‘Drop-In’ Biofuels: The Best of All Possible Worlds?...

May 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] Colleen Becker American writer based in London It’s the next big thing you’ve never heard of: environmentally friendly fuels so structurally similar to petroleum, they “drop in” to existing technology and infrastructure. Companies currently researching and developing this new generation of biofuels claim that their processes extract value from naturally occurring resources without wreaking environmental havoc. Their raw materials, or “feedstock,” range from sugar cane processing waste to algae and bacteria. But what’s even more exciting than drop-in biofuel’s green potential? Jobs, right now. In late 2011, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and Sundrop Fuels announced the construction of a $450 million biofuels refinery to create “the world’s first renewable green gasoline that’s adaptable to existing pumps, pipelines, engines and transportation infrastructure.” Construction on the initial phase of Sundrop’s facility will take place...

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Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (5/31/12)...

May 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] Posted By Lowell F. on May 31st, 2012 Here are five recommended reads for today (5/31/12) Brendan DeMelle of DeSmogBlog has an interesting analysis of “What Chesapeake Energy’s Financial Scandals Mean For The Rest of Us.” Renewable Energy World reports on “A Gust of Wind Energy Mergers,” including Western Wind Energy acquiring “the entire 4,000-MW wind energy development pipeline of private Champlin/GEI Wind Holdings,” and Alterra Power announcing “a deal to buy four sites in British Colombia from private sellers led by English Bay Ltd.” Media Matters debunks “myths propagated by the conservative media” about wind power. To the contrary from what Fox News and others say, Media Matters concludes that “wind power is safe, increasingly affordable, and has the potential to significantly reduce pollution and U.S. reliance on fossil fuels.” Greentechmedia reports, “Six states...

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Beijing to cover roofs with greenery...

May 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] on 03 April 2012. Posted in Living Green   The municipal government of Beijing announced plans to improve the quality of the city’s air by covering 100,000 square meters of roofs with greenery by the end of 2012, China.org.cn reported. Tan Tianying, president of the Beijing Green Roof Association, said green roofs have proven to be an effective measure for improving in terms of PM2.5 standards, which measures tiny particles that are 2.5 microns or less in diameter. Greening rooftops in cities, or maintaining “living roofs”, includes partially or completely covering them with vegetation planted over a waterproofing membrane. Vertical landscapes meanwhile involve cultivating a garden that grows on walls. Both methods can filter pollutants and carbon dioxide from the air. This can help people suffering from related afflictions such as asthma. According...

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Scientists find absorbent material for more energy efficient carbon-capture technology...

May 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] We simply must balance our demand for energy with our rapidly shrinking resources. By acting now we can control our future instead of letting the future control us. ~ President Jimmy Carter (1978)   on 31 May 2012. Posted in Technology A team of American researchers have found that commonly used industrial materials called zeolites could be used to remove carbon dioxide from power plant emissions, with a lower energy cost then current systems. Carbon-capture technology use carbon absorbing materials known as amines to filter the carbon dioxide from the flue gas of fossil fuel and natural gas fired plants. The amines are then boiled to release the captured carbon dioxide which is then compressed for storage. Boiling the amines and compressing the carbon dioxide is essential to ensure it does not escape...

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Time for a More Sustainable Global Food System...

May 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] 5/31/2012 By Busani Bafana IPS interviews SAMEER DOSSANI, ActionAid International advocacy coordinator BULAWAYO, May 31, 2012 (IPS) – It is vitally important that governments and civil society organizations start transitioning to a more sustainable global food system in order to achieve lasting development. The current global food system is unsustainable and does not allow for farmers to live lives of dignity, says Sameer Dossani, ActionAid International advocacy coordinator. He was speaking ahead of his organisation’s participation in the upcoming Rio+20 summit, otherwise known as the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which takes place from Jun. 20 to 22 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ActionAid International will be one of up to 50,000 participants, including business executives and civil society representatives, and over 135 heads of state and government that will be present....

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There is Increasing Interest in Linking Sustainability Performance to Executive Compensation According to a New Report from The Conference Board...

