This moment: An open letter to the GreenBiz community

June 2, 2020 by  
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This moment: An open letter to the GreenBiz community Joel Makower Tue, 06/02/2020 – 02:11 In the wee hours of Nov. 9, 2016, shortly after Donald Trump was declared the 45th president of the United States, I sat down and penned a note to the GreenBiz community. A lot of us were shocked, confused, depressed and angry that this vulgar man, who saw climate change as a hoax and “beautiful clean coal” as our savior, would be setting the national agenda at such a critical time. It was “a stunning and devastating indictment of decency, fairness and inclusion,” I wrote that morning. And: It will be critically important, for both our individual sanity and our collective future, that we stay the course, double down, make every program, project, partnership and product count. That was then. The past few days, in the wake of the national upheaval over the death of yet another black man at the hands of yet another white police officer, have been similarly filled with angst and anger within the sustainability community. “What do we do?” we’ve asked one another. Should we simply stay the course, doubling down on our work on climate and the clean economy, which is growing more urgent by the day? Or do we stop, take stock and rethink what we do? Today, I’m not sure that staying the course is, in and of itself, what’s needed. It may be time for a radical rethink: Given all that’s changing, what does the world need of us now? Whether you come from privilege or poverty, whether your education comes from the best schools or the streets, whatever your politics or identity, this is a brutally tough moment. The coronavirus and economic crash already had laid bare the inequity and disparity among the classes and races: those who have a job and those who don’t; those who are able to earn a living at home versus those who must risk going to an employer’s workplace during a pandemic; those who are able to afford food, shelter and healthcare, even amid economic upheaval, and those who can’t; those who feel comfortable walking or driving or just being outside their home, and those who fear that any moment could lead to their becoming the next George Floyd, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice or Sandra Bland. Now, all of those inequities and disparities have been cast into the open. To the extent they existed in the shadows — festering societal problems to which those with power and privilege largely threw up their hands — they are now center stage. To the extent these problems could be ignored — that one could live life without having to reckon with race, poverty and inequality — they have been thrust onto our individual and collective doorsteps. To the extent they were topics relegated to hushed, private conversations — well, those conversations are full-throated, 24/7 and inescapable. To the extent these problems could be ignored — that one could live life without having to reckon with race, poverty and inequality — they have been thrust onto our individual and collective doorsteps. The calamities of 2020 — the physical, economic, social and psychological crises we’d already been confronting these past few months — have contributed to this raw moment, the culmination of centuries of systemic oppression and institutionalized racism. Words of comfort, of healing and hope, aren’t cutting it, and they shouldn’t. For those of us working in sustainability, it raises some fundamental questions. Among them: What led you to this work in the first place? Was it to protect the unprotected? To ensure the well-being of future generations? To engender community resilience? To create solutions to big, seemingly intractable problems? Or maybe, simply, “to make the world a better place”? If so, then this is the moment to live up to those lofty goals — fully and, most likely, uncomfortably. That means having difficult conversations with family, colleagues, friends and peers. It means recognizing — really, truly recognizing, not just mouthing the words — that nothing is sustainable if people are in pain. It matters little how much renewable energy is generated, how many circular supply chains are created, how much organic or regenerative food is produced if our fellow citizens are being exploited, discriminated against, threatened and worse. This is what ‘sustainability’ should be about — the security and well-being of all species. This is what “sustainability” should be about — the security and well-being of all species, including humans — and it no doubt will provoke nodding heads among many of you. But nodding heads aren’t enough. They never were and certainly aren’t now. This is a moment for the private sector to step up. Not just in helping to calm and heal, although that will be a critical task in the coming days and weeks, but also to lobby for justice: economic justice, racial justice, criminal justice, climate justice. And to deeply understand what these terms even mean, and how they relate to creating the societal value that is the beating heart of business.  This is a seminal moment that is testing all of us — those in sustainability, certainly, along with most everyone else. And as we work on or support societal solutions — and countless ideas are likely to come out of this, from every conceivable source — it’s important to ask some simple but profound questions: Who’s setting the rules? Who’s calling the shots? Who’s being heard? Who’s left out? Who’s benefiting from the status quo and from the proposed solutions? Does it empower the marginalized or merely placate the restless? These are the kinds of questions that have been woefully absent in the past. And we are living with the result. If we are to change the course, not simply aim to get back to some elusive “normal,” these questions will need to be asked and answered. Failure to do that will lead us right back to where we are. I’d like to end on a positive, hopeful note, much as I tried to do back in November 2016. But hope and positivity are in short supply right now. So I’ll just say this: Don’t underestimate your power in this moment. You may not feel powerful, particularly in light of the deafening voices screaming in the streets and on our screens. But there is power in us all: to care for those around us, to contribute time and resources at the community and national levels, to take the time to truly comprehend the issues before us and to understand that silence is complicity. Pull Quote To the extent these problems could be ignored — that one could live life without having to reckon with race, poverty and inequality — they have been thrust onto our individual and collective doorsteps. This is what ‘sustainability’ should be about — the security and well-being of all species. Topics Policy & Politics Featured Column Two Steps Forward Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) On Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

