July 21, 2014

How Drought Impacts Lives in California, China & India

Across the globe, drought is strangling rivers, elevating energy costs and forcing populations into extreme circumstances.  In the United States… California is locked inside the third year of an historic drought projected to cost the state $2.2 billion by year’s end. With over 80 percent of California experiencing “extreme drought” conditions, the State Water Resources Read More

July 21, 2014

Preserving Sage Grouse Habitat Is an Environmental Conundrum

In the western United States, the greater sage grouse is teetering on the brink of environmental protection. Federal wildlife officials have until September 2015 to decide if the bird should officially be designated as endangered. Yet while the designation may aid the sage grouse, protecting its diminished habitat could deprive states like Wyoming of lucrative Read More

July 21, 2014

In Washington, Oyster Farms Declining Due to Ocean Acidification

It was in 2002 that the family-owned Nisbet Oyster Company first noticed a drop in their adult oyster populations. By 2012, their oyster production had declined by 42 percent. This is a serious problem for Washington, which is home to one of the most productive oyster farming areas in the United States, Willapa Bay. According Read More

July 18, 2014

Chartier-Corbasson’s “Organic Skyscraper” Grows from Residents’ Recyclables

Architecture firm Chartier-Corbasson has developed an “Organic Skyscraper” concept that uses the recycled materials of its own residents to add more floors over time. Waste such as plastic bottles and paper would be used to construct the insulated panels that form the building’s floor plates and facade panels. Floors would be added as demand for Read More

July 18, 2014

Alaska Creating Energy Microgrids for Small, Isolated Communities

The Department of Energy has partnered with the Department of the Interior to create energy “microgrids” for small, isolated towns in Alaska. Once successfully tested, microgrids could be used in other remote areas such as the African bush and small island nations. Separated from the lower 48, Alaska is infamous for its cold, independent frontier. Read More

July 18, 2014

Iceland Loses Iconic Lake Balls to Pollution

Lake Mývatn is located in Iceland and, along with Lake Akan in Japan and Lake Svityaz in Ukraine, until recently it was one of the very few places on Earth where lake balls could be found. What are lake balls, you ask? They’re fuzzy, green balls about 10 to 15 centimeters in diameter – and Read More

July 18, 2014

An Interview with Peter Banner, Renewable Energy Veteran

With over 35 years of field experience, Peter Banner is a veteran of the renewable energy industry. He was a founding member of the California based Independent Energy Producers Association (IEP), and served on its Board of Directors from 1982 through 1986. Erecting his first wind turbine in 1979, he has since worked as the Read More

July 17, 2014

These 5 Species Are More Endangered than You Know

Time Magazine has compiled a list of five species that are quietly and quickly disappearing. As Chris Shepherd, director of the conservation group Traffic South East Asia, explains, “So many species are just not popular enough, or well-known enough to share the spotlight with the world’s threatened megafauna.” In fact, the relative obscurity of these Read More

July 17, 2014

Australia Repeals Its Carbon Tax

On Thursday, the Australian government repealed its controversial carbon tax.   Australia has repealed the tax, not because it has reached a new level of energy efficiency or produced a more streamlined alternative – in fact, as of 2012 Australia produced 24.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person, which is four times the world average. The Read More

July 17, 2014

How Wasteful Is Bottling Water?

Bottled water is a $12.2 billion industry, but is it really worth the price we’re all paying for it?  In a recent article for the Los Angeles Times, Karin Klein examines the controversy surrounding bottling giant Nestlé. The company is currently under no obligation to report how much water it is pumping out of the Read More

July 17, 2014

Drought Projected to Cost California $2.2 Billion in 2014

On Tuesday, the University of California, Davis issued an economic analysis of California’s drought-wracked agriculture sector. The numbers are grim. California is now in its third year of drought, with almost 80 percent of the state experiencing extreme drought and over a third of the state experiencing what the U.S. Drought Monitor terms “exceptional drought.” Read More

July 17, 2014

How Energy Spending Varies by State

Ever wonder how consumer energy spending breaks down by state? WalletHub, a research organization that specializes in comparison studies, has published a list of the most and least energy-expensive states in the union. The list is very simple, providing the price of natural gas, electricity and gasoline in each state, as well as the total. Read More

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