TransCanada/Keystone XL: Turning Climate Deniers Into Believers One Section Of Pipeline At A Time.

Michael Bishop vs TransCanadaMichael Bishop is currently doing battle with TransCanada for coercing him into letting the Keystone XL pipeline through his land. The section of pipeline is now in but Mr. Bishop is going to fight TransCanada in court to have it removed.

Watch the video below from The David Pakman Show to hear the full-story about Mr. Bishop’s fight with TransCanada and how his opinion of climate change has taken an about-face. [CDCW]


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Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose: Former Grain Silo Jubblingly Converted To Student Housing.

Grünerløkka Student House - Oslo Norway.Instead of ending up in one of those YouTube demolition compilation videos, a grain silo in Oslo Norway was converted into a 19 story student housing structure. The Grünerløkka Student House was recycled in 2001 and has 226 residences. From Inhabitat:

“Residents of Grünerløkka Studenthus enjoy excellent views of Oslo, as the 174-foot structure towers over its surroundings. The building consists of mostly studios and one-bedroom apartments, and unsurprisingly, most of the rooms are round. The unique building has become an architectural icon, and it won the City of Oslo’s Architecture Prize in 2002.”

It’s great to hear stories about a carefully designed building that reuses an existing structure. In a way, they trump newly constructed LEED Platinum rated buildings. [Inhabitat]

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Home Energy Efficiency (1993 vs 2009): Homes Are More Efficient, Gadgets/Electronics More Prevalent.

Home Energy Consumption chart from the EIAI think this home energy consumption chart shows what we call a hug-punch or a tickle-slap – homes are more efficient through weatherization [the hug] but we’re eating up those savings with our appliances, gadgets and electronics [the punch]. According to an article on Greentech, homes built between 2000-2009 were 30% larger than previous years and yet home energy consumption has stayed pretty much flat. We must be buying a shitload of appliances, gadgets and electronics because Energy Star can’t save us.

Even as we move towards efficient home appliances, we seem to be over complicating it. We posted a story about WiFi controlled LED lighting system that allowed homeowners to remotely control their lights via a remote, iDevice app and required a separate router. It’s the hardware stupid! Since most of us have mastered the on/off switch – use it and skip the energy consuming gadgets in order to truly save electricity. [Greentech Media]

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Nothing Says ‘Consumption’ Like A 1200 Sq. Ft. Luxury Garage With Flat Screen, Library Etc.

Maserati Dream Garage in Los Angeles.This dream garage recently one a design award. The garage was designed by Holger Schubert of archisis for a home in Los Angeles. Here’s a description (from Design Driven):

“The 1,200 square foot space provides a designated spot for the car and a large open area for a couch, a slide-away TV, a built-in book shelve in front of a large storage room, as well as a small kitchen, a bathroom and a library.

An area of 8′ x 12′ is made of sandblasted aluminum grating that is set flush into the concrete floors. It hides a 9′ long steel ramp, which the driver raises five inches by remote control to create a slope sufficient for the car to roll out and be started outdoors.”

In a nutshell – this garage is nicer than my house. Who needs this much to house their car? The only person I could think of was Cameron’s dad from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and you probably know already what Cameron thought of his father… [Design Driven via Neatorama]


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What Would It Take To Power New York State On Only Wind, Water And Sunlight?

Wind, water and sunlight power.

“We must be ambitious if we want to promote energy independence and curb global warming,”
Study co-author Robert Howarth, Cornell University

Professor Mark Z. Jacobson, a senior fellow with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Precourt Institute for Energy, led a study to calculate what it would take to power the State of New York by 2030 with only renewable energy generated from wind, water and sunlight. Currently, almost all of New York’s power comes from gas, oil and coal.

Based on power demand forecasts for all industries, here’s what Professor Jacobson and his team determined would be needed:

  • 4,020 onshore 5-megawatt wind turbines
  • 12,770 offshore 5-megawatt wind turbines
  • 387 100-megawatt concentrated solar plants
  • 828 50-megawatt photovoltaic power plants
  • 5 million 5-kilowatt residential rooftop photovoltaic systems
  • 500,000 100-kilowatt commercial/government rooftop photovoltaic systems
  • 36 100-megawatt geothermal plants
  • 1,910 0.75-megawatt wave devices
  • 2,600 1-megawatt tidal turbines
  • 7 1,300-megawatt hydroelectric power plants, of which most exist

Looks like a lot and it is but it’s an investment. If installed, renewable energy would be the fuel source for vehicles, home heating and all industries in the state – it would be powering everything. Check out the full article on the study and find out how the plan, if implemented, would save billions in pollution related healthcare costs and help mitigate the future costs of climate change. [EurekAlert via e360]

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The Cape Wind Project Will Kill Our Views… Did I Say ‘Views’? I Meant Sea-Life.

Cape Wind project map.The Cape Wind offshore wind turbine project was federally approved in 2010 but it’s grounded today. Why? Because attorneys representing well funded groups are still fighting the project and now they’re bringing sea turtles and other sea-life into the fight. Attorney Eric Glitzenstein, who’s representing Cape Wind opponent Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, emailed Tom Zeller Jr. of Huff Po to explain how Cape Wind will adversely affect marine mammals and sea-life around Nantucket Sound. From Mr. Glitzenstein’s legal brief (in HuffPo):

“… [Cape Wind will kill] migratory birds, including endangered and threatened species, harass federally listed sea turtles, and place the gravely endangered North Atlantic right whale at increased risk of ship strikes – the leading cause of the species’ imperilment. In the course of approving the project, defendants contravened the safeguards that Congress established for the affected wildlife.”

It’s very noble to defend marine life pro bono but it’s way too easy to see-through his statement. Here’s my translation:

“…[Cape Wind will kill] our views, including our endangered and threatened views [of Nantucket Sound], harass our views, and gravely endanger our views…”

[Read more…]

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