Monday, May 19, 2014

I'd like to go on record regarding what my town needs to engender future success


I'm a working citizen of Houston, Texas, USA.  It's no secret that the State of Texas and Houston's local economy has boomed in the past few years while the low-hanging "fruit" was fracked and horizontally drilled from tight, formerly uneconomical reservoirs in the United States.  Several multibillion dollar construction projects to consolidate corporate campuses and to build completely new petrochemical plants around the Houston area are now underway. 
 
A massive international-scale program, I'd say unacknowledged in public, has been conceived - and I've no idea by whom - to allow Gulf Coast refineries to continue to "sweat the pipes" should the US engage in any form of fossil-carbon restrictions.  This meta-activity consisted of many parts, each of them large and expensive, and little subjected to any kind of public-spirited planning review: 
 
Planning for the future of Harris County does require ongoing capital flow into Harris County.  As Andres Duany (http://www.dpz.com/Organization/AndresDuany) has said,
"private capital provides the medium while planning provides the sieve, form or template"
to shape and adapt our region during a long era of utmost local, national and global challenge.  Of course there's much to do that is simply practical to enhance our quality of life like protecting against surges and sea level rise, modernizing and burying the electrical grid, cleaning and conserving floodwater, microbiologically cleaning out polluted aquifers, inventing-commercializing-modularizing-miniaturizing breeder nuclear reactors that can safely burn all the nuclear waste we've piled up over the years, cleaning up our appearance by formalizing public land, air and water use decision-making (bet this list could go on forever).  But...

 
From a strictly economic viewpoint if we are to sustain our strengths without becoming a global-trade backwater, then we must assess:

1.     how to transition our base jobs to seawater hydrocarbon production - sustainable energy-intensive carbon-neutral liquid fuels (designer fuels) made with modular nuclear and renewable power resources (http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2014/04/navy-just-turned-seawater-jet-fuel/82300/) - and how largely to avoid drilling solid earth reservoirs for any additional fossil fuels,

2.     how to recover and regroup private space industry into a much-modernized “space city” (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2010-01/04/content_12751719.htm), preserving Houston's all-important cooperative-coordination role,

3.     how to evolve the world’s largest medical center over the next 30 years by fully engaging science and inter-faith religion as human and machine intelligence begins to equate (http://www.phrenicea.com/chiphead.htm), and far more direct methods of establishing sentient-being immortality raise ethical issues about whether, when, which species, under whose accountability and with what objectives (http://www.livescience.com/6967-hang-25-year-wait-immortality.html), and

4.     how to harness nanotechnology advancements in structural (http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=26700.php), energetic (http://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2013/03/05/nanotechnology-expanding-clean-energy-and-easing-fuel-shortages/), and medical (http://www.nanotechproject.org/inventories/medicine/) materials and Nano machinery for future industries with the potential to hoist Harris County well beyond our recently demonstrated strengths.

Friday, April 25, 2014

FW: Celebrate with Free CE- Uncoil Blog & Newsletter are back!

Uncoil!

 

From: Kayla, Uncoil Team [mailto:uncoil@gbrionline.org]
Sent: Friday, April 25, 2014 1:32 PM
To: Suckow, Paul (CSD)
Subject: Celebrate with Free CE- Uncoil Blog & Newsletter are back!

 

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Your Weekly Sustainability Review

 

April  21-25, 2014

 

Hi there,

 

I hope this finds you well!  Due to overwhelming demand, GBRI is happy to announce we will be bringing back our Uncoil Blog and Weekly Newsletter!  We know it can be difficult to keep up with the most important news in our industry.  By your request, we are here to help!  Add us to your email address book for FREE CE opportunities, industry news updates & more delivered straight to your inbox weekly!

 

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Spotlight: GBRI & Akintayo Management Group Help GSA Achieve LEED Gold

GBRI and AMG joined forces to support the General Services Administration (GSA) in completing the LEED certification process for the United States Courthouse in New Bern, North Carolina. This represents a remarkable achievement in which GBRI and AMG utilized their unique approach to LEED Project Management with their overall knowledge and expertise with the LEED process to exceed GSA's design target of  LEED Certified. 

