A brighter idea for college dorms

Lighting innovations have taken the world by storm over the past few years, moving us from the incandescent bulb of Edison’s day, to LED lights that use 10 percent of the energy. This efficiency gain is helping colleges brighten up for less, and also creating safer, more pleasant dorm rooms, hallways and byways. Read about how North Carolina State University is lighting the way forward.

Sharing the land in India, supporting farmers in Mexico and Australia and other cool ways people are stopping desertification

Desertification threatens lands across the planet as weather extremes worsen and development strips areas of protective trees and vegetation.The process displaces farms, wildlife, green areas and impoverishes local people by stealing their means of support. But groups around the world are finding unique, organic and sustainable solutions that push back desertification.

Portland residents reject fluoridation, thwarting City Council that had mandated it

Portland voters soundly rejected fluoridation of the city’s water, reversing a 2012 mandate by the city council. Anti-fluoride forces are calling the vote a victory for modern science, which has identified excessive fluoride exposures as contributing to thyroid disease, bone damage and lower IQs among children.

Hollywood stars (and thousands of regular Americans) align to point Obama toward climate solutions

The Forward on Climate rally, being organized by 350.org, Sierra Club and the Hip Hop Caucus wants to press President Obama to aggressively fight the greenhouse gases causing climate change. For starters, the groups would like Obama to deny the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, which would add a heavy carbon burden to the planet but also has heavyweight support in Congress.

350.org Massachusetts ends vigil over political ‘climate silence’ to escape the actual effects of climate change

We can probably safely award today’s “Most Ironic Story” award to 350.org Massachusetts.

The group had been holding a 24/7 vigil (that may be redundant) to draw attention to the “climate silence” that has characterized the presidential campaign and some races for Congress, such as the contest between Sen. Scot Brown and challenger Elizabeth Warren.

Is your college promoting sustainability? Sierra names the top greenest universities for 2012

U of Conn students collect sneakers to donate to Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe program, which turns them into track and playground surfaces.

Sierra magazine’s top 10 “Coolest Schools” are working hard to solve global warming, and their students are literally taking on the world by developing more sustainable food, buildings, energy sources and transportation.

Princeton Review: There is no ‘best’ green college

Princeton Review’s new 2012 Guide to Green Colleges commends 322 colleges for green living practices and learning opportunities, but breaks the paradigm of ranking the schools or sorting them into “best of” categories.

The Review reports that it dropped the grading system because all of the 322 schools on this year’s list — winnowed from 768 that were sent surveys — “have demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability initiatives.”

Interfaith Power & Light promotes Global Warming Preach-In

IPL unites all religions in the fight for a cleaner, more sustainable future.

Interfaith Power&Light, a coalition of religious groups that promotes stewardship of the earth and energy conservation, has organized a Global Warming Preach-In for Feb. 10-12.

The Preach-In is intended to help pastors, priests, rabbis, imams and other faith leaders educate their congregations on how to become better stewards of the earth, thereby answering God’s call to protect life on Earth and provide for continued human existence.

New York secures land in Adirondacks for jobs and recreation

A few hours due north of NYC or northwest of Boston – depending on how you’re oriented – are some of the most pristine and beautiful woodlands imaginable.

Snowmobiling in the Aidirondacks (Photo: NY State Snowmobile Assoc. and the Pleasant Riders SNC).

The Adirondacks region – famous as a getaway for fall foliage sightseers, hikers, skiers, hunters and fisherman – encompasses hundreds of lakes, mountains and miles of rich woodland habitat. It’s territory that cradles wildlife, from trout to moose, and gives birth to the Hudson River.

At its center, the 6 million acres Adirondack Park, is the largest publicly protected park in the nation, bigger than the Yellowstone, Everglades and Grand Canyon national parks.

350.org captures Earth’s woes and hopes from space

Climate action group 350.org wants us to see, really see, what’s happening as the result of climate change here on Earth.
So it’s taken to space to get a better view. Satellites began snapping photos of giant art installations, many involving humans forming pictures, last Friday and will continue through this week. The photos include one of a giant eagle in Los Angeles, created to represent the “Earth to Sky” solutions to climate change; a mural in New York City that shows how the area would look after the seas rise; a picture of a girl on a delta in Spain and a flash flood in New Mexico created by humans with blue posters.

