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2015 ENERGY STAR Top Certifiers. Want to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint? Eat Less Beef. We know that eating red meat devastates the planet. But just how much? According to a comprehensive new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, meat production spews out five times the amount of greenhouse gases than production of dairy, poultry, pork, and eggs averaged together. The scientists even go as far as saying that consuming less red meat can benefit the environment more than giving up your car. “The big story is just how dramatically impactful beef is compared to all the others,” Gidon Eshel, a Bard College professor and the study’s lead researcher, told The Guardian. “I would strongly hope that governments stay out of people’s diet, but at the same time there are many government policies that favor the current diet in which animals feature too prominently,” Eshel said.

Tim Benton, a University of Leeds professor who wasn’t part of the study, agrees. The meat industry isn’t staying quiet. Why Everyone Benefits from Energy Efficiency Programs. Opponents of energy efficiency often make the claim that the only people who benefit from utility energy efficiency programs are program participants. Any energy efficiency improvements those participants are making, they argue, are simply being subsidized by non-participants. Our study finds that is not true; all utility system customers benefit from energy efficiency investment. In our new report, Everyone Benefits: Practices and Recommendations for Utility-System Benefits of Energy Efficiency , we explore the wide range of advantages energy efficiency programs provide to the utility system as a whole and to all customers in that system. Reducing costs for utilities benefits all customers Our review of utility system benefits revealed a wide range of substantial benefits beyond those typically included, such as avoided cost of producing energy and building power plants.

Why do we want to reduce all these costs for a utility? Moving forward. Seattle 2030 District Releases New Strategic Plan. High Performance Building Districts At our Summer Reception, the Seattle 2030 District unveiled a new Strategic Plan to make substantial progress toward achieving our ambitious energy efficiency, water and commuting goals for existing and new buildings. The Board has adopted two strategic priority areas – transforming our buildings and transforming our market. In the built environment, priorities focus on facilitating innovative, pragmatic and economically viable measures that reduce environmental impacts, increase resilience, lower operating costs, and improve property values. These measures expand upon existing efforts such as the Smart Building Initiative and Electrify Seattle as well as introduce new projects such as the Green Stormwater Initiative.

Log in or register to post comments. Whitest big county in the U.S? It’s us. King County is the whitest of the nation’s 20 most-populous counties. But the county’s fastest population growth is happening among Asian and mixed-race people. The Times’ FYI Guy, Gene Balk, digs into the new Census numbers. Among the 20 most-populous U.S. counties, King County is the whitest — by a ways. According to new data released by the Census Bureau, King is 62.4 percent non-Hispanic white. Nearly all the 19 other counties are “majority minority.” Miami-Dade County, Fla. — the least white — is only 14.8 percent white. This may come as a surprise, considering that for a 20-year stretch King County’s white population didn’t grow at all. But that trend appears to be officially over. Census data released last week also shows that from 2010 to 2014, King County’s white population grew along with everyone else, with a net gain of about 41,000 people — bringing the number of whites in the county to nearly 1.3 million, the largest it’s ever been.

One speculation: higher ed. Why Whites Don’t Understand Black Segregation. By Ellen Nakashima July 9 at 3:16 PM Two major breaches last year of U.S. government databases holding personnel records and security-clearance files exposed sensitive information about at least 22.1 million people, including not only federal employees and contractors but their families and friends, U.S. officials said Thursday. The total vastly exceeds all previous estimates, and marks the most detailed accounting by the Office of Personnel Management of how many people were affected by cyber intrusions that U.S. officials have privately said were traced to the Chinese government.

But even beyond the rising number of apparent victims, U.S. officials said the breaches rank among the most potentially damaging cyber heists in U.S. government history because of the abundant detail in the files. Hackers stole personal information about at least 22.1 million people, including addresses, mental health and criminal records, in two major breaches of U.S. government databases. Obama Administration Announces Actions to Protect Communities from the Health Impacts of Climate Change at White House Summit. President Obama is committed to combating the impacts of climate change and protecting the health of future generations. We know climate change is not a distant threat, we are already seeing impacts in communities across the country. In the past three decades, the percentage of Americans with asthma has more than doubled, and climate change is putting these individuals and many other vulnerable populations at greater risk of landing in the hospital.