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This moment: An open letter to the GreenBiz community

Keep your tiny home safe with these 9 security tips

April 8, 2019 by  
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Tiny home security is becoming a major concern amid a recent slew of thefts. Given the mobile nature of tiny homes, people have been hooking them up to their trucks and driving away with them. The majority of these stolen tiny homes have been recovered, but it is still unnerving to think that people can steal your entire home in a matter of minutes. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your tiny home from being stolen. From locking hitches to installing motion detectors and cameras , here are a few tiny home security tips that will give you peace of mind. Related: Is a tiny home right for you? Lock The Hitch According to Tiny House Blog , the easiest way to prevent your tiny home from being carted away is to buy a hitch lock. These handy devices will stop people from unhitching your tiny home trailer. It also prevents someone from hooking up to the trailer and driving away, which would obviously be just as bad. Hitch Block Speaking of hitches, you can always block access to it entirely. After all, if the trailer hitch is completely blocked off, nobody will be able tow it away. You either buy a hitch block or make one yourself, depending on your budget . Lock The Wheels Wheel locks are another great way to keep your tiny home from unintentionally rolling away. Traffic police use these same devices for cars that are parked illegally, and removing them without the proper tools is a lot of work. Apart from the key, someone would need some heavy duty equipment to remove the lock, which will deter most criminals. The downside to wheel locks is that they can be expensive to purchase outright. But considering how much you could lose if your entire home is stolen, the investment is well worth it. GPS Technology In the event that criminals bypass your security measures, having a GPS device hidden in the home will lead you right to it. Several companies make tracking devices specifically for tiny homes, so there are plenty of options on the market to fit your needs. The majority of these devices feature a monitoring service that keeps tabs on everything for you. They usually run under $25 a month, which is not bad considering it might be one of the best ways to locate your home if it is stolen. If you do have a tracker on your home, you should always work with local law enforcement when recovering the home. Dog Power Many criminals are deterred by dogs , primarily because they are either intimidating looking or they create a lot of noise. Either way, having a dog or two on the premises could be what ultimately scares off a potential thief. While dogs, both large and small, can help discourage intruders, they should not be the primary line of defense for your tiny home. Motion Lights There are few things that would-be thieves love more than cover, especially when they are scoping out a potential target. Motion lights are great at scaring away thieves or, at the very least, making them think twice about stealing from you. Not only can these lights illuminate potential hiding places around your home, but they can also stop creepers in their tracks. There are plenty of options on the market when it comes to motion lights. For most tiny home owners, battery operated products are the best because they can be installed just about anywhere and do not require any electrical wiring. Related: This tiny home allows a family of 3 to go off the grid in Maui Securing Your Tiny Home When it comes to securing your home, Tiny Home Builders recommends installing locks on all exterior doors and windows. You can start by buying for your front door. Just about any window lock will do as tiny home windows are usually built better than ones found in RVs and most mobile homes. Smart Technology Smart home technology has made it easier than ever to keep track of your home security. You can even purchase DIY systems that include both motion detectors and sound sensors. These input devices will send you messages on your phone whenever they detect suspicious activity. The one negative to using smart technology is that they require constant power and an internet connection to function. If WiFi is not available near your tiny home, this might not be a viable option for you. Security Cameras Having visible security cameras around your home is the best way to prevent theft. You can choose a system that either stores video on a local hard drive or on a cloud-based server. You usually get better quality with a local storage system, though being able to upload to the cloud means you can access it whenever you want. If you opt for installing a security camera to bolster your tiny home security, make sure you put up a sign so that thieves are well aware that they are being monitored at all times. Images via Shutterstock

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Keep your tiny home safe with these 9 security tips

