Friday, May 3, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 3 May 2013

Climate change: When rain, rain won't go away
May 1, 2013 - "I'd never seen the river that high," says Susan Hammond. "But I was pretty certain the bridge wasn't going anywhere."

She was wrong.

On Aug. 28, 2011, Tropical Storm Irene's rains swelled the Williams River, smashing dams, flooding homes and carrying off the historic Lower Bartonsville Covered Bridge.

This wasn't just another 1-in-500-years event happening, a freak occurrence, a one-off event. Rather, experts see it as the new normal across the Northeast, the latest in a series of calamitous weather events occurring because of, or amplified by, climate change. read more>>>

Furloughs in the forecast for NOAA workers, just in time for hurricane season
April 30, 2013 - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration offices across the nation may soon have more cloudy days as the forced government spending cuts cause the agency to ask thousands of employees to take unpaid days off.

Proposed four-day furloughs would affect nearly 12,000 people, which includes workers at the Miami-based National Hurricane Center, from July 1 to September 30, in time for what is expected to be an active hurricane season.

NOAA oversees the National Weather Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the National Hurricane Center and other offices that provide forecasts, severe weather alerts and other important information to the public. read more>>>

Quake Kare, Inc.

General Motors signs onto corporate ‘climate declaration’
05/01/13 - General Motors Co. is signing onto a joint statement from a slew of big companies that calls for bolder federal action to confront climate change.

GM on Wednesday became the first automaker to sign the “climate declaration” that was initially unveiled in mid-April and is organized through Ceres, a sustainable business and investing group.

“Everywhere you look there are opportunities to seize the high ground on climate and energy,” said Michael J. Robinson, GM’s vice president of sustainability and global regulatory affairs, in a statement. read more>>>

Dry winter, warming trend foretell wildfire danger
05/01/2013 - Two small but unseasonably early fires burning in northern California's wine country and another wind-whipped blaze farther south likely are a harbinger of a nasty summer fire season across the West.

Officials with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise said Wednesday in their first 2013 summer fire outlook that a dry winter and expected warming trend mean the potential for significant fire activity will be above normal on the West Coast, in the Southwest and portions of Idaho and Montana.

"We're looking at a combination of a low-moisture winter and a warming and drying pattern in the West that will increase the fire potential," said Ed Delgado, predictive services manager.

If that sounds familiar to the region's residents, it should. read more>>>

EcoLunchBoxes: Green Your Lunches

Green economy drives business success
B.C. company converts waste vegetable oils into sustainable biofuels

May 3, 2013 - Greening the economy is a concept that has gained considerable importance in B.C. as business and government leaders seek new opportunities in a carbon-and resource-constrained world.

A greener economy addresses the need to deal with the impacts of climate change, to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, to better manage resource shortages, to weather fluctuations in commodity prices and to create new employment opportunities. read more>>>

Bridging the Gap: Connecting Black Communities to the Green Economy
May 02, 2013 - Bridging the Gap: Connecting Black Communities to the Green Economy took place on April 15th as a one-day pre-conference for the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference. The event brought together people from universities, labor organizations, environmental organizations and entrepreneurs, as well as grassroots organizers and policy advocates to develop an action agenda to reframe the green economy in terms of justice and equity.

There are over 111 million people of color in the United States, which represents approximately 30% of the US population of 313,914,040. read more>>>

How Graphene and Friends Could Harness the Sun's Energy Hitting Walls
May 2, 2013 — Combining wonder material graphene with other stunning one-atom thick materials could create the next generation of solar cells and optoelectronic devices, scientists have revealed.

University of Manchester and National University of Singapore researchers have shown how building multi-layered heterostructures in a three-dimensional stack can produce an exciting physical phenomenon exploring new electronic devices. read more>>>

Dominion Virginia Power Selects Old Dominion University For First Rooftop Solar Power Installation
05/03/2013 - Dominion Virginia Power has selected Old Dominion University to be the first participant in the company's Solar Partnership Program. More than 600 solar panels will be installed this summer on the roof of ODU's Student Recreation Center in the heart of the campus and generate 132 kilowatts for the electric grid.

"This installation will pave the way for us to assess the benefits of solar facilities on our electrical distribution system," said Ken Barker, Dominion Virginia Power vice president-Customer Solutions. "This new program is already encouraging the growth of solar energy in Virginia as many other customers have contacted us and shown interest."

The Solar Partnership Program was approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission last November. Dominion will construct and operate up to 30 megawatts of company-owned solar facilities on leased rooftops or on the grounds of commercial businesses and public properties throughout the company's Virginia service area. Fully implemented, the program would generate enough power for 7,500 homes. Each installation could generate as much as two megawatts of electricity. read more>>>

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