Science parks, focusing on bolstering United States competitiveness

Thu, 18 Oct 2007 18:30:00 GMT

Creating the Solar Village

Thu, 18 Oct 2007 18:00:00 GMT

Student leaders in architecture and engineering from three universities at the US Solar Decathlon on the Mall discuss special features of their leading-edge, solar-powered houses and how their experience has helped shape their future as innovators. Participants are from the University of Colorado, Boulder – a two-time solar Decathlon winner, Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA) and the University of Maryland, College Park. Panel moderator is Bobbie Faul-Zeitler, editor of Green News Update and mentor to the University of Maryland team. Co-sponsored by the Smithsonian office of Energy Management.

At the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History at 10th Street & Constitution Ave. NW.

Effects of Climate Change on Energy Production and Use in the United States (Senate briefing)

Thu, 18 Oct 2007 17:00:00 GMT

On Thursday, October 18, 2007, the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) will hold a Senate briefing on the release of the third in a series of 21 reports to advance climate science research. Coordinated by the U.S Department of Energy (DOE), this Synthesis and Assessment Product report, numbered 4.5 and titled “Effects of Climate Change on Energy Production and Use in the United States,” summarizes what is known about potential effects of climate change on energy production and use in the United States.

  • Dr. William J. Brennan, Acting Director of the Climate Change Science Program
  • Dr. Jeffrey S. Amthor, DOE Office of Science, Coordinator of CCSP Report 4.5
  • Dr. Thomas J. Wilbanks, CCSP 4.5 Report Lead Author, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Energy and Global Warming Solutions for Vulnerable Communities

Thu, 18 Oct 2007 15:00:00 GMT

Martin Luther King III to Discuss Impact of Climate, Oil Dependence on “Vulnerable Communities”

Poor Areas Hit Hardest by Impacts Foreshadow World’s Possible Future

This Thursday Martin Luther King III and others will appear before Chairman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming to discuss how the impacts of global warming and oil dependence hit hardest on America and the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Many of the world’s poorest communities are also the ones most in danger from these twin challenges. Whether it is geographic location in low-lying areas, or rough economic conditions made even worse by unstable or high energy prices, or the severe health effects of a warming earth, global warming and oil dependence hit these communities hard. Witnesses will discuss these challenges, as well as the solutions available to these problems.


Structural changes that are taking place in the agricultural economy and their impacts

Thu, 18 Oct 2007 14:00:00 GMT

Black Carbon and Global Warming

Thu, 18 Oct 2007 14:00:00 GMT

On October 18, the Committee will hold a hearing to examine the role of black carbon as a factor in climate change and receive testimony from experts regarding its global and regional impacts, its sources, and the risks it raises for public health.

  • Dr. Mark Z. Jacobson, Prof. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Atmosphere/Energy Program, Stanford University
  • Dr. Tami C. Bond, Asst. Prof. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Dr. V. Ramanathan, Prof. of Climate and Atmospheric Sciences, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of San Diego
  • Dr. Charles Zender, Assoc. Prof. of Earth System Science, University of California at Irvine.
  • Dr. Joel Schwartz, Professor of Environmental Epidemiology, Harvard University

Solar Decathlon Showcases Green Homes for Today: How Energy Bill Provisions Can Support High-Performance Homes 2

Wed, 17 Oct 2007 17:00:00 GMT

Universidad de Puerto Rico house
© Jeff Kubina

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) invites you to a Congressional briefing featuring the Solar Decathlon and the value of incorporating high-performance “green” design in buildings. The briefing will also discuss how provisions in the pending energy bill can help improve efficient homes. Buildings account for more than 40 percent of annual U.S. energy use and are, in turn, responsible for more than one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Because buildings last many decades, the economic, environmental and health impacts of inefficient building design are long-lasting.

The Solar Decathlon-taking place on the National Mall October 12 – 20- is an exciting competition in which 20 teams of college and university students from across the country, including four international teams, compete to design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house. The house must also be able to power an electric vehicle as well as be “off the grid.” These solar homes are powerful, comfortable, and stylish. They are relaxed and elegant, wasting neither space nor energy. High efficiency solar houses like these are using readily available technology and designs-not futuristic concepts. But policies like stronger building codes and the solar provisions in the energy bill are essential in helping make our homes greener and much more efficient-saving both energy and money.

