Cities

Who will make the first move toward a clean energy future?

Last week several hundred investors huddled together at the U.N. with government officials and non-profit groups to discuss one thing — carbon. They heard from U.S. climate change negotiator Todd Stern, international political royalty, and a host of economic prognosticators …

Why America’s greenest mayor got no love

Seattle Times environmental reporter Craig Welch profiles one of the more puzzling characters in recent urban politics, Seattle’s now-former mayor, Greg Nickels. The piece treads some of the same ground as my profile of Nickels last month: after demonstrating national …

Dispatches from the Phoenix Green Building Conference

Recently, an interior designer and massage therapist named Becky Anderson helped me certify an Aspen Skiing Company building (Sam’s Restaurant) to LEED Gold. As a reward for her remarkable work, we sent her to the U.S. Green Building Council’s enormous, …

Taking distributed energy seriously

This week, in The New York Times’ Room for Debate, I was involved in a discussion on the brewing war among environmentalists over building large power plants on sensitive land — specifically, in this case, a solar thermal power plant …

Never mind what people believe — how can we change what they do? A chat with Robert Cialdini

When it comes to energy, policymakers are often confronted with human behavior that seems irrational, unpredictable, or unmanageable. Advocates for energy efficiency in particular are plagued by the gap between what it would make sense for people to do and …

India, Italy, Brazil can fill America’s blanks

Americans pride themselves on being ________ (fill in the blank with something like “biggest,” “best,” or “first”). Especially in California, we think we lead the world on carbon-reducing advances like ________ (fill in blank with “solar power,” “energy efficiency,” or …

Everyone Poops – – and a few spin gold

Thanks to the global effort to cut carbon, we could soon be spinning waste of all kinds -- including poop -- into big bucks.

How cities can foster demand for electric cars

When Tesla Motors opened its new showroom in Boulder, it did so in style. Hosting an invitation-only party, the automaker brought out a lively group of local politicians, environmentalists and entrepreneurs for a night of martinis, music and test-drives of …

Top 10 worst Christmas gifts

The Jamaica Plain Green House today released its second annual list of “Top 10 Worst Christmas Gifts.” The list ranges from $2 stocking stuffers to baubles of the super-rich. JP Green House co-founder Ken Ward said, “These ten items achieved …