Posts Tagged ‘solar energy’


For web-savvy environmentalists, or any interested environmentalists, please consider joining sustainability, a home for all environmentally-related content on Squidoo.com. See also the new site for discussion of solar power on Squidoo.com: solar power.  If you don’t know about Squidoo, I didn’t either until a little while ago.  It is easy to set up a “lens” that focuses on your favorite topic, blog, website, etc.

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Earth Hour was reported by much of the press, and Associated Press writer CARYN ROUSSEAU published

Cities switch off lights for Earth Hour

which gave summary of world-wide activity and information from the parent Earth Hour organization. You can read the original story at the above link for details, but here are a few highlights and lowlights from Rousseau’s article:

…. In Ireland, where environmentalists are part of the coalition government, lights-out orders went out for scores of government buildings, bridges and monuments in more than a dozen cities and towns.

But the international banks and brokerages of Dublin‘s financial district blazed away with light, illuminating floor after empty floor of desks and idling computers.

… much of Europe — including France, Germany, Spain and European Union institutions — planned nothing to mark Earth Hour. …

Given Germany’s strong stand on clean power implementation, I think that is one place that already has the message, loud and clear. For example, the German city of Marburg has made solar energy systems mandatory on new buildings, and Germany and Spain have collaborated on huge solar panel-based power plants.

The wrap-up from Earth Hour US can be found here.

I think that the event was great for raising awareness and building a sense of community across international borders and locally.

In addition the the great support found in many quarters, there are a lot of cynical comments to be found on the web about Earth Hour. I’ll say this about cynicism- it is just talk, and never achieves anything.

© James K. Bashkin, 2008

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As reported by Michael Moyer of PopSci.com (the site for Popular Science):

Imagine a solar panel without the panel. Just a coating, thin as a layer of paint, that takes light and converts it to electricity. PopSci’s Innovation of the Year for 2007 is a solar cell that can be printed like paper and applied to roofs or any other flat surface, delivering solar energy at 1/10th the cost of a traditional glass and silicon cell

read more | digg story

I gratefully acknowledge Steve B., a user at Gather.com, for informing me of this story.  James K. Bashkin

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The blog Green Eggs and Planet has a series of articles on practical Green ideas including descriptions of Green Building, Green Building Materials, Green Gardening and City Planning, and different ways to use Solar Energy, from solar heating to solar cells for electricity.

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Japan reduced CO2 emissions by about 1.4 million tons last year, in part by cutting back on air conditioning. This was made more comfortable by dispensing with the business suit and tie culture.

However, extensive commercial building and increases in transportation are making it difficult for Japan to meet its promises for the future.

Also in Japan, the solar energy industry is turning a profit, but remains expensive- this is keeping some consumers from switching to a solar system.

The above three articles from NPR (National Public Radio) shed light on progress and difficulties in a country that long ago recognized the Kyoto Accord and subsequent Kyoto Protocol, which address CO2 emissions, greenhouse gases and global warming.

Meanwhile, Diane Rehm‘s 10 am October 2, 2007, show on NPR dealt with rising food costs and the effect of corn-ethanol on the environment and society. While I didn’t hear the whole show yet, I did not find myself agreeing with some of the guests’ support for corn ethanol and its supposed economic benefits. In particular, one guest seemed to be skirting the issue by talking about reduced CO2 emissions instead of total energy costs when comparing the use of corn-derived ethanol (mixed with gasoline/petrol) in an automobile vs. gasoline/petrol alone. However, I still need to do more reading of current research before giving a complete answer.

© James K. Bashkin, 2007

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