tagged w/ Green Jobs
On the anniversary of Obama's first year in office, one of the major criticisms heard from the environmental community was that the administration was taking a less than productive approach to cleaning up Superfund sites, some of the most polluted and dangerous areas of the country.
Many were shocked when Obama's EPA announced that that over its first three years it would clean up fewer Superfund sites than any administration since 1991, including that of George W. Bush (Mongabay.com).
Nevertheless, the agency seems to be working hard to reverse the lackluster reputation it has garnered for itself, cracking down on mountaintop removal mining, toxic chemicals in consumer products, and most recently, the Superfund site's oft-ignored younger sibling, the brownfield.
Last week in New Orleans, La., EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced that EPA is awarding more than $2 million in job training grants for environmental cleanups in communities across the country.
Find out how to apply for job training grants: http://ow.ly/1xTfOOn the anniversary of Obama's first year in office, one of the major criticisms... more
As economic decisionmakers—whether consumers, corporate planners, government policymakers, or investment bankers—we all depend on the market for guidance. In order for markets to work and economic actors to make sound decisions, the markets must give us good information, including the full cost of the products we buy.
Unfortunately, markets largely ignore the indirect costs of goods and services, thus grossly distorting the structure of the economy. The market price of burning coal, for example, includes only the direct costs, those of mining the coal and transporting it to the power plant. By neglecting the substantial indirect costs of burning coal—the costs of air pollution, acid rain, devastated ecosystems, and climate change—the market is giving us bad information. As a result of this and other distortions, we are making bad decisions.
The most effective way to correct this massive market failure is to restructure taxes—lowering taxes on income while raising those on environmentally destructive activities. Widely endorsed by economists, tax shifting helps make sure the price of products reflects their full costs to society.
The first step in creating an honest market is to calculate these indirect costs. Perhaps the best model for this is a U.S. government study on smoking from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2006 the CDC calculated the cost to society of smoking cigarettes—including both the cost of treating smoking-related illnesses and the lost worker productivity from these illnesses—at $10.47 per pack.
This calculation provides a framework for raising taxes on cigarettes. In New York City, smokers now pay $4.25 per pack in state and local cigarette taxes. Since a 10-percent price rise typically reduces smoking by 4 percent, the health benefits of tax increases are substantial.
The many indirect costs of using gasoline—including climate change, oil industry tax breaks and subsidies, oil supply protection, and treatment of auto exhaust-related respiratory illnesses—total around $12 per gallon ($3.17 per liter), based on a conservative estimate by the International Center for Technology Assessment. If this external or social cost were added to the roughly $3 per gallon average price of gasoline in the United States, a gallon would cost $15. These are real costs. Someone bears them. If not us, our children.
Gasoline’s indirect cost of $12 a gallon provides a reference point for raising taxes to where the price reflects the environmental truth. Gasoline taxes in Italy, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom—averaging more than $4 per gallon—are a good start. That the average U.S. gas tax is less than 50¢ per gallon helps explain why the United States uses more gasoline than the next 20 countries combined. The high gasoline taxes in Europe have contributed to an oil-efficient economy and to far greater investment in high-quality public transportation, making it less vulnerable to oil supply disruptions.
Phasing in an incremental gasoline tax rising by 40¢ per gallon per year for the next 10 years and offsetting it with a reduction in income taxes would raise the U.S. gas tax to the $4 per gallon tax prevailing today in Europe. This will still fall short of the $12 per gallon indirect costs, but combined with the rising price of producing gasoline, it should be enough to encourage motorists to use improved public transport and to buy plug-in hybrid and all-electric cars as they come to market.
If gasoline taxes in Europe, which were designed to generate revenue and to discourage excessive dependence on imported oil, were thought of as a carbon tax, the $4 per gallon would translate into a carbon tax of $1,650 per ton. This is a staggering number, one that goes far beyond any carbon emission tax or cap-and-trade carbon-price proposals to date. It suggests that the official discussions of carbon prices in the range of $15 to $50 a ton are clearly on the modest end of the possible range of prices.
Tax shifting is not new in Europe. A four-year plan adopted in Germany in 1999 systematically shifted taxes from labor to energy. By 2003, this plan had reduced annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20 million tons and helped to create approximately 250,000 jobs. It also accelerated growth in the renewable energy sector.
Between 2001 and 2006, Sweden shifted an estimated $2 billion of taxes from income to environmentally destructive activities. Much of this shift of $500 or so per household was levied on road transport, including hikes in vehicle and fuel taxes. France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom are among the countries also using this policy instrument. In Europe and the United States, polls indicate that at least 70 percent of voters support environmental tax shifting once it is explained to them.
By Lester R. Brown
continuedAs economic decisionmakers—whether consumers, corporate planners, government... more
The grand opening of the EcoCenter at Heron's Head Park is set to jump off the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. On Sunday, April 18 Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ) will be holding its 10th Annual People's Earth Day celebration to throw open the doors of one of the first environmental justice education centers of its kind anywhere. In San Francisco, one of the greenest cities in America, a grassroots environmental justice youth empowerment organization is about to raise its proverbial green roof on a virtually carbon neutral building meant for environmental education of its own and the greater community. To be located in Bayview Hunters Point, a neighborhood with a toxic legacy, the EcoCenter and its signature reclaimed aluminum Great Blue Heron which was sculpted, melted, and poured by District youth could become a symbol of self-determination for a community that like the phoenix medallion on Coit Tower at Telegraph Hill is on a meteoric rise out of the ashes of the implosion of a former PG & E power plant whose site is less than a football field away. As a staff educator noted, just over a century later on the anniversary of the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, a small non-profit funded by government funders and private donations is going to shake things up in the southeast corner of this city full of hybrid cars and locavores by showing the world that a few youth with green jobs can harness the fire of the sun to think globally and act locally.
www.lejyouth.orgThe grand opening of the EcoCenter at Heron's Head Park is set to jump off the... more
It turns out that foods that are better for you may also be better for farmers and local job creation. A new study by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University found that expanding fruit and vegetable production in the upper Midwest could bring significantly more economic benefits than conventional corn and soybean production on the same acreage.
The study, by Iowa State Research Scientist Dave Swenson, looked at the potential for fruit and vegetable production in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. It identified 28 kinds of fruits and vegetables that farmers are able to grow in the region. Currently, much of the fruits and vegetables in the region come from other parts of the country or even outside the country.
Some key findings on the economic impacts on the region as a whole:
■Increased fruit and vegetable production in the six states could mean $882 million in sales at the farm level, and more than 9,300 jobs. Corn and soybean production on that same acreage would support only 2,578 jobs.
■If half of the increased production was sold in farmer-owned stores, it would require 1,405 such stores staffed by 9,652 people.
■Only 270,025 acres—roughly equivalent to the average cropland in one of Iowa's counties—would be needed to grow enough fruits and vegetables for the six-state region.
Previous research found that smaller sized farms (50 acres and smaller) are more likely to produce fruits and vegetables than standard-sized farms so it is likely that more, smaller farms would be needed. Researchers assumed that 50 percent of fruit and vegetable production would be directly marketed in-state by farmer-owned stores. Local and regional ownership of the food chain will be essential for maximum job creation.
continuedIt turns out that foods that are better for you may also be better for farmers and... more
Forty years ago, nearly 20 million Americans participated in what was the beginning of the modern movement toward environmental awareness. Inspired by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson after witnessing an oil spill off California’s coast, Earth Day was started to spotlight environmental degradation and the need to protect our natural resources.
Though some progress has been made in the decades following its creation, this year we have little room to celebrate – big oil, big coal, and big businesses are holding back our progress in order to maintain the status quo that lines their pockets at the expense of public health.
Since Earth Day began 40 years ago, America has had an energy policy that continues to reward polluters, threatens our national and economic security and keeps us dependent on energy sources from overseas.