  • Rhone Resch, Executive Director, Solar Energy Industries Association
  • Dr. Kaye Brubaker, Associate Professor, University of Maryland
  • Bill Nesmith, Assistant Director for Conservation, Oregon Department of Energy
  • Lowell Ungar, Director of Policy, Alliance to Save Energy

In addition to discussing the Solar Decathlon, the briefing will address the role of codes and standards in building energy efficiency. Measures to promote increased residential building energy efficiency are included in the House energy bill HR 3221, Title IX, Sec. 9031. “Encouraging Stronger Building Codes.” The briefing panel will also discuss the solar provisions in the energy bill, including tax incentives for solar energy.

This briefing is open to the public and no reservations are required. For more information, please contact Fred Beck at [email protected] or 202.662.1892.

Disappearing Polar Bears and Permafrost: Is a Global Warming Tipping Point Embedded in the Ice?

Wed, 17 Oct 2007 14:00:00 GMT

On Wednesday, October 17, 2007, the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the impacts of global warming on the Arctic. This hearing will provide the Committee with an opportunity to hear from witnesses on three interrelated matters: (1) the current situation in the Arctic, including the situation facing the polar bear, (2) ways in which warming in the Arctic may accelerate global warming, especially through the emission of more greenhouse gases, and (3) interim steps that could be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while the Congress weighs more elaborate carbon trade or tax proposals.

One of the themes that should emerge from this hearing is that, from a layman’s perspective, the models used to project climate change and its ramifications appear to be conservative in their projections. This is because any phenomena that are not understood well enough to be represented in models with confidence are excluded. These other phenomena may accentuate or depress warming trends. In the case of the Arctic, most of the phenomena that have been excluded from the models are believed to accentuate warming and its effects. Few will depress it. The modeling on polar bear survival, for example, uses projections from the IPCC models to estimate future changes in sea ice extent. Since the bears’ condition is very dependent upon both the extent of the sea ice and the duration of ice-free periods, projections of the bear survival are very dependent upon projections of sea ice. This summer the sea ice extent is far less than projected by the models.

The Center for Biological Diversity will appear to provide some advice on steps that can be taken to reduce warming, with particular emphasis on their efficacy in the Arctic. Among the steps they advocate are programs to reduce methane emissions and “black carbon.” Black carbon is soot that, in the Arctic, has a particularly pernicious effect. When it is deposited on snow and ice it decreases its reflectivity and increases its heat absorption leading to greater melting. As the Arctic comes under more and more industrialization with other warming, one could anticipate further production of black carbon. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, with an estimated global warming potential 23 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 100-year time frame. Methane is a precursor to tropospheric ozone. In that form, it traps shortwave radiation as it enters the earth’s atmosphere from the sun and then when it is reflected back again by snow and ice. As a consequence, its impact is strongest over the poles. Reducing global methane emissions would provide a particular benefit to the Arctic.

  • Dr. Richard Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Geosciences
  • Dr. Glenn Juday, Professor, University of Alaska at Fairbanks, School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences
  • Dr. Sue Haseltine, Associate Director for Biology, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of Interior
  • Kassie R. Siegel, Director, Center for Biological Diversity, Climate, Air and Energy Program

EPA Approval of New Power Plants: Failure to Address Global Warming Pollutants

Wed, 17 Oct 2007 14:00:00 GMT

This hearing has been postponed.

Break Through Author Event

Fri, 12 Oct 2007 23:00:00 GMT

Nordhaus and Shellenberger, labeled “the bad boys of American environmentalism,” have expanded their 2004 seminal essay that incited a split among the Greens when they declared that climate-change advocates must discard outdated concepts and exhausted strategies so that a new vision can live.

Current tactics can’t solve today’ s complex global crises. The “bad boys of environmentalism” call for a bold and empowering new vision Environmental insiders Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus triggered a firestorm of controversy with their self-published essay “The Death of Environmentalism,” which argued that environmentalism cannot deal with global warming and should die so that a new politics can be born. Global warming is far more complex than past pollution problems, and American values have changed dramatically since the movement’ s greatest victories in the 1960s, but environmentalists keep fighting the same old battles. Seeing a connection between the failures of environmentalism and the failures of the entire left-leaning political agenda, the authors point the way toward an aspirational politics that will resonate with modern American values and be capable of tackling our most pressing challenges. In this eagerly awaited follow-up to the original essay, the authors give us an expansive and eloquent manifesto for political change. What Americans really want, and what could serve as the basis for a new politics, is a vision capable of inspiring us to greatness. Making the case for abandoning old categories (nature/market, left/right), the authors articulate a pragmatism fit for our times that has already found champions in such prominent figures as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. This book will hit the same nerve as What’s the Matter with Kansas and Don’ t Think of an Elephant. But its analysis will reshape American politics for decades to come.

Politics & Prose Bookstore 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW Washington, DC 20008

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