserving children in the East Bay and surrounding communities. Helping one family at a time, the K-Rob Foundation provides financial assistance to get kids involved with athletics as a means for them to learn discipline, focus, teamwork and healthy living habits.

Participating in athletics as a child played a pivotal role in Kevin's path to success and he is dedicated to helping share that with others in helping the next generation become aware of social responsibility, the environment, and giving back.


Tomorrow's radio show/Alex H. Edwards III/Founder/Sustainable Holdings

Tune in live on 1320 WARA and WRNP and at Renewable for our radio segment tomorrow that will run from 1-2 p and feature start-up technology in housing from Sustainable Holdings.  Here's some more info.

Don't forget we are live on Thursday on the TV side broadcasting Sports and Sustainability.  You will find much more on our main site, and we will follow up on our blog with background on our great guest.

Our mission at Sustainable Holdings, Inc.
is to further healthy living through technology and innovation

Grounded in the application of its patented building system, WalKor™, we take a newly holistic approach, resulting in improved conservation, comfort, and health. Sustainable Holdings Inc. is determined to challenge the current understanding of healthy living, and provide accessible and affordable solutions.

My Eco House reengineers the way homes are built from the ground up via integrated technologies. This unique approach reduces homeowners’ energy consumption by approximately 70 percent, improves indoor air quality, and significantly reduces their carbon footprint.


Patented track and panel system
•   R36 rating, which improves air conditioning efficiency vastly: only 1 ton of AC is required per 1,250 SF of living space.
•   Termite-proof
•   Moisture-proof
•   Quiet
•   Customizable for any
architectural style or design


National Green Building Standard’s highest level of energy efficiency classification. Homeowners save 70% on energy costs over standard new construction homes.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Africa: A Quick Guide to Climate Change

Perhaps this is at the heart of what we all do in terms of balancing the economy and environment:  A push towards social and economic equity.  A world better able to react to the unpredictable. 

We are making great progress in eradicating hunger.  Yet we are stirring up weather systems that could immediately cut millions from food and water.  All of us should feel vulnerable.

You can see below it takes huge money to prepare and respond to natural disasters.   That money would be better spent building resilient systems.  Shame on us if we do not better prepare.  And shame on us if we do not embrace a transition to a cleaner, healthier future. 

Africa: A Quick Guide to Climate Change

 The Paris Agreement has been signed today by global leaders. The valubale text, reached at COP 21 in December, set an unprecedented standard in addressing the causes and impact of climate change. Now it needs to be translated into urgent and ambitious investment and action. In this quick guide, we explain the World Food Programme's work to build the resilience of vulnerable people to climate change, and what the Paris Agreement means for our goal of ending hunger by 2030.

1) Why does WFP care about climate change?
The World Food Programme aims to eradicate hunger in our lifetime, a bold aim that is manifested in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is at the centre of Agenda 2030.

This vision cannot be achieved without urgent and ambitious action to address climate change. WFP's own work with the UK Met Office, to project vulnerability to food insecurity under different climate change scenarios, illustrates both the strong need for large-scale investments in adaptation and for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to end hunger by 2030 and beyond. 

2) How does climate change drive hunger?
Each year between 80 and 90 percent of natural disasters are climate-related, primarily floods, storms and droughts. These disasters destroy assets, land, livestock, crops and food supplies, and make it harder for people to access markets and food networks.

Climate disasters also affect water access and quality, care practices, and access to healthy diets, further affecting hunger and malnutrition. Climate change will make this situation worse.

According to the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), climate change could increase the risk of hunger and malnutrition by up to 20 percent by 2050. Infographic: How climate change drives hunger.

3) How much of WFP's work is climate-related?
Helping countries reduce disaster risk and adapt and build resilience to climate change is core to WFP's work:

- In the last decade, almost half of WFP emergency and recovery operations responded to, and helped people recover from, climate-related disasters, with a budget of US$23 billion. WFP responded to climate disasters in 20 countries more than 5 times.

- In the last five years, 40 percent of WFP's operations included activities to reduce disaster risk, build resilience or help people adapt to climate change. The majority of these activities took place within emergency operations and protracted relief and recovery operations.

- In 2014, WFP reached 80 million people with food assistance in 82 countries. 12.7 million people received WFP food as an incentive to build assets that reduce the risk of climate disasters and build resilience over time, helping them break out of a cycle of chronic vulnerability .

4) What is WFP doing to address climate change?
- WFP's analysis work helps governments and communities to understand the links between food security and climate risks, the impact of climate change on food security and nutrition, and to identify the most vulnerable communities and the policy and action needed to build their resilience.

- WFP supports local communities, national governments and regional institutions to develop food-assistance programmes that build resilience and reduce hunger
- WFP is a leader in climate-resilience innovations to help the most vulnerable people diversify their livelihoods, protect assets, incomes and crops with insurance and savings, improve access to markets, and help informed decision-making with better climate forecasts
- WFP's climate policy work includes improving climate risk analyses to better understand the impact of climate change on food security for better policies and programmes, sharing experiences in innovative climate risk management and adaptation programmes to support replication, and engaging in the UNFCCC process on adaptation, loss and damage, climate finance, and food security and agriculture.

5) Is WFP offering new solutions?
WFP is a leading innovator in climate resilience for food security. Here are some examples:
- Linking climate change adaptation and resilience to safety nets through the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative, a comprehensive risk management scheme. R4 has broken new ground in the field of rural risk management by enabling the poorest farmers to pay for crop insurance with their own labour.

