Brilliant graphic shows surface area required to power California with 100% renewables

September 22, 2016 by  
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Cold hard science in the clean energy space has a wonderful way of debunking misinformation fueled by politics and corporate greed, and nobody does that better than the husband and wife team behind the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI). Elizabeth and Monoian and Robert Ferry have dished up an illuminating new infographic which demonstrates how much surface area is required to transition California away from energy sources that jeopardize planetary health to 100 percent renewables; take a closer look after the jump. LAGI writes: “Starting in 2009 with the Surface Area Required to Power the World with Solar , we have been making the case that the renewable energy transition, while a huge undertaking, is not any more ambitious in scale than previous human endeavors, and that the footprint on our environment can be designed to be in harmony with nature and provide a unique benefit to human culture.” The graphic depicts a mix of renewable energy technologies and how much land would be required to implement them – based on how much power each county currently consumes. “Much of the infrastructure can be located within our cities—on rooftops and through creative and community-owned applications in public spaces,” they write on their blog . “The rest could easily be located in the places that have already been disturbed by oil and gas extraction—the dark dots on the map.” In other words, the transition need not absorb more land than has already been appropriated to provide California residents with energy, and it is realistic for the State to attain a 100 percent renewable energy economy by 2050. Related: Elon Musk’s idea for powering the entire US with solar energy holds a lot of water In their study The Future of Solar Energy , MIT demonstrates that the same land use principle in California essentially applies to the entire country. LAGI wrote, “We were fascinated to learn across the entire US, the land area required to satisfy 100% of U.S. 2050 energy demand with PV would be no larger than the surface area that has already been ‘disturbed by surface mining for coal’.” They added that given the unprecedented threat of human-induced climate change , the global community can’t afford to pursue a less rigorous stance on climate change than California has done. Indeed, they question whether even that will be enough to avert the worst effects of warming temperatures and its cascade of consequences. “Don’t ask how much it will cost because that is the wrong question,” they said. “What will be the cost to the children born in 2016 if we do not act now? The technology exists to begin today, and the economic stimulus effect of a WPA-scale regenerative infrastructure project for the 21st century will bestow positive benefits for generations.” + Land Art Generator Initiative

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Brilliant graphic shows surface area required to power California with 100% renewables

See what splurging on a tiny house on wheels gets you in the beautiful ESCAPE Vintage

September 22, 2016 by  
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Presumably targeted towards retirees eager to travel, the new ESCAPE Vintage prioritizes comfort with a traditional Americana design that, despite its 315-square-foot size, features a first-floor queen-size bedroom, kitchen with a full-size refrigerator, dining area, living area, full-size bath, and upstairs loft/bedroom. The tiny portable home needn’t be used for travel, however. The adaptable ESCAPE Vintage can also serve as a guesthouse, Airbnb rental, writer’s retreat , or backyard office for any age. Craftsmanship and minimal power usage are at the heart of this tiny home on wheels . The 10,000-pound base unit sleeps up to four and measures 25 feet in length (29 feet including the hitch), 8.5 feet in width, and 13-and-a-half feet in height. The cottage-like exterior is clad in cedar lap siding and cedar trim with Corten-style metal accents and protective panels. A 36-inch glazed entry door, as well as a dozen operable low-E and thermopane windows, fills the home with natural light and views of the outdoors. The vaulted interior is lined with sealed three-quarter-inch pine walls, ceiling, and trim complemented by laminate flooring. Closed cell foam made from recycled products, a high-efficiency split system A/C, and an LP furnace with a thermostat maintains comfortable interior temperatures. Warm LEDs are installed throughout the home. Related: Portable ESCAPE Traveler XL home lets you hit the open road in freedom and luxury The first-floor bedroom with a queen-sized bed offers a variety of storage options and is divided from the open-plan kitchen, dining area, and living space by a sliding door. A large butcher-block table folds down for dining and the compact kitchen includes a full sink, cooktop, and full-size refrigerator. The spacious bathroom, located on the far end of the home features a vanity with single-bowl sink, a 30-inch-by-60-inch fiberglass tub and shower, Toto toilet, low-soho exhaust fan, and storage. A loft area accessible via ladder can be used as an extra bedroom or as storage. Water, power, and utility hook-ups are fast and easy. “This is our most classic design yet,” says ESCAPE Homes founder, Dan Dobrowolski. “The vintage oak floors, butcher block kitchen table and counters, and built-in bookshelves conjure up images of that family cabin that generations have enjoyed.” Introductory pricing starts at $59,800 and each handcrafted unit can be delivered within 90 days. The ESCAPE Vintage also offers many additional options available such as dry wall, washer and dryer, and off-grid programs. + ESCAPE Vintage Images via ESCAPE Vintage

