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We Stand in Solidarity

Green Energy Times Stands in Solidarity with Union of Concerned  Scientists

The protests that are sweeping the country are a direct response to the fact that racism is an inescapable reality in the United States. That these protests are happening right now, in the midst of a pandemic that places the protesters at risk from congregating, speaks to how deep the injustice is, and how urgent the need for change. The legacy of white supremacy continues to harm those of us who are Black, Indigenous, Latinx, or members of other racially marginalized groups.

And despite having a veneer of objectivity and impartiality, science is not immune.

Science is a powerful tool for solving problems and making people’s lives better. But it has been used to do harm and obstruct progress as well.

Most people have heard of the infamous example of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. In this 40-year study, Black men with syphilis were left untreated, without their informed consent and despite the availability of effective therapies, so that researchers could study the progress of the disease. This is but one example of how science has been used to justify white, European conquest for centuries and continues to this day.

Today’s protests aren’t just about the nine minutes that ex-Officer Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd’s neck ultimately leading to his death. They are about the thousands of other unarmed Black men, women, and children who have been needlessly killed by police or others with impunity. They’re about the 40 years of treating hundreds of Black men as guinea pigs in the name of science. And they’re about the 400-year old legacy of slavery and inequality in this country, which manifests itself in institutional and systemic racism in all aspects of modern life from access to housing, health care, food, economic opportunity, and beyond.

As an organization that works for a healthy planet and a safer world, we must address the reality that health and safety are enjoyed unequally across racial lines in our country. Ending these inequities must be an integral part of our mission and our daily work. And a commitment to facing facts means we must be willing to talk about racism explicitly, listen to those who’ve been hurt by it, take counsel from and show up as allies for those who are leading the fight against it, and confront it both in the world we seek to change and in our own institution, assumptions, and actions.

We stand in solidarity with the protesters and urge our supporters to do the same. We also recognize the additional risks protesters are incurring in the midst of a pandemic, and we strongly encourage all to protect their own health and the health of their loved ones at home by maintaining a safe distance from one another and wearing masks and gloves at all times, so that this important act of protest does not result in more sickness and death from the virus.

If you haven’t already, seek out and support local organizers and organizations in your community who are doing critical work on racial equity, environmental justice, voting access, and more. Not sure where to start? Here are some groups that can be a launching point:

As an organization, we are also continuously working to advance our own internal racial equity as an integral part of working  to achieve our mission. We acknowledge that our progress is slow and that we have more work to do, even within our own organization. Below are some resources that some of our staff have found useful.

You can also explore how bias plays out in your own life, as it does with all of us, by taking this test on implicit bias designed by a cross-disciplinary group of researchers.

If you identify as white and haven’t yet explored issues of privilege, we suggest the podcast series Seeing White from the Center on Documentary Studies at Duke University, or watch this video series on systemic racism from our colleagues at Race Forward.

Sincerely,
Katy Love
Katy Love
Online Engagement Manager
Union of Concerned Scientists

June 2 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “SpaceX Crew Dragon Gets To The ISS, But What About Doing It With Renewable Energy?” • SpaceX and NASA launched two astronauts to the ISS on the SpaceX Crew Dragon. Calculations show that we could turn water into rocket fuel sufficient for a Shuttle launch using a month’s wind power from a small wind farm at a cost of about $285,000. [CleanTechnica]

May 30 SpaceX launch (Daniel Oberhaus, Wikimedia Commons)

