September 2011

Another Advantage of Energy Efficient Homes September 2, 2011 : 7:30 PM

Some new studies show that they sell faster for LA Times">higher prices:

"In a study covering existing and new houses sold from May 2010 through April of this year, the Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit group based in Portland, Ore., found that newly constructed homes with third-party certifications for sustainability and energy efficiency sold for 8% more on average than noncertified homes in the six-county Portland metropolitan area. Existing houses with certifications sold for 30% more."

Source: LA Times


Reforesting in Mali September 4, 2011 : 4:50 PM

Some good work taking place in Africa:

"In Mali, people reforest to protect environment. But sometimes they are also looking for additional income."

"In the western arid zone of Nara, outside the delta, an initiative has been underway since 2007 to replant 10,000 hectares of acacia senegal. The project is a partnership between local communities, the World Bank and Déguessi Vert, a Malian agro-industrial company."

"The new trees will help reduce heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions by sequestering 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2012, and over 500,000 tonnes by 2017."

Source: Alertnet


Confronting Disappointment September 7, 2011 : 2:30 PM

On Friday afternoon, as brave and committed activists continued their non-violent civil disobedience outside the White House in protest of the tar sands pipeline that would lead to a massive increase in global warming pollution, President Obama ordered the EPA to abandon its pursuit of new curbs on emissions that worsens disease-causing smog in US cities. Earlier this year, the EPA’s administrator, Lisa Jackson, wrote that the levels of pollution now permitted -- put in place by the Bush-Cheney administration-- are “not legally defensible.” Those very same rules have now been embraced by the Obama White House.

Instead of relying on science, President Obama appears to have bowed to pressure from polluters who did not want to bear the cost of implementing new restrictions on their harmful pollution—even though economists have shown that the US economy would benefit from the job creating investments associated with implementing the new technology. The result of the White House’s action will be increased medical bills for seniors with lung disease, more children developing asthma, and the continued degradation of our air quality.


Wall Street Journal Gets It Wrong on Climate, Again September 8, 2011 : 2:17 PM

Yesterday's Wall Street Journal opinion page echoed FOX News with claims that global warming is caused by cosmic rays and not the 90 million tons of pollution that we are emitting every day. What they failed to mention is that the authors of the study made no such claims. In fact, they have stated:

"At the moment, it [the study] actually says nothing about a possible cosmic-ray effect on clouds and climate, but it's a very important first step"

"Our work leaves open the possibility that cosmic rays could influence the climate. However, at this stage, there is absolutely no way we can say that they do."


"There are a great many arguments as to why the cosmic ray cloud effect is not a major driver of climate change and these results do not yet impinge on those arguments."

For more information that debunks the claim that cosmic rays are the cause of the climate crisis, go to:


Host a 24 Hours of Reality Watch Party September 9, 2011 : 5:54 PM

Signup to host a 24 Hours of Reality Watch Party at

"24 Hours of Reality will be broadcast live from our website. All you need to tune in is a computer (or mobile device) and an Internet connection."

"But that doesn’t mean you need to watch 24 Hours of Reality alone. Host a watch party! Get your PTA group together. Organize your soccer team. Ask your school if you can use the auditorium. Watch the broadcast with people you care about."


24 Hours of Reality September 15, 2011 : 6:06 AM

Watch it live:

Live broadcast by Ustream


Moving Planet September 21, 2011 : 1:08 PM

This coming weekend will host Moving Planet, “a day to put our demands for climate action into motion—marching, biking, skating—calling for the world to go beyond fossil fuels.”

My friend Bill McKibben, who is helping to organize the event, emailed:

"A few very cool actions are already underway -- our friends in Indonesia have already started on the 350-hour bike ride that will carry them across much of the nation, and in India the Naya Swara Yatra (New Independence Journey) bike team has leftNagpur bound for Mumbai with their message, “it’s time to move past fossil fuels”."

"Most places, though, people are still making last-minute plans: for the “human flood” of blue shirts across Cairo, for the parade of fuel-free floats across Cape Town, for the procession of the “Eco-lympic torch” across Rio de Janeiro via skateboard, foot, and pedal."

You can find an event near you by clicking here.


Climate Deniers and Tobacco September 22, 2011 : 5:41 PM

One of my favorite videos from 24 Hours of Reality:

DOUBT from The Climate Reality Project on Vimeo.

You can watch all the highlights from 24 Hours of Reality by clicking here.


How Deniers Work September 23, 2011 : 3:11 PM

A report Saturday demonstrates how the climate denial movement manipulates the political process, laundering their money, influence and phony science through think tanks, advocacy groups and event academic institutions:

“A pair of "research" accounts at the University of Calgary, funded mainly by the oil and gas industry, were used for a sophisticated international political campaign that involved high-priced consultants, lobbying, wining, dining and travel with the goal of casting doubt on climate change science, newly released accounting records have revealed.”

“The records showed that the strategy was crafted by professional firms, in collaboration with well-known climate change skeptics in Canada and abroad, allowing donors to earn tax receipts by channeling their money through the university.”

“All of the activities and $507,975 in spending were organized by the Friends of Science, an anti-Kyoto Protocol group founded by retired oil industry workers and academics who are skeptical about peer-reviewed research linking human activity to global warming observed in recent decades.”

Source: Postmedia News


On the Passing of Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai September 26, 2011 : 9:19 AM

It is with great sadness that I learned today of Wangari Maathai's passing. Wangari overcame incredible obstacles to devote her life to service—service to her children, to her constituents, to the women, and indeed all the people of Kenya-- and to the world as a whole. Wangari was a warm and devoted mother and I send my condolences to her family. She worked tirelessly both as an elected Member of Parliament and an Assistant Minister for Environment and Natural Resources. She forged new ground for women in Kenya helping shatter what we would call the "glass ceiling" in the United States. And, she found her true passion as the founder of the Greenbelt Movement. As the first environmentalist and first African woman to earn the Nobel Peace Prize, Wangari served as a true inspiration to us all.