Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

SUNY ESF Makes Energy Efficiency Improvements:

National Grid reimburses SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry $250,000 for energy efficiency improvements

Dave Tobin | By Dave Tobin | 
Email the author 
on July 30, 2013 at 12:05 PM, updated July 30, 2013 at 12:51 PM
SYRACUSE, NY -- SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry today announced it has received a $250,000 reimbursement from National Grid to help offset energy efficiency upgrades.
The college has spent more than $670,000 on six projects, including lighting upgrades and improved ventilation systems, which are expected to save $117,000 annually, roughly the cost of 1,435,824 kilowatt hours of electricity, according to the college.
The National Grid incentive amounts to more than one-third of the cost to upgrade campus systems, such as lighting and ventilation, said ESF President Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr. 

The reimbursement comes through National Grid's Custom Incentive program, which is designed to promote and offset the cost for installation of energy efficient equipment that reduces energy consumption and improves operational efficiency. 

National Grid's program is made possible through the New York State Public Service Commission's Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard, which has a goal of reducing energy usage in New York State by 15 percent by the year 2015.
Detailed information on all of National Grid's energy efficiency programs can be found by clicking here.
Contact Dave Tobin at 470-3277, or via Twitter: @dttobin

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Onondaga Lake Cleanup:

U.S. Green Building Council's Upstate New York chapter to host presentation on Onondaga Lake cleanup on Thursday

Rick Moriarty | By Rick Moriarty | 
on July 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Syracuse, NY -- The New York Upstate Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council will host a presentation on the Onondaga Lake cleanup operation at 7:30 a.m. Thursday (July 25) at the Onondaga Lake Visitors Center.
The presentation will include information on improvements in water quality and the return of native plants and animals to the lake. The visitors center is adjacent to Interstate 690 along the southwest shore of Onondaga Lake.
All are welcome to attend. However, advanced registration is required at For additional information, call Charles Bertuch, project manager at Bergmann Associates, at (315) 415-5364.
Contact Rick Moriarty at or (315) 470-3148. Follow him on Twitter @RickMoriartyCNY and on Facebook at rick.moriarty.92.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Forum on supply chain sustainability scheduled for RIT on July 30:

Release Date: July 19, 2013
Contact: Rich Kiley
585-475-5697 or

Event features speakers from Staples, IBM, PepsiCo and others reducing environmental impacts

An upcoming forum at Rochester Institute of Technology will feature advice and best practices from major companies such as Staples, IBM, and other organizations with leading sustainability programs.

The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I), in partnership with Nixon Peabody LLP, is sponsoring a supply chain sustainability forum titled “Sustainability as a Supplier: What Your Customers Want” from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30, at Louise M. Slaughter Hall-CIMS Conference Center, 111 Lomb Memorial Drive.

The program features a keynote presentation by Mark Buckley, vice president of environmental affairs at Staples Inc. Buckley will be joined by Louis Ferretti, project executive in business integration and transformation for IBM Corp.’s Integrated Supply Chain; Jeffrey H. LaBarge, a partner with Nixon Peabody; Daniel Bena, head of sustainable development for PepsiCo; and Lawrence Gelb, director of global sustainability for Bausch + Lomb who will take part in a panel discussion on how businesses can increase market share and revenue while reducing costs and environmental impacts.

Following the panel discussion, attendees will have the opportunity to choose two breakout sessions where they can interact with the speakers and other sustainability and procurement professionals who will also discuss their programs and supply-chain opportunities in more detail. Lunch will be sponsored by Nixon Peabody LLP and an optional tour of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability is available.

The forum is part of NYSP2I’s Sustainable Supply Chain and Technology Program designed to assist state businesses in achieving global, sustainable manufacturing and “green” supply chain goals. Funding for this workshop is provided by the NYSP2I through a grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

NYSP2I is a statewide research and technology transfer center headquartered at RIT and is a partnership between the university, Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University at Buffalo and the 10 New York State Regional Technology Development Centers. The goal of NYSP2I is to make New York state more sustainable by providing pollution prevention programs and services across the state.

While the forum and lunch are free and open to the public, registration is required at the event’s website. For organizations interested in exhibiting their sustainable products or process details at this event, contact

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

NY Times on Global Warming:

Even The New York Times Has Chilled On Global Warming. Someone Please Tell Obama

As the president demonstrated once again during his “climate action plan” address in Georgetown, he is not someone ever to allow facts to stand in the way of ideology and green lobby cronyism. The familiar take-away line is that even more regulation is essential to bludgeon energy producers and consumers to abandon climate-ravaging fossil fuels in favor of heavily taxpayer-subsidized “alternatives”.
Even his staunch allies in all things liberal at the New York Times appear to finally recognize that the feverish climate fervor behind these green grab gambits is overheated. They reported on June 6 that“The rise in the surface temperature of Earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace.”Reporter Justin Gillis went on to admit that the break in temperature increases “highlights important gaps in our knowledge of the climate system”,whereby the lack of warming “is a bit of a mystery to climate scientists.”
Incidentally, on the same day that the NYT wondered where the warming went, the Washington Post breathlessly reported that “Global emissions of carbon dioxide from energy use rose 1.4 percent to 31.6 gigatons in 2012, setting a record and putting the planet on course for temperature increases well above international climate goals.”
They went on to quote the International Energy Agency  declaring that“continuing that pace could mean a temperature increase over pre-industrial times of as much as 5.3 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit), which IEA chief economist Faith Birol warned ‘would be a disaster for all countries,’ ”
Yup. Climate Really Changes…Has Before…Will Again.
Should lack of actual recent observed warming be taken to mean that climate doesn’t change, or that warming won’t occur again? No…hardly. But it does suggest a couple of important things. First, and foremost, it means that theoretical  climate models upon which crisis claims are entirely  based can’t be trusted, Second, if those models can’t be validated, then claims of  consensus attributing an unproven crisis to human COemissions, or to any other cause for that matter, certainly  don’t warrant legitimacy either.
Held, a research scientist at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory says “no one has ever expected warming to be continuous, increasing like a straight line.” He’s right about that. As Fred Singer stated in my recent article“the global climate has warmed since the Little Ice Age (about 1400-1700 AD), and it will likely continue to warm for another 200-300 years, in fits and starts, towards a max temp roughly matching that of the Medieval Warm Period.“
Held notes that observations “make it more plausible that the size of climate response to greenhouse gas increase is on the lower side of what models have been projecting over the last 10 or 20 years than over the high side.” Citing scientific uncertainty, particularly with regard to cloud influences, he said “It’s like cancer.” Held referred to “many, many research problems” posed by numerous types of clouds, each with their own special properties that might reflect or trap more or less of the sun’s heat.
Can’t Be the Models… Something Must Be Wrong With the Climate!
In June 2012, Mark Maslin and Patrick Austin open their June 2012 article in the journal Nature recognizing that for the next U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report stating that, “climate scientists face a serious public-image problem.” If the ClimateGate scandals weren’t enough, they observe that “The climate models they are working with which use significant improvements in our understanding of complex climate processes, are likely to produce wider rather than smaller ranges of uncertainty in their predictions. To the public and to policymakers, this will look as though the scientific understanding of climate change is becoming less, rather than more, clear.”
D’ya  suppose they might have something there?
Maslin and Austin emphasize that a major uncertainty relates to subjective ways models are weighted. They note, for example, that “Every model has its own design and parameterizations of key processes, such as how to include clouds: and every model and its output [in IPCC’s last 2007 assessment] was assumed to be equally valid, even though some perform better than others in certain ways when tested against historic records. The differences between the models will be exacerbated in the 2013 IPCC assessment, because many, but not all, of the models have improved spatial resolution.”
Writing in in the New Republic, Nate Cohn shares Maslin’s and Austin’s public climate science confidence concern: “Since 1998, the warmest year of the twentieth century, temperatures have not kept up with computer models that seemed to project steady warming: they’re perilously close to falling beneath even the lowest projections.”  He observes that “in the end- the so-called scientific consensus on global warming doesn’t look much like consensus when scientists are struggling to explain the intricacies of the earth’s climate system, or uttering the word ‘uncertainty’ with striking regularity.” 
Cohn then unhappily concludes, “The recent wave of news and magazine articles about scientists struggling to explain the warming slowdown could prolong or deepen the public’s skepticism.”  He’s correct in acknowledging an existing and growing public skepticism.

