Southeast Green - Business depends on the environment and the environment depends on business

The Quest for Zero Energy

Atlanta's New NetZero HomeOptimizing the Bottom Line

On my 56th birthday, in December, 2014, we broke ground on our next solar zero energy home.  This time we will build a home in northern Forsyth County near Cumming, Georgia.  For the last seven years, after we had moved and sold our zero energy home in Virginia (dubbed ”The Solar Patriot” – ), we have stayed out of the home market in Georgia while we watched the real estate market slowly return to normal.  We had always planned to rebuild once we understood the Georgia market better.  Our desire is to prove that it is possible to build a similarly sized zero energy home that would be well-designed and could be a popular choice for many more families desiring to streamline their energy use and save on their total cost of ownership.  We are leveraging our prior experience in Virginia and our new understanding of the Georgia market to build this new solar zero energy home, in which the energy consumed balances out with the energy produced.


Why the Pitchforks are coming out in Florida

Dr. Stephen A. Smith - Southern Alliance for Clean EnergyAs the Executive Director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) for over 20 years, I pride myself and the organization in our capacity to work collaboratively with utilities and decision makers to achieve strong results. SACE has a long history working with utilities in all of our Southeastern states, and we have achieved some positive outcomes examples here, here, and here  and developed some strong relationships over the years.

Of course, collaboration requires that all parties are willing to engage in a serious and mutually respectful relationship. My colleagues at SACE and I take our role as advocates for clean energy very seriously, and when we engage with utilities and decision makers, we show up in a professional and respectful way. We know that this is the best way to achieve positive results, and we expect the same of our counterparts at the region’s utilities.


Half of Surveyed Financial Professionals Have Offered SRI Options to Clients

But Major Perception “Gender Gap” About SRI Seen Among Brokers, Investment Advisors; Broad Agreement Found that “Millennial Investors” Will Require Major Changes by Financial Industry

When it comes to perceptions among financial professionals about sustainable, responsible, impact (SRI) investing, men are from Mars and women are from Venus, according to the findings of the first annual “First Affirmative Survey on the Views of Financial Professionals About SRI” released today by First Affirmative Financial Network. The major new survey also finds stronger-than-expected acceptance by financial professionals of offering SRI options to investors and a widespread view that the financial industry will need to change to accommodate the needs of “Millennial Investors.”


The Land and Water Conservation Fund at 50: As Important Today as Ever

September 3, 2014, marks two important 50th anniversaries: the signing of the Wilderness Act and the establishment of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Since President Lyndon Johnson signed both pieces of legislation in 1964, Americans in all 50 states, across thousands of rural and urban communities, have reaped the benefits of accessible outdoor recreation opportunities and protected natural areas.


Most Americans Still Driving, but New Census Data Reveal Shifts at the Metro Level

Driving to work has been a staple in the American commute for decades, but it appears the country’s love affair with cars is stalling in many places. After years of sustained growth, driving levels are flat-lining, while more young people are opting for alternative transportation modes.

Newly released Census data from the 2013 American Community Survey offers additional insight into the shifting nature of our daily commutes.  


Study: How to Replace the Endangered Species Act's Penalties With Incentives

Rewarding landowners for protecting wildlife is key to effective conservation

With few endangered species recovering enough to be taken off the endangered list and the endangered species listing process becoming more contentious by the day, a new Reason Foundation study proposes replacing the Endangered Species Act's penalties with an incentive-based system that pays landowners who protect endangered species and their habitats.


CO2 Going Up. Human Progress Going Up.

Global Science Report is a feature from the Center for the Study of Science, where we highlight one or two important new items in the scientific literature or the popular media. For broader and more technical perspectives, consult our monthly “Current Wisdom.”

It was announced by the World Meteorological Organization (an arm of the United Nations), with front page coverage by the global media, that the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) last year reached a new high value (396 parts per million, ppm) and got there in record time (2.9ppm/yr). Although newer data (through July of 2014) indicate that the rate of rise has fallen back again to levels more characteristic of the past decade, the signal remains—carbon dioxide is building in the atmosphere and rising to levels that have probably not been seen in along time (hundreds of thousands of years).


The Pluto Project: Connected Cars & Smart Cities to the Rescue

In 2010, U.S. drivers used 170 billion gallons of gasoline, enough to drive about 3 trillion miles—the equivalent of about one thousand trips to Pluto.   That mobility was unprecedented, but those gas-guzzling miles also meant 1.7 billion metric tons of harmful carbon dioxide were spewed into our atmosphere.


EPA’s ‘Clean Power Plan’ is Vital

Many objections are being raised about EPA’s proposal to cut CO2 emissions by as much as 30% by 2030. Such resistance is predictable, reactionary, and completely unjustified.

To the contrary, if comparable restrictions are not adopted and successfully implemented soon, the consequences for Georgians and other Americans will become increasingly dire.


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