Australia Votes in Carbon Credits

This is a historic moment. Australia’s Parliament has put the nation’s first carbon price into law. With this vote, the world has turned a pivotal corner in the collective effort to solve the climate crisis. This success is the result of the tireless work of an unprecedented coalition that came together to support the legislation, the leadership of Prime Minister Gillard, and the courage of legislators to take a vote that helps to safeguard the future of all Australians. I have spent enough time in Australia to know that their spirit of independence as a people cannot be underestimated. As the world’s leading coal exporter, there’s no doubt that opposition to this legislation was fierce. But through determination and commitment, the voice of the people of Australia has rung out loud and clear. Today, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we do everything we can to ensure that this legislation is...

Japan Approves National Feed-in Tariff

By Steve Leone, Associate Editor, RenewableEnergyWorld.com Japan positioned itself as the next large growth market for renewable energy Friday as the upper chamber of parliament approved legislation that will create a national feed-in tariff. The new law is expected to bolster solar, wind and geothermal projects by mandating that utilities buy power from renewable sources at above-market rates. The law will go into effect next year, but details about the pricing structure have yet to be determined. The legislation also prompted the resignation of Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who made passage of the bill a precondition to his departure. Kan has been under heavy pressure to resign as criticism has mounted over his handling of the Fukushima nuclear plant crisis in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. As anger grew, so has the call for the country’s leaders to move away from nuclear power and replace it with renewable energy. According to a recent poll, 74 percent were in favor of a gradual phase out of nuclear power plants, 11 percent called for an immediate end and 13 percent thought there was no need to alter policy. Japan currently gets about 9 percent of its power from renewable sources compared to 30 percent from the nuclear industry. The country has 54 nuclear reactors, but only 15 are currently in operation. That has forced the country to cut down dramatically on consumption this summer – with a drop of about nine percent compared to 2010, according to the Federation of Electric Power Companies. According to the Global Wind Energy Council, Japan had 2.3 gigawatts of wind power...
Think – Not!

Think – Not!

Tiny electric car maker Think Global AS filed for bankruptcy today in its home market of Norway after attempts to keep the company going through recapitalization and restructuring failed, the company said in a statement. It is the fourth time Think has collapsed financially in its 20-year history. “We needed some additional funding and although we had interested investors they were not able to come to the table quickly enough,” Think spokesman James Andrew told Automotive News Europe. He declined to say how much cash Think sought to remain operating, but industry sources say the company would have needed multiple millions to keep going. The future options for Think include a liquidation of its assets or the sale of the company to a new investor. EV’s and Hybrids are not our Future Read more:...

“Eco Hero” Daryl Hannah-Tree Hugger’s Ball

  From co-founding the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance to her civil disobedience arrest at a West Virginia mountaintop removal strip-mine, Daryl Hannah’s “off the grid” lifestyle and activism make her the perfect speaker & role model for OC residents wanting to “go green” at the Tree Hugger’s Ball on June 11th in Silverado Canyon. The OC’s favorite family eco festival, the Tree Hugger’s Ball & Green Expo, features an environmental expo, local art show, silent auction, guest speakers, no host bar, along with 7 hours of live music and dancing under a canopy of Oaks & Sycamores in scenic Silverado Canyon. BBQ or Vegetarian dinner can be purchased at the event. This year’s guests will be entertained with music of Appalachia & Bluegrass by Lilies of the West and “DNA”, Grateful Dead cover tunes of “Skull & Roses” and an evening Environmental Blues concert with ‘Common Sense’ lead singer Nick Hernandez and his special BLUES team! Nick and the Wyland Blues Planet were also featured in this year’s Doheny Blues Fest! Guest speaking at the TreeHuggr’s this year will be Transition Laguna’s sustainability expert Chris Prelitz, and arriving in her ‘veggie powered’ El Camino, LA’s outstanding “off the grid” celebrity, DARYL HANNAH! A tribute to the life and activism of West Virginia’s ‘Coal Country’ star, Judy Bonds, will take place onstage with lovely voices of Appalachia, followed by reflections of close friends, Dennis McHale and Daryl Hannah. Along with other environmental festivities, manufacturers of green products and services will be exhibiting at our event. Last year our expo presented fuel efficient, biodiesel & veggie cars, alternative energy, nutrition & native...

A link between climate change and tornadoes?

By Bill McKibben, Published: 2011-05-23 Caution: It is vitally important not to make connections. When you see pictures of rubble like this week’s shots from Joplin, Mo., you should not wonder: Is this somehow related to the tornado outbreak three weeks ago in Tuscaloosa, Ala., or the enormous outbreak a couple of weeks before that (which, together, comprised the most active April for tornadoes in U.S. history). No, that doesn’t mean a thing. It is far better to think of these as isolated, unpredictable, discrete events. It is not advisable to try to connect them in your mind with, say, the fires burning across Texas — fires that have burned more of America at this point this year than any wildfires have in previous years. Texas, and adjoining parts of Oklahoma and New Mexico, are drier than they’ve ever been — the drought is worse than that of the Dust Bowl. But do not wonder if they’re somehow connected. For the full story in the Washington...

BHP To Mine Uranium With Renewables?

By Giles Parkinson BHP Billiton has big plans to mine uranium at Olympic Dam, and company documents show that renewables might actually be the best option for powering the project, writes Giles Parkinson BHP Billiton has caught some flak from the green movement about its massive Olympic Dam project, including over its apparently conservative choice of power supplies. A spokesperson for Greens senator Scott Ludlam last week was scathing: “BHP Billiton has designed a world’s-worst-practice uranium mine, when the alternative would see a lower greenhouse footprint and skilled jobs retained in South Australia”. It’s right that BHP is under scrutiny, because if the biggest mining company in the world — one that measures its annual profits in the tens of billions of dollars — can’t afford to invest in that green thing, then who can? Not so fast. While BHP Billiton appears to have committed to connecting the mine to the coal-fired grid and gas supplies, and is seeking approval for a gas-fired power plant of up to 650MW to power the project, it is also keeping its options open. In a decision that stands as a clear message to the country’s established energy generators, and to the Cassandras who idly dismiss the potential of renewable energy sources, BHP Billiton is pointedly refusing to sign long-term power supply agreements, because it is canvassing the possibility of sourcing much of its power from geothermal and solar thermal energy sources. The supplementary environmental impact statement released on Friday makes it clear to its board of directors that it would be mad if it didn’t. In the initial stages of the project, up to the point that...