Experts consider U.S. energy policy

October 17, 2008

An old adage says there are two sides to every story; yesterday evening, a public forum on United States energy policy proved a caveat to that truth. Four expert panelists representing climate science, legislative policy, economics and industry spoke about the priorities they believe will best serve the next president.
Given the proximity to what many consider a critical election, the forum provided important background information and answers to the UW community and the general public.

Environmentalists Should Be Friends

May 29, 2008

Reporting by The New York Times about a recent battle between two neighbors in Sunnyvale, Calif., shows that some environmentalists aren’t friends. However, this doesn’t have to be the case.

One couple planted eight redwood trees that cast shadows on their neighbor’s rooftop solar panels. The owner of the panels brought the couple to court, prosecuting under the Solar Shade Act.

Judge Kurt Kumli of the Santa Clara County Superior Court ruled that no more than 10 percent of the panels could be cast in shade and ordered that the trees be pruned.

Biofuels Are Not The Way To Go

April 24, 2008

In the rush for energy independence, U.S. policy isn’t helping. Don’t get me wrong: I strongly believe that we need to stop using Arab oil for diplomatic reasons as well as environmental ones. But government policies put in place to combat the use of oil are hurting the United States and rest of the world more than they help.

Being “Green” Means Getting Back To Basics

April 23, 2008

Nowadays, you can purchase organic roses, chips cooked with solar energy, hemp milk, Earth-friendly chocolate and even composting toilets.

While purchasing such items, is not necessarily a bad idea, the health of the planet cannot depend on natural food store shopping aisles alone.

In other words, keep it simple. Buying a hybrid car makes a difference, but don’t forget the small (not to mention cheaper) ways to make a difference.

Fueling Green

April 22, 2008

Espresso Express looks like any other independent coffee place in Seattle. Behind a counter, an espresso machine steams milk for a nonfat, extra hot cappuccino and a stained microwave heats up an unusually large croissant. A glass display case holds a variety of baked goods begging to be eaten. At tables, people make use of the free Wi-Fi, checking their e-mail and surfing the Internet.

Customers stream in and out; some are regulars, some are just stopping for a quick pick-me-up, and others are paying to fill up their cars with biodiesel at the pump outside the café.

Seattle's plans for future shaped by climate change still in infancy

March 31, 2008

Climate change will make Washington a warmer and wetter place, even while shrinking the snow packs that supply us with drinking water and salmon with robust streams. In Seattle, scientists say, the future holds water -- and lots of it -- with the rising of Puget Sound.
The University of Washington's Climate Impacts Group, tapped by the state to lend its expertise to climate change policy, predicted in January that sea levels in Puget Sound could rise by as much as 50 inches by 2100.

Graduate Students And American Indian Tribes Work For Biofuel Solutions

March 14, 2008

Eight UW graduate students are working with local American Indian tribes on a research and education program about biofuels in the Bioresource-Based Energy for Sustainable Societies program.

Led by professors from the UW’s College of Engineering, College of Forest Resources and department of American Indian studies, the program approaches biofuels in a comprehensive curriculum.