Sat Jan 16th, 2021 at 02:13:01 AM EST
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition, comprising 10 contests, that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy.
It's been going on since 2002 and has produced hundreds of model houses built by student teams from all over the world. This year they are doing a webinar series as well. Should be lots and lots of good information here.
Resilient Home 411: Strategies to Weather and Recover from Natural Disasters
Thursday, January 21, 2021, 1-2 p.m. E.T.
RSVP at https:/register.gotowebinar.com/register/1486122315339351051
Zero Energy Ready Homes: New and Growing Fast
Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 1-2 p.m. E.T.
RSVP at https:register.gotowebinar.com/register/2818488515646035216
The Future of Solar: A Tour of Cutting-Edge Solar Research with the U.S. Department of Energy
Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 1-2 p.m. E.T.
RSVP at https:register.gotowebinar.com/register/1202756178629245968
Solar Decathlon Build Challenge Team House Tour
Wednesday, April 28, 2021, 1-2 p.m. E.T.
RSVP at https:register.gotowebinar.com/register/2467358377853890320
More at https:cleantechnica.com/2021/01/11/register-today-for-resilient-home-411-next-solar-decathlon-virt
Mon Dec 28th, 2020 at 03:46:45 AM EST
"Second + Delaware is the largest Passive House building in the world, which means that it uses 80-90% less energy than conventional buildings"
Opening in October in Kansas City, Missouri
A blog about living in a self-designed shipping container tiny house which is completely self-sufficient in Australia
40 hectare "regenerative city" plan for Bergen, Norway
How Oslo plans to become a zero emissions city by 2030
Net Zero energy McDonald's
Snøhetta's Powerhouse Telemark will use 70% less energy than a conventional building of similar size and will produce more energy than it will require over its entire lifespan, including the energy used in construction and even during its eventual demolition in decades to come
In January, 2019 this list included
Trondheim, Norway's net energy positive building, Powerhouse Brattørkaia, "will generate more energy in its operational phase than it consumes through the production of buiding materials, construction, operation, and disposal of the building" or Snøhetta strikes again
Editorial Comment: Snøhetta is the standard for zero net energy, net zero energy design and construction, at least in my opinion.
Plan for UK's first carbon neutral "urban quarter"
The Green Gateway, a zero-emission, highly sustainable multimodal hub, is the winner for the 2020 Fentress Global Challenge (FGC), an annual global student design competition
Westwood Hills Nature Center in St. Louis Park, Minnesota with net-zero energy design
Net energy positive hotel for Bornholm Island, Denmark
Editorial Comment: Bornholm Island was the test-bed for the EU's Grid 2.0 project to determine how to mesh renewables with the existing grid and speed the renewable transition: http://www.eu-ecogrid.net
More on Bornholm and other near net zero island projects at http://solarray.blogspot.com/2017/09/crowd-funding-emergency-solar-electric.html
Redesigning Bellinzona, Switzerland through an "'eMergetic evaluation' concept that considers the entire building lifecycle to minimize the city's carbon footprint. The proposal also includes planned energy policy objectives with zero-emission targets, renewable energy systems and environmental monitoring."
Thu Dec 24th, 2020 at 04:38:21 AM EST
Over the past couple of weeks I've run across what might be a few really useful reports on the energy transition.
The Lancet is doing an annual climate countdown report to monitor our progress. Here is this year's edition: https:/www.lancetcountdown.org/2020-report
That should give us some idea of where we are and this particular finding jumped out
"Indicator 4.2.5: net value of fossil fuel subsidies and carbon prices--headline finding: 58 of the 75 countries reviewed were operating with a net negative carbon price in 2017. The resulting net loss of revenue was, in many cases, equivalent to substantial proportions of the national health budget...
