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On Communicating About Climate Change: 'The Elephant We're All Inside Of'

On behalf of George Marshall, who has offered this comment:

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Hi Rick,

George here. I entirely agree, it is essential that we understand and respect the values of the people we are speaking to- indeed, this is very much at the heart of my approach.  I think your comments would be very fair if I was speaking to livestock breeders or loggers-remember though, this was an interview conducted in Yale University, so I was speaking to their values.

I'm also strongly of the view that I am not the best person to do the communication- so, much of my work is focused on encouraging and enabling people to speak to their peers. That means that it is livestock breeders talking to livestock breeders. It sounds self-evident, but this requires a very different approach for environmental communicators. Rather than being the communicator, they are the facilitator of a discussion, and they are using their skills and expertise to support others.

thank you

George


January 30, 2015    View Comment    

On Communicating About Climate Change: 'The Elephant We're All Inside Of'

Rick,

I totally agree. If anyone talks 'down' to their audiences, no matter their stance, they instantly lose credibility. That's a challenge many climate activists share.

January 12, 2015    View Comment    

On Communicating About Climate Change: 'The Elephant We're All Inside Of'

Bob,

So who do think are sufficiently capable of energizing leadership for climate change action? How about cllimate resiliency, which seems to be getting traction in many quarters around the world.

January 12, 2015    View Comment    

On EPA's Coal Ash Storage Rule Shouldn't Let Utilities Off the Hook: Viable Options Exist

Edward: EPA's ruling does present that conundrum. Ash IS supposed to be easier to recycle after its been treated but the lack of a hazardous classification likely means most utilities not taking a proactive approach, e.g. Santee Cooper, will continue the status quo by leaving it in unlined pits, thereby exposing rivers and drinking water supplies to the numerous toxins untreated ash contains.

December 30, 2014    View Comment    

On A New Platform to Guide Utility Regulations To Let Solar and Distributed Energy Flourish

I don't think citizens have a right to use the grid for their own benefit but there is widespread agreement that they should be able to generate their own power and receive some value for the excess power that flows back out on to the grid. That power ought to be valued fairly and credibly -- and there exists the evolving debate. I'm researching a good effort by ICF International to establish standards for valuing solar given the various state efforts in play. If you know of others, please advise via email, jim@jimpierobon.com. Thanks.

December 1, 2014    View Comment    

On A New Platform to Guide Utility Regulations To Let Solar and Distributed Energy Flourish

Mr. Miller: I think we have enough models for how regulated utilities are responding to the opportunity or threat (depending on one's view) that solar poses to their business models. Companies such as NRG get it. Even companies such as AEP are making significant strides to embrace the cleaner potential of solar; this while companies such as Dominion Virginia Power are not, or at least not yet.


We'll see how this plays out. I like the composition of the review panel. I actually think SEPA demonstrated this is at least a credible exercise (although perhaps futile in the long run) to elicit fresh thinking.

November 28, 2014    View Comment    

On Coal Ash Waste Disposal by Utilities Set to Improve December 19th, But What About the Growing Risks of‘ 'Legacy' Pits?

Thank you Ivy for the feedback. Just about everywhere I / we turn in Virginia, solutions to energy challenges and opportunities frequently come around to why lawmakers, in this case, are reticent to address the risks of coal ash: political contributions from Dominion Virginia Power. How many more accidents such as the two outlined in my piece will it take to engage lawmakers in Virginia and in other states dependent on coal?

November 26, 2014    View Comment    

On Coal Ash Waste Disposal by Utilities Set to Improve December 19th, But What About the Growing Risks of‘ 'Legacy' Pits?

Mr. McBroom, thank you for chiming in. I'm at least curious how this newl patented technology might work for coal ash and tar sands residue. Check you email for how we can followup with each other.

November 26, 2014    View Comment    

On Coal Ash Waste Disposal by Utilities Set to Improve December 19th, But What About the Growing Risks of‘ 'Legacy' Pits?

M. van Dorp: Many thanks for spotlighting this option. Seems a no-brainer on many fronts. Curious why a private enterprise, perhaps even a venture capitalist, doesn't give it a shot.  I trust the quick answer to this, as you pointed out, is it cannot work without a breeder reactor. I think the coal ash challenge is so much bigger than spent fuel rods from today's nuclear reactors, you'd think SOMEone would devise a marketable solution.


We at The Energy Collective invite you to outline specifically how this could work. That's what we're all about. If you'd prefer, find me on LinkedIn and let's find some time to talk.

November 26, 2014    View Comment    

On Tea Party Organizer Debbie Dooley Taking Her Advocacy for Solar Energy and Against Utility Monopolies to Florida, Virginia, and Wisconsin

Bob,

Thank you for chiming in. What's resonating with Debbie Dooley's message is pretty simple. If a homeowner or a business wants to generate their own power more cleanly and without hurting the grid, he/they should be able to do so.

Solar is growing steadily, if not booming, in enough states by now to challenge the notion that consumers in other states should be able to do the same. In Virginia, EVERYwhere cleaner energy advocates turn, Dominion is one step ahead of them to block, or at least inhibit, development of solar energy.

If a utility is going to monopolize a market, Debbie Dooley asserts, then it should -- in the public interest -- at least enable solar to grow on its own merits. North Carolina gets it, so do South Carolina and Georgia. Keep your eyes on Virginia in the next few years.

November 6, 2014    View Comment    

On Virginia Utilities Pull Out of Collaboration Working on a Method to Value Solar Energy

Bob,

The U.S.  federal investment tax credit for solar expires at year-end 2016 and has served a demonstrably useful purpose in scaling up the U.S. solar industry. I seriously doubt it will be renewed. Compare that with the HUGE subsidies for new nukes. No utility CEO or CFO would pursue a new nuke without them.

Energy utilities today are where phone companies were in the 1980s. They no longer need to be monopoly providers. And if you're focused on Dominion's rates, you should start watching actual energy bills. Rates at some utilities might be higher, but there are tools there to help customers lower their monthly energy costs.

September 27, 2014    View Comment    

On Virginia Utilities Pull Out of Collaboration Working on a Method to Value Solar Energy

Nathan,

I'm not clear on what you think is UNfair about this process. Utility scale solar may be less expensive than distributed / small solar. But that says nothing about homeowners and small businesses who deserve the option to go solar to better manage their energy costs. What's not fair about generating one's own electricity and reducing the risks of almost certain future price increases?

RE: Nuclear. I don't see how it even compares -- or competes -- without massive subisidies. Look at the cost-overruns AND delays at the Vogtle complex in Georgia. Even Virginia Power is trying to pass through costs of its research into a third reactor at the now geologically-challenged North Anna plant.

What is upsetting many people in Virginia is the public face these utilities brought to the process and their abrupt withdrawal. Some of them are not feeling the first taste of real pressure from the customers they are charged, under a monopoly regime, with serving. Ratepayers deserve a LOT better. This valuation process is one small way of respecting that.

Iin case you don't know: natural gas supply is competitive in Virginia. Dominion prevented that from happening with electricity.

 

 

September 27, 2014    View Comment