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September 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Greta Thunberg To US Politicians: ‘Sorry, You’re Not Trying Hard Enough'” • Greta Thunberg has told US politicians that they’re not doing enough to combat climate change. She also told the Senate climate task force to save their praise. “Don’t invite us here to just tell us how inspiring we are without actually doing anything about it,” she said. [BBC]

Greta Thunberg (Photo: EU Parliament, Wikimedia Commons)

  • “EPA Set To Revoke California’s Authority To Set Vehicle Standards” • The EPA is preparing to revoke California’s authority to set its own vehicle emission standards, a source familiar with the plans told CNN. The Trump administration is in an ongoing fight with the state as it works to reduce former President Obama’s environmental legacy. [CNN]
  • “SF Approves Legislation Requiring Renewable Electricity Sources For Commercial Buildings” • The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance that requires commercial buildings over 50,000 square feet to begin relying on electricity generated from renewable sources. The legislation, was passed by unanimous vote. [San Francisco Chronicle]
  • “ACT Joins Exclusive Club As Renewable Energy Goal Reached Ahead Of Schedule” • When the third stage of South Australia’s Hornsdale Wind Farm comes online on 1 October, the Australian Capital Territory will become the first major jurisdiction outside Europe to transition from a fossil fuel-based energy supply to 100% renewable electricity. [TheRiotACT]
  • “Northam Wants Virginia Running On 100% Renewable Energy By 2050” • Virginia Gov Ralph Northam announced that he signed an executive order setting a goal for the state to produce 100% of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050. Climate change “poses potentially devastating risk to Virginia,” the order said. [WFXRtv.com]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

September 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Brookridge Developer Hopes To Make Project Largest In Nation Powered By 100% Renewable Energy” • The Brookridge development in Overland Park, Kansas, will become the largest in the nation to be certified as 100% renewably powered, according to its developer. It will be powered by solar and wind resources in Kansas. [Shawnee Mission Post]

Rendering from the final development plan for Brookridge

  • “Climate Change And Health: Interactive New England Journal Of Medicine Report” • The New England Journal of Medicine, one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals, has created an interactive online presentation, The Climate Crisis – Health and Care Delivery. It illustrates the relationship between climate change and health. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Solar Power To Drive Renewable Energy Investments To $2.6 Trillion By 2019 End” • Solar power, which has seen a significant increase in capacity investments in the last decade, is set to drive the global investment in new renewable energy capacity to $2.6 trillion by the end of 2019, a report by the UN Environment Programme said. [Down To Earth Magazine]
  • “Oil Prices Soar After Attacks On Saudi Facilities” • Oil prices ended nearly 15% higher on Monday, with the Brent benchmark seeing its biggest jump in about 30 years. The rise came after two attacks on Saudi Arabian facilities on Saturday knocked out about 5% of global supply. Brent crude ended the day at $69 a barrel, up 14.6%. [BBC]
  • “US Utilities File Legal Challenge To Trump Power Plant Rule” • Con Edison and eight other utilities filed a legal challenge to the Trump administration’s plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants, replacing a much tougher Obama-era rule. The utilities, mostly from Democratic-led states, serve more than 23 million customers in 49 states. [Reuters]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

Andover, NH family riding bicycles to New York City to raise climate change awareness

from WMUR, Sept 16, 2019 (https://www.wmur.com/article/andover-family-riding-bicycles-to-new-york-city-to-raise-climate-change-awareness/29079887)

One New Hampshire family is going the extra mile to raise awareness and attend next week’s U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York City.

The Morgan’s plan to bike with two children under the age of 10. Azalea Morgan, 7, along with her sister Ember Morgan, 9, and their mother Molly Morgan, are leaving Andover on Tuesday to start their journey on bicycles to New York City.

The family hopes to make it in time for the U.N. Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23.

The idea came after Azalea saw a story about polar bears.

“There was this really sad video there and I watched it and then I was sad in my bed,” Azalea said.

The Morgan family is passionate about the environment and are hoping to meet similar families along the way.

“Maybe some kids and parents might wanna join us along the way and even if it was a couple people and it could be a way to make friends and build some momentum,” Molly Morgan said.

They will use public transit, when necessary and in addition to camping overnight, will stop at safe places to rest. They hope to raise not only awareness but also money for environmental causes and possibly solar panels for the kid’s school.

They will have a donation bucket with them and they started a Facebook page. KidsCare4PolarBears.

