Tags >> alternative energy
Dec 15
2009

Climate Change and Vineyards

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wine , weather , water , trees , Sonoma County , politics , planning , Ideas , Green , government , go green , farms , environment , climate change , chemicals , carbon , California , business , alternative energy , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

Global warming poses a real and serious threat to California’s wine industry, but vineyards throughout the state—and other agricultural lands—can also take steps to blunt the pace of climate change.

It is increasingly clear, says Ted Lemon (right) , co-owner of Littorai Wines in Sebastopol, that the dominant business model in American agriculture, needs to change.

Monoculture farming has not succeeded in feeding the world. Lemon observes, so a new approach is clearly needed.

 

The Littorai Winery is an informal demonstration site for the practical application of principals of agroecology. The Wine Institute of California has also intiated a proactive program in support of sustainable vineyard practicies, which you can read about here.

Nov 16
2009

Calculating Dams

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , Sebastopol , Science , planning , international , environment , education , economy , construction , conservation , carbon , alternative energy

Bruce Robinson

When it comes to building new reservoirs and hydroelectric plants, there are good dams and bad dams. A new online-calculator developed by Sebastopol’s Conservation Strategy Fund is a tool designed to help tell them apart.

What’s the difference between a good dam and a bad dam? CFS President John Reid offers examples of each.

 

Check out  the new web-based HydroCalculator here! development of this new online tool was made possible with support from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Oct 20
2009

Bio-converter

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , waste , technology , speaker , Science , Santa Rosa , resources , invasive species , Ideas , government , garbage , environment , design , conservation , climate change , chemicals , carbon , alternative energy , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

Sonoma County inventor James McElvaney (right), has developed a system to convert organic waste into energy and other beneficial byproducts, one that creates the energy that powers it in the bargain.

Bob Hillman, McElvaney's partner in their start-up,  Bioconverter LLC,  sees their new technology as a tool to capture greenhouse gases while also combating invasive, non-native plants, such as the Ludwigia, or Creeping Water Primrose, now prevalent in the Laguna de Santa Rosa.

The company offers a more comprehensive explanation of their processes on the FAQ page of their website, but you can read an overview here.

The primary process of bioconversion takes place in a series of vertical tanks, such as those seen at left.  In addition to the environmental benefits of bioconversion, Hillman notes that it has the economic potential to actually fund some of those productive outcomes.

 

 

Oct 14
2009

Sustainable Transportation

Posted by Bruce Robinson in transportation , speaker , planning , events , environment , education , economy , climate change , alternative energy

Bruce Robinson

“Cash for Clunkers” wasn’t just a economic boost for the automobile industry, says one of the me who designed it. It was also a tool for reframing consumer’s decision-making.

 

Jack Hidary,  co-founder of SmartTransportation.org and chairman of Americans for Clean Energy.org,  is confident that consumers will come to recognize the economic benefits of owning and driving vehicles that are less dependent on fossil fuels. The greater challenge, he says, is mobilizing business and government to develop the infrastructure that those vehicles will require.

Pointing to his experience in shaping the “Cash for Clunkers” program, Hidary cites three key procedural steps they had to address to win the institutional support necessary for that program to happen.

 

Jack Hidary will be among the featured speakers at the annual Bioneers conference in San Rafael, beginning on Friday. To explore the  Bioneers 2009 Conference program click here.

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