Today it’s clearer than ever that the money we send overseas for oil puts America in danger, that it’s time to exchange the “8-track player oil economy” for an MP3 player, and that the American economy needs the new jobs a that comprehensive clean energy bill could create (studies have shown that a transition to a clean energy economy would net America up to 1.9 million new jobs).
(Read the rest on the original post.)Forty years ago, nearly 20 million Americans participated in what was the beginning of... more
Green Fuels Cause More Harm Than Fossil Fuels, According to Report…
Using fossil fuel in vehicles is better for the environment than so-called green fuels made from crops, according to a government study seen by The Times.
For the Full Story and FACTS On Fossil Fuel Vs. Green Energy....VIDEO.... VIDEO... VIDEO....http://ctpatriot1970.wordpress.com/2010/03/02/fact-green-fuels-cause-more-harm-than-fossil-fuels-according-to-report/
The findings show that the Department for Transport’s target for raising the level of biofuel in all fuel sold in Britain will result in millions of acres of forest being logged or burnt down and converted to plantations. The study, likely to force a review of the target, concludes that some of the most commonly-used biofuel crops fail to meet the minimum sustainability standard set by the European Commission.Green Fuels Cause More Harm Than Fossil Fuels, According to Report…
Ny Times... more
On Friday, the NAACP will award Van Jones the President’s Award for 2010 at their Image Awards ceremony.
Van Jones has moved quickly through the spotlight as good guy, recognized by Time last May as one of the top 100, to bad guy when he resigned as Obama’s Green Jobs Czar on Labor Day. Last night Benjamin Todd Jealous, president of the NAACP, announced on a CNN special that Jones would receive this prestigious award.
The official notice from the NAACP says Jones embodies the spirit of the NAACP Image Awards — an entrepreneurial spirit that comes with a sense of social responsibility. His plan to retool the American economy by creating millions of new “green collar” jobs is groundbreaking, not only because it opens up a new sector of American industry, but also because it does so in a way that creates jobs and protects the environment.
Since 1970, the NAACP Image Awards have celebrated the best in African American Arts and Culture. It is an awards ceremony that honors the aspirations and dreams of all Americans, told from an African American perspective. The President’s Award has traditionally honored those whose achievements in public life have been game changing. Recent honorees have included Muhammad Ali, Ruby Dee and President Bill Clinton.
(Visit the original post to read more!)On Friday, the NAACP will award Van Jones the President’s Award for 2010 at... more
Despite all the talk of green jobs, the overwhelming majority of stimulus money spent on wind power has gone to foreign companies, according to a new report by the Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University's School of Communication in Washington, D.C.
The American Wind Energy Association came out with a report last week that showed a drop in wind manufacturing jobs in the United States for last year. But during that time, enough wind farms have been built to power 2.4 million homes and create lots of new, green jobs.
Nearly $2 billion in money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been spent on wind power, funding the creation of enough new wind farms to power 2.4 million homes over the past year. But the study found that nearly 80 percent of that money has gone to foreign manufacturers of wind turbines.
So Where Are the Jobs?
"Most of the jobs are going overseas," said Russ Choma at the Investigative Reporting Workshop. He analyzed which foreign firms had accepted the most stimulus money. "According to our estimates, about 6,000 jobs have been created overseas, and maybe a couple hundred have been created in the U.S."
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the flow of money to foreign companies an outrage, because the stimulus, he said, was intended to create jobs inside the United States.
"This is one of those stories in Washington that when you tell people five miles outside the Beltway, or anywhere else in America, they cannot believe it," Schumer told ABC News, "It makes people lose faith in government, and it frankly infuriates me."
Matt Rogers, the senior adviser to the Secretary of Energy for the Recovery Act, denied there was a problem.
