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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

First Wednesdays Program at Rutland Free LIbrary: Mar. 6 at 7:00 p.m.

Middlebury Professor Explores Women’s Resistance in Literature

Image of female symbol on wall

Rutland ~ Middlebury College assistant professor Catharine Wright will explore the depiction in literature of women’s resistance to power in a talk at Rutland Free Library on March 6 at 7:00 pm. Her talk, “Outlaw Women,” is part of the Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays lecture series and is free and open to the public.
Feminist writers around the world have constructed characters that resist dominant power structures. Wright will discuss several such figures in fiction and memoir and consider the politics of our own reading practices.
Wright is a writer and feminist who teaches Writing and Rhetoric and Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies at Middlebury College. Her courses focus on narratives of resistance, identity formation, and postcolonial and transnational literature. She has published short fiction, poems, and essays in numerous magazines and is co-author/editor of two books, Vermonters at Their Crafts (New England Press), and Social Justice Education (Stylus Press). She organizes culturally relevant pedagogy workshops for teachers and has earned two Mellon grants for projects such as Writing Beyond Borders.

About First Wednesdays

The Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays series is held on the first Wednesday of every month from October through May in nine communities statewide, featuring speakers of national and regional renown. Talks in Rutland are held at Rutland Free Library unless otherwise noted. All First Wednesdays talks are free and open to the public. See the full schedule of Rutland First Wednesdays talks.
The statewide underwriters for the First Wednesdays 2018-2019 series are The Alma Gibbs Donchian Foundation, the Windham Foundation, and the Institute of Museum & Library Services through the Vermont Department of Libraries.
“Outlaw Women” is underwritten by The Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility.
Rutland Free Library is sponsored by Friends of Rutland Free Library.
For more information, contact Rutland Free Library at 802.773.1860, or contact the Vermont Humanities Council at 802.262.2626 or info@vermonthumanities.org, or visit www.vermonthumanities.org.

About Vermont Humanities Council

The Vermont Humanities Council seeks to engage all Vermonters in the world of ideas, foster a culture of thoughtfulness, and inspire a lifelong love of reading and learning. Because Ideas Matter.

February 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “California Leads In Net-Zero Homes As Costs Drop” • Half a dozen California cities are hosting enough net-zero homes to place the state in first place in a trend that is catching on rapidly across the nation. It is expected to accelerate over the coming decade, as the cost of adding net-zero features, including solar, drops by 50%. [CleanTechnica]

Net zero home in Arizona (Zero Energy Project image)

  • “Renewables Will Be The Main Source Of Global Energy By 2040, BP Says” • BP says renewable energy will be the world’s main source of power within 20 years. “The pace at which renewable energy penetrates the global energy system is faster than for any fuel in history,” BP said in its latest annual Energy Outlook report. [The Sydney Morning Herald]
  • “Renew Nukes? Utilities Use Nuclear Energy To Help Meet Renewable Energy Goals” • Vermont utilities are using nuclear energy to meet renewable energy standards. This is happening under a law meant to encourage conversion from things that use fossil fuel to ones that run on electricity, such as moving from traditional cars to EVs. [Vermont Public Radio]
  • “Thanks To Its New Democratic Governor, Wisconsin Becomes 20th State To Join US Climate Alliance” • With Wisconsin as the newest member, 40% of all states are part of the alliance to uphold the Paris climate agreement goals. The bipartisan coalition of 21 governors represents 49% of the US population and economies of over $10 trillion. [ThinkProgress]
  • “Hornsea 1 Achieves First Power” • The first turbine installed at the 1218-MW Hornsea 1 offshore wind farm off the UK’s eastern seaboard has started delivering power to the grid. When it is fully commissioned at the end of this year, Hornsea 1 will be the largest wind farm in the world, with 174 Siemens Gamesa 7-MW turbines. [reNEWS]

