Energy and Climate: Learn More

The Post Carbon Institute aims to lead the transition to a more resilient, equitable and sustainable world. To help individuals, communities, businesses and governments understand and respond to current interrelated economic, energy, environmental and equity crises, it provides resources through it’s website, blog, publications, and speakers.

Visit the Institute’s Energy-Reality website for essays from The Energy Reader: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth, for information about campaigns on tar sands, coal, fracking on federal lands, fracking exports, nuclear, and palm oil.

Drilling Deeper, a 2014 report and reality check on US government forecasts for a lasting tight oil and shale gas boom, predicts the rate of production claimed and planned for is unsustainable in the medium and longer-term (read online or download).

The Sustainable Solutions Network – a Global Initiative for the United Nations – has established eleven thematic working groups to promote solutions to key challenges of sustainable development. Participants in Group 6 work on how countries can transition to a low-carbon economy. Their 2014 report, Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States, was presented at the Sept. 2014 United Nations Climate Summit in New York and shows how the U.S. can reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), formerly the Pew Center for Climate Research, is a good resource for information about policy and climate actions at the state, regional, national, and international levels.  Use the C2ES Energy Portal to access overviews, data, and reports on energy sources, use, energy efficiency, global warming facts and figures, and This Week in Energy News.

The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) recently published The Emissions Gap Report 2014 (download the report, appendices, executive summary, and previous reports). Highlights include:

  • Nitty-gritty on various climate change mitigation scenarios
  • Acknowledges gaps, but makes recommendations to meet them
  • Emphasis on “the first fuel” – energy efficiency
  • Building sector: heating, cooling, hot water
  • Fuel use for transportation: projected to double from 2010 levels by 2050

Greenpeace USA’s Energy [R]evolution 2014: A Sustainable USA Energy Outlook challenges the US Energy Information Agency’s energy outlook, and proposes that a rapid transition to renewables creates more jobs at every stage of the energy transition. The contributors show how the international economy can transition to nearly 100% renewable energy by 2050, while assuming no new “breakthrough technologies.”

Earthjustice uses its legal clout to advance clean energy and a healthy climate, safeguard healthy communities, and protect wildlife and wild places. See the hidden cost of our nation’s 149 oil refineries and the fight for clean air. Learn about the coal ash problem and the fight against coal ash contaminants. Video: Dryden, the Small Town that Changed the Fracking Game.

The State Clean Energy Cookbook: A Dozen Recipes for State Action on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, prepared by energy policy teams from Stanford University and the Hoover Institution, presents best practices for state policymaking on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and financing and ownership options. An objective of this project was to help bridge the all-too-common “blue state”, “red state” divide in energy policy.

Learn about Energy Democracy and the challenges of community-scale renewable energy projects, especially in communities of color, at the Center For Social Inclusion. Browse and download publications about Energy Investment Districts (EIDs), community-scaled energy models and strategy, community-led solutions case studies, and communities of color successes in developing community-scale solar projects in Oakland, CA. The “Why Race Matters in Determining our Energy Future” section calls for increased and localized generation of renewables, to ensure healthier environments and new energy economic opportunities.

The Union of Concerned Scientists website contains a wealth of information on energy issues and has a great blog. The Clean Energy section has links to numerous reports on topics such as strengthening the EPA’s clean power plan, solar power, risks of overreliance on natural gas for electricity, and strengthening the US electricity system and renewable electricity standards.

The Clean Vehicles section of website reports on battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, and battery manufacturing plant. The Half the Oil Plan(2012) aims to cut projected US oil use in half by 2035. Other sections of the website cover global warming in general, food and agriculture, and nuclear issues.

Resilience.org, a program of the Post Carbon Institute (see first listing above), is an information clearing house and network of action-oriented groups that focuses on building community resilience. It publishes excellent, frequent articles, especially about peak oil and energy issues. It has an excellent resource listing on energy, economy, environment, food, and water issues.

As UUMFE was creating these materials, Richard Heinberg, a Post Carbon Institute Fellow, published a comprehensive and timely article on the current state of Our Renewable Future. Listen to an interview with Heinberg on Talk Nation Radio.

Green World Rising offers a series of short films on the state of the climate and solutions to the climate crisis (watch online), plus suggestions for meaningful actions. Strikingly graphic, the films are particularly suited for an intergenerational audience and are sure to spark a lively discussion after viewing. Leonardo DiCaprio and Thom Hartmann were part of the production team.

How does your state stack up when it comes to energy efficiency? The nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has just issued its eighth annual State Energy Efficiency Scoreboard, which assesses states based on policies that encourage energy savings, efficiency investments, and jobs in the clean energy sector. The efficiency scoreboard link above goes to an interactive map of the graphic seen here.

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