I surf across hundreds of articles a week as I learn more and more about green building, energy efficiency, and climate change. Most are interesting, but a few become touchstones that I end up talking about with others, and returning to again and again. Some candidates for that status that I found in the last week are below:
In a New York Times Op-Ed, Bjorn Lomborg (of The Skeptical Environmentalist fame) argues that emissions reduction goals like the Kyoto Protocol are never going to work. Instead, we have to replace our dirty energy sources altogether with non-polluting sources. (Of course, increasing energy efficiency is a cheap way to replace half our energy usage.)
Lomborg set of a firestorm of controversy when he argued in 2001 that although global warming was important, we would be much better off as a planet investing in other areas of human suffering, such as finding a cure for AIDS and wiping out malaria. He now has a more recent book about climate change specifically: Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming (Vintage)
Green Building Advisor’s Peter Yost describes the goals of the Thousand Home Challenge put up by Linda Wigington of Affordable Comfort.
In “Forgotten Pioneers of Energy Efficiency” on Green Building Advisor’s “Musings of an Energy Nerd” blog, Martin Holladay describes the Saskatchewan Conservation House, built in 1977, the shining – and forgotten – example that would later influence Dr. Feist in Darmstadt to develop the PassivHaus.
Treehugger reports on Professor Eberhard Jochem, recently awarded the first Bayer Climate Prize. Eberhard, of the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI), has shown through his experiments and theories that improving energy efficiency 80 percent in the industrialized nations is not only possible, but profitable.
If you’re not reading the new whitehouse.gov blog, you’re missing out.
This liveblog about the “Middle Class Task Force” meeting in Philly last week from whitehouse.gov was great. Speakers included John Podesta, former Clinton staffer and now with the Center for American Progress; Van Jones from Green for All (based in the Bay Area), Fred Krupp from the Environmental Defense Fund, a bunch of cabinet and administration appointees, and representatives from labor like Leo Gerard of the United Steelworkers of America.
“when I see less carbon, I also see more jobs.” That’s from Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund, which has invested a lot of time and energy into the details of how to make green jobs a reality.
Mark Edlen of Portland, OR-based architecture firm Gerding-Edlen — in a lot of ways created an industry and market for green city living. He believes they can go further — zero impact buildings. Gerding-Edlin just completed a 400-thousand square foot building that is off the sewer grid, and in fact puts water back into the system.
One of the key partners in making green jobs a reality has been Labor, in particular the United Steelworkers of America. USW President Leo Gerard has been a visionary on this issue, and has been building coalitions with enviro groups for years — he’s a founder of the Apollo Alliance and the Blue Green Alliance.
I’ve really been enjoying the openness of the White House blog – I hope it keeps up. And I hope this task force is a harbinger of a big change in how we build homes and businesses in the U.S. – better services at a much lower energy footprint!
Green energy/green building salon – first meeting is this Thursday night (1/29) in Menlo Park.
I’m starting a green energy/green building salon, and the first meeting is this Thursday night (1/29) in Menlo Park. Sign up on this invite/RSVP page to let me know if you’re coming.
If you’re interested in green buildings like me, or are working out how to have a new career in the green economy, you should drop by!
As I’ve mentioned, I have a modest little goal to ensure that all 50,000 housing starts in California in the year 2018 are “zero net energy.” That means they’ll generate as much or more energy as they consume in operation.
Do you have a green energy or green building goal? Do you want to talk about it? Do you want to help me achieve my goal? Maybe we can help each other.
Right now is the time to kick start the green economy. There’s a lot of intellectual capital here in Silicon Valley, a lot of us are committed to seeing the world pull out of our energy nosedive, and working together we’ll accomplish more than working by ourselves.
This salon will be an opportunity to share, to learn, and to meet others with complementary goals. I hope you can attend!