Renewable electricity could overtake fossil fuels in Britain by next year

January 28, 2019 by  
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A new report from British power analysts EnAppSys is predicting renewable electricity will overtake fossil fuels as the main source of Great Britain’s electricity generation by next year if current trends continue. In their annual market review report for 2018, EnAppSys says that the levels of power generation from coal and gas-fired power stations fell by 6.7 percent, while generation from renewables increased 15.2 percent. If renewables do pass up fossil fuels in Great Britain in 2020, it will be a first, and it will prove that renewable energy has staying power. “It’s clear that renewables will be generating most of our power in the years ahead, with wind playing the leading role,” said Luke Clark, RenewableUK’s Head of External Affairs, told Clean Technica. During 2018, a large number of offshore wind farms were commissioned or went into full operation and the increase of wind energy led the way in renewable energy generation. Since the cost of offshore wind continues to decrease this means it will likely become the primary source of renewable  energy generation, at least in the short term. Related: Greenhouse gas emissions rose during 2018 after three year decline Currently, offshore wind power generation has a 55.4 percent share of the renewables mix. Between the moratorium on onshore wind and the falling costs of offshore wind, that share should climb even higher. However, there are still some concerns about the UK fuel mix because of the suspension of their Capacity Mechanism— a measure designed to ensure the security of the electricity supply by paying for reliable sources. In November, the European Union ruled that the Capacity Mechanism was illegal. Those payments were going to old coal, gas , and nuclear plants, and some saw them as government subsidies. But, without that money, some of those plants may leave the market. If that happens, it will lead to “decreased security of supply.” Ultimately, the Capacity Mechanism payments will need to be reinstated or an alternative will need to be implemented to fill the gap created by the lost income. Via Clean Technica Image via Free-Photos

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Renewable electricity could overtake fossil fuels in Britain by next year

This countertop dishwasher promises to wash your dishes in just 10 minutes

January 28, 2019 by  
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Living in a tiny apartment — or tiny home  — no longer needs to mean giving up the luxury of a dishwasher. Meet Tetra, an award-winning countertop dishwasher that’s not only compact and cute as a button, but is also easy to install (no plumbing needed) and affordable with a limited pre-order price of $299. Produced by Heatworks and designed by frog , the small-but-mighty Tetra is marketed with a 10-minute load cycle and was recently demoed at CES 2019 earlier this month. Winner of the CES 2019 Best of Innovation Award, the Tetra dishwasher is unlike its more traditional sibling in that it only requires an electrical outlet — no plumbing needed. As part of Charleston-based Heatworks’ commitment to energy-efficient and resource-saving products, this countertop dishwasher is also designed to save energy and comes with its own reservoir that allows control over the amount of water used, depending on the number of dishes inside. According to Heatworks, hand-washing dishes can use up to 10 times more water than dishwashers. The Tetra countertop dishwasher measures 18 inches in width, 16.75 inches in height and 14 inches deep, and it comes with an internal detergent compartment as well as colorful modular racks that can be swapped out depending on what items need to be washed. The appliance is powered with the Heatworks’ patented Ohmic Array Technology, which the firm said allows for “precise temperature control,” quick cycles and gentle cleaning or even sanitation of baby bottles. Related: Learn which appliances suck up the most energy in your home “Instead of having elements that get really hot and then transfer the heat to the water, we actually pass electrical currents through the water itself,” the firm explained of the technology’s tankless heating. “Using graphite electrodes and electronic controls, we increase the energy state of the water molecules, so they move faster. The faster they move, the more kinetic energy they have. This causes the molecules to begin to bounce off each other; that kinetic energy turns into heat. Through direct energy transfer, your water is heated instantly, within (+/-) 1 degree Fahrenheit of the temperature setpoint.” Pre-orders for the Tetra are slated to open in Q1 2019. + Tetra Images via Heatworks

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This countertop dishwasher promises to wash your dishes in just 10 minutes

Scott Breor, deputy director at the Department of Homeland Security, on infrastructural resilience

November 6, 2018 by  
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Scott Breor works at the Department of Infrastructure Protection at the Department of Homeland Security. He works with officers from every state and territoy to make sure that both cyber and physical assets are resilient.What does resilient mean? To Breor, “on the security side, we look at it as three variables: one, is the facility prepared? … the second variable, is can the facility adapt and withstand whatever that event is? … the third variable is recovery.”