May 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] May 31, 2012 10:00 AM ET NEW YORK, May 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — As sustainability issues become more common in the boardroom and the volume of shareholder proposals related to those issues grows, the link between corporate sustainability performance and executive compensation is expected to become more important, according to the latest Director Notes report from The Conference Board. Interest has grown among shareholders in recent years about the inclusion of sustainability performance as part of the compensation formula, notes the report, “Linking Executive Compensation to Sustainability Performance.” The growing value that shareholders are placing on long-term performance and corporate sustainability serves as an indicator for directors that nonfinancial performance may become a more prominent topic in future proxy seasons. “Today the vast majority of executive compensation schemes are based almost exclusively on companies’...

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Sustainable Design

May 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] Architect Hyland Fisher has a passion for designing eco-friendly buildings By Christine G.K. LaPado christinel@newsreview.com This article was published on 05.17.12.   Green architect Hyland Fisher  PHOTO BY CHRISTINE G.K. LAPADO Call a green architect: Hyland Fisher can be reached by calling 263-8666 or emailing hylandfisher@gmail.com. Go to www.hylandfisherarchitect.com to learn more. Related stories: Straw bales and free air Green building and friendly cycling. CN&R, 08.26.10. Green architect Hyland Fisher originally went to school in Detroit—the Motor City—to study transportation design. “I thought I wanted to design cars,” said Fisher. “Turns out, I don’t really like cars that much. I found out you could be stuck just designing door handles. And I wasn’t passionate enough about cars to just be designing door handles.” Fisher, who is also a mountain-bike racer, currently drives “the...

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Art with a (re)purpose – Sustainability...

May 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] Phyllis Cullen represents Chico in new Avenue 9 installation that makes use of recycled materials and found objects By Vic Cantu This article was published on 05.31.12.   Fiber artist and physician Phyllis Cullen holds “Joy,” one of her pieces featured in the current exhibit at Avenue 9 Gallery. On the wall at right is “My Mother Used to Paint Pretty Flowers,” created after her mother fell into cognitive decline. Cullen and the other artists featured in the show traditionally incorporate found materials into their artwork. Related stories: From litter to glitter Trash retrieved from in and around Bidwell Park will return there as an artful reminder, thanks to artist Erin Wade. CN&R, 10.16.08.Found artistry Art from recycled materials powers the lively opening for a group show at The Artistry. CN&R, 04.08.10. “They...

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Mars to Exceed Sustainability Targets...

May 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] May 31/Mount Olive, N.J. /PRNewswire — Mars Chocolate announced it has made significant progress in just three years toward fulfilling its 2009 pledge to purchase its entire cocoa supply from certified sustainable sources by 2020.  The company stated that it had met its 2011 goal of purchasing 10% of its total cocoa supply as certified sustainable, and in 2012, it will exceed its original target of 20%, making it the largest user of certified cocoa in the world. Based on current buying arrangements, the company projects that it will purchase nearly 90,000 tons of certified cocoa. Mars believes certification is the best tool industry has to support effective extension services to reach as many of the world’s 5 to 6 million cocoa farmers as possible and provide them with the material support and...

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Businesses abandon transport fossil fuels in search of “green fleets”...

May 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] 16 May 2012   By RTCC Staff A new report has found that one in four business leaders have either implemented alternative transport fuel policies or are actively pursuing them. The study by consultancy firm Grant Thornton revealed that high oil prices and other associated costs as well as environmental benefits were boosting the uptake of natural gas, electric, hybrid and biofuel powered vehicles. Transportation is responsible for around a quarter of global CO2 emissions. “With the United States and the EU pressing ahead with sanctions against Iran, the world’s fourth largest oil producer, it seems unlikely that prices at the pumps will ease significantly in the near future,” said Daniel Taylor, partner & head of automotive at Grant Thornton UK. “Many dynamic businesses are therefore looking to determine whether switching their fleets to alternative...

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PODCAST: Turning waste to energy in South Africa...

