Switzerland votes to ban nuclear power and invest in renewable energy

May 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Switzerland just passed a new energy law that promotes renewable energy and bans nuclear power plants. The landmark vote brings the nation closer to meeting its goal of generating 4,400 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of renewable energy by 2020, and 11,400 GWh by 2035. Over the weekend, approximately 42% of the population turned up to vote in the national referendum, which marks the eighth time in recent history Swiss citizens have voted on the issue. Though the Energy Strategy 2050 was approved by Parliament last year, the country’s right wing Swiss People’s Party challenged the reform to the referendum in an attempt prevent the move from taking place. The move to initiate the reform passed easily with a 58.2% vote, however, shutting down any talk of investment in nuclear energy . At a press conference, Swiss Energy Minister Doris Leuthard said “After six years of debate in parliament and at committee level, a new chapter in Switzerland’s energy policy can begin. But there is still a lot of work to do.” Related: Tunnel collapses at America’s most contaminated nuclear waste facility Energy Strategy 2050 mandates that general licenses provided for nuclear power plants (which presently provide 38% of the country’s energy) will no longer be sold, beginning in 2019. Additionally, when existing nuclear power plants reach the end of their lifespan, they will be closed and not replaced. The reform also aims to reduce per capita energy consumption by 16 percent within the next three years, and by 43 percent by 2035. Energy Strategy 2050 intends for electricity consumption to decline by 3 percent in 2020 and 13 percent in 2035. This will be managed by increasing the output of solar , wind, biomass, and geothermal energy. Supporters of the law say that investing in renewables will make Switzerland less dependent on energy imports. At the same time, the country will maintain its highly supply standard. Activists are also celebrating the fact that by phasing out investments in nuclear energy, the environment and future generations will undoubtedly benefit. Via Swiss Info Images via Pixabay

Continued here: 
Switzerland votes to ban nuclear power and invest in renewable energy

Red States vs. Blue States: Which Are More Eco-Friendly?

May 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco

Consider that the most environmentally friendly states are Vermont, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington and Connecticut, while the lowest are Oklahoma, North Dakota, West Virginia, Montana and Wyoming. Notice a pattern? It turns out that political…

See more here:
Red States vs. Blue States: Which Are More Eco-Friendly?

You’ll never guess why Trump wants to scrap the Energy Star Program

May 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on You’ll never guess why Trump wants to scrap the Energy Star Program

We’re all familiar with the little blue star label on home appliances that tells us how much electricity it will use. The EPA’s Energy Star program is about as uncontroversial as they come: it is a win for consumers and saves billions of dollars. But for some reason, Trump wants to toss the program out. Why would he want to do a thing like that? It probably has nothing to do with the low Energy Star ratings his properties have… right? Beyond rating appliances, Energy Star rates commercial buildings in a voluntary scoring system. Coincidentally, Trump’s properties tend to rate lower than other comparable buildings. In fact, 11 out of 15 of his skyscrapers in New York, San Francisco and Chicago rate low. The Mayfair Hotel, for instance, has a rating of 1. On a scale of 1 to 100. Related: Trump is switching off the EPA’s invaluable public data service This is all speculation, of course. The program does have some critics, but given all the other promises Trump  made on the campaign trail, this seems like an unnecessary fight to pick. Ditching Energy Star will undoubtably help Trump, because investors and tenants usually take note of a building’s efficiency when decide to invest. It’s all just par for the course in Trump’s White House: another day, another grift. via Daily Kos and NPR lead image via Flickr

More here: 
You’ll never guess why Trump wants to scrap the Energy Star Program

Ai Weiwei and Shepard Fairey launch skateboard protest art for Trump’s 100th day

April 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Ai Weiwei and Shepard Fairey launch skateboard protest art for Trump’s 100th day

