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MIT Future of Solar Energy Study Launch Event

This is a one-hour-plus presentation of what is probably the most important energy document to come our way since the 2007 Stern Review climate study. Never forget that job one as an American is building the future of the world. The more you know, the stronger we are as a nation and the more likely it is we will be coming through this 50-year nightmare of global conflict over oil into a better, stronger world. The Future of Solar Energy Study Launch Event Related articles Paris climate summit: Carbon pledges to fall short of warming goal, Stern warns Divesting in Trustee Wussyness: College Campuses and Climate Change Action What is the Role for Business in Addressing Climate Change? Take the time. Watch the launch event and download the PDF for summer reading.
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Divesting in Trustee Wussyness: College Campuses and Climate Change Action —

Divesting in Trustee Wussyness: College Campuses and Climate Change Action — This spring Swarthmore College’s students, alumni and faculty stood up to demand that the school’s Board of Managers (their trustees) divest funding in fossil fuel businesses and technologies. I reported on that here in  “The State of the War on Climate Change”  a few weeks ago. The Board of Managers voted down that option just days later. What I also reported on in that essay was that this is just the beginning of campus actions to divest in  institutional money-making from investments in fossil fuel related businesses. You will read a lot of “reasoning” by trustees and boards on why, while they completely agree with the issues climate change brings up, they cannot vote to re-direct institutional investment policy away from fossil fuels. The bottomline, the only real issue here, is financial risk. Fossil fuel investments have ... >> click the link at the top of this page t

The State of the War on Climate Change: Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way

Bill McKibben (Source: Talking Writing magazine just posted an interview I did with climate activist and environmental journalist Bill McKibben called  "We Don't Require Leaders."  I urge you to go check it out. McKibben surprised me with some of his answers. The whole climate equation and how it impacts culture and politics is not simple or predictable. I did a lot of research for my interview. You can never get in all your questions. Nor can you make all the points you want to make in your interview introduction. I want to add a bit here, then, if that's okay. It's my contribution this week to what will likely otherwise be a finger snapping coverage of  Earth Day  by mainstream media. First off, while it's been underway for about two years, the climate change Divestment Movement at college and university campuses is really heating up, if you'll pardon the pun. Bill was getting prepared for Harvard Heat Week when we were correspondin

Looking for a Way Forward: The Obama Administration Stumbles Some on Climate Change

What kind of world do you want? This blog went dark more than three years ago when I finally understood that: 1) the Obama administration and Congress were absolutely not going to deal with climate change; 2) the American people were absolutely not going to deal with climate change either.  #2 was the straw that broke my 53-year-old back. It was bad enough watching the Kennedy's and their ilk fighting to stop an offshore wind project that would supposedly ruin their sweet view of Nantucket Sound, but watching environmental groups get all tangled up in their knickers over natural gas fracking was just pathetic. I couldn't take it anymore.  In my past life I was an environmental advocate and a technology planner -- working with dozens of governmental agencies and corporations for more than 30 years. I analyzed the economics of energy systems and the cultural

Plastic Gyrations: Science Stirring Up Plastic Soup

Source: It's been described as "plastic soup" in a bowl twice the size of Texas and 30 feet deep. Or how about a three-story Walmart streaming from the border of Mexico up along the Rockies and out to California all the way up to Canada? Plastic soup -- the Pacific Plastic Gyre/the Garbage Patch/the Trash Vortex -- proof positive that our love affair with disposable petroleum polymers is out of control. At least it's not being called a stew. Plastics stew implies goo, and that wouldn't be good at all. Go here to the Chic Ecologist and to the Algalita Marine Research Foundation to learn about this awesome manmade miasma. Of course, if

Can Measurement Save the World?

Photo Source: Boston Globe (Creative Commons registered) I love our family Prius. It tells me in real-time what our average miles per gallon are for every tank we buy. There are other cars out there with trip computers measuring fuel efficiency, but not enough. I imagine if every car in America came with an on board metrics system gauging efficiency there would be a lot fewer muscle cars and SUVs on the road. This measurement thing is also a big deal in the recycling world. The best recycling programs around the country tend to be those in so-called "Pay As You Throw" districts where people are charged by volume or weight for trash service. EPA has documented the effectiveness of PAYT. And the most exciting feature of RecycleBank's incentive program to folks like me (I coordinate Philadelphia's recycling efforts) is not so much the discount coupons you get for recycling but the fact that they weigh how much material you put out on

Why Green Jobs Don't Count

In ten years, if we're still talking about green jobs, we will have failed to transform the world economy to a more sustainable and egalitarian set of markets. For many of us who have been invested in the so-called "green revolution" for the past three decades, the fact that we're talking about jobs with special hues even today is disconcerting. As has been documented here at Blue Olives , efforts to modernize technology and establish a more democratic and benign form of productive capitalism have been in the pipeline since at least the early 1960s.  Indeed, "green jobs" should not be something special; they should simply be "good jobs" that are part