The Democratic Party’s platform drafting committee has written a stronger climate change section than the platform had in 2012, but it also rejected a series of more ambitious climate and energy amendments on Friday. That’s raised the ire of Bernie Sanders and his appointees to the drafting committee, like climate activist and author Bill McKibben.
The first draft of the platform, voted on by the 15-member drafting committee, is now complete, though it hasn’t been made publicly available. On July 8 and 9, in Orlando, the full 187-member platform committee will meet and debate further changes before approving and sending its draft on to the party convention, to be held in Philadelphia the last week of July.MIT Technology Review: Obama’s Ambitious Clean-Energy Goal Will Depend on Nuclear -- and the Next President
President Barack Obama, along with Canadian premier Justin Trudeau and Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto, is expected to announce ambitious new clean-energy goals at the “Three Amigos” summit in Ottawa this week. According to the White House, the three leaders will set a target of generating half of North America’s power from non-carbon-emitting sources by 2025. That is well beyond the emissions reduction targets set by the Paris climate accord, last December.
For Canada, that is not a stretch: the country already gets more than 80 percent of its electricity from clean sources, including hydro, solar, wind, and nuclear. For Mexico and the U.S., however, it will be tougher: Mexico gets about one-quarter of its electricity from clean sources, while the U.S. gets around one-third. Both of those totals include nuclear power -- which, unfortunately, is on the decline.Christian Science Monitor: Is the Toyota Prius the Most Efficient Electric Car?
Six plug-in hybrids are actually less energy-efficient than the 2016 Toyota Prius Eco -- rated at 56 mpg combined -- according to figures published on the EPA's Fueleconomy.gov website.
The dirty half-dozen emphasize performance or luxury over outright efficiency, but at least they introduce their owners to the pleasures of electric driving.
As one advocate said, "Plug-in hybrids are the gateway drug for battery-electric vehicles."Forbes: It Takes 70 Billion Kilowatt-Hours a Year to Run the Internet
America’s myriad server farms and data centers operate 100 million drives that hold 350 million terabytes of data -- everything from your decade-old emails to lolcat videos and the collected offerings of Netflix.
A new report from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory figures that those data centers use an enormous amount of energy -- some 70 billion kilowatt-hours per year. That amounts to 1.8% of total American electricity consumption. At an average cost of 10 cents per kWh, the annual cost of all that juice is on the order of $7 billion.Vox: Volkswagen Will Buy Back Its 'Cheating' U.S. Diesel Cars
Volkswagen will pay up to $14.7 billion to compensate car owners and settle lawsuits in the United States over its clean diesel scandal, in which the company rigged thousands of cars with software so that they polluted less in testing than they did on the road.
Under the terms of the deal, announced on Tuesday, the automaker will set aside $10.03 billion to compensate affected U.S. car owners. That includes offering to buy back nearly 500,000 diesel vehicles that have so-called "defeat devices" installed, as well as providing affected car owners between $5,100 and $10,000 in compensation.