Wednesday, 03 November 2010 19:26

Climate Change Action Gets Boost from Prop 23 Defeat

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Supporters of action on climate change can look to the defeat of Proposition 23 in California as another example that voters support a strong response to global warming. A divided Congress was apparent from the contentious midterm elections, but that didn't faze voters who defeated what would have suspended California's climate change law, the Global Warming Solutions Act. The law established a timetable to bring California's greenhouse gas emissions down to 1990 levels by 2020 and has been supported by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as well as Jerry Brown, who won the seat on Tuesday. Brown also wants to bring about investment in the state to create about 500,000 green jobs and 20,000 megawatts of clean power. Over 60 percent of Californians voted to defeat Prop 23. This underscores national polls by The Washington Post and Stanford University from the summer which show that over two-thirds of Americans support action on climate change by the country.
With gas prices trending higher and battery prices falling, plug-in cars are expected to make up 9 percent of the U.S. auto market by 2020 and 22 percent by 2030, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report. Electric cars currently cost more than 75 percent of cars being sold—but individual states are providing financial incentives for people to get on board. California, for example, offers vouchers of  $10,000 to $45,000 for companies that operate hybrid-electric fleet vehicles in-state. You can search for electric vehicle vouchers in your state at the U.S. Department of Energy site and find out how to reduce your driving emissions here.

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Health Care is taking the lead in renewable and alternative energy projects. Right now they are building the largest rooftop solar array in all of North America in York, PA at the company's Northeast regional distribution center. The solar panels will create enough energy to fully power the equivalent of 400 American homes and has the potential to reduce 3,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. GSK plans additional solar projects at various facilities in the U.S.

The image above shows one of the solar panels for the array. GSK has taken upon itself a clear goal of sustainable growth. They have built solar energy projects around the world in places such as Belgium, Singapore, Australia, Mexico as well as the U.S. They have been pursuing energy efficiency and alternative energy projects for the last decade. GSK recognizes the salience of climate change and has been taking steps to offset its carbon emissions as well.
Monday, 01 November 2010 17:23

Climate Change & The Elections - How You Can Help

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Keep the climate in mind this Election Day. How do you know where your candidates stand on fighting climate change? The nonprofit, nonpartisan Project Vote Smart has launched an interactive tool, VoteEasy, that matches you with candidates based on your view of climate change and other current issues. Enter your zip code and get a local report of your candidates' positions. You can use VoteEasy at http://votesmart.org/voteeasy. No doubt this election will affect how the nation addresses climate change at home—where Congress has yet to pass comprehensive climate legislation—and abroad, with the next major round of U.N. climate talks in Cancun, Mexico later this month. As The Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin notes, the U.S. could be in a bind should Congress become further deadlocked on the issue of climate change, despite the fact that the administration says it is not backing away from the pledged 17 percent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions vis-a-vis 2005 levels. The elections will affect whether or not, and how, Congress or the EPA acts, and how the administration will act in the international arena. If you care about climate change, know how your vote affects the issue and be sure to get out and vote.
Carbonfund.org Partner GreenEcoSavers has now added GreenQuest, a free personal energy information website that combines information on energy spending, weather data, greenhouse gas emissions and energy use for your building. Developed in conjunction with EnergyCAP, their GreenQuest tool also calculates a home or facility’s carbon footprint (remember to offset with Carbonfund.org what you can't reduce). GreenQuest from GreenEcoSavers is providing tracking up to 3 meters (electricity, water and gas) for free with the help of green sponsors. By using the GreenQuest energy information website, homes and businesses can benefit by setting goals and benchmarks.  Depending on your home or business location, GreenQuest will tell you how your energy usage compares with your friends and neighbors and help you get on the right track to saving money and energy.  You can easily aggregate all of your energy usage data and as an option, obtain an ENERGY STAR building rating (for commercial buildings). You can also share your results on a public, read-only website to showcase your energy conservation efforts. I signed up my downtown DC condo this afternoon–it just takes a few minutes once you have your utility bills.  I can see how my energy usage changes over time and how it interacts with the weather.  I’m excited to add my first energy savings project (which can run the gamut from changing your lightbulbs to adding solar panels) and see how fast I earn my investment back!
California is again the nation’s leader in the realm of energy efficiency. This is even more impressive when we consider that California is the nation's fourth largest producer of electricity and is the leading importer of electricity. The conclusions are by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Improvements to energy efficiency include modernized building codes, energy-efficiency targets and advancement of energy-efficiency programs. Moreover, California is the undisputed leader in renewable energy production. However, Massachusetts has been rapidly gaining on California in the last several years by increasing investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The American Southwest made the biggest improvements in energy efficiency. New Mexico, Utah and Arizona are all climbing fast in the rankings. The region is quickly becoming the go-to area for energy efficiency in the country. The states in the Southwest are in the top half of states in terms of energy efficiency. Already 27 states have fixed energy-efficiency targets and these states account for over two-thirds of America’s electricity. This is double the number of states from four years ago. You can learn more about these states here.
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="297" caption="Click to Download the App"][/caption] Wish you could donate more to charity but find it difficult in the economic downturn?  Well let me tell you a secret that over 100,000 iPhone and Android users have already found out: You can donate to Carbonfund.org with a click of a button from your phone! Once you download CauseWorld’s award-winning smartphone app, check in at your favorite stores–grocery stores, hardware stores, department stores and many more that you visit on a regular basis anyway–and you earn karmas (no purchase necessary). Put these karmas to good use by supporting Carbonfund.org’s third-party validated reforestation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy carbon reduction projects. Carbonfund.org is continuing to lead a nationwide movement to fight climate change now. As we experience record temperatures, suffer devastating natural disasters and see the consequences of continuing to be dependent on fossil fuels, it is more important than ever to shift to cleaner energy sources, reforest the planet, and improve the way we do business. And with CauseWorld it’s now easier than ever. Download the CauseWorld app directly from Carbonfund.org’s front page. If you’re a business owner and want to help your customers fight climate change, sign up here.93QCVGPN3W4S
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 16:33

America's Least Popular Vampire

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Dead and blood thirsty are all the rage in Hollywood, and America is more than willing to spend $10 a ticket to watch the gorefest (or smoochfest, depending on the vampire movie). But what if this vampire costs you around $100 a year and stalks your home? Vampire energy, AKA standby power, is the phenomenon where electronics suck energy even when they're turned off. By leaving gadgets like your computer, television or even electric toothbrush plugged into the wall, they're still leaching power and represent 5-10 percent of an average home's power usage, or 1 percent of our global carbon dioxide emissions, according to a GOOD Magazine report. The top power wasters in most homes are cell phones, digital cameras and music players, power tools and other electronic devices. Rather than anointing your laptop with garlic, the best way to avoid vampire energy is by using a power strip. All electronics can remain plugged in and when you turn them off and flip the power strip switch, you know they're really off. There's no reason not to get a power strip—saving on energy and on your utility bill is just practical. Check out Carbonfund.org partner Ecostrip's site for more information and purchasing options.