REVOLUTION TO BE GREAT ANCESTORS . . . February 27- March 5, 2015

We have a decision to make, and we don’t have much time.
This is no longer about just saving the oceans. It is about saving ourselves.
The oceans have the potential to go belly up in the next twenty years.


Rob Stewart


– Last night, the Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute presented an amazingly powerful, exquisitely beautiful, award-winning movie- Revolution. For years now, Climate Today has shared articles explaining how important the collapse of our oceans really is. Now in this film, scientists from around the world are desperately trying to explain how close we are to the edge because of this hidden chemical shift in oceans! Can we even survive if we lose our oceans? The loss of living oceans can be viewed as even more important than what is happening on land! This is a must see and must share movie! After the viewing, several great local activists spoke about how we can join the fight to end our local electricity being powered by coal. Revolution is a great resource! Use it! – Editor

RevolutionmovieWBRevolution- A Story 3.5 billion years in the making

Filmmaker Rob Stewart brings us Revolution, a full-length feature film that is inspiring humanity to change the world and save our planet. Along with world renowned experts, he learns that past evolutions can help solve some of our current and future environmental problems. Startling, beautiful, and provocative, Revolution has already won awards at international film festivals and shows us that we can make a difference.
Revolution Movie
For the beautiful and powerful 2 minute trailer
For support and materials- Education- Awareness Changes Everything
Revolution Movie

Satellite link puts sharper focus on ocean acidity risesatellitemeasuringoceanacidityWB

Climate scientists are looking for a new perspective on the increasingly acidic oceans through a suite of satellites 700 km out in space, watching over parts of the seas that research ships cannot reach. Ocean acidity levels have risen by 26% over the last 200 years. The changes could almost certainly affect fisheries in the short term, and in the long term could possibly alter the continuous and vital exchanges between atmosphere and ocean that controls the climates of continents.

How do we defend a sacred, alive world within the confines of
a system that has no concept of the sacred,
which instead sees the world as a collection of non-living resources?
By telling stories which refuse devastation, and which say yes to alternate narratives that transcend the supposed duality between economic progress and ecological protection.”


Caitlin Sislin, Strategic Consultant to social organizations

On Being an Environmental Lawyer: Storytelling with a Purpose


Once you truly let the realities of today’s world into your heart, it’s not easy! Nothing will change if we putter around the edges- there simply isn’t time! Words of wisdom are essential- how do we deeply accept and move on? SEHN shares profound, helpful thoughts. - Editor

At the Threshold of a Dark Wood: to the activist who needs a game changer

To the activist who is alone, stuck; who knows the game is rigged; who needs a game changer: Three keys to doors for the journey and for the soul: the transformative power of grief; a new theory of agency – the authority to act; and, a new theory of power – the power of communion.
Grief, anger, and despair are normal responses to what you are witnessing: These are worthy emotions. How can an individual who is aware of the magnitude and complexity of our problems not also feel helplessness at the stark contrast to their individual impact? But facing this kind of cognitive and emotional dissonance is precisely how to break out of it. True power is communion. One way of cycling out of grief and despair is to make common cause with people in our communities to support each other in addressing the grief and anger around environmental matters. None of this work is ours alone, but borne out of and shaped by ancient headwaters, complex histories, and an abounding work already underway.
SEHN article
For the thoughtful February issue of Science and Environmental Network’s (SEHN) Networker- The Transformative Power of Storytelling in Law, Science, and Organizing
For The Story of the Elm Dance, by Joanna Macy


- What an important concept! How will we be viewed as ancestors? Think about this! - Editor
Becoming Great Ancestors – for a profound 15 minute TEDX talk by Carolyn Raffensperger, one of the founders of the Precautionary Principle and head of SEHN


AustraliaCuttheSkyperformanceWBHow Indigenous philosophy could help us understand climate change

Indigenous Australians are always thinking “if we don’t keep that balance, there will be consequences.” Cut the Sky, a new dance work premiering at the Perth festival, draws on Indigenous Australian traditions to help audiences apply emotion, rather than cold logic, to climate change. Together they share the difficult task: how to artistically engage with the issue of climate change. Pigram says the climate change discussion is dominated by “a lot of people coming from logic and science.Cut the Sky attempts to access a very complex, global problem using a different language, of theatre and dance. And at its core the work is about “valuing an Aboriginal perspective of looking at country.” It becomes clear that it’s no easy feat. The non-linear storytelling also shakes the audience free from their default mode of logic, instead opening up their ability to feel.
Guardian article




“Consider the situation of London, which is protected against coastal floods through the Thames Barrier.
There was concern that rapid sea-level rise would not allow sufficient time to upgrade the Barrier because
such large engineering tasks require 25–30 years for planning and implementation.”


Dr. Jochen Hinkel, Global Climate Forum

ThamesBarrierWBIPCC sea-level rise forecasts “not fit for purpose” for high-risk coastal areas

The sea-level rise scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) do not necessarily provide the right information for high-risk coastal decision-making and management, according to new research, as they exclude the potential for extreme sea-level rises. This missing information is crucial for a number of policy processes. The IPCC scenario range is not the right piece of information, because there is a 0–33 per cent probability of sea-level rise lying outside of this range. Such a high residual risk is not tolerable from the perspective of protecting major cities from sea-level rise.
For the article Sea-level rise scenarios and coastal risk management behind paywall


- Boston’s Living with Water contest is totally amazing! First, actually facing the threat of 30% of your city being under water and giving it a matter-of-fact name Living with Water, and creating a new field- “blue architecture” that carries a positive attitude is without precedent. Would we know where Atlantis is now if they had done this? Second, planning can require huge bundles of money and typically limits ideas to just the firm hired. Here, for a relatively small fund, the City is getting creative ideas from a large number of sources, feeding this new field of “blue architecture” while paying modest prizes for 9 possible winners, each for $1,000. Every city should be following this process! Every city faces various climate challenges, and this innovative contest structure can be duplicated anywhere! Now we know, too, that the IPCC report is dangerously optimistic. – Editor

BostonLivingWithWatercontestWBDesigners Imagine Creative Ways That Boston Can Live When It’s Mostly Underwater

As climate change raises sea levels, many cities face the near certainty of flooding in the future. Take Boston. By 2100, forecasts show water levels climbing by five to six feet in its Harbor area, meaning that 30% of the city could be inundated. The designs here are some ideas for how it might cope. They’re all submissions to a city sponsored competition called Boston Living With Water, and they represent a useful primer to the field of “blue architecture.”
The Boston Harbor Association, City of Boston, Boston Redevelopment Authority, and Boston Society of Architects are pleased to host Boston Living with Water an international call for design solutions envisioning a more resilient, more sustainable, and more beautiful Boston adapted for end-of-the-century climate conditions and rising sea levels.
Boston Living with Water

Sea levels in Northeast jumped 5 inches in just 2 years, study finds

Mashable  and Nature


- People must understand the human impacts of climate change that are happening NOW. The BBC news shows tens of thousands of desperate refugees risking their lives to escape the horrors of the Middle East conflicts to reach places like Italy. Losing food and water tied to your ancient home can lead to dangerous instability. – Editor

ISISHow Climate Change Helped ISIS

Many in the West remain unaware that climate played a significant role in the rise of Syria’s extremists. A historic drought afflicted the country from 2006 through 2010, setting off a dire humanitarian crisis for millions of Syrians. Yet the four-year drought evoked little response from Bashar al-Assad’s government. Rage at the regime’s callousness boiled over in 2011, helping to fuel the popular uprising. In the ensuing chaos, ISIS stole onto the scene. If more Americans knew how glacial melt contributes to catastrophic weather in Afghanistan — potentially strengthening the Taliban and imperiling Afghan girls who want to attend school — would we drive more hybrids and use millions fewer plastic bags? There is no shortage of nations whose political stability and climate are both vulnerable. When we fail to get the facts right about greenhouse gas emissions, we may unwittingly enable ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, and other extremist groups to flourish. As we consider our personal positions on climate change, it is important to understand all that is at stake in our interconnected world.
and some good things. Let’s get all U.S. religious groups to do the same-JordanmosquessolarpowerWB

Jordan’s 6,000 Mosques Will Soon All Have Rooftop Solar

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is collaborating with the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs to implement the project, which entails installing such systems at the country’s 6,000 mosques.
Jordan Times and

Think Progress






- Everything our cities do from now on must free us from fossil fuels and be based on conservation and renewable energy independence. Here’s a creative change that will be seen by 7,000,000 people a year! – Editor

EiffelTowerwindturbineWBEiffel Tower’s Custom-Painted Micro Wind Turbines Will Wow Millions

Last fall, France’s iconic Eiffel Tower completed its “most ambitious” makeover in 30 years, except for one piece of the puzzle: a pair of new micro wind turbines installed right within the tower itself. Now, the two turbines are in place and humming along, generating enough renewable electricity to power all of the commercial areas in a spectacular renovation that sees 7,000,000 visitors yearly. Together they are capable of churning out 10,000 kWh annually. They literally are parked inside the Eiffel Tower at about 400 feet above ground level. We’re thinking that some of those 7,000,000 visitors will come away from their Eiffel Tower tour with a new appreciation for micro wind turbines.
The two vertical axis wind turbines were specially painted to match the iconic tower, and are located 400 feet above ground level to maximize energy production.
Urban Green Energy 
For a cool 14 second video showing the turbines harnessing wind power from inside the Eiffel Tower


- Showing Revolution would be a great, and getting projects with the creativity of Living With Water could make a huge difference. Think big and deep! – Editor

EarthDayWBACTION: Earth Day April 22: It’s Our Turn to Lead

Great events take time to organize so here is some good support- the Leadership Guide for Earth Day April 22, 2015. Topics include: How to Organize a Memorable Event. Tools for leading the movement online. A Billion Acts of Green. Plan a Day of Conversation in Your town. Climate Education Toolkit.
Leadership Toolkit 

WHO ARE THE GOOD GUYS? . . . . . February 20- 26, 2015


“We need energy choice and freedom.
Many times the customer’s voice is drowned out by big money contributing to political campaigns.
This ballot initiative is extremely important because
the legislature has not acted the past few years to open up the market for solar.
We are taking our voice to the people
Free market principles should not be cherry-picked by groups
who have donors that have interest in fossil fuels.
A monopoly is not a free market!
This ballet initiative is about giving consumers the freedom of choice.”
Debbie Dooley, Founder of the Conservatives for Energy Freedom

- Such an encouraging article in the New Yorker! Do read and share it- amazing how she reflects the similar ideas of solar and climate activists, yet comes from a different view point! – Editor

Greening the Tea Party

Dooley had teamed up with the Sierra Club to form the Green Tea Coalition. Later, that coalition helped defeat an effort by Georgia Power to impose heavy fees on customers with rooftop solar systems. “If you mention climate change, they’re going to tune you out.” She meant her Tea Party compatriots,
Rooftop solar makes it harder for terrorists to render a devastating blow to our power grid,” she said. “There’s nothing more centralized in our nation. If terrorists were able to take down nine key substations, it would cause a blackout coast to coast.”
New Yorker article 


Beware the #carbonbubble #divest now

Protesters blocked the entrance to the International Petroleum Conference
where Ben Van Beurden, Shell’s CEO, was due to make a speech.


