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Amanda Little's Posts


The top 12 women of cleantech

While the cleantech sector is very much a boy's club, women are starting to break down the clubhouse door. Meet 12 of the most savvy and accomplished interlopers. Some are building their own start-ups, others are climbing the ranks in big companies, still others are plowing millions into new clean-energy endeavors via venture-capital firms. All of them, we hope, will inspire more women to get involved and take charge in industries that are changing how we power our lives, how we get around, and ultimately how we cope in a climate-changed world.  Lynn Jurich President, SunRun Twelve thousand American homes …


putting the "world wide" in www

How wiring the developing world can help save the planet

Envaya helps people in Africa build ultralight websites, on the ultracheap.Like most equatorial countries, Tanzania is feeling the impacts of climate change. Malaria is spreading to areas at ever-higher altitudes. Lake Victoria, which feeds the Nile, is retreating. The rainy season is starting later and getting shorter -- last year, the typically four-month season lasted just two, cutting soil moisture and stunting crop growth. Fodder for grazing animals is getter scarcer. Some farmers are foregoing water-hungry crops like corn, beans, and bananas in favor of mono-cropping plants like cassava, a tuber that is drought-resistant. These and other effects of global …


A sense of Freedom, video

Jonathan Franzen on activism, compromises, overpopulation, and birds

Jonathan FranzenPhoto: Greg MartinJonathan Franzen's blockbuster novel Freedom has been called the War and Peace of our day. Is it also our Silent Spring? Reviewers have almost unanimously lauded Franzen for capturing the early-21st-century American zeitgeist. Time knighted him the "Great American Novelist." Oprah picked Freedom as her final book club selection. New York Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani described the novel as "an indelible portrait of our times." What reviewers have almost unanimously ignored, however, is that this indelible portrait of our times is also an indelible portrait of contemporary environmental activism rendered through the protagonist Walter Berglund. Walter -- …

Read more: Uncategorized



Can professional sports do more than politics to save the planet?

San Francisco's AT&T Park is one of several professional sports stadiums saving energy and money by going green.Photo: Wally GobetzCross-posted from Amanda Little's blog at As the San Francisco Giants celebrate their 2010 World Series triumph, they're quietly coveting another, humbler feat -- one that's perhaps no less historic in the long run. The Giants are one of the greenest teams in professional sports, and they're proving that sustainable practices fatten the bottom line even as they ease the burdens on the planet. Their stadium, AT&T Park, which accommodates about 45,000 fans, runs its scoreboard on solar power, recycles …


The Tennessee Paradox

Tennessee governor's race: Haslam vs. McWherter

My home state of Tennessee has been solid red for nearly 20 years. So red that it famously spurned Al Gore, its own homegrown political celebrity, in the 2000 presidential election, favoring Dubya by a wide margin. Now President Obama's popularity is faring even worse in these parts. Recent Tennessee polls estimate the commander in chief's approval rating at roughly 30 percent. So it's a curious political paradox that our outgoing Democratic governor, Phil Bredesen, is ending his eight years in office with an approval rating of 72 percent. More surprising than Bredesen's success at being a blue governor in …


The new Newt thing

Gingrich slams Obama on Gulf gusher and sounds off on climate

Newt Gingrich, green conservative.Photo: Gage SkidmoreA couple of years ago, Newt Gingrich was sounding like a climate activist. The former Republican speaker of the House posed with current Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a couch in front of the Capitol for a 2008 ad sponsored by Al Gore's organization, the Alliance for Climate Protection. "[O]ur country must take action to address climate change," Gingrich said, calling on Americans to "demand action from our leaders." In his new book To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine, Gingrich pushes a strikingly different view, decrying "the doomsday theory of climate change," which he …


Welcome to a warmer world

As Nashville floods recede, an opportunity emerges

Homes in Nashville.Photo courtesy Eric Hamiter via FlickrNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Four days after rainstorms pummeled my hometown, problems mount. Major portions of the city are still submerged beneath floodwaters. Thousands are displaced from their homes, the contents of their lives soaked, mud-caked, and molding. Thousands more have no electricity or plumbing. The city faces severe drinking water shortages, with several water treatment facilities paralyzed. On Tuesday, President Barack Obama declared Nashville a federal disaster area. On stoops and porches around the city, Nashvillians are sharing stories of shock, anguish, and wonder. They are recounting images of the homes and churches …

Read more: Climate & Energy


Energy X-games

Meet America’s most extreme energy geeks

Photo courtesy PNNL via FlickrJet-engine wind turbines, fuel made from big batches of algae, enzymes that trap power plant CO2. Sound seriously far-fetched? They may be. But these concepts are fetching serious investment dollars from the Department of Energy. DOE Secretary Steven Chu -- a Nobel Prize-winning inventor himself -- has launched a new program dubbed "ARPA-E." It's modeled after DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the Pentagon's technology-innovation program that was responsible for the internet, cell phones, GPS, and other technical breakthroughs. ARPA-E is doling out multimillion dollar grants to the nation's most visionary energy innovators -- thrill-seeking, over-achieving …


Inhofe and Running

James Inhofe, Senate’s top skeptic, explains his climate-hoax theory

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) tells reporters in Copenhagen that a climate bill will never pass the U.S. Senate.Photo: Andy RevkinSen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), one of the world's most vociferous climate skeptics, is practically giddy these days. He's argued since 2003 that global warming is a massive "hoax" being played on the American people, and now he believes he's got more backing than ever before for his claim, from "Climategate" emails to errors in the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to the recent blizzards in Washington, D.C. (He gleefully hyped an igloo built by his grandkids as …


A Stern talking-to

Copenhagen Accord is the priority, says U.S. climate envoy. But what about a binding treaty?

U.S. Climate Envoy Todd Stern.A month after he rode herd at Copenhagen's COP15 climate talks, Todd Stern is exhorting participants to make the outcome of the conference meaningful. "Life needs to be breathed into the Copenhagen Accord," the State Department's special envoy for climate change tells Grist. He insists that the three-page document represents a "very, very important step forward," and he's now pushing major developed and developing countries to make clear public pledges for reductions in emissions or energy intensity by a Jan. 31 deadline, to substantiate the Accord. But even as he touts the successes of the Copenhagen …