Posts by: adam

Nickel bag tax slashes waste in D.C.

Disposable plastic bags make up 47% of the trash in the Anacostia river basin, so Washington D.C. instituted a five-cent bag tax, effective January 1. How much difference could a nickel make? > Less than a month into the program, which D.C. officials describe as an effort to reduce litter and generate funds to clean up the Anacostia River, the… read more →

China set to dominate clean energy

China is the world's manufacturer, and increasingly that applies to energy infrastructure as well: > China vaulted past competitors in Denmark, Germany, Spain and the United States last year to become the world’s largest maker of wind turbines, and is poised to expand even further this year. > China has also leapfrogged the West in the last two years to… read more →

Bringing solar to the masses

Ages ago, Grist ran an interview with Anya Schoolman, a neighborhood activist who organized her Washington, D.C., community into a solar co-op. By forming a coaltion, the group was able to run a daunting gauntlet on the way to installing solar panels on 50 homes. Together, homeowners successfully lobbied for changes in local regulations, forged an agreement with their power… read more →

Climate progress under attack

The people who feel that the climate change legislation working its way through congress isn't sufficiently awesome to merit their support sometimes contend that no progress would be preferable to incremental progress. If we just hold out, a much better bill is surely just around the bend. What folks rarely seem to consider is that there's another possibility: rapid backsliding.… read more →

The facts of cap and trade

Environmental Defense Fund has put together a video rejoinder to Annie Leonard's Story of Cap and Trade. It's called The Facts of Cap and Trade, and it's very nicely done: Like Annie Leonard's video, it offers a compressed, simplified take on a complex topic. Unlike Leonard's video, it manages to build a case out of more than just disconnected innuendo.… read more →

E-bikes rolling forward…slowly

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Copenhagen Wheel, a fun new entry in the electric bicycle market. The New York Times declares that the market might finally be ready to take off, but to me it sounds like we have many years to go before e-bikes gain any sort of mainstream acceptance. The good news is that the… read more →

UK aims for 25% of electricity from offshore wind by 2020

The UK government recently issued licenses for a staggering amount of offshore wind capacity: > While the Round 3 project to build 29 gigawatts (GW) by 2020 is a challenge equivalent to building eight Channel Tunnels in 10 years and requires a step-change in technology, it is achievable, Benj Sykes, Senior Technology Acceleration Manager, told reporters... > It would require… read more →

Cap-and-trade could send $1,000 per year to California families

If climate change legislation fails in the senate -- an increasingly likely proposition -- focus will shift back to regional initiatives. The most far-reaching of these efforts is California's cap-and-trade program, which begins in 2012. An advisory committee charged with making recommendations regarding the design of California's emissions trading system recently proposed that most of the cash raised from the… read more →

Avatar: green epic or epically silly?

James Cameron's blockbuster Avatar has irritated some conservative critics with its softheaded environmentalism. Watching conservatives tie themselves in knots over the movie's moralizing has in turn greatly amused a variety of liberal commentators. Which is all fine, I suppose, if parsing the political subtext of Hollywood action movies is your cup of tea. I'm just disappointed that anyone takes seriously… read more →

The Unchained Goddess

One fact of climate change not widely recognized even by environmentalists is just how long ago the basic science and implications of the greenhouse effect were established. Victorian scientists were fascinated by the ice ages, and named carbon dioxide as a possible cause in the mid-1800s. At the end of the 19th century, chemist (and future Nobel Prize winner) Svante… read more →
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