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States That Ignore Energy Codes Could Be Making A Fatal Mistake

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Jan 2, 2017 1:27:41 PM

Wild variations in the jet stream are pushing colder air south, where homes are poorly insulated, and scientists say this may be the tip of the iceberg.

ONE OF THE GREAT PLEASURES of living in places such as North Carolina and Northern Florida is the temperate climate. I've lived in both places, each time in a cinder-block ranch with no insulation, aluminum window frames and central air conditioning and baseboard electric radiators. The Florida home even had jalousied windows, little more than a translucent shutter system. But that was 20 years ago. And things are changing in a way that none of us could have anticipated. It's possible that much of the United States could be facing a "big chill."

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Building Codes: The Right Tool for Achieving our Climate Goals?

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Dec 22, 2016 9:18:01 AM

In a recent webinar, Building Codes Assistant Project (BCAP) President Maureen Guttman questioned whether building codes are effective when it comes to successfully reaching our energy efficiency and climate goals.

Building codes are a unique and complex animal, and their development is driven by a diverse spectrum of vested interests.  The recent 2018 code hearings exemplified how motley agendas could at least temporarily align to craft a middle-ground solution for a tough issue (namely, building envelope performance tradeoffs for onsite power production), setting an important precedent for cooperation, but certainly not realizing the gains that many sustainability professionals were hoping for.

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Video: Preparing for Climate Change in New England

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Dec 19, 2016 9:24:50 PM

This lecture by climate scientist Dr. Cameron Wake reviews recent climate data, and offers both a prognosis and possible mitigation options for cities in New England facing sea level rise and other major impacts.

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Sustainability: Transcending Politics

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Dec 15, 2016 12:18:26 PM

In preparing for our upcoming Sustainability Symposium 2017: Ready for Anything, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with a wide spectrum of professionals in the sustainability, energy efficiency, renewable energy, smart tech, and green building sectors from both sides of the aisle. Their overriding message: progress will continue.

One of the most exciting aspects of planning a big event is the opportunity to speak ahead of time with presenters and participants about the issues that are top of mind.  In planning for the Sustainability Symposium 2017: Ready for Anything, taking place on January 9 at the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts in Orlando, I’ve had the good fortune to speak with some of today’s visionary leaders and most passionate professionals in the sustainability sector.

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Trump’s Pick for EPA Head Deals Crippling Blow to the Environment

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Dec 8, 2016 10:45:44 AM

Sustainability professionals held out hope that the Trump administration wouldn’t be as bad for the planet as the campaign rhetoric promised. Unfortunately, the President-elect’s selection of Scott Pruitt, renowned climate change denier, for EPA head points to a grim and dirty future.

The verdict was still out about the Trump administration’s stance on climate change and environmental protection.  Trump told the New York Times in a recent interview that he was keeping an “open mind” to the Paris Agreement. He affirmed his belief that clean air and water are essential to maintaining our quality of life.  He even met with Al Gore earlier this week to discuss the topic of climate action.

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Six-Term Republican Mayor James Brainard Takes Climate Change Seriously, Just Like Presidents Reagan, Nixon and Ford Did

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Dec 6, 2016 11:52:24 AM

Once chosen as one of only four republicans on President Obama's 26-member task force on Climate Change, Brainard continues to challenge the GOP party line.

At a time when every day seems to bring more bad news about the impacts of global warming, James Brainard, the mayor of Carmel, Indiana, offers a serious, science-based perspective, in an atmosphere of politically motivated Climate Denial. Unlike most of his fellow republicans, Brainard sees Climate Change as a simple scientific fact, not a conspiracy or a subject of debatable inquiry.

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Sustainability Symposium: Final Day for Early Bird Discount

Posted by Ron Jones

Nov 30, 2016 4:56:30 PM

There is more to Orlando than theme parks and trade shows. Our upcoming Sustainability Symposium on January 9, 2017 provides an opportunity to be a part of the solution.

Hardly a week passes when I don’t receive one or more promotional messages inviting me to sign up for some industry event or another that promises groundbreaking opportunities to join my peers and “learn from the experts”. 

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Could Homes Made with Natural Materials Act as Carbon Sinks?

Posted by Luigi Serenelli, Guest Columnist

Nov 29, 2016 11:12:40 AM

Houses built with bio-based materials act as CO2 banks. Experts explain how citizens can become custodians of atmospheric carbon dioxide

DOMESTIC EFFORTS play an important role in curbing global warming. Besides producing and using renewables, homes can also act as banks that store CO2. This innovative building model exploits bio-based materials, such as timber, straw and hemp, which act as “carbon sequestrators.”

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Is Trump Taking a Step Toward Climate Action?

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Nov 23, 2016 8:01:16 AM

The President-elect seems to be shifting away from some of his hardest hitting campaign promises, including his threat to cancel the U.S.’s participation in the Paris Agreement, much to the delight of climate advocates. While the verdict about Trump’s sustainability polities is still out, mounting pressure from citizens, businesses, Mayors, and global leaders may be forcing Trump’s hand when it comes to the environment.

The President-elect seems to be shifting away from some of his hardest hitting campaign promises, including his threat to cancel the U.S.’s participation in the Paris Agreement, much to the delight of climate advocates.  While the verdict about Trump’s sustainability polities is still out, mounting pressure from citizens, businesses, Mayors, and global leaders may be forcing Trump’s hand when it comes to the environment.

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Orlando Climate Symposium Offers a Life Raft in a Sea of Climate Denialism

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Nov 17, 2016 11:20:59 AM

If we can talk about climate change, smart cities and saving the world’s oceans in Florida during Trump’s first month in office, there’s hope for the rest of the United States.

Many of my New England friends don’t like Florida.

They see it as sprawl-ridden den of fast-food joints, pawn shops and used car dealers. But as former Floridian, I love the sunshine state, despite (or perhaps because of) its many fault lines. You can’t generalize Florida. It’s a place of contradictory ideas and demographics, a microcosm of the United States, where residents self identify and settle by age, race, religious and ethnic orientation.

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A Choice of Progress

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Nov 10, 2016 11:38:01 AM

Given the results of the election, our sustainability work has become more important than ever. Now is the time for us to step up and fulfil our duty as a group of tireless change-makers that do not shy away from any kind of challenge—regardless of how daunting that task may seem at the moment.

The team at Green Builder Media, in partnership with friends and colleagues around the world, have worked assiduously for over a decade to affect positive change within and beyond the building industry.  With the Presidential election results, the urgency and significance of our work has increased exponentially.

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Scientists Warn Negative Emissions Are a ‘Moral Hazard’

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Oct 24, 2016 10:26:25 AM

Both negative emissions and drastic greenhouse gas pollution cuts are necessary in order to keep climate change in check.

Removing carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere to prevent global warming from becoming catastrophic may be a fool’s game amounting to a “moral hazard par excellence,” according to a paper published Thursday in the journal Science.

Nobody knows if atmospheric carbon removal — known as negative emissions — will work, and it could delay critical cuts to emissions while tacitly giving people license to pollute, the paper says.

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Climate News: A Trifecta of Global Agreements

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Oct 20, 2016 10:28:58 AM

It has been a good month for the climate, as countries from around the globe have signed three watershed climate change agreements.

Over the past few weeks, major steps have been taken to protect the environment and mitigate the effects of our changing climate.

Much to the relief of climate advocates around the world, the Paris Agreement has now been ratified by nearly 100 countries, representing almost 65% of global emissions, bringing the agreement into full legal force.  Through the agreement, 190 countries have pledged to limit global warming, reduce carbon emissions, adopt clean technologies, and assist poor countries that have been impacted by climate change. 

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