Let’s Help with Relief to the Bahamas — with Solar and Donations of Other Essentials

ReVision Energy to send solar-powered emergency relief trailer to Bahamas; asking community for donations of hard goods and other essentials
In response to the Hurricane Dorian disaster, ReVision Energy is sending an emergency solar power unit to the Bahamas that will provide 24/7 electricity for lighting, critical medication refrigeration, cell phone and laptop charging, and other emergency power needs. The company  collaborated with other solar companies to send  three identical trailers to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria, all three of which are now being shipped to the Bahamas to aid first responders and victims.
” Thousands of Bahamians   are without food, water, electricity and shelter, so we are sending an emergency solar power unit filled with disaster relief supplies to help,” said ReVision Energy co-founder, Phil Coupe, who worked with the global disaster relief agency Amurtel and other solar companies on the   industry’s response to Hurricane Maria in 2017.
ReVision Energy is seeking donations of supplies to fill the Maine-based solar power unit before shipping to the Bahamas, including  strong tarps, cleaning supplies, 5 gallon contractor buckets, cans of ready to eat food with flip tops, disposable baby diapers, packages of handwipes and other hand sanitizing items, bar soap, clothing detergent, small towels, band aids, paper products ( paper towels, toilet paper), crayons and paper tablets for children.
Donations can dropped off at ReVision Energy’s Brentwood, NH location, 7A Commercial Dr, Brentwood, NH 03833 during regular business hours, 9am-5pm Monday-Friday.
Designed by solar energy engineers from companies in the  www.amicussolar.com  national co-op, the emergency solar power unit is an enclosed trailer with six photovoltaic panels and eight deep cycle batteries that feed a total of 30 electrical outlets (two in each gray cubby) on the exterior of the trailer so people can plug in devices and appliances that need power.
Below is the unit, currently located at ReVision’s HQ in South Portland, that is going to the Bahamas:

BELOW: One of the original emergency solar power units on the ground in Puerto Rico:

BELOW: Some of the volunteers (employee-owners of ReVision Energy as well as other solar installers who are part of Amicus solar cooperative member companies) who helped build the solar trailers, including Aegis Renewable Energy, Greenspark Solar, PV Squared and SunCommon:
Cash donations from a group of New Hampshire-based Rotary International groups helped pay for the trailers and batteries, while the solar panels and construction labor were donated by ReVision Energy  and other Amicus solar companies in the northeast. The original effort was called “Power on Puerto Rico” ( https://www.facebook.com/PoweronPuertoRico/).

2019 Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair

The fourth annual Green Fair will be held on Saturday, November 16 from 10-4 pm at the Sage College Armory,130 New Scotland Ave. Albany, NY. Enjoy one-stop shopping with information, services and products related to living in harmony with our earth. It is free and open to the public with ample, accessible parking and is sponsored by Community Advocates for a Sustainable Environment. This is the largest indoor/outdoor environmental Fair in the Capital Region having great roadside visibility.

At the Fair, meet for profit and nonprofit exhibitors, listen to speakers on a variety of environmental topics while enjoying vegan friendly food and drink. It is a “zero waste” event using compostable products. Last year, there were a record fifty-three exhibitors and 23 workshop presenters.

The newly remodeled venue has a large display area with modernized meeting rooms. There will be a free Fair Program Booklet listing exhibitor contact information with valuable climate information printed by a union shop on recycled paper.

If you are interested in being an exhibitor, please register at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScw0_Ncr9pLQZQHo7zbc-1FcZLIr22BUaEeh0R5FjdXye9i-A/viewform or call: 518-781-4686.

The Counterattack Against Clean Energy Is Collapsing

Carl Pope

For two years, the cabal of fossil fools surrounding Donald Trump have leveraged an impulsive president’s loathing of his predecessor, tapped their reactionary right-wing networks, mobilized coal and oil lobbies and political donations, and thrown themselves vigorously into two missions:

  1. Bring back the coal industry and stop the “Stalinist” threat of wind and solar power.
  2. Freeze the transition from oil-powered cars and trucks to electricity by reversing Obama-era plans to encourage cleaner, more efficient vehicle fleets.

In the last several weeks of this August the futility of both these efforts to strangle the future have become clear.

The latest blow to the Trump clean energy rollback was an announcement by California and four major automakers — including Volkswagen, the world’s largest — that even if the president can persuade the courts to allow him to roll back the Obama administration’s improved regulations on pollution and efficiency standards for cars and light trucks, these companies would guarantee that their U.S. fleets meet a set of slightly modified standards devised by California for the model years 2022-25.

While Ford was the only U.S. automaker to sign, it’s still a huge step. (And Ford is hardly a big player.) General Motors appears to be seeking more credit for its significant investment in electrification, and Fiat Chrysler, having turned itself into a niche brand that proudly produced the world’s best 20th-century cars — Jeep SUVs and Ram Trucks — simply whined. (Chrysler still doesn’t know how it will comply with the much laxer 2020-21 rules.) Toyota may be watching to see what GM does.

