Monday, January 15, 2007

Green Thoughts

Here's a first attempt at doing a semi-regular post that's focused on just climate change news (some linky, some with more coverage on a specific topic).
  • Residents of the United States will soon be able to install energy-efficient solar panels on their homes without paying significant upfront costs, according to the renewable energy development company Citizenre.

    The Delaware-based business has launched a program that allows customers to “rent” the panels for specified periods of time, paying a per-kilowatt fee that takes the place of the local utility bill. The monthly rate is locked in when the 1, 5 or 25-year contract is signed, so as energy prices go up participants are likely to save money while significantly reducing their output of greenhouse gases. [World Changing]

  • The (Labour-led, UK) Government may be forced by MPs to adopt tougher targets to reduce carbon emissions in order to step up its fight against climate change. The Conservatives are considering a plan to beef up the Climate Change Bill to be published shortly, which will include the Government's goal of cutting emissions by 60 per cent by 2050. A Tory policy review group favours an 80 per cent reduction and the Tories may table an amendment to the Bill along these lines.

    Ministers are worried that such a move would put Labour on the defensive and allow the Tory leader, David Cameron, to make the running on the issue. They fear that many Labour MPs and the Liberal Democrats would vote in favour of an 80 per cent cut, which could result in an embarrassing defeat for the Government. [The Independent]

  • From summer-like weather in the Northeast to freezing cold on the West Coast, temperatures in the United States have gone to both extremes this winter, spelling a boon for some and disaster for others. While recent unseasonably warm temperatures in the US capital and other parts of the country have had golf courses and open-air swimming pools teeming with people, arctic conditions in California led the state's governor on Friday to declare a state of emergency.

    "It's just one of those things where everybody is concerned about global warming but it's just very good for the golf business," said Michael Williams, marketing director at Golf Court Specialist, a company that manages several golf courses in the Washington area. [TerraDaily]

  • Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States. To celebrate the legacy of this great man, TreeHugger would like to encourage all of you to watch or read his famous "I have a Dream" speech (there's more to it than the title, which seems to be the only thing that pop culture references...) and be inspired by this inclusive and forward-looking vision. This is what the green movement needs: To reach out to everybody regardless of the color of their skin, their religion (or lack of), their economic status or political affiliations, etc. [Treehugger]

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