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Feast Your Eyes on Iceland, Save Wind Power Jobs & More: Top 5 Stories This Week

Big wind is getting bigger, but can we save the tax credits that help it grow? Also, how to read palms skylines, and new Passive House partnerships.

Remind yourself why you want to save the planet by looking at Lloyd Alter's vacation pictures.Photo Credit: Lloyd Alter

By Paula Melton

This is what a treehugger looks like

Ever forget why you’re working so hard to save the planet? DO NOT MISS Lloyd Alter’s slideshow of his backpacking trip in Iceland. Then immediately schedule your next nature immersion, whatever form that takes for you.

Killing wind power subsidies will kill jobs

91,000 U.S. wind-power jobs are “blowin’ in the wind” because crucial tax credits are in jeopardy, writes RP Siegel over at TriplePundit. A few stats before you click:

  • 32% of added generation capacity in 2011 came from wind
  • Current wind-power capacity equals that of 44 coal plants
  • 70% of wind-power equipment in 2011 was manufactured in the U.S.

What your skyline says about you

Thomas Sigler at The Atlantic Cities practices some postmodern urbanist phrenology on city skylines, from Paris to Vancouver to Hong Kong to Taipei. Great pictures of the different types, like the “Shock City,” the “Oligopolis,” and “Surf Cities” and a fun discussion of what shapes them. In a similar vein, Steve Mouzon asks whether “fried egg” cities are really urban.

Were you going to eat that?

There’s been a lot of focus in the last few years on repairing our broken food system, but we’re never going to get a handle on that if we keep throwing away shocking amounts of food. NRDC has released a report on the truly disgusting amount of food waste we’re responsible for in the U.S.—and I don’t mean because there’s mold growing on it.


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We took a look at this issue last year in the context of a report about food disposal systems that showed municipal compost is the best option for dealing with food waste. So yes, put your scraps in the compost—but as with all sustainability efforts, from recycling to saving energy, the first thing you do is reduce.

Passive House + DOE = zero energy homes

Last week at Green Building Advisor, Allison Bailles asked whether Passive House could go mainstream here in the U.S.

It will if Katrin Klingenberg, executive director at Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS), has anything to say about it. Going against the international grain, she has pushed the development of the group’s PHIUS+ rating system, proposed relaxing the standard, and banned certain spray foam materials, and the U.S. Department of Energy has now partnered with the group to push zero-energy homes. Whether or not Passive House ever becomes mainstream—or will even be recognizable as Passive House if it does—it’s certainly a fascinating story to watch. We’ll keep our finger on the pulse!

Published August 24, 2012

(2012, August 24). Feast Your Eyes on Iceland, Save Wind Power Jobs & More: Top 5 Stories This Week. Retrieved from

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