West Virginia Coal Miners Moving to Solar Industry

West Virginia coal miners have always taken pride in supplying energy to the world. Although their work hours are long and the hazards of the job are many. They reluctantly dig coal to support their families, because there are no other opportunities for these hard working individuals. In a state that is politically controlled by the coal industry, politicians are bought and paid for every election. The campaign funds provided insure that clean energy will not find its way into…

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Obama State of the Union Address 2011 [VIDEO]

  Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address (full text) is important to us all because it is not only a critical reflection on where we stand today, but also on where we’re going, where we need to go, and how we can succeed as a nation (all according to our President and his team, the people with the most power concerning this matter… or who should have the most power concerning this matter). Here are my reflections (and the…

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New Study Looks at Hidden Environmental Costs of Parking

The price of free parking keeps going up. One cost is painful urban congestion, which is made worse bydrastically under-priced street parking. Another is a relative cost to the environment, which occurs when the near-certain prospect of free (or cheap) parking entices people into their cars and away from alternative forms of transportation. Recently a team of researchers from the University of California at Berkeley, writing in a recent issue of Environmental Research Letters, described a previously unknown cost — energy and…

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Physicist “Solves” the City, Turns It Into an Equation

I went through a ton of urban theories as a Master’s student in city planning, but something I didn’t have access to at that time was physicist Geoffrey West’s urban equations. Because he had not created them yet. The 70-year-old physicist decided to direct his attention to this matter late in his career. While he spent most of his life trying to identify the laws that govern the physical universe, a few years ago he decided to study the urban…

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Louisiana Washing Back into the Sea

“Louisiana wetlands are disappearing at a rate of up to 25 square miles per year — and taking centuries-old communities with them.” This is the intro to a great piece on OnEarth that shows us yet again that we can stop talking only about the effects climate change is going to have on the world in the future and start talking more about the effects it is having on the world now. Getting into the case in Louisiana more, Barry…

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Latin American Green City Index Unveiled

The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) of the news magazine The Economist and leading engineering company Siemens just released the Latin American Green City Index [PDF], an index measuring the sustainability of 17 key Latin American cities. Believe it or not, Latin America is the most urbanized area of the world according to the United Nations. 81% of the population lives in urban areas. (Globally, a little more than 50% of the population lives in urban areas.) With 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions…

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China’s Ecological Footprint and New Chemical Policies

Everyone’s eyes are on China. It is growing faster than rabbit make babies and it looks to many of us that it is leapfrogging the U.S. and maybe even Europe as well on clean tech. Nonetheless, it still has huge environmental demons. The World Wildlife Federation (WWF), the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), the Global Footprint Network, and China’s Institute of Geographic Sciences and National Resources Research (IGSNRR) created a report recently on China’s Ecological…

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Innovative Grassroots Sustainability Projects

Want to be inspired by some truly progressive sustainability projects being created by common folks? If so, I highly recommend checking out Working for Green, a website that documents noteworthy grassroots, sustainability projects around the country. The website founder, Susan Neisloss, even seems to visit every project and creates wonderful short videos showing what folks are doing, why their projects are important, and leaving you with takeaway points that you can use to improve your own life. Here are a…

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