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

What You Eat Affects the Environment” Forum March 13 in Albany, NY

Community Advocates for a Sustainable Environment will be holding a forum entitled “What You Eat Affects the Environment”. The event, co-sponsored by the Green Sanctuary Committee will take place on March 13, 2019 in Channing Hall at the First Unitarian Universalist Church located at 405 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
The forum* will feature an educational, edited version of the documentary, “Cowspiracy, The Sustainability Secret” and two short presentations by Mr. Demosthenes Maratos,  Communications Director at the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College and Dr. Mary Ellen Mallia, Director of Environmental Sustainability at SUNY Albany.  Eric C. Sharer, Registered Dietician and Certified Dietician-Nutritionist will be part of the panel to answer questions pertaining to nutrition and a plant based diet.
Demosthenes Maratos has worked in the field of environmental and public policy since 1989.  He began his career with the Long Island Neighborhood Network and campaigned for the two most significant pieces of pesticide legislation in New York State history – the Neighborhood Notification of Pesticide Spraying  law and the Safe School Grounds Law.  Along with community education, Mr. Maratos’ work includes integrating concepts of sustainability, environmental ethics, and veganism into the curriculum, operations and culture at Molloy College and the larger Long Island community.  Mr. Maratos is featured in “Cowspiracy”.
Dr. Mallia is the Director of Environmental Sustainability at SUNY Albany and supports the university’s sustainability efforts, including its “UAlbany Green Scene” initiative, environmental education, and policies.  She works to advance strategic planning initiatives related to campus environmental issues and also works with various academic departments and student groups to develop, implement, and coordinate environmental initiatives such as UAlbany’s recycling and energy conservation.
Mr. Sharer is dedicated to promoting and embracing the health benefits of a plant based diet for disease prevention, treatment, and the optimal health of his clients.
*The views, information, or opinions expressed at this forum are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Community Advocates for a Sustainable Environment.

BuildingEnergy Key Note Speaker Announced

Chris Magwood, Executive Director, The Endeavour Centre

Let’s Talk About Carbon!

With our BuildingEnergy Boston 2019 theme of “Know-How” in mind, we are pleased to announce this year’s keynote session, Carbon Drawdown Now: Turning Buildings into Carbon Sinks.

Presented by Chris Magwood of the Endeavour Centre, and Jacob Racusin and Ace McArleton of New Frameworks, the keynote will take place on Thursday, March 14 from 8:30am to 10am.

“Carbon Drawdown Now” will help you know how buildings have the potential to become the world’s fifth largest carbon sink, rather than a leading emitter, and more clearly know why your work is essential for climate justice and social equity. Read more here.

You will leave this keynote feeling reinvigorated in your work, eager to connect our community of practitioners with the wider network of change-makers, and fired up to transform our built environment and our world.

Jacob, Ace, and Chris’s work on this topic was the cover article of the Fall 2018 issue of BuildingEnergy magazine.

Read their article, Beyond Energy Efficiency: Why Embodied Carbon In Materials Matters, to learn more.

Register Now!

Jacob Racusin, Managing Partner, New Frameworks

 

Ace McArleton, Founder, New Frameworks

February 14 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “The Myth Of The 24/7/365 Power Plant” • The polar vortex caused a nuclear reactor to shut down, drove many coal plants offline, and contributed to a fire at a natural gas facility. Ironically, owners of coal and nuclear plants are arguing for a government bailout because of their supposed resilience in times of extreme weather. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Start of a snowstorm (Osman Rana, Unsplash)