Artist-activists Ai Weiwei and Shepard Fairey have teamed up to launch a new series of artwork today in response to the 100th day of Donald Trump’s presidency. The pieces are printed on an intriguing medium: limited-edition skateboards. The collection is debuting at The Skateroom , a social entrepreneurship initiative that uses funds from its custom, fine-art skateboard decks to support at-risk youth. This is the second time The Skateroom has worked with Ai Weiwei , a contemporary artist and political activist whose work has drawn the ire of Chinese government on more than one occasion. His Study of Perspective collection showcases a series of photos shot between 1995 and 2003, with the artist flipping the finger at iconic landmarks and symbols of authority across the globe. Though it’s not a new series, the spirit of ideological opposition is one that remains especially relevant in today’s political climate – and the piece The Skateroom has chosen to highlight takes aim directly at the White House. LA-based street artist Shepard Fairey , perhaps best known for his iconic and controversial Obama “HOPE” posters , has also adapted one of his existing political works for The Skateroom. No Future is a simple, black and white stenciled image that denounces hate speech and propaganda – two subjects that have become disturbingly urgent in this new era of fake news and “alternative facts.” Related: Creepy Skull Sculptures Rise from the Remains of Dead Skateboards The collaboration with both artists makes perfect sense – Weiwei and Fairey have both attempted throughout their careers to use art as a force for positive social change, so The Skateroom’s mission is a clear match. These politically-charged works will debut at Art Market San Francisco from April 27th-29th, and will be available to purchase at The Skateroom online store. The Ai Weiwei print is available in a limited edition run of 666 hand screen-printed 7-ply Canadian maple skateboards, the first 66 of which will be signed by the artist and priced at $3,000 each. The Shepard Fairy edition will be slightly more limited, with only 450 skateboards available, priced at $450 a piece. + The Skateroom Images courtesy of The Skateroom

See the original post: 
Ai Weiwei and Shepard Fairey launch skateboard protest art for Trump’s 100th day

March for Science: What You Need to Know

April 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco

Comments Off on March for Science: What You Need to Know

2017 is shaping up to be the Year of the March, and Earth Day will get an inaugural march to add to its festivities: the March for Science. Millions of people are expected to join in, from places as far apart as Anchorage, Alaska, to Wangdue,…

View original here:
March for Science: What You Need to Know

Finland’s Green Party says humanity must embrace nuclear power

April 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Finland’s Green Party says humanity must embrace nuclear power

Nuclear energy must be an option as humanity shifts away from fossil fuels , according to a recent article penned by four candidates of Finland’s Green Party , or Green League. The party strictly opposed the controversial fuel source in the past, but these four candidates said we’re running out of time to fight climate change and no longer have the luxury of picking between renewable energy and nuclear power. Humanity should take another look at nuclear power, according to Jakke Mäkelä, Tuomo Liljenbäck, Markus Norrgran, and Heidi Niskanen of the Finnish Greens. They wrote a March 6 blog post, translated by J.M. Korhonen , detailing why Finland should develop nuclear energy. Related: Germany’s massive nuclear fusion reactor is actually working Finland’s temperatures are spiking quicker than any other place in the world due to climate change, according to Forbes contributor James Conca. The country has pledged to end coal use by 2030, but they’re also widely utilizing biomass . The four Greens condemned the government’s burning of wood chips for power since it emits carbon dioxide and will destroy forests . The Greens said renewable energy won’t be able to help us wean completely off fossil fuels yet. They said solar and wind work very well up to a point, but on a large scale require lots of raw materials and land. They pointed to Germany, which shuttered nuclear power plants, but the consequence was renewable energy largely replaced nuclear energy and not fossil fuels. The four Greens said we no longer have the option of choosing between renewables and nuclear. They wrote, “Unless we spend a lot more money in all clean energy sources, we are certain to be doomed.” Korhonen notes their viewpoint is not an official recommendation from the Green Party or of the Viite, the technology and science subgroup of which Mäkelä is vice-chairman and the others are members. It’s simply the opinion of the four candidates, who were up for election in Turku. The Green Party won 12 percent of the total vote in the recent elections, gaining seats and winning the largest share in their history. Via J.M. Korhonen and Forbes Images via Pixabay ( 1 , 2 )

Read more here:
Finland’s Green Party says humanity must embrace nuclear power

The green business guide to Brexit: 10 questions to ask

April 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on The green business guide to Brexit: 10 questions to ask

Brexit throws up countless uncertainties for green businesses, but they should not be allowed to paralyze decision makers.

