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District of Columbia Mayor Signs 50% Renewable Energy Standard

                         

utilitydive.com - by Robert Walton - July 26, 2016

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) has signed legislation to push the nation's capital towards 50% renewable energy within the next 15 years, a goal she says will increase residents' access to clean energy while also creating jobs and new businesses.

The goal includes promises to serve 100,000 low-income residents with solar energy by 2032 and reduce their power bills by 50%.

To meet anticipated demand for solar energy, the city has partnered on a jobs program to provide District young adults with paid training in solar panel installation, energy efficiency, and basic safety and construction skills.

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The Diversity of Life Across Much of Earth Has Plunged Below ‘Safe’ Levels

An aerial view shows a tract of Amazon rain forest that has been cleared by loggers and farmers for agriculture near the city of Santarem, Para State, April 20, 2013. (Nacho Doce/Reuters)

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Science - Has land use pushed terrestrial biodiversity beyond the planetary boundary? A global assessment

washingtonpost.com - by Chris Mooney - July 14, 2016

In an ambitious study that represents the latest merger between big data approaches and the quest to conserve the planet, scientists have found that across a majority of the Earth’s land surface — including some of its most important types of terrain and its most populous regions — the abundance or overall number of animals and plants of different species has fallen below a “safe” level identified by biologists.

The reason is not exactly a surprise — from grasslands to tropical forests, humans are using more and more land for agriculture, to live on, to build roads and infrastructure upon. When we take over, we clear the land or otherwise convert it for our purposes.

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Blockchain: the answer to life, the universe and everything?

The blockchain was developed as a means of creating digital property without the need for a central authority keeping track of who owns what. Photograph: Jacob Carter/Rex/Shutterstock Image: The blockchain was developed as a means of creating digital property without the need for a central authority keeping track of who owns what. Photograph: Jacob Carter/Rex/Shutterstock

theguardian.com - July 7th 2016 - Alex Hern

Have you heard the good news? The blockchain is here – and it’s going to save everything.

If you aren’t tied to the tech community, you might not have picked up on this salvation rhetoric.

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South Fork Clean Energy Forum Summary

             

CLICK HERE - VIDEO - South Fork Clean Energy Forum - Part 1

CLICK HERE - VIDEO - South Fork Clean Energy Forum - Part 2

renewableenergylongisland.org - June 19, 2016

On June 15, 2016 Renewable Energy Long Island, along with a number of cosponsors, organized the South Fork Clean Energy Forum, to discuss with community leaders how to build a smarter, more affordable, more resilient energy system for the South Fork of Long Island. At the forum, experts presented exciting new plans to make the South Fork a leader in clean energy.

The South Fork Clean Energy Forum was the first time the public was able to get an in-depth look at the various building blocks and proposals for a new energy system for the South Fork. It was also the first energy forum ever co-sponsored by both towns, and the first one to be broadcast in both towns.

CLICK HERE for additional information, and links to presenters' Slide Decks to view their PowerPoint presentations or prepared remarks.

 

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Regulators Fear $1 Billion Coal Cleanup Bill

           

An idled West Virginia coal facility. Officials fear bankrupt coal companies are not setting aside enough to clean up Appalachia’s polluted rivers and mountains. Credit Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

nytimes.com - by Michael Corkery - June 6, 2016

Regulators are wrangling with bankrupt coal companies to set aside enough money to clean up Appalachia’s polluted rivers and mountains so that taxpayers are not stuck with the $1 billion bill.

The regulators worry that coal companies will use the bankruptcy courts to pay off their debts to banks and hedge funds, while leaving behind some of their environmental cleanup obligations.

The industry asserts that its cleanup plans — which include turning defunct mines back into countryside — are comprehensive and well funded. But some officials say those plans could prove unrealistic and falter as demand for coal remains weak.

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FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Announces Federal and Private Sector Actions on Scaling Renewable Energy and Storage with Smart Markets

submitted by Gordian Raacke

CLICK HERE - White House Council of Economic Advisors - Incorporating Renewables into the Grid: Expanding Opportunities for Smart Markets and Energy Storage (40 page .PDF report)

whitehouse.gov - June 16, 2016

. . The Administration is announcing new executive actions and 33 state and private sector commitments that will accelerate the grid integration of renewable energy and storage.  Together, these announcements are expected to result in at least 1.3 gigawatts of additional storage procurement or deployment in the next five years. .

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Return of Wind Power

The East Hampton Star - Letter to the Editor 06.09.16 - by Linda James

Return of Wind Power - East Hampton - June 6, 2016

Dear David,

Last week, the U.S. Interior Department, following a presidential directive, announced it would lease 81,000 ocean acres off New York’s coastline for wind development. Announcing this new leasing auction, in a release by Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Sally Jewell, secretary of the Interior, was quoted: “In addition to providing clean power, offshore wind energy marks a new frontier in renewable energy development, creating the path for sustainable electricity generation, job creation, and strengthening our nation’s economic competitiveness.”

