Sustainable Arlington

Arlington Vision 2020 Committee/Mass. Climate Action Network (MCAN) Chapter

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Paint the Town Green

Celebrate Arlington’s Path to a Sustainable Future

Sunday, September 23, 2018 - 3-5 p

Arlington Town Hall, 730 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA

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At the Windows on Water film series screening of Liquid Assets, DPW Director Mike Rademacher gave the audience an update on what the Town is doing to maintain our water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure. Thank you, Mike, for making yourself available to the communuity-we learned a lot.

To read more about Arlington's drinking water, here is the most recent Mass Water Resources Drinking Water report, just click on "Arlington".

To find out more about what's happening in Arlington, sign up to receive Town notices here or visit the DPW page here.

  • Energy Efficiency Can Address Climate Change, Drive Prosperity, and Strengthen National Security

    Climate Change News Sep 23, 2018 | 04:37 am

    Energy Efficiency Can Address Climate Change, Drive Prosperity, and Strengthen National Security New paper by award-winning American physicist, Amory B. Lovins, reveals energy efficiency as a bigger, cheaper resource than expected. Distinguished American energy expert Amory Lovins Tuesday published what may be the most important findings for climate change since Lord Nicholas Stern published “The Economics of Climate Change” in 2007. Current climate change thinking argues that the world has to use energy at least 3% more productively each year in order to stay below 2 degrees.  Amory Lovins argues that the world’s ability to sustain such rapid savings (slightly above the 2015 peak of 2.8%/y) is far greater—and can prove even more profitable—than had been thought. In the paper, titled How Big Is the Energy Efficiency Resource?, Lovins shows that the potential for energy efficiency has been massively understated and its cost overstated, by analyzing not whole buildings, vehicles, and factories, but only their individual parts, thus missing valuable ways to help the parts work together to save more energy at lower cost.  Lovins shows a pathway to staying well below 2 degrees is more achievable that any current climate scenarios assume or suggest. “In the same way that no one expected the cost of solar and wind to plummet, driving faster adoption that cuts their cost further,” Lovins explained, “we have overlooked the ability of modern energy efficiency to do the same thing.” The paper cites strong empirical evidence that the scope for energy efficiency is actually severalfold larger and cheaper than had previously been thought.  Unlike renewable energy, whose[…]

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  • Saturday 22

    Climate Change News Sep 23, 2018 | 04:21 am

    Saturday 22

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  • ICE Car Death Watch Trolls the Trolls

    Climate Change News Sep 22, 2018 | 05:52 am

    ICE Car Death Watch Trolls the Trolls What do you first think when you see a picture of a burning car on Twitter?  Tesla of course, since that’s the public service announcement the media has drilled into our head.  Also, you know, a gas tank can’t catch fire and blow up.  And even if gas was flammable, cars wouldn’t be catching on fire every day, ya know?From one of our newest reports, here are a few quotes about fires (note that ICE = internal combustion engine, which is the thingie that burns gasoline or diesel in a “normal” car):“ICE cars are fundamentally more exposed to fatal fire risks than their electric counterpart.”“Even in case of collision, ICE vehicles are more likely to catch fire than hybrid vehicles.”“ICE cars are fundamentally more exposed to fatal fire risks than their electric counterparts, as the deadliest fires are mostly due to flammable liquids located in the engine area.”Read more at ICE Car Death Watch Trolls the Trolls

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  • Tesla Signs Lithium Supply Deal with China’s Biggest Producer

    Climate Change News Sep 22, 2018 | 05:45 am

    Tesla Signs Lithium Supply Deal with China’s Biggest Producer China’s largest lithium producer, Ganfeng Lithium, said on Friday that it had signed a three-year deal to supply Tesla with lithium hydroxide for batteries—another lithium supply agreement for Tesla as it tries to stay ahead in raw materials sourcing before the coming massive EV competition from legacy carmakers. The top Chinese lithium producer will supply around one-fifth of its production to Tesla under the deal between 2018 and 2020, according to a filing by Ganfeng Lithium with the Shenzhen stock exchange as carried by Bloomberg.  The agreement can be extended by another three years, Ganfeng Lithium said. In May of this year, Tesla entered into an agreement with Australia’s Kidman Resources Limited.  The Australian company entered into a binding deal to supply Tesla with lithium hydroxide for an initial term of three years on a fixed-price take-or-pay basis from the delivery of first product.  The deal also has two 3-year term options for renewal. If Tesla’s Nevada factory reaches battery production equivalent to 35 gigawatt hours by late next year, Tesla may need 28,000 tons of lithium hydroxide from late 2019 onwards, according to forecasts by industry consultants Benchmark Minerals, quoted by Bloomberg. Read more at Tesla Signs Lithium Supply Deal with China’s Biggest Producer

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  • Friday 21

    Climate Change News Sep 22, 2018 | 03:50 am

    Friday 21

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  • Solar Energy Largely Unscathed by Hurricane Florence’s Wind and Rain