Certain people and communities are especially vulnerable, including children, the elderly, the sick, the poor, and some communities of color. Rising temperatures can lead to more smog, longer allergy seasons, and an increased incidence of extreme-weather-related injuries. Just yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report clearly defining the health, economic, and environmental impacts that can be avoided if we act globally with a sense of urgency to reduce carbon pollution. Enduring Summer’s Deep Freeze. IT’S summertime. The season when you can write your name in the condensation on the windows at Starbucks, people pull on parkas to go to the movies and judges have been known to pause proceedings so bailiffs can escort jurors outside the courthouse to warm up. On these, the hottest days of the year, office workers huddle under fleece blankets in their cubicles.

Cold complaints trend on Twitter with posts like, “I could preserve dead bodies in the office it’s so cold in here.” And fashion and style bloggers offer advice for layered looks for coming in and out of the cold. Going Green and Conserving Cash. Climate Preparedness Report. Obama's $4bn Clean-Energy Initiative: A Big Number Hiding a Bigger Idea. On Tuesday, the Obama administration announced that foundations and other investors had committed $4bn to clean-energy investments. Most news reports focused on the money, and so did the White House. But arguably more important than the $4bn raised was the fine print: a new federal information source and new financing options for would-be investors. It’s not flashy breakthrough technology, but rather the nitty-gritty details of building an investment market and, eventually, a fully mature industry. Clean energy is no longer in its infancy; it’s ready to go big.

“There’s a whole set of funding sources we’re going to need if we’re going to deploy clean energy at scale,” said Dan Reicher, executive director of Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance. A useful backdrop to the new initiative is an International Energy Agency estimate of the investment it will take to scale clean technologies so Earth’s temperature doesn’t warm by more than 2C (3.6F) by 2100.

Feeling Down? Take a Walk in the Woods. Do you find yourself ruminating on the all the bad things in life? Psychologists know that's one of the key behaviors that sustains depression, so addressing patterns of rumination is a serious issue. Now, researchers have found a straightforward, if not necessarily easy, way to avoid mulling things over to excess: take a walk, but not down a crowded street; to be effective, it has to be out in nature. To a psychologist, rumination means going over and over everything that's wrong in a person's life, whether it's a bad job or a stubbed toe. Rumination is closely connected to depression, and it has a habit of alienating people from those who might be able to support them.

A 1999 study, for example, found that, while ruminators sought more help after the death of a loved one and would have benefitted more from that help, they were less likely to get it. "These findings support the view that natural environments may confer psychological benefits to humans. " Microplastic Particles Move Up Marine Food Chain on B.C. Coast. Plastic fibres and particles in West Coast waters are being consumed and passed up the food chain by tiny marine creatures that apparently mistake them for food, according to a new study from the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre. Researcher Peter Ross and his colleagues found plastic litter in the digestive systems of two key species of plankton that are eaten in large numbers by salmon and baleen whales. Adult salmon returning to the Strait of Georgia may be consuming up to 91 plastic particles a day by eating plankton, and juveniles leaving fresh water up to seven particles a day, while a humpback whale could ingest more than 300,000 particles a day, according to the researchers’ estimates.

Several recent studies have documented ingestion of plastics in the wild by fish, bivalves and crustaceans. Plastic particles have also been detected in the scat of marine mammals. “Most salmon species feed heavily on (plankton) during their juvenile and adult life stages,” said Ross. China Just Made Its Plans To Fight Climate Change Official. On Tuesday, China released long-awaited final greenhouse gas targets as part of its submission to the United Nations climate talks in Paris later this year. Li Keqiang, China’s prime minister, said in a statement the country “will work hard” to peak its CO2 emissions before 2030, which was its previous commitment as part of the United States-China joint pledge from November 2014, the first time China had agreed to mitigate emissions. The statement also said that China will cut its carbon intensity, or greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP, by 60-65 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, a large increase from its 40-45 percent goal for 2020.

Stian Reklev at Carbon Pulse writes that this commitment is on the “lower end of expectations, as China is estimated to be on track to overachieve its current target of reducing its carbon intensity.” The statement also reaffirms China’s goal of increasing non-fossil fuel sources of energy consumption to about 20 percent by 2030. Partnering with China to Promote Renewable Energy Deployment. Yesterday, I was honored to deliver keynote remarks at the fourth U.S. -China Renewable Energy Industries Forum (REIF) in Washington, D.C. The REIF brought together approximately 150 Chinese and American leaders from business, government, and institutes to assess ongoing collaborations and explore new opportunities for joint analysis on clean energy that can help create jobs, drive economic growth, and address climate change—both in China and in the United States.

In 2009, President Obama and then-President Hu Jintao of China formalized the U.S. -China Renewable Energy Partnership as one of seven announcements promoting clean energy collaboration between the two countries. This year’s event was an enormous success. A real highlight of the REIF was the formalization of partnerships through a recognition ceremony. BrightSource Energy, China Power Investment Corporation, and Shanghai Electric Group Co., Ltd. The REIF comes at an exciting time for both our countries. Zero Counties in the U.S. Have Enough Housing for Families in Extreme Poverty. From Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine. From Jacksonville to Juneau.

No matter where you look, there isn’t enough affordable housing. Without exception, there is no county in the U.S. that has enough affordable housing. The crisis is national and it is growing. Since 2000, rents across the nation have increased. New research from the Urban Institute shows that the supply of housing for extremely low-income families, which was already in short supply, is only declining. Using data from the Census Bureau and the U.S. In Travis County, Texas, for example, the extremely low-income cutoff for a family of four is $21,950.

The Urban Institute’s research shows how the number of extremely low-income households around the nation has grown since 2000. Strike federal support from the map—as many members of Congress might like to do—and the picture grows considerably bleaker. At the other end of the spectrum, the situation is bleak. 2030 Districts: Communities Collaborating to Reach Inspirational Goals with Measured Performance. If buildings are a major contributor to climate change, then what’s the solution? Reductions in energy use, water use, and transportation emissions, of course. But, how do we know how far we have to go, how fast – and how will we know when we as an industry are part of the solution and not still the problem? Even more interesting, if you own an existing building, how do you know if you’re doing your part? For almost a decade, The 2030 Challenge has provided an inspirational, measurable goal for properties to reach for – and measures for figuring out how we’re doing.

In 2015, those goals stand at: Existing Buildings – 50% reductions in energy use, water consumption, and transportation emissions below baselines by 2030 (with incremental goals).New Construction – 70% reduction in energy use below baseline today, leading towards carbon neutral design by 2030; 50% reductions today below baselines for water use and transportation emissions. 2030 Measures National 2030 Challenge Energy Baseline. Selling Sustainability: Priming for Marketers. How to Stop Humans From Filling the World With Trash. When the $20 billion Hudson Yards development is finished on Manhattan’s Far West Side in 2024, it will have six skyscrapers, 5,000 apartments, more than 100 stores, and a public school. One thing it will not have is municipal garbage trucks. Related Companies, one of the developers working on the project, plans to install pneumatic tubes that will whisk trash to a sorting area.

The system should decrease the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills: residents will be able to drop recyclables and compost into designated chutes right outside their doors. By replacing trucks, the tubes will also cut down on noise and pollution—and, hopefully, on rats. New York has experimented with pneumatic tubes before—the city’s Roosevelt Island has used them for trash since the 1970s—but they may become more common as cities struggle with the acres of trash their residents create.

Putting a Price on Trash One way to get people to produce less garbage is to charge them for it. A Single Stream. Handle with humor: why we want you to laugh about climate change. 5 Trends Transforming the US Energy Sector. This County In Oregon Completely Banned GMO Crops. Here's Why That Matters For The Environment. California's Gap: Who Gets Permits? Efficiency Technologies Ready To Set Sail.

Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years : Krulwich Wonders... Nutella Sparks War Of Words Between European Environmental Ministers. EIA finds wind energy will have largest role in cost-effectively meeting Clean Power Plan | Wind | Generation and Storage | Energy Central. New Fund Will Help More Seattle Residents Build Rain Gardens. Waste to Energy Plants on the Rise - Forester Network. Pope Francis, in Sweeping Encyclical, Calls for Swift Action on Climate Change.

Implementing Stormwater and Erosion Control Best Management Practices - Forester Network. Why Moby Wants You To Stop Showering. Climate Change Is Helping One Weird Pest Destroy More Crops. Your Fresh Fish Dinner Now Comes with a Dose of Prescription Drugs. How Science Denial Derails Scientists. Can Technology Save Africa’s Forests? This New San Francisco Corner Market Design Will Make You Crave Vegetables. Ecos PowerCube® - world’s mobile, solar-powered generator for military and di... California Shows the World How to Stave Off a Climate Catastrophe. Is Seattle a model for sustainable cities, or just a mess? Wind turbines kill fewer birds than do cats, cell towers. Across U.S., Heaviest Downpours On The Rise. 4 Years After Fukushima, How Is The Nuclear Industry Faring? When Will This West Oakland Neighborhood Get a Grocery Store?

At Their Annual Gathering in Seattle, Urban Planners Confronted a Growing Housing Affordability Crisis. Port of Seattle Green Infrastructure Success. A solar future isn't just likely — it's inevitable. VIDEO: How The Energy Industry Can Stay Resilient In A Collaborative Economy. This affordable housing complex has a solar farm on its roof. Capracotta, Italy Sets New World Record For Single-Day Snowfall. Solar Streets: New Roadways May Ditch Asphalt for Energy-Generating Sunshine ...

Changing the Conversation About the Growth of Pacific Northwest Cities. Portland Now Generates Electricity From Turbines Installed In City Water Pipes. We're Pumping So Much Groundwater That It's Causing the Oceans to Rise. It Takes How Much Water to Grow an Almond?! Debate on climate change should be over. Solar Streets: New Roadways May Ditch Asphalt for Energy-Generating Sunshine ... Energy Storage Paves Way for Electricity Independence. Battery Hackers Are Building the Future in the Garage. Coal-country states declare war on Obama’s climate rules.

Satellite and Information Service (NESDIS) Learning Resilience From Peru’s Ancient Civilizations. FEMA to deny funds to climate change deniers. The Pacific Northwest Can End the Free Lunch for Carbon Polluters. Your shower is wasting huge amounts of energy and water. Here’s what you can do about it. Citigroup sets aside $100 billion for green initiatives.

What’s Your Climate Change Elevator Pitch? The Risk of Northwest Oil Spills. Boston’s Winter From Hell. Obama vetoes Keystone XL bill. 10 cities aiming for 100 percent clean energy. One GIF Shows the Coming Megadrought. This map shows where your state’s oysters are in trouble. Study Finds Rising Levels of Plastics in Oceans. NEEC Supports Washington HB 1278 | Northwest Energy Efficiency Council. This Company Will Pay You to Use Less Electricity. The WELL Building Standard: Buildings bonding us to nature. Tesla Is Devising a Way to Let You Power Your Entire Home. Breaking Down Bioplastics. Why is Harvard buying vineyards in drought-ravaged California? The Invasion of the K-Cup and its ‘monster’ environmental problem. WA State NDRC - Public Comment Documents. Convertible Sleeping Bags Turn Into Insulated Tents for the Homeless.

Naomi Klein on why low oil prices could be a great thing. Loving the Puget Sound to Death. States, Cities Brace for Global Warming Fallout. Investors Encourage Further Transparency, Standardization to Spur Green Bond Market Growth — Ceres. Organic Food Reduces Pesticide Exposure.

Before September 2015