"This indicator calculates net, economy- wide average carbon prices and associated net carbon revenue to government. The calculations are based on the value of overall fossil fuel subsidies, the revenue from carbon pricing mechanisms, and the total CO2 emissions of the economy. Data on fossil fuel subsidies are calculated on the basis of analysis from the IEA and OECD. Together, these sources cover 75 countries and account for around 92% of global CO2 emissions. Carbon prices and revenues are derived from data in the World Bank Carbon Pricing Dashboard (https:/carbonpricingdashboard.worldbank.org) [Corporate Carbon Accounting Market https:/cleantechnica.com/2020/11/30/the-corporate-carbon-accounting-market may also be useful here]
"Of the 75 countries, 61 (81%) countries in 2016 and 58 (77%) countries in 2017 had net negative carbon prices, and only 14 (19%) countries in 2016 and 17 (23%) countries in 2017 had a price higher than zero, a result of substantial subsidies for fossil fuel production and consumption (figure 25). The median net carbon revenue was negative, a pay-out of $0·66 billion (IQR -0·04 to -3·48), with some countries providing net fossil fuel subsidies in the tens of billions of dollars each year. In many cases, these subsidies were equivalent to substantial proportions of the national health budget--more than 100% in eight of the 75 countries in 2017. Of the 38 countries that had formal carbon pricing mechanisms in place in 2017, 21 still had net negative carbon prices."
An historical perspective is available with an interactive diagram of the Energy Transitions in U.S. History, 1800-2019 (https:/us-sankey.rcc.uchicago.edu), extremely fine work which maps the transitions from biomass to coal to oil to gas to nuclear to renewables. The supporting paper is at https:static1.squarespace.com/static/54dcfad0e4b0eaff5e0068bf/t/5fbeba6ffa04221c71019ccc/160633509
McKinsey has just released a report on How the EU Could Achieve Zero Emissions at Net Zero Cost (https:www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability/our-insights/how-the-european-union-could
-achieve-net-zero-emissions-at-net-zero-cost#) and there are two new studies for the USA:
Net-Zero America: Potential Pathways, Infrastructure, and Impacts
and two US renewable energy policy scenaria, administrative action alone doubling renewables by 2030 and 50% renewables by 2030, from Wood Mackenzie (https:www.woodmac.com/our-expertise/focus/Power--Renewables/us-renewable-energy-policy-scenario-an
The Sierra Club also has a paper on how they are approaching "Climate Resilience, Carbon Dioxide Removal, and Geoengineering Policy"
Thu Dec 10th, 2020 at 04:07:45 AM EST
Biomimicry Restoration: Healthy Oysters for Healthy Coasts, Oceans and Climate
Monday, December 14, 2020, from 5 - 6 p.m. EDT
Register for free at https:/wgbh.zoom.us/webinar/register/1016072887368/WN_mUknppwnTi-Qy97BCNlGbQ?blm_aid=25138
Biodiversity for a Livable Climate, in partnership with the GBH Forum Network, is honored to present Marine Biologist Anamarija Frankić speaking about the role of oyster habitat restoration in creating healthy living coastlines, oceans, and humans.
Globally, oyster habitats are the most degraded habitats among coastal systems, with the loss of 99% in the last 150 years. These 350 million years old keystone species and their natural keystone habitats are at the brink of total collapse due to intensive human industrial harvesting and pollution of coastal areas. Science has acknowledged the ecological value of oyster habitats and their importance to coastal health and protection. We now know that oyster habitats used to embrace coasts of all continents, protecting them and supporting life and water quality, often growing up to 10 cm/year. How can we best work with nature and help restore species, habitats and natural systems? This presentation will address the biomimicry approach for oyster habitat restoration locally and globally in order to recover marine health and resiliency.
I've followed Anamarija Frankić's projects in Boston Harbor for years now. She is doing the work and blazing the trail. She's also a very good teacher and researcher well worth listening to.
This event is part of the Life Saves the Planet lecture series, from Biodiversity for a Livable Climate and and GBH, the local PBS operation. Biodiversity for a Livable Climate (https:bio4climate.org) has been organizing important conferences on the many different aspects of geotherapy, using ecological systems to repair the damage homo sap sap (that sap) has done. You can access their conference proceedings at https:/bio4climate.org/conferences It is good to see that they have begun collaborating with GBH.
A foundational text on geotherapeutic principles is Geotherapy: Innovative Methods of Soil Fertility Restoration, Carbon Sequestration, and Reversing CO2 Increase (https:/www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9780429168901) which has made me believe it is possible to reduce atmospheric carbon to preindustrial levels (about 270 ppm) by the end of the century if we did everything we know how to do simply with SOIL consistently and globally with practices that work from flowerpot to thousand hectares scales.
