Free Investment Advice from an Expert

Jeremy Grantham, Chief Investment Strategist for GMO, an Management Firm that oversees more than $100 billion in investments, announced his opposition to the Keystone Pipeline in an interview with Charlie Rose Mar 11, 2013. Grantham is known for having predicted the last several financial crises.

Grantham says that climate change is a numbers issue; the rise of .8oC in temperature is obvious, we can see spring arriving earlier, and know that it took additional carbon in the air to make that happen. Grantham continues, explaining the problem with continuing to burn fossil fuels is that we can only emit 565 gigatons of carbon into the air before world temperatures reach “2oC which is considered the boundary, below which we might limp our way through.” But in fuel reserves there is five times that much, “enough to cook our goose and guarantee our grandchildren starve to death in floods and all.”

Every previous human civilization expanded, then met limits of available resources and collapsed. Grantham describes two gifts that our civilization has that give him hope. The first is our ability to limit birth rates, and the fact that when people get richer, they choose to have fewer children. A shrinking population puts less pressure on finite resources.

The second gift is alternative energy technology, solar, wind, geothermal, new grid, and batteries which give us the ability to “move fairly seamlessly” to using the renewable resource of energy from the sun which never runs out. “If you can capture the sun’s energy, you can keep civilization going.”

Then he added, “Science will not guarantee to save us it will only give us a possible out.”

Listen to the interview at :

http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12812

House Committee Refuses to Hear Climate Facts

All the Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted against holding hearings on  “the role of climate change in causing drought heat waves, wildfires, reduced crop yields and impaired electricity generation”  on Feb 6, 2013

Response:

Denial of the science of climate change by members of Congress is a threat to our safety. Rep Waxman, who is calling for hearings on reports that climate impacts require prompt action said, “House Republicans have buried their heads in the sand.  I hope they will realize how out of step they are with the science, the public, and the business community.  We have a moral duty to act to prevent the worst impacts of climate change affecting our children and future generations.”

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, representing parts of Eastern Washington, joined in the vote against climate hearings.

Washington State Clean Energy Industry

Where can you find the most new jobs in technology? According to Forbes, the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area took first place last year in growth in technology jobs, including software, internet publishing, science, engineering and math.  The growth is not just in large corporations, but also in new, innovative start-ups. Appropriately Washington, with its natural beauty, is a leader in advancements in green technology.  

McKinstry is a leader in consulting and construction for energy efficient buildings, both public and private projects, employing over 1600 people. Silicon Energy in Marysville makes solar panels with a durable glass-on-glass design. From Liberty Lake come storage batteries and control systems by Demand Energy Networks. Larger institutions participate also; Boeing’s new 787 uses 20% less fuel, and it is working to develop aviation fuel from algae.

Research helps prime the pump. At the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, researchers are working on batteries for vehicles and for grid-scale storage, bio-based fuel alternatives and a range of energy saving technologies.

 

 

Business of Clean Technology

Government support for clean technology was the topic of a meeting of the Renewable Energy Meetup on January 16th in Seattle.

Burt Hamner, who invited the participants, is an example of innovative, entrepreneurial success. He founded Hydrovolts in 2007, which now manufactures small electric generators for use in wastewater treatment plants and irrigation canals, with a local staff of nine.  In Washington last year, 83,676   people worked in clean technology. The state is a leader in advancements in green technology, including building efficiency, electrical storage, solar panel manufacture, and pollution reduction.

Washington State government, with a policy of promoting both sustainability and new jobs for the growing population, provides programs to help companies develop new industry, relocate to Washington, and export products. Innovate Washington is a public/private organization that helps entrepreneurs strategize, find funding, and take new products to market.

Tim Stearns, with the State Department of Commence Energy Office, pointed out that one barrier to growth in the solar market is the many different requirements for installation in the states’ 285 cities and 62 utilities.  He is working with the Evergreen State Solar Partnership to streamline and reduce the expense of permitting, zoning and utility connection processes for solar technology.

Tim pointed out that sustainability is advancing from a variety of directions, for example a new composting program University of Washington, increasing off-grid capability at Fort Lewis, and carbon pricing in Oregon.

The Seattle City Office of Economic Development and Office of Sustainability help with financing projects and with money saving reductions in carbon emissions.

King County is using energy efficient technology to save money for taxpayers with innovative resource recovery programs such as harnessing methane, and auditing energy use to select the most efficient equipment and processes. At the West Point wastewater plant, they will be recovering waste heat and also methane to run the facility, according to Jessie Israel who works with the county’s wastewater program. In the future, she expects that we will have technology allowing households to use the heat that now leaves our homes in sewer pipes to lower heating bills.

We’ve Got to Wake Up Song

Be careful, you’ll be humming it for days. 

http://www.singfortheclimate.com/NL/default.aspx

South Pacific Nation goes solar

Workers install a solar array in Tokelau, an island nation that will be powered with renew...

Solar electricity on Tokelau

“Somebody said that it couldn’t be done…” E.A. Guest

Response:

The nation of Tokelau has  done it!!  It has installed  4,032 solar panels and 1,344 batteries, and will use them and  coconut oil to take care of its electric needs, replacing 200 liters of diesel it has been using daily, according to Earth Techling.