For $34 billion, the automakers should stop suing us

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Joel Gordes, whom I know of through NESEA, says that if taxpayers are going to give $34 billion to bail out the Big 3 US automakers, one of the conditions should be that they must stop pursuing their selfish lawsuits against state regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.

They make the solar better

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At Mass. Energy's annual meeting Wednesday night, solar vet Henry Vandermark told me about of SolarWave Energy, a venture he has in start-up that provides a real-time, remote monitor for solar systems. 

As I understand it, Vandermark will sell his service to installers, as a constituent of their warranty services, allowing them to make service calls before a crisis, and avoid making business calls when they may not be necessary. 


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No, the subject isn't cold drinks made with evaporated cane juice, organic yogurt, and shavings of ice from distilled water. EcoShakes are an artificial shingle made from wood chips and recycled PVC piping that were shown at GreenBuild.

I thought they looked awful.

Granted, I was seeing them at fairly close range under artificial light, and they might look a lot better espied from street level on a typical day in the suburbs. But in those conditions, they looked as fake as fake could be.

Energy-harvesting wall switches

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An interesting product I came across at GreenBuild was the home-control system being offered by Verve Livings Systems. The tech-candy for me is their wall switches, which convert the energy you use to flip the switch into a pulse that sends the instruction to a a central controller, dousing or dimming the light in question, or performing more complicated routines if programmed that way.

E.O. Wilson on GMOs

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As I continue to read "Naturalist," EO Wilson's biography, bolstered by my exposure to him during the closing session of GreenBuild, I find myself increasingly convinced that everything he says is considered, wise, and valuable. Certainly, this is hagiography, but at least I see it as such, and for today, I'm sticking with it anyway. You can judge as you wish. In his GreenBuild appearance, while talking about water and food scarcity, both of which are worthy topics on their own, he paused for this blanket statements: "Many people are afraid of a super bug.

Preston Koerner: "Leave it better than you found it."

Another in a series of miniprofiles of sustainability-minded people who are working to reduce humankind’s footprint on the planet. They're "mini" not only because they're short, but because all the questions are 10 words or less, and the answers are requested to match.

Preston KoernerPRESTON KOERNER, 29, Salt Lake City Lawyer, LEED AP, and founder of Jetson Green, an exceptionally informed website on green building initiatives.

What do you do: “I’m obsessed with green building and with helping other people become obsessed with green building.”

Did you know Jetson Green was going to be such a hit? “Not at all.”

Green epiphany: “Boy Scouts is when it started: 'Leave it better than you found it.’”

Where does the water go?

I was talking about the loss of ice pack in the Himalayas, and in the Greenland Ice Sheet, and how their shrinkage is likely to be as disruptive to daily life as climate change, and my astute friend Angelo asked a simple question for which I don't, today, have a good answer.

"Where does the water go?"

If it's not in in groundwater, and it's not in frozen freshwater, where is it? The ocean is the obvious answer, but if the losses are so significant, wouldn't that would be observable in sea levels? 


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