Category Archives: Northeastern

A Syrian refugee camp got solar power for the first time.

Steph Speirs thinks about solar the way one might think about a community garden. Why go through the trouble of planting panels on your roof when you could instead plug into a shared neighborhood resource? Through her company, called Solstice, Speirs and cofounder Steve Moilanen roll out community solar gardens that allow people who don’t own their properties — or who don’t have the means or interest in installing a home setup — to tap into a local solar project and save a few bucks on electricity.

Solstice identifies locations for new community projects, works with local developers to arrange financing and installation, and ensures subscribers see credits on their electricity bills. Speirs’ company has earned seed funding from Echoing Green, a social entrepreneurship fellowship, and was recently picked for the selective Techstars startup accelerator. Solstice currently has solar gardens scattered around Massachusetts and intends to expand nationwide.

Community solar isn’t a new idea, but Speirs and her team are working hard to make it more accessible. Example: In 2015, the First Parish Unitarian Church in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, couldn’t install panels on its roof because of its status as a historic building. Last year, the church leadership became aware of Solstice and its existing community solar program in Bridgewater. The congregation voted to plug into the project, thus saving 10 percent on its electricity bill and putting its sustainable values into practice. Better yet, individual parishioners followed the church’s lead and signed up, too. “We’re proud that these are typical stories at Solstice,” Speirs says.


Meet all the fixers on this year’s Grist 50.

Original article:

A Syrian refugee camp got solar power for the first time.

Posted in alo, Anchor, Crown, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, LG, Northeastern, ONA, Ringer, solar, solar power, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A Syrian refugee camp got solar power for the first time.

Scott Pruitt is now offering lessons in the art of the burn.

Steph Speirs thinks about solar the way one might think about a community garden. Why go through the trouble of planting panels on your roof when you could instead plug into a shared neighborhood resource? Through her company, called Solstice, Speirs and cofounder Steve Moilanen roll out community solar gardens that allow people who don’t own their properties — or who don’t have the means or interest in installing a home setup — to tap into a local solar project and save a few bucks on electricity.

Solstice identifies locations for new community projects, works with local developers to arrange financing and installation, and ensures subscribers see credits on their electricity bills. Speirs’ company has earned seed funding from Echoing Green, a social entrepreneurship fellowship, and was recently picked for the selective Techstars startup accelerator. Solstice currently has solar gardens scattered around Massachusetts and intends to expand nationwide.

Community solar isn’t a new idea, but Speirs and her team are working hard to make it more accessible. Example: In 2015, the First Parish Unitarian Church in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, couldn’t install panels on its roof because of its status as a historic building. Last year, the church leadership became aware of Solstice and its existing community solar program in Bridgewater. The congregation voted to plug into the project, thus saving 10 percent on its electricity bill and putting its sustainable values into practice. Better yet, individual parishioners followed the church’s lead and signed up, too. “We’re proud that these are typical stories at Solstice,” Speirs says.


Meet all the fixers on this year’s Grist 50.

Link:  

Scott Pruitt is now offering lessons in the art of the burn.

Posted in alo, Anchor, Crown, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, Northeastern, ONA, Ringer, solar, solar power, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Scott Pruitt is now offering lessons in the art of the burn.

The first GOP member of Congress to say “impeachment” after Trump’s latest scandal is a climate hawk.

Animal agriculture is a complex tangle of issues, all pulling in different directions: culinary tradition, animal welfare, methane emissions, deliciousness, deforestation. As a senior scientist at the Good Food Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to finding foods that will displace animal meat, Liz Specht looks for technological fixes to the beefy meat problem.

Specht spends her days researching ways to engineer plant-based foods that taste better, cost less, and consume fewer resources than animals. She then points startups toward the food technology that’s likely to work for them, and helps venture capitalists differentiate between companies proposing flashy BS and those who know their stuff. She’s an entrepreneurial matchmaker.

Specht lives in an RV, working remotely and roaming from state to state. Everywhere she goes, she steps into a store to see what plant-based products are available, where they are placed in the store, and how they are advertised. Making meat replacements might be a technical problem, but Specht is acutely aware that technology must move with culture. “I think of technology’s role as that of a dance partner to society, following its leads and anticipating its future moves,” she says. Time for the food industry to listen to the music.


