Opinion | The Green New Deal Is What Realistic Environmental Policy Looks Like – By Jedediah Britton-Purdy – The New York Times

By Jedediah Britton-Purdy
Mr. Britton-Purdy is the author, most recently, of “After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene.”

Feb. 14, 2019

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Supporters of a Green New Deal gathered late last year in Washington.CreditCreditJim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency, via Shutterstock

“Everyone is lining up to endorse the Green New Deal — or to mock it. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand have all endorsed the resolution sponsored by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts.

Conservative critics predictably call it “a shocking document” and “a call for enviro-socialism in America,” but liberal condescension has cut deeper. The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, essentially dismissed it as branding, saying, “The green dream, or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?” Others have criticized it for leaving out any mention of a carbon tax, a cornerstone of mainstream climate-policy proposals, while embracing a left-populist agenda that includes universal health care, stronger labor rights and a jobs guarantee.

What do these goals have to do with stabilizing atmospheric carbon levels before climate change makes large parts of the world uninhabitable? What has taken liberal critics aback is that the Green New Deal strays so far from the traditional environmental emphasis on controlling pollution, which the carbon tax aims to do, and tries to solve the problems of economic inequality, poverty and even corporate concentration (there’s an antimonopoly clause).

But this everything-and-the-carbon-sink strategy is actually a feature of the approach, not a bug, and not only for reasons of ideological branding. In the 21st century, environmental policy is economic policy. Keeping the two separate isn’t a feat of intellectual discipline. It’s an anachronism.

Our carbon emissions are not mainly about the price of gasoline or electricity. They’re about infrastructure. For every human being, there are over 1,000 tons of built environment: roads, office buildings, power plants, cars and trains and long-haul trucks. It is a technological exoskeleton for the species. Everything most of us do, we do through it: calling our parents, getting to work, moving for a job, taking the family on vacation, finding food for the evening or staying warm in a polar vortex. Just being human in this artificial world implies a definite carbon footprint — and for that matter, a trail of footprints in water use, soil compaction, habitat degradation and pesticide use. You cannot change the climate impact of Americans without changing the built American landscape.”

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Opinion | An Energy Wish List for Congress – By Justin Gillis and Hal Harvey – The New York Times

By Justin Gillis and Hal Harvey
Mr. Gillis and Mr. Harvey are writing a book on how to speed up the clean-energy transition.

Feb. 5, 2019

“Amid the disarray in Washington, here is a ray of hope: It seems possible that Congress could pass energy legislation this year with the support of both parties. It would not be the sweeping measure to tackle climate change that is really needed, but there is at least a chance of getting a bill that does more good than harm for the climate and the country.

The point person on this effort will be Lisa Murkowski, the maverick Republican from Alaska who heads the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. She has a history of working with Democrats on energy legislation, and got 85 Senate votes for passage of a major energy bill in 2016, only to see it bog down in negotiations with a House then also led by Republicans.

Newly installed as leader of the Democrats on her committee is Joe Manchin, of West Virginia. Both senators are beholden to fossil-fuel interests, and it is inevitable that any bill they draft will seek to include provisions sought by that powerful lobby. But Ms. Murkowski has seen the effects of climate change firsthand in Alaska, and takes the problem seriously. Mr. Manchin declared the other day, “We want clean water; we want clean air; we want to have an economy that works in balance with the environment, we really do.”

In the House, newly empowered Democrats are eager to tackle climate change, but as long as Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, controls the Senate calendar, getting a sweeping climate bill through that body will be impossible. So, even as Democrats work to take control of the Senate in the 2020 election, they ought to engage with Ms. Murkowski to try to get a reasonable measure out of Congress — and to keep it focused on clean energy.”

The Four Zeros – Zero Energy Project – zeroenergyproject.org

This summer, with fires, floods, and heat waves around the globe, climate disruption is on top of many people’s minds. Widespread adoption of zero energy homes and buildings will make a huge contribution towards reducing our carbon footprint, but to realize their full benefit, they need to be part of a much broader, integrated approach – something Hal Harvey of Energy Innovation calls “The Four Zeros.” According to Harvey, The Four Zeros include:

