More than 20 organizations launch Solar Saves Lives to electrify Puerto Rico

November 14, 2017 by  
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Puerto Rico’s electricity crisis continues – and the solar industry plans to help. More than 20 organizations and companies, including The Solar Foundation , Sunrun , and the Clinton Foundation , launched the Solar Saves Lives initiative to bring solar technology to American citizens in Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) after the recent hurricanes . Their priorities are two food markets in San Juan and 62 rural medical clinics. Puerto Rico’s loss of power doesn’t just mean people sit in the dark. It also means it can be harder to obtain fresh water or food. Many rural medical clinics are still closed, meaning it can be difficult for people to receive medical attention they need. Several organizations and companies are responding with over $5 million in solar equipment commitments to work towards restoring power in Puerto Rico and the USVI and helping the islands be more resilient to future storms. Related: Richard Branson is planning to rebuild the Caribbean with clean energy Former president Bill Clinton said in a statement, “Seven weeks after Hurricane Maria made landfall in the Caribbean, people in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are still in urgent need of assistance. The solar equipment donated through this effort will save lives by aiding recovery efforts, providing power for people in remote areas, and solarizing critically needed services like refrigeration and medical care.” Direct Relief, Operation Blessing, J/P Haitian Relief Organization, SunSpec Alliance, BayWa r.e. Solar Systems, Prana Power, CAM Solar, Campervan HQ, Carolina Solar Energy, Renogy, and Solight Design are among the companies and organizations involved. Solar Saves Lives will be bringing equipment like lanterns, cell chargers, solar refrigeration units, solar water purification units, battery packs, solar panels, and inverters to impacted areas. Solar Saves Lives is asking for both product and monetary donations; find out how to help here . + Solar Saves Lives Images via Solar Saves Lives and Wikimedia Commons

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More than 20 organizations launch Solar Saves Lives to electrify Puerto Rico

Hillary Clinton: The greenest president ever?

November 8, 2016 by  
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Green businesses will be hoping Donald Trump’s pro-pollution policies are thwarted today, but there are also plenty of positive environmental reasons to yearn for a Clinton presidency.

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Hillary Clinton: The greenest president ever?

China criticizes Donald Trump’s plan to pull out of the Paris climate agreement

November 2, 2016 by  
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The Chinese government, in a break from its public position to not comment on the US election, has called out Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump ‘s plan to withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement that is expected to enter into force on Friday. Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative for climate change , rejected the plans by Trump to back out of the global climate deal signed by nearly 200 nations. In a response to reporters on the question of how China would work with a Trump administration on climate change, Xie said that “a wise political leader should take policy stances that conform with global trends,” adding that “if they resist this trend, I don’t think they’ll win the support of their people, and their country’s economic and social progress will also be affected.” Related: Would a Trump presidency undo the UN climate change agreement? Trump in 2012 famously tweeted that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” At an oil and natural gas conference in North Dakota this past May, Trump previewed the pro-fossil fuel industry policies he would implement during his first 100 days in office. He pledged to cancel the American commitment to the Paris climate pact, saying that he would “stop all payments of the United States tax dollars to UN global warming programs.” He also committed during his first 100 days in the White House to rolling back environmental regulations put in place by President Obama, including the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the United States rule that allows the EPA to regulate land use to prevent water contamination. Related: Donald Trump has a yuge vested interest in the Dakota Access Pipeline China and the US — the world’s two biggest greenhouse gas polluters responsible for nearly 38 percent of global emissions — both ratified the Paris climate accord in September. China has pledged to peak carbon emissions by 2030 while the US has vowed to slash emissions 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. China plans to implement the world’s largest carbon trading market in 2017 to cut emissions. While some experts believe carbon pricing is the best route to achieving emissions reductions, in the absence of legislation in Congress, President Obama and the EPA introduced the Clean Power Plan that sets a national limit on carbon pollution produced from power plants. Trump has said he would eliminate the Clean Power Plan if elected. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has praised the Paris climate deal and promised to keep America’s commitment if elected. Accepting her party’s nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last July, she said that “I believe in science. I believe that climate change is real and that we can save our planet while creating millions of good-paying clean energy jobs,” adding later in the address that “I’m proud that we shaped a global climate agreement — now we have to hold every country accountable to their commitments, including ourselves.” Via Reuters Images via Wikimedia

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China criticizes Donald Trump’s plan to pull out of the Paris climate agreement

What does Hillary Clinton need to do to win over climate hawk voters?

July 28, 2016 by  
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Many climate hawk voters flocked to Bernie Sanders during the Democratic presidential primaries, drawn to the Vermont senator’s call for a WWII-scale mobilization to save human civilization from catastrophic climate change. But where will Sanders supporters go now that Hillary Clinton is officially the Democratic nominee in the race for the White House against Donald Trump, who says that global warming is a hoax invented by the Chinese? Some climate hawks are swooping to Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who is calling for a Green New Deal to revitalize the American economy and reverse global warming. But many climate hawks are perched on the fence post, occassionally circling high above the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, waiting for a signal from Clinton that she will join them in the fight to protect human civilization and the natural world from the climate disruption that threatens our way of life. Related: Hillary Clinton finally announces opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline Clinton is speaking at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday as she accepts the nomination as the first female to lead a major party presidential ticket. So what could she say to win over climate hawk voters? What policy positions could she stake out that would signal to climate hawks that she is serious about addressing climate change? “This election is about climate change, the great environmental crisis facing our planet,” Sanders said Monday night in Philadelphia. “Hillary Clinton is listening to the scientists who tell us that unless we act boldly to transform our energy system in the very near future, there will be more drought, more floods, more acidification of the oceans, rising sea levels. … Hillary Clinton understands that a president’s job is to worry about future generations, not the profits of the fossil fuel industry.” Related: Hillary Clinton wants to increase U.S. solar power 700% by 2027 CALL CLIMATE CHANGE OUR GREATEST THREAT At the first Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas last October, Sanders called climate change the greatest threat to national security while Clinton said nuclear weapons are the biggest security threat facing the country. While the nuclear threat is very real and should be taken seriously, that stance won’t win over climate hawks. Clinton could take a cue from the Democratic Party platform that was just ratified — the strongest climate platform ever. The platform recognizes climate change as “an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time” and declares the United States must take the lead in “forging a robust global solution to the climate crisis.” The platform even calls for the WWII-scale mobilization that Sanders mentioned during his campaign: We are committed to a national mobilization, and to leading a global effort to mobilize nations to address this threat on a scale not seen since World War II. In the first 100 days of the next administration, the President will convene a summit of the world’s best engineers, climate scientists, policy experts, activists, and indigenous communities to chart a course to solve the climate crisis. Clinton simply needs to take this language adopted in the party platform and explain it to the American people. That her administration will take immediate and unprecedented action on climate change as soon as she is settled in the Oval Office. PLEDGE TO BAN FRACKING The evidence is becoming clearer that fracked natural gas is not a bridge to a clean energy future, but, as environmental activist Bill McKibben says, is “a costly detour.” Promoting natural gas is simply incompatable with U.S. climate targets. According to McKibben , because of methane leaks from natural gas, “it’s even possible that America’s contribution to global warming increased during the Obama years.” Clinton now has some political cover to come out against natural gas because of such a strong party platform that pledges to institute a “climate test” on federal infrastructure projects. There is just no way that fracked natural gas, mined coal or extracted oil can ever meet realistic targets to prevent runaway global warming that were agreed to at the Paris climate talks. Just as President Obama explained that the “climate test” is the reason he rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, Clinton can use this key part of the Democratic platform when she is challenged on decisions to keep fossil fuels in the ground. SUPPORT PRICE ON CARBON By not including a carbon tax in her ambitious climate action plan, Clinton is going directly against her own party platform, which calls for a price on carbon to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Here is the language in the party platform: Democrats believe that carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases should be priced to reflect their negative externalities, and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy and help meet our climate goals. Sanders supports a carbon fee and dividend and if Clinton came around to the position of Sanders and the Democratic Party it would bring more climate hawks to her campaign. MOVE UP 100% CLEAN ENERGY AND ZERO EMISSIONS TARGETS One area where Clinton could actually go beyond the bold commitments in the Democratic Party platform is with clean energy and greenhouse gas emissions. Clinton has already called to increase American solar power 700 percent by 2027. Clinton wants to deploy half a billion solar panels by the end of her first term and enough clean energy to provide electricity to every home in the United States within 10 years. The platform calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions more than 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050 and getting 50 percent of electricity from renewable energy sources within a decade. Why not go beyond these commitments? Clinton could move up the targets to align with what the science says needs to be done to avert dangerous global warming. How about announcing a commitment to 100 percent clean energy and net zero emissions by 2030? PROMOTE ECOLOGICAL SOLUTIONS TO CLIMATE CHANGE There is increasing acknowledgement that technological solutions will not be enough to reverse global warming and that existing atmospheric carbon must be drawn down to get to pre-industrial levels of 280 parts per millions that have allowed civilization and the natural world to flourish in a safe and stable climate. More climate activists are coming around to the view that restoring ecosystems is an important part, perhaps the most important part, of solving climate change. Clinton could announce a restructuring of the federal government to promote regenerative agriculture, also known as carbon farming , as imperative to sequestering carbon safely in the soil. Images via Wikipedia

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What does Hillary Clinton need to do to win over climate hawk voters?