"The recovery act is creating jobs in the U.S. for American workers," said Rogers, "That is what the recovery act is about, that is what it is doing. Every dollar from the recovery act is going to create jobs for the American workers here in the U.S."Despite all the talk of green jobs, the overwhelming majority of stimulus money spent... more
"Here in the US we’ve had 0% job growth in the last 10 years. That’s right, there’s been no net increase of jobs in 10 years. There are multiple reasons why this is happening. Some of it is because the consumer economy is retracting and frankly needs less and less workers. Technology is also replacing millions of people and we’ve outsourced jobs overseas as a way to continue to cut labor costs out of production. Put it all together and there has been no job growth in the United States. This is a reality that we knew was happening but we chose to ignore it during the good times. But as this recession continues, it is becoming increasing impossible to maintain our ignorance.
Even as we look forward to this recession ending, over and over again you hear the phrase ‘jobless recovery’. And this makes a lot of sense considering we didn’t have job growth in the last 10 years when the economy looked like it was in good shape (Ha!).
EconomySo, when you mix a jobless recovery plus 10 million unemployed in the US, what are you looking at? Well, it isn’t going to look pretty, that’s for sure. Literally millions will remain unemployed or under-employed and that will not bode well for our future. But it is wrong to believe that we can’t create a solution to this. We need get out heads out of the sand and recognize that the old model of the consumer economy’s measurement and monetization system no longer is sufficient to meet our needs. We have to come up with a new economic model. It isn’t as hard as one might imagine. Frankly, it’s the strong suit of the United States—creating new solutions is what we do best!
Here’s an option: a Triple Bottom Line economy (3BL) instead of the current consumer/market/unlimited growth and production equals a profitable economy. A 3BL is designed to support people, the planet (plants, animals, land, water, etc.) and businesses concurrently. This allows us to f measure and monetize all the economic activities where work (and life) takes place. When making choices under a 3BL, all three areas are of equal importance. The result? We can expand the employment sectors that we measure and monetize to 6 employment sectors instead of the current 3. And voila, instead of a jobless recovery, we’ve created three new areas to absorb the 10 million people who need to be a vibrant part of a thriving 3BL economy.
The three new sectors are:"...(click link to read more)"Here in the US we’ve had 0% job growth in the last 10 years. That’s... more
"The University of South Florida’s School of Global Sustainability is set to be the first-of-its-kind in the nation, educating students with their world-class staff of environmental researchers and preparing them for the 2.5 million “green collar” careers that are estimated for the coming years.
USF President Judy Genshaft stated:
“The University of South Florida is committed to creating a 21st Century which is healthy, sustainable and prosperous for both Florida and for communities far beyond our borders. This school is a major step in that direction. The School of Global Sustainability will leverage USF’s existing strengths to build new opportunities for our students and faculty. We are dedicated to preparing our students to face the challenges of the world we know now and of the world that will exist in their lifetime.”
Students will be eligible for enrollment this summer, the program’s first degree being a master’s degree in global sustainability that will “initially focus on water with other concentrations being developed in such themes as food security and health, natural environments, gender, ethnicity and class, global citizenry, climate change, coastal wetlands, the history of sustainable communities and mega cities”.
Though the school will center around global issues, it will also focus on the challenges of climate change, the protection of threatened natural resources and population growth in our own backyard of South Florida and our coast.
This momentous occasion kicks off with a formal launch next week, with the school’s hosting of a two-day conference at the Marshall Student Center that will feature some of science’s leading thinkers on climate change and sustainability.
At the event there will be representatives from USF’s partner universities from around the world, including special guest Bae-Yong Lee, President of Ewha Womans University of South Korea, who will receive the President’s Global Leadership Award for her work in promoting global cooperation."...(click link to read more)"The University of South Florida’s School of Global Sustainability is set... more
President’s Obama’s State of the Union speech spelled out the challenges we face both at home, and laid an outline for moving forward. While I didn’t agree with all of what the President said, I did agree with a few things. First, that “no area is more ripe for innovation than energy.” New clean energy policies are good for our economy. They’ll create the right incentives for innovation and investment that help create new jobs using clean energy. These are family-supporting jobs in manufacturing, construction and engineering for workers installing wind turbines and solar panels, retrofitting buildings and building next-generation fuel-efficient cars. The President stated that 200,000 jobs have been saved or created in construction and clean energy, and Florida is well positioned to capitalize on new clean energy policies that would incentivize new jobs, businesses and industries. Recent studies find that the right policies will create up to 78,000 new jobs in Florida – and more than 1.7 million all across America.