Continued here:
The green business guide to Brexit: 10 questions to ask

Publishing writes a new chapter on sustainable culture

April 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Publishing writes a new chapter on sustainable culture

Books are a $28 billion industry in the U.S. One employee-owned publishing house is turning the public conversation towards sustainable living.

Here is the original post:
Publishing writes a new chapter on sustainable culture

ExxonMobil exhorts White House to keep Paris agreement

March 31, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on ExxonMobil exhorts White House to keep Paris agreement

When a fossil fuel company under fire for covering up past knowledge of climate change exhorts the President of the United States to stay in the 2015 Paris agreement , something’s not quite right. ExxonMobil manager of environmental policy and planning Peter Trelenberg wrote a letter to the White House earlier this month reiterating ExxonMobil’s position on the deal. He made it clear ExxonMobil thinks President Donald Trump should not pull out of the historic, hard-fought agreement. On the campaign trail Trump promised to yank the United States out of the Paris agreement. But so far the White House hasn’t taken that step, even in a recent environmentally devastating executive order . Meanwhile Trump’s new Secretary of State, former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson , has said in the past the president is wrong about climate change , and perhaps could have now persuaded Trump to stick with the deal. Related: Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson says Trump is wrong about climate change On March 22, Trelenberg wrote to G. David Banks, Special Assistant to the President for International Energy and Environment, thanking Banks for a recent inquiry on the oil and gas giant’s views regarding the agreement. Trelenberg said ExxonMobil welcomed the agreement both in December 2015, when it was announced at COP21 , and in November 2016 when it went into force. Don’t get too excited – Trelenberg didn’t write off fossil fuels altogether. He said, “We believe that the United States is well positioned to compete within the framework of the Paris Agreement, with abundant low-carbon resources such as natural gas , and innovative private industries, including the oil, gas, and petrochemical sectors.” Trelenberg said natural gas is the “cleanest-burning and least carbon-intensive fossil fuel” that has helped American attain 20-year lows in carbon dioxide emissions . He did point out ExxonMobil has invested $7 billion in lower emission fuels – such as biofuels made from algae – for around 15 years, and ended his letter with a final call to stay in the Paris agreement. The irony of the ExxonMobil letter prompted Senator Bernie Sanders to tweet : “It is pathetic that the largest oil company in the world understands more about climate change than the president of the United States.” Via The Independent Images via Roy Luck on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

See the rest here:
ExxonMobil exhorts White House to keep Paris agreement

Trumps EPA chief lifts ban on pesticide that poisons children

March 31, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Trumps EPA chief lifts ban on pesticide that poisons children

As part of the Trump administration’s current war to overthrow Obama-era environmental regulations, this week, newly appointed EPA Chief Scott Pruitt signed an order reversing a recommendation to ban a pesticide linked to nervous system damage in children. Chlorpyrifos is sprayed on tree nuts, soybeans, corn, wheat, apples, citrus, and a number of other common crops. In recent years, researchers have found that chlorpyrifos exposure on foods, in drinking water, and in the air can impair cognitive development in children. (Given that the active chemical is related to nerve agent weapons, perhaps this should not be surprising.) Multiple studies have found that children exposed to the pesticide at high levels have lower IQ scores than their peers. In light of the evidence, much of it gathered by the EPA’s own researchers, the agency adopted a “zero tolerance” policy for any residues of the chemical left on food items in 2015. Since it’s impossible to completely remove the chemical, this would have effectively ended its use in the US. This followed a decade of restrictions that have gradually reduced the number of approved crops and circumstances for its use. Despite the risk, it’s still used widely in other countries. Related: EPA chief says carbon dioxide is not a ‘primary contributor’ to global warming Now, Scott Pruitt is ignoring his own agency’s research in order to allow farmers to continue using this toxic pesticide. Of course, that’s not the way he’s spinning it – if you ask him, it’s a win for the scientific process. In a statement about the order, he said, “By reversing the previous administration’s steps to ban one of the most widely used pesticides in the world, we are returning to using sound science in decision-making — rather than predetermined results.” The Natural Resources Defense Council has already pledged to fight the new action in court. Via LA Times Images via Pixabay ( 1 , 2 )

Go here to read the rest:
Trumps EPA chief lifts ban on pesticide that poisons children

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1179 access attempts in the last 7 days.