Hillary Clinton wants to increase U.S. solar power 700% by 2027

July 27, 2015 by  
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As the race to the White House heats up, Hillary Clinton is in the spotlight more than ever. Like her opponents, Clinton has begun issuing proposals for responding to climate change  and the first phase of her announcements is a bold one. She is calling for the United States to source 33 percent of its energy from solar power by 2027. That would be enough to power every home in the country, and constitutes an astounding 700 percent increase over current solar technology. Is the former First Lady setting unrealistic goals? Read the rest of Hillary Clinton wants to increase U.S. solar power 700% by 2027

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Hillary Clinton wants to increase U.S. solar power 700% by 2027

Low-cost Eucalyptus screen shields a hospital dormitory from Rwanda’s scorching sun

July 27, 2015 by  
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Bill Clinton visits Solar Sister site in Tanzania, where women are empowered by clean energy

May 5, 2015 by  
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As part of worldwide efforts by the Clinton Foundation to empower women with economic knowledge and opportunities, Bill Clinton toured a Solar Sister  site in the town of Karatu, Tanzania recently, where woman receive training and micro-financing to sell solar-powered lanterns and cookstoves. Solar Sister is part of Sustainable Energy Solutions powered by Women’s Enterprise, a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action. They have created a deliberately woman-centered direct sales network to bring the potential of clean energy to even the most remote communities in Africa. Read the rest of Bill Clinton visits Solar Sister site in Tanzania, where women are empowered by clean energy Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “clean energy” , “solar energy” , africa women entrepreneurs , alternative energy , Clinton Foundation , clinton global initiative , clinton visits tanzania , entrepreneurs , solar lights , solar panels , Solar Power , solar sister , solar sisters clinton visit , solar sisters tanzania , tanzania micro business

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Bill Clinton visits Solar Sister site in Tanzania, where women are empowered by clean energy

Like Chernobyl all over again: Forest fires release plutonium particles into the air

May 5, 2015 by  
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Click here to view the embedded video. Forest fire danger is taking on a new dimension in the Ukraine, where a raging wildfire near the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear disaster site is sending radioactive plutonium particles into the atmosphere. The Ecologist  reports that as trees at Chernobyl burn, they are releasing radioactive plutonium particles that are being suspended in the air, which could pose a significant health danger in the form of radiation poisoning to people in the area. Read the rest of Like Chernobyl all over again: Forest fires release plutonium particles into the air Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: chernobyl forest fire plutonium , nuclear radation particles released by fire , ukraine forest fire burning , ukraine forest fire releases plutonium

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Like Chernobyl all over again: Forest fires release plutonium particles into the air

The McDonough Conversations: From Clinton to Gore and beyond

December 16, 2013 by  
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A whirlwind two weeks in the high-profile, trans-Atlantic life of the designer, architect, author and entrepreneur. 

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The McDonough Conversations: From Clinton to Gore and beyond

Poverty-Stricken Haiti to Plant Millions of Trees, Aims to Double Forest Coverage by 2016

March 29, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock Its hills once lined with lush greenery, Haiti is now 98 percent bereft of forest coverage – making this poverty-stricken nation one of the baldest on earth. Now the government is promising to get serious about planting millions of trees, as many as 50 million a year, in order to double coverage from two percent to just over four percent by 2016, The Guardian reports. In addition to restoring some of the forests clear cut for colonial plantations and felled for cooking fuel, the move is expected to reduce poverty and improve quality of life for millions of residents. Read the rest of Poverty-Stricken Haiti to Plant Millions of Trees, Aims to Double Forest Coverage by 2016 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: agriculture , Clinton Foundation , Environment , environmental degradation , environmental service , haiti , mudslides , natural disaster , News , Richard Branson , tree planting

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Poverty-Stricken Haiti to Plant Millions of Trees, Aims to Double Forest Coverage by 2016

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