- You don’t think of Nepal as a tony Wall Street investing neighborhood, but they went to the streets there, too! – Editor

DivestmentDayNepalprotestWBGlobal Divestment Day Was A Huge Success

At over 450 events in 60 countries, people around the world declared that it’s wrong to wreck the climate — and it’s wrong to profit from wrecking it. “From the Pacific Islands to South Africa, from the United States to Germany, we stood up to demand that our governments, universities and financial and religious institutions stop investing in the rogue industries that are destroying our planet. According to numbers provided by the Fossil Free, the group behind the campaign, an estimated $50,000,000,000 (that’s 50 billion) have been divested from fossil fuels to date. Over 181 cities, universities, and other institutions have committed to divestment.
Between February 9 and 15, 97,270,000 social impressions were tracked as well.
For video
and some continue to fight for the wrong side of their responsibility-
Harvard prepares to fight fossil fuel divestment case in court
Lawyers for Harvard University will appear in court on Friday afternoon to fight off attempts to force the world’s richest university to dump coal, oil and gas companies from its $36bn (£23bn) endowment.
Guardian article 


By disinvesting from (fossil fuel) shares, Church and other charitable and public investors may have great influence on the future of the planet, greater even than governments and the United Nations.
A small minority of consumers, who choose to buy wind power or not to fly, have little influence.
But a small minority of investors who disinvest from fossil fuel stocks
can have enormous influence on energy markets,
since they can influence the behaviour of the corporations which extract and market energy.”
Michael Northcott is Professor of Ethics in the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh
For BrightNow paper in U.K.


Operation Noah is an ecumenical Christian charity providing leadership, focus and inspiration in response to the growing threat of catastrophic climate change.
Is it ethical for the Church to invest in fossil fuels? For a paper discussing the ethics
For a calendar of many actions we can take to reduce carbon, see Lenten Carbon Fast 2015- 40 days of Lenten green living 
MomentamoviecoalWB- Get people together to see this! – Editor



Watch Critically-Acclaimed ‘Momenta’
Momenta, a film which EcoWatch ranked as one of the 10 best documentaries of 2013, is now available online for free. The film brings awareness to a Pacific Northwest coal project that could threaten the global environment on a scale larger than the Keystone XL pipeline.
EcoWatch film


USNavyfloodingWBThe Pentagon & Climate Change: How Deniers Put National Security at Risk

Naval station Norfolk is the headquarters of the U.S. Navy’s Atlantic fleet. The land that the base is built upon is literally sinking, meaning sea levels are rising in Norfolk roughly twice as fast as the global average. There is no high ground, nowhere to retreat. There are 29 other military bases, shipyards and installations in the area, and many of them are in just as much trouble. Since 2008, Republicans have worked hard to undermine any connection between climate and national security (and) when the GOP turned into a subsidiary of Koch Industries.
Deniers in Congress have gone after the Pentagon where military officials feel it most: their budget. Last year, House Republicans tagged an AdmiralandInhofetalkWBamendment onto the defense appropriations bill that prohibited the Pentagon from spending any money implementing recommendations from the latest report of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Adm. Samuel Locklear correctly foresees that a world of climate-driven chaos is already upon us, and it’s only going to get worse. And we need to start talking about it now, because not only will the threats multiply, so will the questions we have to address. It’s one thing to plan for the invasion— it’s quite another to plan for being the rescue squad for the entire planet.
RollingStone article

Whenever another officer or a congressperson corners Rear Adm. White and presses him about why he spends so much time thinking about climate change,
he doesn’t even try to explain thermal expansion of the oceans or ice dynamics in the Arctic.

“I just take them down to Norfolk.
When you see what’s going on down there, it gives you a sense of what climate change means to the Navy — and to America. And you can see why we’re concerned.”


Rear Adm. Jonathan White, the Navy’s chief oceanographer and head of its climate-change task force

US Navy Reacts To Blockbuster Rolling Stone Climate Change Story

The Navy’s climate change post starts off with a forceful declaration of support for the Rolling Stone article, it includes the subtitle “The leaders of our armed forces know what’s coming next – but deniers in Congress are ignoring the warnings,” and caps it off with the rather dramatic illustration from the publication.
Cleantechnica article 

“There is a growing, highly organized and well-financed anti-Canada petroleum movement that consists of peaceful activists, militants and violent extremists who are
opposed to society’s reliance on fossil fuels.
If violent environmental extremists engage in unlawful activity,
it jeopardizes the health and safety of its participants, the general public and
the natural environment.”


From a secret intelligence memo prepared by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)


- The total and absolute destruction of magnificent forests, rivers, and livelihoods from tar sands development, not to mention increasing climate change, is not a threat to “the natural environment,” but the people who care and want to stop this destruction are a threat to “the natural environment?Really? – Editor

tarsandsCanadaWBCanadian mounties’ secret memo casts doubt on climate change threat

The US security establishment views climate change as real and a dangerous threat to national security. But Canada takes a very different view, according to a secret intelligence memo prepared by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).The memo, stamped “Canadian eyes only”, repeatedly casts doubt on the causes of climate change – the burning of fossil fuels – and its potential threat. The memo warns: “Violent anti-petroleum extremists will continue to engage in criminal activity to promote their anti-petroleum ideology”.
Guardian article 
Globeandmail article 


Stockholm’s Newest Parking Garage Is Only For Bikes

When it’s built, the newest parking garage in Stockholm won’t hold any cars at all. It’s designed to hold 700 bikes instead. Unlike a regular parking garage, it’s a place where people might actually want to spend time. The garage, near a major train station, is being designed from the ground up for cyclists. Instead of doors with handles, entrances will automatically slide open, so cyclists can ride in directly from the adjacent bike path or street. The designers also plan to include a bike repair shop and changing rooms where commuters can shower, dress for work, and leave their helmets in lockers. The garage will be part of a building that also has almost 60 apartments. None of the residents are expected to own a car.
Fastcoexist article 
and for a higher tech solution for safely parking bikes in Japan, watch this surprising 40 second video





- WOW! Let’s make this happen across the U.S.! – Editor

More Electric Car Charging Stations Than Gas Stations In JapanMoreChargingthangasstationsJapanWB

The establishment of an infrastructure to support electric and plug in cars is proceeding rapidly in Japan. Nissan says there are now 40,000 public and private charging stations in Japan versus only 34,000 gas stations.
Gas2 article 

PG&E Corp., owner of California’s biggest utility, asked regulators Feb. 9 for permission to build a network of about 25,000 chargers in public areas over a five-year period.  Automakers have recognized that oil companies are unlikely to install plugs next to gasoline pumps, and are building their own networks.

Bloomberg article 

THEN YOU WIN . . . . . February 13- 19, 2015

ACTION: JOIN Global Divestment Day Friday and Saturday

GandhithenyouwinWBThe first ever Global Divestment Day kicks off today and Saturday 14 February. To(day)’s going to be huge — we’re talking epic – with more than 450 events spanning 58 countries on six continents.
And it seems you’ve already put the fossil fuel industry on the backfoot before we even get started! Earlier this week we got word that a Big Oil PR company released a, frankly, hilarious cartoon as an attack against Global Divestment Day. You know what that means? We’re really starting to rattle them, so let’s keep pushing until we win.
Even if you can’t make it to a Global Divestment Day event next week, you can still be part of this movement and this moment. Here’s how:
1. Make sure your friends and family know that you’re standing with the fossil fuel divestment movement. The orange square has become an international symbol of solidarity and resistance against the fossil fuel industry. We’ve put together this handy tool to help you make your own orange square meme and then swap out your profile photo on Facebook.
2. Use the #divest hashtag on social media all next week. Let’s blow the conversation up online even as we’re out in the streets! We’ve more ideas on how to amplify the Global Divestment Day message.
3. Pledge to divest your own money. Make sure your values and your assets are in the same place. Join the thousands of individuals who have pledged to divest themselves from fossil fuels.
This week we got word that Norway’s sovereign wealth fund — at $850 billion, the world’s largest — is divesting from coal and tar sands companies on climate grounds. Last week, the New School in New York announced that they would divest from fossil fuels. So far, this movement has divested more than $50 billion.
We live in a profoundly altered world. It’s up to us to make sure that it changes for the better.
From email, February 8, 2015


Fracking is hurting our communities.
It is sucking our drought-ridden state of precious water resources,
contaminating our groundwater in a region where 25 percent of the nation’s food is grown, and contributing to the impending climate crisis.
Oil companies had made California citizens feel powerless and silenced,
for our governor seems to only be listening to their money!”
Eva Malis, UC Berkeley student


- If California might seem far away from you so this isn’t relevant, how much of the fruits and vegies in your grocery come from bountiful fields of California? Your kids’ food could be being contaminated right now. And with water scarcity, how much should we take water away from growing our food? – Editor

Thousands march and rally in Oakland to call for ban on fracking

"MARCH FOR REAL CLIMATE LEADERSHIP"Thousands of people from up and down California marched in Oakland on Saturday for the largest protest to date against the state’s use of hydraulic fracturing to harvest oil and natural gas. Environmentalists say fracking wastes millions of gallons of fresh drinking water and puts public health at risk in communities where fracking occurs by threatening groundwater and eroding air quality.





“Given that California is also experiencing its worst drought in 1,200 years,
it’s hard to overstate
just how thoroughly the regulatory system has failed to protect this extremely precious resource.”
Briana Mordick, scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council

California’s Wastewater Injection Problem Is Way Worse Than Previously Reported

For every barrel of oil produced in California — the third largest oil-producing state in the nation, behind Texas and North Dakota — there are 10 barrels of wastewater requiring disposal. California produces roughly 575,000 barrels of oil a day, meaning there are nearly 6 billion barrels of wastewater produced in the Golden State on a daily basis — a massive waste stream that state regulators have utterly failed to manage properly.



It’s sad. Diving from this bridge when there was water in the river was a far less serious threat that agriculture not having water! This picture says a lot! – Editor

US harvest threatened by water-intensive oil and gas boom

The recent World Economic Forum Global Risks report identifies the 10 “biggest threats to the stability of the world”, (listing) water crises as one of the top global risks.
The US has a significant influence on the global food trade. The ongoing water crisis in California – the country’s largest agricultural producer – may threaten the price and availability of certain commodities worldwide. Electric utilities consume 11 times more water than all other industries combined.
Guardian article

For the World Economic Forum report 


G20 Governments are Spending $88B Each Year to Explore for New Fossil Fuels. Imagine if Those Subsidies Went to Renewable Energy?

FossilFuelBailoutreportWBGovernments across the G20 countries are estimated to be spending $88 billion every year subsidising exploration for fossil fuels. Their exploration subsidies marry bad economics with potentially disastrous consequences for climate change. In effect, governments are propping up the development of oil, gas and coal reserves that cannot be exploited if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change.

Read and share this Fossil Fuel Bailout report 





“Our marine economy is at stake here.
The lobster fishery alone is worth $1 billion.
No one comes to the Maine coast to eat a chicken sandwich.
We lose our lobster, we lose our clams? We’ll lose tourism as well.”
Maine Rep. Mick Devin (D)


- Fossil fuels not only destroy vast amounts of water essential for growing food on land, but pollution from them is also causing major threats to ocean life which feeds the world’s peoples over 100 million tons of rich protein a year! Very hard to replace! - Editor

Maine Report Warns Of ‘Urgent’ Need To Address Ocean Acidification

MainelobsterWBMaine will soon need to make “hard decisions” on what to do to protect its rapidly acidifying waters, according to a new report. Maine’s fishermen used to fish for multiple species throughout the year, but depleted stocks have forced fishermen to become heavily reliant on lobster. The problem is, if something now happens to the lobster, there’s a lot of communities that are totally reliant economically on lobsters.
Richard Nelson, a Maine lobsterman and member of the commission, is not only worried about lobsters themselves. He said he’s concerned about the entire ocean food chain, especially the creatures at the bottom of it, like plankton, that have a hard time building their shells in an overly-acidic environment.
For the report
- Understanding such massive global changes isn’t easy. Here some scientists worry that ocean ecosystem collapse can occur even faster from “saturation” than from acidification. There is so much at stake here. – Editor

Is pH a Red Herring for Ocean Acidification?

oysterssaturationpointWBLow pH harms shellfish, most significantly by altering the internal chemistry of adult shellfish. But saturation state caused declines that will occur decades to centuries ahead of any pH-induced declines because saturation state is more sensitive to increasing CO2 than is pH and several coastal regions in the Pacific Northwest are already dangerously close to the saturation state threshold for oysters and other bivalves. Essentially, saturation state matters most and it matters first, says the team. As at Whiskey Creek, a dip in saturation state, even for as little as two days, during a crucial stage of shell development is enough to lose an entire population.


Eating, it turns out, is
the most significant interaction most of us have with the environment.
Chris Ying, Founder, food magazine Lucky Peach

We all need to get to net-zero carbon, restaurants included. Great progress here- inspire your restaurants locally to join this movement! When the private sector makes great progress towards net zero, government leaders are more willing to get serious, too. – Editor

How can you get more restaurants to go carbon-neutral? A: Make a lot of money at it!

restaurantgreenWBThe food system, including farming, shipping, cooking and food waste, accounts for 30 percent of carbon emissions worldwide. The food magazine’s founder, Chris Ying, has argued climate change directly concerns all people whose job it is to serve food.
Every decision at the Founding Farmers restaurant chain is intentionally made to connect diners to the Farmers Restaurant Group- which is run in part by the North Dakota Farmers Union- and to all small farmers who cultivate food. The desired product is a farm-to-table experience and to provide it in an environment that has a carbon footprint close to zero.
For the article Knowing Is Half the Battle 


- The real issue is speed of change- can we reduce emissions before major collapses such as ocean food production? – Editor

Seven Reasons Cheap Oil Can’t Stop Renewables Now

riserenewableschartWBHere are seven reasons why humanity’s transition to cleaner energy won’t be sidetracked by cheap oil. (Check out the first 6 reasons.) 7. Global Investment in Clean Energy Keeps Flowing
There are too many forces pulling (for direct investments in energy projects). Global investment in clean energy increased 16 percent last year, to $310 billion. The U.S. and China, the world’s biggest emitters, reached a historic deal in November to rein in greenhouse gases. Pope Francis is preparing a papal encyclical on climate change, a letter to the world’s bishops that will formalize the church’s moral position on the issue for 1.2 billion Catholics. He may also convene a summit of the world’s top religious leaders in advance of global climate talks in Paris in December. Those talks represent the world’s last best chance to mitigate the damage from climate change. National policies to reduce carbon pollution would speed up the adoption of clean energy. Even in their absence, the global energy shift away from fossil fuels has begun, and we know how it will end.
Bloomberg article
For a good report on how to bring in renewables to the grid more easily – Easing the Transition to a More Distributed Electricity System-The Changing Roles of Consumers, Utilities and Regulators Within the Regulatory Compact

FORGET UNDERNEATH- LOOK UP . . . . February 6- 12, 2015

Why are we poisoning our land, water, and people
when there’re safe answers, including shining right above us and in the wind?

“The Keystone is in the basket of issues that other countries are watching to see
whether the U.S. is prepared to walk the walk on climate change.
For almost 20 years, there’s been this perception that the U.S. is telling other countries to act on climate change while not moving at home….
Keystone XL is another sign of whether [Obama] is serious and will lead the world.”
JakeSchmidtWB Jake Schmidt, international climate policy director, Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C.

How The Keystone XL Pipeline Decision Will Influence UN Climate Change Talks In Paris

President Barack Obama’s decision will have broad political impact outside the U.S. and Canada and could bolster — or undermine — the United States’ ability to influence global climate change talks later this year. Nearly 200 countries are expected to negotiate an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a United Nations-led conference in Paris in December.
International Business Times article



“California’s drinking water aquifers shouldn’t be garbage dumps for the oil industry.
It’s legally required and just common sense that
every well injecting wastewater illegally be shut down immediately to avoid further damage.


Kassie Siegel, Director Climate Law Institute, Center for Biological Diversity


- Across our nation when the victims of these massive toxic contaminations finally get heard, entire industries can shift quite rapidly. We need renewables in place asap! – Editor

EPA Urged to Shut Down Hundreds of Oil Industry Wastewater Wells Threatening California Aquifers

The Center for Biological Diversity today called on the Environmental Protection Agency to immediately shut down hundreds of injection wells that are illegally dumping oil industry wastewater into scores of California aquifers, including some that supply water for drinking and farming irrigation. “In the midst of an unprecedented drought and when so many Californians lack access to safe, clean drinking water, it is outrageous to allow contamination of drinking and irrigation water to continue. It is never acceptable to allow the contamination of drinking and irrigation water with industrial wastewater,” the letter says.


How does a mother feel when she finally realizes that the tap water she’s been giving her children for years is loaded with carcinogens? Watch the video. OMG. – Editor

The Coal Industry Owns The CourtscancerclustercoalashvictimsWB

During the 2014 midterm elections, the state of North Carolina — Duke Energy’s base of operations — became a hotbed for judicial campaign spending. In total, an unprecedented $800,000 was spent on judicial elections, with more than $300,000 of that total coming solely from Duke Energy.
A recent report by the Center for American Progress (CAP) shows that elected judges are far more likely to vote in favor of corporations (those who funded their elections) than non-elected judges, explaining Duke Energy’s desire to pump hundreds of thousands of dollars into this campaign.
CAP has put together an important 6 minute film explaining the plight of local residents who have been poisoned by coal ash and its water contamination. The map above illustrates the large number of people who got cancer- about 70- living near the coal ash. No wonder health care is so expensive in the U.S. – people are being poisoned. Watch Dirty Water, Dirty Money: Coal Ash and the Attack on North Carolina’s Courts



In a just world, does anyone have the right to poison others now and for generations into the future, since these toxic dumps destroying underground water cannot be cleaned up? – Editor

FrackingFailuresWBFrackers In Pennsylvania Violate Health And Environmental Regulations On A Daily Basis

According to a new report by Environment America, ever since four companies “told the public they would adhere to higher standards” in 2013, they have collectively committed as many as 100 violations of Pennsylvania’s existing oil and gas regulations. “In Pennsylvania, fracking companies violate rules and regulations meant to protect the environment and human health on virtually a daily basis. Between January 1, 2011, and August 31, 2014, the top 20 offending fracking companies committed an average of 1.5 violations per day.” (This includes) Endangering drinking water through improper well construction. Dumping industrial waste into local waterways. Allowing toxic chemicals to flow off drilling sites and into local soil and water.
The top violator companies have fracking operations or own mineral rights in 23 other states. So what can states do? Of course, the most prudent measure is to ban fracking before it even begins, as Governor Andrew Cuomo did in New York.
For the report Fracking Failures-Oil and Gas Industry Environmental Violations

FrackingWBWe can’t bail out fracking if it turns into another housing crisis

Governments have to decide whether to rescue oil and gas firms or admit they got energy policy wrong. (The alternative energy) vision had morphed beyond recognition. It was no longer about renewables, but about more fossil fuels. The unlikely hero was fracking natural gas, and investments poured in. Saudi Arabia and Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ overt strategy is to put big shale out of business, producing enough crude to keep prices below $75-80/bbl. They seem eminently comfortable doing so because their production costs are closer to $5/bbl. The bit that we don’t know is how much money governments will waste this time, shoring up this latest economic failure because they now think that oil and gas companies are also “too big to fail”. (Don’t) resort to throwing public resources (read: your taxes and mine). I have a simple request for governments in 2015: please do not rescue those who have made bad economic decisions yet again, just let them fail. It will be good for the economy and jobs, and even better for our safe planetary existence.


Imagine how startling these charts would be if all subsidies and all health and environmental impacts of fossil fuels were included! – Editor

windcheaperWB6 charts that show renewable energy is getting cheaper

Things are changing very quickly in the world of renewable energy. The conventional wisdom — that renewables are expensive, that they depend on subsidies, that it’s too costly to integrate them into the grid — is rapidly being rendered anachronistic, though no one seems to have told U.S. policymakers and pundits. The myth that renewables are “too expensive” has outlived its accuracy. A range of renewables are now competitive with fossil fuel power, without subsidies, and are only going to strengthen their position in coming years. It’s a new world out there.

Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2014: An Overview

Dramatic falls in cost are making renewable energy competitive with fossil fuels across the world, and the least-cost option in a growing number of markets. For example, solar energy has already become cheaper than diesel generation, with clear benefits for communities in areas far away from the electricity grid. Regional, weighted average costs of electricity from biomass for power, geothermal, hydropower and onshore wind are all now in the range, or even span a lower range, than estimated fossil fuel-fired electricity generation costs. Because of striking Levelised Cost Of Electricity reductions, solar PV costs also increasingly fall within that range.
For the International Renewable Energy Agency report
Fossil fuels take huge amounts of water! Another International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) report this month highlights how renewable energy can help address the world’s pressing water, energy and food challenges. – Renewable Energy in the Water, Energy and Food Nexus

Water report


This could be the single most significant piece of legislation to affect our existing building stock in a generation, affecting a huge swathe of rented properties.
Government deserves huge credit for sticking to its guns.”
John Alker, Acting CEO of the UK Green Building Council


- Mayor Gonzales of Santa Fe, New Mexico, gave his wonderful State of the City talk, the first part about various social justice programs. The second part was about climate change actions. Community solar is one solution he offered for both issues. Here is another powerful idea! Stopping waste needs to become the foundation upon which to build progress. – Editor

greendealhomeWBLandlords to be banned from renting out energy inefficient properties

New regulations making it illegal for landlords to rent out the most energy inefficient homes and properties could be the “single most significant piece of legislation in a generation” affecting existing buildings, the UK Green Building Council said today. Fuel poor households living in the least efficient privately-rented homes already need to spend on average around £1,000 (over $1,500 in US dollars!) more to keep warm compared to the average home. Financial support is available through the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation, which together have improved over 1 million homes in less than two years.
- Yet again, I was asked yesterday how to responsibly invest money in today’s troubled world. I explained my lack of financial expertise, then the divestment movement for fossil fuels, then gave several references- one the Green Money Journal , and the other a smart financial advisor friend who now has co-authored a brand new book- The Resilient Investor: A Plan for Your Life, Not Just Your Money that I just ordered from my local bookstore. Learn more about CERES and its Investor Network on Climate Risk, too. Every dollar you spend can harm the planet, or fritter away money, or help save the planet. All our resources- our time and money need to reflect how serious climate change is! This 2 minute video hits the topic well- definitely worth watching!!! – Editor

Fossil Free Indexes Outperformed S&P 500 By 1.5% In 2014

The Fossil Free Indexes US (FFIUS) had a banner year in 2014, and even managed to beat the S&P 500 by a pretty substantial margin — outperforming the benchmark by 1.5%.
and for a critical topic that cannot be ignored-

Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR)

The Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) is a network of 100 institutional investors representing more than $13 trillion in assets committed to addressing the risks and seizing the opportunities resulting from climate change and other sustainability challenges.
For a 5 minute video

For the book The Resilient Investor: A Plan for Your Life, Not Just Your Money (H. Brill, Kramer, Peck), will be published in February 2015 by Berrett-Koehler. Here, we look at investing with a wider lens, including not only our financial investments, but also our personal and social assets (skills, relationships, community) and tangible assets (homes, shared infrastructure, ecological systems).
Website Natural Investing 
and to order from Powell’s Bookstore  
and for a great short video really worth thinking about-
Top 10 Stakeholder Issues Report of 2015
and for the details 

EARTH, JUSTICE, and BANK ACCOUNTS . . January 30- February 5, 2015

“I know hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms
in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway.
If they can get off, onto another planet, some of them would.”
A lot of wealthy and powerful people are quite afraid right now –
they see us on an unstable trajectory
noting that the failure of political institutions to be representative
is causing strain on the system.

Robert Johnson, president of the Institute of New Economic Thinking, speaking in Davos
Listen to this 1 minute statement- worth the trip to Switzerland’s Davos!

Elite Are Afraid of Ferguson-Style Riots


As inequality soars, the nervous super rich are already planning their escapes


- This little peek into the minds of the super-rich should awaken the rest of us! They know we are at a cusp yet continue insatiable avarice that feeds both social injustice and destruction of our precariously balanced Earth. Even the not super wealthy have asked me where to flee to get away from climate change.
How can “we the people” allow our only earth’s destruction and massive injustice to continue? Billionaires buy clever social psychologists, conniving political strategists, and media space to convince enough people to actually vote against both their own rights and against the earth’s indispensable life support systems. When will the super-rich realize eco-system collapse means everyone, regardless of long rows of numbers in secret bank accounts? – Editor

Can Koch Brothers Lock In Fatal Climate Delay For $889 Million In 2016 Election

TeaPartydenial70pc,nontea30pcChartWBThe multi-billionaire Koch brothers are planning to spend a staggering $889 million in the 2016 election cycle, more than double what they spent in 2012. Politico called it “a historic sum that in many ways would mark Charles and David Koch and their fellow conservative megadonors as more powerful than the official Republican Party.”
Remember, the Koch family put together the Tea Party movement and much of the modern right-wing infrastructure. Koch Industries surpassed Exxon Mobil in funding climate science disinformation and clean energy opposition years ago. They have already become the biggest force for anti-science politicians at every level of government.
New York Times Article

That Book About Inequality That’s Sold Out of Bookstores? Here’s What It Means

ThomasPikettyeconomicsbookWBIn his analysis of tax records, Piketty shows how capitalists have run away with capitalism and left the workers behind.
Just take a look at how our oligarchs—oops, I’m sorry—our “wealth generators” have benefited. The top 25 hedge fund managers took in an average $134 million in 2002. By 2009, their earnings went up to a billion dollars (that’s right: they each made a billion dollars a year!). The market “correction” didn’t send them back to zero or to Sing Sing. Rather, by 2012, they were still making tons more than in 2002: $537 million. In fact, in 2010, these top 25 managers together made four times as much as the CEOs of the top 500 Standard and Poor companies—combined.

France economist Thomas Piketty rejects Legion D’Honneur

French economist Thomas Piketty, the best-selling author of Capital in the 21st Century, has turned down France’s top award, the Legion D’Honneur. His book examines income inequality in society and became a surprise hit, topping the bestseller list in the US.
BBC article

- We have solutions to climate change, poor health caused by pollution, and environmental destruction caused by fossil-fuels! Should we blindly accept claims that we cannot have renewable energy, net zero buildings, clean air, or clean water, can’t protect kids from getting asthma, can’t work on social justice and alternatives to prisons, and more because it costs “more money”? Or does it really mean less money for rich fossil-fuelers? Reports from the New Building Institute are worth sharing! Data are showing we can do this! – Editor

“The findings in this report are eye-opening.
It presents us with a policy framework that will help us achieve our goal to
slash energy use to half of what it was in 2010 by 2032, and
provides us with the data to back it up.”


Bill Updike, green building specialist, District of Columbia Department of the Environment

Cost Study Finds Over 30% ROI for Zero Net Energy

As momentum for zero energy buildings grows, there is more interest in better understanding the costs. A series of studies have come out including one that shows the District of Columbia could save up to 60% on energy use in new commercial building developments by adding just 1-3% to the cost of construction. In addition to the energy use savings, key financial savings include: The return on investment for deep energy efficiency is 6 percent to 12 percent and rises to 33 percent to 36 percent when modeled for net zero energy using solar power. Advanced water conservation measures cost 1 percent to 3 percent, conserve 45 to 60 percent of the water usage and have a return on investment of 5 percent to 10 percent.

For the New Buildings Institute study
For the NBI Getting to Zero Buildings Database


ACTION: Go to the 2015 Getting to Zero National Forum
Zero energy is an ultra-efficiency building performance goal!

February 1-3, 2015 in Washington, D.C. Sign up!






- A burglar taking your $300 TV set can go to jail for years, and not be able to get a job when he’s out, but what happens if your house suffers thousands of dollars of damage from a large corporation fracking near you? Does justice apply to corporations these days? – Editor

Court Will Decide If Fracking Companies Can Be Held Responsible For Earthquakes

househarmedbyearthquakeWBOklahoma’s Supreme Court will decide whether two oil companies should be held financially responsible for injuries suffered by a woman during a 2011 earthquake thought to have been caused by drilling activity. If the woman’s lawsuit is successful, it could set a legal precedent for future earthquake claims against oil and gas companies in Oklahoma. Scientists increasingly believe that the large amount of water that is injected into the ground after a well is fracked can change the state of stress on existing fault lines to the point of failure, causing earthquakes.
and it is not just Oklahoma-

Texas Town at Center of Latest Earthquake Swarm Questions Fracking Impact


Thousands Of Montanans Can’t Drink Or Cook With Tap Water Because Of Oil Spill

YellowstoneRivercontaminatedWBThe estimated 50,000 gallons of crude oil that spilled from a pipeline into Montana’s Yellowstone River Saturday has forced truckloads of water to be shipped in to one Montana city, after traces of the oil were found in the city’s water supplies. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock declared a state of emergency Monday morning in Dawson — where Glendive is located — and Richland counties. Glendive City Council member Gerald Reichert said that he didn’t believe the reports of odors coming from residents’ taps until he smelled it in his own home. “Suddenly at our house there was a definite smell. It was a diesel smell,” Reichert said. The EPA also said in the statement that it was working to limit the spill’s spread by placing containment structures about 30 miles downstream from the spill site. It’s also trying to clean oil from the ice-covered parts of the river, but those icy conditions are making it difficult to find the oil that may have made its way underneath the ice.
and it’s not just there-

Water pollution from fracking confirmed in multiple states

and it’s not just the water that is contaminated-

First infrared analysis of oil and gas air pollution shows communities’ health risk

infraredreveealsairpollutionWBMaking visible normally invisible pollution, the study revealed that the communities of Lost Hills and Upper Ojai are exposed to at least 15 distinct toxics released by oil and gas development.
For the report Californians at Risk: An Analysis of Health Threats from Oil and Gas Pollution




For a useful group very concerned about the health dangers from toxic air pollution- Medical Advocates for Healthy Air (MAHA) 



Diesel in our water,
diesel in our air,
our kids are sick,
is that fair?


Parents, Teachers and Students Ask School Districts to Go 100% Renewable Energy

solarschoolsWBNow that solar is cheaper than electricity from the grid in 42 of 50 largest U.S. cities, it’s no wonder that a coalition of education, health, labor and environmental organizations launched a campaign to encourage North Carolina’s public school districts to transition to 100 percent renewable energy. The coalition also stresses the health benefits of going solar. They report that more than 50,000 students across the North Carolina suffer from asthma, making it the leading cause of missed school for children with chronic diseases.
For Repower Our Schools in North Carolina
For the very useful national report Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in US Schools- this report was produced to: (1) help K-12 schools understand the motivations and successes of current solar schools; (2) provide insight into the basic technical and financing aspects of these systems; (3) provide the most comprehensive baseline to date of K-12 schools with solar, providing a means for tracking future solar/school installation progress, and; (4) supply prospective solar school stakeholders with actionable information and lessons learned from previous projects so they can “go solar” with greater confidence.



Oregon Tech campus is the first U.S. university to meet
all of its energy needs with renewable electricity,
replacing the equivalent of $1 million a year in heating and electricity costs
from its on-campus geothermal and solar facilities.


Wash., Ore. Could Vastly Expand Renewable Power Production

PoweringUpOregonreportWBSolar, wind, hydropower, biomass, geothermal, and waste-to-energy electricity production could account for 98 percent of Oregon’s and Washington’s electricity needs in just 15 years, according to two new reports.


In a “High Renewables” scenario, Oregon has the potential to deploy as much as 7,864 megawatts (MW) of additional installed renewable electricity capacity by 2030 (enough to supply over 98 percent of overall state electricity use). Our report finds that this deployment would:
• Create almost 140,000 additional local jobs and over $8 billion more in wages and benefits during construction.
• After construction and during its operation, this new renewable energy would create nearly 2,500 additional annual jobs and nearly $150 million in annual wages and benefits.

BOTH WAYS, REALLY? . . . JANUARY 23- 29, 2015

 – Major paradigm shifts create battling and conflicting beliefs. Obama and the Pope are smart enough to recognize profound problems, yet cling to obsolete, destructive beliefs. Driving with brakes on doesn’t win the race! First from Obama in his State of the Union address- “No challenge – no challenge – poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” Then “And today, America is number one in oil and gas. The typical family this year should save $750 at the pump.” We can have it both ways- really?-  Editor
State of the Union address 2015 transcript

“We need to see, with the eyes of faith, the beauty of God’s saving plan, the link between the natural environment and the dignity of the human person. Men and women are made in the image and likeness of God, and given dominion over creation.
As stewards of God’s creation, we are called to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family. When we destroy our forests, ravage our soil and pollute our seas, we betray that noble calling.”
“Some think that, excuse me if I use this word, that in order to be good Catholics,
we have to be like rabbits.
No. Responsible paternity- that is clear.”

Pope responsible paternity quote WB

Pope Francis on the plane


- Next are the Pope’s conflicting paradigms. He clearly sees the “ravages” of both environmental and social impacts caused by unconstrained population growth. Yet modern contraception and abortion are forbidden! We will not solve the climate problem if numbers of people keep growing. – Editor

Polluting the planet is a betrayal of God, says Pope Francis

In comments made to reporters on board his flight from Sri Lanka to the Philippines, Pope Francis said that the “majority” of climate change is man’s fault, and that he had been disappointed at the political response in Lima.

Pope: ‘Catholics do not have to be like rabbits’

Pope Francis has supported the right of parents to choose the size of their families, saying good Roman Catholics did not have to keep having children. He told reporters on his flight home from the Philippines that the church supported safe, responsible parenthood.
BBC News

climatedenierCatholicsWBPope Francis Says Humans Cause Climate Change. These Catholic Members Of Congress Disagree

Thirty-five of those members of Congress are self-identifying Catholics, 12 of whom have used the tenets of Catholicism to justify certain policy positions.



49 pc of U S Senate just voted against basic climate science

It’s pretty sad what hundreds of millions of dollars in oil money will do to a democracy. Maybe a vote on gravity is next?


New Senate Environment Chair Gets His Gavel, Goes On Rant Arguing Climate Science Is A Hoax

Wednesday was a big day for Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK). In the morning, he officially took the gavel as chairman of the Senate’s Environment Committee. In the afternoon, he took the Senate floor for a long speech about how human-caused climate change is fake.
- Of course, Sen. Inhofe is from Oklahoma, where fracking for fossil fuels is worrying Oklahomans because of “incredible surges” of earthquakes! Wind and solar should be viewed as a blessing for this one reason alone- no creating unstable, quaking ground! – Editor

Vestas Signs On To 298 MW Oklahoma Wind Project

Danish wind energy juggernaut Vestas Wind Systems has announced it will be providing 149 wind turbines to the Kingfisher Wind project in Oklahoma.


- With solar and wind zooming forward, storage and 24/7 power are becoming more pivotal. Here’s one intriguing new system for 24/7 power generation! So many cities need to work on their pipes anyway, this could be invaluable! Get your city to review this! - Editor

electricityfromwaterpipesWBPortland Now Generating Hydropower In Its Water Pipes

A Portland start-up has tapped the city’s water pipes as a new source of renewable hydropower that doesn’t disrupt fish migration or stream flows. Lucid Energy has installed a series of small hydroelectric generators inside a pipe that carries drinking water to the city. It’s the first of its kind in the country. Lucid Energy CEO Gregg Semler said his company’s in-pipe system offers a way to generate hydropower without environmental impacts. Plus, he said, it’s constant – unlike solar and wind energy. The Lucid system taps the power of gravity in the city’s water system. “There’s a huge amount of potential for this,” he said. The company is already working on possible projects in California, Arizona and Las Vegas.
For an encouraging 2 minute video



(London’s) Financial Times Stock Exchange’s 100 chief executives had surpassed
the average employees wage by their second day at work this year.


- Social justice is related to climate change. Power in the hands of a few who make addictive amounts of money from fossil fuels and other obsolete destroyers clearly isn’t working! – Editor

Richest 1% on track to own more than all the rest by 2016

Global inequality has been labelled as “simply staggering” after it was revealed that the wealthiest 1% is set to own more than the rest of the population combined by 2016. A report published by charity Oxfam, entitled Wealth: Having it all and wanting more, found that the wealth gap is continuing to widen, despite the issue rising up the global agenda. The study has been released to coincide with the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
For the report


- Every time it gets cold, climate deniers say “See?” This simple graphic shows why our air temperatures have not risen as much as some expected- it is the oceans that are taking in the most energy. Definitely serious because some feel there might be ways to get CO2 out of the atmosphere, but no way to get it out of the oceans! – Editor


The oceans are warming so fast, they keep breaking scientists’ charts

NOAAChartWBGlobal warming is properly viewed as the amount of heat contained within the Earth’s energy system. The energy stored within the ocean (which is 90% or more of the total “global warming” heat), increased significantly. We can now say that the 2014 Earth had more heat (thermal energy) than any year ever recorded by humans. We can also say that the folks at NOAA will likely have to rescale their graph to capture the new numbers.
Guardian article
For the image, go to slide 2
For general audience article

- Many corporations are making commitments and claims about reducing environmental impacts. Measuring emissions is critical but needs accuracy and consistency. These new standards are key to comparing corporations and really understanding progress. Send this report to corporations! – Editor

For corporations- The new GHG Protocol- What you need to report now

GHGProtocolsScope2GuidanceWBBusinesses consume half of all the electricity produced, and generation of electricity, steam, heating and cooling accounts for 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. But an increasing number of companies are supplanting the energy purchased from nearby utilities with purchases of more solidly renewable sources. Given that the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard is used by most large companies the world over, with 86 percent of Fortune 500 companies responding to a Climate Disclosure Project survey about emissions using the GHG Protocol to report them, it’s likely to have a big impact
To standardize greenhouse gas emissions, the World Resources Institute released an updated Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard. The new GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance covers electricity purchases of various stripes.

We are seeing the accelerated impact of climate change. Last year was the hottest on record. That matters. Extreme weather is real.
It’s a complete no brainer to move towards cleaner, more livable cities.
The key is coming up with a vision of
how we are going to finance mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
If we can find ways of being creative, particularly on funding,
we are more likely to find agreement.”
Jim Kim, president of the World Bank

Davos 2015: World Bank chief makes climate action plea

The president of the World Bank has urged the international community to help developing nations cope with a warming planet as the first day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos was dominated by calls to make 2015 a year of action on climate change.
Al Gore launched an initiative to get the world’s population behind climate change ahead of crucial United Nation talks scheduled to begin in November by teaming up with pop star Pharrell Williams. A 24-hour-long live music extravaganza is to be held in June.


Al Gore and Pharrell Williams at Davos 2015- When I first felt how powerful Pharrell’s song Happy was (it’s hard to sit still), I immediately asked why we didn’t have music and popular icons as a powerful tool to grasp the hearts of the public on climate change. Looks like stiff Gore got the idea of using this upbeat cultural icon to reach those who bogey rather than dive into scientific reports. YES! Smart move! Bring on the singers, artists, pop stars of all genres to get people moving on stopping emissions and living the new life! – Editor
For more on Live Earth 

Transforming the way the world feeds itself
“One acre of lettuce in California requires about 190 million gallons of water to bring it to market.
If you grow that hydroponically or aquaponically, you could save about 163 million gallons of water.
If you multiplied that out across the state’s production of lettuce,
this one step would solve the state’s water crisis.
Traditional food production right now is a leading cause of climate change
and a leading cause of habitat destruction.
We simply can’t keep doing it this way and feed more people.
The leading cause of habitat destruction is expanding agricultural needs. ”
Bill Toone
Ecolife Conservation Foundation
As water becomes less available and weather more extreme, the safest food supply can be the one requiring little water and protected indoors that you can also walk to. Every city needs large, productive urban ag programs, for both emissions reductions and adaptation- being prepared when, for example, California stops sending enough vegies in because their water has run out!The price of California vegies does nothing but get more and more expensive. – Editor


- The issue of 24/7 electricity generation is critical since intermittency of solar and wind is a political rationale for not making the essential shift to renewables. Here is a new, flexible 24/7 system of modular distributed solar thermal (DST). Each small-footprint base unit is 100 kWh, and more modules can be added on. Towns, corporations, etc. could begin with the 5 modules shown in the picture (500 kWh) and then expand. Modules could be placed close to where the electricity is to be used, allowing grid-free electricity. The company is developing algae as a biogas to eventually replace the fossil gas. Arizona has the first module in the U.S., hopefully leading the way for others.  – Editor


Solar Tulip: 24/7 Solar Energy/Biofuel Power Plant Moves Forward SolarTulippowersourcestorageWB

Final construction of AORA Solar’s 24/7 solar energy/biofuel power plant is expected to be operational in September (in Arizona).
From the website: Tailored to demand- allowing for phased construction. Capable of producing constant output regardless of weather and solar conditions. Turbine can be powered by virtually any fuel including bio-gas. Ideal for arid climates- minimal water usage. 
For more information 

Britain brings back the battery-powered train

batterytrainWBThe first battery-powered train to run on Britain’s rail network in more than half a century is to enter passenger service this week. The pioneering engine marks an important milestone in the project to demonstrate the viability of an eco-friendly battery-powered train for the twenty-first century. The new train contributes to Network Rail’s commitment to reduce its environmental impact, improve sustainability and reduce the cost of running the railway by 20 per cent over the next five years.


Solar Is Cheaper Than the Grid in 42 of the 50 Largest US Cities reportGoingSolarinAmericaWB

Millions of people live in cities where going solar would cost them less than their current utility rates — and most of them don’t even know it. According to a new report by the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center, a fully-financed solar PV system costs less than the energy purchased from a residential customer’s local utility in 42 of the 50 largest cities in the United States.
For the report Going Solar in America 

“The mass loss of these glaciers is increasing at an amazing rate.”
Isabella Velicogna, Earth system scientist at both UC Irvine and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


- Over the years, talking with various climate scientists leaves one deeply unsettled- their aura of objectivity conflicts with the incredibly serious implications of their findings. Just recently, I was talking with a climate scientist I’ve known for years. He was explaining that the melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet could now be unstoppable which means major sea level rise over time. In the past, he was always so cool, so objective. This was the first time I could feel and see his distress and disbelief that humanity would allow this to happen, dooming coastal metropolitan areas and treasures around the world. My thought- “Finally, he gets it! – Editor

Antarctic warming ocean trebles glacial melt

As temperatures rise in the Southern Ocean, warmer currents are eroding the Antarctic ice sheet from below causing the melting rate to treble in two decades to 83 billion tonnes a year. The Antarctic ice shelf is under threat from a silent, invisible agency – and the rate of melting of glaciers has trebled in the last two decades.
For the report Multidecadal warming of Antarctic waters 


“Sea level is going to go up. The IPCC is right on that.
We can argue on how much, but the boundaries of that argument are within ‘bad’ or ‘worse.’
Greenland, for instance, is melting faster than anybody thought it would. Ditto Antarctica.
If you melted just a tenth of Greenland, you’d have .7 meter rise.
That finishes off Miami. That finishes off Wall Street.
It doesn’t take a lot to wreak havoc.”
Tim Barnett, a marine physicist with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography

- What a great argument for divestment in fossil fuels! Add Greenland and West Antarctica together! Wall Street- wake up! And if Wall Street wakes up, the Republicans will, too. – Editor

Sea Level Rise From Climate Change A ‘Larger Problem’ Than Thought, New Study Claims

For the report Correcting estimates of sea level rise 
For a good 3 minute video on Greenland ice melt 

- Are you confused? What planet are they on in Washington, anyway? – Editor

Senate to vote on whether climate change is happening


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday he will allow the Senate to vote on an amendment asking if they agree that climate change is impacting the planet. McConnell said “nobody is blocking any amendments” to legislation that would approve construction the Keystone XL pipeline.
A measure proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) asks whether lawmakers agree with the overwhelming consensus of scientists who say climate change is impacting the planet and is worsened by human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Democrats believe the measure could be a tough vote for some Republicans, particularly GOP senators running for reelection in 2016 in states carried by President Obama in 2012.

- Keystone pipeline is not the job creator that solar is! That’s a false excuse – Editor

Solar Is Creating Jobs Nearly 20 Times Faster Than Overall U.S. Economy

All those senators currently debating in Washington D.C., calling the Keystone XL pipeline approval bill an urgent “jobs creation bill,” are looking for jobs in all the wrong places. Renewable energy outperformed the slowly improving U.S. economy, creating jobs at nearly 20 times the rate of the overall economy. Last year, jobs in solar increased by 21.8 percent, adding up to 31,000 new jobs in 2014 and bringing the total number of solar-related jobs in the U.S. to 173,800. Those jobs can’t be outsourced, won’t disappear in two years like the Keystone XL construction jobs and don’t come with negative health impacts or harmful impacts on the environment.
For the report National Solar Jobs Census 2014 

“We saw a lot of climate adaptation plans (in cities throughout the state) that
seemed like separate, stand-alone documents.
They didn’t integrate well with day-to-day planning activities, master plans or ordinances.
This seemed pretty important:
Could we integrate a resilient adaptation plan with conventional master planning processes?”
Harry Burkholder, Resilient Michigan planner

- HOW transition plans are put together really matters. No matter how good your plan for climate is, if no one is following it, why waste the trees to print it? Probably the majority of climate plans are done separately from the ordinances and administrative processes, which leads to the “same old” not dealing with the new realities. Check out some useful ideas here! – Editor

MichiganclimatechangeWB“Resilient Michigan’ preparing cities for climate change

Resilient Michigan has spent the past year and a half in five towns updating master plans to account for planned changes associated with climate change. The area already is saving tens of thousands of dollars a year from energy efficiency measures. “Efficient use of energy is a crucial component of a resilient community. Reduced energy usage also reduces costs, pollution, and vulnerability to disruptions in supply. As communities live through extreme weather conditions, those climate impacts became real, very quickly.

Planning for Resilient Communities
The overall project mission is to foster and support community‐wide planning efforts that lead to the adoption of significant revisions to existing master plans to promote community resilience in the face of rapid economic changes and increasing climate variability.




“If the social cost of carbon is higher,
many more mitigation measures will pass a cost-benefit analysis.

DelavaneDiazStanfordWBDelavane Diaz, Stanford University report co-author

The real social cost of carbon- $220 per ton, report finds

How much does each ton of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere really cost us? A new paper contends that current government estimates of the “social cost of carbon” — a key metric of the economic damage caused by climate change used in cost-benefit analysis of regulations — could fall woefully short of reality. The researchers contend that the social cost of carbon on the global economy is actually about $220 for each ton of carbon dioxide emitted, a far cry from the $37 calculated by the U.S. government. The government may be improperly weighing the costs of carbon emissions while shaping regulatory policy.
For the report Temperature impacts on economic growth warrant stringent mitigation policy

“While setting methane standards for the first time is an important step, failing to immediately regulate existing oil and gas equipment nationwide
misses 90% of the methane pollution from the industry.
Conrad Schneider of the Clean Air Task Force

Obama’s climate plan won’t work if he can’t cut down on methane leaks

The White House just announced a goal of reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations 40 to 45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025. The plan involves new oil and gas wells. But environmentalists said the administration needs tighter regulations on existing oil and gas equipment, the source of roughly 90 percent of methane leaks. More broadly, the US can’t meet its climate goals — cutting greenhouse-gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 — without curtailing methane emissions, which are expected to rise with the fracking boom.
For the report Waste Not: Common sense ways to reduce methane pollution from the oil and natural gas industry  

ACTION: Thank EPA for curbing methane AND ask to include existing leaks

DOLLARS AND SOULS . . . . . JANUARY 9- 15, 2015

Companies spent over $670 billion (£430 billion) last year searching for and developing new fossil fuel resources.
They will need to rethink such substantial budgets if policies are implemented to support the 2°C limit.
Investors in these companies should also question spending such budgets.
I would expect prudent investors in energy to
shift increasingly towards low-carbon energy sources.”


Paul Ekins, report’s co-author and the University College London’s Institute for Sustainable Resources director


- What wonderful things could we do with $670 Billion! Money so often dictates decisions, but we waste so much on obsolete assumptions, rules, and practices, just redirecting what is spent now could lead us to a far more secure future!- Editor

Vast reserves of fossil fuels should be left untapped

The sheer scale of the fossil fuel reserves that will need to be left unexploited for decades if world leaders sign up to a radical climate agreement is revealed in a study by a team of British scientists. Policy makers must realise that their instincts to completely use the fossil fuels within their countries are wholly incompatible with their commitments to the 2°C goal.
It shows that almost all the huge coal reserves in China, Russia and the US should remain unused, along with over 260 billion barrels of oil reserves in the Middle East − the equivalent of Saudi Arabia’s total oil reserves. The Middle East would also need to leave over 60% of its gas reserves in the ground. In total, a third of global oil reserves, half of the world’s gas and over 80% of its coal reserves should be left untouched for the next 35 years.
For the report 

“When you’re building a power plant today, you’re not just thinking about what the price of fuel is today, you should be thinking about what the price of fuel will be over the life of that power plant.
You will always know what the price (of wind) will be (it’s free, the only costs are mechanical).
You can’t say that about any other (fossil fuel) energy source.”


Michael Goggin, Director Research, American Wind Energy Association

recordcoldwithwindWBWind power saved PJM residents $1 billion in two days

Wind power saved PJM residents $1 billion in two days last year. Frigid Arctic temperatures spread over the 13 Mid Atlantic and Great Lakes states (PJM) on January 6 and 7, 2014. There was not enough conventional energy to meet demand. According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), spot prices would have skyrocketed if had there not been an abundance of wind energy available.

“Do we want dirty expensive coal/ nuclear from aging plants or
do we want new solar and wind that is guaranteed for 25 years?
(The power company) PNM said they have this model called Strategist, and
it chose coal and nuclear to reinvest in.
We said we have to see that model.
We paid $17,000 for 2 month lease, and
when we ran PNM numbers, it was astounding.
We found out it was not prudent to reinvest in coal and nuclear, but also in this case, to close down the entire San Juan (coal) plant as more economical for ratepayers over 20 years.
It’s 330 million dollars cheaper to close down the entire coal plant and
to invest in solar, wind and gas.
And that is the truth.”


Mariel Nanasi, Executive Director, New Energy Economy


This short verbal summary from the radio doesn’t explain that the initial report done by the power company PNM concluded that coal and nuclear were the best- and cheapest, but when the inputs to the program were reviewed, various issues came up. Large underestimates for cost of coal, and additional assumptions clearly biased the results. When more accurate figures were used, the conclusions were totally different! For those of us who have run the numbers using computers, GI-GO (Garbage In- Garbage Out) remains true! When any report defies logic- it’s cheaper to pay for fuel than get it free, for example- go back to the original numbers to look for flaws.
Of course, even if the free fuel of sun and wind were more expensive, the world can’t take more coal! When one is in survival mode, survival has to top economics! – Editor
KSFR Radio clip
And for the New Energy Economy organization (report not yet available)


- For additional information on the battle occurring in Northern NM this week- here health, jobs, and water use in our desert are added in the discussion- the health impacts of living near coal are horrendous, and this does not mention the brain-damaging poison mercury in coal plant emissions. So many lakes and streams in New Mexico are poisoned that fishing is prohibited in many areas! Is polluting our earth and our life what we want? – Editor

Public Regulatory Commission should reject PNM’s fossil fuel-laden plan

pnm_san_juan_generating_stationWBPNM’s assessments, however, do not adequately account for human suffering caused by the coal plants and mines. According to the San Juan Citizens Alliance, SJGS contributes 33 premature deaths, 600 asthma attacks, 31 asthma-related emergency room visits, along with associated socialized health care costs exceeding $254 million every year.
I’ll mention in closing an oft-overlooked feature of energy generation: water usage. Thermoelectric power plants account for 41 percent of all freshwater withdrawals in the United States. As a recirculation-cooled power plant, San Juan Generating Station consumes between 480 and 1,100 million gallons of water per year. With shrinking reservoirs and an increasingly insurmountable water debt to our southerly neighbors, we can ill afford in our high desert climate to evaporate so much water

2014 Was The Hottest Year On Record Globally By Far

chartrisingtemperaturesworldwideWBThe Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has announced that 2014 was the hottest year in more than 120 years of record-keeping — by far. NOAA is expected to make a similar call in a couple of weeks and so is NASA.
For the chart and the announcement 


“Around 60% of businesses expect that more regular heatwaves over the next 20 years would hit their profits, when many industries would have to heatproof their operations, including agriculture, retail, and insurance companies. They are thinking about how can we insure for extreme events like bushfires that are precipitated by heatwaves, so they have to model for an increasingly unpredictable climate. Large shopping centres are looking at dramatic increases in electricity costs as they try to increase air conditioning.
Heatwaves are becoming longer, and they are becoming more severe, and that becomes hard to manage depending in which business sector you are in.
Almost two-thirds of businesses expect future heatwaves to hit their profits!
So my own take is that a lot of businesses are probably fairly unprepared for what is coming.”


Prof Christopher Wright from the University of Sydney Business School


- Do increasing temperatures really matter? “Heat-proofing” farming will eventually be “fruitless.” It’s already getting harder to produce food outside. Temporary measures can work for a while, but raise new questions. What are the health impacts from eating sunscreen in your fruits and your wine? What foods will no longer even be available in the future? But if our minds are riddled only in economics, having two thirds of businesses already realizing that climate change will impact their profits is BIG, and puts a monstrous hole in economic arguments for continuing fossil fuels! – Editor

Why Australians are using sunblock to protect grape crops

Sunblock is being used to safeguard the health and vitality of Australian grapes as the nation reflects on another scorching year when temperature records continued to tumble. This region has temperatures that can exceed 113F (45C). Spraying sunscreen on grapes is now routine.
BBC Article


- Watch sixteen minutes of hope! Major rethinking of all our systems is so fundamental now that seeing such rethinking of basic assumptions at the neighborhood level makes you want to get off your duff and make good, sustainable transitions happen right where you live! “Criminals” lead the way to sustainability and amazing neighborhood- and personal- regeneration! This is replicable everywhere in some form or another! – Editor

Farmin’ in The Hood 2

Everything from Urban Agriculture to Robotics and a huge basement full of Aquaponic growing. A 20K square ft Laboratory that will change the game for the inner city youth.
Watch You Tube 
For donations


This article may seem irrelevant, but it haunted me. Do read it! The Froot Loop experiment is fabulous! It should be required of everyone!
Climate destroying emissions are created by just 2 big variables- the amount of carbon emissions each of us creates multiplied by the number of people. If greed overtakes our brains, as it has with so many, it’s not good for our earth, our future, and our souls! So much would fall into place if we could get to this fundamental, deep issue. People like the Koch brothers seem victimized by insatiable craving. – Editor

What wealth does to your soul

dontletmoneygotoyourheadWBGetting rich won’t make you happy. But it will make you more selfish and dishonest. What is clear about rich people and their money — and becoming ever clearer — is how it changes them. A body of quirky but persuasive research has sought to understand the effects of wealth and privilege on human behavior. There is a growing awareness that the yawning gap between rich and poor is no longer a matter of simple justice but also the enemy of economic success and human happiness. It’s not just bad for the poor. It’s also bad for the rich. It’s funny, when you think about it, how many rich people don’t know this. But they are not idiots; they can learn.

Why Pope Francis is going green in 2015

pope_francisWBIn March 2015, according to The Guardian, following a visit in Tacloban, the Philippine city ravaged by typhoon Haiyan in 2012, the pope will issue an encyclical on climate change and human ecology, the first environmentally themed encyclical in history. He is also slated to address the UN General Assembly in September and convene a summit of world religious leaders to address climate change.

Why is the pope doing all of this?
First, perhaps Pope Francis wishes to make clear that when it comes to matters of creation, the church should be a major player, not a marginal voice. The earth is not just a geopolitical arena, but it is also, from an ecclesial perspective, God’s creation, and is thus of central concern to the church.
Second, perhaps Francis is underscoring that this is not just a question of policies and carbon emissions, critical as they are, but it is also one of persons, especially poor and vulnerable persons, who often contribute the least to carbon emissions but suffer the most from “climate chaos”.
Third, might Pope Francis be suggesting that climate change is not only a moral crisis, but a deeply spiritual crisis as well, one that cuts to the core of who we are and how we relate to all that is?


The incoming Congress has pledged to pass a bill that would force the approval of the dangerous Keystone XL tar sands pipeline as one of its very first actions. But on Tuesday, the White House announced that the president would NOT sign Congress’s KXL bill. It is more important now than ever before to encourage President Obama to stand by this pledge!

MOVING TO WARTIME FOOTING . . . . Dec. 5, 2014 – Jan. 8, 2015

“Harvard’s endowment is 36.4 billion dollars- the largest endowment in the world.
Our main motivator should be about the students, and
how can you invest in fossil fuel companies that are threatening our future?
It is an immoral bet against my generation.”
Chloe Maxmin, 22 year old Harvard student and co-founder Divest Harvard
Watch the CNN video!

The 22 year old is right! Is she alone? What do some thinking investors believe? Here is a warning from Jeremey Grantham, a British investor and co-founder and chief investment strategist of a Boston-based asset management firm, who also warns of the need for rapid change from a different angle. – Editor

The Beginning of the End of the Fossil Fuel Revolution (From Golden Goose to Cooked Goose)

It is vital, therefore, to emphasize fuel efficiency, reduce wastage of all kind, and encourage the rapid development of sustainable “alternative” forms of energy, particularly those that displace oil. These alternatives are competitive today with only very high-cost fossil fuels but in 20 to 30 years, if encouraged, may replace $40 or $50 barrels of oil, at which price the global economic system may muddle through. Unfortunately, this target is hindered by the fossil fuel industries, which actively oppose incentives for alternatives.
As a sign of the immediacy of this problem, we have never spent more money developing new oil supplies than we did last year (nearly $700 billion) nor, despite U.S. fracking, found less – replacing in the last 12 months only 4½ months’ worth of current production! Clearly, the writing is on the wall. It is now up to our leadership and to us as individuals to read it and act accordingly.

“The world is likely to strengthen its resolve on climate change.
Investments in fossil fuels should be seen as a rather risky activity.”
Nicholas Stern, member U.K. House of Lords, and former chief economist at the World Bank

Oil Investors at Brink of Losing Trillions of Dollars in Assets

Some operators and regulators are taking note of the risks from exposure to fossil fuels. EON SE, Germany’s biggest utility and second-largest polluter, said yesterday it will spin off its fleet of dirty, aging power stations and oil fields to focus on renewable energy.
Hours later, a letter emerged from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney to a committee in Parliament stating that he had instructed his staff to review whether sizable losses from stranded coal, oil and gas reserves could hurt banks, investors, insurance companies and the rest of the financial system.
Bloomberg Article


Bank of England to assess ‘carbon bubble’ risk



This is really important! The faster signals are sent, the faster solutions will fall into place. Speed is our survival mechanism. – Editor

ACTION: JOIN Global Divestment Day in February- Prep Workshop December 10

Global Divestment Day Web Workshop 1: Planning For Action
Wednesday, December 10th 5:30pm PT/8:30pm ET
GlobaldivestmentdayAreyouinWBLet’s make fossil fuels history!
On February 13 and 14, we need thousands of people everywhere to turn out and take up collective action demanding our institutions do what is necessary for climate action by divesting from fossil fuels.
To answer questions and generate ideas with you on how to participate in this historic day, we are holding an open web workshop Wednesday, December 10, 2014.
GoFossilFree website






- Beyond divestment, we must take a serious look at determining embodied energy in the things we consume. An electric car is not enough. So much destruction around the world happens because of consumerism. Estimates range, in part because of measuring different variables, in part because it’s complex! Is it only an energy issue when a primal forest is torn down for paper towels? One study says 44 percent of our total emissions are from “stuff”- non-food products and packaging. Others say 68% when food is included! This can not be ignored, and is so relevant around the holidays. – Editor

Urban RAM: Assessing the Energy Impact of Having People in Cities

embodied energy68percentWBA new model—the Urban Rapid Assessment Model (Urban RAM)—was built to provide a high-level breakdown of the major contributors to a given city’s energy and carbon footprint. By allocating both embodied and operational energy consumption to the various functions of city residents, such as living, commuting, shopping, or working, it is possible to understand better the drivers of urban emissions growth and areas of possible policy intervention. The model calculated three-quarters is energy embodied in the city’s infrastructure and goods and services consumption and the other 26% is operational energy. Of the embodied energy, nearly 80% came from goods and services that city residents consume each year, of which nearly half came from food and nearly one quarter embodied in the clothing.
Everyone knows that it takes energy to produce anything. The energy used in mining, transport, processing, manufacturing, delivery, management and disposal is “embodied” in every product we consume.

‘A Quarter Of The Energy We Use Is Just In Our Crap’- Black Friday And The Destruction Of Planet Earth

The tragic irony is that much of this holiday shopping is supposedly for our kids — and yet this overconsumption is a core part of our climate inaction, which, as President Obama has said, is a betrayal of our children!

U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Systems-based view including emissions embodied in international trade

Productsandpackaging44pcGGemissionsWBBased on the report, nonfood products are associated with 37 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Extending the EPA analysis to include the impacts from producing products abroad that are consumed in the U.S. brings the share of products and packaging to 44 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.













What a great question! Cities should whittle away at consumerism. So many solutions exist! Here are many that are easily implementable- start a project or two in your city, help slow the ripping apart of our Earth and feel great! – Editor

What Role Should Cities Play in Sustainable Consumption?

toolswapWBToday Portland is on the cutting edge of an issue with which cities around the world are grappling: sustainable consumption. ResourcePDX is a program encouraging Portlanders to buy smart, reuse, borrow and share, and fix and maintain to reduce waste.
For Resourceful PDX 

Geegaw Nation

tackychristmasdecorationsWB’Tis the season: for plastic, for wrapping, for quantity, for abundance. Has the sheer abundance of our continent ultimately conspired to corrupt our better angels? Or were we doomed by some inner corruption, some genetic predisposition to be the bipedal locusts hoovering up all in their path? Do all the geegaws we purchase this holiday season give us any more sense of well-being? Where we have ended up is as the spoiled kid on Christmas morning, surrounded by new geegaws and already bored.




- Dr. Sandra Steingraber understands “the unextendable time frame that remains to us.” She won’t be buying boxes and boxes of plastic gee-gaws for the family! Have you had the experience of being deeply concerned for life on this planet and the well-being of our kids while others blindly re-enact the lifestyle of America’s 1950’s, continuing Earth’s destruction? I sure have! – Editor

The Crappy Mom Manifesto- Letter to Fellow Mothers from the County Jail

crappymombeingarrestedWBWe mothers who are already fighting on the frontlines (of protesting fracking) —with our whole hearts, all of our spare cash and as much time away from our kids, spouses and jobs as we dare offer— inhabit two parallel worlds. When we rush back from the rally, the press conference, the public hearing, the arraignment, in order to attend the soccer game, the Halloween party, the parent-teacher conference, we listen to other moms talk about bake sales, home improvement projects, vacation plans. Some of us are on wartime footing. Some of us don’t yet know there is a war going on.






- Major solutions in providing responsible electricity are occurring more rapidly in some places. Here we have national, state, and city examples which must serve as models for others to truly cut global emissions. Help make these new models work wherever you are!- Editor


E.ON’s move would be “a great influence on the Energiewende, making it more possible and probable. This is a structural change that gives you hope that our big approaches will have success.
It is really something.”


Maria Krautzberger, President of the German Federal Environment Agency

E.On’s switch to renewables is a sign of things to come, say experts

ECOnelectriccompanyGermanyWBGermany based energy giant E.ON has announced it is switching its focus to renewable energy, away from nuclear, coal and gas energy. More companies are likely to follow. The Energiewende transformation is reconfiguring Germany’s power generating capacity, with a nuclear phase-out planned by 2022 and a renewables roll-out that is slated to provide 35-40% of electricity by 2025, rising to 55-60% by 2035 and at least 80% by 2050. About a quarter of Germany’s electricity currently comes from renewables compared to 6.2% in the US and 4.8% in France.
and even the state of Hawaii is jumping in:

NextEra Energy to acquire Hawaiian Electric Industries in $4.3B deal

NextEra Energy announced plans to acquire Hawaiian Electric Industries in a $4.3 billion transaction. The Florida energy company plans to move Hawaiian Electric further toward renewable energy, adding more rooftop solar energy, improving Hawaii’s electric grid and decreasing the state’s use of foreign oil. Hawaiian Electric provides power to about 95 percent of Hawaiians.



and get your city to compete with Palo Alto:

A California Community Shoots for the Moon: Palo Alto Targets Carbon Neutrality

Palo Alto, the heart of Silicon Valley and regional birthplace of Google, is eyeing today’s version of reaching the moon—becoming the first carbon-neutral city in the United States. Palo Alto’s now carbon-neutral (and soon to be all-renewable) electricity prices are 23 percent below the California average.
The City website


Happy holidays of simplicity! Share non-consumable joys! We will, plus taking time to catch up on other projects- please join us again in January! – Editor

BRICKS FALLING, ONE BY ONE. . . November 14- December 4, 2014

Barack Obama Xi Jinping

- Disastrous U.S. election results might blind us from seeing some of the bricks falling, one by one, from the Berlin Climate Wall. Berlin’s seemingly permanent wall, mortared together with rigid fear, fell quickly, but only once people took power. Controlling climate won’t be one big whack at the wall, but bricks are falling. Beijing helps tackle a piece of the wall; yet, there are still huge segments beyond Beijing. Each of us can haul off a wheel barrel of bricks, too. – Editor

The climate deal that almost wasn’t

Top administration officials had worked secretly for months to nail down a major climate change deal with China. When the sides finally agreed to a final text late Tuesday, Obama had secured a startling political and policy victory — one that turbocharges his goal to reduce global carbon emissions and invigorates a presidency deflated by last week’s midterm elections. Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping stood side by side on a raised platform in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, greeted by a military band and cheering schoolchildren, to announce that the world’s two biggest carbon polluters were jointly pledging to throttle their greenhouse gas output — with the hope that the rest of the world will follow. The administration took pains to keep a tight lid on the talks for fear that leaks could spook the Chinese. Analysts warned that the 2025 target won’t do enough by themselves to limit the average global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, which scientists call the tipping point to preventing catastrophic climate change. Future administrations will need to make even bigger cuts.

