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FEMA & USGBC on Resilient Communities

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Last Wednesday, the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) gave a speech describing the role green building can play to ensure resilient communities as the climate shifts. Fugate was the keynote speaker of the National Leadership Speaker Series on Resiliency and Security in the 21st Century at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

The presentation also featured the launch of a report by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. The report, Green Building and Climate Resilience: Understanding Impacts and Preparing for Changing Conditions, describes potential adaptive strategies familiar to green building practitioners. These strategies add an important new dimension to green building’s long-standing focus on reducing greenhouse gases through energy efficiency and renewable and low-carbon energy supplies.

You can find the full report on the USGBC site here.

THIS POST IS PART OF OUR FRIDAY VIDEO SERIES.

Assorted Links

Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, introduced legislation on Monday to block the Environmental Protection Agency from taking any action to regulate greenhouse gases to address climate change.

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Cyber thieves are actively targeting the European carbon credit market.

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UC Berkeley tops an international ranking of “greenest universities.”

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There’s no such thing as free parking.

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Assorted Links

For the first time in 35 years, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) is moving to enforce decades-old energy efficiency and water conservation standards.

ICLEI USA has compiled a list of cities taking action to reduce their GHG emissions.

NPR has a map showing renewable energy goals and renewable energy generated for each state.

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San Francisco Finds Parking…On the Web

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photo: Cawi2001

These are the days of traffic snarls, extended rush hours, bridge toll increases and scarce parking in many areas of the city.

However, there are some San Franciscans besides cyclists and public transit boosters taking matters into their own hands. I am talking about parking space brokers.

Its no surprise that established garages should have an online presence; many people opt to park in such lots everyday to go to work, so it’s nearly a given that such lots will allow reservations and payments via the web. But you can also arrange a ready space in a random private driveway, church parking lot or off-hour establishment.

Gottapark has been around for several years, bringing  the “haves” of parking together with the “have-nots”. Anyone will a parking space to rent, or a parking hopeful looking for a spot can log on and make a match.

Then there is ParkingCarma, a similar service that ups the ante by providing “real-time” monitoring for parking sites with high-tech gadgets. The company states in its online profile: “ParkingCarma is pioneering new ground by using technology to improve quality of life and the environment, while solving one of today’s largest metropolitan issues: Parking. SmartParking is the application of information technology to improve parking, thereby mitigating the environmental impact of vehicles.”

Um, okay.  I’ll go along with quality of life thing, but I doubt if lack of parking is the biggest environmental impact of vehicles.

But on further examination of the ParkingCarma site, they do make some persuasive points. Namely, pre-arranged parking could help ease traffic congestion and prevent people from driving around and around aimlessly looking for a spot- which would of course help to curtail greenhouse gas emissions. This model also is predicated upon the activation of under-utilized space, potentially preventing the need for (as many) new parking structures.

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New Water Magazine from Johns Hopkins

Johns Hopkins University’s Global Water Program has published its first issue of Global Water Magazine, which is available online here.

The magazine will focus the editorial pieces around six main themes: Water & Energy, Water & Food, Water & Health, Water in the Environment, Water Infrastructure, and Water Policy.

In the first issue, there are several articles that I think would be of interest to readers of this blog, listed below.

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Imperatives for Urban Water Professionals on the Pathway to 2050 by Paul Reiter

Abstract: Looking forward to 2050, the challenges of adding 2 billion more people to an already resource-constrained planet will require major changes in the resources efficiency, energy efficiency and cost of urban water systems of the future. A step change including the integration of city planning and urban water system design will be required to optimize the efficiency and resilience of urban water systems in addition to the development of physical and institutional linkages between agricultural, energy and urban water uses.

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The First Stop on the Road to Corporate Water Reporting: Measurement by Eva Zabey

Abstract: External demands on companies to report on their water use and impacts are intensifying. But before reporting, business needs to measure, and many groups are developing approaches to do just that.

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The Energy-Water Nexus: Finding Solutions in the Balance by Jan Dell and Kathy Freas

Abstract: With uncertainties associated to climate change projections, companies and public utilities face a convergence of energy, water and carbon issues that are impacting their operations and planned projects in sectors and geographical regions.

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The Murkowski Resolution and the EPA

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Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska introduced a resolution seeking to disrupt the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases.

The EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson, wrote a response to the proposed resolution that was posted today at The Huffington Post.

The Senate vote was today – the resolution failed 53 – 47  according to the Associated Press.

The White House had threatened a veto if it reaches the President’s desk. The official Statement of Administration Policy is posted here.