Suzanne is serving as a Senior Advisor to the Carbon War Room (CWR). The CWR was founded by Richard Branson in 2009 “to harnesses the power of entrepreneurs to implement market-driven solutions to climate change.” Suzanne is leading their efforts in Aviation, Renewable Fuels, and Biochar. Their approach is to bring together successful entrepreneurs, business leaders, policy experts, researchers, and thought leaders to identify the barriers that are preventing market-based scale up of climate change solutions and thereby perpetuating the status quo. In addition to technology and policy gaps, these barriers include principal-agent problems, information gaps, and lack of common standards or metrics.” In March the CWR co-hosted a day-long charrette to explore the potential for biochar to provide a solution for poultry manure problems in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed which would also help jump start the biochar industry. Suzanne will be co-hosting a renewable fuels workshop in Hawaii with the US Navy and the Biotechnology Industry Association.
Archive for the ‘Climate Change’ Category
Our new Windspire vertical axis wind turbine is up and spinning on the hill at Hunt Country Vineyards! I will be at the winery on October 9th for the dedication of the Windspire. We will also be introducing the newest winery addition, which features heavy insulation, in-floor heating capability, automated tank cooling, and energy efficient lighting, and has already resulted in a substantial drop in energy usage.
Our 30 foot tall Windspire produces 1.2 kW of power. Mariah Power manufactures Windspires in Michigan, in a refurbished auto parts plant employing former autoworkers using American materials. The turbine produces 110 volt 60 cycle current, which feeds directly into the residential grid. It has an automatic safety feature whereby it cannot produce power unless the grid is operating. As one of the first Windspire models in operation in New York State, it will be used to demonstrate not only its unique advanced design, but also that small wind turbines can be a graceful part of the farm landscape and can contribute to local self-reliance and regional sustainability.
On June 18th Deutsche Bank launched a 70-foot billboard with a red carbon counter ticking upwards as the amount of carbon in the atmosphere increases (data supplied by MIT) and a message reading “Climate Change Affects Everyone”.
Climate-altering pollution — normally invisible and out of mind — will now be highly visible to hundreds of thousands of people in NY City near Penn Station and Madison Square Garden.
I made sure to go to the launch and luncheon since the project was managed by a friend and colleague on the Deutsche Climate Team. It was great to see the financial community discussing climate change and its implications for business in depth and with urgency.
Now I’d like to see banks all over the US and the world have the Carbon counter on their signs next to the date, time and temperature. And… I’d like a personal carbon counter app for my iphone. I just looked, and yes, they already exist!
Today the “Gigaton Throwdown” results were released publicly in Washington DC with a number of the Obama Administration’s clean tech and green gurus (namely John Holdren – director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Van Jones – Obama’s Green Jobs Advisor, Cathy Zoi – Assistant Secretary of Energy for EE and RE, and David Sandalow – Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy and International Affairs) and their staff in attendance. But with a name like “Gigaton Throwdown”, this is obviously not a Washington initiative. It was conceived of by a group of Venture Capitalists in Silicon Valley who wondered – beyond whether their investments would make the money – would they make a difference? So they enlisted the help of other investors, entrepreneurs, executives and leading academics, to analyze which clean technologies have the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 1 billion metric tons (a gigaton) per year by 2020. (more…)