Category Archives: General

Housing Starts Decline 10.6%

From Business Week, Wednesday, November 18, 2009:

New housing starts dropped 10.6% in October compared with September, to a seasonally adjusted rate of 529,000, the Commerce Dept.reported on Nov. 18. The number, which was lower than analyst estimates, is a seven-month low.

October housing starts were down 30.7% year-over-year.

Single-family housing starts were off 6.8% in October, to an annual rate of 476,000. The October rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 48,000, down one-third from the previous month and off 78.1% year-over-year.

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Religion’s Role in the Climate Challenge

From The New York Times, Tuesday, November 3, 2009:

A remarkable conclave of leading figures from nine of the world’s major religions is under way at Windsor Castle in Britain, under the auspices of Prince Philip and  the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon. Called “Many Heavens, One Earth,” the meeting is intended to generate commitments for actions by religious organizations, congregants and countries that could reduce emissions of greenhouse gases or otherwise limit the human impact on the environment.

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Elders Group Tries Bridging the Climatic Generation Gap

From The New York Times, October 30, 2009:

Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s 3-year-old granddaughter, Onalenna, was puzzled.

Her older cousin, Mungi, had just deflated a large, blow-up globe to demonstrate the imminent danger of climate change.

“Are we going to go the moon then?” Onalenna asked her grandfather.

“I don’t know, I will not be here,” Archbishop Tutu, 78, whispered in his granddaughter’s ear.

The rapid march of climate change up the global agenda has prompted a new, and often poignant, conversation between the generations, and, in public, among a self-appointed elite.

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Workers are More Productive in Green Buildings, Study Says

From Boulder Green Building Guild (BGBG), Tuesday, October 13, 2009:

People who work in green buildings are more productive than employees who don’t, according to a recent study by researchers at the University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate and CB Richard Ellis.

The study surveyed 154 green buildings, containing some 2,000 tenants, across the United States. Five-hundred-thirty-four of the tenants participated, making the study the largest of its kind so far.

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Fewer Americans See Solid Evidence of Global Warming

From the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, Thursday, October 22, 2009:

There has been a sharp decline over the past year in the percentage of Americans who say there is solid evidence that global temperatures are rising. And fewer also see global warming as a very serious problem – 35% say that today, down from 44% in April 2008.

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Alaska college to offer first renewable energy program

From the Anchorage Daily News on Wednesday, April 1, 2009:

Mat-Su College [Alaska] is gearing up to be home to a new line of classes aimed at making the college the first campus in the state to offer a renewable energy program.

A seven-course program filled with classes on applied physics, electrical and mechanical safety and other topics is being designed to start next spring at the college.

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State of Alaska may build wind farms in rural Alaska

From the Anchorage Daily News on Monday, January 26, 2009:

In the coastal tundra village of Kongiganak, some residents are keeping their lights on this winter by promising to sign over future tax refunds.

But the persistent Bering Sea winds that drive up the cost of light and heat in impoverished Western Alaska are now bringing a promise of redemption as well.

Last week the state proposed spending $14 million to erect wind farms in six villages on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, including Kongiganak. It’s part of a plan for spending $100 million on renewable energy around Alaska to reduce consumption of expensive diesel fuel and bring down local electric bills.

Click to enlarge

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Newsminer: Researchers, politicians converge at permafrost conference

From the Fairbanks Daily Newminer June 30, 08

Hundreds of researchers are in Fairbanks this week to get the real dirt on permafrost.

The Ninth International Conference on Permafrost officially began Sunday at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Held every five years, the conference attracts about 600 participants from more than two dozen countries. The participants will spend the next few days sharing research about permafrost, defined as ground which remains frozen for more than two years.

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