Secondly: “the nation that leads the clean energy economy, will be the nation that leads the global economy.” It’s not just environmentalists arguing that bold clean energy and climate policies are the key to creating new jobs and rebuilding the economy – some of America’s most respected companies are also pushing for Senate action this year. Recently, 84 CEOs from U.S. companies, including Nike, Virgin America, eBay and Levi Strauss, drafted a letter to President Obama and the U.S. Congress that stated:
“We, American business leaders from companies of all sizes and sectors of our economy, call on you to move swiftly and boldly to enact comprehensive energy and climate legislation. This legislation will spur a new energy economy and with it create 1.7 million new American jobs, many in struggling communities across the country. At the same time, it will enhance our national security by making America more energy independent while also cutting carbon emissions.”
The CEOs caution that “the United States is falling behind in the global race to lead the new energy economy” and that only “strong policies and clear market signals” will help American firms compete globally in the race for the clean energy technologies of the future – and the jobs that go with them.
Finally, the President stated that we can’t afford to wait. “Germany is not waiting. India is not waiting. These nations — they’re not standing still. These nations aren’t playing for second place. They’re putting more emphasis on math and science. They’re rebuilding their infrastructure. They’re making serious investments in clean energy because they want those jobs. Well, I do not accept second place for the United States of America.”...(click link to read more)President’s Obama’s State of the Union speech spelled out the challenges... more
By Sarah Laskow, Media Consortium Blogger
In his first State of the Union address, President Barack Obama touched on climate issues only briefly. He called on the Senate to pass a climate bill, but did not give Congress a deadline or promise to veto weak legislation. Nor did he mention the Copenhagen climate conference, where international negotiators struggled to produce an agreement on limiting global carbon emissions.
The Obama administration’s attitude towards climate change still represents a remarkable shift from the Bush years, when global warming was treated as little more than a fairy tale. But in the past year, Congressional squabbling has stalled climate legislation, and international negotiators nearly gridlocked in talks over carbon admissions at the multinational Copenhagen conference. Without strong leadership from the president, work to prevent this looming environmental crisis will stall.
Obama did address global warming skeptics, saying that they should support investment in clean energy, “because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy.”
“And America must be that nation,” Obama said.
No push for climate bill
Despite his combative language, the president did not challenge Congress to push for real solutions to ballooning carbon emissions and energy consumption. As Forrest Wilder of The Texas Observer notes, Obama “uttered the phrase ‘climate change’ precisely once.”
The Senate has already wait-listed the climate bill: Health care came first. With health care reform now in line behind work on jobs and bank regulation, climate legislation has little chance of passing the Senate in the coming months, let alone making it to the president’s desk.
If Congress lets this work wait until after the midterm elections, the United States will show up at international negotiations in December 2010 as a leader in carbon emissions yet again, but with little in hand to show a way forward.
Clean energy, not renewable energy
When the president did bring up climate issues, he focused on their connection between climate reform and potential job creation. Obama highlighted areas for growth, not in renewable energy fields like wind or solar power, but in nuclear power, natural gas, and clean coal.
Yes, these fuel sources could decrease the country’s carbon emissions. But they are not solutions that will revolutionize energy production. Grist’s David Roberts was floored that the speech omitted renewable energy entirely and kowtowed to a more conservative litany of energy projects. “I suppose it was done to flatter conservative Senators that will have to vote for the bill Kerry, Lieberman, and Graham are working on,” he writes. (The three Senators are working on a version of the climate bill designed to appeal to Republicans.)
“But the SOTU is not a policy negotiation,” Roberts says. “It’s a bully pulpit, a chance to shape rather than respond to existing narratives.”
Roberts argues that progressive supporters would benefit from a stronger message. If activists knew that the White House stands behind a real shift in America’s energy policy, they could use that prompt to drive action on climate change.
