One of the truly wonderful events that occur bi-annually in this country is the Solar Decathlon (SD), an educational program of the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and organized by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
It's now Day 8 of the government shutdown, and a lot of people are hurting. But some of the greatest suffering may ultimately come to our country collectively, as potentially groundbreaking climate and energy research -- not to mention policy -- is now put on hold.
Turns out there's this international contest between university teams competing to create the most energy-efficient house using solar energy, and it goes by the name Solar Decathlon because the houses are judged on 10 categories.
It's winter and you're probably realizing how awful your insulation is --I'm looking at you, Seattle -- and also starting to rethink that last addition to the house where you used single-pane windows that now render the room useless.
Universities need to be thinking forward and figuring out how to prepare both their own campuses for the future and their graduates for the future. Luckily there are a few programs that are already doing that.