Solar Power Battle Puts Hawaii at Forefront of Worldwide Changes, New York Times, April 18, 2015. Great article discusses issues related to Hawaii's high penetration of rooftop solar. Be sure and watch the video, well done and it adds some more depth to the article.
Coal Is the Dirtiest Fuel and it is the fuel used to produce the energy we consume in the Enchanted Circle. The only reason that coal is "cheap," is our failure to put a price on the human and environmental costs that burning coals entails -- miner deaths, black lung diseases, many respiratory ailments and other diseases caused by breathing pollution, and most importantly climate change and the harm that it is creating.
Fossil Fuels Are the Problem, Scientific American points to the problem with climate change -- fossil fuels -- following the recent reports from the IPCC. Of course, the solution is clear --stop using fossil fuels, and that requires a rapid transition to renewable energy. CO2 emissions have actually increased in the last decade far outstripping improvements in energy efficiency.
Five Major Points from IPCC Report on Climate Change, Bill Moyers & Company. The most recent IPCC Report attempts to convey the very high level of certainty about climate change among scientists by comparing it to the level of agreement among scientists that smoking causes lung cancer. That's not the only parallel to smoking's harmful effects. When science first uncovered the length to lung cancer, the tobacco industry went on a full-scale offensive to DENY accepted scientific conclusions and confuse the general public. Of course, the fatal effects of smoking are not truly comparable to the potential effects of climate change which are much, much worse.
60 Minutes Has It All Wrong About Renewable Energy, a January 15 interview with venture fund entrepeneur Vinod Khosla in Green Tech Media. You may have heard 60 Minutes' Jan. 5 segment claiming that green technology was experiencing a crash. Khosla provides the facts that 60 Minutes overlooked or ignored.
Rethinking How to Split the Costs of Carbon, Eduardo Porter, NYTimes, Dec. 24, 2013. It is more fair to assign responsibility for carbon emitted during the production of a commodity to the consumer than the producer. This is one of the issues that holds up the international treaties on climate change.
Safe Limit for Warming Drastically Reduced Scientific American reports on new science that finds that significant, steady reductions in carbon emissions are needed to avoid possibly catastrophic warming. James Hansen, America's leading climate scientist and former head of NASA's Goddard Space Institute, is one of the authors of a paper reported on here. Now is the time to reduce emissions of CO2, expecially in the U.S. which has the highest per capita emissions in the world.
Climate Crisis: Who Will Act? Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General, Op-ed in the NY Times, Nov. 24. Annan challenges the world's political leaders, especially the leaders of the developed countries, to take real action on climate change. It's becoming more clear that the IPCC projections for climate change, the ones that U.S. Republicans and their supporters reject, are actually over-optimistic.
Victory at Hand for the Climate Movement? Paul Gilding, Post-Carbon Institute, May, 2013. This is a provocative opinion piece on the onset of what some call a "new energy economy."
Extreme Climate Will Hurt the Tropics, Scientific American, Oct. 9, 2013. Scientists say that if we keep dumping carbon into the atmosphere at the current rate, the mean temperature by 2047 will exceed the hottest years on record up to now. And, the hot weather will hurt the tropical areas that are least able to adapt to rapid warming. A swift move away from carbon will dampen the changes, but we need to act.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Releases Latest. September 2013. There will be a furor in the news over the IPCC newest release. The climate deniers are ramping up their campaign, but they face a united scientific community. The time to act is now.
Timing a Rise in Sea Level. A new study about the rise in sea levels, this one focusing on how long the rise will take. The answer they give, which needs more research, is less than 1,000 years for a 10-12 foot rise. Lots more information in the article with references to other research as well as background on what their results are based on.
Three Big Shifts in America's Energy Landscape -- In the Last Three Weeks. Will Craven of Solar City summarizes a 9-part series by Grist journalist David Roberts. Both pieces are very informative.
Is Energy Efficiency an Effective Strategy to Fight Climate Change? The authors -- Michael Schellenberger, Ted Nordhaus, and Jesse Jenkins -- say "not really." They make some good points, most importantly by pointing out that energy efficiency gains in production generally lead to more energy use.
400 Parts per Million -- Can We Do Anything to Stop Climate Change? David Bornstein of the NY Times, May 29, talks about how organizations like the Citizens Climate Lobby (and Renewable Taos) may spur political changes necessary to protect the environment.
Bird Mortality -- Cats, Buildings and Windows, or Wind Towers? New York Times summary of a Report from the Journal of Ornithology. Emily, my significant other, just asked. Here's the scoop.
Not All Renewables Are Created Equal, Tom Butler, May 6. This is a discussion of how some renewable projects may have avoidably harmful impacts. It's a topic that is really worth thinking about.
Earth Scientist is Optimistic About Change. Peter Kelerman, vice chair in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University, is optimistic about our chances to avoid catastrophic damage from climate change.
How to Power the World Without Fossil Fuels, a Scientific American interview with Mark Jacobson, the author of the recently published detailed plan for powering New York State entierly with renewable energy. Jacobsen states that if his plan were implemented in NY State 4000 lives would be saved each year.
Climate Change Worse than Expected, Climatewire. Economist Nicholas Stern revises his view of the severity of climate change and its economic impacts.
Energy Company Skirts Utilities Taking Solar Panels to U.S. Rooftops, Christopher Martin and Naureen Malik, Bloomberg News, March 25, 20013. One possible future for home energy.
New Reasons to Change Lightbulbs, NY Times, March 20, 2013. Small sacrifices can make a huge difference if we all make them. LED light bulbs may be expensive but yield large $ savings over a lifetime and reduce global emissions, a category of savings that no one has succeeded in putting a $ value on. Think of it this way, by making very small sacrifices today, we're protecting the lives and well-being of our grand-children and their grand-children.
Santa Fe and Boulder Weigh Taking Over Utilities, NY Time, March 13, 2013. Existing utilities like PNM and Tri-State are dragging their heels on transitioning to renewable energy. Some cities are considering municipalizing their utility, but the costs and political barriers are high. With our pro-renewable utility, Taos is in a great position to show the way.
Can Solar Challenge Natural Gas?, an article from Climatewire that reports on a study from Citigroup that predicts that roof-top solar will soon be cheaper than natural gas. It's interesting that large financial firms are confident in the future of solar.
What Utilities Can Do for Distributed Solar, a discussion of how Minnesota utility Xcel could encourage solar adoption, Institute for Community Self-Reliance, October, 2012. Total solar penetration in Minnesota is only 6-7 MW compared to Taos County's 5 MW. There are some good links from this article.
A Volatile River in India Will Grow Only More So, Brian Orland, NY Times, Feb. 14, 2013. Climate change brings many changes, and unfortunately most of them are bad.
Going With the Flow by Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, February 13, 2013. The Dutch government has decided to adapt to rising sea levels rather than building massively expensive and questionably effective dikes.
How High Could the Tide Go? by Justin Gillis, New York Times, January 21, 2013
Scientists look at the historic sea water levels during previous warming periods. The news isn't good.
How Would Obama Address Climate Change? Reply to Scientific American questions about fossil fuel dependence and clean-energy investments, by Mark Fischelli.
PRC Stops Tri-State Rate Increases, Taos News, Dec. 2012
PRC Did the Right Thing, Taos News Editorilal, Dec. 2012
Tri-State Files Suit to Fight Kit Carson Rate Protest, Taos News article, Jan. 24, 2013
Eco Shopping is Not the Answer, Utne Reader, Jan. 2013
An article about the marvelous Amy Leonard and her educational cartoons.