Meet all the fixers on this year’s Grist 50.

Continue reading here: 

The first GOP member of Congress to say “impeachment” after Trump’s latest scandal is a climate hawk.

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, LG, Northeastern, ONA, solar, solar panels, Thermos, Uncategorized, wind power | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The first GOP member of Congress to say “impeachment” after Trump’s latest scandal is a climate hawk.

The EPA asked the public which rules to scrap and got chewed out.

Animal agriculture is a complex tangle of issues, all pulling in different directions: culinary tradition, animal welfare, methane emissions, deliciousness, deforestation. As a senior scientist at the Good Food Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to finding foods that will displace animal meat, Liz Specht looks for technological fixes to the beefy meat problem.

Specht spends her days researching ways to engineer plant-based foods that taste better, cost less, and consume fewer resources than animals. She then points startups toward the food technology that’s likely to work for them, and helps venture capitalists differentiate between companies proposing flashy BS and those who know their stuff. She’s an entrepreneurial matchmaker.

Specht lives in an RV, working remotely and roaming from state to state. Everywhere she goes, she steps into a store to see what plant-based products are available, where they are placed in the store, and how they are advertised. Making meat replacements might be a technical problem, but Specht is acutely aware that technology must move with culture. “I think of technology’s role as that of a dance partner to society, following its leads and anticipating its future moves,” she says. Time for the food industry to listen to the music.


Meet all the fixers on this year’s Grist 50.

Excerpt from – 

The EPA asked the public which rules to scrap and got chewed out.

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, LG, Northeastern, ONA, solar, solar panels, Thermos, Uncategorized, wind power | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The EPA asked the public which rules to scrap and got chewed out.

A week after 50 farmworkers were sickened by pesticides, the EPA punts on protecting them.

Animal agriculture is a complex tangle of issues, all pulling in different directions: culinary tradition, animal welfare, methane emissions, deliciousness, deforestation. As a senior scientist at the Good Food Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to finding foods that will displace animal meat, Liz Specht looks for technological fixes to the beefy meat problem.

Specht spends her days researching ways to engineer plant-based foods that taste better, cost less, and consume fewer resources than animals. She then points startups toward the food technology that’s likely to work for them, and helps venture capitalists differentiate between companies proposing flashy BS and those who know their stuff. She’s an entrepreneurial matchmaker.

Specht lives in an RV, working remotely and roaming from state to state. Everywhere she goes, she steps into a store to see what plant-based products are available, where they are placed in the store, and how they are advertised. Making meat replacements might be a technical problem, but Specht is acutely aware that technology must move with culture. “I think of technology’s role as that of a dance partner to society, following its leads and anticipating its future moves,” she says. Time for the food industry to listen to the music.


Meet all the fixers on this year’s Grist 50.

Excerpt from:

A week after 50 farmworkers were sickened by pesticides, the EPA punts on protecting them.

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, LG, Northeastern, ONA, solar, solar panels, Thermos, Uncategorized, wind power | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A week after 50 farmworkers were sickened by pesticides, the EPA punts on protecting them.

Victory! A coal company just abandoned its plan to ruin a river and a bunch of people’s lives in Alaska.

Catherine Flowers has been an environmental justice fighter for as long as she can remember. “I grew up an Alabama country girl,” she says, “so I was part of the environmental movement before I even knew what it was. The natural world was my world.”

In 2001, raw sewage leaked into the yards of poor residents in Lowndes County, Alabama, because they had no access to municipal sewer systems. Local government added insult to injury by threatening 37 families with eviction or arrest because they couldn’t afford septic systems. Flowers, who is from Lowndes County, fought back: She negotiated with state government, including then-Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, to end unfair enforcement policies, and she enlisted the Environmental Protection Agency’s help to fund septic systems. The effort earned her the nickname “The Erin Brockovich of Sewage.”

Flowers was continuing the long tradition of residents fighting for justice in Lowndes County, an epicenter for the civil rights movement. “My own parents had a rich legacy of fighting for civil rights, which to this day informs my work,” she says. “Even today, people share stories about my parents’ acts of kindness or help, and I feel it’s my duty to carry on their work.”

