There's a clean energy revolution happening in California -- and it has the potential to topple the old polluting forces while fighting climate change with the power of the sun. But here's the thing about a good revolution: It can't rely on a few remarkable events; it needs a solid foundation to sustain itself, and it needs to empower people, the true lifeblood of any revolution.
Beijing just announced that it will close the last of its four major coal-fired power plants in 2016, avoiding an estimated 30 million tons of carbon. This welcome step, carried out as part of China's national Air Pollution Action Plan, is the latest evidence that China is putting teeth into its pledges to tackle air pollution and cap its carbon emissions.
Most people think, and most analysis occurs, in a stove-piped fashion -- thinking of issues in channels of problem and solution without consideration of second- and third-order effects. Such narrow and constrained thinking often fosters (not just far from optimal but) simply bad decisions. Thinking about solar carports provides a window on this issue.
The military has ambitious energy goals - like the Navy sourcing 50 percent of its on-shore energy from alternative sources by 2020, or the Army and Air Force each aiming to have 1 GW of renewable energy installed on their bases by 2025. To realize those goals, it's going to take significant resources and planning from the public and private sectors.
Many people see trade rules as distant, something to leave to the economists, unrelated to the greatest environmental challenge of our time: climate disruption. Take a look at some of the major happenings on trade in 2014 and you'll see, however, that trade rules and climate disruption are integrally linked.