May 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] 30 May 2012   Waste is a huge problem for cities and towns across the world. In Africa huge mountains of waste scatter cities and the surrounding areas. But these mountains of waste could be a valuable resource, providing both a source of much needed clean energy, while at the same time earning the companies involved carbon credits. In Durban, South Africa for example, one landfill gas project – operational since 2003 – is generating an average of 6.5 megawatts of energy, with the capacity for as much as 8 megawatts. The project not only provides the municipality grid with much needed energy but creates CDM points by both removing the methane released from landfills reaching the atmosphere and by cutting the demand for coal fired energy. In the eleventh in the series...

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A Conservative’s Approach to Combating Climate Change...

May 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] By Megan McArdle May 30 2012, 11:11 AM ET Guest post by Jonathan H. Adler, a professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law and regular contributor to the Volokh Conspiracy No environmental issue is more polarizing than global climate change.  Many on the left fear increases in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases threaten an environmental apocalypse while many on the right believe anthropogenic global warming is much ado about nothing and, at worst, a hoax.  Both sides pretend as if the climate policy debate is, first and foremost, about science, rather than policy. This is not so. There is substantial uncertainty about the scope, scale, and consequences of anthropogenic warming, and will be for some time, but this is not sufficient justification for ignoring global warming or pretending that climate change is not a serious...

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Southern California Residents: Power Your Entire Home With Solar Energy!...

May 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] Southern California Residents: Power Your Entire Home With Solar Energy! Don’t let your roof go to waste. See if you qualify for a free installation & save on your energy bills by generating solar energy! Please Signup and we can tell you if solar is right for your home. Did you know that you could essentially get free energy by installing solar on your home? Sign up for 1bog now (it’s 100% free) and see if your home qualifies for a free installation! It’s easy, it’s affordable, and it will save you money.       Group Discount: Get 15% off retail pricing through our Southern California group discount. As little as $0-Down: Lease and cash options available – we can help you decide. Turnkey System: Top-of-the line Solar Panels and professional installation by...

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Earth is Us

May 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] By ANDREW C. REVKIN Satellite portrait of part of the Bolivian Amazon, converted from rain forest to pasture. (Courtesy of USGS National Center for EROS and NASA Landsat Project Office) March 27 | Updated Some earth scientists are pushing to enshrine officially a decades-old idea — that Earth is now in a biogeochemical era of our own making that should be distinguished from the Holocene, the epoch that began with the end of the last ice age. They say the new period should be called the Anthropocene epoch — a name proposed in 2000 by Paul J. Crutzen, the atmospheric chemist (now at the University of California, San Diego) who shared a Nobel Prize for work on human-caused damage to the ozone layer, and Eugene F. Stoermer of the University of Michigan. The...

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Brazil’s New Leader Mulls Country’s Forest Protections...

May 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] May 24, 2012, 4:06 pm Brazil’s New Leader Mulls Country’s Forest Protections By ANDREW C. REVKIN Lalo de Almeida for The New York Times In the Brazilian Amazon, a tract of cattle pasture spreads on land that was previously rain forest. Lou Gold, an American expatriate living in Brazil’s portion of the Amazon River basin who is a frequent presence on Dot Earth, is keeping track of efforts to change the country’s Forest Code and has posted a helpful update on his blog, excerpted here with permission: Andre Penner/Associated Press President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil. Tomorrow, 25 May 2012, is the deadline for Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff to decide whether to accept or veto (in whole or part) the devastating new national Forest Code that was passed recently by the Brazilian Congress…. There seemed to be...

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What’s So Bad About Big?

May 30, 2012 Posted by

Big is Beautiful!

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Seeking Happiness on a Finite and Human-Shaped Planet...

May 30, 2012 Posted by

I’m at the United Nations today for the Bhutan-led “High Level Meeting on Wellbeing and Happiness..

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Daniel Kahneman on the Trap of ‘Thinking That We Know’...

May 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] May 25, 2012, 10:51 am Daniel Kahneman on the Trap of ‘Thinking That We Know’ By ANDREW C. REVKIN The National Academy of Sciences did a great service to science early this week by holding a conference on “The Science of Science Communication.” A centerpiece of the two-day meeting was a lecture titled “Thinking That We Know,” delivered by Daniel Kahneman, the extraordinary behavioral scientist who was awarded a Nobel Prize in economics despite never having taken an economics class. The talk is extraordinary for the clarity (and humor) with which he repeatedly illustrates the powerful ways in which the mind filters and shapes what we call information. He discusses how this relates to the challenge of communicating science in a way that might stick. Please carve out the time to watch his...

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Something to Cluck About – A Bill Endorsed by Egg Producers and Animal Campaigners...

May 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] May 27, 2012, 4:34 pm Something to Cluck About – A Bill Endorsed by Egg Producers and Animal Campaigners By ANDREW C. REVKIN I love moments when common interests create accord between factions in our society that are otherwise deeply divided. Here’s some news along these lines in a joint release from the United Egg Producers and the Humane Society of the United States about a Senate bill that would, among other things, double the space allotted for each hen in the country’s massive egg industry: Click here for a graphic exploring the living conditions of egg-laying hens. A new bill introduced in Congress this year will amend the Egg Products Inspection Act. This legislation is good for consumers, good for egg farmers, good for grocery and foodservice companies, and good for hens!...

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Hydrogen Energy Generation from Sunlight...

May 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] by The Energy Blog | 1:20 pm May 23rd, 2012 By Raymond Orbach Is it possible to create synthetic photosynthesis? Elementary school children are taught that photosynthesis is the basis for life on Earth.  Plants take carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, water and sunlight, and produce useful chemical energy – their “fuel” for growth and reproduction.  But is it possible to create synthetic photosynthesis? Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin believe it is. The “Fuels from Sunlight” team hopes to show how to efficiently absorb sunlight and split water into clean hydrogen (H2) fuel without production of CO2, a greenhouse gas responsible for global warming. The UT Austin team, headed by chemistry professor Allen Bard and chemical engineering professor Charles Mullins, lead the University’s Center for Electrochemistry, a multi-faculty collaboration...

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A Memorial Day for War’s Fallen, Perhaps Someday for War Itself?...

May 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] May 28, 2012, 8:44 am A Memorial Day for War’s Fallen, Perhaps Someday for War Itself? By ANDREW C. REVKIN I wrote a song in the early 2000’s called “Arlington,” which partly retells the remarkable history of the nation’s last resting place for its fallen defenders but also notes that the cemetery has been running short of space. I’ve posted a new video version on YouTube to mark Memorial Day: The core of the chorus is a question: “Where will they go when there’s no more room in Arlington?” I first posted a version of this song here in 2008. It’s worth revisiting on Dot Earth as a way of reflecting on the seemingly endless chain of sacrifices, generation by generation, in defense of freedom and nationhood. Is it possible that a day...

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Polymers for Stronger, More Efficient Solar Cells...

May 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] by National Science Foundation | 8:00 am December 8th, 2011 NSF-funded engineers have developed a way to build more efficient solar cells with polymer materials in an environmentally friendly process. The use of plastic materials can lead to more robust, flexible and cheaper solar cells, which could lead to more widespread adoption of solar energy as a sustainable energy resource. Introducing a process free of toxic liquid solvents minimizes the environmental impact of solar cell manufacturing. A dye-sensitized solar cell uses a photosensitizer dye to absorb sunlight and convert solar energy into more practical electrical energy. It uses a liquid electrolyte to conduct charges within the cell. However, the liquid electrolyte is prone to leaking and severely limits how the cell can be deployed. Replacing it with a solid polymer electrolyte that can...

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Arctic Melt Unnerves the Experts...

May 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] NYTimes Andy Armstrong/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration By ANDREW C. REVKIN Published: October 2, 2007 The Arctic ice cap shrank so much this summer that waves briefly lapped along two long-imagined Arctic shipping routes, the Northwest Passage over Canada and the Northern Sea Route over Russia. Multimedia Interactive Graphic Sea Ice in Retreat Related Grim Outlook for Polar Bears (October 2, 2007) The Big Melt: A Series From The New York Times Enlarge This Image McKenzie Funk Arctic Study Researchers haul a buoy across the Arctic sea ice in August, led by two Coast Guard crew whose job was to ward off polar bears or rescue anyone who slipped into the sea. Over all, the floating ice dwindled to an extent unparalleled in a century or more, by several estimates. Now the six-month...

