UNEP Our Planet: Going for 100%

Late in posting this, but privileged to be published alongside global leaders in the fight for sustainability!

Going for 100%: More and more cities are pledging to switch over entirely to renewable energy

By: Betsy Agar

Oxford County is a sleepy little farming county in the agricultural heart of southwestern Ontario, Canada. Some 4,000 km away, San Diego is a Californian metropolis of 1.4 million dubbed the “City of Villages” for its many distinct communities. Across the Atlantic, Osnabrück, Germany is home to a Volkswagen car plant and known as the “City of Peace” for its role in ending the 17th century Thirty Years’ War.

Despite their diversity, these municipalities have something in common: they all have set 100 per cent renewable energy targets, making them leaders in the fight against climate change. And, since creating the Renewable Cities program, we have learned that they are in good company.

Read story

Is 100% RE in cities possible?

I had the distinct pleasure of co-authoring a chapter with Michael Renner, Senior Researcher at Worldwatch Institute for the latest edition of State of the World (2016).


Leading up to the publication launch, our chapter was highlighted on the Worldwatch blog. And I have recently discovered it is now available on Google Books.

A pleasure to be on the receiving end of a very talented editor,  Lisa Mastny, and I am grateful to all of the work she did to help Michael and I converge our perspectives into one very powerful message: 100% RE in cities is not only possible, it’s happening!

Live within limits without limiting life
Follow me and check out my food blog: Meat Eating Vegans!

Energy efficiency from the personal to the international

In December of 2015, I was invited by Vision Vancouver to join a panel moderated by City Councillor Andrea Reimer. I had the pleasure of participating alongside David Isaac of W Dusk Energy Group. Whereas he spoke to the “democratization of the electron,” I focussed on “democratization” of energy efficiency, in other words, what people can do towards making their homes and lives more energy efficient.

There was much social media attention, but I wanted to share the message I set out to convey in my opening statement, in the hopes that it will motivate others to, well, pick up a caulking gun…

Continue reading

Transit is a space not just a race

Last night CBC launched my spirits, then dashed my hopes.

I was quite encouraged when the article titled “Five ways to make better use of your commute” popped into my inbox—something I’ve wanted to write on for some time now.

Seabus 3

Then I read it.
Continue reading

How did Vancouver get so green?


Vancouver is supremely green, in both senses of the word. Set between ocean and mountains and lined with verdant trees, Vancouver also has the lowest greenhouse gas emissions of any major city in North America. In 2007, the most recent year for which comparisons are available, Vancouver had annual emissions of 4.9 tons of CO2 equivalent per capita. By 2012, according to Vancouver’s city government, it had dropped to 4.4 tons per person.

“Vancouver has done really well at decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and showing leadership on climate change,” says Ian Bruce, science and policy manager at the David Suzuki Foundation, a Canadian environmental research organization. “Vancouver is bucking the trend of a lot of North American cities when it comes to how quickly the city is growing in population — it’s increasing quite dramatically, its economy and jobs have increased — while greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 9…

View original post 1,583 more words

What was the point of the Senate’s climate talkathon? Changing the terms of the political debate


Sen. Brian SchatzSen. Brian Schatz, a climate hawk who pushes climate talk.

On Monday night, 31 senators pulled an all-nighter on the chamber’s floor. This rager wasn’t for fun, though, and it wasn’t because they were rushing to meet a legislative deadline. It was a climate talkathon, lasting nearly 15 hours.

To those watching the proceedings on C-SPAN, it was a little unclear what the intended purpose was. There was no bill to address climate change on the docket, and if there were it would have no chance of passing the Republican-controlled House. The only Republican who showed up, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), mocked the event. The speakers mostly rehashed well-established science and talked about the effects of extreme weather in their states  — sometimes very small-bore effects. Even Al Franken (D-Minn.) earnestly lamenting that “turkey growers are finding it difficult to heat their barns” didn’t make it funny.

So what was…

View original post 598 more words

This map shows how climate change is screwing over your immediate area


New Scientist has this neat tool that lets you see how average temperatures in specific locations all around the world have changed over the past 120 years or so. Just stick in a city and country, and you can find out how totally screwed you are. For instance, here in Brooklyn, N.Y., we are only moderately screwed.

Whereas in Phoenix, it’s not looking so hot. Metaphorically. Technically, it’s looking pretty hot indeed:

View original post 35 more words

You are

It is not a notion.
It just is.

You are.
So, I do.

You leave.
And, I do.

You shift.
Again, I do.

You hurt.
More than ever, I do

You sigh.
I do.

You approach.
Of course, I do.

You oppose.
I still do.

You exist.
So, I do too.

Live within limits without limiting life Follow me and check out my food blog: Meat Eating Vegans!

Today I wrote a poem

It happens when I least expect it
I know, such a cliché

Suddenly the events, the thoughts, the feelings, converge
And, I’m writing them

Scribbling them

Pondering them

Why would I write this
Why would I read this
Why would I
Why would I
Why would I

Without an answer, I carry on

There are twists
And reflections

There is more to say
And more to say

Today I wrote a poem
I don’t why

What I learned from six months of GMO research: None of it matters

Wow, this article streams about 20 of my gravest passions – grave in the sense of their depressing content – but mostly it’s an intriguing look at society’s relationship with technology. Thank you for this, Nathanael Johnson.

Live within limits without limiting life Follow me and check out my food blog: Meat Eating Vegans!


About a third of the way through this series on GMOs, after a particularly angry conflagration broke out on Twitter, I asked my wife, Beth, if I could tell her what had happened. I was hoping to exorcise those digital voices from my head. Someone had probably accused me of crimes against humanity, shoddy journalism, and stealing teddy bears from children — I forget the details, thank goodness. But I remember Beth’s response.

“No offense,” she said, “but who cares?”

It’s a little awkward to admit this, after devoting so much time to this project, but I think Beth was right. The most astonishing thing about the vicious public brawl over GMOs is that the stakes are so low.

I know that to those embroiled in the controversy this will seem preposterous. Let me try to explain.

Let’s start off with a thought experiment: Imagine two alternate futures, one in…

View original post 1,596 more words

%d bloggers like this: