Water and Energy

302xWWDlogoThe United Nations has declared today World Water Day.  The theme this year is water and energy.  There are obvious connections, such as that hydropower supplies 20% of the world’s electricity.  But here’s an interesting thing you may not have known:  8% of global energy generation is used for pumping, treating and transporting water.

The UN is not alone in promoting World Water Day and the urgent message that we can’t do without this essential resource – this essential component of life – and we can and must do much better in managing it.  WaterAid, for instance, is a highly effective, global NGO with over 30 years experience bringing water to under-served communities. Continue reading


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The Road to Paris

cop19“UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw keeps governments on a track towards 2015 climate agreement” is the headline from the official final press release from the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP 19) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

It has been a long, agonizingly slow process from Rio in 1992 when the Framework Convention was created to Japan in 1997 when the famous Kyoto Protocol was introduced to Bali in 2007 from whence we were supposed to have a final new agreement in Copenhagen in 2009. Continue reading


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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


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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


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