Winter 2014

Los Angeles County Public Works’ Pat Proano on Innovative & Sustainable Approaches to Recycling and Managing Waste

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Pat Proano, Assistant Deputy Director of the Environmental Programs Division at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, spoke with VerdeXchange News about strategies for meeting AB 341’s mandate to recycle 75 percent of trash in LA County. He focuses on the promise of conversion technology, which transforms organic waste into fuels, and the efforts at a state-wide, legislative level to clarify this practice. Proano also outlines benchmarks he expects the county to meet in the next year in terms of organics management, waste steam diversion from landfills, and citizen education. With landfills already full, a paradigm shift is underway to handle the 22 million tons of trash generated each year.

President Obama’s Climate Change Call to Action and 2020 Plans for Slowing Its Serious Effects

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In a June speech at Georgetown University, President Barack Obama outlined his strategy for both mitigating climate change and responding to its repercussions. The plan’s three pillars involve reducing the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere, increasing readiness for the impacts of climate change, and serving as a global leader to address the issue. In the following article, VerdeXchange News has reprinted the beginning of the plan’s introduction. To provide an overview, VerdeXchange News has also reprinted a summary of the text that first appeared in The Washington Post.

Droughts Require Imagination and Investment: Highlights from a VX2013 Panel on California’s Water Supply

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VX2013 featured the panel “California’s Water Supply: Demand & Quality”, moderated by the State Water Resources Control Board’s Felicia Marcus. In the discussion, Paul Helliker (Deputy Director of the California Department of Water Resources), Phil Isenberg (Chair, Delta Stewardship Council), and Jeff Kightlinger (General Manager, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California) focus on the challenges of bringing water from Northern California to Southern California as that supply becomes less dependable with climate change. Coupled with vulnerable Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta infrastructure, Californians are due for serious capital investments to ensure the continued existence of a reliable water supply.

Nate Lewis Leads US Energy Innovation Hub at Caltech

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Nate Lewis is the George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry and Scientific Director of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) at Caltech. JCAP is one of several federally funded Energy Innovation Hubs, with a specific focus on deriving fuel from sunlight. In a recent talk given at the LAEDC Mid Year Economic Forecast, republished here in VerdeXchange News and TPR, Professor Lewis puts the earth’s current greenhouse gas levels in historic perspective, noting that no energy source has the power to both clean our atmosphere and meet civilization’s growing energy demands except the sun. Yet harnessing the sun’s energy with current solar panel technology presents problems of space and storage. Lewis outlines how artificial photosynthesis might solve these problems, as well as the steps Caltech is taking to make this hypothetical technology a game-changing reality.

Lancaster, California’s Mayor Rex Parris Leads City to Become First to Mandate Residential Solar Energy

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The City of Lancaster aims to become the first net-zero city in the world, and took strides toward that goal by mandating solar energy for every new single-family home constructed in the municipality at the start of this year. R. Rex Parris, the Mayor of Lancaster, described his vision to VerdeXchange News: that the city will serve as an example others follow, so that the nation can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help prevent the worst potential outcomes of climate change. With a clear goal, Mayor Parris has united his constituents around the frank reality of climate change.

Could the ‘Industrial Internet’ be the Key to Renewable Energy and GHG Reductions?

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As renewable energy becomes the base upon which society operates, how will utilities manage unbalanced production and overproduction? Advances in communications technology, or the Industrial Internet, promise to channel energy to where it is most demanded via sensors and automatic communication between machines. Efficiently connecting supply and demand will grow with the increased ubiquity of our M2M devices and their potential for sensing energy needs across a myriad of platforms. VerdeXchange News reprints the following with the permission of ThomasNet News.

Brookings: Cities & Metros Offer Alternative to Suburbia ‘innovation Districts’

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Bruce Katz, Vice President at the Brookings Institution, co-authored The Metropolitan Revolution. VerdeXchange News has printed a piece adapted from this book below, which originally appeared online as part of LinkedIn’s Influencer’s series. Mr. Katz discusses how innovation districts—clusters of anchor institutions and innovative firms, along with related companies, mixed use housing, office, and retail—are taking the place of traditional corporate campuses, and what impact this will have on cities moving forward.

VX2021 Speakers: