- The European adults smile upon making this climate agreement, despite the fact it’s a total compromise. Scientists, their research, and the Earth plead for faster action- so the young boy here represents his generation- what are the impacts for him and his peers? This picture says it all! The U.S. E.P.A. is similarly proud, yet its proposed Clean Power Plan sets an even weaker target, which scientists are trying to make somewhat more ambitious. – Editor
EU leaders agree to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030
European leaders have struck a broad climate change pact obliging the EU as a whole to cut greenhouse gases by at least 40% (of 1990 levels) by 2030. But key aspects of the deal that will form a bargaining position for global climate talks in Paris next year were left vague or voluntary, raising questions as to how the aims would be realised.
States Can Produce Twice as Much Renewable Electricity as EPA Calculated
The EPA should increase the total emissions reductions achieved by the Clean Power Plan from 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 to approximately 40 percent. Strengthening other parts of the plan could help achieve even deeper reductions
For the plan
“We could argue that we should just let nature take its course,
but nature has never really faced this situation before.
We’ve just never seen things changing at this pace.”
Meredith Cornett, the science director of the Nature Conservancy chapter conducting the experiment
“I was someone who was a real believer of keeping things in their own ranges.
The quote that hits home for me is that ‘climate change changes everything.’
It’s true. It’s just a game changer.”
John Pedlar, Natural Resources Canada forest landscape biologist
– What are the trees thinking of the proposed emissions cuts? Of course we want our forests to stay the same beautiful places of nature they have been! But deeply held beliefs about preserving nature are grinding against reality, and not facing our changing reality can lead to disasters. Having been through miles of burnt forests that are predicted to never grow back with the same species because of temperature increases, it’s better to be realistic, face the changes, and then move wisely forward. Don’t waste time, money, and years of labor doing something that’s going to fail! Adaptation is critical! – Editor
If you plant different trees in the forest, is it still the same forest?
The Nature Conservancy wants to test “assisted migration”, a lightning-rod conservation practice that broadly means moving species from one region to another either to help that species or the target region adapt to changing conditions. The Iron Range Experiment, is a small test meant to compare how specific tree species – and genotypes, or variations – within those species fare under different climate conditions and forestry practices.
For the article Placing Forestry in the Assisted Migration Debate
“This takes the bulk purchase model from individual neighborhoods and organizations to a national scale. A coast-to-coast, low, flat rate helps mitigate two major barriers of solar adoption — complexity and price — making it possible
for more American families to save the planet without leaving their homes.”
Keya Chatterjee, senior director of renewable energy at WWF
– Sluggish politics be damned! We CAN change! Speed bottoms up while top down slugs along! – Editor
Cheap Solar Power Just Became An Employee Benefit For More Than 100,000 People
Three major companies announced they will now give employees a deeply discounted way of buying or leasing solar panels for their homes. Called the Solar Community Initiative, the program promises a flat rate that is on average 35 percent lower than the national average and roughly 50 percent less expensive than average electric utility rates. New organizations — including companies, municipalities, schools, and clubs — can join the Solar Community initiative to increase their bulk purchasing power and utilize Geostellar’s platform to expand access to cheap solar for employees, residents or members.
For short video
A Norwegian Town Paid People A “Reverse Toll” If They Walked Or Biked
A clever way to get support for more bike lanes: hand out cash to anyone not commuting in a car. As cyclists and pedestrians passed a certain point on the main street in the town of Lillestrøm, Norway, they were pulled over by local officials–not to be ticketed or warned about wearing a bike helmet, but to be handed cash. The town was experimenting with a “reverse toll“: Everyone commuting without a car was given about $15. Here’s hoping it serves as inspiration for cities like New York, where police have been criticized for ticketing cyclists more often than drivers, or London, where police pulled over cyclists to tell them to wear brighter clothing. More cities should focus on telling active commuters what they’re doing right.