Another is Healing Earth: An Ecologist's Journey of Innovation and Environmental Stewardship (Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2019 ISBN 9781623172985) (https:www.northatlanticbooks.com/shop/healing-earth) in which John Todd shares the lessons he's learned over a lifetime of building, rebuilding, and repairing ecosystems, demonstrably healing portions of the Earth.
We remain alert so as not to get run down, but it turns out you only have to hop a few feet to one side and the whole huge machinery rolls by, not seeing you at all.
Quite clearly, our task is predominantly metaphysical, for it is how to get all of humanity to educate itself swiftly enough to generate spontaneous behaviors tha will avoid extinction.
R. Buckminster Fuller
the war that matters is the war against the imagination
all other wars are subsumed in it.
Diane di Prima
Sun Nov 15th, 2020 at 10:15:00 PM EST
"Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, which is the only fact we have."
from The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
"Chapter & Verse: The Gospel of James Baldwin is a 21st century ritual tool kit for justice. A call for revolution. A gift during turbulent times" created by Meshell Ndegeocello and Charlotte Brathwaite
My notes to Baldwin's Collected Essays
Notes to The Fire Next Time and Nothing Personal, Balwin's collaboration with his DeWitt Clinton HS schoolmate, the photographer Richard Avedon
Perhaps Baldwin's "human trouble" can become John Lewis' "Make good trouble."
I like to think I make my way through life getting into good human trouble.
But I could always be wrong.
Thu Oct 15th, 2020 at 05:04:00 PM EST
Map of the public access fruit trees of Toronto
Green transformation for a railway yard in St Petersburg, Russia
Self-sufficient skyscraper proposed for NYC
Harrisburg, PA from abandoned school to urban eco-village, including indoor food production
hat tip Media Diet: http://tinyurl.com/joinmediadiet
SUPERVERDE - urban greening modules
The Kitchen Farming Project - unemployed line cooks (and the public) invited to garden and build a new food future
Everybody Eats - a food relief program in Brattleboro, VT leverages CARES Act funds to engage local restaurants in making to-go meals for anyone in Brattleboro, Guilford, Vernon, Dummerston, or Putney who has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis due to unemployment, underemployment, homelessness, or other challenges. Over 10,000 meals will be distributed in the month of August, with nine Brattleboro restaurants providing a total of 650 meals per day for at least four weeks.
Paris encourages all citizens to become urban gardeners
World's biggest rooftop greenhouse opens in Montreal
Asia's largest organic rooftop farm spans 236,806 square feet, can provide up to 80,000 meals (20 tons of organic food), and grows more than 40 edible species of crops, including rice, indigenous vegetables, fruit trees and herbs
Vertical forest goes wild in Chengdu, China
Resourcing an Agroecological Urbanism: Political, Transformational and Territorial Dimensions by Chiara Tornaghi, Michiel Dehaene
PS: All previous editions of City Agriculture are available at http://cityag.blogspot.com
PPS: I would have a lot more respect for Extinction Rebellion, 350.org, Mothers Out Front, Fridays for the Future, Sunrise Movement... if they spent more time publicly on these kinds of activities which have immediate practical applications in reducing the effects of climate chaos, build community, and are a necessary step in speeding the transition to an ecologically logical future.
Thu Aug 27th, 2020 at 04:02:50 AM EST
The Laney College Carpentry Department in Oakland, California built a net zero tiny house, the Wedge, in 2016 for the SMUD Net Zero Tiny House Competition
That tiny house is for sale for
Laney College carpenters are currently building two other prototypes tiny houses, the Pocket House, for the unhoused and homeless in Oakland
The Northern Nomad is another net zero tiny home designed and built by a group of students from Carleton University in Canada as this video from 2019 shows:
Northern Nomad Tiny House
Reading Design Guidelines for a Net Zero Tiny House (https:tinyhousedesign.com/design-guidelines-for-a-net-zero-tiny-house) and Guide to Off-Grid Tiny Houses (https://gosun.co/blogs/news/guide-to-an-off-grid-tiny-house), the core idea seems to be energy efficiency first, last, and always: the less energy you use the easier it becomes to supply it with renewables onsite.
That core idea of energy efficiency applies to all houses, not just tiny houses.
