Google On Why Renewable Energy Is On The Way, and Lubicon Cree On Why It’s Needed

Google is putting its substantial money where its mouth is on new energy technologies. From New Energy News:

When the story of this moment in history is told, it will be about the huge numbers of people in emerging economies coming out of poverty and the transition to New Energy that will make that emergence possible without further eroding the ecosystem and climate. An important part of that story may be Google’s role in facilitating the U.S. New Energy economy.

Google has recently invested
[1] $280 million in SolarCity for rooftop solar financing,
[2] $100 million in Oregon’s 845 megawatt Shepherd’s Flat project, the world’s largest wind farm,
[3] $38.8 million in 169.5 megawatts of North Dakota wind,
[4] power purchase agreements (PPAs) it access to 114 megawatts from an Iowa wind farm and 100 megawatts from a wind farm now under construction in Oklahoma,
[5] $168 million in a BrightSource Energy solar power plant now under construction, [6] $5 million in a solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Germany,
[7] over $100 million in California wind farms,
[8] one-third of the $6 billion for Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC), a transmission backbone system for offshore wind along the eastern seaboard, and
[9] in 9 or more ventures in startups, including ActaCell (batteries), Aptera (electric vehicles), Next Autoworks (advanced efficiency carmaker), Alta Rock (geothermal producer), RelayRides (car sharing), WeatherBill (weather insurance), Silver Spring Networks (smart grid technologies), Cool Planet Biofuels (next generation biofuels), Transphorm (power conversion).

And the corporation continues to invest in energy efficiency implementation at its data centers and in cutting edge advanced New Energy ventures.

Rick Needham, one of the Google execs leading the charge, recently told NewEnergyNews the company intends to show its business community peers that New Energy is as economically practical as it is environmentally sound.  Click here to read the full article.

Here is a photo essay on why it is so important to move towards clean, renewable energy – for the Lubicon Cree in Northern Alberta, and for all of us:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz3nSscXamI]

More links:

Today’s Study: Google On Why Renewable Energy Is On The Way

Google.org: The Impact Of Clean Energy Innovation

Tar Sands Action

What If Everything Ran On Gas? Or What If Everything Didn’t?

A new Nissan LEAF ad poses the questions “What if everything ran on gas?” and “Then again, what if everything didn’t?”  Check it out:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0sCCJFkEbE]

*thanks to my wonderful husband Mark for sending me this link*

More links:

Nissan LEAF Ad: If Gas Powered Everything: Clean Tech News and Analysis

Addressing Climate Change Requires Reclaiming Our Creativity That’s Been “Strip-Mined” By Our Education

Our children’s future, we now know, will include the effects of a warming planet, although how much the planet will warm depends on all of us right now.  This different planet,  “Eaarth”, as Bill McKibbon points out, will require the best of human ingenuity and creativity to help humans change and adapt.

In the video below, Sir Ken Robinson speaks at the 2006 TED Conference about whether schools kill creativity.  Robinson is a former professor of arts education at the University of Warwick who has written a number of books on the subject, including “Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative” and “Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything”.  It is an entertaining and profound presentation, and I hope you find 20 minutes to sit down and watch it.  Robinson concludes his talk with this admonition:

What I think it comes to is this: Al Gore spoke the other night about ecology and the revolution that was triggered by Rachel Carson. Our only hope for the future is to adopt a new conception of human ecology. One in which we start to reconstitute our conception of the richness of human capacity. Our education system has mined our minds the way we have strip-mined the earth; for a particular commodity. And for the future, it won’t service. We have to rethink the fundamental principles on which we are educating our children. There was a wonderful quote by Jonas Salk, who said, “If all the insects were to disappear from the earth, within 50 years all life on earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish.” And he’s right.

What TED celebrates is the gift of the human imagination. We have to be careful now that we use this gift wisely, and that we avert some of the scenarios that we’ve talked about. And the only way we’ll do it is by seeing our creative capacities for the richness they are, and seeing our children for the hope that they are. And our task is to educate their whole being, so they can face this future — by the way, we may not see this future, but they will. And our job is to help them make something of it.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY]

More links:

Sir Ken Robinson’s Website

Written transcript of “Do Schools Kill Creativity?”

TED (Technology-Environment-Design) home: Ideas Worth Spreading

*Thanks to Joanne, from my Wednesday night Creative Writing class, for sharing this video*