"We are in the age of terrorism, and we are out of our minds to build more radioactive nuclear plants in our country."
S. David Freeman.
In his new book, he refers to oil, coal, and nuclear as "the three poisons." Currently president of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission, he advocates building a solar-powered monorail system to distribute cargo from the port, pioneering "a 21st-century railroad."
Bali was an unpleasant, tough, but successful 13th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. At the end of the day, the parties were aligned on "the Bali Roadmap." The U.N.'s press release stated that "the 187 countries meeting in Bali agreed to launch negotiation towards a crucial and strengthened international climate change deal."
One reporter noted that it was, "two weeks marked by bitter disagreements and angry accusations," and a last minute compromise. In the final hours, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Paula Dobriansky, said that "we will join" and that "the United States is very committed to this effort." The countries will now meet several times and "negotiate up to 2009 to ensure that a new deal can enter force by 2013 following the expiry of the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol."
Held at the Bali International Convention Centre in Bali, Indonesia from December 3 - 14, 2007, more than 11,000 delegates including the U.N. Secretary General and six heads of state, met with observers including intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations and the press. One columnist said that there were "media scrums" akin to Hollywood events. Movie stars, excluded from the negotiations, were stumping nearby for social justice. Youth organizations reportedly organized and carried out effective side-events.
Spurred by the recent U.N. finding that if unchecked the world' s average temperature could rise by as much as 6 degrees C by the end of the century, there was also agreement to take action on a number of immediate issues. Among them are stemming deforestation, clean technology transfer, and providing technological know-how to developing countries.
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 signed by the President in December fell short in many ways, but was a significant step forward. Some call it nothing short of a "new energy beginning." It does not include a national renewable energy portfolio standard. But it does promote higher fuel economy standards. Cars and light trucks will have to be 40% more efficient by 2020 raising the fleet average to 35 miles per gallon. Light bulbs will be three times as efficient by 2030, phasing out most incandescents by 2014. Federal buildings that are renovated or built in or after 2010 will have to cut their fossil-fuel energy consumption by 55% by 2010, and then by 100% by 2030.
Solar and wind advocates were dismayed that the bill stripped out an early version's tax package. It would have extended tax benefits for solar installations for eight years for businesses, and six years for homeowners, doubling the allowable incentive for homes. (Now advocates will try to insert the tax package in other legislation.) On the supply side, "big oil" was spared the loss of massive tax breaks. The act supports bio-fuel developments - a seven-fold increase in ethanol production by 2022 -- and controversial loan guarantees to spur nuclear power.
Pizza Fusion: Saving the World, One Slice at a Time!
Pizza Fusion has opened Florida's first LEED-certified restaurant. The pizza maker serves up an organic menu of pizza, sandwiches, wraps, beer and wine, as well as vegan, gluten-free, and lactose-free options. The company has over 60 LEED-certified restaurants across the United States. The Palm Beach Gardens restaurant will be followed by three additional locations including Aspen, Colorado.
Pizza Fusion uses a heat recovery system that takes advantage of its pizza ovens to eliminate conventional water heating and space heating. It also features bamboo flooring, 30% recaptured industrial concrete, countertops made from recycled detergent bottles, insulation made from old blue jeans, and furniture made from reclaimed wood.
On Deaths per Megawatt:
Excellent issue. I have been talking about TRUE COST for years and am glad to see Ecomotion touching on the subject- it's core.
Ocean Wave Energy Company, Bristol, Rhode Island
On the feed-in tariff issue:
Well at least you got the CPUC's attention. They seem to miss the point that it is not only the amount of the incentive, but also its SIMPLICITY that makes the German feed-in so successful.
Dr. Mark Shiralau
Aloha Systems, Irvine, California
When we took Commissioner Geesman from the CEC to Germany in our last solar delegation, he got up in front of the crowd at the conference opening event and said "I believe California needs a feed-in tariff, similar to what you have here in Germany" or something to that effect. He also told us to quote him on that.
Nicholas Wagner,German American Chamber, San Francisco, California
Nicely balanced, restrained response to Mr. Gallagher.
I have a couple of comments re net metering and the comparison to Germany. While this is a big issue, let me highlight two key points ignored by the proponents of 'feed-in tariffs" who compare us to Germany.
The issue is not just the "level" of subsidy for solar, but also who pays for it. Paying for things through utility rates is using the most regressive form of taxation. We should first exhaust other tax incentives and subsidies from general taxes before hoisting all costs onto utility rates. Berkeley's proposal to fund up-front costs with repayment through property taxes is more equitable. Indeed, Europe's solar installations got jump started through financing of installation costs even prior to net metering.
In the same vein, while Germany provides very high rates (though declining) for feed-in solar, the rest of their tax structure and social safety net is entirely different from ours. I won't mind talking about financing solar through utility rates when we get a tax system that funds universal health care, free schooling for all ages, two year paid maternity leave, etc. etc. It is absolutely ridiculous to look at one element - a feed-in tariff - and argue that it is equitable to apply it to the United States.
The Utility Reform Network, San Francisco, California
Meanwhile, a card and sentiment from Germany:
Merry Christmas and a Successful New Year for a feed-in tariff in California!
Dr. Eike Weber
Fraunhofer Institut, Frieberg, Germany
And on the Patriots going green…
Can we assume the games will be played in the dark if the wind is not blowing - or is this just wind indulgences?
High Sierra Energy Initiative, Mammoth Lakes, California
My Next Car! By UCI Intern Jessica Wolfert
Behold! The future is near with the fuel cell vehicles (FCV) of tomorrow on the prowl. Like electric vehicles, FCVs are powered by electricity. However, instead of using a battery that stores electricity from an external source, fuel cell vehicles are responsible for producing and storing their own electricity.
According to www.fueleconomy.gov, FCVs benefits include: no greenhouse gases, increased energy efficiency, and a quieter ride. These cars display a 57/58 city/highway mpg.
Are we ready for a hydro hungry infrastructure? The president awarded a $289 million budget towards the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative that employs research and design segments of the U.S. Department of Energy. So, there are steps being taken.
The market question on my mind is, how will the public welcome this innovative technology? Perhaps a familiar face will ease the public into taking another green move.
So, who has been a constant player in FCV planning? Why, Honda Motors, Inc. Honda has taken the initiative to bring FCVs to life, planning to introduce their Honda FCX in 2009. (One FCX has already been leased to the Spallino family in Redondo Beach for a two year duration that started in 2005.) Honda has played an active role in developing eco-friendly technology by pioneering gas intake and emissions reductions. Think that's just an opinion? Check it out for yourself at http://corporate.honda.com/environment/.
Perhaps I'm just a zealot intern who doubles as a freelance marketer for Honda. Maybe, I'm just a kid who genuinely cares about preservation. What I am certain about is that I love my Honda for loving my world.