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Scott Breor, deputy director at the Department of Homeland Security, on infrastructural resilience

VERGE Talk: Disruptive technologies — how GIS is transforming crisis management

June 28, 2018 by  
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The VP of Operations at the Los Angeles Homeland Security Council explains how a data-driven tool they created for the City and County of L.A. changed her community’s ability to respond in emergency situations and redefined its crisis management systems — across the utilities, police, fire and other vital government departments. She tells the stories of accelerated resilience and security across various community groups and shares her lessons and resources for Hawaii and other areas in need.

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VERGE Talk: Disruptive technologies — how GIS is transforming crisis management

"Have to have see-through," says Trump of border wall

March 14, 2018 by  
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President Donald Trump stopped in Otay Mesa during his trip to California to inspect eight prototypes of the potential border wall . His feedback? “You have to have see-through,” Trump told reporters, according to CBS Los Angeles . “You have to know what’s on the other side of the wall. You could be two feet away from a criminal cartel and you don’t even know they’re there.” If we don’t have a wall system, we’re not going to have a country. Congress must fund the BORDER WALL & prohibit grants to sanctuary jurisdictions that threaten the security of our country & the people of our country. We must enforce our laws & protect our people! #BuildTheWall pic.twitter.com/NGqNueukvj — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018 Trump examined 30-foot border wall prototypes during his first trip to California since he won the election. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported he preferred a combination of a see-through wall topped with steel or rounded concrete to make it harder for climbers to scale. Archinect said there were solid, opaque options as well as four other materials, non-concrete prototypes Trump appeared to favor. Related: Artists are turning the U.S.-Mexico border fence into the world’s longest peace-themed mural The president said, “If you don’t have a wall system, we’re not going to have a country. There’s a lot of problems in Mexico , they have the cartels. We’re fighting the cartels, we’re fighting them hard.” Trump also addressed criticism about the border wall from California’s governor, Jerry Brown , saying he thinks the governor “has done a very poor job running California” and “the place is totally out of control.” “You have sanctuary cities where you have criminals living in the sanctuary cities,” he said. Brown responded on Twitter , saying bridges are better than walls. ? Thanks for the shout-out, @realDonaldTrump . But bridges are still better than walls. And California remains the 6th largest economy in the world and the most prosperous state in America. #Facts — Jerry Brown (@JerryBrownGov) March 13, 2018 The San Diego Union-Tribune said hordes of both supporters and critics gathered throughout San Diego, and people were largely peaceful, but for shouting insults at the other side, and a Mexican flag was torn and almost burned. CBS Los Angeles said people peacefully protested Trump’s visit, chanting, “No ban! No wall!” Via CBS Los Angeles , The San Diego Union-Tribune , and Archinect Image via U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Flickr

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"Have to have see-through," says Trump of border wall

Studio Gang unveils plans to renovate and expand the Arkansas Arts Center

March 14, 2018 by  
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Studio Gang just unveiled plans for a new project that will strengthen the connections between different spaces at the Arkansas Arts Center . The plan comprises a series of glazed pavilions with pleated roofs, and it will refurbish the existing exhibition , education and performance facilities. Studio Gang collaborated with landscape architect Kate Orff of SCAPE Landscape Architecture to deliver a design will increase visitor services by 81 percent, exhibitions and collections management by 25 percent, and education, public programs and the Museum School by 50 percent. The scheme will give a highly visible architectural identity to the Arts Center and reorganize the current program and architectural envelope. Related: Studio Gang is Transforming a Dirty Coal Power Plant Into a Green Arts College Studio Gang designed a pleated, organic building that connects the new north-facing city entrance with a glass pavilion and south-facing park entrance. An open axis public gallery runs through the building, connecting the various components of the AAC. “Starting from the inside out, the design clarifies the organization of the building and extends its presence into MacArthur Park and out to Crescent Lawn,” said Gang. “By doing so, the Center becomes a vibrant place for social interaction, education, and appreciation for the arts.” New public plazas and gardens at the north and south entrances of the center will foster stronger connections with the park. Planted groves along the west side of the building will create a forested edge that blends into the park. A framework of new trees will, over time, merge with the existing canopy to form a forest park. + Studio Gang + SCAPE Landscape Architecture

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Studio Gang unveils plans to renovate and expand the Arkansas Arts Center

Cyber chaos versus climate chaos

September 12, 2017 by  
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It is not if, but when, they will hit your company.

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Cyber chaos versus climate chaos

10 Minutes with Jackie Prince Roberts, Carlyle Group

September 12, 2017 by  
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On change management, diversity and — forest bathing?

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10 Minutes with Jackie Prince Roberts, Carlyle Group

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