What was missing
While touting the virtues of off-shore drilling, Obama overlooked other policies that could broker real change. Although he admonished Congress to pass a climate bill, he did not pressure the legislature on what he’d like that bill to include. He did not mention cap-and-trade, the mechanism the House bill relies on to tamp down emissions and dirty energy use.
President Obama did touch on transportation reforms that could decrease the country’s use of fossil fuels.
“There’s no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains,” Obama said. He cited a high-speed rail project that broke ground on Tuesday in Tampa, FL, as evidence that America could best the rest of the world in creating new energy-efficient technology.
But one or two high-profilBy Sarah Laskow, Media Consortium Blogger
In his first State of the Union address,... more
While debates about the economy, unemployment and the effectiveness of the stimulus plan continue to rage throughout the country, their appears to be a bright spot for proponents of clean energy stimulus spending.
According to Whitehouse.gov, the release of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) 4th Quarter 2009 industry assessment(PDF) indicates that stimulus spending is directly responsible for turning a potential 50% decline in growth in the wind power sector into a 39% increase in growth in the country's fleet of wind plants in 2009 alone.
"The U.S. wind industry shattered all installation records in 2009, and this was directly attributable to the lifeline that was provided by the stimulus package," Denise Bode, the trade association's chief executive told The New York Times Deal Book Blog. "The second half of the year was extraordinary. But manufacturers didn't see much growth because they had built up so much inventory."
The White House also points out the environmental benefits to this economic growth: "America's wind power fleet will avoid an estimated 62 million tons of greenhouse gases annually, equivalent to taking 10.5 million cars off the road. "
Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) co-author of the Waxman-Markey clean energy bill, praised the results of the assessment: "In 2009, America's wind capacity grew by nearly 40 percent - blowing past the expectations that existed prior to the passage of the Recovery Act, These numbers show the potential for growth in clean energy, if only our country will make a commitment to these technologies."
The AWEA report also points out, however, that "The wind manufacturing sector has the potential to employ many more Americans in green jobs, but without a renewable electricity standard to provide a long-term market, the sector will be slow to grow."While debates about the economy, unemployment and the effectiveness of the stimulus... more
Italy's installed wind power capacity rose more than 30 percent last year to 4,850 megawatts, boosted by record installation, industry associations said on Friday.
Installation in 2009 was 1,114 megawatts, in line with that of previous years, they said in a joint statement. Wind power production was a record of about 6.7 terawatt hours, or 2.1 percent of internal consumption.
The growth came "despite the financial crisis that overran the national and international economies in 2009," said the statement from the National Wind Energy Association (ANEV), the Board for New Technology (ENEA), the Renewable Energy Producers Association (APER) and the Italian unit of the International Solar Energy Society.
Italy is third in Europe and sixth in the world in wind power production despite lacking overall rules for the sector, it said.
Swift action by the government on that issue would allow Italy to reach its potential wind power capacity of more than 16,000 megawatts, the statement said.
Funny how countries like Italy actually see a boon to sustainable energy even with an "economic crisis" and the US only uses the "economic crisis" as an excuse to actually prolong real progress that would be economically beneficial.Italy's installed wind power capacity rose more than 30 percent last year to... more
Germany will stick to a more ambitious goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020 even though the U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen fell short of expectations, a government adviser said on Monday.
Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, head of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said it was unclear if the European Union as a whole would pursue a 30 percent target when it submits its plan to the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat by January 31.
Germany had hoped that its offer to raise its 2020 target from 30 to 40 percent, combined with an EU offer to raise its goal from 20 to 30 percent if other nations pledged substantial cuts, would spur a deal on worldwide reductions in Copenhagen.
The Copenhagen accord set a goal of limiting global warming to a maximum 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times. But it failed to say how this would be achieved.
"Germany has a firm target that the government has even spelled out in its coalition agreement to cut its emissions by 40 percent," Schellnhuber told a news conference. "That's unconditional. Germany will continue to be a driving force."
Germany is the world's sixth largest emitter. Some industry groups have urged Berlin to drop ambitious emissions targets, saying they could jeopardise jobs. Germany has created hundreds of thousands of green tech jobs in the last decade.
Schellnhuber said it was hard to tell how the EU would react to the bare-minimum Copenhagen result in which delegates "noted" an accord struck by the United States, China and emerging powers that fell far short of the conference's original goals.
"But if others hesitate, Germany will have the chance to make its economy more fit for the future," said the adviser to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the EU on climate change.Germany will stick to a more ambitious goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40... more
Buildings account for thirty-eight percent of the CO2 emissions in the U.S., according to the U.S. Green Building Council, and demand for carbon neutral and/or zero footprint buildings is at an all-time high. Now there is a new building material that is not just carbon neutral, but is actually carbon negative. Developed by U.K.-based Lhoist Group, Tradical® Hemcrete® is a bio-composite, thermal walling material made from hemp, lime and water. What makes it carbon negative? There is more CO2 locked-up in the process of growing and harvesting of the hemp than is released in the production of the lime binder. Of course the equation is more complicated than that, but Hemcrete® is still an amazing new technology that could change the building industry
http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/08/24/hemcrete-carbon-negative-hemp-walls-7x-stronger-than-concrete/Buildings account for thirty-eight percent of the CO2 emissions in the U.S., according... more
Growing up in Southern California, Spencer Brown has always been a self-proclaimed tree-hugger. In 2005, during a move across town, Spencer was shocked to see the large amount of cardboard and packing materials that were used in his move. Luckily, his frustration gave way to creating the first earth friendly moving company, Rent-A-Green Box. The flagstone of his company is the RecoPack, a lightweight, stackable container made from recycled plastic. They are rented, not sold, to people moving their belongings, delivered to the customer’s old home by trucks powered by vegetable oil, then picked up at the new home after they’ve served their purpose. Spencer estimates that you can cut moving costs in half by using a green moving company as opposed to the standard practices. Hmmm, saving money and protecting the environment…seems like a no-brainer! Susan sits down with Spencer to talk about the future of this much-needed and growing industry.Growing up in Southern California, Spencer Brown has always been a self-proclaimed... more
By Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers, and Michael Peck of Gamesa
Once, when asked why he was so good, hockey icon Wayne Gretzky replied, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”
The world is skating toward multiple clean sources of energy in a carbon-free future. The question is whether the United States has the political will to become a leader in the largest industry of this century, or whether we are willing to accept the economic and climate consequences of failing to act.
America can create a green, re-industrialized economy that manufactures commodities of international value. Our factories can provide good jobs and family-supporting wages. But to do this, we will have to focus our attention and our treasure on Main Street, not Wall Street.
http://solveclimate.com/blog/20091206/steelworkers-leader-get-ahead-clean-energy-curve-or-us-will-miss-its-shotBy Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers, and Michael Peck of Gamesa... more
Good office space can be hard to come by, and even then it doesn’t come cheap. Orange County printing company MVP found a creative, affordable and convenient alternative – they turned part of an industrial warehouse into office space. Of course, being a warehouse, it wasn’t equipped with fancy things like private offices, climate control, and break rooms. MVP’s solution? They grouped ten 20-foot shipping containers inside the warehouse to serve as offices.
http://www.whitespace.bz/ws/web/forms/pulse/PulseMainArticle.aspx?id=332Good office space can be hard to come by, and even then it doesn’t come cheap.... more
There has been some discussion in our group about the discrepancy between what we hear about green jobs availability and the lack of actual jobs listings. This LA Times article provides resources/links for green jobs: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-cover-greenjobsbox15-2009nov15,0,5024579.story.
The sites listed seem to support earlier comments, that the jobs are generally not entry level but highly specialized. I followed one link for the Green Jobs Network, plugged in my zip, and got a huge list of National Guard jobs. I guess the site needed a sponsor?There has been some discussion in our group about the discrepancy between what we hear... more