Tue Aug 11th, 2020 at 08:30:28 PM EST
Santa Monica civic building will produce net positive energy and going for full Living Building challenge certification
An affordable Passive House development that's "aggressively green"
A ski chalet in Utah which will be a net-positive energy building, generating 364% more power than it needs
Link City - proposed self-sustainable city-forest, using an urban operating system with an AI (Artificial Intelligence)
Park Avenue Green - affordable passive house apartment building in the South Bronx, the largest passive house development in North America
Wellesley College Global Flora greenhouse "exceeds the Net Zero Water & Energy requirements of the Living Building Challenge, the world's most rigorous certification of sustainable construction."
Energy neutral school in Utrecht
AI to identify energy wasting homes
Watthome, an earlier version: http://www.ecs.umass.edu/~irwin/watthome.pdf
Arctic Nordic Alpine - Exhibation on Snøhetta's work including Hotel Svart in Svartisen, the Arctic World Archive Visitor Center in Svalbard Island, and the Museum Quarter in Bolzano
hat tip to Heath Row's Media Diet: http://tinyurl.com/joinmediadiet
Orford Mews - energy-positive, carbon positive, zero construction waste nine-unit development planned for London
Moonstone House - test bed for energy efficiency started in 2002 is still evolving
Self-sufficient skyscraper proposed for NYC
Wed Aug 5th, 2020 at 03:20:14 AM EST
After the 2000 election of hanging chads and Bush v Gore and a totally non-precedential Presidential decision by the Supremes, I discovered that the Caltech/MIT Electronic Voting Project (https:/www.vote.caltech.edu) met sometime at MIT in Cambridge, MA where I live. So I went to a few of the open meetings.
It was an interesting process. Here were all these technical people not only computer people but also sociologists and user-interface psychologists and such looking at the very complicated way the USA registers people to vote, votes, and counts the votes. What I gathered then was that optical scanners with paper ballots are probably the most nearly accurate way to make sure that the votes are counted accurately and accountably. From what I gather now, it still is.
Millions of tax dollars have been spent on voting since 2000 but I tend to think it's at least as bad and probably worse all these 20 years later.
The Brennan Center Defend Our Elections Program (https:www.brennancenter.org/issues/defend-our-elections) is working on election defense and you can find out much more about the issues around election protection at the Fair Elections Center (https:www.fairelectionscenter.org)
In these days of COVID19, poll workers will be needed. Power the Polls (http://powerthepolls.org) and Work Elections (https:www.workelections.com) will point you in the right direction if you want to help out with the nuts and bolts of democracy.
In my neighborhood, Swing Left Boston is organizing voter protection in swing states (https:swingleftboston.org/sign-up-for-voter-protection-2) if you want to become a partisan poll watcher instead of a poll worker.
Vote, yes vote but make sure your vote is counted accurately, honestly, and verifiably. As the saying goes, "It's not the people who vote that count, it's the people who count the votes."
Sun Jul 26th, 2020 at 12:19:45 AM EST
I've thought from the beginning that Trmp et alia are performing a Mafia bust-out on a national scale. Nothing is beneath them. It's all "Fck you, pay me," as this clip from "Goodfellas" points out.
What's a bust out?
Definition: A forced bankruptcy of a person or an organization, usually through theft, fraud or extortion.
Once you get into business with a mobster, they take over. They exploit the business, run it into the ground, and then torch it for the insurance.
This is exactly what Trmp et alia are doing. Everything is a profit center, an opportunity to grift some graft, and wet the beak. It is why I would not be at all surprised to find out, someday down the road, that Trmp et alia were getting kickbacks on PPE and anything else that can put a buck in their pockets.
Mon Jul 20th, 2020 at 07:56:11 PM EST
I've been publishing a free weekly listing of Energy (and Other) Events around Cambridge, MA for more than a decade as a listserv and a webpage (http://hubevents.blogspot.com). It covers public events in the community and in the local universities. I generally look at Harvard, MIT, BU, Northeastern, and Tufts, all of which have events to which the public is invited although they rarely know it. Since, in these days of quarantine, everything has migrated online, I've been finding online events from far beyond the Boston/Cambridge area.
These following events in the next week should give anyone a good idea of what the response to climate is among those Republicans and conservatiives who admit that climate change is happening. There might be some opportunities for agreement. Or not.
