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Getting to 350

With the launch of our special issue on "Getting to 350," we will encourage authors and readers to use this page to explore climate change solutions. Join the conversation: post links, share articles, and start new discussions. We look forward to hearing from you, and look out for updates on the special issue!

An invitation to visit Solar Utopia, another future is possible! Website

Go to our website www.solarUtopia.org which features our peer-reviewed report "A Solar Transition is Possible" with important updates, including an estimate of how much conventional petroleum is needed to bring about a full solar transition in just a few decades while supplying all of humanity with the rough minimum 3.5 kilowatt/person, the necessary condition for a state of the science life expectancy and quality of life. Also test out our two calculators, one relating to our model of solar transition, the other the Energy Calculator that will connect power and energy units.

Best wishes,

How To Eliminate Fossil Fuels By 2030

To replace fossil fuel energy with clean renewable energy, a price advantage is required. This can be achieved by surcharging world trade (imports and exports) and using the proceeds to make clean energy lower cost than fossil fuel energy. More details are in the pdf.

Just Tell The Truth

I know there are many people, maybe even a majority of folks out there who still choose to believe that our Planet can indefinitely sustain our present-day lifestyle and rate of consumption. Those folks should just click away because what follows is strictly for the rest of us – those who unquestionably accept the reality that life as we’ve been living it up to now must absolutely and radically change.

Community Carbon Trees - Costa Rica

I am pleased to enter into this group and enjoyed reading perspectives in your posts.

It is as if there is no safe place anymore. Crazy rain, crazy temps, 388 ppm- What are we to do?

Smart Grid Q & A with Peter Fox-Penner

What is the Smart Grid? Why do we need it?

It is not that we “need” the Smart Grid any more than we “needed” iPhones when we were all using cell phones prior to the iPhone. It is that the Smart Grid offers consumers more control over their power use, more value from their power use, the ability to save energy and carbon, and other benefits they cannot get from the traditional grid. What we do need is to make leaps and bounds in energy efficiency in order to meet our climate goals. The benefits of the Smart Grid I listed can make this make possible.

Hiware Bazar: A model for economic and ecological prosperity in India

Hiware Bazar rose from the proverbial ashes to become a model for the rest of India: an economically strong and socially conscious village. The transformation was no less than a miracle given the heavy dependence people seem to have on 'external' governance structures. (This despite a long history of decentralized resource management in the country.) The village has also excelled at constantly re-inventing itself to fit the needs of the times without compromising on its integrity and well-being.

Burlington Global Work Party on 10/10/10

Dearest VT Solutions Community:

A small group of organizers has been coming together for the last couple months to make the upcoming Global Work Party on 10/10/10 a successful day of implementing climate-fighting solutions right here in Burlington, VT.

We're reaching out to far an wide for Work Party event hosts and volunteers so I'm writing to you all today in the hopes that you will have some ideas for projects that are in the works for Burlington and the surrounding area which can be included in 10/10/10 actions.

The Buckminster Fuller Challenge- Accepting Applications

Upload Your Solution: 

JenJoy Roybal
jroybal [at] bfi [dot] org

Weatherization for the Impoverished

Create a volunteer weatherization program that directly supports the existing local Department of Energy funded weatherization programs.

We at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC are training anyone who is interested in developing a similar program. We are seeing, conservatively, a 2 ton reduction in carbon emissions per house per year from an investment of approximately $2,000 per house.

Check out our videos at www.insulatenc.com.

New Orleans: rebuilding despite climate change?

New Orleans has a somewhat disabled infrastructure with broken levees and oil-laden water creeping onto the shore. This puts the city in danger of being swept away by another hurricane or natural disaster. What do people think about rebuilding in areas that are vulnerable to climate change?

London's Boris Bikes

In London, a new bikeshare program called Boris Bikes is taking off. Oliver O'Brien, who works at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College, London, has plotted their use in real time to show how they are used throughout the day. In the video below, 24 hours have been condensed into 24 seconds. It is interesting to see how the bicycles move through the city during a day, and gives us some valuable insight into the utility of a bikeshare program.

Mosque seeks LEED-certification

Amongst immense controversy, the designers of the mosque being built near ground-zero in New York City are seeking LEED-certification. If they get this certification, it will be the first LEED-certified mosque in the country. Read here to see how religion and the environment have come head to head in this interesting story:


We're Just Too Productive

Part of our problem is that humans are just too productive -- we're changing the landscape too much, working too many hours, making too much money, etc. And at the same time we're neglecting proper sleep, caring for our children, continuing education, citizenship participation...etc.

So my solution is that we cut down the workweek so that we have time for rearing our children and caring for our health and family, we don't destroy the environment at this rapid pace...and we consume less because we have less money burning a hole in our pockets.

Wal-Mart to sell Seventh Generation Products

In an interesting turn of events, Wal-Mart and Seventh Generation have reached an agreement whereby Seventh Generation products will be sold at 1,500 Wal-Marts nationwide. This is certainly a change in behavior for Seventh Generation, who used to refuse to sell their products at Wal-Mart because of the giant's unsustainable practices and poor working conditions. This is the most recent in a rash of moves by Wal-Mart to appear more sustainable, the most notable of which is their new Sustainability Index. Their ability to sell Seventh Generation products in stores and online will certainly paint them an even deeper shade of "green", but what is in it for Seventh Generation besides a larger market share? To learn more and read statements by heads of both companies, check out this story on treehugger:


Rethinking the Measure of Growth

In the New York Times' Green Column, Wayne Arnold writes about how we should rethink our measures of growth. We have for a long time relied solely on G.D.P., and Arnold writes about how this measure of growth is no longer serving us well and how we need to change the idea that G.D.P. equals success.


White Roofs for the Department of Energy

Yesterday, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that he would be increasing the number of buildings with white roofs for DOE and other buildings belonging to the government. This is part of the promise by the Federal government to reduce their emissions by 28 percent by 2020. White roofs are so effective because they reflect the sun's rays rather than absorbing them, thus cooling the inside of the house. In cities, it can also help cut down on the urban heat island effect. This effect occurs in cities where the landscape is dominated by dark roofs and pavement, and it creates a rise in temperature comparative to the surrounding, non-city landscape. If the transition was made to more and more white roofs our cooling costs could be reduced tremendously. The DOE itself has claimed to have already installed more than two million square feet of white roofs, claiming a savings of $500,000 a year in energy consumption. To take this a step further, in the video below, Steven Chu explains how if we were to retrofit all existing buildings with white roofs, and replace dark paving materials with light, it would be comparable to removing all automobiles on the planet for 11 years in terms of carbon emissions. Check it out:

Climate: A Crisis Averted

Check out this video of an optimistic view of the world in 2055; what it would look like if we had averted the climate crisis. Although a bit outdated it offers an encouraging look at our ability to create a new, vibrant economy based on green energy investment that would lead us away from a dependence on oil and further destruction of our environment.

Is the Tide Turning on Deforestation?

Check out this great article by John Collins Rudolf in the New York Times' "Green" blog:


Breaking: Flow of Oil Stopped (For Now)

Finally, 85 days after the first report on April 20 of an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, the oil has stopped flowing. But we're not out of the woods yet. See the linked article on treehugger.com below for more details.

More updates will be posted as they come in.


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