The Green Economy – Green is in the Air

Exciting things are in the air:

The New York Observer’s redesigned website is launched tonight. Check out their green section, written by Steve Cohen, Executive Director of Columbia’s Earth Institute.

Ecolab, headquartered a few blocks from my office, is presenting in Miami this week at a Water Footprint Summit, MinnPost reports. Thank God SOMEONE in Minnesota is thinking about water conservation. Even if we do have 10,000 lakes… we still have to expend all the energy to treat water for distribution, and to clean up when that water is sewage afterwards.

A NASA satellite designed to monitor carbon dioxide emissions has failed to detach – meaning we are out $278 billion and disappointed not to have this neat-o way of watching CO2 from space. Instead, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory crashed into the ocean just off Antarctica.

Plastic bag bans and fees have been approved by several cities, but no states. Read more from the NYTimes.

PG&E’s going solar – way solar. So’s Israel. Meanwhile, ITC Holdings Corporation wants to build a giant high voltage power line across Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota to carry wind power eastwards, and our one Senator Amy Klobuchar calls Minnesota the “Saudi Arabia of wind.”

Speaking of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Mohammad al-Najimi of the Saudi Islamic Jurisprudence Academy spoke out against biofuels because the prophet Mohammad prohibited buying, selling, and transporting alcohol – including ethanol. While I have a great respect for Islamic jurisprudence worldwide, this does seem a bit suspicious to me.

In other breaking news, my garbage disposal is broken. This is awful and has disrupted my life significantly, which, I suppose, tells you a little something about the volume of the concerns in my life (small). But it does bring up an important point – kitchen sink disposals encourage environmentally unfriendly behavior. Regi passed along this article from TreeHugger on in-sink garbage disposals that does a good job of explaining why – just imagine what has to happen at the waste water treatment plant!

Obama gave his State of the Union Address that’s Not the State of the Union Address to Congress tonight. My favorite quote: “We have lived through an era where too often, short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity; where we failed to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next election.” This is the same pragmatism that makes me an environmentalist – we have to be thoughtful about what we’re doing, and think long-term. Maybe we sacrifice a little bit now to benefit later. To find out more about Obama’s specific provisions for the environment, check out the full text of the House Stimulus Bill passed on February 12 – especially Division C on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies.

In events news, Powershift 09 is this weekend in D.C. – advocating for federal action against climate change – and Earth Hour 2009 is happening on March 28th.


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