Day: January 12, 2015

Mapping the World’s Problems

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Nearly a decade ago, an environmental group in Brazil grew concerned that government data and maps about Amazon deforestation were out of date and hard to view. The group, Imazon, decided to create its own monitoring tools, using information from satellites.

Imazon’s efforts caught the attention of Google, the search engine giant. Now, monthly reports on the Brazilian Amazon are produced through Google Earth Engine, a technology platform within the company. The partnership has made data processing faster and the information more accessible, according to Carlos Souza Jr., a senior researcher at Imazon.

2015 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest

The Endangered Species Coalition (ESC) is pleased to announce our 2015 Saving Endangered Species youth art contest, which is open to K-12 grade students residing in the United States, including those who are homeschooled or belong to a youth/art program. The contest is an integral part of the 10th annual national Endangered Species Day on May 15, 2015. For more background on the contest, including an art lesson plan for teachers and other resources, please visit


How citizens and experts launched statewide food scrap recycling

The latest P2 Impact article, written by John Mulrow of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and Jennifer Jarland, Kane County (IL)’s recycling coordinator, explain how government, not-for-profit and waste industry professionals came together to form the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition and what the group has accomplished over the past two years.

Past P2 Impact columns are available here.

New Energy Performance Database Being Used to Speed Energy Savings

The Technology Performance Exchange™ (TPEx™), a collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Energy Federal Energy Management Program and Building Technologies Office, and the Bonneville Power Administration, allows technology manufacturers, evaluators, utilities, consumers, modelers, and researchers to share energy performance data for building-related products. TPEx uses data entry forms (DEFs) to define the minimum energy performance characteristics necessary to evaluate a product’s energy performance and provides an easy-to-use and consistent data sharing framework to allow users to easily estimate savings while accounting for unique site- and application-specific parameters.

Currently, the Bonneville Power Administration is evaluating how TPEx can be used to reduce the time required to establish rebates and improve estimates of efficiency program energy savings. Federal users are encouraged to:

  • Leverage the extensive engineering effort encompassed by the TPEx DEFs when planning field or laboratory technology evaluations.
  • Work with manufacturers, vendors, and other relevant organizations such as energy service companies (ESCOs) to contribute energy performance data to TPEx so that other federal agencies can benefit from this valuable information.

Currently, the TPEx accepts data for 19 distinct product categories, ranging from solar photovoltaic (PV) modules to variable refrigerant flow units. For more information and a complete list of technologies, visit TPEx at

The Carbon Diet Fallacy

Read the full story in Slate.

The carbon diet is a miserable prescription for the world’s future because it contains no vision of a shared future and shared prosperity. Instead, it offers a default vision of a dog-eat-dog world where starving hordes will tank the planet.

A year later: Chemical spills continue, and so do questions

The Charleston Gazette looks at the one-year anniversary of the toxic spill of MCHM into the Elk River that poisoned water for 300,000 West Virginians. And while most residents have returned to drinking their water, chemical leaks are still a part of life, with thousands being reported every year.


If States Don’t Make Carbon-Cutting Plans, the Feds Will Do It for Them

Read the full story in Governing.

The Obama administration is delaying rules aimed at curbing carbon emissions from power plants and will write a separate implementation plan for states that have threatened to refuse to submit their own.

The Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday it needs time to deal with overlapping issues raised in comments on the proposal to deal with new plants — for which final rules were due Thursday — and the rules for existing and modified plants that were due in June. EPA will issue final rules under a combined process by “mid-summer,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the agency’s Office of Air and Radiation.

EPA chief on climate change: “The scary thing is doing nothing”

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Climate change predictions can be scary, and political opposition to climate action is fierce. But EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says she can’t help but be optimistic about the future.

Best and worst of green sports in 2014

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

This article first appeared at GreenSportsBlog.

The green-sports movement not only grew in 2014, it matured. Growth came from new LEED-certified stadia and arenas and from many more zero-waste games. Maturity came from the fact that greening is increasingly the rule rather than the exception. With this maturity comes responsibility. Our responsibility is to offer readers a Best and Worst of Green Sports in 2014, with the hope that it will inspire other sports organizations to make sustainability a priority in the coming year.

Colorado State University launches Master’s Degree in Greenhouse Gas Management and Accounting (MGMA)

Colorado State University is pleased to announce the launch of a new Master’s Degree in Greenhouse Gas Management and Accounting (MGMA). The U.S. and China just committed to accelerating efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To meet these shared goals, we will need technically-adept professionals capable of quantifying and reducing our emissions. MGMA is the first program of its kind to directly address that need.

MGMA is an interdisciplinary, professional/non-thesis master’s degree that combines environmental knowledge and the technical skills necessary to accurately quantify and reduce greenhouse gas emissions with an emphasis on agricultural and forestry systems.  The program is designed for students from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds, such as environmental studies, forestry, business, engineering and agriculture. The degree can be completed in three semesters and also includes a required internship to ensure high-quality, on-the-job training for graduates.

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