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Clean Water Crisis Threatens US

           

Aerial view overlooking landscaping on April 4, 2015 in San Diego, California.  Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

by Sarah Ferris and Peter Sullivan - April 25, 2016

The United States is on the verge of a national crisis that could mean the end of clean, cheap water.

Hundreds of cities and towns are at risk of sudden and severe shortages, either because available water is not safe to drink or because there simply isn’t enough of it.

The situation has grown so dire the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence now ranks water scarcity as a major threat to national security alongside terrorism.

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Sustainable Westchester Leads New York Into CCA

           

Mamaroneck, NY, another of the Sustainable Westchester communities that want to go forward – photo by Doug Kerr via Flickr

cleantechnica.com - by Roy L. Hales - March 18, 2016

Seventeen municipalities are involved in this pilot program, which has been described as “a transformative shift in the way we buy and use electricity.” Audrey Zibelman, Commissioner of the New York State Public Service Commission, said she has “great hopes for this as a critical pilot for the Reforming the Energy Vision.” This will be the first Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) pilot program under Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy.

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From Coast to Coast, Middle-Class Communities are Shrinking

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Pew Research Center - America’s Shrinking Middle Class: A Close Look at Changes Within Metropolitan Areas

latimes.com - by Don Lee - May 11, 2016

America's shrinking middle class, a growing concern for the economy and a central issue in the presidential race, cuts across virtually all communities from coast to coast, according to a study released Wednesday.

The report by Pew Research Center found that the share of the middle class fell in 203 of the 229 U.S. metropolitan areas examined from 2000 to 2014, including major cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, which saw a relatively sharp drop in its middle class.

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Mayor de Blasio Announces Three Year, Five-Borough Plan to Protect New Yorkers from the Zika Virus

      

City’s Zika action plan enhances mosquito surveillance and control - Expands testing of humans and mosquitos, and launches public awareness campaign

nyc.gov - April 18, 2016

NEW YORK––Marking the start of mosquito season, Mayor de Blasio today detailed a three-year, five-borough plan to protect New Yorkers and prevent the spread of the Zika virus in New York City.

“We are doing all we can to target the mosquito that could transmit Zika here in the city, and building the capacity to respond to every possible scenario, no matter how unlikely,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We will spare no effort to protect pregnant New Yorkers from the devastating consequences of Zika, and we ask New Yorkers to help us by taking simple steps to get rid of standing water where mosquitos can breed. We also ask pregnant women who may have been exposed to Zika to talk to their doctors about getting tested.”

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A Renewable Energy Boom

CLICK HERE - REPORT - Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016

nytimes.com - by The Editorial Board - April 4, 2016

Some world leaders, especially in developing countries like India, have long said it’s hard to reduce the emissions that are warming the planet because they need to use relatively inexpensive — but highly carbon-intensive — fuels like coal to keep energy affordable. That argument is losing its salience as the cost of renewable energy sources like wind and solar continues to fall.

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Study: Oceans Trapping Heat at Accelerating Rate

insidebayarea.com - by Seth Borenstein - January 18, 2016

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Nature Climate Change - Industrial-era global ocean heat uptake doubles in recent decades

WASHINGTON -- The amount of man-made heat energy absorbed by the seas has doubled since 1997, a study released Monday showed.

Scientists have long known that more than 90 percent of the heat energy from man-made global warming goes into the world's oceans instead of the ground.

And they've seen ocean heat content rise in recent years. But the new study, using ocean-observing data that goes back to the British research ship Challenger in the 1870s and including high-tech modern underwater monitors and computer models, tracked how much man-made heat has been buried in the oceans in the past 150 years.

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Resilience in the SDGs: Developing an Indicator for Target 1.5 that is Fit for Purpose

                            

odi.org - Aditya Bahadur, Emma Lovell, Emily Wilkinson, Thomas Tanner - August 2015

CLICK HERE - Resilience in the SDGs - Developing an indicator for Target 1.5 that is fit for purpose (7 page .PDF file)

We outline a comprehensive approach for developing a cross-sectoral, multi-dimensional and dynamic understanding of resilience. This underpins the core message of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that development is multi-faceted and the achievement of many of the individual development goals is dependent on the accomplishment of other goals. It also acknowledges that shocks and stresses can reverse years of development gains and efforts to eradicate poverty by 2030. Crucially, this approach to understanding resilience draws on data that countries will collect for the SDGs anyway and entails only a small additional burden in this regard.

(CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION)

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