How Trustworthy are those Models? Here’s a Reality Check.
Well-known climatologists Roy Spencer and John Christy at the University of Alabama in Huntsville compared global mean temperature increases predicted by 73 models from 1979 to present with those actually observed. The observed temperatures were taken from four balloon radiosonde datasets and two satellite datasets which provided virtually identical trends. Less reliable ground readings weren’t used to avoid misleading trend data resulting from land-use changes around recording stations. In addition, the observed temperatures were taken from the tropical troposphere, a region where models project the strongest, least ambiguous greenhouse warming signal.
The results of the modeled versus observed trends revealed a striking contrast.  Seventy of the model plots increased sharply over the measurement period, and three increased more modestly. Observed temperatures slogged along a slow incline, overall about two-thirds lower, amounting to less than one-fourth of a degree Celsius increase since the beginning. Many of those disproven models will serve as the basis for IPCC’s next report.
Nate Cohn finally confesses that “Nonetheless, the combination of imperfect data, overlapping explanations, and continued uncertainty means that scientists cannot discount the possibility that they have overestimated the climate’s ‘sensitivity’ to additional greenhouse gas emissions.”
And what are some of those overlapping explanations and uncertainties? Well, even as Cohen points out, there are unfathomable (sorry…pun intended) ocean influences…although sea surface temperatures and the upper heat content didn’t increase over the last decade by enough to account for the “missing heat” that greenhouse gas emissions should have trapped in the Earth’s climate system but couldn’t find.
So some scientists (including Kevin Trenberth) have speculated that the heat may have taken a dive into the deep ocean, beneath 700 meters (where lamentably, there are no reliable temperature measurements). And how have they arrived at this hypothesis? Well, perhaps you already guessed the answer. Of course! They developed some hypothetical, unproven guess-work models.
Another theory attributes the lack of warming to an increase in stratospheric aerosol levels since 2002. Although there hasn’t been a large volcanic eruption to blame since 1991, some have correlated this with increased coal burning from South and East Asia.
Worse Yet…Some Very Chilling Prospects.
Yes, and there are other scientists who think that the heat is missing because it never made it into the Earth’s climate system in the first place due to the fact that the sun’s energy output ebbs and wanes. In fact, scientists at Russia’s prestigious Pulkovo Observatory in St. Petersburg have stated that solar activity is waning to such an extent that the global average yearly temperature will begin to decline into a very cold and protracted climate phase.
Observatory head Habibullo Abdussamatov, one of the world’s leading solar scientists, member of the Russian Academy of Science, and director of the Russian segment of the International Space Station, points out that over the last 1,000 years deep cold periods have occurred five times. Each is correlated with declines in solar irradiance much like we are experiencing now with no human influence. “A global freeze will come about regardless of whether or not industrialized countries put a cap on their greenhouse gas emissions. The common view of Man’s industrial activity as a deciding factor in global warming has emerged from a misinterpretation of cause and effect.”
Murry Salby, a climate scientist at Macquarie University in Sydney agrees about the cause and effect reversal: “in the real world, global temperature is not controlled exclusively by CO2, as it is in the model world…in significant part CO2 is controlled by global temperature, as it is in the proxy record.”  Salby points out that when models that have been predicting CO2-induced heating differ from direct observations, then they’re wrong, calling practices that claim otherwise a “cult science.”
Climate of Fear for Alarmists…Fewer People are Listening.
There can be little doubt that ongoing climate science consensus bleatings are receiving less and less of a howling response. According to Pew Research, fewer than half of all Americans now believe that scientists agree that warming is mostly due to human activities, down from 59 percent in 2006 to 45 percent today. And according to their annual policy priorities survey released last January, only 28 percent of those polled believed that global warming was a top priority for the president and Congress to address this year (ranking bottom of the 21 priorities listed). Four in ten of those who said it should be a top priority were Democrats, compared with only 13 percent of Republicans and about three-in-ten Independents.
Referring to flat temperatures and cooling public trust, The Economistobserves that “there’s no getting around the fact that this reprieve for the planet is bad news for proponents of policies, such as carbon taxes and emission treaties, meant to slow warming by moderating the release of greenhouse gases.” The article points out that the moralizing stridency behind such policies was founded upon the idea that there is a scientific consensus about how much warming there would be if carbon emissions continue to rise according to a particular trend and heated debates regarding the economic and social damage that will result. “If that consensus is now falling apart, as it seems to be, that is, for good or ill, a very big deal.”
The Economist concludes: “The reality is that the already meager prospects of these policies, in America at least, will be devastated if temperatures do fall outside the lower bound of the projections that environmentalists have used to create a panicked sense of emergency. Whether or not impossible, to sell to the public, which will feel, not unreasonably, that the scientific and media establishment has cried wolf.”
No, that’s really not unreasonable at all. But there are a couple of larger issues. First, will someone at the New York Times please inform the president about this? Even more important…will he really care to know?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Floating Power, NYC:

Floating Power Plant Proposed For New York City

NYC ENERGY Floating Power Plant Site Plan
One of the more intriguing ideas I’ve encountered recently is a plan to build a “floating power plant” in New York City’s Hudson River.

More specifically, the idea is to build is a “portable” 79 megawatt natural gas-fired, combined cycle power plant on a waterborne vessel docked in the Wallabout Channel adjacent to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The FPP would have “the unique ability to rapidly move under its own propulsion via waterway to locations where critical electricity users such as hospitals and other vital infrastructure are clustered and to supply their full power requirements during periods when they have been impacted by an outage.”

The FPP would provide enough power to displace between 160 and 320 trailer-mounted diesel generators.
SEF Industries, the New York City-based developer behind the idea, submitted the FPP proposal in response to New York State’s Energy Highway Initiative. Per SEF’s submission:
The FPP’s hull can be designed to hold a 3 day fuel oil supply and can be refueled by oil delivery barges, enabling the FPP to run continuously. A very significant benefit of the FPP is its ability to service areas where street access is unavailable in a disaster zone. Land-based trailer-mounted generators are unreliable in disaster situations since they depend upon clear streets and regular refueling by truck delivery every 6-8 hours. Because the FPP is located on the water, the condition of the streets will not interfere with its operation, nor will emergency managers have to address the problems of closed streets, physical barriers, or other obstacles that have historically made it difficult to deploy and refuel portable generators.
While the idea may seem like a stretch, SEF Industries claims to have secured all of the necessary permits and long term property rights the project needs to move forward.