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See what splurging on a tiny house on wheels gets you in the beautiful ESCAPE Vintage

Guerilla cycling: San Francisco activists create their own bike lanes with traffic cones

September 22, 2016 by  
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A group of concerned San Franciscans is erecting sections of protected bike lanes all across the city. Doing what they believe the city is not, SF Transformation (SFMTrA) has been leaving orange traffic cones  along bicycle and pedestrian lanes in an effort to bring attention to recent traffic fatalities and the lackluster reaction of public transportation officials. The organization, whose name is a play on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency ( SFMTA ), has set up traffic cones and signs in the city’s Mission District that direct bicycle and Uber traffic in the name of public safety. This action follows the deaths of two cyclists, struck down in different locations, earlier this year on June 22. Residents say more must be done to protect car-less commuters. Related: Lumos helmet keeps bikers safe with turn signals and brake lights “Even with some improvements from the SFMTA and other advocacy groups lobbying the city for safe streets, we felt there was more that could be done to increase street safety and attention to these issues by taking direct action on our public streets,” the group told CityLab . They predict no decline in the interest of cycling, especially as the globe starts to turn its back on fossil fuels and embrace greener modes of transportation. So far, SF Transformation has engaged in seven demonstrations, with several more planned. “With a growing group of members we expect to increase the amount of safety improvements we can make and this will encourage the city to do more as well,” they explain. “We are just getting started.” Via CityLab Images via Twitter

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Guerilla cycling: San Francisco activists create their own bike lanes with traffic cones

14 Pacific island nations considering world’s first ban on fossil fuels

July 15, 2016 by  
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14 Pacific island nations are currently considering the world’s first ban on fossil fuels. The measure is part of a climate treaty that would embrace the historic Paris climate deal and design a roadmap to meet the international goals. The proposed agreement up for discussion at the annual leaders’ summit of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) would ban new coal mines, create targets for renewable energy growth, and set limits for temperature increases. Insiders are optimistic that the treaty will progress, as national leaders have so far responded positively. “They seemed convinced that this is an avenue where the Pacific could again show or build on the moral and political leadership that they’ve shown earlier in their efforts to tackle climate change,” Mahendra Kumar, climate change adviser to PIDF, told The Guardian . Kumar said the treaty, written by a group of non-governmental organizations called the Pacific Island Climate Action Network (PICAN), will undergo several rounds of consultations leading to a report at next year’s summit. The earliest the climate treaty would go into effect, according to Kumar, is 2018. Related: Fiji is the first country in the world to ratify the Paris climate agreement Fiji ’s leadership established the PIDF in 2013, purposely excluding Australia and New Zealand, reportedly because those two nations (which belong to the older Pacific Islands Forum) tried to sabotage PIDF’s first meeting. The newer group embraces the ambitious 1.5C target set in Paris and seeks to ban new coal mines , as well as guarantee “universal access” to clean energy by 2030. The proposed treaty would also set up a “Pacific framework for renewable energy ” to that end, as well as establish a fund to compensate communities that have suffered the consequences of continued climate change. + Pacific Island Climate Action Network Via The Guardian Images via Wikipedia (1, 2, 3 ) and PICAN

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14 Pacific island nations considering world’s first ban on fossil fuels

California Passes New Law on How to Get 33% of Its Power from Clean Energy Sources

February 25, 2011 by  
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The California State Senate approved new rules on Thursday pertaining to how the state will get 33% of its power from renewable sources by 2020. In 2009 former Gov

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California Passes New Law on How to Get 33% of Its Power from Clean Energy Sources

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