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July 12, 2011 • Current Events, Energy Efficiency, Sustainability

Google invests in residential solar projects

by Rich Wilson

For a few years now, clean energy and sustainable business practices have been driving large-scale efforts inside companies of all sizes. Whether the end goal was cheap energy, response to impending government regulation or even a little positive media exposure, evidence of the new green corporate landscape is everywhere. The green movement is gaining a substantial amount of momentum with little evidence of slowing down, due to large-scale implementation of energy efficiency projects. I recently stumbled on an article that discussed how Google has invested $280 million through a partnership with SolarCity, a California-based solar design and installation company. continue

February 8, 2011 • Current Events, Perspectives, Sustainability

The Hits Just Keep Coming for Cap and Trade

by Rich Wilson

If you are keeping up with the developments in Congress around “Cap and Trade” and the newest incarnation moving through the House, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, then you can picture the face-off this appears to be. Essentially, you have two sides, which are bickering on points that would benefit from a little round-table discussion. What we need here is a little peace, love and understanding.

First, we have the Cap and Trade folks who want to insert regulation, which will hold large greenhouse-gas emitters responsible for polluting. In a nutshell, the process would work like this: A company is told they can produce a certain amount of pollutants (Cap), and depending if the company over-pollutes or under-pollutes, they can purchase or sell credits (Trade) to ensure compliance under the proposed system. Sounds great, right? Well, not so fast, because this produced a firestorm of critics and lobbying efforts to denounce even the thought of a Cap and Trade system. Opposition runs the gamut from paranoid (the government is trying to control everything) to financial (the excess costs a company would incur would be passed to the end customer, which would spiral Americans into a desolate country of glorified panhandlers.) continue

January 10, 2011 • Current Events, Energy Efficiency, Green Buildings, Perspectives

Living Green in Gotham

by Rich Wilson

Here is a simple question for everyone out there: Do you like money? Now, the response to such a question will be wide and probably very interesting, but I would suppose that the inner-capitalist in most of us would answer with a profound, “Of course I do.” Money buys the goods that keep our economy turning; when money is tight, it usually means conversations go from, “Nice weather today” to a glummer “bah humbug” type of response. Due to government policies of the 1980s, we witnessed a jolt to the U.S. economy, prompting a robust recovery and an infusion of capital through tax cuts, spurring the yuppie stereotype. Overall, most of us think of the 80s as the time when greed was the word de jour and the capital flowed, at least until the market crashed. We can go on and on about how cool money, taxes and the 1980s are, but I want to shift gears and transition to the ongoing developments at the Empire State Building. Don’t worry; we will still talk about money. continue

December 1, 2010 • Current Events, Energy Efficiency, Sustainability

Honey, Where Is My Cap And Trade?

by Rich Wilson

Ahhh, bipartisanship. The inner workings of our beloved government can strike feelings of frustration, confusion and an overall sense of general disorder in the typical layman. Many would associate the shift in power and control in Congress with the sometimes violent childhood game of Red Rover. The verbal swipes between parties seem even more similar to “clotheslining” the kid down the street. Well, at least to me.

Take the friendly topic of “cap and trade,” which began innocently enough as a program to curb pollutants. The overall goal was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from large producers by 17% by 2020. Sounds great, right? Well supporters of a cap-and-trade system believe it will be positive both economically continue

November 17, 2010 • Energy Generation, Sustainability

Strange farming and sustainablity, what’s not to love?

by Rich Wilson

More and more people are beginning to focus on the practice of sustainability and the impact we have on the overall environment. A few years ago, I stumbled upon a discussion about Biodynamic Farming. Now most of us have heard of organic farming, but the practice of Biodynamic Farming goes way beyond the norm. Let me walk you through this.

From the Sustainable Table:
March 21st involves one more notable item – a cow horn packed with dung. Otherwise known as Preparation 500 to Biodynamic farmers worldwide, manure–filled cows’ horns are buried on the autumnal equinox and carefully unearthed exactly six months later on the spring equinox, the first day of spring. The manure is removed and stirred with water in a process called “dynamization”, which creates a vortex that cosmic energy can be funneled into. The homemade brew is then sprayed upon the fields to stimulate the soil, promote root activity and contribute to good bacteria growth. continue

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