An empty lot was all that was left after the Austin, Texas airport moved in 1999.
Naturally, ideas started bouncing around about what to do with the massive space. What it has now become is a beautiful, working art installation that serves as a metaphor for the energy-conscious city of Austin.
The field is made up of 15 flower-shaped photovoltaic solar panels that line a pedestrian and bike path on the greenbelt on Mueller, an urban village between a retail lot and Interstate 35.
Painting rooftops white can make a great impact on global warming.
U.S. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu, a Nobel Laureate, noted that basic changes can have a great impact at a climate change symposium in London last weekend.
"If you take all the buildings and make their roofs white and if you make the pavement more of a concrete type of color rather than a black type... it’s the equivalent of reducing the carbon emissions due to all the cars on the road for 11 years," said Chu.
Former Vice President Al Gore testified before key members of Congress on the new clean energy and climate legislation and the urgent need for the U.S. to invest in creating millions of green jobs to strengthen the economy. After Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) mocked global warming as being responsible for the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots' poor season, Gore calmly said that he and other climate change deniers have just simply been receiving bad and misleading information (watch the clip below).
Despite the country’s recession, one developer is planning to build the world’s first solar city in Florida. Babcock Ranch would be a true community within itself, with homes, offices, factories and stores.
This massive 17,800-acre project would use half of the land specifically for nature preserves, agriculture and other open spaces for various reasons (parks, etc).
The U.S. House of Representatives unveiled a bill that would demand a 20% cut in carbon emissions nationwide while requiring every region of the country to produce a quarter of its electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2025.
In 1987 Brazilian-born Canadian, Marcelo da Luz saw a news clip about the World Solar Challenge race and it inspired him to design a super cool solar vehicle of his own - XOF1, which he calls The Power of One.
According to the EPA report, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, D.C. and Dallas Fort-Worth are at the top of the list of American metropolitan cities with the largest numbers of Energy Star buildings in 2008. Let's have a big round of applause for some major U.S. cities! Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, D.C. and Dallas Fort-Worth top of the list of American metropolitan cities with the most Energy Star-certified buildings in 2008, according to the EPA.
By definition Energy Star buildings generally use 35% less energy and emit 35% less greenhouse gases then the average building.
Not sure what the best car for your greenie self is? Well the folks over at Greenopia have developed a Green Car Ratings Guide.
While every automaker tries to sell you on why this make and model is the best – this site does it for you without biased. They go down to the tiniest details, looking at the most efficient vehicles that meet the bare minimum criteria and selecting the best of the best. They rate vehicles in all different price points also.
Al Gore introduced a five point plan that "…would simultaneously move us toward solutions to the climate crisis and the economic crisis--and create millions of new jobs that cannot be outsourced," at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. Gore claims that the two major crisis’s we currently face can be alleviated through the same steps:
- Incentives for construction of concentrating solar-thermal power plants in the southwest, wind farms in the Midwest, and plants in geothermal "hot spots."
- A $400 billion investment over 10 years to build a "national smart grid" to distribute renewable energy.
- Aid to automakers to convert to the production of plug-in hybrids. Smart-grid technology that enables the cars to be charged during off-peak hours.
- A nationwide effort to retrofit buildings, which account for 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, to be more energy-efficient.
- Climate regulations to cap carbon dioxide emissions.
After two standing ovations, Al Gore left the crowd feeling inspired and empowered because he not only gave us hope that we can get out of this crisis but we will do it unified as a country. Gore reiterated the plan in a New York Times op-ed. Watch the video of Gore's keynote at the Summit below: