Archive for carbon emissions

Welcome to the New Easier Being Green!

Welcome to the new home of Easier Being Green!

During the last few days, I’ve been at the Clean Energy Resource Teams Conference in St. Cloud, Minn. I ran into a few fellow college alumni who work for Kidwind, a group that creates lesson plans and trains teachers to teach about wind.

From the website:
Michael Arquin began the Kidwind Project when he was a 6th grade science teacher in California. Unhappy with the high price and poor quality of commercial products available for teaching wind energy science, he set out to develop his own.

Just a quick post to say hello, and welcome to the new site!


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Facebook Uses 3 kWh per Capita Per Day

Yesterday was Facebook’s 6th anniversary. Steve Tuttle and I are quitting.

I had a brief return after calling it quits in December – but have finally decided to pull the plug for good. I think.
simple yet effective graphic from rmansfield

Disturbingly enough, Facebook has a carbon footprint big enough to compete with large cities. Engineer Doug Beaver estimates per capita daily energy use at 3 kWh, with most energy used to power servers handling photos.

That’s like me running a hairdryer for 3 hours every day. Assuming I use Facebook every day of every year, that’s about 1000 kWh per year.

So I quit, not just for energy efficiency – but for my own time efficiency too!

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Government Goes Green

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty unveiled the “Green Jobs Investment Initiative” to the 2009 state legislature yesterday. It’s a group of tax exemptions, mostly for business, to invest in green jobs and renewable energy. In total, the initiative would spend $90.25 million in the next six years.

Image from Minnesota Politics blog.

Pawlenty has suspicious timing. He did not support a Green JOBZ initiative in 2008, and his proposal comes while a task force of department officials and other experts were in the midst of creating a similar proposal. JOBZ is Pawlenty’s job creation effort. Said Rep. Tim Mahoney, DFL – Saint Paul, “I didn’t know JOBZ was (a) chameleon – apparently if it isn’t working, it just changes color.”

Read more from the Pioneer Press, the Star Tribune, MSNBC, the Governor’s Office, Politics in Minnesota, and a related article on Pawlenty and climate change from MinnPost.

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Green-e is Consumer Reports for renewable energy and carbon offset purchases.

I mean, come on. How easy would it be to peddle hogwash? So easy. “Buy Jennifer Carbon Credits today! I’ll just take that there credit card number… gooooood.”

Ratings are a good thing.

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The Oxford 2007 Word of the Year is out!

Ladies and gentlemen, make room in your vocabulary for locavore, the phenomenon of eating locally grown or raised foods that may or may not be more Earth friendly (in the broadest sense of the term, as debated by Macalester professor Bill Mosely in this recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle).

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Wave Energy

Wind and solar and wave, oh my! What will they come up with next?
Wave energy (aka hydrokinetic energy) was even predicted in 1908 to be the energy source of the future. Wave energy, however, has not been fully studied; the large, delicate, expensive buoys concern fishers who don’t want to run into them, and nobody knows what the environmental effects will be… least of all Sonoma County residents responding to this November agenda item.

Hydrokinetic energy works by bouncing magnets in the rise and fall of ocean waves. If I had stayed in science classes I might be able to explain this more clearly and correctly. Apparently, 0.2% of the energy wasted in waves could power the entire world if harvested.

In related news, Google announced its intent to invest “hundreds of millions” of dollars in renewable energy to spark an energy revolution. And the ED’s name is Larry Brilliant. Nice.

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UN Climate Conference, Bali

The UN finished up a climate conference in Bali (Dec. 3-14), Our friends Tim Anderson and Paul Kelley went to present the Sonoma County Water Agency’s plan to depend on renewable energy only.

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