The agreement made clear that the Trump administration’s refusal to negotiate with California was rooted in its own stubbornness, not California’s unwillingness to make a reasonable offer. It further made clear that the auto industry feels deeply threatened both by the prospect of a U.S. auto market split into two segments — one following strong California innovation rules, the other locked into yesterday’s auto technology. It also highlighted the degree to which clear mandates in other markets — particularly Europe and China — are maintaining the pace of progress toward clean, electric vehicles, and a recognition that U.S. automakers must keep up regardless of whether federal standards require that.

As Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., often seen as the D.C. voice of the American auto industry, pointed out, “This industry is more fragile than many realize. If the United States is to be competitive, we have to stay at the forefront of innovation and technology, which will help us transition to the next generation of more fuel-efficient vehicles.”

And what of the other flank of the Trump assault on climate progress: His promise to bring back “beautiful” coal? The last month has seen a slew of announcements making utterly clear that the coal industry is on the way out as a source of electric energy. The Energy Department has conceded that coal’s share of U.S. electricity generation will continue to plummet – from more than 50% a few years ago, to 30% in 2017 and a forecast of only 24% this year. The largest coal power plant to fall thus far — American Electric Power’s behemoth Rockport, Indiana, facility — has announced it will shut down. An all-Republican body of utility regulators in Georgia required Georgia Power not only to shut down much of its coal facilities, but also to embrace renewables, rather than natural gas, as the replacement. One analyst called this “the worst month for coal power in decades.”

Coal’s bleak future didn’t just hit utility operators. Yet another set of coal mining operators headed for bankruptcy courts, with Blackhawk Mining unable to sustain its Appalachian operations. This followed four other bankruptcies in the previous four months: Blackjewel on July 1, Cambrian Holding on June 16, Cloud Peak Energy on May 10 and Trinity Coal on March 4.

Many of the bankruptcies came because mining companies wanted to shed their commitments to provide pensions and health care for retirees, as well as to clean up the environmental disaster left behind by many of their operations. And since Republicans in Congress had allowed the tax that provides funding for health care for coal miners suffering from black lung disease to expire, just as poorly regulated working conditions have triggered a major black lung epidemic, miners were forced to mobilize to try to make their alleged pal in the Oval Office, not to mention Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, make good on at least some of their boasts about making life wonderful for coal again. When the miners arrived in Washington D.C., McConnell gave them the brush-off in a perfunctory meeting after which they said he had treated them rudely.

None of this has stopped the coal industry’s barons from cozying up to Trump. Bob Murray, for whom a pledged bail-out was one of Trump’s undelivered promises, still came through with a major campaign fundraiser in Wheeling, West Virginia. But as the 2020 election season heats up, it appears that while coal mine owners might still love the president, his efforts to rescue coal-fired power and oil-fired transportation from history’s verdict had collapsed — making clear once again that it’s time to move beyond carbon.

Carl Pope is the former executive director and chairman of the Sierra Club. He’s now the principal advisor at Inside Straight Strategies, looking for the underlying economics that link sustainability and economic development and serves as a Senior Climate Advisor to former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He has served on the Boards of the California League of Conservation Voters, Public Voice, National Clean Air Coalition, California Common Cause, Public Interest Economics Inc, and Zero Population Growth.

Mr. Pope is also the author of the books: Sahib, An American Misadventure in India and Hazardous Waste in America. Carl Pope is the co-author with Michael Bloomberg of Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet.

 

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September 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “How American Communities Are Preparing For The Impacts Of Climate Change” • A study from the American Association for the Advancement of Science found that many communities across the US are addressing their own unique challenges associated with climate change. Some communities are also working to reduce emissions. [Earth.com]

Teaching about weather and climate (Impact Media Lab | AAAS)

  • “Faster Pace Of Climate Change Is ‘scary,’ Former Chief Scientist Says” • Speaking to the BBC, Professor Sir David King, a former chief scientific adviser to the government of the UK, said, “It’s appropriate to be scared. We predicted temperatures would rise, but we didn’t foresee these sorts of extreme events we’re getting so soon.” [BBC]
  • “Maine Ocean Institute Launching New Climate Center” • The Gulf of Maine Research Institute says its new climate center will be “a new interdisciplinary center focused on solutions to local, regional, and global challenges related to ocean warming.” The Gulf of Maine has numerous fisheries and is warming faster than most ocean waters. [Boston.com]
  • “One Of India’s Largest Coal-Mining States Says It Will Not Build New Coal Power Plants” • The central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, home to the country’s third-largest coal reserves, will not build any new coal power plants, the chairman of the Chhattisgarh State Power Distribution Company, a state-owned utility, told Quartz India. [Quartz]
  • “Fossil Fuel Companies Roll Out A New Era Of Spin” • Over the years, fossil fuel companies have poured millions into sowing doubt about climate science and burnishing their public image. Now, they are reckoning with a different communications challenge: convincing their investors that the future of oil and gas companies is bright. [Grist]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