Still, it's good to know what the opposition (loyal or not) is thinking.
Technology, Markets and Bipartisanship: The Future of Climate Action
Tuesday, July 21
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
RSVP at https:/www.eventbrite.com/e/technology-markets-and-bipartisanship-the-future-of-climate-action-tick
Benji Backer, president of the American Conservation Coalition.
We're living in a partisan times, but climate change won't wait for the next election cycle. More and more young people are looking beyond traditional political boundaries for solutions to the environmental challenges facing us all. These solutions must reach across industries, parties and ideological divides to achieve meaningful change.
Join us Tuesday, July 21, at noon CDT for a special lunchtime conversation with Benji Backer, president of the American Conservation Coalition. Benji will talk about his politically conservative approach to environmental activism and introduce the American Climate Contract, a nonpartisan, holistic set of commitments to solve the climate crisis.
Title: "American Climate Contract: Environmental Action Beyond Partisan Politics"
Location: Zoom link to be provided to registrants
CRES Forum Event: How do conservatives plan to tackle climate change?
Thursday, July 23
Noon - 1.00 PM (EDT)
RSVP at https:www.eventbrite.com/e/cres-forum-event-how-do-conservatives-plan-to-tackle-climate-change-tic
Join CRES Forum for a discussion of immediate opportunities and actionable policies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
It has been a busy year for climate policy. At the start of 2020 the first batch of Republican climate bills were introduced in the House. We have seen growing support for energy innovation, energy infrastructure and clean energy jobs as critical to America's economic recovery. Last month, we saw the introduction of the bipartisan bicameral Growing Climate Solutions Act. But, most recently, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released the Democratic Majority's staff report, which drew criticism for a lack of bipartisanship.
Join CRES Forum for a discussion of immediate opportunities and actionable policies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Dave Banks | Chief Strategist for the Minority, House Select Committee on Climate Change
Christopher Guith | Senior Vice President, US Chamber of Commerce Global Energy Institute
Devin Hartman | Director of Energy and Environmental Policy, R Street Institute
Mary Beth Tung | Director, Maryland Energy Administration
MODERATOR: Charles Hernick | Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, CRES Forum
Putting Principles First: Climate Change & Environmental Policy
Thursday, July 23
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM EDT
RSVP at https:www.eventbrite.com/e/putting-principles-first-climate-change-environmental-policy-tickets-11
Join us for a discussion with former Congressman Bob Inglis (R-SC) of republicEn about a principled approach to climate change.
We are delighted to welcome former Congressman Bob Inglis (R-SC) of republicEn for a Principles First discussion about new approaches to combating climate change and protecting our environment. We will hear from Mr. Inglis, engage in an open dialogue, and then reserve 30 minutes at the end of the meeting for other Principles First updates and topics.
The gathering will be hosted over Zoom and video conference details will be sent to all registrants prior to the event.
As always, all are welcome to join us.
About Bob Inglis
Bob Inglis launched the Energy and Enterprise Initiative ("E&EI") at George Mason University in July 2012 and serves as executive director, where he promotes free enterprise action on climate change.
For his work on climate change Inglis was given the 2015 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. He appears in the film Merchants of Doubt and in the Showtime series YEARS of Living Dangerously, and he's spoken at TEDxBeacon Street and at TEDxJacksonville.
Inglis was a Resident Fellow at Harvard University's Institute of Politics in 2011, a Visiting Energy Fellow at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment in 2012, and a Resident Fellow at the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics in 2014.
Bob was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1992, having never run for office before. He represented Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina, from 1993-1998. In 2004, he was re-elected to Congress and served until losing re-election in the South Carolina Republican primary of 2010.
Editorial Comment: I enjoy the fact that the Right tends to believe they are the only ones with principles, however defined.
Tom Friedman: The "Trump Effect" on Foreign and Climate Policy
Wednesday, July 29
8:00 PM - 9:00 PM EDT
RSVP at https:/www.eventbrite.com/e/tom-friedman-the-trump-effect-on-foreign-and-climate-policy-tickets-109
Tom Friedman will share his thoughts and engage in dialogue on Trump and how they have impacted the world politic and climate change.
Tom Friedman is an American political commentator and best-selling author. He is a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner who is a weekly columnist for The New York Times. He has written extensively on foreign affairs, global trade, the Middle East, globalization, and environmental issues.
