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Investing in Climate Change

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Silicon Valley lays a bet on extreme weather insurance for farmers.

With climate change causing not only higher temperatures but also increasingly severe and unpredictable weather events, it's not an easy time for farmers. Around 90% of crops losses are directly related to unexpected weather. Scientists say we can expect plenty more of that "unexpected" in the future — and a group of Silicon Valley investors are banking on it. The investment group, which......read more

Feds to Fund Offshore Wind Farms

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Obama administration commits $50.5 million to offshore wind R&D.

Pursuant to the U.S. President's stated goal of generating 80% of all electricity from renewable sources, the Obama administration announced this week a game plan for wind energy development off the Eastern seaboard. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar paired up Monday to announce federal funding for offshore wind farms to the tune of $50.5 million over......read more

Cape Wind Clears Permitting Process

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America's first offshore wind farm given regulatory green light.

Cape Wind, the proposed 130-turbine wind farm to be built in Nantucket Sound off the coast of Cape Cod, received its final federal permit late last week, clearing the way for construction to commence this year. The EPA approval completes a regulatory process that has lasted over a decade.  Cape Wind will be the first offshore wind farm in the United States, and renewable energy......read more

April Bloomfield: Farm to Table

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Celebrated chef sources sustainable essentials in upstate New York.

As executive chef of beswarmed NYC hotspots The Spotted Pig and The Breslin, April Bloomfield has earned a reputation for creating simple, unpretentious dishes with meat playing the starring role. But, as we learned from Nowness, the celebrated chef is big into veggies too. “I love my veggies,” says the chef. “Sometimes I could just do without the meat.” Brazilian photographer Marcelo......read more

Goats as Lawn Mowers

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Furry farm creatures are the new emissions-free lawn maintenance alternative.

In Portland, OR, a new "eco-landscape management" technique is shunning gas-guzzling lawn mowers in favor of a furry, four-legged alternative. At an empty two-acre lot in midtown Portland, a herd of goats is happily working to keep grass and weeds under control. The emissions-free mowers can trim just as much grass as a gas mower, without the requisite fossil fuels and noise pollution.......read more

China to Build World's Largest Offshore Wind Farm

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Country asserts its position as global renewable energy leader.

China is the global leader in wind turbine production and one of the world's largest producers of solar and photovoltaic energy. Now, the country seeks to asserts its position as the world's renewable energy leader by constructing the world's largest offshore wind farm in Bohai Bay, a few hours from Beijing. The Bohai Bay project will produce 1,000 MW of electricity, usurping the......read more

SHFT Sampler 9-24-10

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Weekly links: The world's biggest wind farm, cloudscapes, and a bike that makes art.

Heads in the clouds: German climate engineering firm Transsolar and Tetsuo Kondo Architects collaborated on the 'Cloudscape' exhibition at Venice Biennale. Spotted at Designboom. Artist Gulnur Ozdaglar makes jellyfish-lookin' table bowls from recycled PET bottles. Eat your Wheaties...without destroying the rainforest. Treehugger reports that General Mills will use 100% sustainable......read more

Farming the Bluefin

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Can aquaculture help save the world’s largest tuna?

The giant Atlantic bluefin tuna is one of the fastest fish in the sea. A fierce predator, it hunts incessantly and can cross the ocean multiple times in its life. Now, European researchers are looking to convert this very wild — and very threatened — species into a farm animal. In Sunday's Week in Review in the New York Times, Paul Greenberg, author of "Four Fish: The Future of the......read more

Massive Solar Thermal Farm Approved

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Mojave Desert facility will be California's first solar thermal project in two decades.

The California Energy Commission has approved the Beacon Solar Energy project in the Mojave Desert, making it the first solar thermal farm regulators have permitted in twenty years. The $1 billion, 250-megawatt facility will be built and managed by NextEra Energy Resources. The Beacon project covers over 2,000 acres of private land in Kern County, California, where long rows of curved mirrors......read more

U.S. Military vs. Wind Farms

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Renewable energy projects face off against formidable foe.

Renewable energy projects have faced some interesting opposition over the years. Some are opposed by environmentalists have because of threats to endangered species. Others are opposed by ordinary citizens for aesthetic reasons. Now the U.S. military presents a formidable new opponent. The specific menaces targeted by the Armed Forces are wind turbines, the blades of which are indistinguishable......read more

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