Latest Blogs

15 hours 9 min ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) We’ve been hearing about the potential wonders of the Smart Grid for several years now. It will save energy, make utility operations more streamlined, support renewables and save money for consumers. All these things are true, and they will be even more important in the years ahead as the impacts of climate change are felt more strongly. But blackouts are happening right now, and they are costing utilities money. That seems to be the primary driver for many power companies to begin investing in technology today.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), power outages cost US businesses $150 billion per year. The number of blackouts has increased 285% since 1984 and their duration, here in the US, is the longest among industrialized countries.

Why is that? There are two reasons. First, there is more power going through our electric grid than ever before. Second, and most important, the grid is getting old.

The U.S. electrical grid, once considered a marvel, is becoming a dinosaur. Going back over 60 years, some of the designs date back to Edison himself. It consists of some 7,000 power plants pushing electrons out over 450,000 miles of transmission lines, to businesses and homes that are interconnected by some 2.5 million miles of feeder lines. According to the Edison Electric Institute, it is worth $876 billion, though the value of what it produces is incalculable.

It was built for a time and a scale when things could be done manually. Meter readers would go from house to house reading mechanical meters, and linemen could inspect the lines to see where repairs were needed. Today, it has become too big and too indispensable for that.


1 day 3 hours ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Have you heard of a bio-literate world? A world where you could know in minutes the name of any animal or plant – at any-time or place, including everything about that life-form, from what are its habits to is it endangered or dangerous?  Should it even be there, or is it an invader from somewhere else? Imagine how science could use this knowledge to protect the planet's biodiversity and promote human health and well being?


1 day 3 hours ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Tensions between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas are running high after days of fighting. The peace process has faltered and the shadow of terrorism remains as property is vandalised, farmers' olive trees destroyed, and homes and businesses destroyed.


1 day 6 hours ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Aggressive use of pesticides to push agricultural output has had an undesirable impact on the ecological balance in several ways. Environmentalists have continued to warn against the rampant use of pesticides and their ill effects. One of the classes of pesticides called neonic is known to boost crop yield, and is also extensively used on plants grown in lawns and gardens.


2 days 13 hours ago

"Risky Business," a new report led by Mike Bloomberg and Henry Paulson, aims to frame climate change in economic terms. Will it make Americans care more about the issue?

(Justmeans/3BL Media) -- So much of how climate change is reported on and understood is through numbers. Here are a few.


3 days 16 hours ago

(3Bl Media/Justmeans) - We see a lot of analyses and projections showing why renewables, despite their rapid growth will not be able to provide sufficient energy to allow us to get off fossil fuels or nuclear for decades to come. Those analyses are based on assumptions regarding population growth, economic development and rate of energy consumption on a per capita basis.

But if you look at disparities in energy consumption, not just the obvious ones—developed vs. developing countries, but rather between countries and states with similar quality of life, we can see that there are still tremendous opportunities to be in exploited with regard to how efficiently we use energy. As an example, the state of Texas, uses 50% more energy than California, despite California’s 48% larger population.

If forecasts and projections were based on the best populations, who are bound to get even better, rather than the average, these renewable goals might begin to look far more achievable

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) just completed a ranking of the 16 largest economies in the world. Results are somewhat surprising. The US, which likes to think of itself as technologically advanced, actually ranked 13th out of 16, while China, despite its sizeable growing pains, managed to achieve a 4th place rank.

Below is the list in order.

1.            Germany                

2.            Italy

3.            EU

4.            China

5.            France

6.            Japan

7.            UK

8.            Spain

9.            Canada

10.          Australia

11.          India

12.          South Korea

13.          US

14.          Russia

15.          Brazil

16.          Mexico

The ranking are based on thirty-one metrics, divided between policy metrics, which they call national efforts (e.g. national energy savings target, fuel economy standards) and performance metrics (e.g.  Average mpg, energy per square foot in buildings). State and local policies were not included. Performance metrics were divided between Buildings, Industry, and Transportation. These four categories were equally weighted, receiving 25 points apiece.


4 days 16 hours ago

(3BL Media/Just Means) - Access to clean water is a privilege that we take for granted, but for many people across the world it is a privilege that for now they can only dream about. The UN estimates that 11 percent of the world’s population is in that situation. But statistics suggest that things are improving, as back in 1990 that number was 24 percent. The goal is to have 92 per cent of the global population covered by 2015.


4 days 17 hours ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Global corporations are picking up speed to make a shift towards renewable sources of energy in order to reduce their environmental footprint. Some of the major technology companies such as Microsoft, Google and Facebook have started a new trend of sponsoring entire wind farms as a part of this shift.


4 days 18 hours ago

Reposter.net, April 2011(3BL Media and Just Means) - Tens of thousands of people are expected to march alongside environmentalist Bill McKibben in New York City on September 20 and 21st.  In a recently published article he wrote in Rolling Stone, “A Call to Arms: An Invitation to Demand Action on Climate Change,” McKibben invited all to join him to make a ‘loud movement,’ lifting banners that say  “CLIMATE/JOBS. TWO CRISES, ONE SOLUTION.”


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