California’s Prop 23 looks increasingly combustible

When the Prop 23 proponents launched their grenade to blow up California’s greenhouse gas emissions targets, they likely hoped that the measure would sail to victory during the traditional shakeup of midterm elections.

But according to a poll released Monday, it ain’t happening.

A new Los Angeles Times/ USC poll of likely voters shows that most do not agree with Prop 23, which would roll back California’s progressive carbon emissions standards. The poll found 48 percent opposed Prop 23, compared to 32 percent who were in favor. The remainder were undecided.

Thinking, visioning and spending locally

Remember that old real estate adage, location, location, location? There’s a parallel theme among green advocates: Local, local, local. They want more local food, local attention to water and wildlife, businesses that keep jobs in communities, mass transit that reaches neighborhoods, farms connected to cities, and so on.

This is nothing new. We like our cities and somehow, they’ve gotten away from us, whether they’ve become a sprawling, sterile suburb or a congested, irritable metropolis. We yearn for something friendlier and more cohesive. We seek out “local flavor” when we vacation, surely a sign we want more when we’re at home.

10-10-10 Work Party shows that thousands worldwide want climate action

Climate change has been a matter of debate in government circles and a talking point on news channels for many years now. But increasingly, the climate change discussion — the need to slow global warming pollution, deforestation and the loss of wildlife — is becoming a citizens’ round table.
This past weekend’s 10-10-10 work parties, rallied people of all ages, economic strata and religious beliefs who turned out in groups of 5, 10, or 100 to build gardens, promote carbon neutral transportation, plant trees and protest fossil fuels.

Let the sun shine on! Obama will put solar panels on the White House

The first family’s residence will soon be partially powered by the sun, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today.

The rooftop solar installation will heat hot water for the first family’s residence and supplement power for America’s most famous house. It is expected to be up and operating by the spring of 2011, showing that “American solar technologies are available, reliable and ready for installation in homes throughout the country,’’ according to the administration.

US Green Building Council heralds new green schools center

Ring the bell and clear the board. It’s officially time for green schools to get on the advanced building track.
The U.S. Green Building Council has announced a new project, The Center for Green Schools at USGBC, which aims to “give everyone an opportunity to attend a green school within this generation.” By that, the USGBC means it hopes that all kids will get a shot at attending a green school.

The top 10 energy companies that spend the most lobbying Congress

The Center for American Progress Action Fund published an article this week highlighting the millions that energy and utility companies have spent lobbying Congress.

The article contends that this downpour of money into Washington — half of a billion dollars since 2008 — has been the key factor in stalling climate action by Congress.

The chart above shows that the top fossil fuel industries and electric power companies have spent heavily in Washington. What their lobbyists have been saying is not revealed in the dollar amounts, but CAPAF report outlines how most of these companies are on the record as opposing climate legislation, fees for carbon pollution and EPA regulation of greenhouse gases.

Public health leaders send Congress a message: Let EPA regulate carbon pollution

America’s public health leaders have raised their voices against Congressional waffling over climate action, releasing a letter today signed by 120 top public health groups that urges Congress not to interfere with the EPA’s plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

The EPA’s mandate to regulate carbon emissions has been a lightning rod in Washington, with some in Congress saying the agency does not have the authority to set carbon guidelines and penalize violators. States, such as Texas, have sued over the issue, also trying to stop the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.

Senate passes child nutrition bill that would improve school lunches

The Senate passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 on Thursday afternoon, reaching unanimous bipartisan consent on the measure to re-fund the existing child nutrition program before it expires September 30.
The bill would raise the federal money allotted for school lunches by 6 cents per lunch, make it easier for schools to use local farm-fresh food and push junk food out of the schools. It is supported by sustainability and nutrition advocates, as well as First Lady Michelle Obama who wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post to promote the bill.

Put Solar On It campaign challenges heads of state

Climate activists have launched a campaign calling on world leaders to take tangible clean energy action by putting up solar panels on the presidential digs.

The advocates are enlisting the public’s help in the Put Solar On It movement by providing a way to send an online note to U.S. President Barack Obama, India’s President Pratibha Patil, China’s President Hu Jintao, Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron and Australia’s Julia’s Gillard.

Page 1 of 3123