A zero-carbon grid. With alternative energy and storage systems, we have started on the path toward reducing carbon emissions from the electric grid. This combination of renewable generation and energy storage is on the way to becoming the least-cost energy resource. Going all of the way to a zero emission grid will require that we greatly increase zero emission power sources and storage systems as well as utilizing a range of innovative technologies that enhance flexibility. Utility-scale installations are necessary along with decentralized, consumer-driven projects that are integrated with the grid. With a flexible zero-carbon grid, we would eventually be able to electrify everything – carbon free.
Zero-emission transportation. We have the technology for electric vehicles (EVs), and more major automobile manufacturers are coming out with new EV models with longer ranges. Currently, most EVs charge at the owners’ homes. For daily commutes, this is the ultimate in convenience, but it means most EVs are currently “second cars” not suitable for long trips. We need to build out the public charging facilities with fast chargers in order to increase demand for electric vehicles. By combining electric vehicles and electric public transportation with a zero-carbon grid or zero-positive buildings, we will have a zero-carbon transportation system.
Zero-carbon/zero-energy buildings. All the technologies for zero energy buildings are off the shelf and readily available. Measured by the total cost of ownership, zero carbon buildings are cost competitive and usually cost less to own. Additionally, health and comfort benefits may be even more significant, but are difficult to quantify or express in monetary terms. California and Oregon have now mandated that all new construction get on the path to zero after 2020.
Zero-waste manufacturing. Waste squanders energy and increases carbon emissions. New manufacturing techniques, such as 3-D printing, advanced engineering, and advanced chemistry, can significantly reduce waste. The product design stage is essential to success here. Manufacturers can design and build products that use less raw materials and that are easily disassembled and recycled. For example, some innovative grocery stores are now only selling packaging-free products in their stores.

Source: The Four Zeros – Zero Energy Project

Opinion | What if Mother Nature Is on the Ballot in 2020? – By Thomas L. Friedman – The New York Times

By Thomas L. Friedman
Opinion Columnist

Aug. 14, 2018, 540
Flames reached the backyard of a home in Lake Elsinore, Calif., last week.
Credit
David McNew/EPA, via Shutterstock

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Flames reached the backyard of a home in Lake Elsinore, Calif., last week.CreditCreditDavid McNew/EPA, via Shutterstock
What if this time is different?

“There is an assumption that the 2020 presidential election will be business as usual: Donald Trump will run on the economy, social issues and immigration, and the Democratic candidate will run on income inequality, Democratic socialism and Trump’s character — the 2020 version of right-left U.S. politics.

But I believe there’s a sleeper issue out there that could force its way into the election. What if Mother Nature is on the ballot?

What if all the extreme weather this year — linked to climate change — gets even worse and more costly? What if the big 2020 issue is not left-right — but hot-cold or wet-dry? What if the big 2020 issue is not “Who lost Russia?” or “Who lost North Korea?” but “Who lost planet Earth?”

We’re talking about the natural world, so one has to be cautious. But if you look at all the destructive extreme weather buffeting the world this summer alone, it’s as if Mother Nature were saying to us: “Oh, you didn’t notice me tapping on your shoulder these past few years? O.K. Well, how about a little fire, Scarecrow? How about this:

“How about I bake Europe, set the biggest wildfire California has ever seen and more active wildfires — 460 in one day — than British Columbia has ever seen, and also start the worst forest fires in decades in Sweden, even extending north of the Arctic Circle where temperatures this month reached 86 degrees. Meanwhile, I’ll subject Japan to the heaviest rainfall it’s ever recorded, and then a couple weeks later the highest temperature it’s ever recorded — 106 degrees in Kumagaya, northwest of Tokyo. And for a punctuation mark, I’ll break the heat record in Death Valley, reaching 127 degrees, and burn the worst drought in living memory into Eastern Australia, where the BBC last week quoted a dairy farmer as saying, “It’s gotten to the point where it’s cheaper to shoot your cows than it is to feed them.” “

Being Green | Hearst

CARBON FOOTPRINT
“The Challenge of Global Warming
Many people believe that global warming is the No. 1 issue facing our environment and ability to sustain this planet. While automobiles and power generation are the largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions, we are focused on activities we can control and influence.

Determining the carbon footprint of a magazine or a newspaper is a complex task. However, based on a number of studies, some preliminary conclusions can be made.

The manufacture of pulp and paper is an energy intensive process and the majority of the carbon dioxide in the magazine manufacturing supply chain is generated at the pulp and paper manufacturing site.

Environmental Review
Hearst performs environmental review meetings with all major paper suppliers annually. During these meetings Hearst reviews specific mill environmental data that is tracked by Hearst for each supplying mill location (Energy Use, Water Use, Water Quality, Total Suspended Solids, SO2, NOX, Total Suspended Particulates, GHG Emissions, SCOPE 1 and SCOPE 2, Solid Waste and Safety).

Hearst believes that measuring these environmental mill parameters enables a conversation of continuous improvement to be achieved. To date, this continues to be the case.

Beyond Paper”

Source: Being Green | Hearst

David Lindsay:  Hearst recently purchased Media One, which includes the New Haven Register, CT Magazine, and about 8 other CT newspapers. They endorsed Ned Lamont for Governor of CT, and are leader in their field in sustainability buildings and practices. Hearst, welcome to Connecticut and New Haven County.

About Us – MCE a public- not-for-profit electricity provider in California

What is MCE?
MCE is a public, not-for-profit electricity provider that gives all PG&E electric customers (residential, commercial, and municipal) the choice of having 50% to 100% of their electricity supplied from clean, renewable sources—such as solar, wind, bioenergy, geothermal, and hydroelectric—at competitive rates.

Your LOCAL Energy Choice MCE started as a blue-sky idea bigger than any one of us and became California’s first Community Choice Aggregation program. With the help of local leadership, champion businesses, and individuals like you, we redefined the local energy landscape and created choices for ourselves where there were none before. Together we’re having an enormous impact on greenhouse gas reduction, rate stability, and new, local renewable projects – all without compromising service or reliability.Residents and businesses in Marin and Napa Counties, unincorporated Contra Costa County, and the Cities and Towns of Benicia, Concord, Danville, El Cerrito, Lafayette, Martinez, Moraga, Oakley, Pinole, Pittsburg, Richmond, San Pablo, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek can now choose how much renewable energy is in their electric service. MCE customers have joined us on a path for a cleaner planet by reducing their carbon footprint and helping their communities lower their greenhouse gas emissions.Ultimately, what drives MCE is the same purpose that we all share. We want a better future, for ourselves, for the ones we love, for all things living on this planet. What we have learned from our success is that great things happen when we empower communities to create their own choices.We thank you.

We were formed in 2008, following six years of careful study and development, and our service was launched to customers on May 7, 2010, as California’s first Community Choice Aggregation program. Currently, we provide renewable energy to more than 470,000 customers.

Source: About Us – MCE

Standing ‘Against White Supremacy-’ G.O.P. Campaign Chief Rebukes Steve King – By Catie Edmondson – NYT

David Lindsay:
I supported this young man JD Scholten, Steve King’s opponent in Iowa’s 4th Congressional race, with a whopping $25., way back in September when Elizabeth Warren emailed me personally and asked her friends to help out this young, super environmentalist and ex-minor league baseball player who played professionally in Canada and Iowa for the Sioux City Explorers, and for teams in Belgium, Germany and France. I figured out that the DCCC, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committeee, left JD Scholten off their list of candidates to support, since Steve King was too popular and ensconed, although a super Trumpist, climate change denying, and white supremacist. Don’t take my word, read the article below, which starts:

“WASHINGTON — As Pittsburgh began burying the victims of Saturday’s synagogue massacre, the head of the House Republican campaign arm all but jettisoned Representative Steve King of Iowa from the House Republican Conference, declaring, “We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms.” 


The impossible to win, written off race is now tied in the polls! I call upon all of my followers and friends, all five of you, to cough up $5 or $25 or $50 for young farmer J D Sholten, who wrote one of the best position pieces on Climate Change and how to use agrigulture as a carbon sink, that I have read on any Democratic candidates’ web site this election cycle, and I have studied a lot of them, because, if truth were told, I am normally reluctant to part with my money. This election is different.

SCHOLTEN4IOWA.COM
J.D. Scholten For Congress –

https://www.scholten4iowa.com/

Affordable Solar Program Launched in Connecticut for Middle-Class Homeowners – Green Energy Tribune

Connecticut is one of the best places if you want to go solar – but only if you’re rich enough. Due to the steep upfront costs of around $32,000 in cash, only those upper-income families can afford to install solar arrays. Green Energy Tribune is, however, looking to change that. This new project hopes to help middle class communities see the sun in a different light.
The cost for the installation to the middle class families is little to $0 down. The homeowner gets solar panels on their roof and a new reduced electric rate. If interested you can sign up at SolarVisit.com. Green Energy Tribune predicts that it could save individual families up to $2,400 a year, which they hope could then be spent on other essential bills.

Source: Affordable Solar Program Launched in Connecticut for Middle-Class Homeowners – Green Energy Tribune

Fighting Climate Change in Steve King Country? by JD Scholten running for Congress in Iowa 4th district

David Lindsay: Elizabeth Warren sent out a request for folks to support this young man running against a Trumpster in the Iowa 4th congressional district. His staff have pointed me to this excellent article of JD Sholten’s on Climate Change.

“Growing up in the 80s, I was taught to dream big. I love it when the U.S. is innovative and a respected leader. That’s why last week during the international climate talks in Bonn, Germany, I was disappointed when the official American delegates were relatively non-existent and non-influential. This is a stark contrast to climate summits when President Obama was in office and exemplifies America’s division on climate talks. Governor Jerry Brown of California commented on the division when he said, “There’s a debate in the United States between the denialists who pooh-pooh any thought about climate change and the catastrophic dangers it portends, and those who agree with the scientific academies of every country in the world that we’re facing an existential threat and we have to do something about it.”

Earlier this month, 13 federal agencies unveiled an exhaustive scientific report saying:

…humans are the dominant cause of the global temperature rise that has created the warmest period in the history of civilization.

Over the past 115 years global average temperatures have increased 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to record-breaking weather events and temperature extremes. The global, long-term warming trend is “unambiguous,” and there is “no convincing alternative explanation” that anything other than humans — the cars we drive, the power plants we operate, the forests we destroy — are to blame.

The time to address this issue is NOW. The time to create policy is NOW. For those who do not believe in climate change, the question of “Why you don’t believe?” is irrelevant. The question now is “What part of climate change don’t you understand?” ”

Source: Fighting Climate Change in Steve King Country?