10/29/2012 12:26 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Climate Change This Week: New Solar Record, Wind Means Money, and More!

WOO-HOO!!! Soaking Up More Rays!!! brags solar cell producer Solar Junction, reports Eric Wesoff at GreentechSolar. Their new record, in terms of converting solar power to electricity is 44 percent!!!! And it could go higher. Compare that to photosynthesis, which, on a good day, hovers around 2 percent. (Now do you understand why it doesn't pay to GROW biofuels?)

You Can Bank on Wind Power to increase household incomes as well as local revenues significantly, say new studies, reports Pete Danko at Earthtechling, while also adding new jobs, reducing pollution... and this is true throughout the many states examined by the studies. Seriously, folks, what's not to like? Just remember that Obama wants to continue support for Wind, but Romney doesn't. And look into how your Congress people up for re-election feel about it. Then VOTE.


The new aerial look of the U.S.: wind turbines on the farm, photographed from 30,000 feet as I flew over them to visit mom...

Gimme a Light -- from Clean Energy! Especially if you're in the developing world, says a new study by Evan Mills at the Lumina Project. Turns out that those who lack electricity in the developing world pay more and suffer far more problems -- think burns, fiery destruction, indoor pollution, mother and infant mortality, to name a few -- than those who use LED lighting via electricity from off-the-grid clean energy sources, like solar and wind.

Finally, a Sane Energy Vision for the U.S. that recognizes climate change and finite resources is embodied in a new report, reports co-author Kate Gordon at Climate Progress. Their 6 regional development strategies are: offshore wind along the Atlantic, restoring the Gulf Coast, developing energy efficiency in the southeast, advanced vehicles in the Midwest, wind and solar development through the Mountain West, and solar rooftop installation along the Pacific. Brilliant! Now all WE have to do is vote in clean energy candidates....

Okay, folks, I've been able to give you four uplifting stories in this week's column, so cut me slack if I have to head back into the darker netherworld...

North America Has Largest Increase in Human-Driven Climate Change Catastrophes of all the continents, say insurers, and it'll get worse, according to a major new study, reports Joe Romm at Climate Progress. The number of such catastrophes increased 500 percent over 40 years! The study concludes that we should expect even more -- and, presumably, higher insurance rates. Lucky us!

Do you know of a good video or graphic connected with climate change? Do you have a cool "Every day is Earth Day" nature picture of yours you'd like to share with us? Put a web link to it in the comments section below, and we'll see if we can post it.

Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by this 200+ lb mother-of-all jack o'lanterns (see the light in his pipe?) I saw one Halloween. Making the U.S. a global clean energy leader will ensure a heck of a lot more jobs, and a clean, safe future, despite what Mitt Romney thinks.


If you'd like to TELL Congress you'll vote for clean energy candidates you can join the increasing numbers of people doing so here. For more detailed summaries of the above and other climate change items, audio podcasts and texts are freely available.