  • “Mayor Of Los Angeles Credits Green New Deal For Decision To Cancel Three Gas-Fired Generating Stations” • Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke about the decision to cancel new gas-fired plants. He said, “Now is the time to start the beginning of the end of natural gas. This is the Green New Deal, not in concept, not in the future, but now.” [CleanTechnica]
  • “NextEra Team Unveils 400-MW Hybrid Gant” • NextEra Energy Resources and Portland General Electric Company are developing a wind, solar, and energy storage hybrid project in Oregon. The Wheatridge renewable energy facility in eastern Oregon will include 300 MW of wind and 50 MW each of solar and storage capacity. [reNEWS]
  • “Ohio Survey Shows Strong Conservative Support For Renewables” • According to a new poll released by the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum, conservative voters throughout the state overwhelmingly support public policies that encourage greater production of renewable energy. The poll was conducted in January. [North American Windpower]
  • “‘Every Conceivable’ Renewables Record Fell In 2018, But Drax Warns It Is Not Enough” • The UK is at growing risk of missing legally binding climate targets after the pace of decarbonization slowed last year, new analysis concluded. The warnings come despite the UK seeing “every conceivable” non-hydro renewable energy record broken. [Current News]

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

February 13 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “How Teenage Girls Defied Skeptics To Build A New Global Climate Movement” • Greta Thunberg’s climate activism got her invited from her native Sweden to Davos, Switzerland, where she excoriated a room full of executives, telling them they were to blame for the climate crisis. She is not alone. Young women are rising in many countries. [CNN]

Greta Thunberg, world leader (Sign: “School strike for climate”)

  • “Eleven EU States Already Met 2020 Renewable Energy Target: Eurostat” • Eleven of the European Union’s 28 members have already achieved a 2020 goal of 20% or more of power needs coming from renewable resources, the latest data released by Eurostat show. The 2020 target is a stepping stone to the goal of 32% in 2030. [ETEnergyworld.com]
  • “TVA Tells Trump And McConnell To Take A Hike” • Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell both castigated the Tennessee Valley Authority for its move to close two coal-fired generating stations. But the TVA said retiring both plants in the next 3 to 5 years will “facilitate TVA’s statutory mission to provide reliable power at the lowest system cost.” [CleanTechnica]
  • “ISO New England Interconnection Queue Has More Offshore Wind Than Gas” • Currently, according to ISO New England’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Vamsi Chadalavada, there are over 20,000 MW of resources seeking interconnection to the system including approximately 10,000 MW of offshore wind. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Renewables Make Up 73.6% Of Guatemala’s Power Mix In Week 6” • Renewables accounted for 73.6% of Guatemala’s power mix in the sixth week of 2019, according to the country’s state power regulator Comision Nacional de Energia Electrica. In the first weeks of 2018, the share of renewables dropped below 70% just once. [Renewables Now]

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

February 12 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “The Feds Are Spending $48 Million To Move His Village. But He Doesn’t Want To Go.” • Because of rising seas, subsidence, and erosion, 98% of Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, is gone. The federal government is moving the remaining population, twenty or so families, at a cost of $45 million. It is just the first of such moves. [CNN]

Children of Isle de Jean Charles (Bill Weir | CNN)

  • “Wall Street Journal Editorial Board’s Anti-Wind Diatribe Is A Swing And A Miss” • The WSJ Editorial Board published an op-ed piece based on experience and numbers from two improperly installed wind turbines. After a review of the two wind turbines’ problems, they concluded, “This green new deal was a bad deal all around.” [CleanTechnica]
  • “EnergyAustralia To Turn Charities Into Mini-Power Plants” • Electricity company EnergyAustralia is launching a $15 million program to help charities reduce their power bills by installing free solar panels and battery systems, turning them into mini-power plants. It will link the individual systems to form a virtual power plant. [The Sydney Morning Herald]
  • “Los Angeles Ditches Plan To Invest Billions In Fossil Fuels, Mayor Eric Garcetti Says” • Los Angeles is abandoning a plan to spend billions of dollars rebuilding three natural gas power plants along the coast, Mayor Eric Garcetti said. The city is moving toward a goal of 100% renewable energy and to improve air quality. [Los Angeles Times]
  • “UK Wind Power Hits Record High” • UK wind energy generation hit a new high of over 15 GW on Friday 8 February, according to RenewableUK citing National Grid data. Some 15.32 GW was generated by wind power between 12:15 pm and 1:45 pm, providing 36% of Britain’s electricity demand. The previous record was 15.04 GW. [reNEWS]

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

Baker-Polito Administration Announces $2.8 Million in Matching Funding for Renewable Heating Infrastructure

Projects to Increase Availability of Renewable Heating Fuels

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded five grants totaling $2,889,285 to Massachusetts businesses to fund infrastructure projects to increase the availability of low-carbon, renewable heating fuels. The grants, funded by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), are part of the Renewable Thermal Infrastructure Grant Program, an initiative focused on expanding the availability of renewable thermal technologies in Massachusetts.
 
“Renewable heating is critical to reducing the Commonwealth’s greenhouse gas emissions and meeting our targets under the Global Warming Solutions Act,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Supporting these technologies is an investment in our local economies, the sustainability of our energy future, and expanding heating options to our residents and businesses.”
 
“Our administration is committed to ensuring that communities across the Commonwealth have access to clean, affordable energy,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “With this investment, Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in renewable energy by providing increased access to the resources needed to heat homes and businesses comfortably.”
 
Grant awardees are required to match at least 50 percent of the project costs, which will result in approximately $6 million dollars of infrastructure upgrades across the Commonwealth. Funded projects include woody biomass processing and delivery equipment, testing of modern wood heating and emission control devices to current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards and the installation of a tank to blend eligible biofuels with conventional heating oils. 
 
With updates to the Alternative Portfolio Standard (APS) regulations encouraging greater use of renewable thermal technologies, both residents and businesses in the Commonwealth are now able to earn incentives for meeting their heating needs with renewable energy.  New renewable thermal technologies included in the APS include air and ground-source heat pumps, modern wood heating, liquid biofuels, biogas and solar hot water. 
 
“This program increases the availability of affordable, sustainable and locally sourced dried-wood fuel in the Commonwealth,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Advancing infrastructure for access to this fuel is critical to facilitating sustainable and responsible land management across the Commonwealth and creating a clean energy future.”
 
“The infrastructure supported through this initiative reduces our reliance on conventional fossil fuels while lowering energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions across Massachusetts,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “These heating technologies will have direct benefits to residents and businesses in the Commonwealth for years to come.”
 

The awarded grants will go to the following businesses:

Caluwe Inc.
Burlington
$426,035
To build a showroom storage warehouse in Western Massachusetts and purchase a service vehicle.   Also included in the project is the full testing and certification of several European wood chip boilers and related emission control devices to EPA and UL standards.
Dunlap’s Energy
Plymouth
$228,250
To build a mixing tank that precisely blends renewable biofuel with conventional heating fuels.
Holliday Farm Inc.
Dalton
$1,000,000
To purchase equipment to process, handle, store and deliver dried wood chips.  This project will include the purchase of two trucks able to pneumatically deliver dried woodchips.
Pantermehl Land Clearing Inc.
Ashfield
$350,000
To purchase a large format chipper, live-floor trailer and chip screen, to allow for the creation and bulk delivery of dried woodchips.  Also cost shared is a 65’ x 80’ chip storage building and accompanying asphalt pad.
Wagner Wood
Amherst
$885,000
To purchase the equipment to process, handle, store and deliver dried woodchips. This project will include the purchase of a chip trailer designed to pneumatically deliver dried woodchips into residential or commercial fuel storage silos

In addition to the support that DOER is providing for the renewable heating supply chain infrastructure, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center has recently expanded support for high-efficiency, low-emissions advanced wood heating systems in large buildings through its Modern Wood Heating Program, which offers grants up to $500,000 for qualifying projects. The MassCEC program offers an opportunity for municipal buildings and businesses to transition to fossil fuel free heating, which can deliver significant cost savings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Funding for DOER’s Renewable Heating Infrastructure grants is available from Alternative Compliance Payments (ACP) paid by retail electric suppliers that did not meet their Alternative Portfolio Standard compliance obligations through the purchase of Alternative Energy Certificates.

