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What’s the Secret Behind Germany’s Clean Energy Success? – August 6, 2014

The US may never beat them in soccer, but we can in renewable energy

Last month, Germany was in the news for all the wrong reasons: in addition to crushing all would-be challengers in the World Cup, Germany and the US are in the midst of a serious diplomatic crisis after the CIA was caught spying on Germany’s intelligence agency, actually paying agents hard cash in return for state secrets.

It is worth pondering whether, in the course of its spying, the CIA noticed that Germany has made itself much more secure, safe, and sustainable by greening its economy and energy production at a breakneck speed. We could use some actionable intelligence to replicate Germany’s Energiewende (or “Energy Transition”), as if the world depends… more

by: Björn Philip Beer

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All Together Now! – July 31, 2014

Environmental organizers busy laying plans for the People’s Climate March

If everything goes according to plan, the People’s Climate March could be the largest climate demonstration in the United States to date. On September 20 and 21, waves of citizens will descend on New York City to show public support for the UN "Solutions Summit" and to demand immediate action to staunch greenhouse gas emissions. I'll be joining them — traveling with a group of protesters on a train from Washington, DC to New York as I cover the march for Earth Island Journal — and last week I attended an organizing meeting in DC to see what I should expect.

Santa Rita MountainsPhoto… more

by: Björn Philip Beer

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A Pipeline to the Past – March 11, 2014

Condoleezza Rice sells Keystone XL as a Solution to the Crisis in Ukraine

This is not the first time Condoleezza Rice has used a political crisis to advance the interests of the petroleum industry. In an op-ed in The Washington Post last week, the former Secretary of State connected the political fate of Ukraine to the pending approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

photoname Photo courtesy World Economic ForumFormer Secretary of State doesn't quite explain how the approval of a crude oil pipeline in the
United States would alter the petro-politics of natural gas in Ukraine.

Given her work in the Bush Administration to advance US military presence into oil-rich areas and her prior work for… more

by: Björn Philip Beer

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Silver Lining in a River of Gray – February 19, 2014

Federal investigation could break cozy relationship between NC regulators and Duke Energy

Good news about the environment is depressingly rare. Just see, for example, the recent coal pollution disasters in the South. In addition to the third largest coal ash spill in US history that happened in North Carolina earlier this month, on January 9 we witnessed the spill of a coal-washing agent into West Virginia's Elk River, and on February 11 a Patriot Coal facility released some 100,000 gallons of coal slurry into Kanawha Creek in West Virginia. Yet sometimes good news can shock you when you least expect it.   

Dan Rivercoal ash spillPhoto by Waterkeeper Alliance/Rick Dove The Dan River coal ash… more

by: Björn Philip Beer

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Kerry’s Inconsistent and Incomplete Stance on Climate Change – February 18, 2014

Secretary of State compares climate change to WMDs, but seems unwilling to push for stringent action on the home front

In Indonesia on Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry boldly called for international action on climate change. He did not mince words when he called climate change “perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.”

photoname Photo by Ralph AlswangGiven his hesitance to weigh in on the State Department’s anemic position on the
Keystone XL pipeline, Kerry’s words come across as hollow

All of peer-reviewed science would say that Kerry’s language is accurate and hardly hyperbole. It is refreshing to see that some mainstream policy makers have elevated climate change to the same level of importance held by WMD’s. Perhaps the issue… more

by: Björn Philip Beer

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