Design for a Changing Planet

How about this for a design assignment…

Design a building that makes oxygen, sequesters carbon, distills water, provides habitat for hundreds of species, makes microclimates, accrues solar energy as fuel, makes complex sugars, perhaps even self replicates. Now that’s interesting, and that’s a Honey Locust. How many buildings you know make oxygen?

-Architect, William McDonough

Change is happening. Big changes. Fast.
We humans and the world around us
will either suffer or benefit from
what we choose to do.
Today. Tomorrow. The day after that.

Design for a Changing Planet…

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The EV Tipping Point Will Arrive Quickly

An Interview With Fastned CEO Michiel Langezaal; Why The Mass Adoption Of EVs Is Inevitable 

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1Though the Netherland’s EV sales are picking up, Fastned’s co- founder & CEO Michiel Langezaal does not think they will reach  the national goal of 200,000 EV’s and hybrids on the road by 2020. There are still parts of the country that are beyond the reach of EVs with a 100 kilometers per charge range. Around 85% of the population do not have parking spaces.  Yet Fastned’s co- founder & CEO Michiel Langezaal says the EV tipping point will arrive quickly.
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Looking Back On The Blue Dot Tour And Ahead To The New Year

From the David Suzuki Foundation

By David Suzuki

I recently travelled across Canada with David Suzuki Foundation staff, from St. John’s to Victoria and up to Yellowknife, joined by friends and allies along the way. Besides our Blue Dot Tour evening events featuring some of Canada’s best-known musicians, writers, artists and thinkers, we also took part in many community events and discussed environmental stewardship and treaty rights with Indigenous people.

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Study Finds Tropical Fish Moving Into Temperate Waters

From Oregon State University News 

By Mark Floyd,

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Tropical herbivorous fish are beginning to expand their range into temperate waters – likely as a result of climate change – and a new international study documents the dramatic impact of the intrusion in the Mediterranean Sea.

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The United States Recognizes Cuba

Press Release from the White House 

The United States has recognized Cuba:

Decades of U.S. isolation of Cuba have failed to accomplish our objective of empowering Cubans to build an open and democratic country. At times, longstanding U.S. policy towards Cuba has isolated the United States from regional and international partners, constrained our ability to influence outcomes throughout the Western Hemisphere, and impaired the use of the full range of tools available to the United States to promote positive change in Cuba. Though this policy has been rooted in the best of intentions, it has had little effect – today, as in 1961, Cuba is governed by the Castros and the Communist party.

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Free Markets Have To Be Achieved In A Fair Way

REC Group’s Arndt Lutz talks about US Tariffs

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1Reactions to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision are mixed. Specific amounts vary, but many Chinese solar companies will be paying a 42.33% tariff on their exports to the US. The amounts for Taiwanese manufacturers are also hefty. SolarWorld and its allies applaud these measures as a means to reignite American manufacturing. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) described this as “ill-advised and unprecedented” and believes it “will harm many and benefit few.” Arndt Lutz, Senior VP of REC Group and head of the company’s North American business, said that as a European company, REC believes in free trade , but free markets must be achieved in a fair way.

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BC May Break A Treaty If They Build The Site C Dam

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1There are many reasons to oppose the proposed Site C dam. It will flood what is reputedly some of the province’s most promising farmland. Most of the inhabitants of the Peace River Area, where the dam would be built, oppose the project. There are alternative energy sources, such as geothermal, which BC Hydro has not explored. The most serious objection, however, is BC may break a treaty if they build the Site C Dam.

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What’s Behind PetersenDean’s Allegations?

Are they legitimate Concerns? Frustration? or “a PR Puffball”?

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1PetersenDean claims 7 of the  11 Board members displayed on Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) homepage are from “Chinese-based manufacturing and affiliated companies” and SEIA represents Chinese rather than American interests. They are calling upon the Board to resign and are “asking for an ethics investigation under the SEIA by-laws, including Article 10.” To which SEIA responded that PetersenDean is not one of their members and their allegations are “a PR puffball.” What’s Behind PetersenDean’s Allegations?

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Europe’s largest energy storage facility Is Now Online

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1Europe’s largest energy storage facility is now online. Energy & Climate Change Minister Amber Rudd switched on the new UKPN SNS Facility in Leighton Buzzard yesterday. The fully automated 6MW/10MWh energy storage unit has commenced its trial run. As the existing infrastructure dates back to the 1970s, this facility represents an immediate +£6m savings over traditional network reinforcement methods such as transformers, cable and overhead lines. More important, this could be the beginning of a technology transition that research from Imperial College could save the UK £3bn a year by in the 2020s, based on the deployment of 2GW of energy storage.
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How MPOWERD Lights up People’s Lives

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1Broadcast on Cortes Community Radio, CKTZ, 89.5 FM.

MPOWERD makes solar lanterns, but they are also much more than that. They were founded in response to the Haiti earthquake. So I interviewed the President, Scott Kling, about how MPOWERD lights up people’s lives.

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Energy, Environment, Ecology