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Valley Girl: Appalachia’s Future Poet Laureate Takes on Mountaintop Removal...

May 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] Jeff Biggers Journalist and author, ‘Reckoning at Eagle Creek’ and ‘In the Sierra Madre’ Posted: 05/29/2012 5:27 pm In the big hard region known as Appalachia, routinely maligned or mythologized as some single vision backwater in the American Dream, a long line of acclaimed poets has regularly astonished a national readership by drawing on the rich cultural treasury and diverse bevy of voices that transcend any map or media images. Nonetheless, it takes a dazzling new chapbook of poetry, every now and then, to remind us that the extraordinary fountain of Appalachian letters continues to churn out some of the most original, innovative and downright fearless voices today. Crystal Good’s debut collection of poetry, Valley Girl, marks the entry of such an astonishing new voice into the national poetry circuit. Capturing the conflicts...

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Republicans Put Oil Money Above Troops’ Lives...

May 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] Jon Soltz Co-Founder of VoteVets.org, Iraq War Veteran Republicans Put Oil Money Above Troops’ Lives Posted: 05/29/2012 12:40 pm In 2009, I went on TV in a debate against Congressman Phil Gingrey, the Georgia Republican who wanted to fund the purchase of F-22 fighter jets that the Pentagon didn’t want, and said were useless in the wars we were fighting and will be fighting in the future. The Pentagon said it needed more, less expensive, F-35 fighters. Gingrey and Republicans wouldn’t relent, at a time when our troops in Afghanistan desperately needed equipment on the ground. They were trying to force the military to sacrifice equipment it needed in favor of planes it didn’t need. I thought of that this week when I read that Republicans in Congress are introducing a load of...

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ScottishPower Renewables: Turbine Testing Completed In Orkney Isles, Scotland...

May 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] This is such good news and an energy source I used in 1975 while designing a community at Eaton’s Neck on the north shore of Long Island.  Good to see it’s happening again and it’s free energy.  ccd Posted: 05/30/2012 10:49 am Updated: 05/30/2012 11:11 am From Earth Techling’s Paul Willis: ScottishPower Renewables has just completed an initial testing period for its 1-megawatt (MW) tidal power project in the Orkney isles, located off the northern tip of Scotland. The underwater turbine was installed last December and is set to be used in Scotland’s first and only consented tidal power project. Since it began operating, the turbine has been providing electricity for homes and businesses on the island of Eday, one of Orkneys’ northern isles. Regarded as being at the cutting edge of tidal...

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Clip of the Day: Painting Out Climate Change, One Roof at a Time...

May 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] I’m sure many of you have flown into LAX airport and looked at the miles and miles of flat roofs that could be painted white in Los Angeles.   This is the best city for such and endeavor since we are about 100 square miles large and with a huge number of warehouses and factories that could be painted out white.  ccd NYC’s White Roof Project aims to paint every roof in the world white by 2030. By Amy Eicher May 21, 2012 If every rooftop in the world was painted white, the White Roof Project says that 24 billion metric tons of CO2 would be saved, a number equal to the amount of CO2 emitted in 2010. Essentially, this would have the same effect of turning the world off for one year. White...

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CSR To Build World’s First Carbon-Neutral High-Speed Locomotive...

May 29, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] by Timon Singh, 05/29/12 filed under: Green Transportation The Coalition for Sustainable Rail (CSR) has announced plans to create the world’s first carbon-neutral high-speed locomotive. Working with the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment (IonE) and the nonprofit Sustainable Rail International (SRI), CSR plans to “create the world’s cleanest, most powerful passenger locomotive, proving the viability of solid biofuel and modern steam locomotive technology”. The project, known as CSR Project 130, will draw on a wide range of skills and technology – from carbon-neutral solid biofuel research to modern steam mechanical engineering – in order to develop the most powerful carbon-neutral locomotive to date. It will also be able to reach a top speed of 130 mph.Although some may dismiss the project’s green credentials (‘biocoal’ sounds just as ridiculous as ‘clean coal’), the...

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1.05 MW project also largest solar PV-installation in Louisiana...

May 29, 2012 Posted by

Historic buildings and entire neighborhoods converted to solar in Louisiana..

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