My take is that this is an historic agreement for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that we now have a good faith effort on the part of the planet’s two leading carbon emitters to
work together to lower planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.
 It is probably our last-ditch opportunity to stave off
dangerous human interference with the climate.”
Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University.
Efforts to reduce U.S. emissions have been blocked, in part, by people who argue that the U.S. should wait for China to act. [The deal] has potential to get us all beyond what has been a major — maybe the major — political challenge for emissions reductions in the U.S.”
Paul Higgins, a climatologist and Director of the American Meteorological Society’s Policy Program
“There will be a lot of pressure on the rest of the world if the U.S., China, and Europe are all on board to getting major reductions in emissions going. An important part of this is that it will likely produce momentum in energy and transportation systems towards alternative approaches that hopefully will in turn then drive prices down.”
Donald Wuebbles, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Illinois
“The agreement with China is a good first step. But we hope it is but a first step because it is not enough to prevent significant climate change. Since the current strategy allows considerable climate change to occur, a second part needs to be how we will cope with the changes that will certainly occur. The absence of such planning means we live with the consequences, which can be severe and uneven, and often fall on the heads of many innocent peoples
such as small island states inundated with high sea levels.”
Kevin Trenberth, distinguished senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

“It does at least begin to move the US in the right direction, but let me say behind the European Union. The EU and other countries are using 1990 as the baseline, the US is using 2005, and that does make it easier for the US.
Nevertheless, this is a very important announcement.
It means we are very likely to get an agreement in Paris in December 2015.”
Sir David King, UK’s lead climate diplomat

“I don’t think it’s hyperbole. It’s a groundbreaking political moment.
It will change the nature of these negotiations.”
Heather Coleman, climate change policy manager at Oxfam America
“This is an incredibly positive signal, but we need more.”
Nat Keohane, vice president of international climate at the Environmental Defense Fund
“I hope that this pledge becomes a very low floor for presidential aspirants and
not a ceiling for what is possible in the United States.
Erich Pica, president of the environmental group Friends of the Earth

Bill McKibben- The Big Climate Deal: What It Is, and What It Isn’t-
10 things you need to know about the US-China climate deal
It is historic. It isn’t binding in any way. It is proof that renewable energy is ready to go. It is not remotely enough to keep us out of climate trouble. It is a good way to put pressure on other nations. It is a reason projects like Keystone XL and fracking make even less sense than ever. It’s not, in any way, a stretch goal. It is — and this is the real key — a reminder that movements work. It isn’t, in other words, a reason to slack off one bit in the ongoing fight for a livable climate, a fight we must continue at all cost.

Article at 350

Obama is throwing down the gauntlet.
It takes away the “But we can’t do anything because China won’t” argument.
It’s another death knell for the coal industry.
Republicans are becoming internationally isolated, and it makes them look foolish.

US climate pledge 4% less ambitious than at Copenhagen

KerryandXiWBPresident Barack Obama’s pledge to curb US greenhouse gas emissions 26-28% on 2005 levels by 2025 received widespread praise on Wednesday. But the figures presented to the world are actually 2-4% less ambitious than those the US tabled in 2010 in the aftermath of the Copenhagen Accord, agreed at a UN summit in 2009. The reality is the US government won’t have to change its policy significantly to meet its new goal. It’s becoming clearer much of this joint pact is simply business as usual, now packaged up in an agreement that makes that trajectory slightly harder to break.

38 federal agencies reveal their vulnerabilities to climate change — and what they’re doing about it

The Obama administration published a small library’s worth of climate change documents on Friday, outlining 38 federal agencies’ vulnerabilities to global warming and how they will address them — as well as a separate and even larger set of new government-wide plans to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and achieve new targets for sustainability. In many cases, the vulnerabilities revealed are stark. The Defense Department released its own updated adaptation plan earlier this month, with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel describing climate change as a “threat multiplier” because it worsens many of the challenges that the military faces, including terrorism and disease. The Department of Agriculture, for instance, sees “the potential for up to 100 percent increase in the number of acres burned annually by 2050″ by wildfires. The Department of Health and Human Services, in its new report, says it views climate change as “one of the top public health challenges of our time.”

For a list of reports


Way above what I would say are more standard returns,
I think renewable energy is good business.
I think we could really start a renewable energy movement in the U.S.
If businesses act, and
we don’t wait for policy, it could make a big difference.”
Rose Marcario, CEO, Patagonia

- Recognizing our power and not waiting are vital!  The power of a rose! – Editor

Patagonia Will Start Paying for Homeowners’ Solar Panels

Patagonia plans to use state and federal tax credits to invest $13 million in the construction of solar panels on 1,000 homes in Hawaii, turning the eco-conscious retailer into the financial backer of a green electrical utility. Patagonia is joining forces with a tiny solar-financing company, Kina’ole Capital Partners as well as a local Hawaiian bank to create a $27 million fund to pay for rooftop installation and upkeep. The goal is to make solar energy available to homeowners at no upfront cost. Customers will instead pay monthly fees for the electricity generated, at a rate about 40 percent lower than average in Hawaii, according to Kina’ole. Patagonia and Kina’ole are eager to advise other companies on how to make use of state and federal tax credits and direct tax money to build clean energy infrastructure.

Andrew Yani and Blair Herbert, founders of Kina’ole Capital

- Look what two people can accomplish! A great vision, determination, and willingness to dare to think big! Get some friends together, be inspired, dream, plan, take risks, and get started! Don’t wait for Federal policy to do it, especially this post-election! – Editor
For Yani and Herbert’s small solar-financing company- Kina’ole Capital
Kina’ole Capital Partners is a solar finance company dedicated to offering low-cost, solar energy that saves our customers money while contributing to our country’s shift to clean, renewable energy.
Last year the startup approached Patagonia about investing tax equity in building a renewable energy infrastructure in Hawaii. Marcario sealed the deal within a month.
One example from prior projects- Portfolio Spotlights: Simply Storage: By The Numbers
298 state-of-the-art panels manufactured in the USA by SolarWorld; $29,135 Yearly Savings
In just under two and a half years, their solar system paid for itself; In 30 years, Simply Storage will have saved more than 1.8 million dollars on its electric bill.

- The rules of the game are shifting rapidly. Large organizations like utilities tend to just fight change, failing to see the writing on the doomed wall. – Editor

Solar + storage is cost effective already in Australia

UBSsolarbatterydemandWBA new study from investment bank UBS says solar plus storage already make economic sense for Australian households. The arrival of cost-competitive solar plus storage will have major impacts on utilities, depending on how they react. They could see it as an opportunity – and provide zero-down installations of battery storage and solar to their customers and help the costs come down even quicker for Australian households. Or they could see it as a threat, and leave the way open for others to do the same. The UBS analysis estimates that such systems are already offering a return of capital of 10 per cent a year or more compared to buying power from the grid.

Solar Panels + Energy Storage For German Market

Berlin-solarwithbatteriesWBAn integrated residential rooftop solar and energy storage system will be launched in Germany in December. Hanwha Q Cells rooftop solar and Samsung lithium-ion batteries will be sold together so German citizens can produce their own electricity from the sun and store it at home. The integrated storage technology is called Q.HOME. The intention of the Hanwha Q CELLS and Samsung energy storage residential product is to allow consumers to become more independent of the grid. This goal not long ago was generally perceived as being something for a survivalist living in a rustic cabin. Now it seems almost poised to become mainstream, at least in Germany.


- Paying for solar panels and energy efficiency through property taxes makes total sense, with potential to rapidly accelerate city energy goals, but until now, the Feds have put major kinks in a great system. Some more bricks just got quietly hauled off!  – Editor

Are Housing Regulators Quietly Dropping Their Opposition to PACE?

PACEHomeMortgageWBThe Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) public opposition to property-assessed clean energy (PACE) initially slowed growth of these programs, which allow homeowners to finance an energy efficiency retrofit or renewable energy installation over twenty years through their property taxes. Many communities worried that FHFA would redline them if they expanded PACE offerings. The FHFA is reportedly easing its opposition to local programs that allow homeowners to pay for renewable energy and efficiency retrofits through their property taxes. For the past four years, FHFA has been publicly opposed to underwriting mortgages for homeowners that have received property-assessed clean energy (PACE) loans. After five years of experience, there is no evidence that PACE has increased the risk of default. In the last year, communities throughout California, Connecticut, Florida and New York have started offering PACE loans in record numbers.
For a good place to learn more and check on your state’s status

Texas Utility Oncor Wants to Invest $5.2B in Storage- Can It Get Approval?

TXOncorWBTexas utility Oncor wants to spend billions of dollars on batteries to back up its transmission and distribution network– a major investment in grid-scale energy storage that will require major changes in the country’s most deregulated energy market. Oncor’s plan calls for up to 5 gigawatts of batteries, ranging from refrigerator-sized to containerized units, across its service territory. The Dallas Morning News mentioned that utility executives had met with Tesla Motors, builder of the Giga factory lithium-ion assembly plant in Nevada, along with several other companies with similar distributed-scale energy storage products on the market. Oncor’s plan represents one of the biggest potential energy storage procurement opportunities in the country — if it actually comes to pass. So far, California has led the country in energy storage, with a 1.3-gigawatts-by-2022 mandate.



- Divestment typically means some reinvestment strategies. Lots of options, but beware of some advisors- this list includes natural gas- not wise if you care about human and environmental health! – Editor
2015 Alternative Energy Stock Predictions
Time to lay out my top five alternative energy stock picks for the coming year.


Enjoy your holidays! We are taking a few weeks off for other piled-high projects, plus several days with delightful friends, support for the local, organic food economy, and no carbon footprints of air travel!