September 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Tesla Announces Simple Pricing On Commercial Solar, $1.01/Watt (Will Blow Some Minds)” • Elon Musk announced California customers can now order commercial sizes of solar power in five minutes at Tesla.com/bigsolar. Tesla is getting within a penny of the psychologically magical $1 for a watt of solar generation capacity. [CleanTechnica]

Solar system (www.tesla.com/energy/design/commercial)

  • “Coordinated Strikes Knock Out Half Of Saudi Oil Capacity, Five Million Barrels A Day” • The strikes on key Saudi Arabian oil facilities, among the world’s largest production centers, have disrupted about half of the kingdom’s oil capacity, or 5% of the daily global oil supply. Yemen’s Houthi rebels have taken responsibility. [CNN]
  • “We Can Still Save The Earth From Climate Change. Here’s How” • A years-long research project simulating a global pathway towards 100% renewables across all energy sectors, bears a clear message: A global energy transition, with real climate action, is not only technically feasible but also cheaper than our current energy system. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Battling For Survival On The Frontier Of Climate Change” • Evolving weather patterns are making their impacts felt in the Caribbean with long droughts, incessant bush fires and worsening storms. And Jamaica’s reliance on rain-fed farming, with many smallholdings set on mountain slopes, leaves the farming sector particularly vulnerable. [BBC]
  • “Greater Wildfire Risks Prompt Growth Of Electrical ‘Microgrids’ To Rely Less On PG&E” • In Sonoma County, California, microgrids would allow hospitals, municipal utilities, and certain government agencies to continue operations when natural disasters interrupt PG&E’s electrical transmission and distribution. [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

September 14 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “15 To 20 Foot Sea Level Rise Possible Sooner Rather Than Later” • A draft of a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says rising sea levels and warming waters are about to unleash “misery on a global scale.” The final report warns that ocean levels could rise by several feet before the end of this century. [CleanTechnica]

Harbor in Greenland (Ray Swi-hymn, Wikimedia Commons)

  • “How Trump May Bulldoze ‘America’s Amazon'” • Nature lovers and earth scientists have been fighting Alaskan politicians over ANWR and King Cove Road for decades. Now, Trump’s mention of “logging” reopens a different front in an old war because everyone knows he’s talking about Tongass, the crown jewel of the National Forest system. [CNN]
  • “IRENA And UN Ink Agreement To Combat Desertification With Renewables” • Renewable energy plants can do more than provide cheap, emission-free energy. The shade cast by PV modules can help mitigate the adverse effects of desertification. The advantages of shade under solar PVs for agriculture are becoming known. [pv magazine International]
  • “Global Renewable Energy Initiative Aims To Bring A Billion People In From The Dark” • A new global commission on energy poverty says that advances in micro energy grids and renewable energy technologies could “dramatically accelerate change” and transform lives in rural areas of sub-Saharan African and south Asia. [The Guardian]
  • “More Americans Concerned About Climate Change, New Poll Finds” • In a new poll by the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation, 80% of respondents agreed that human activity is a leading cause of climate change. That’s huge. But only half believe urgent action is needed and only 40% say it amounts to a crisis. [CleanTechnica]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

September 13 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Brazil Amazon: Old Enemies Unite To Save Their Land” • While the world’s attention has been focused on the fires raging in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, indigenous people warned that policies of President Jair Bolsonaro pose a bigger threat to their existence. Rival groups are uniting to fight government plans for their home region. [BBC]

Kayapó and Panará, once rivals (Lucas Landau | Rede Xingu+)

  • “Greta Thunberg Responds to Cost of Climate Action Critics: ‘If We Can Save the Banks, We Can Save the World'” • During an event with Naomi Klein, 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg had a message for those people who claim it is “too expensive” to boldly confront the climate crisis with sweeping policies like a Green New Deal. [EcoWatch]
  • “Satellite Data Reveals Link Between Hotter Temperatures & Forest Fires” • NASA satellites have been gathering data for many years. Now, in a report by the Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA scientists say analysis of all that data shows a strong link between higher global temperatures and the frequency and severity of forest fires. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Network Giant Says Renewables Transition Will Deliver Lower Prices And Cut Emissions” • The biggest owner of Australian grid assets, Spark Infrastructure, says renewables will cut prices for consumers significantly. But it warns that the lack of federal policy is making the transition more expensive than it needs to be. [RenewEconomy]
  • “Climate Activists Climb Houston Bridge Ahead Of Democratic Debate To Demand Renewable Energy” • Greenpeace climate activists climbed Houston’s Fred Hartman Bridge ahead of the Democratic debate to shut down shipping traffic and call for a shift to renewable energy. Pictures showed the activists dangling with banners unfurled. [msnNOW]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.