UN Climate Report: We Must Focus On 'Decarbonization', and It Won't Wreck the Economy - "The basic message is simple: We share a planet. Let's start acting like it." [more inside]
How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio actually makes a case against austerity and for redistribution, but also for money printing (and, arguably, for bailouts), while stressing the need to keep making productivity-improving public and private investments. However, it could be equally entitled: How The Industrial Age Political-Economy Doesn't Work Anymore, viz. Surviving Progress (2011)... [more inside]
A 1999 Texas electricity deregulation statute included, almost as an afterthought, a requirement that the state develop 2,000 megawatts of wind power by 2009. This past February, wind generators delivered a record 6,242 megawatts of power to Texas population centers -- 22 percent of all the electricity consumed in the Texas grid. Could their model transform the nation's utility sector?, Or will it be derailed by special interests and politics? [more inside]
A positive energy building is one that produces more power than it consumes (yes they have been around for a while). The Masdar Headquarters in Abu Dhabi – due for completion in 2010 claims that it will be the first to do this on a substantial scale (mainly thanks to use of solar energy). David Fisher's spectacular “Dynamic Architecture” building in Dubai will aim to achieve the same goal using wind. Scaling up on the ambition stakes France has pledged all of its new housing will fit into this category by 2020.
“One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
On Saturday, March 29, 2008, at 8 pm in each time zone cities around the world will go dark: Sydney will follow Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra; In the Philippines, in Manila the lights will go out; Bangkok in Thailand; Tel Aviv in Israel; Suva in Fiji; Copenhagen in Denmark; In North America, Atlanta followed by Chicago, Toronto, Phoenix and San Francisco will be black. It’s Earth Hour. [more inside]
The Solar Decathlon is a just-completed competition in which 20 teams of college and university students competed to design, build, and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered house. View a photo gallery or take video tours of the homes. Inhabitat has been blogging the event - here's their view of Germany's winning entry. [more inside]
Passivhaus/Passive house design that saves mucho energy, does not require air conditioning, does not require heating even when outdoors it's 10 below! Since, for example, more than 30% of energy consumed in the UK is for homes and 82 per cent of that is space and water heating, [Monbiot, "Heat,"chapter 5, "Our Leaky Homes,"] changing our standards of home design is important. Diagram shows that basic solar design concepts are well understood and technically easy to implement in new construction. [If only my house could be turned 45 degrees!] Possibly through ignorance, and partly through the desire to cut corners instead of doing things right, we do not make these wise concepts a priority. There are lots of cool alternative building techniques, many of which are traditional and being revived. This leading design standard saves 90% of energy used in the home. Here in Canada it's called the net zero energy home.
Another way to save energy: make every day a Daylight Savings Time day. Why *do* we (USAians or anyone else with daylight-extending customs) bother to change back to standard time, anyway?
He gives a whole new meaning to the word "Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy." NY Times