Sustainability Blog - The Grid
InsideClimateNews.org -- The likely nomination of nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz to lead the Department of Energy has drawn criticism from some environmentalists who say his support for natural gas and close ties to industry would undermine efforts to tackle climate change. Moniz strongly favors natural gas as a "bridge fuel" and directs the MIT Energy Initiative, a research program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that is funded by some of the world's largest fossil fuel companies.
"His appointment to the DOE could set renewable energy development back years," said a statement released by Food and Water Watch. The environmental group is circulating a petition opposing Moniz's nomination.
Congratulations, and welcome to the President’s second-term Cabinet.
The headquarters building of the U.S. Department of Energy is named for James Forrestal, the former Navy and Defense Secretary who suffered from depression and fell from a window to his death at Bethesda Naval Hospital in 1949. The building is a lifeless, sterile place — a boxy relic of the 1970s. Its workers are often demoralized; among the cynical, DOE’s motto is: “Ashamed of our past, afraid for our future.”
Bloomberg BNA -- While corporations worldwide are adopting environmentally sustainable practices, unfortunately, their impacts on ecosystems continue to increase.
That's according to a new study detailed in a report, State of Green Business, released Feb. 12 and published by GreenBiz Group Inc. of Oakland, Calif.
Cross posted from Bloomberg.com's Political Capital blog.
The Sierra Club abandoned 120 years of precedent and let its leaders defy police in a protest against the Keystone XL pipeline outside the White House yesterday.
InsideClimateNews.org -- It is probably the most influential paper on climate science today. But few outside scientific circles even know it exists.
Though just six pages long, its dense, technical writing makes it largely incomprehensible to non-experts. And yet this paper is transforming the climate change debate—prompting the financial world to rethink the value of the world's fossil fuel reserves and giving environmental activists a moral argument for action.
Like a regular SUV, Hyundai's fuel-cell-powered Tucson lets you cover about 370 miles on a single tank. Its silent power system and familiar six-speed automatic transmission make highways and city streets quieter than ever. In fact, there's not much you can't do with the hydrogen-cell Tucson that you can't do with a regular Tucson -- except fill'er up. And, for the moment, afford 'er.
This isn’t the model found at dealerships. Not yet. But Hyundai is already leasing hydrogen-powered vehicles to city fleets, Copenhagen for one, and it plans to begin marketing to consumers by 2015.
TIOGA, N.D. -- The North Dakota winter is relentless. Air temperatures hover around zero degrees Fahrenheit. Yet that’s easy to forget here, inside a network of steel mobile homes opened in 2011 in the state’s northwestern corner. Guys walk around in flip-flops, shorts and T-shirts. They eat ice cream at regularly available opportunities and then sweat it off on a treadmill.
And they are nearly all guys. This is Tioga Lodge, the sprawling barracks that are home to men at the heart of the North American oil fracking boom. The compounds are known as “crew-camps”, or more often, as “man-camps.”
Inside Climate News -- When the nine states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade system, agreed last week to dramatically limit power plant emissions, they ushered in a stricter phase of carbon regulation for the Northeast. But they also paved the way for a boom in clean energy investment for the region.
According to a recent analysis, the amount of money generated from the tougher scheme is projected to more than double by 2020, sending an additional $2.2 billion of RGGI money to state coffers—much of that to clean energy industries.
InsideClimateNews.org -- When the federal government released updated flood maps for the New York City region last week, residents were shocked to find that the number of houses and businesses in the region's flood zone had doubled since the maps were last revised, in 1986.
But it now appears that those maps might have underestimated the extent of New York's flood risk, because they don't factor in the effects of future climate change. Scientists say that by the 2080s, sea levels off the city's coast could rise by as much as five feet from melting glaciers, making storm surges more severe and causing floods much further inland than the new maps indicate.
Bloomberg BNA -- More than one-third of companies are reporting a profit from their sustainability efforts, a 23 percent increase from the previous year, according to an annual study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Boston Consulting Group.
A total of 37 percent of companies surveyed reported profits from their sustainability efforts, compared to 31 percent the previous year, according to the 2012 research report, The Innovation Bottom Line, which was released Feb. 5.