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Regulatory change and the smart grid | Intelligent Utility

Regulatory change and the smart grid | Intelligent Utility | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Phil Carson, columnist for Intelligent Utility Daily, interviews a David O'Brien from Bridge Energy Group on regulatory changes to support grid modernization.

Via Duane Tilden
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Duane Tilden's curator insight, January 12, 2013 10:21 PM

The knottiest issue is how to balance risk between ratepayers and shareholders when you look at smart grid investments. [...] We're not going to let ratepayers bear this risk. 

 

It's a conundrum for the industry as a whole. Traditional rate-making methodology is a cost-plus exercise in which the utility gets its investment back plus a rate of return set by regulators. It was established many decades ago and premised on investment in largely stable, known commodities (poles & wires as compared to digital switches and advanced IT).[...]

 

IU: Which stakeholders could or should drive these sorts of changes? 

 

O'Brien: That is the question, the heart of the matter. [...] I've given this some thought and the best I can come up is that industry—the smart grid industry—could probably do more, along with the investor-owned utilities, to find some way to be more constructively engaged with the regulatory community. 

 

 

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Stupidity Is Not A Valid Defense For Us - The Automatic Earth

Stupidity Is Not A Valid Defense For Us - The Automatic Earth | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

If we can't plead stupidity, what else is there? How do we live with ourselves? Is it all the stuff we buy that manages to numb our brains and consciences?

 

When I see a headline like this one at Bloomberg today, World Needs Record Saudi Oil Supply as OPEC Convenes, there’s just one thought that pops into my head: what the world needs is for us to stop doing this thing we’re doing. Even apart from peak oil concerns, it’s obvious we’re going to run out at some point or another, and it doesn’t matter whether that’s tomorrow or at some other point in the future, though we do know it’s not going to take another 100 years, or even 50.

 

And nothing will ever take the place of oil; once those unique carbons are gone, that’s it, we’ll have to find a completely different way of running our societies, and if we’re not smart enough to prepare for that beforehand, we’ll be cats fighting in a sack and use the last scraps to kill off each other. And our legacy won’t be the Greek thinkers and Picasso and Dostoyevsky and Walt Whitman and Maria Callas, since there won’t be the means for our children anymore to share what makes man great between them. Our main legacy will instead be bloodshed, we will have gone the exact same path that any non-thinking or even primitive organism would have taken, who don’t have opera or philosophy or poetry to their name.

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From 'Finding Nemo' to minerals—what riches lie in the deep sea?

From 'Finding Nemo' to minerals—what riches lie in the deep sea? | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
As fishing and the harvesting of metals, gas and oil have expanded deeper and deeper into the ocean, scientists are drawing attention to the services provided by the deep sea, the world's largest environment. 'This is the time to discuss deep-sea stewardship before exploitation is too much farther underway,' ...
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Huge waves measured for first time in Arctic Ocean

Huge waves measured for first time in Arctic Ocean | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
As the climate warms and sea ice retreats, the North is changing. An ice-covered expanse now has a season of increasingly open water which is predicted to extend across the whole Arctic Ocean before the middle of this century. Storms thus have the potential to create Arctic swell – huge waves that ...
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People-Oriented Cities: Mixed-Use Development Creates Social and Economic Benefits | World Resources Institute

People-Oriented Cities: Mixed-Use Development Creates Social and Economic Benefits | World Resources Institute | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
The “People-oriented Cities” series—exclusive to TheCityFix and Insights—is an exploration of how cities can grow to become more sustainable and livable through transit-oriented development (TOD). The nine-part series will address different urban design techniques and trends that reorient cities around people rather than cars.
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Renewing the Global Commitment to Crop Breeding | World Resources Institute

Renewing the Global Commitment to Crop Breeding | World Resources Institute | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
In an article originally published for Devex, Tim Searchinger and Craig Hanson discuss a new World Resources Report publication, which finds that using the modern advances of genetics—such as DNA mapping—offers a great opportunity to increase crop yields while also protecting the environment.
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RELEASE: Strengthening Community Forest Rights is Critical Tool to Fight Climate Change, Says Major New Report | World Resources Institute