Years later, untreated and leaking sewage remains a persistent problem in much of Alabama. Flowers advocates for sanitation and environmental rights through the organization she founded, the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise Community Development Corporation (ACRE, for short). She’s working with the EPA and other federal agencies to design affordable septic systems that will one day eliminate the developing-world conditions that Flowers calls Alabama’s “dirty secret.”

Former Vice President Al Gore counts himself as a big fan of Flowers’ work, calling her “a firm advocate for the poor, who recognizes that the climate crisis disproportionately affects the least wealthy and powerful among us.” Flowers says a soon-to-be-published study, based on evidence she helped collect, suggests that tropical parasites are emerging in Alabama due to poverty, poor sanitation, and climate change. “Our residents can have a bigger voice,” she said, “if the media began reporting how climate change is affecting people living in poor rural communities in 2017.” Assignment editors, pay attention.


Meet all the fixers on this year’s Grist 50.

Visit site:

Victory! A coal company just abandoned its plan to ruin a river and a bunch of people’s lives in Alaska.

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, G & F, GE, LG, Northeastern, ONA, organic, Ringer, solar, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Victory! A coal company just abandoned its plan to ruin a river and a bunch of people’s lives in Alaska.

A Republican governor has nixed fracking in Maryland.

Catherine Flowers has been an environmental justice fighter for as long as she can remember. “I grew up an Alabama country girl,” she says, “so I was part of the environmental movement before I even knew what it was. The natural world was my world.”

In 2001, raw sewage leaked into the yards of poor residents in Lowndes County, Alabama, because they had no access to municipal sewer systems. Local government added insult to injury by threatening 37 families with eviction or arrest because they couldn’t afford septic systems. Flowers, who is from Lowndes County, fought back: She negotiated with state government, including then-Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, to end unfair enforcement policies, and she enlisted the Environmental Protection Agency’s help to fund septic systems. The effort earned her the nickname “The Erin Brockovich of Sewage.”

Flowers was continuing the long tradition of residents fighting for justice in Lowndes County, an epicenter for the civil rights movement. “My own parents had a rich legacy of fighting for civil rights, which to this day informs my work,” she says. “Even today, people share stories about my parents’ acts of kindness or help, and I feel it’s my duty to carry on their work.”

Years later, untreated and leaking sewage remains a persistent problem in much of Alabama. Flowers advocates for sanitation and environmental rights through the organization she founded, the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise Community Development Corporation (ACRE, for short). She’s working with the EPA and other federal agencies to design affordable septic systems that will one day eliminate the developing-world conditions that Flowers calls Alabama’s “dirty secret.”

Former Vice President Al Gore counts himself as a big fan of Flowers’ work, calling her “a firm advocate for the poor, who recognizes that the climate crisis disproportionately affects the least wealthy and powerful among us.” Flowers says a soon-to-be-published study, based on evidence she helped collect, suggests that tropical parasites are emerging in Alabama due to poverty, poor sanitation, and climate change. “Our residents can have a bigger voice,” she said, “if the media began reporting how climate change is affecting people living in poor rural communities in 2017.” Assignment editors, pay attention.


Meet all the fixers on this year’s Grist 50.

Source – 

A Republican governor has nixed fracking in Maryland.

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, G & F, GE, LG, Northeastern, ONA, organic, Ringer, solar, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A Republican governor has nixed fracking in Maryland.

‘Gasland’ families are still fighting the company that leaked methane into their water.

In Louisiana, more than 18 percent of households didn’t have access to healthy food in 2015 (the national average is 13 percent). In urban centers like New Orleans, there isn’t enough locally grown produce to feed everyone, especially residents.

Marianne Cufone provides a fresh take on locally grown food. In 2009, she built what she describes as a “recirculating farm” on a half-acre plot in the middle of New Orleans. Using bamboo harvested from right there in Louisiana, she set up floating rafts and towers to grow plants — tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuces, strawberries — in closely packed, in various arrangements around hand dug, rubber-lined fish ponds. Water cycles between the pond and the plants, so nutrients from the fish waste fertilize the plants and the plants filter the water — no dirt required!