Editorial Comment: I include Tom Friedman because he may not be of the Right but he certainly has been someone who has supported Rightwing positions.
Wed Jul 8th, 2020 at 08:51:53 PM EST
Montreal plans a biodiversity corridor through the city
Singapore's EDEN apartments finished - 20 storeys built around gardens
Babylon Bridge - a proposed multi-storey garden and pedestrian bridge for Paris
Citizen scientist finds 573 species in his Cambridge, UK "ordinary-sized" city garden
hat tip: boingboing.net
Guerrilla Grafters - "grafting fruit-producing limbs onto sterile urban trees, specifically bred not to bear fruit"
Victoria, BC distributes vegetable seedlings for free
Paris' Saint Gobains tower has gardens on all floors
Wellesley College Global Flora greenhouse "exceeds the Net Zero Water & Energy requirements of the Living Building Challenge, the world's most rigorous certification of sustainable construction."
Amsterdam's worm hotels
https:wormenhotel.nl - in Dutch but pictures!
Urban Agriculture and Climate Change: "The New Normal"
Thursday, July 9 (through August 20)
RSVP at https:/www.eventbrite.com/e/urban-agriculture-and-climate-change-the-new-normal-tickets-11020606530
Join Instructor Mason Trappio to gain an understanding of how climate change affects the urban farmer and the growth of new crops.
This course informs the urban and peri-urban farmer about how climate change affects them and provides strategies for how to successfully adapt.
Length of Course: 1 hour
July 9, 2020
July 23, 2020
August 6, 2020
August 20, 2020
Course Fees: Free
Our growing environments are affected, to varing degrees, by climate change. Increased temperatures, greenhouse emissions, and insect populations all challenge our farming operations. In this course, you will gain an understanding of how climate change affects the urban farmer, and new crops to grow in this New Normal.
Credentials Earned: This a noncredit stand-alone course.
What You Will Learn:
How climate change can impact farming operations
How to use cover crops to mitigate climate change
How to use climate-smart crops in the face of climate change
Who should participate? Anyone can participate
Registration Information: TBA
Course Instructor: Mason Trappio
For further information about the course, please contact course instructor Mason Trappio directly at email@example.com, or Director of the Center for Urban Agriculture and Gardening Education, Che Axum, directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mon Jun 29th, 2020 at 08:35:19 PM EST
I've been publishing a free weekly listing of Energy (and Other) Events around Cambridge, MA for more than a decade as a listserv and a webpage (http://hubevents.blogspot.com). It covers public events in the community and in the local universities. I generally look at Harvard, MIT, BU, Northeastern, and Tufts, all of which have events to which the public is invited although they rarely know it.
Since, in these days of quarantine, everything has migrated online, I've been finding online events from far beyond the Boston/Cambridge area. Over the next weeks, you can attend a discussion of a new book on the future of energy in Africa, hear from the executive director of the International Energy Agency, Dr. Fatih Birol, economists Joseph Stiglitz and Nicholas Stern together, climate scientist Dr Michael Mann, and energy expert Mark Z Jacobson. The events from London Climate Action Week (https://www.londonclimateactionweek.org/events) on July 1 - 3 alone could provide a wealth of information.
How much of this online and thus global networking will continue and change the nature of international conversations after the quarantine ceases? We'll find out. Right now, I'm just collecting and distributing as much of these international possibilities as this one person can. I thought, when I began my weekly listings service, that it would evolve into a public listing of all the public events at all the local colleges and universities, which in the Boston area is significant.
Unfortunately, I've not found anyone interested in that possibility. Now I think about a global online event listing for climate and energy and environmental issues. Judging from the past, I doubt anyone else is interested in that possibility either but I'll put it out there anyway and continue to do what I do anyway.
Stay safe, be well.
Sun Jun 28th, 2020 at 03:39:28 AM EST
The most important jigsaw puzzle right now is how the CoV-2 spike, a 3 part structure, attaches to the human ACE2 protein through which it enters the cells of our bodies. That is the microscopic gap in our defenses.
When we understand that, we can figure out how to stop this pandemic. Right at the source.
Here are some explanations of the infection process:
A more detailed animation of the spike/receptor interaction
FoldIt (https:/fold.it), the citizen science crowdsourcing protein folding site which has been around for over a decade, is currently hosting a series of CoV-2 protein folding puzzles.
Here's their latest report
Tue May 5th, 2020 at 02:39:01 AM EST
On Tuesday, April 28, I attended an online seminar on (USA) Energy and COVID19 organized by the Harvard Undergraduate Clean Energy Group (https:/www.huceg.org) with Scott S. Nyquist and Luciano Di Fiori both of the consulting firm McKinsey and Company. I've heard Scott Nyquist speak on energy a few times over the years, usually at MIT, and have found him to be informative even though our perspectives are very different.
The COVID19 scenaria McKinsey is examining now include
Virus contained -- based upon China's 6-8 week shutdown
Vaccine -- 12 - 18 months away plus the time it takes to innoculate the world population (at least another 12 - 18 months), similar to the expectation author Laurie Garrett reported to Frank Bruni in the NYTimes over the last few days
Waves -- there will almost certainly be a second wave of COVID19 and possibly multiple waves until we have a vaccine.
In terms of energy, liquid fuels demand will take 2 -- 4 years to recover; gasoline use is estimated to decrease 60% under lockdown; natural gas is down 5-10%. There will be excess supply and dropping prices which means that fracking will become even less economic (a conclusion I draw which Nyquist and Di Fiori did not offer). Global oil products demand will be down 6.7 -13.0 million barrels per day pushing refinery levels and margins to historically low levels and LNG [liquid natural gas] may take 5-7 years to come back to stable prices, lower with occasional flare ups of higher prices as things equalize. McKinsey expects no long-term consequences to demand, but is monitoring for changes. I don't agree with McKinsey about no long-term changes in demand.
Electric power demand is down 3-5% and peak load down by 18-24%. Electricity peak times and amounts have changed due to more people staying at home, primarily from increased air conditioning.
The airline business is down to 20% of its former business and will take a long time to come back. Cruise lines are in an even worse position with worse projections for the future.
GDP growth is going to be negative for about 2 years and then come back but to 2019 levels, at best.
There may be a very cautious consumer culture, as after the Depression, coming out of the pandemic. The frugality imposed by the Great Depression affected all the generations that lived through it for decades afterwards.
Economic growth may be much slower after this. Companies will be less likely to hold debt and become very cash conscious.
Nyquist believes that governments will be much better prepared for the next pandemic but "we have to pay for this" and government debt will be much higher. I do not have as much confidence as Nyquist does in the future preparations of any government in the USA but will be happy to be proved wrong.
Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 03:42:38 AM EST
Iceland has been testing its population for COVID19 probably more than any other country:
"The latest [April 6, 2020] figures on covid.is (https:/www.covid.is) show that a total of 1,486 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Iceland, while 428 people have recovered [5 deaths, 38 patients in hospital]. A total of 25,394 samples have been analyzed [6.97% in a population of 364,134]."
deCODE Genetics, a subsidiary of Amgen, is doing the testing of those in the general population who volunteer while the Icelandic health system is testing those who present symptoms.
In the general population, deCODE has found about 0.9% tested positive for COVID19. They have also sequenced every single positive case of the virus in Iceland. "What is interesting is that there is a string of mutations that is fairly specific for Austria, another for Italy, a third for England, a fourth for the west coast of the United States. Because we are sequencing the virus from everyone who tests positive in Iceland, we can basically determine the geographic origin of the virus in everyone who gets infected. And that is of help when it comes to tracking the infection, when you want to figure out how it moves through society, because you can determine whether people have gotten infected from the same individual by just sequencing the virus, and in that way place it in the context of how the mutation moves," said deCODE CEO Dr. Kári Stefánsson (https:/www.icelandreview.com/sci-tech/icelands-coronavirus-testing-global-pandemic-response).
Stefánsson continued, "If you think about it, this epidemic is probably the biggest threat mankind has faced in a very long time. You have a virus that is spreading very rapidly all over the world, and because it has spread so widely, there is an enormous accumulation of mutations, in spite of having a lower mutation rate than many other viruses. And these mutations can potentially end up creating a virus that is even more lethal than the one we have now. So it is incredibly important to contain the epidemic as soon as possible to diminish the probability that this will happen."
"There is also another thing: every year there is a new flu vaccine developed because the influenza virus is mutating and is getting around the immunity of the year before. The same thing could happen with this virus. There are so many ways in which this story could end, and it's very important for us as a species to try to have an influence on the way in which it ends. So I think we should do everything in our power to contain it, to understand it, and try to prevent it from coming again,"
More than two-thirds of the adult population of Iceland was already participating in the deCODE's research efforts as of 2019 so the company will be able to screen people's reaction to COVID19 coronavirus based upon their genetics. "Those data could prove crucial to the very survival of our species, says Kári."
That's testing. Iceland is also working hard on contact tracing, to identify the transmission chain from person to person. They have just released a new app, Rakning C-19, and as of midnight Saturday, April 4, 2020, 108,000 people had already downloaded it.
Iceland, I suspect, will be very important in the coming months.
Mon Apr 6th, 2020 at 02:31:40 AM EST
Northeast Regional Agriculture and COVID19
Wednesday, April 8
1:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
RSVP at https:/zoom.us/meeting/register/uJ0tcuihrT8ouZJuXnaDemygSBJUTBFyFQ
Maine Farmland Trust and NESAWG will be hosting a zoom conversation next Wednesday, April 8th, at 1 PM to discuss state-level best practices from around the northeast region and to share strategies for policy responses to COVID-19.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Indicate in the 'questions and comments' field if you have a particular area of state policy you'd like to dive into for this conversation. We will be breaking out into topical breakout groups during the call.
Northeast COVID&Ag State Policy resources
COVID-19 Municipal food access policies
...the Healthy Food Policy Project's COVID-19 municipal food access policy index (https:healthyfoodpolicyproject.org/resources/index-of-local-government-policies-for-to-support-foo
d-access-during-the-covid-19-pandemic)... provides examples of policy solutions that keep communities fed and nourished during the pandemic. I hope you find it useful, and encourage you to share it widely.
We will continue to build out the index over the next few weeks. If you have examples of other municipal emergency food access policies (ordinances, resolutions, codified laws, and administrative policies passed by city and county governments) that the Healthy Food Policy Project team should consider including, please submit them through the "suggest a policy" button on the page linked above.
The Healthy Food Policy Project (https:/healthyfoodpolicyproject.org) is a collaborative effort by the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School, UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, and the Public Health Law Center at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. The Project is funded by the National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Molly McDonough (email@example.com)
Environmental Communications Specialist
Center for Agriculture and Food Systems
Vermont Law School, 164 Chelsea Street, South Royalton, VT
T: 802-831-1304 | Office: Debevoise 209
Fri Apr 3rd, 2020 at 12:32:30 AM EST
"You could say that civil society is what unimpaired mutual aid creates; or that civil society is the condition and mutual aid the activity that produces it." - Rebecca Solnit, from A Paradise Built in Hell
[my notes at http://hubeventsnotes.blogspot.com/2016/07/notes-on-rebecca-solnits-paradise-built.html
Mutual Aid Networks
Mutual Aid & Social Capital: The Power of Communities, Networks from Howard Rheingold, based upon the syllabus of a course he used to teach at Stanford on social media and including recent links to mutual aid networks forming to deal with Covid19 (which he will update)
More national links
Intellihelp group from Facebook - only ask and give posts
Autonomous Groups Mobilizing Mutual Aid Initiatives
https:docs.google.com/document/d/1j8ADhLEuKNDZ1a_opmzudywJPKMXcNKu01V1xY2MiIA/edit - how to neighborhood pod
https:docs.google.com/document/d/1-QfMn1DE6ymhKZMpXN1LQvD6Sy_HSnnCK6gTO7ZLFrE/mobilebasic - pod mapping for mutual aid
While at Home - Stay up to date on tools, resources, and supports made necessary during this time. #WhileAtHome is a clearinghouse for credible information and action steps. Bobak Emamian, DeRay Mckesson, William Donahoe, Chris Meyers, Nicky Chulo, Pawel Piekarski, Frank Chi, Nicholas Fulstra & Maestra.
"Foldit is a revolutionary crowdsourcing computer game enabling you to contribute to important scientific research" through playing through the possibilities of protein folding.
Here are some of the current Coronavirus puzzles interested citizens can help scientists solve: