Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Video - China Air Pollution

A look at China's growing economy and the effect it will have on climate change and the health of its population.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Abu Dhabi pushes to be leader in renewable energy

By Simeon Kerr in Abu Dhabi

Published: January 21 2008 02:00 | Last updated: January 21 2008 02:00

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company is using the emirate's excess petrodollars and its low-cost manufacturing environment in a bid to become the world's leader in renewable energy, initially exploiting the United Arab Emirates' plentiful sunshine for solar power, writes Simeon Kerr.

The company, also known as Masdar, plans to fund research and development of a variety of alternative energy technologies, foster the businesses that create them, and use the emirate's financial clout to make these expensive ideas economical. "We have a unique ability to invest at all stages of the development timeline," says Steven Geiger, Masdar's director of special projects.

Masdar has invested most of the $250m in its Clean Tech Fund, which it launched in 2006 with Credit Suisse and Consensus Business Group, in 10 firms developing alternative energy technologies, including a way to turn human bio-waste into a coal-like substance.

Holy light: Wyandotte priest preaches, practices energy efficiency

When the Rev. Charles Morris thought about illuminating his congregation at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, he decided to do it with solar panels, a wind turbine, compact fluorescent light bulbs and a solar net.

Morris, the priest at the Wyandotte church since 1993, believes the faith community has the responsibility to lead the way to salvation from fossil fuel dependence and pollution while embracing renewable energy sources.

And he's practicing what he preaches.

St. Elizabeth was one of the stops on last weekend's Michigan Sustainable Homes and Businesses Tour — also known as the National Solar Tour — with sites from Monroe to Clarkston and Detroit to Canton. Businesses, schools and other organizations showed off their efforts to reduce their carbon footprints by using renewable energy to heat, cooling and light.

A "solar net" covers the church's 1,400 square feet of stained-glass windows. The shroud reduces glare by 93 percent and helps regulate the inside temperature. That translates to heat savings in the winter and lower cooling costs in the summer.

Throughout the school, rectory and church, an overhauled lighting system uses compact fluorescent bulbs and other high-efficiency lights. Exit signs are LED technology.

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