Posts tagged: technology

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

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Everyone has The Right To Breathe clean air. Watch a video featuring Earthjustice Attorney Jim Pew and two Pennsylvanians—Marti Blake and Martin Garrigan—who know firsthand what it means to live in the shadow of a coal plant's smokestack, breathing in daily lungfuls of toxic air for more than two decades.

Coal Ash Contaminates Our Lives. Coal ash is the hazardous waste that remains after coal is burned. Dumped into unlined ponds or mines, the toxins readily leach into drinking water supplies. Watch the video above and take action to support federally enforceable safeguards for coal ash disposal.

ABOUT EARTHJUSTICE'S BLOG

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders.

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View Bill Walker's blog posts
14 September 2009, 3:48 PM
GM objects to federal loan for futuristic 3-wheeler

This weekend, the kids and I were enjoying the Solano Stroll -- a community parade and street festival in our neck of Northern California -- when, right behind the mayor's convertible, the high school marching band and the stiltwalkers, came a procession of green vehicles: Priuses, Insights, Smart two-seaters, biodiesel buses . . . and then something that looked like a cross between a small airplane and a tricycle.

It's called the Aptera 2e, a three-wheeled, all-electric two-seater made by a SoCal startup company that claims the vehicle can go 100 miles on a single charge.

But is it a car? Jay Leno thinks so. That's the question at the center of a dispute among the Aptera folks, the Department of Energy and General Motors.

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View Sam Edmondson's blog posts
11 September 2009, 3:32 PM
Will confidence in geothermal energy disappear down a crack?
Photo: USGS

Many clean energy advocates include geothermal power—energy generated from the copious amounts of heat beneath the Earth's surface—in their recipes for a clean energy future. Manifestations of the awesome power swirling below the earth's crust are probably familiar: the relaxing soak provided by natural hot springs and the apocalyptic fury of a volcanic eruption both originate from below.

Geothermal energy production is far cleaner than burning coal, oil, or natural gas, a very good thing indeed. And unlike wind or solar power, the Earth's heat is always on. But drilling (literally) into the Earth's inherent energy potential isn't without risks. A series of recent earthquakes near operating geothermal projects has stoked concerns that the method, improperly sited, could yield a catastrophe.

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View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
30 June 2009, 11:25 AM
 

How many Presidents of the United States does it take to change a light bulb?

Just one.

It's no joke. Millions of Americans have already changed their light bulbs to save energy and fight global warming. New lighting standards announced Monday will help all our homes and businesses make the switch, and as a result, save billions of dollars in utility bills and create thousands of new jobs.

The new lighting standards will save enough energy annually to power all U.S. homes for almost a year, while saving consumers $1 billion to $4 billion a year in utility bills. The long-delayed standards come just a few months after the president directed Energy Secretary Steven Chu to speed up the process of setting efficiency standards for a variety of home and commercial appliances, from refrigerators to soft-drink vending machines.

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View Ray Wan's blog posts
25 May 2009, 10:36 AM
 

By now, we've all heard the same merry-go-round arguments about why the U.S. can't afford aggressive measures to develop clean energy and tackle climate change. And most of those arguments revolve around that other behemoth-of-a-superpower: China. We can practically roll the stats off our tongues: China's now the #1 emitter of greenhouse gases. China is building one coal-fired power plant a week. If China doesn't clean up its act, why should we?

Now, I've been to China, and yes the pollution in some parts is as bad as you have read. L.A. smog is terrible, but I don't remember the last time I couldn't see farther than 2 city blocks in L.A., and that was exactly what happened during one of my days in Beijing. But behind all the haze, a clearer picture is emerging that the developing giant may actually be undertaking some surprisingly aggressive actions to lower its carbon emissions and promote cleaner energy.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
22 May 2009, 2:41 PM
 

It had to come, such things always do. We speak of a shrill attack on the very idea of green jobs, emanating this time from PERC, a collection of free-market economists and ideologues in Bozeman Montana, that was a source of some of the ideas that informed the Bush administration, especially those of Gale Norton, W's first interior secretary.

This feisty band has decided to challenge a pretty impressive array of pro-green-jobists: The U.S. Conference of Mayors, the American Solar Energy Society, the Center for American Progress, and the United Nations Environment Programme, all of which have produced detailed studies outlining how and why putting money and effort into new green initiatives (windmill farms, solar energy installations, mass transit, and so on) will create good jobs and reap many other benefits as well.

View Peter Campbell's blog posts
20 May 2009, 9:38 AM
 

The future is now -- at least, the future is now in theaters. And what the future looks like, particularly, our cities in the future, is highly disputed in the pop culture realm.

San Francisco future - Star Trek/Terminator

Take this article contrasting Star Trek's vision of San Francisco with Terminator: Salvation's view of same. One movie envisions a future where the threat of global warming was either contained, or just not the threat that we know it is; the other a future where our technology stood up and ravaged the planet before climate change had a chance.

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View Peter Campbell's blog posts
04 May 2009, 11:58 AM
 

As an information technology director whose livelihood depends pretty heavily on the use of electricity, I'm constantly looking for meaningful ways that the technology I'm immersed in can contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases. The saying "If you aren't part of the solution you're part of the problem" doesn't even suffice -- technology is part of the problem, period, and it behooves people like me, who trade in it, to use it in ways that offset its debilitating effects on our environment.

This is why I'm very excited about an initiative that we have taken on to deploy videoconferencing systems in each of our nine locations.

Per a May, 2008 report by the Stockholm Environment Institute, aviation activities account for somewhere between 2% and 5% of the total anthropogenic Greenhouse Gas emissions. Our organization, with offices stretching from Honolulu to Anchorage to NYC and down to Tallahassee, has a great opportunity to eliminate much of our substantial air travel. If you're in a similar circumstance, I thought it might be helpful to offer a rundown of the options ranging from free and easy to expensive but fantastic.

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View David Guest's blog posts
22 April 2009, 12:50 AM
 

Talk about a great Earth Day present! Florida Power and Light and Kitson & Partners made a stunning announcement April 9, saying they plan to build the nation's first solar-powered city—a cluster of homes, offices and factories less than 20 miles from Fort Myers on Florida's Gulf Coast.

What a turnaround. Just two years ago, we were fighting FPL's proposal to build America's largest coal-fired power plant in Glades County, near the Everglades. We celebrated when the Florida Public Service Commission rejected FPL's plan, citing concern about global warming pollutants for the first time.

Now it looks like Florida could become the "Sunshine State" for real.

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View Tom Turner's blog posts
07 February 2009, 5:53 AM
 

I never know whether to dignify irrational wing-nut attacks on environmentalists in general and specific organizations in particular by mentioning them in print, but the latest is so over the top that I can't resist.

Something called the Capital Research Center recently published a screed titled, "EarthJustice [sic] Legal Defense Fund [sic]: How Environmentalism Weakens U.S. National Security."

First off, it's a sloppy piece of work, getting our name wrong two different ways, saying that we have 150 lawyers and lobbyists (it's around half that), and saying that we're active "in many state capitals." Not so, though I wish we were.

View David Guest's blog posts
22 January 2009, 6:00 AM
 

Jan. 8 was a sweet day in Florida, and I’m not talking about the weather.

On that day, the state's Public Service Commission voted for a new energy mandate: the state will get 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources—wind, solar, hydropower, or biomass—by 2020.

"We want to be a leader in this country in solar and wind," Public Service Commission Chairman Matthew Carter said. "We want to establish a dynamic and vibrant marketplace."

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