Cufone says her farming system is both cost- and energy-efficient, too. Startup costs totaled about $6,000, mostly to install the solar panels and backup batteries that allowed the farm operations to run mostly off-grid. And farms like this could work almost anywhere, she said. “You can grow vertically, in almost any design you want. It doesn’t matter if the land is rocky or paved or even contaminated.”

Cufone’s New Orleans farm initially sold $15 food boxes through a Community Supported Agriculture program and provided produce to local stores and restaurants. In 2011, Cufone started the Recirculating Farms Coalition to promote the idea and secure better policies to help them flourish. That includes pushing for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow recirculating farm produce to be certified organic.


Meet all the fixers on this year’s Grist 50.

Continue reading here:  

‘Gasland’ families are still fighting the company that leaked methane into their water.

Posted in alo, Anchor, bamboo, Everyone, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, LG, Northeastern, ONA, organic, Radius, Ringer, solar, solar panels, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on ‘Gasland’ families are still fighting the company that leaked methane into their water.

Scott Pruitt kinda sorta maybe gets that carbon dioxide contributes to warming.

In Louisiana, more than 18 percent of households didn’t have access to healthy food in 2015 (the national average is 13 percent). In urban centers like New Orleans, there isn’t enough locally grown produce to feed everyone, especially residents.

Marianne Cufone provides a fresh take on locally grown food. In 2009, she built what she describes as a “recirculating farm” on a half-acre plot in the middle of New Orleans. Using bamboo harvested from right there in Louisiana, she set up floating rafts and towers to grow plants — tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuces, strawberries — in closely packed, in various arrangements around hand dug, rubber-lined fish ponds. Water cycles between the pond and the plants, so nutrients from the fish waste fertilize the plants and the plants filter the water — no dirt required!

Cufone says her farming system is both cost- and energy-efficient, too. Startup costs totaled about $6,000, mostly to install the solar panels and backup batteries that allowed the farm operations to run mostly off-grid. And farms like this could work almost anywhere, she said. “You can grow vertically, in almost any design you want. It doesn’t matter if the land is rocky or paved or even contaminated.”

Cufone’s New Orleans farm initially sold $15 food boxes through a Community Supported Agriculture program and provided produce to local stores and restaurants. In 2011, Cufone started the Recirculating Farms Coalition to promote the idea and secure better policies to help them flourish. That includes pushing for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow recirculating farm produce to be certified organic.


Meet all the fixers on this year’s Grist 50.

Source: 

Scott Pruitt kinda sorta maybe gets that carbon dioxide contributes to warming.

Posted in alo, Anchor, bamboo, Everyone, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, LG, Northeastern, ONA, organic, Radius, Ringer, solar, solar panels, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Scott Pruitt kinda sorta maybe gets that carbon dioxide contributes to warming.

Wealthy countries are backing away from their climate promises.

Mustafa Ali helped to start the EPA’s environmental justice office and its environmental equity office in the 1990s. For nearly 25 years, he advocated for poor and minority neighborhoods stricken by pollution. As a senior adviser and assistant associate administrator, Ali served under both Democratic and Republican presidents — but not under President Donald Trump.

His departure comes amid news that the Trump administration plans to scrap the agency’s environmental justice work. The administration’s proposed federal budget would slash the EPA’s $8 billion budget by a quarter and eliminate numerous programs, including Ali’s office.

The Office of Environmental Justice gives small grants to disadvantaged communities, a life-saving program that Trump’s budget proposal could soon make disappear.

Ali played a role in President Obama’s last major EPA initiative, the EJ 2020 action agenda, a four-year plan to tackle lead poisoning, air pollution, and other problems. He now joins Hip Hop Caucus, a civil rights nonprofit that nurtures grassroots activism through hip-hop music, as a senior vice president.

In his letter of resignation, Ali asked the agency’s new administrator, Scott Pruitt, to listen to poor and non-white people and “value their lives.” Let’s see if Pruitt listens.

Source article – 

Wealthy countries are backing away from their climate promises.

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, Landmark, Northeastern, ONA, Ringer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Wealthy countries are backing away from their climate promises.