  • “Plunging Cost Of Wind And Solar Marks Turning Point In Energy Transition: IRENA” • Plunging costs of renewables mark a turning point in a global transition to low-carbon energy, as it is increasingly cheaper to build solar or wind farms than to run existing coal plants, a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency shows. [Reuters]
  • “EPA Mounts A New Strike On States’ Rights, This Time To Boost Pipeline Companies” • As chaos grips the nation, the EPA is changing water permitting rules to make it harder for states to block construction of fossil fuel pipelines. The EPA’s new rule prohibits regulators from factoring in a project’s impacts on climate change. [Huffpost]
  • “Energy Efficiency Is Cheaper Than Gas” • Energy efficiency programs save money and ease the effects of climate change. They also generate high-quality jobs. Efficiency accounted for nearly half of the energy industry’s overall net of new jobs in 2019, and it employs twice as many US workers as the entire fossil fuel industry. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Cities Need More Expertise And Utility Support In 100% Renewables Push: Report” • A report says greenhouse gas emissions are “rising at an unprecedented rate,” and with the federal government largely taking a back-seat in the fight against climate change, it is up to state and city governments to do much of the heavy lifting. [Smart Cities Dive]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

REV2020 – RFP Deadline Extended to June 10

Calling Renewable Energy Experts! 

The REV2020 Call for Proposals deadline has been extended to Wednesday, June 10. Sieze this opportunity to engage with other leading figures in the renewable energy sector and gain valuable exposure for your ideas.

Virtual sessions scheduled September through January will feature keynotes, panel discussions and networking opportunities. New this year, focused working groups of participants and area specialists will investigate and make recommendations about the role that renewable energy can and should play in the 2021 legislative session, the ongoing coronavirus response and with regulatory agencies.

As a courtesy, selected speakers will receive a 50% discount on early-bird registration.

Don’t delay! Click the button below to learn how your ideas and expertise can help lead the discussion at this distinguished event.

Submissions due Wednesday, June 10th.  

June 1 Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Empire State Building Reduces Carbon Emissions By 40% With Energy Saving Upgrades” • When it was built, during the depression, the Empire State Building projected a message of hope by keeping every room lit for all to see. Today, the energy retrofits the building has had reduce its emissions, enough to show a new hope for the future. [CleanTechnica]

Empire State Building (Image credit: esbnyc.com)

  • “Cities ‘Could Generate Hundreds Of Times More Solar Power Than They Do Today’” • While applauding the rooftop solar progress of dozens of cities, a report from Environment Texas offers policy options for further progress. Per capita solar leaders are Honolulu, San Diego, Albuquerque, San Jose and Burlington, Vermont. [pv magazine USA]
  • “What Will Coronavirus Do To Renewable Energy?” • Before the Covid-19 pandemic, renewable energy was growing, but not fast enough to meet the Paris Agreement’s carbon reduction goals, let alone to deal with climate change. Now, the economic shock of Covid-19 is slowing the growth of renewables, at least temporarily. [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists]
  • “How Cities Might Change If We Worked From Home More” • Many people now work from home. Major tech companies say they are open to their staff working from home permanently. Employees are coming to realize remote working is not only possible but, in some cases, preferable. A shift to a new way of working might already be under way. [BBC]
  • “Edgewater Coal Plant Closure Signals A Move Towards Renewable Energy” • By the end of 2022, Alliant Energy, based in Madison, Wisconsin, will shutter the Edgewater coal plant in Sheboygan. The company said in a press release that it hopes to transition to renewable energy, and avoid long-term costs for current customers. [Wisconsin Examiner]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

May 31 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Electric Bicycle Sales Blooming Since The Lockdown, Cities And Commuter Habits Shifting” • Cities are rethinking space and adding bicycle infrastructure continuously, and the pandemic presents an extra opportunity to reflect and take bolder action that some cities are seizing. Paris, Milan, and Brussels are among the examples. [CleanTechnica]

Cyclists in New York (Image: Bike New York via Twitter)

