Enviro News Wrap: Kerry and the Tar Sands Pipeline; Total Value of Solar; Climate Denial as a Political Liability, and more…

The Latest Environmental News HeadlinesGlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up and comments on the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week:

  • John Kerry is now the US Secretary of State. Kerry will play a big role in giving either the green or red light to the Alberta Tar Sands XL Keystone Pipeline. If you care about this issue send him a letter/email telling him to stop the project now. Contact Obama too.
  • US politicians (this time Marco Rubio) continue to doubt the theory of climate change; they cite things like “debate” and “disagreement” but they never have any content to cite that holds up to scientific scrutiny. It is all just a stalling strategy that the younger generation will have to pay for with their money, security and lives.
  • Solar modules (commonly misnamed as panels) create hazardous waste in the manufacturing process. We must all remember that in comparison to other energy sources the environmental impact is magnitudes less, but that is no reason to not own up to the truth and work to reduce waste and improve how waste is disposed of.
  • Home Owner Associations (HOA) have the right to create rules to restrict how a solar project is installed on a homeowner’s roof – but they do not have the right to stop an installation. The rules that HOAs create can be too restrictive and trade the freedom to create energy cleanly for expiring concepts of home aesthetics. Maybe a federal law could restrict the power of HOAs so we can get our collective priorities aligned with the threat of climate change.
  • When a solar system is installed it creates energy, that is a benefit, but it also abates climate change and increases our resilience to climate change. There are many other benefits, but currently we mainly value solar electricity the same way we value coal electricity. Should we pay solar energy producers for the other benefits they bring society?
  • India, a huge country, in population and geography, will need more electricity as they continue to develop their economy. An owner of a large oil refinery is claiming that his company (Reliance Industries) will use their profits to grow the renewable energy market in big ways. It could be really smart business to maintain the dirty energy industry while growing the clean energy industry, that way you do the right thing for our environment while continuing to profit off of dirty energy. It is not ideal, but certainly better than a pure dirty energy future.
  • Sustainable Energy in America 2013 Factbook is sooooo cool! You have to check this thing out, not only does it provide clear data but it provides great insight into how we can grow our sustainable energy industry. A good start is for our national political system to create a unified and coherent approach to climate change and the industries that will both abate climate change and prepare us for the the current and arriving conditions.




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