U.S. Conference of Mayors Signal Commitment to Renewable Energy

In our last post, we discussed an emerging trend of corporations and local governments taking decisive action on climate change in the absence of federal leadership.  Since that post, several excellent examples of this commitment have been announced, with perhaps the most compelling coming from the U.S. Conference of Mayors‘ 85th annual meeting this week.  Climate change and renewable energy were among the topics discussed at the meeting by leaders from more than 250 cities, and a number of powerful resolutions were adopted.  The full list of resolutions is well worth a read, but there are two in particular that warrant highlighting. First, the assembled city officials overwhelmingly adopted a resolution that set a goal for member communities to adopt 100% renewable energy by 2035. …

Something to Remember: Key Climate Milestones in 2015

Began with the warmest winter on record globally. Hottest year on record globally. Toronto had the hottest Christmas Eve on record for a Canadian city, with the thermometer reaching 15.4 degrees C. 2015 was last year we’ll see atmospheric CO2 concentrations below 400 parts per million, above which the global climate starts getting wacky. The average global temperature increase averaged 1 degree C above pre-industrial times for the first time. Tropical cyclone Patricia went off the hurricane category scale with winds of over 320 km per hour. The Arabian peninsula was hit by two consecutive cyclones, unprecedented in the region. After four years of drought California was the driest it has been in 500 years. Jurisdictions such as B.C. and Alberta had their worst-ever wildfire seasons. Record flooding hit…

Vegetarian and ‘healthy’ diets could be more harmful to the environment, researchers say

Following the USDA recommendations to consume more fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood is more harmful to the environment because those foods have relatively high resource uses and greenhouse gas emissions per calorie, say researchers. A new study measured the changes in energy use, blue water footprint and GHG emissions associated with US food consumption patterns.

Physicists come up with a way to make cleaner fuel cells

An international group of scientists has developed ion-exchange synthetic membranes based on amphiphilic compounds that are able to convert the energy of chemical reactions into electrical current. The new development could potentially be used in fuel cells, and in separation and purification processes.

New interactive map compares carbon footprints of San Francisco Bay area neighborhoods

The Paris climate summit ended last year with landmark national commitments for greenhouse gas reductions, but much of the hard work of reducing emissions will fall on cities to change their residents’ behavior.

Tree Shaped Wind Turbines to be Installed in Paris

Energy Inventions | Wind Power | Wind TurbinesA French company called New Wind is installing tree-shaped wind turbines at the Place de la Concorde in Paris, France. The company’s founder, Jérôme Michaud-Larivière came up with the idea while in a Paris square, when he “saw the leaves tremble when there was not a breath of air.” He hopes the trees can be […]

Twitter fight! Bernie and Hillary battle it out over who has the better climate plan

When was the last presidential race in which the two leading candidates for a major party’s nomination aggressively competed over who has the best plan to address climate change? Oh, right, never. But 2016 is a new era. This week, the Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton campaigns talked smack to each other on social media, fighting for the hearts of climate hawks. It started on Wednesday, when Sanders — who last month released a very ambitious, but legislatively focused, climate plan — challenged Clinton to detail her own plans. Over the last few months, Clinton has reacted to the candidacies of Sanders and fellow climate hawk Martin O’Malley, as well as grassroots activist pressure, by moving left on a couple of key climate issues. After years of avoiding…