RELEASE: Strengthening Community Forest Rights is Critical Tool to Fight Climate Change, Says Major New Report | World Resources Institute | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Read this press release in Spanish

Community forests around the world hold 37.7 billion tonnes of carbon

Editor’s note: The full report, executive summary brochure and high-resolution infographics are available to download here.
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10 reasons for a shorter working week

10 reasons for a shorter working week | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Benefits for our environment, economy and society
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Beijing to weigh administrative duties against climate

Beijing to weigh administrative duties against climate | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Beijing (UPI) Jul 28, 2013 - The performance of Chinese decision-makers will be vetted in part by their environmental stewardship, a political document said.

 

The performance of Chinese decision-makers will be vetted in part by their environmental stewardship, a political document said.

A briefing issued Sunday by the Communist Party of China said the decisions and administrative activities of Chinese officials will be measured against social, economic and environmental impacts.

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Climate experts estimate risk of rapid crop slowdown

Climate experts estimate risk of rapid crop slowdown | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Boulder CO (SPX) Jul 29, 2014 -
The world faces a small but substantially increased risk over the next two decades of a major slowdown in the growth of global crop yields because of climate change, new research finds.

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Generating a Genome to Feed the World

Generating a Genome to Feed the World | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Tucson AZ (SPX) Jul 29, 2014 -
An international team of researchers led by the University of Arizona has sequenced the complete genome of African rice. The genetic information will enhance scientists' and agriculturalists' understanding of the growing patterns of African rice, as well as enable the development of new rice varieties that are better able to cope with increasing environmental stressors to help solve global hunger challenges.

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What Do Chinese Dumplings Have to Do With Global Warming?

What Do Chinese Dumplings Have to Do With Global Warming? | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
A refrigeration boom is changing the way Chinese people eat — and threatening the planet in the process.
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Earth survived near-miss from 2012 solar storm: NASA

Earth survived near-miss from 2012 solar storm: NASA | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Back in 2012, the Sun erupted with a powerful solar storm that just missed the Earth but was big enough to 'knock modern civilization back to the 18th century,' NASA said.
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5 Industries Worried About Peak Oil

5 Industries Worried About Peak Oil | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

The debate over the impact of peak oil has been raging for decades. Although few deny that the end of mass oil consumption is drawing nearer, educated estimates now range between 2020 and 2030. But more important than the timeframe of peak oil are its consequences.


Some seek to spell the end of life as we know it, so reliant is the world upon black gold. Others, equally extreme in their views, embrace the news, looking forward to a time when humanity will magically clean up its act. The truth is somewhere in the middle. 

 

The consequences of peak oil are not to be underestimated. Society would undergo a difficult time, given the sheer spread of oil on our culture. Doomsday predictions of ...

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Re-distribution of major tree species in British forests should begin soon

Re-distribution of major tree species in British forests should begin soon | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Scientists at the University of Twente and at Forest Research, the research agency of the British Forestry Commission, used the UK Climate Projections 2009 data in models to show reduction in forest production by up to 42% by the 2080s due to climate change. The researchers studied three major tree ...
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White House warns climate inaction could cost US billions

White House warns climate inaction could cost US billions | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Delaying efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could cost the US $150 billion per year, the White House warned Tuesday in a report on the economic consequences of inaction on climate change.
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Alaska fisheries and communities at risk from ocean acidification

Alaska fisheries and communities at risk from ocean acidification | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Ocean acidification is driving changes in waters vital to Alaska's valuable commercial fisheries and subsistence way of life, according to new NOAA-led research that will be published online in Progress in Oceanography.
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It's Time for a Global Landscape Restoration Revolution | World Resources Institute

It's Time for a Global Landscape Restoration Revolution | World Resources Institute | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Andrew Steer, CEO of WRI, and Monique Barbut of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification discuss the urgent need for a global commitment to restoring degraded land and how it may remedy deforestation, desertification and food scarcity.

