Unburying Streams and Saving Bees

Solar and Wind Energy Start to Win on Price vs. Conventional Fuels

For the solar and wind industries in the United States, it has been a long-held dream: to produce energy at a cost equal to conventional sources like coal and natural gas. That day appears to be dawning.

The cost of providing electricity from wind and solar power plants has plummeted over the last five years, so much so that in some markets renewable generation is now cheaper than coal or natural gas. Utility executives say the trend has accelerated this year, with several companies signing contracts, known as power purchase agreements, for solar or wind at prices below that of natural gas, especially in the American Great Plains and Southwest, where wind and sunlight are abundant...



More from Grenoble: Europe's first ad-free city


In New Drainage Projects, Long-Buried Urban Streams See the Light Again

Innovative techniques that mimic nature help restore open waterways, prevent pollution, and create habitats for animals.

As in many places, one tributary of the Broad Branch stream had been forced underground around the turn of the century, through a program designed to rid Washington, D.C., of surface water. At the time, malaria was a major killer, and cities around the world were draining any kind of standing water or "swamp," out of both a fear of mosquito-borne disease and a desire to create more land for development.

Burying streams created other problems, though. When the little stream and its tributary in the Rock Creek area of northwest Washington were channeled into a buried pipe, they carried away not only the runoff from this leafy section of the city but also pollution, which would make its way to the beleaguered Chesapeake Bay. Other cities saw similar problems. What's more, paving and piping often make flooding worse.

That's why in recent years many cities have been undoing the past century's drainage projects, uncovering or "daylighting" buried streams...



Ontario to restrict use of pesticide linked to bee deaths

The Ontario government plans to restrict the use of a class of agricultural pesticides linked to the widespread declines in honeybees and other pollinators.

The move is opposed by the province’s chemical and agriculture industries, which say neonicotinoid pesticides are vital tools that growers of corn and soybeans use to protect their harvests from yield-destroying insects.

The pesticide, which renders plants toxic to pests, has been blamed for the deaths of honeybees and other beneficial insects that are responsible for pollinating one-third of the food we eat...



Polluting Industries Say Sky Is Falling as EPA Proposes Stronger Ozone Standards

These days we hear a lot about greenhouse gases—carbon and methane—and not so much about ozone. But that doesn’t mean that the smog-causing pollutant is no longer a problem. And this morning U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Gina McCarthy announced new standards for reducing ozone in the atmosphere.
In an editorial We need tougher ozone standards, published in CNN Money, McCarthy said that the EPA will propose lowering the current air concentration of 75 parts per billion, set by the Bush administration but never enforced, to 65-70 parts per billion, and will take public comments on setting a standard as low as 60. She said that states will have until 2020-2037 to meet the new standards, depending on the level of each state’s ozone issues.



That looks pretty darn sustainable

Grenoble Bans Ads and Fake Coal Facebook Campaigns

French city Grenoble bans advertising in favour of trees

The French Alpine city of Grenoble has decided to pull its advertising panels and to replace them with trees. The city, which has a Green Party mayor, announced on Monday it would not renew its contract with France-based global advertising giant JCDecaux, whose panels are omnipresent in French urban areas.

Grenoble is the first European city to renounce the revenue from billboards in public spaces – Grenoble earned some 645,000 euros in 2014 – in favour of making the city a greener space for residents...



Capitalists are destroying capitalism along with the planet

“Forget everything you think you know about global warming. The really inconvenient truth is that it’s not about carbon — it’s about capitalism,” warns Naomi Klein in “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate.”

“The convenient truth is that we can seize this existential crisis to transform our failed economic system and build something radically better.”

Capitalism has failed America? Yes. Global warming is the result of capitalism’s failure. And, Klein writes, “the market has not — and cannot — fix the climate crisis but will instead make things worse, with ever more extreme and ecologically damaging extraction methods, accompanied by rampant disaster capitalism.”

Capitalism is the problem. And unless we “embrace radical change ourselves ... radical changes will be visited upon our physical world,” warns Klein, echoing this earlier warning from Pope Francis: “If we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us!"....



"I Haven't Made Any Trash In 2 Years. Here's What My Life Is Like"

My name is Lauren. I'm a 23-year-old girl living in NYC and I don't make trash. For real. No garbage bin, no landfill. Nada.

I know what you are thinking. This girl must be a total hippie. Or a liar. Or she's not real. But I assure you, I am none of those things. Well, except for real.

I didn't always live what some call a "zero waste" life.

But I started making a shift about three years ago, when I was an Environmental Studies major at NYU, protesting against big oil, and president of a club that hosted weekly talks on environmental topics. In my mind I was super environmental, or as my grandma called me, a real "treehugger." Everyone thought of me as the sustainability girl, so that meant that I was totally doing my share for the earth, right?




Big coal fakes social media campaign to pressure G20

With clean energy booming and the world increasingly acting to reduce carbon pollution, big coal is getting desperate.

The world’s largest coal company, Peabody Energy, has seen its fortunes crash in recent years. With the help global PR giant Burson-Marsteller—infamous for its handling of the 1984 Union Carbide gas leak in Bhopal and its strong historical tobacco industry ties—it is now scrambling to rebrand its dirty product as “good for humanity” with a new social media campaign.

Unfortunately for anyone who takes Peabody at its word, scratch the surface of this campaign and it is very clear that the overwhelming majority of its supporters appear to be bogus...



Canada's largest urban farm feeds the needy

Grow Calgary is an 11 acre farm run with 15 different kinds of veggies, run entirely by volunteers with all the food going to the food bank.

Grow Calgary Website