 READ THE REST HERE      

 

Sustainability: Can you Build Green AND Make a Profit?

On March 3, the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) launched a global project to 
prove that green office buildings actually do result in greater business productivity. This comes at a time when business owners, developers, and investors remain skeptical about the profitability of "going green."                                         

   READ THE REST HERE

 

Spotlight: Dr. Liliana Diaz PhD, PMP, LEED AP BD+C

Dr. Liliana Diaz is a professor of Project Management of Green Building Construction at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies.  Dr. Diaz recently instructed a 3 GBCI/AIA Hour LIVE & On-Demand webinar series Chicken Soup for the Soil: Sustainable Landscapes & Stormwater Management.  

 

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You Asked, We Answer: 

Does Daylight Savings Time Actually Save Energy??

The return of Daylight Saving Time each year invariably sparks debate. Although it's tempting to think of DST as some kind of perverse invention designed to deprive us of sleep, its chief purpose has always been to save electricity. Today this means not only saving money, but reducing the usage of non-green energy sources

 READ THE REST HERE      

 

Apple Now Recycling All of its Products

All used iPhones, iPads and other Apple products will be accepted by the company in its expanded and revamped recycling program. The company debuted an environmental section on its website that also unveiled its commitment to become powered 100 percent by renewable energy.

 

 

Zero Waste Boxes Available for Factories 

Terracycle's Zero Waste Box program is being marketed to factory managers in a bid to encourage employees to recycle items commonly used on factory floors, including ear plugs and hair nets.  The Zero Waste Boxes range from $27.70 to $177.37, depending on the size and waste stream.

 

 READ THE REST HERE      

 

Sports & Sustainability:  Going Green Allows NBA Teams to Gain Corporate Partners

Over the last 6 years, the NBA has brought attention to environmental issues by hosting NBA Green Week Presented By Sprint.  This year's event featured commemorative t-shirts made out of post-consumer bottles, players hitting the court in Adidas uniforms made out of 60% recycled materials and the NBA and Sprint pledging to purchase the largest number of renewable energy certificates in league history-17,085.  

 READ THE REST HERE      

 

Coal Ash Could Cost Duke Energy up to $10B

Duke Energy has laid out its response to the North Carolina Joint Environmental Review Commission (ERC) on the Dan River coal ash incident and its short- and long-term actions to address coal ash across the state. Duke Energy takes full responsibility for the Dan River incident, and has taken and will continue to take significant steps on the site and in the river, according to Duke Energy's North Carolina State President, Paul Newton.                                                                                                       READ THE REST HERE

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Thursday, April 03, 2014

Setting Up a Viewing Party?

"Years of Living Dangerously", coming out on Showtime Sundays 10 pm E beginning April 13, 2014: right after the hugely important Fox educational series "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey"

 

Years of Living Dangerously

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Executive producer James Cameron

Years of Living Dangerously is a forthcoming nonfiction documentary television series focusing on the American and international impact of, and solutions to, climate change. It is expected to premiere on Showtime on April 13, 2014 at 10pm.[1]James CameronJerry Weintraub and Arnold Schwarzenegger are executive producers of the series.[2] Schwarzenegger said that he had been thinking about why the issue of climate change has not yet resonated strongly with the public despite the warnings from the scientific community: "I think the environmental movement only can be successful if we are simple and clear and make it a human story. We will tell human stories in this project. The scientists would never get the kind of attention that someone in show business gets."[3]

Years of Living Dangerously consists of nine episodes.[4] The episodes feature celebrity investigators, who travel to areas around the world and throughout the U.S. affected by global warming to interview experts and ordinary people and view the impacts of climate change. The celebrities include Harrison FordMatt DamonJessica AlbaDon CheadleAmerica Ferrera, Schwarzenegger, Lesley StahlMark BittmanIan SomerhalderOlivia Munn and Michael C. HallJoseph Romm and Heidi Cullen are the chief science advisors.[5][6] Electus International has acquired the international rights to the series.[7]

Segments from the show are slated to include the following:

Executive producer and correspondent Schwarzenegger

·         Alba reports on how Climate Corps fellows work to make the corporate sector more environmentally friendly;

·         Bittman investigates rising sea levels and the environmental impact of producing natural gas;

·         Cheadle reports on the severe droughts in the Southwest United States;

·         Damon explores the public health issues raised by heat waves;

·         Ferrera reports on the political obstacles to the growth of wind and solar power;

·         Ford visits Indonesia to learn about deforestation and the struggle to prevent it;

·         Thomas Friedman investigates how climate change impacts national sovereignty in the Middle East;

·         Hall travels to Bangladesh to see how climate change will impact the rest of the world in the coming decades;

·         Chris Hayes reports on how Super Storm Sandy affected towns and families;

·         Munn follows the new governor of Washington State, who is making the fight against global warming a top priority;

·         M. Sanjayan circles the globe to see the effects of climate change firsthand;

·         Schwarzenegger accompanies a team of elite firefighters in Western U.S. forests as they face the destructive fire season;

·         Somerhalder follows the daughter of Evangelical preacher Rick Joyner, as she tries to persuade congregations and preachers in North Carolina (including her father) to join the fight against global warming; and

·         Stahl visits Greenland to view the effect of rising temperatures melting the arctic ice sheet.[5]

Reaction

The Globe and Mail calls the series "a lavish, gripping production focused on the real effect of climate change in real people's lives around the world."[3] The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media noted that the series shows what scientists do in the field "and why they're reaching the conclusion that this problem is such a serious risk to the viability of our civilization and requires urgent action. ... [The] actors [get] their 'hands dirty'. ... [The show] may ... open new avenues for climate change communications."[8]

 

 

From: Anna Goldstein - 350.org [mailto:350@350.org]
Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2014 7:03 PM
To: Suckow, Paul (CSD)
Subject: A moment you'll want to seize.

 

Dear friends,

Have you ever thought that the movement to fight climate change needs to get WAY bigger?

Good news: in 11 days, a new TV show is coming out that might just get a huge number of people connecting the climate dots.

It's called "Years of Living Dangerously", and it's shaping up to be a pretty big deal. It's got some big stars (Harrison Ford, Don Cheadle), is being produced by James Cameron (who made Avatar and Titanic), and tells a story of planetary proportions: the story of the climate crisis. The first of nine episodes is coming out on April 13th, and the buzz is really starting to build. 

This is one of those moments you want to seize, so we're going big and launching a day of watch-parties on April 13th. All over the country, in living rooms and libraries, we'll gather to watch the show, join a live web-chat afterwards, and talk about where we can go from here.

To make this work, we need people like you to step up and host an event. It's pretty easy -- the episode is being streamed for free on YouTube, so all you need is a way to display it and a place for folks to gather and watch it.

Can you help out by hosting a local watch-party on April 13th?

Yes, I'm interested in hosting an event!

I can't host an event, but I'd like to join one near me.

Hosting a watch party is simple -- you just need two things:

1) A couple of hours on Sunday April 13th

2) A way to display the show for an audience.

Our team will send you resources to help make sure your event is a success -- and, if you'd like,  we'll spread the word about your watch-party to 350 supporters near you.

At 350.org, we're working on a lot of big campaigns: the Reject and Protect action in DC to stop the Keystone XL pipeline on April 26th, the fast-growing Fossil Free divestment campaign, plus hundreds of vitally important local and regional struggles across the country.

All of these efforts have one thing in common: the more people that join them, the stronger this movement becomes. This show, "The Years of Living Dangerously", has the potential to get a LOT of new folks thinking about the climate crisis.

So, let's harness this moment

With gratitude,

Anna for the 350.org team

P.S. Not sure if you can commit yet? Click here to learn more about hosting an event and watch the epic trailer for the Years of Living Dangerously.


350.org is building a global climate movement. Become a sustaining donor to keep this movement strong and growing.

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