Given the recent debt crisis and the ensuing focus on government spending, I figured it would only be appropriate for the Summit Energy Watercooler blog to chime in on the topic as well.
While the debt ceiling debate finally yielded a compromise at the 11th hour, it has become clear that it certainly didn’t provide us with an end-all-be-all solution for the issue of US financial stability. (I’d argue there can’t be just one solution, but that’s for another post.) continue
About two weeks ago, as I was sipping from a cocktail on a white-pebbled beach in a Greek bay with crystal blue clear water, I started thinking about the enormous amount of energy that is used every year in making people’s summer holidays happen. Holidays account for a surprising amount of the energy we use each year, with flights, driving, hotel stays and added extras like boat trips all contributing to our carbon footprint. continue
May 13, 2011 • Current Events, Sustainability
by Katie Schultz
The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton brought out the romantic in me, and I waited in eager anticipation to see the big moments unfold on my TV screen. It was exciting to see the wedding dress, to hear the vows, and to watch as a country closed down to honor the nuptials of its new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
I was just as surprised as anyone to see Prince William and his bride come driving out of the gates of Buckingham Palace in his father’s 1969 Aston Martin DB6. What brought me out of my teary-eyed stupor was the mention of how “green” that vintage blue car actually was. continue
April 13, 2011 • Sustainability
by Sarah McKee
WKU Office of Sustainability
WKU is home, not only to my college years, but also to the Hilltoppers, the red towel and the big blob mascot known as Big Red. Red is the most common color found on “the hill,” the term students and alumni lovingly use to refer to the steepest climb you’ll ever face at 7:30 in the morning. Now, Western Kentucky University is adding another color to its palette: green! continue
Winning with sustainability
On March 16, I will be visiting Las Vegas. In an effort to encourage corporate sustainability, specifically sustainable tourism, I’ve taken it upon myself to support companies that exhibit environmental stewardship and energy efficiency. That’s why I just might seek out and congratulate a Caesars Entertainment Corporation representative for the company’s very successful corporate sustainability strategy.
At this point, it bears mentioning that the timing of my visit to Las Vegas, the location of Caesars’ Nevada headquarters and a certain college basketball tournament are all purely coincidental. Also coincidental: that I planned this trip with seven other Murray State alumni last June. continue
Pretty much all you have to do to get a marketing person’s attention is call something an “infographic.” It brings the marketers running like Pavlov’s dinner bell. I admit to being a sucker for them, and in our energy management space, we suffer no shortage of creative people trying to visually demonstrate something related to energy benchmarking, greenhouse gas emissions or energy efficiency projects. Since the first cave drawings were etched by our forefathers, mankind has searched for increasingly compelling ways to share information in a visual context. Infographics are the latest evolutionary step. continue
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
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
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 5, 2010 • Sustainability, Travel & Leisure
by Emily Tewell
Picture this: clear waters, beautiful beaches, a buzzing marketplace, intimate bungalows, villas and homes all on your own private island. Sounds like the stuff dreams are made of, right? Well not any more.
STAR Island is its name and not only does it have all of the aforementioned luxurious amenities, but it is also, as stated on their website, “the worlds first sustainable, carbon neutral, exotic island resort.” Located in Eleuthera Bahamas, STAR, which stands for Sustainable Terrain and Resources, will allow for the island locals and visitors to indulge them selves and gain the satisfaction that they are supporting responsible energy management. continue