Signs of Sustainability

We have a long way to go, but we're making progress. Here are some signs that we are moving towards sustainability.

July 25, 2016

Shanghai Offers Template for Sustainable Cities

Tompkins Weekly            7-25-16

By George Frantz

Here in the U.S. it’s rare to see “China” and “sustainability” mentioned together in a positive context. Generally forgotten is the fact that on a per-capita basis, China’s carbon footprint is just one-fourth the size of America’s footprint. A key factor in their much lower carbon footprint is the design of their cities and in particular their residential neighborhoods.

Using urban planning principles dating back 3,000 years, Shanghai’s city planners have created an urban fabric that emphasizes livability and quality of life for its residents, while grappling with the huge problems of growth. In the 1940s Shanghai’s planners also embraced the Garden Cities concepts espoused by English social reformer Ebenezer Howard and progressive American planner Clarence Stein.
Read more…

July 18, 2016

Many Alternatives Available for “Going Solar”

Tompkins Weekly     7-18-16

By Terry Carroll

Solar energy is rapidly growing across New York State, creating new opportunities for consumers who want to go green, save money and become energy independent.

There are many different paths to “going solar,” with several new models developing over just the past year. The first step to knowing how to harness the power of the sun is to learn what your options are and how they work.

The traditional solar ownership model is still the most popular. In this model, the consumer owns the solar panels and they are placed on their own property, either on the roof of a structure such as a house or garage, or they are mounted on poles and placed within a short distance of the house.

Read more…

July 11, 2016

The Pollin Plan for Addressing Climate Change

Tompkins Weekly 7-11-16

By Richard W. Franke

In the May 2 edition of Tompkins Weekly, I introduced the background and context of economist Robert Pollin’s plan for meeting the 2035 goals of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to reduce anthropogenic (human-induced) CO2 emissions by 40 percent below current levels—from 33 billion tons to 20 billion tons.

This plan is outlined in Pollin’s 2015 book “Greening the Global Economy,” published by MIT Press. His plan fits well into the Paris agreement of December 2015 with one major caution: he requires that world investment in energy efficiency and clean renewables increase immediately to about three times its current level.
Read more…