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Wind-powered opera slightly less extravagant than regular opera

For many people, the opera is just a chance to nap in a $300 chair under a $1,500 chandelier while wearing $2,000 worth of clothes. But one opera festival in the U.K. is making sure that its extravagance is at least powered by clean energy.

CleanTechnica's Zachary Shahan notes that the 78th Glyndebourne Festival is billing itself as the "first opera festival powered by renewable energy." The star of the show is a wind turbine that will provide 90 percent of the power for staging the operas.

Opera might not be the most sustainable of activities. All forms of theater require costumes, sets, lights, and other resources, some of which get tossed as soon as the show is done. But increasingly, theater companies are getting on board with making their operations not only wind-powered, but more energy-efficient and less wasteful.

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Al Gore running for Senate on green platform

Albert N. Gore Jr.Albert N. Gore Jr.

Sorry, not that Al Gore Jr. And not that Al Gore Jr.'s son, Al Gore III. It's a completely different Al Gore Jr. -- one who doesn't look all that junior.

Albert N. Gore Jr. won the Democratic Senate primary in Mississippi on Tuesday, earning the right to be crushed by incumbent Republican Roger Wicker in November.

This Gore is a retired Methodist minister and Army colonel who completed 91 parachute jumps during a distinguished military career. "He declined to give his age, but said he’s in good health," reports the Biloxi-Gulfport Sun Herald. The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire blog describes him as "a political newcomer" and notes that he "doesn’t appear to have a campaign website."

Is he related to the more famous Al Gore? Maybe, says the Sun Herald:

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Myhrvold: 50 simple things won’t fix the climate — but a few complex things might

Nathan Myhrvold. (Photo by Red Maxwell.)

Yesterday, I wrote about a new peer-reviewed paper from inventor Nathan Myhrvold and climate scientist Ken Caldeira. It found that, if there is to be any hope of staying in the zone of climate safety (or at least semi-safety), the transition to carbon-free energy must begin immediately and cannot include any merely "low carbon" sources like natural gas.

I sent Myhrvold a few follow-up questions. Here are his responses, lightly edited.

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LEGO buys $500 million worth of wind turbines

The world's third-largest toy manufacturer is going to be putting "made with wind power" labels on all those boxes of LEGOs, and not just because they bought their power from utilities with wind turbines. Kirkbi A/S, the family holding company that owns LEGO, will be buying actual wind turbines representing fully a third of an offshore wind farm, reports Reuters.

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Congress toys with the future of wind energy

It's time to stop playing around and get serious about funding wind energy.

Cross-posted from Climate Progress.

With every passing day, Congress outdoes its own abysmal environmental record.

Even as federal policymakers consider a transportation bill that would open up sensitive areas for offshore drilling, encourage use of dirty oil shale, force a decision on the Keystone XL tar-sands pipeline, and derail public investments in public transportation, they couldn’t even compromise on a simple short-term tax credit for wind energy.

Wind businesses were calling an extension of the credit an “emergency” due to looming mass layoffs in the industry. But as history has proven time and time again, if it’s clean and renewable, it doesn’t force any urgency in Congress.

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Adorable video will make you feel bad for power plants

This video of collapsing power plant cooling towers is supposed to make you want to celebrate the victory of renewable energy over large power companies that run on fossil fuels. And it does! Sort of. But the cooling towers are so adorable that you feel kind of bad for rooting against them. Couldn't they have put some cute moustaches on the turbines, too? 

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Wind turbine workers get their own reality show

Photo by Tuey.

The roughnecks who straddle throbbing nacelles 150 feet in the air, one hand on a safety rope and the other gnarly with gearbox lubricant, are about to get the reality show (episode) they deserve, thanks to the Weather Channel. What happens when people stop being polite and start climbing around on giant, dangerous machinery?

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Government will develop wind energy off the Atlantic coast

The federal government has opted to move forward with wind energy development off the coast of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia, and Virginia's Republican governor for one could not be happier. Sure, the party line might be that alternative energy is stupid -- but when you have the federal government actively hunting down corporate investors for development in your state, it tends to make you pretty optimistic about new technologies.

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Obama makes strong call for clean energy — oh, and drilling and fracking too

(Photo by Alex Howard.)

Clean energy rocks. Nice, deserving people get jobs at wind-turbine plants. Solyndra-style investments are critical. Oil-industry subsidies suck. Energy efficiency is an economic engine. We need to drill, baby, drill. And we need to frack, baby, frack.

Those weren't the words, but those were the sentiments in the energy portion of President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday night. He dedicated a significant chunk of the speech to energy issues, making an unexpectedly vigorous appeal for renewable power, cleantech investment, and efficiency -- as well as for natural-gas fracking and oil drilling.

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Wind turbines don’t harm health, says study

In some parts of the world, citizens who live near wind turbines have raised concerns about "wind turbine syndrome," which you’d think would be affecting half the population of Denmark by now if it were actually a thing.