  • “Audi’s New ‘Mission:Zero’ – Protecting Natural Habitats & Biodiversity” • Audi has been a member of the “Biodiversity in Good Company” initiative for five years. Volkswagen Group has numerous projects to preserve biodiversity at Audi sites. The Audi Environmental Foundation has plans to expand that commitment to benefit biodiversity. [CleanTechnica]
  • “New-Wave Urban Farming” • People continue to lose their jobs amid pandemic, raising concerns about whether farmers and growers in the production chain can still get their supplies to market. The question also arises as to whether consumers can afford to buy them. Some people have been developing ideas to address food security. [Bangkok Post]
  • “Trump’s Fossil Fuel Agenda Gets Pushback From Federal Judges” • Federal courts have delivered a string of rebukes to the Trump administration, ruling that it has failed to protect the environment and address climate change. The latest ruling came when an appeals court refused to revive a permitting program for oil and gas pipelines. [Daily Rocket Miner]
  • “Inuit Communities Are Shaping Research Priorities” • In northern Canada, climate change can make travel on ice deadly. In Nunavut, the SmartICE research project integrates traditional ice knowledge with real-time data gathered from sensors out on the sea ice. SmartICE aims to make reliable maps of ice travel hazards, accessible by computer or smartphone. [Grist]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

May 30 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “The World’s ‘Largest All-Electric Commercial Aircraft’ Has Completed Its First Flight” • The “largest all-electric commercial aircraft” completed its maiden flight. The Cessna 208B Grand Caravan was flown at Moses Lake, Washington, and used a 750-horsepower all-electric motor developed by magniX, a company based in Redmond. [CNBC]

Electric Cessna 208B Grand Caravan (magniX image)

  • “EIA: US Renewable Energy Consumption Surpasses Coal For The First Time In Over 130 Years” • In 2019, US annual energy consumption from renewable sources exceeded consumption of energy from coal for the first time since before 1885, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s Monthly Energy Review. [Power Engineering Magazine]
  • “This Huge Natural Gas Company Looks To Power Operations With Solar Energy” • US natural gas processing and transmission firm Williams is looking to develop solar installations on land it owns close to its existing facilities to power its operations with electricity from solar energy. Williams owns and operates about 30,000 miles of pipelines. [OilPrice.com]
  • “UK EV Owners Got Paid To Charge Their Cars Over The Holiday Weekend” • In the UK, a bank holiday, sunny skies, and reduced demand due to the coronavirus pandemic left Octopus Energy, a UK utility that uses only renewable energy, with an oversupply. So, to use up excess electricity, it paid some lucky EV owners to charge their cars. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Tesla Model 3 Is The Top Selling Car in California” • For the first time ever, the Tesla Model 3 was the top selling vehicle in California last quarter, a bit of a surprise. The Model 3 has often been in the top 5 in California, but decades-long leaders from Honda and Toyota, with the Civic, Accord, Corolla, and Camry, have been hard to pass. [CleanTechnica]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

Congressman Welch & Town Energy Committee Conversation — June 5 at noon!

Vermont town energy committee leaders: This great opportunity is for you in particular!

Please join a conversation with Congressman Peter Welch, Next Friday, June 5, from noon-1 p.m. This virtual meeting will be a good chance for the Congressman to share an update on what’s happening (or not) at the federal level, hear success stories, ideas and goals of local energy leaders and answer questions.

Please mark your calendar and RSVP here today!

You’re encouraged to submit any questions you might have for the Congressman in advance too. Please do that when you RSVP.

As always, thanks for ALL you do – and in advance for joining Congressman Peter Welch for a conversation about opportunities to support and strengthen (local) energy innovation in Vermont.

 

May 29 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “City of Cracow Orders 50 Electric Buses” • In Poland, the city of Cracow has decided to order 50 Solaris Urbino 18 electric buses to help clean up its air and help stop global warming. The new 50 buses will be added to an existing fleet of 28 Solaris electric buses. The order, including 50 bus charging stations, is to be delivered this year. [CleanTechnica]

Solaris Urbino 18 electric bus in Cracow (Solaris courtesy image)

