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  • The Seattle project

    Courtesy Michael @ NW Lens via FlickrOn a wintery, gusty morning last Saturday, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn rode his bicycle down from his north-side home to a downtown architecture and design firm for a rather unmayoral event. Some 60 or 70 people had gathered for a daylong “unconference,” a loosely organized bring-your-own-lunch affair, to plot […]

  • Cities get rebuilt more often than you think

    When I hear folks like Alex Steffen talk about “remaking cities,” my gut reaction is that U.S. cities seem mostly permanent, like they’re already built and we’re stuck with them. (Quick reminder: The world’s cities cause 75 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions, according to several measures.) But then there’s this new slideshow at Slate, […]

  • DOE and EPA Agree to Make a Brighter Energy Star

    Last week the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Energy Star program. Who runs Energy Star, the extremely successful program for promoting efficient appliances, equipment, and buildings, and how they run it has been a point of tension between the agencies that are […]

  • Strategies to promote energy efficiency in buildings

    My colleague Nick Zigelbaum posted this on his NRDC Switchboard blog. Nick is NRDC’s lead advocate on California building policy and has worked extensively on efficiency policies in China. He’s a fellow engineer and his blog is a great resource for thoughts on California and all things building related. I developed the following graphic for a […]

  • Is this a green home?

    I’m thinking about reporting on this house as an example of sensible environmental design reproducible for the masses. Can anyone help me decide? This is a press release (emphasis mine): We handle parenting author, environmentalist, and “The Crafty Mom” Mary Lyon who recently built her 6,700 square foot spectacular “green” home in Brentwood, California. Below […]

  • Deliberate misinformation: Making saving money sound bad

    The enemies of energy efficiency have unveiled their new tactic to keep you from saving money and energy: they’re just going to tell you ridiculous lies and hope you believe them. It seems that because they have had a hard time weakening the money saving efficiency provisions in the American Clean Energy and Security Act […]

  • Lost in the shuffle: Some efficiency policies weakened in Waxman-Markey bill

    Last Friday, the House of Representatives passed a landmark climate and energy bill that would finally begin to address the climate crises and move us towards a rational energy policy in this country. There are many key efficiency provisions in the bill, including, Improved building energy codes Incentives for efficiency retrofits of existing buildings Incentives […]

  • Obama announces new efficiency initiatives as part of big clean-energy push

    President Barack Obama doesn’t think he can solve global warming by changing his f**king light bulbs, but he’s going to do it anyway. More importantly, he’s going to change the light-bulb industry. Obama unveiled new energy-efficiency standards for lighting and appliances on Monday — the latest in a string of energy-focused announcements and events for […]

  • Washington Post launches attack on clean energy and climate bill for promoting building efficiency

    Memo to Washington Post: Please, please trade editor Fred Hiatt to the Wall Street Journal editorial page where his penchant for allowing unfact-checked crap into the paper – and for writing it himself – would no longer hurt the reputation of a (once) great newspaper. There are lots of reasons for progressives and the progressive […]