Friday, July 26, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 26 July 2013

Schumer Calls For Hot Weather Upgrades To Mass Transit Systems
Last Week's Heat Wave Brought A Number Of Issues For Commuters

July 21, 2013 - Sen. Charles Schumer has called for a review of the region’s mass transit rail systems so upgrades can be implemented.

In a press release, New York’s senior senator said last week’s heat wave highlighted the need to strengthen the equipment and make the transit systems more resilient.

Schumer has called on a number of federal agencies to review the infrastructure so necessary funding for improvements can be included in next year’s federal Transportation Reauthorization bill. read more>>>

Here’s how wind and solar can save more lives and prevent more pollution
22 Jul 2013 - America’s renewable energy boom could protect more lives and prevent more climate pollution if wind turbines and solar panels were being installed in different locations, a new study suggests.

Solar and wind energy is most valuable to society when it replaces coal burning. read more>>>

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Alaska Looks for Answers in Glacier’s Summer Flood Surges
July 22, 2013 - The idea that glaciers change at a glacial speed is increasingly false. They are melting and retreating rapidly all over the world. But the unpredictable flood surges at the Mendenhall Glacier, about 14 miles from downtown Juneau, Alaska’s capital, are turning a jog into a sprint as global temperatures and climate variability increase.

Starting in July 2011, and each year since, sudden torrents of water shooting out from beneath the glacier have become a new facet of Juneau’s brief, shimmering high summer season. read more>>>

Clean Power Coming Soon to San Francisco
07/22/2013 - By spring, San Francisco will launch CleanPowerSF, a 100 percent renewable energy alternative to PG&E power. CleanPowerSF is the single biggest step we collectively can take to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It creates a path toward energy independence by giving San Franciscans the ability to invest in and build out our own renewable resources, which will create living-wage jobs.

Other California municipalities are already seeing the benefits of this model. Marin County has operated a thriving community-choice aggregation program for the past two years and Sonoma County is pressing forward with its own initiative. read more>>>

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The Soundtrack of Climate Change
A college student uses music to depict rising temperatures from 1880 to 2012

July 22, 2013 - As people in the Midwest and the East Coast broil in blistering temperatures, they’re reminded of how it might relate to global warming. But rather than using big data to relay the effects of climate change, a University of Minnesota undergrad is illustrating the point with his cello.

Through a process referred to as data sonification, Daniel Crawford used global annual surface air temperature data from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and converted it into a range of musical notes. read more>>>

House GOP takes our environment hostage: Editorial
July 26, 2013 - Republicans mocked President Obama’s speech this week on economic recovery, but don’t expect any alternative jobs proposal from them. They’re too busy holding our gasping economy over a cliff, threatening to let go unless his health care law is defunded.

This is their only answer to our unemployment crisis: Cut spending, at any cost. read more>>>

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Going beyond black with solar
July 25, 2013 - Almost all silicon PV panels available on the market today are black. Copper indium gallium (CIGS) cells and panels are often a dark coppery color, largely because those colors absorb more light more readily. But what if you could choose PV panels that match the color of a home or building’s original paint color? That’s one of the things being worked on at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF.

"Not enough work has been done so far on combining photovoltaics and design elements to really do the term 'customized photovoltaics' justice," said Kevin F├╝chsel, project manager at the Fraunhofer. He has been developing nanostructured solar cells that can allow for more flexibility in terms of design. read more>>>

Biden, in India, calls climate change a risk to development
07/24/13 - Vice President Biden said in India on Wednesday that fighting climate change shouldn’t be at odds with economic development efforts in the world’s second-most-populous nation.

Biden devoted plenty of space to climate change in his speech at the Bombay Stock Exchange at a time when the White House is vowing to step-up international engagement.

“Of course India’s first priority is and must be lifting its citizens out of poverty. But unless we can develop a sustainable path on a low-carbon path, the consequences of climate change will seriously undermine the development and growth, as well as harm the very health of the people of India,” Biden said in a wide-ranging speech in Mumbai. read more>>>

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A Republican Secretary of State Urges Action on Climate Change
July 24, 2013 - As Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan, George Shultz helped negotiate the most successful global environmental treaty to date: the Montreal Protocol, which phased out the use of chlorofluorocarbons and other ozone-depleting chemicals. Those chemicals also act as potent greenhouse gases, so the agreement also makes him the negotiator of one of the most effective global climate treaties ever, despite being part of an administration that famously removed solar technology from the White House roof. read more>>>

You'll Never Guess Who Just Schooled Congress On Climate Change Denial
23 July 2013 - A group of 200 self-identified Evangelical scientists sent a letter to Congress last week expressing their scientific belief that climate change is real and calling for legislation to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment. The letter, addressed to Senate Majority Leader Reid, House Speaker John Boehner and members of the United States Congress, stands as a sharp rebuttal to those members of Congress who have invoked their Christian faith to deny climate change.

All of the signatories had a Masters or doctorate in a scientific field and cited their belief in Christian teachings on compassion for the poor, as well as the increase in extreme weather events. read more>>>

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