    Climate Change News Sep 21, 2018 | 07:15 am

    Solar Energy Largely Unscathed by Hurricane Florence’s Wind and Rain In North Carolina, the #2 solar state, Florence was the first extreme weather test for much of its renewable energy.  Nuclear and coal ash had flood problems.Faced with Hurricane Florence's powerful winds and record rainfall, North Carolina's solar farms held up with only minimal damage while other parts of the electricity system failed, an outcome that solar advocates hope will help to steer the broader energy debate.North Carolina has more solar power than any state other than California, much of it built in the two years since Hurricane Matthew hit the region.  Before last week, the state hadn't seen how its growing solar developments—providing about 4.6 percent of the state's electricity—would fare in the face of a hurricane.Florence provided a test of how the systems stand up to severe weather as renewable energy use increases, particularly solar, which is growing faster in the Southeast than any other other region.Read more at Solar Energy Largely Unscathed by Hurricane Florence’s Wind and Rain

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  • Exxon, Chevron First US Companies to Join Oil and Gas Climate Alliance

    Climate Change News Sep 21, 2018 | 06:30 am

    Exxon, Chevron First US Companies to Join Oil and Gas Climate Alliance ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Occidental Petroleum join ten other major fossil fuel producers that say they recognize the goals of the Paris climate deal. ExxonMobil, Chevron and Occidental Petroleum have joined a global group of oil giants aiming to limit their climate impact. According to the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), its three new members recognize and support the Paris Agreement goal of keeping the temperature increase below 2C.  As a first gift, they will be contributing $100m to the group’s climate fund. Darren Woods, chairman and chief executive officer of ExxonMobil said:  “Our mission is to supply energy for modern life and improve living standards around the world while minimizing impacts on the environment.  This dual challenge is one of the most important issues facing society and our company.” Created in 2014, the OGCI comprises 13 oil and gas companies and aims to minimize the impacts of greenhouse gases through investments and research into green technology.  The group funds research into cutting emissions related to the production of fossil fuels.  It advocates for carbon capture mechanisms and more efficient transport engines as ways to decrease emissions. Exxon, Chevron First US Companies to Join Oil and Gas Climate Alliance

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  • Tesla Model 3 Gets 5-Star Rating from U.S. Safety Agency

    Climate Change News Sep 21, 2018 | 05:45 am

    Tesla Model 3 Gets 5-Star Rating from U.S. Safety Agency Model 3 sedan has been awarded a five-star rating by the U.S. auto safety agency NHTSA in tests that are standard for cars in the United States. The agency has been investigating crashes involving other Tesla models, which have raised questions over the functioning of the automaker’s auto-pilot system. The company’s shares were up 1.7 percent at $304.27 in early trading on Thursday. The agency started the 5-Star safety ratings program in 1993 and Tesla's Model X and Model S, which has been the subject of at least one NHTSA investigation, have both received the top rating in the past. The ratings provide information about crash protection and rollover safety of new vehicles. Read more at Tesla Model 3 Gets 5-Star Rating from U.S. Safety Agency

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  • Sea-Level Rise Is Already Hitting the Real-Estate Market

    Climate Change News Sep 21, 2018 | 05:05 am

    Sea-Level Rise Is Already Hitting the Real-Estate Market Along coastlines, some homes that are currently high and dry could be flooded as seas rise over the next century.  The threat may be several decades away, but the real estate market is already responding.Ryan Lewis of the University of Colorado is part of a team that analyzed hundreds of thousands of coastal real estate transactions over a decade.They compared the sale prices of homes that were similar in almost every way:  same size, same zip code, and the same distance from the beach.Lewis:  “The difference is either one house is slightly higher than the other, or one house is protected by natural features.”In other words, two identical homes – one more likely to flood in the future, and one less.  The analysis found that more vulnerable properties sold, on average, for about seven percent less.Read more at Sea-Level Rise Is Already Hitting the Real-Estate Market

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  • Glacial Engineering Could Limit Sea-Level Rise, If We Get Our Emissions Under Control

    Climate Change News Sep 21, 2018 | 04:10 am

    Glacial Engineering Could Limit Sea-Level Rise, If We Get Our Emissions Under Control Targeted engineering projects to hold off glacier melting could slow down the collapse of ice sheets and limit sea-level rise, according to a new study published in the European Geosciences Union journal The Cryosphere.  While an intervention similar in size to existing large civil engineering projects could only have a 30% chance of success, a larger project would have better odds of holding off ice-sheet collapse.  But study authors Michael Wolovick and John Moore caution that reducing emissions still remains key to stopping climate change and its dramatic effects. "Doing geoengineering means often considering the unthinkable," says Moore, a scientist at Beijing Normal University, China, and a professor of climate change at the University of Lapland, Finland.  The term 'geoengineering' is usually applied to large-scale interventions to combat climate change.  But instead of trying to change the entire climate, Wolovick and Moore say we could apply a more targeted approach to limit one of the most drastic consequences of climate change:  sea-level rise. Their "unthinkable" idea is glacial geoengineering: making changes to the geometry of the seafloor near glaciers that flow into the ocean, forming an ice shelf, to prevent them from melting further.  Some glaciers, such as the Britain- or Florida-sized Thwaites ice stream in West Antarctica, are retreating fast.  "Thwaites could easily trigger a runaway [West Antarctic] ice sheet collapse that would ultimately raise global sea level by about 3 meters," explains Wolovick, a researcher at Princeton University's Department of Geosciences, US.  This could have dramatic effects to[…]

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