Day: November 24, 2020

‘Dark money’ group raises fears in Illinois energy negotiations

Read the full story from Energy News Network.

A mysterious group has spent more than a quarter million dollars promoting a vague agenda that’s critical of Illinois utilities’ clean energy transitions.

Webinar: Milwaukee’s Harbor District Building Boom – Through the Lens of Energy Innovation

December 3, 2020, noon-1:30 PM CST
Register here.

M-WERC with the Harbor District in Milwaukee, has put together a panel, connecting the building boom occurring in the Harbor District and the strong innovative energy ecosystem in the region. Multiple transformative construction projects are underway directly adjacent to Milwaukee’s harbor.

The Annex apparition

Read the full story from the Illinois Natural History Survey.

Anyone from PRI that has stepped into the Natural Resources Studies Annex (NRSA) knows that it may lay claim to being the creepiest PRI building. Fortunately, the inhabitants of the Annex are generally enamored with some of the more frequent freaks of nature that visit.

Our occasional bat visitors are welcome, and usually yield a gaggle of biologists photographing them in fascination as our Chiropteran friends hang from the ceiling tiles, curious as to why no one is fleeing them in terror. Garter snakes also appear from time to time, enjoying elevator rides from floor to floor. The cockroaches, well, I suppose we could do without those.

Beyond the visitors, the cold-war era architecture is certainly befitting 80’s era sci-fi horror flicks. From massive, industrial-looking fume hoods roaring throughout the day, to an overgrown courtyard in the center of the square building, the Annex certainly has its spooky charm.

What many people don’t know, however, is that the Annex is haunted.

New app allows users to explore how global warming changes their cities’ climate

Read the full story from the University of East Anglia.

A new mobile app allows people to explore how global warming will affect the future climate of their towns and cities.

Developed by EarthSystemData Ltd with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia (UEA), the free to download ‘ESD Research’ app enables anyone anywhere to access the latest temperature and rainfall projections from the world’s top six most scientifically respected climate models.

Researchers working to ‘upcycle’ polymers

Read the full story from Case Western Reserve University.

A team of researchers led by Case Western Reserve University will investigate ways to improve how common plastics are recycled, an effort supported by a $2.5 million grant within the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) recently announced “Plastics Innovation Challenge.”

The Case Western Reserve-led team will work to develop and test a technique with help from government and industrial partners—one that blends the better parts of an efficient but cost-prohibitive chemical method of plastic recycling with typically high-output but low-efficiency mechanical means to “upcycle” up to 80% of the plastic it takes in.

Are life-cycle assessments worth the (recycled) paper they’re printed on?

Read the full story at Ensia.

Developed to provide a blueprint for environmental action, LCAs often sow seeds of discord. What can be done to fix that?

Building Performance Standards: Lessons from Carbon Policy

Download the document.

This paper reviews the relevant design elements of carbon and environmental markets and explores how they could influence the design of BPS programs. Carbon and environmental markets have existed for more than three decades, giving policymakers experience with scope and target setting and the design of flexibility provisions. The paper also sketches out how the sector-specific BPS programs overlap and interact with existing cross-sectoral programs—state-level clean energy and renewable portfolio standards (RPS), the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), electricity markets, and transport electrification.

The Role of Innovation in Changing Behavior Towards a Circular Economy

Watch the archived webinar [registration required to view].

By 2030 plastic waste is expected to increase by more than 50% to 330 million tons per annum if business continues as usual. Not only is this unsustainable for communities and the environment, it also makes little sense economically. Recent figures show $120 billion is lost each year because plastic waste is mismanaged. This hour-long webinar will explore how innovation and new business models can help transform the relationship between people and waste, redefining value and driving a circular economy. 

Topics include: 

  • The business and environmental case for shifting from a linear to a circular economy for plastics
  • Opportunities to leverage innovation, beyond new technologies and materials to affect behavior change 
  • Exciting new solutions to tackling plastic waste leakage

For more reading on the Alliance:


  • Lauren Phipps, Director & Senior Analyst, Circular Economy, GreenBiz


  • Jacob Duer, President & CEO, Alliance to End Plastic Waste
  • Jeff Kirschner, Founder & CEO, Litterati
  • John C. Warner, Distinguished Research Fellow, Exploration and Discovery, Zymergen Corporation
  • Natalie Hallinger, Behavior Change Advisor, Lecturer

Texas-based metal recycler Sortera Alloys moving to Fort Wayne, adding 100 jobs

Read the full story at Indiana Economic Digest.

Sortera Alloys, an early-stage, high-tech metal recycling company, announced plans Nov. 10  to move its manufacturing operations from Texas, creating up to 100  jobs at its new Fort Wayne facility by the end of 2022.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based company is investing up to $4.2 million to purchase and equip its new 40,000-square-foot manufacturing operation at  909 Coliseum Blvd. N. 

The company, which currently employs 15  in Texas and six in Indiana, plans to hire software engineers, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, technicians and other workers beginning this month. 

California Bars Insurers From Dropping Policies in Wildfire Areas

Read the full story in the New York Times.

The new one-year freeze is a sign of the growing financial burden caused by climate change.

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