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NASCAR vs. Leilani Münter: Who will Win?

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Feb 22, 2017 4:53:06 PM

If you’ve never heard of Leilani Münter, the beautiful and talented environmentalist race car driver, you’re missing out. Münter, the only carbon neutral NASCAR driver, uses her sport in the most unlikely way to promote climate action. Her mission is to completely revolutionize the racing industry, and given her powers of persuasion, I have no doubt that she’ll win.

Leilani Münter likens herself to a bumble bee, which for all practical (and physics-based) purposes, should never be able to fly.  Like the bumble bee, a young, female, biologist is an improbable race car driver, but, again like the bumble bee, Münter excels in her sport and in her advocacy through sheer persistence.  “No” is simply not in her lexicon.

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A Carbon Tax for All?

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Feb 16, 2017 11:25:08 AM

Climate change becomes depoliticized and common sense as a group of seasoned Republican leaders introduce a carbon tax designed to spur our economy and increase American competitiveness.

We’ve reached the point of no return—the moment in time that sustainability professionals from both sides of the aisle have been fighting for—when elected officials from both parties agree that we need to address the threats posed by our changing climate.

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Love in a Time of Chaos

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Feb 2, 2017 8:52:38 AM

In a time of great tumult, I have adopted one of Martin Luther King’s best quotes as my mantra: “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

I look at the world around me, and I see madness everywhere.  Fear is in the air.  A new level of hatred has been unleashed. 

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The 71 Percent Solution to Climate Change

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Jan 27, 2017 5:02:13 PM

If you think America is destined for a return to blackened skies and foul waters, you haven’t read the fine print. Progress is here to stay.

A new survey of U.S. attitudes arrived on my desktop from the ReportLinker.com search engine. The survey found that more than three-fourths of U.S. citizens agree that human activity is the main cause of climate change. Just as importantly, more than two-thirds are worried about air pollution and water pollution. Many other environmental issues also concern them.

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Pipelines, Pipedreams, and Politics: What’s at Stake?

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Jan 26, 2017 9:31:53 AM

President Trump’s methodical dismantling of environmental regulations and myopic attempt to revive controversial pipelines is based on ‘Alternative Facts’ that will, ultimately, hurt the American people.

Since the day he set foot in the Oval Office, President Trump has pledged allegiance to the fossil fuel industry, putting on a characteristically gaudy show of shredding environmental regulations, fast-tracking the construction of the Keystone and Dakota pipelines, and abandoning climate action.

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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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