by Neil Seldman in BioCycle Deconstructing, as opposed to demolishing, abandoned buildings will revitalize our cities by reducing waste, creating green jobs, providing high-quality recycled materials for new construction, and more. Read the full BioCycle article Continue reading
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Most environmental leaders and Democratic Party officials argue that we should support the Waxman-Markey carbon cap and trade bill (American Clean Energy Security Act) no matter how imperfect because it represents an important small step forward. In this commentary by David Morris, he concludes that the bill would be acceptable if it was stripped of its cap and trade provisions. Retaining the cap and trade provisions and he sees it as a giant step backwards that may well hobble further progress in federal efforts to combat climate change for years to come.
The St. Regis Mohawk tribe again proves that it is cheaper to build your own power plant than to buy electricity from utilities. Continue reading
We have added a new sector to the Information Policy Area – Open Source / Open Standards. The first rule in this new sector is a recent resolution from Vancouver that will increase local government use of open standards, open source, and open/accessible data.
Open standards, open data, and open source are all important ingredients for locally self-reliant communities in the modern era. Continue reading
ILSR announces a new site focusing on publicly owned broadband networks and the benefits they offer to the community. MuniNetworks.org explains the many advantages of community ownership and documents the impressive speeds available from some of the top-performing networks. Community broadband networks offer some of the fastest speeds at the most affordable prices in the United States. Continue reading
Lafayette, Louisiana is one community among hundreds that are building publicly owned, broadband networks to ensure their community with thrive in the 21st century. They fought years of legal battles and are now deploying one of the fastest networks in the country — and keeping prices affordable.
Their Chamber of Commerce supported them throughout and is now finding ways that they will be able to leverage the network. Being accountable to the community, that owns it, the network is open for innovative ideas. The network is not yet finished, but the Chamber is starting meetings to spur innovation. Continue reading
We just added a new rule to our database – Saint Paul, MN, is building a robust core network to meet its telecommunications needs (as well as those of the schools, state, and county in town.
Theshort story is that the city wants to build a core network to replace the deficient Comcast Institutional Network that currently offers the city its connectivity. However, the City Council passed a resolution to ensure that the network would meet future needs, not just present needs. This wisely leaves the door open to future decisions that would allow the network to be expanded, bringing ultra-high-speeds to anyone in the City.
At this point, the City Council has not suggested it would do that, but it is looking toward the future with this network rather than remaning dependent on a private company for essential services. Read the rule and background here. Continue reading
The state Public Utilities Commission has made it easier for small power generators 10 MW and under to get their renewable energy flowing onto the electric grid.
Called the South Dakota Small Generation Interconnection Rules, the recent decision simplifies who can connect to the electric grid and how. It allows electric customers to be producers, too, by connecting clean energy systems such as solar panels and wind turbines to the grid. Next is a legislative review hearing. Barring changes, the interconnection rules will become law June 9.
Cory Doctorow, a strong proponent of network neutrality explains not just why we must preserve the Internet as it is, but also why we have the authority to do it. Some Internet Service Providers want to choose what sites their subscribers can visit – and at what speeds.
Take filtering: by allowing ISPs to silently block access to sites that displease them, we invite all the ills that accompany censorship – Telus, a Canadian telcom that blocked access to a site established by its striking workers where they were airing their grievances. Around the world, ISPs co-operate with censorious governments in their mission to keep their citizens in the dark: for example, ISPs in the United Arab Emirates are blocking access to stories about a UAE royal family member who was video-recorded torturing a merchant with whom he had a business dispute.
A 10-min video on Germany’s rewarding feed-in tariff renewable energy program Continue reading