10 Kinds of Stories to Tell with Data

Read the full story at the HBR Blog Network.

For almost a decade I have heard that good quantitative analysts can “tell a story with data.” Narrative is—along with visual analytics—an important way to communicate analytical results to non-analytical people. Very few people would question the value of such stories, but just knowing that they work is not much help to anyone trying to master the art of analytical storytelling. What’s needed is a framework for understanding the different kinds of stories that data and analytics can tell. If you don’t know what kind of story you want to tell, you probably won’t tell a good one.

Should we be calling it “climate disruption”?

Read the full story at Grist.

White House science adviser John Holdren knows a lot about climate change. Just a couple of months ago, he smacked down climate deniers in a video released by the White House in which he coolly explained the links between climate change and the polar vortex. Now he’s hoping to change the words we use when talking about the climate.

UI scientists asked for alternatives to dumping PCBs at Clinton

Read the full story in the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette.

Scientists at the University of Illinois are being asked to review alternatives to disposing of toxic PCBs at a landfill over the Mahomet Aquifer, the drinking water supply for approximately 500,000 central Illinoisans.

The plan to assess alternative technologies was announced Friday at a news conference called by state Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet. It potentially could affect a request by Clinton Landfill, Inc., to dispose of PCBs and other hazardous wastes at its landfill site in DeWitt County, about 45 miles west of Champaign. The federal EPA is reviewing the company’s request for a permit to dump PCBs at the location.

How to Phase Out Incentives and Grow Solar Energy

Read the full post at Grist.

Over the next decade, solar electricity will let consumers get cheaper energy from their rooftop than from their utility. Among the upheaval in the electricity system, the coming of solar “grid parity” means re-thinking incentives for solar energy.

Campus Conservation Nationals 2014 results now available

Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN) is the largest electricity and water reduction competition program for colleges and universities in the world. The program just completed its 4th year. Results are available at http://competetoreduce.org/ccn/2014.html.

New York Launches Major Regulatory Reform for Utilities

Read the full story in Green Tech Media.

California issued a storage mandate and settled its net metering debate last year. Texas is in the process of overhauling its ancillary services market. Minnesota has set a value-of-solar tariff. But all of that is small potatoes compared to the market transformation for electric distribution utilities that New York just announced.

New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked his public state commission and chairman of energy and finance, Richard Kauffman, to fundamentally shift utility regulation to meet the needs of a more distributed, consumer-focused energy system…

While most states are grappling with net metering, standby and demand charges, New York’s PSC has laid down the gauntlet in a proposal, Reforming the Energy Vision. The report calls for an overhaul of the regulation of the state’s distribution utilities to achieve five policy objectives:

  • Increasing customer knowledge and providing tools that support effective management of their total energy bill
  • Market animation and leverage of ratepayer contributions
  • System-wide efficiency
  • Fuel and resource diversity
  • System reliability and resiliency

Free lunch, anyone? Foodsharing sites and apps stop leftovers going to waste

Read the full story in The Guardian.

In New York and San Francisco, across Germany and in east London, early adopters are sharing their leftover and excess food. Will others get over the yuck factor and follow?

Ditching microbeads: the search for sustainable skincare

Read the full story in The Guardian.

As activists push for a ban on microbeads, cosmetic companies – and consumers – search for environmentally-friendly substitutes.

Michigan farm officials oppose federal authority expansion over water

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

Michigan farm officials are fighting an attempt by the federal Environmental Protection agency to regulate small bodies of water, saying that a new permit process would make construction and farming more expensive and time-consuming.

7 creative uses for dryer lint

Read the full post at Mother Nature Network.

If you use a dryer, then you know that dryer lint is never in short supply. Instead of tossing that fluff into the trash, here are some innovative ways you can put it to good use in your home, your yard or your next outdoor adventure.