– These 2 articles offer insights into the power of motivating employees to create major environmental changes, and these ideas can apply to any offices, manufacturing plants, schools, and more. Educating and motivating employees about climate change, the need to reduce all waste, and more is critically important! Most people work somewhere! Having been a corporate Environmental Planner, I know there is tremendous potential in companies with thousands of employees to reduce emissions and waste of all types. These 2 articles are focusing on the “bottom’s up” approach, educating and empowering employees to face the challenges. Of course, local organic food would reduce emissions and environmental destruction even more, but as long as people throw packaged foods into their grocery carts, it’s better to reduce the impacts from manufacturing. Educating and motivating employees, however, applies everywhere. – Editor
ConAgra Foods’ green strategy: Award employees for sustainability efforts
Last year, ConAgra Foods — the U.S. packaged-foods company – saved millions of dollars while dramatically cutting its energy consumption. The accomplishments stemmed from an awards program, launched in 1992, developed to encourage employees to proactively look for ways to eliminate waste and reduce water and energy consumption. By allowing different divisions to set their own sustainability goals and awarding employees that met those goals, the Nebraska food giant saved 300 million gallons of water, eliminated 61,000 tons of landfill waste and reduced its carbon emissions by more than 43,000 metric tons. These efforts also saved the company $28 million.
How ConAgra sets the table for climate resilience
Some basic training came first. “Initially, we had to educate our team on what GHGs are and our past performance, so that they could understand and communicate to others about our goals,” said ConAgra’s senior EHS specialist Debbie Stanley. The hardest part was actually putting in the time and resources to ensure employees understood GHGs. To get employees on board with energy efficiency, ConAgra’s frozen food facility held a Green Day during Earth Month. The local Green Team led activities to raise awareness and engage employees, hosting games such as “Spin the Wheel,” to help them learn about energy facts, and a dice game, to answer questions on all three key resources — electricity, water and compressed air. The rewards are many, from lowering utility costs for the facility, to boosting employee enthusiasm for the measures. “We’ve made [it] a big deal by really recognizing those who helped implement sustainability projects.”
“When there is a national emergency, a homeland security disaster, (like) a flood or tornado,
you want your National Guard to be able to continue to operate.
So having our energy source supply that is renewable, that generates our own power, and not be dependent on the grid is very important for us.”
National Guard tests novel wind funnels
The Michigan National Guard is spending $1.5 million on two new machines to generate electricity from wind. Unlike traditional windmills, the system captures wind from all directions, concentrating and accelerating it before sending it through a turbine on the ground, according to its designer Sheerwind. The company says that the system generates six times more electrical energy than conventional wind turbines and can work at wind speeds as low as 2 mph. And it’s cheaper to build and operate. The Michigan National Guard seeks to increase the percentage of renewable energy that it uses to 25 percent by 2020.
For a fun video to see turbines spinning inside
“When you speak to homeowners, the common feedback is, yeah, I’m interested in solar, but I’ve heard the payback takes a long time. Then we have to education them, that there is no payback.
The savings are immediate and you’re just paying less for energy.
Given the choice of paying more for dirty power or less for clean power, which one do you like? Then they giggle, they start asking questions, why isn’t everybody doing this?
It’s that tipping point, it’s that moment, where people realize, wow, this is real.
There is no investment. The system gets installed,
I just pay for the energy, and I pay less for that energy than I paid the utility.
I’m still connected to the utility—
but for 60 percent of my electrical needs, I’m paying 20 to 30 percent less.”
Lyndon Rive, CEO, Solar City
Explaining to customers the benefits of Solar City’s financing methods
There Is No Cost to Solar Energy, Only Savings
How To Make Electric School Buses As Cheap As Diesel-Fueled Transit
A yellow school bus is usually a pollution nightmare, but a new business model could make it easier for schools to go electric. The idea is called vehicle-to-grid (V2G) and basically, it involves using EVs to back up the mainstream power system. Revenue from “grid services” could help offset the higher upfront cost of EVs themselves. The researchers found that an average suburban school district in Delaware could save $38 million across a whole fleet, and that the higher upfront costs would easily pay for themselves.
ACTION: Pricing Carbon Initiative
A broad network of groups is building consensus around a price on carbon pollution. People of faith, students, businesses, civic associations, and climate activists are coming together across the country to engage in dialogue and show their leaders they are ready for policy solutions to climate change.
Petition to Congress and the President of the United States