“This grant from the Baker-Polito Administration will continue the expansion of renewable heating methods in Plymouth and surrounding communities,” said State Senator Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth). “As heating costs continue to rise, finding cost-effective and environmentally friendly solutions is more important than ever. I am proud that with this grant Plymouth businesses will be able to work with the Administration to meet that need in our region.”

“I am grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration for expanding renewable thermal technologies to reduce greenhouse gas in the Commonwealth,” said State Representative Matt Muratore (R-Plymouth). “I am happy that a company in my district, Dunlap’s Energy in Plymouth, will receive a grant to help them produce a lower carbon, renewable heating fuel product.”

February 11 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “A Toxic Crisis In America’s Coal Country” • At some of America’s most controversial coal mines, companies use huge amounts of explosives to blow the tops off mountains. Isolated communities say this poisons their water, and now people must decide if they will fight back against an industry they have relied upon for generations. [BBC]

Removing tops of Appalachian Mountains (Getty Images)

  • “Energy From Coal To Shrink At 1.25 GW Every Year, Says S&P Global” • Energy from coal will shrink at 1.25 GW every year as solar would continue to expand with the deployment forecast of 20 GW every year, according to the International Energy Agency’s Sustainable Development Scenario, S&P Global Platts Analytics said in a recent report. [ETEnergyworld.com]
  • “Study Says Massive Insect Decline Could Have ‘Catastrophic’ Environmental Impact” • Insect populations are declining precipitously worldwide due to pesticide use and other factors, with a potentially “catastrophic” effect on the planet, a study has warned. Insect biomass is declining by a staggering 2.5% per year worldwide. [CNN]
  • “The Win To Stop The Rocky Hill Coalmine Happened In The Right Place And Just In Time” • As Tasmanian forests burn, Queensland is flooded, and New South Wales suffers drought, the chief judge of an Australian court of superior jurisdiction has found, for the first time, that a coalmine ought to be refused for its impact on climate change. [The Guardian]
  • “Government Subsidies For Coal Nearly 400 Times More Than Environment Ministry Budget” • Indian government subsidies for fossil fuels, including oil and gas, have decreased by 76% over the three years to 2017. Nevertheless, subsidies for the coal industry have remained stable over the same period, a study has found. [IndiaSpend]

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

February 10 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “eVTOL Aircraft Are Getting Closer To Flying You Than You Can Imagine” • We are witnessing one of the most incredible moments in the history of transportation as we move away from fossil fuels to electricity, increasing our freedom to innovate for greater mobility. Air taxis are being tested now, and eVTOLs are coming to market. [CleanTechnica]

Rolls Royce flying taxi

  • “Electric Airplane Maker Pipistrel Teams Up With Honeywell To Give Us An Autonomous eVTOL” • Honeywell says it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Pipistrel and the companies will together develop urban air mobility solutions. They will combine their resources to develop an autonomous Pipistrel eVTOL. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Insect Pests On Conifers In Eastern Canadian Forests Are Moving North” • The spruce budworm, the main defoliator of conifer trees in Eastern North American boreal forests, is spreading northwards, and climatic factors seem to trigger and synchronize major outbreaks. These results are revealed by analyses in Quebec. [ScienceBlog.com]
  • “Renewables Gain Traction In Wisconsin And Illinois” • Two years ago, the Midwest was a place where Donald Trump banged the drum for coal power. Today, his words sound ridiculous as, one after another, the US states with the highest concentration of coal-fired generating stations are rushing to embrace renewable electric power. [CleanTechnica]
  • “LVCVA To Consider leaving NV Energy” • The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is considering leaving NV Energy, potentially taking its 3.2 million-square-foot Las Vegas Convention Center out of the utility’s service. The board wants to find an alternative provider to save money and use more renewable resources. [Las Vegas Review-Journal]

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