The expected rise in world population to 9 billion by 2050, and the need for a 70 percent increase in food production from 2006 levels, makes the need for a solution particularly urgent. This challenge will be even more difficult in the face of a changing climate.
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What Does Environmental Democracy Look Like? | World Resources Institute

What Does Environmental Democracy Look Like? | World Resources Institute | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
At its core, environmental democracy involves three mutually reinforcing rights: the ability for people to freely access information on environmental quality and problems, to participate meaningfully in decision-making, and to seek enforcement of environmental laws or compensation for damages
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RELEASE: El fortalecimiento de los derechos forestales comunitarios es una herramienta fundamental para luchar contra el cambio climático, indica un nuevo e importante informe | World Resources Ins...

RELEASE: El fortalecimiento de los derechos forestales comunitarios es una herramienta fundamental para luchar contra el cambio climático, indica un nuevo e importante informe | World Resources Ins... | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Los bosques comunitarios alrededor del mundo resguardan 37,7 mil millones de toneladas de carbono

Nota del editor: El informe completo, el folleto con el resumen ejecutivo y las infografías de alta resolución están disponibles para su descarga aquí.
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McDonald's holds the beef in China meat scandal

McDonald's holds the beef in China meat scandal | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Shanghai (AFP) July 28, 2014 - McDonald's outlets across China have yanked their flagship burgers from the menu, the company said Monday, as the American owner of a key supplier embroiled in an expired meat scandal offered consumers a personal apology.

 

Authorities in Shanghai last week shut a plant owned by privately-held OSI Group after a television report alleging it mixed out-of-date meat with fresh product. Police later detained five officials from the OSI subsidiary which operated it, Shanghai Husi Food Co.

 

McDonald's, one of the factory's many customers in China, has stopped using food from all OSI plants in the country "after listening to voices from all parties", it said in a statement.

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Invertebrate numbers nearly halve as human population doubles

Invertebrate numbers nearly halve as human population doubles | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

London, UK  Jul 29, 2014 -
Invertebrate numbers have decreased by 45% on average over a 35 year period in which the human population doubled, reports a study on the impact of humans on declining animal numbers. This decline matters because of the enormous benefits invertebrates such as insects, spiders, crustaceans, slugs and worms bring to our day-to-day lives, including pollination and pest control for crops, decomposition for nutrient cycling, water filtration and human health.

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Wisconsin mayfly swarm causes car accident

Wisconsin mayfly swarm causes car accident | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
La Crosse, Wis. (UPI) Jul 28, 2013 - Millions, if not billions, of mayflies hatching along the Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wisconsin, gathered in a swarm large enough to appear on local radar systems early last week. The swarming insects have been blamed for a three-car accident that sent one man the hospital.
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Dinosaurs fell victim to perfect storm of events

Dinosaurs fell victim to perfect storm of events | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
Edinburgh, UK (SPX) Jul 29, 2014 -
Dinosaurs might have survived the asteroid strike that wiped them out if it had taken place slightly earlier or later in history, scientists say. A fresh study using up-to-date fossil records and im
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America Might Soon Witness A Dust Bowl-Like Migration

America Might Soon Witness A Dust Bowl-Like Migration | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Debates still persist about the impact of climate change, but from my perspective, the early results are in. We are now reaching the point where cities, metro areas and states will have to consider taking bold and assertive measures to even maintain their current quality-of-life levels. And we are also reaching the point at which alternate futures for our cities must be considered.

 

California was perhaps the chief beneficiary of the migration generated by the Dust Bowl, as residents of the Great Plains saw their livelihoods disappear...

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Study shows trees save many lives—are tree-huggers onto something?

Study shows trees save many lives—are tree-huggers onto something? | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
The first study to directly link trees' air pollution removal to human health shows that a significant amount of lives are saved and countless respiratory problems averted thanks to trees.
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Hong Kong-based inventor's breakthrough robotic boat aims to clean-up oceans

Hong Kong-based inventor's breakthrough robotic boat aims to clean-up oceans | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
A Hong Kong-based environmentalist and inventor is developing special boats with shape-shifting hulls to help clean-up the oceans
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