Nick Engelfried

Nick Engelfried

Posts by This Writer

9 years 1 month ago

If last year’s failed climate change negotiations in Copenhagen convinced you world nations could never address environmental issues effectively, it might be time to think again. At the conclusion Saturday of a week-long meeting on preserving biodiversity, more than 190 nations agreed on historic new steps to prevent the extinction of plants and animals. The lesson is that developing and industrialized countries can come together to solve tough environmental...


9 years 1 month ago

For years fossil fuel companies have been able to hand out big sums of money to support or defeat public policies, without fear of major negative consequences. But in an age of increasing ire over the corporate influence in politics, and of growing awareness that curbing pollution actually encourages sustainable business, this may at last be changing. More than ever before, the US public is suspicious of advertising campaigns backed by corporate entities. With the public watching, and with social media providing inexpensive ways to get the word out, corporations can no longer be confident they can sculpt public policy during...


9 years 1 month ago

In a couple of past posts I’ve criticized plans made by the South African government and World Bank to build some of the planet’s largest coal plants in South Africa—thereby dramatically increasing the country's contribution to climate change. But give credit where credit is due: this week South Africa is announcing plans to also build the world’s largest solar energy park, which by 2020 will produce five gigawatts of electricity....


9 years 1 month ago

With the possible exception of small island nations like the Maldives and Tuvalu, Bangladesh and India may prove to be the countries hit hardest by climate change. That’s according to British-based consulting agency Maplecroft, which this month ranked 171 countries according to the vulnerability to climate change of their human populations. Ironically most small island countries—which may fact the most severe threat of all—were not included in the ranking due to a lack of data. But of those nations considered, Bangladesh was ranked most at risk with India coming in second....


9 years 1 month ago

Joel Francis, a senior at Cal State Los Angeles, has a challenge for billionaire Charles Koch of Koch Industries. Koch has given at least a million dollars to help bankroll the effort to pass Prop 23—a ballot measure that would suspend California’s global warming law, and which Francis believes would put thousands of green jobs in sustainable business industries at risk. Harnessing YouTube and the power of the blogosphere, Francis has...


9 years 1 month ago

From ExxonMobil to Portland General Electric, almost every company involved in fossil fuel energy and emissions also engages in a certain amount of greenwashing. Well aware that environmental impacts of coal and...


9 years 1 month ago

This month one of the biggest proposed sustainable business projects in the world cleared another hurdle, when it secured a $1.3 billion stimulus loan from the US Department of Energy. Once complete the Shepherds Flat Wind Farm, to be located in eastern Oregon, will consist of 338 wind turbines capable of generating 845 megawatts of electricity—more than the generating capacity of the state’s existing Boardman Coal Plant. A power purchase agreement for electricity from...


9 years 1 month ago

According to recent research, climate change may not result in significantly more hurricanes year to year—at least in the Atlantic Ocean. However it is likely to mean that hurricanes and other tropical storm which do form will be more intense and present a graver threat to human lives and property. This should be worrying to communities throughout the coastal tropics, but is especially worrying for economically disadvantaged communities, which tend to be hardest-hit by hurricanes and other natural disasters.

Some of the most recent studies on the link between...


9 years 2 months ago

While national climate change legislation was imploding this past summer, it looked like climate advocates were poised to also suffer another, even more disheartening defeat: the suspension of the most important state-level climate change law in the United States. A coalition of out-of-state oil companies and oil industry supporters had succeeded in qualifying Proposition 23 on the California ballot. If passed, this controversial ballot proposal would suspend California’s Global Warming and Solutions Act of 2006 indefinitely.

In tough economic times, and with...


9 years 2 months ago

Though Congress seems unable to agree on even modest proposals to support the transition off fossil fuel energy and emissions, US states have figured out energy efficiency is good policy. Not only does do more efficient homes, buildings, and vehicles have a smaller carbon footprint—they also save consumers money on energy costs. In addition the process of building a more efficient economy can create thousands of jobs. Considering the benefits of energy efficiency it should be no surprise that many states are cashing in.

A newly-released report created by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE)...


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