John Kerry is a climate hawk. I’ve been a fan since before 2004 when I helped out on his presidential campaign. (Heavy sigh.) Now that he’s the US Secretary of State, he’s in a unique, critical position to be able to significantly advance an agenda of moving us off the path of self-destruction we’ve been on and onto one in which everyone can enjoy abundant energy and clean air and clean water, not to mention a climate system that will be able to heal itself over time. Continue reading
This is an eye-catching graphic, wouldn’t you say? It’s for a talk that Amory Lovins gave at Yale exactly two years ago. (See also the companion interview from the superb online journal Yale Environment 360.)
Joe Romm had an article about concentrating solar power (CSP) going back six years now called “The technology that will save humanity.” He gave a great overview, including a history and an eminently lucid rationale for its deployment. About five years ago I was driving west of Seville and was knocked out by the sight of the CSP plant that Abengoa has built there. Continue reading
The Europeans are on the move. Building on the successes of their existing “20/20/20″ plan, they are moving onward and upward. The old plan called for a 20% reduction of greenhouse gases economy-wide in the EU from 1990 levels by the year 2020. They are far advanced on this track. According to the EU here: “While EU GDP grew by 45% between 1990 and 2011, total greenhouse gas emissions from today’s 28 Member States – including emissions from international aviation, which are covered by the EU’s unilateral commitment – were 16.9% below the 1990 level in 2011 and an estimated 18% below 1990 in 2012. Member states’ latest projections show that total emissions in 2020, including international aviation, will be 21% below the 1990 level.” Continue reading
The Solar Energy Industries Association is calling for us to “Shout out for Solar” today. Why in the world not?! It’s a brilliant technology, saving people money all over the world, providing power and jobs, and saving the planet. What’s not to love?
According to NOAA: “Colder temperatures to the north and warmer temperatures to the south create winds that generally blow from west to east around the northern hemisphere. This atmospheric river of strong winds can vary from a straight west-to-east pattern, to a more wavy pattern. Continue reading
I mentioned Jigar Shah yesterday. He’s also one of Greentech Media’s “Energy Gang.” The weekly podcast has a quite sprightly and informative discussion between Shah, energy policy expert Katherine Hamilton and Greentech Editor Stephen Lacey. (Before moving over to GTM, Lacey was at Climate Progress.) This is what you call the A Team. Continue reading
First of all, I want to quickly acknowledge the fact that I’ve been off the air for weeks. Put it down, if you will, to the end of semester for my graduate class, the holidays, some other work that needed to get done, but mostly to a sort of mini-sabbatical that I took for myself.
So, to the point: There was a great article the other day in the NY Times from Coral Davenport, the climate change beat reporter who came on in December: Kerry Quietly Makes Priority of Climate Pact. (Davenport is a vast improvement from John Broder, her predecessor, who took the opportunity often, it seemed to me, to take a hatchet to the administration’s efforts on climate and energy, and who had, at best, a cynical attitude to clean tech and policy advances.) Continue reading
Students at Columbia staged a very informative, sometimes provocative symposium last week. Old energy (oil and gas) made new (by fracking and horizontal drilling), new energy (renewables and the “negawatts” of energy efficiency), the old grid versus the new “smart” grid, questions of geopolitics and finance, policy and practice were all on the table. Although two prominent speakers in particular highlighted the looming climate crisis, the symposium was, in my view, darkened by the fact that the first keynote speaker was Ken Cohen, Flack-in-Chief for the Exxon Mobil Corporation. I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t know exactly what he was going to say: Continue reading