  • “Consortium Created To Promote Zero-Emission Electric Vessels” • Seven Japanese companies have joined forces to launch a zero-emission electric vessel consortium, the e5 Consortium. Three of them, Asahi Tanker, Exeno Yamamizu Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, recently built the world’s first electric ocean vessel, the e5 tanker. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Antarctic Ice Sheets Capable Of Much Faster Melting Than We Thought” • Antarctic ice sheets retreated at speeds of up to 50 meters (164 feet) a day at the end of the last Ice Age, researchers have found. They warn that we could soon see similar levels of ice retreat, should climate change carry on weakening ice shelves in coming decades. [CNN]
  • “Just How Good An Investment Is Renewable Energy? New Study Reveals All” • Renewable energy investments deliver massively better returns than fossil fuels in the US, the UK and Europe, according to analysis. Despite this, the total volume of investment is still nowhere near what will be required to mitigate climate change. [Forbes]
  • “PG&E Keeps Adding Electrons To Energy Storage Plans” • California utilities are moving past battery pilot projects. Pacific Gas and Electric Company requested that the California Public Utilities Commission approve five new energy storage projects totaling 423 MW in power capacity. All are lithium-ion battery storage proposals. [CleanTechnica]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

May 28 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “The Climate Change Clues Hidden In Art History” • As scientists, policy-makers, and members of the public attempt to make sense of the climate crisis, art historians are finding clues about how our relationship with nature has changed, about past and present societies’ ideas of climate, and even about the physical changes of our planet. [BBC]

The Icebergs, Frederic Edwin Church (Dallas Museum of Art)

  • “Coal’s Decline Continues With Thirteen Plant Closures Announced In 2020” • Power companies have announced plans to close thirteen coal plants this year, according to an E&E News review of federal data and companies’ closure plans. Two other plants will be converted to natural gas. Burning coal is no longer economically sound. [Scientific American]
  • “Renewables Crushing Coal – Won 100 Days Already In 2020” • The US has seen year-to-date performance for renewables that is dramatically above any previous year’s. Renewables are on a streak going on right now, overtaking coal for production of electricity on a daily basis for 100 days so far this year, and for 60 days in a row. [CleanTechnica]
  • “US Provides Additional Safe Harbour For Renewables In Post-Covid-19 World” • US renewable energy projects that have been hit by supply chain delays caused by the Covid-19 crisis have been granted an extra year to meet safe harbour requirements and qualify for federal tax credits. A notice published by the IRS offers tax relief. [Renewables Now]
  • “US Renewables Produce 17.5% More Electricity Than Coal During Q1 Of 2020 – Solar Grows 23% And Wind 17%” • US Renewable energy sources produced significantly more electricity than coal during the first quarter of 2020 and also topped nuclear power in both February and March, a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of EIA data shows. [pvbuzz media]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

May 27 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Siemens Gamesa Lands 2.6-GW Dominion Deal With 14-MW Unit” • Siemens Gamesa has secured a second major order for its 14-MW turbine, from the 2640-MW Dominion Energy Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project. The exact number of units needed for the project is yet to be confirmed, as it will be based on site-specific conditions. [reNEWS]

Siemens Gamesa 14-MW turbine (Siemens Gamesa image)

  • “Michael Moore Film Planet Of The Humans Removed From YouTube” • YouTube has taken down the documentary Planet of the Humans in response to a copyright infringement claim by a British environmental photographer. The movie, produced by Michael Moore, allegedly includes a clip that was used without the permission of its owner. [The Guardian]
  • “KIA Says Micro-EV Could Replace Public Transportation” • Cities rely on buses, trams, and subways, but the coronavirus pandemic has caused many to rethink the whole idea of public transportation. KIA is looking at inexpensive, ultra-compact, short range electric cars, as be a viable alternative to public transportation, with the Citroen Ami as a model. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Investment In Global Energy To Drop By $400 Billion” • The International Energy Agency expects global Investment in global energy to fall by $400 billion this year, the biggest slump in the industry’s history, as demand collapses in face of the Covid-19 pandemic. The IEA had forecast an investment increase of 2% in 2020. Now it expects a 20% fall. [The Guardian]
  • “Big Oil Loses Appeal To Stop Climate Lawsuits From Going To Court In California” • Big Oil has lost two big court battles. A federal court ruling could lead to trials in lawsuits by California cities and counties seeking damages for the impact of climate change. In a similar case brought by Baltimore, a federal court issued a similar decision. [Los Angeles Times]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.