Driving Die Energiewende

DruckThe revolutionary “energy transition” that Germany is undergoing is being driven by a lot of forces:  a very progressive public that fully embraces the concept of high tech and far fewer GHGs, a political establishment that backs the project – across the entire spectrum from right to left, and a number of visionaries like the late Hermann Scheer.  I have written about the Energiewende for my old blog and for the new one.

Another one of Scheer’s generation of leaders on renewables is Rainer Baake.  He’s heading up a project called the Agora Energiewende which is, among other things, supporting the transition with advanced technical thinking on a range of issues and is also helping to spread the gospel of 100% renewable electricity globally. Continue reading

“Stop KXL” in New York (and The New Yorker)

KXL and BofA TowerLast week, there was a rally and March in New York City to send yet-another message to President Obama that the Keystone XL pipeline is a bad idea for the U.S. and for the planet.  This picture juxtaposes two things of which we need more:  loud and focused activism on climate change and superb green buildings like the Bank of America Tower.  I’ve written here a few times about the KXL project.  I’ve also had the privilege of interviewing one of the architects of the BofA Tower, Bob Fox, for my book.  This building is also known as One Bryant Park and is one of the most advanced green buildings of its size in the world.

The salience of the opposition to the Keystone XL project is growing.  One more indication is Elizabeth Kolbert’s eloquent essay in this week’s New Yorker: Lines in the Sand.

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In The New Yorker

Eustace TilleyI’ve got a letter this week in the venerable New Yorker.  Nicholas Lemann wrote an article there a few weeks ago about the first Earth Day and the state of the environmental movement today.  It was, in a word, uninformed.  I had a few bones to pick, so I wrote a letter.

I’m delighted, of course, that the good editors at the New Yorker saw fit to print my note.  I am in excellent company, along with Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund, and Robert A. Low, a former top NYC environmental official.

They made some salient points as correctives to Lemann’s article as did I.  The edited letter from me points out the really quite vigorous state of environmental activism in the US today, not to mention in the world beyond, and its effectiveness.  Continue reading