- Forecast-based financing. FoodSECuRE is a tool that triggers funds before climate disasters occur, allowing WFP to scale-up nutrition programming and disaster risk reduction activities so that people are more resilient and prepared if a forecasted crisis hits. FoodSECuRE also ensures funds are available during the emergency response and post-disaster, because only through multi-year funding can we build long-term resilience.

 - Climate services. WFP is one of the few organizations helping smallholder farmers access and co-produce relevant and easy-to-understand climate, weather and agricultural information, so that they are able to take better decisions to manage impending droughts and floods. In Malawi and Tanzania, WFP is reaching farmers through radio programmes, mobile phone (SMS and audio) and training of agricultural extension workers, on how to interpret and communicate climate information to rural audiences.

- Early warning. WFP and Germany are collaborating on a project in five countries that not only helps governments to improve their climate-risk analysis and develop early warning systems, but also links these tools to their disaster preparedness procedures.

6) Is WFP making a difference?
WFP innovations are helping build the resilience of vulnerable households to climate risks. In 2015, the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative reached almost 200,000 people across Ethiopia, Senegal, Malawi and Zambia. R4 provided 2.2 million USD in micro insurance protection, through insurance-for-assets, to these farmers, while supporting them to reduce their exposure to climate disasters and improve their livelihoods.

WFP is also expanding its reach with climate services, providing 79,000 people in Malawi and Tanzania with downscaled climate forecasts and advisories that can help them make better livelihoods decisions and prepare for potential climate disasters.
Through FoodSECuRE, which was fast-tracked in 2015 to address the potential impacts of El Niño, 1,000 households in Zimbabwe and Guatemala received anticipatory support to build their resilience ahead of the peak of the drought.

WFP is implementing climate change adaptation projects in Ecuador, Egypt, Mauritania and Sri Lanka, helping more than 750,000 people adapt to climate change and build resilient food security systems. Specific activities include capacity building, livelihood diversification and increasing adaptive capacity through creation of physical assets.

7) What is the Paris Agreement?
The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) governing greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance from 2020 onwards. The agreement was negotiated during the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 21) in Paris, and adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015 by 195 countries. The ratifying ceremony takes place on 22 April.

Countries committed to lowering emissions to a level that limits global warming to well below 2oC, and agreed to review their progress every five years. Countries also set a minimum yearly target of USD 100 billion in climate finance for developing countries by 2020.
Donors committed pledges to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the newest and largest climate change fund under the UNFCCC which plans to invest a total of USD 2.5 billion in both mitigation and adaptation projects by the end of 2016.

WFP was accredited as Multilateral Implementing Entity (MIE) of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in March 2016 for micro-size projects (USD 10 million) with low environmental and social risk level.

8) What does the climate deal mean for WFP?
The Paris Agreement represents a major step forward in the global effort to tackle climate change and end hunger. At the centre of the agreement is the importance of achieving food security and eradicating hunger and poverty.

The Paris Agreement will shape WFP's work in the years to come, in areas ranging from food security and nutrition, to emergency preparedness, risk management and climate adaptation programmes. While the agreement was an unprecedented success, massive investment and action is now needed to help people build their resilience to climate shocks, become food secure and to thrive under a changing climate.

9) What happens next?
To support the implementation of the Paris Agreement, WFP, together with communities, partners and governments, will be taking forward its innovative efforts and many others to translate the ambition of Paris into action to eradicate hunger in communities around the world
This includes helping governments to develop and implement national adaptation plans, such as through climate analyses and best practices that address food security concerns, in exploring tools that provide innovative, flexible funding to reduce the impacts of climate disasters on communities, and scaling up activities that link social protection and adaptation for long-term climate resilience.

2016 Power of Place Summit

Tomorrow we will be broadcasting live, as we do every year, with Grow Smart RI at their annual summit.  We start the show at 8:30a, ET.  Please tune in and be part of a great event and part of the solution.

Here's some information to get you prepared.  There's plenty more at their web site:

June 21st gathering will bring together 500 thinkers and doers committed to shaping a stronger, more vibrant Rhode Island

In the two years since our last Power of Place Summit, Rhode Island has turned some important corners. Our economy is on the rebound, our real estate market is performing better and knee-jerk negativity about our state’s future prospects, though still far too prevalent, is diminishing.
However, it’s up to each one of us to ensure that Rhode Island accelerates the pace of revitalization in a way that has lasting impact for this and future generations.
That’s why we invite you to join with other business, civic and government leaders, development and real estate professionals, architects, builders, farmers, conservationists, policy advocates and a multitude of community stakeholders from across Rhode Island and New England to participate and play a part in building a stronger Rhode Island.

Summit Agenda Review

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. • Registration / Networking
8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. • Morning Plenary
  • Welcome – Howard Kilguss, Chairman, Grow Smart RI
  • Summit Overview – Scott Wolf, Executive Director, Grow Smart RI

Keynote Address

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist,
Last December, named Metro Providence the #1 real estate market to watch in 2016, ahead of other booming markets such as San Diego, New Orleans, Charlotte and even Boston. What is it that earned Metro Providence a spot as one of the red hot places for real estate in the nation?  We know that top ten markets on’s list experienced 60% more listing page views than the U.S. overall and saw properties sell 16 days faster than the U.S. average.
With 2016 now nearing the halfway point, how has our market actually performed and what’s the forecast ahead? What’s been driving the increased activity and what does it mean for smart growth prospects in communities from Woonsocket to Westerly?