Entries by Heather Rae

New Coal: The Definition of Insanity

Last week, ESource held its annual forum at the St. Julien Hotel in Boulder, Colorado. The Wednesday morning plenary titled, “Wall Street and Congregations Tackle Climate Change,” brought together Marc Brammer, Director of Research for Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, and Calvin DeWitt, President of the Academy of Evangelical Scientists and Ethicists. (I was there to […]

Solar Inspiration in the Rocky Mountain region

Work in Maine beckons, so I’m packing up the bio-bus, the dog and the cat (and a car that can maneuver in snow.) My departure checklist includes a stop at MEIZ Development’s contemporary homes going up in Denver’s Sunnyside neighborhood. The homes are equipped with solar photovoltaics. The panels, installed by Sun Electric Systems are […]

HighTech, LoTech, NoTech GreenTech

The Sustainable Living Fair kicked off this past weekend on the grounds of New Belgium Brewery in Ft. Collins, Colorado. Sunny mountain skies gave way to a rainy cold front and dry gusts that did not cease until Sunday morning. Saturday’s weather did not deter attendees or the exhibitors of solar photovoltaics, biodiesel, wind turbines […]

Burn Rubber, Not Gasoline

Wednesday, September 6 The makers of the Tesla Motors’ Roadster have built a vehicle, they tell the press, for people who like to drive. The Tesla is an all-electric car that zooms from 0 to 60 in about four seconds and gets the equivalent of 135mpg. The American “car thing” speaks volumes about personality, as […]

The Fifth Fuel: Energy Efficiency

Wednesday, August 30th On the heels of training in the Maine Home Performance with Energy Star™ program, my personal media researcher tells me that EPRI has declared energy efficiency the ‘fifth fuel.’ A quick Google also tells me the EPRI name is not an original: “The Fifth Fuel” was the name of a newsletter published […]

The crack and the light

“There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets through.”Leonard Cohen Now that the myth of “the market” has triumphed to become everything in America, a light begins to shine through cracks of “market populism” and “The New Economy.” It is light shed on my career, wasted on the shores of this business “revolution,” […]

GreenTech Building

Colorado Renewable Energy Society’s Tour of Solar Homes comes up this October, and the US Green Building Council holds its annual conference (Greenbuild) in Denver this November. With an eye on high performance (“green”) building, Lindsey Shorthouse of Zócalo Development and I set out to unearth on-the-ground examples of mixed-use, commercial and residential (that is, […]

The Great Turning: Those Who Turn & Those Who Fight

“A mounting perfect economic storm is fast approaching. A convergence of climate change, peak oil, and the financial instability inherent in an unbalanced global trading system will bring an unraveling of the corporate-led global economy and a dramatic restructuring of every aspect of modern life.” The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community David Korten, […]

Moving Small Wind into the Marketplace

A landowner in Boulder County, Colorado wants to install a small wind turbine on his property just outside the Boulder city limits. Trudy Forsyth, an engineer who leads the distributed wind portion of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) wind program in Golden, Colorado, described what lies ahead for this property owner and others embarking […]

The Trendy. The Cool. The Energy Geek.

What happens to the trendy and the cool who lay out serious cash for solar photovoltaic panels? Like drivers of the Toyota Prius, they become energy geeks, according to installers for the German solar outfit, Conergy. Some Prius owners aim for a distinguishing statement by driving a car that is, by distinctive and unmistakable design, […]

Values & Vehicles & Advertising

On June 29th, The Washington Post printed a full-page ad, “Driving American Innovation.” Paid for by Ford Motor Company, it touts Ford’s foray into ethanol. The next day, on the front page of its business section, The New York Times covered Ford’s plans to focus less on hybrids and more on flex-fuel vehicles, because, the […]

Environmentology: Honda thinking in action

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 I live in a part of the U.S. that is at once tied to the economies of extractive industries, and perceived as the land of outdoor adventure. These two activities conflict, mightily. And they make for interesting party conversation. Bill LeBlanc of the Boulder Energy Group (“BEG…for more”) threw his annual […]

Clean Tech Goes Mainstream

EnergyBiz Insider says: “Clean technology is in vogue. Solar panels and wind turbines are hotter now than ever before. Green energy investments throughout North America climbed to $1.6 billion in 2005, 43 percent more than the year before. Such venture capital is on the rise because of high energy prices, the concern for air quality […]

“Marketing Markets”

Wednesday, June 21st I had an insightful conversation with Bob Gower, the head of marketing at EPRIDA, a start-up in San Francisco. But I’m not, just yet, prepared to divulge in detail. On the tip of it, Gower is addressing the tough questions of segmentation and message. He’s redesigning the website (it’s third iteration), and […]

Marketing EPRIDA’s Terra Preta*

Wednesday, June 14 I’ve been writing on this blog – directly or indirectly – about climate change (too many greenhouse gases in the atmosphere) and agriculture (too little carbon and richness in the topsoil that’s left) – and energy. After numerous references to Natural Capitalism, I picked up the book Natural Capitalism for a re-read […]


“OOOhh! It’s Getting Hot In Here,” sang Energy Action before delegates at the UN Climate Change Conference in Montreal this past December, “There’s too much carbon in the atmosphere.” Speakers at a Green House Network workshop on climate change this past weekend included the youthful and energized leader of Energy Action, Billy Parish, and the […]

“Long-term technological transformation”

Wednesday, May 31st A rabid dog with an old bone, Competitive Enterprise Institute won’t drop the anti-climate change science diatribe.* Instead of carbon constraints, CEI and its major backer, ExxonMobil, extol “long-term technological transformation” and “resiliency in societies by increasing wealth.” What might that mean, precisely, when it comes to a technology like ethanol, to […]

“Carbon Dioxide. They Call it Pollution. We call it life.”

Wednesday, May 24 Competitive Enterprise Institute, a non-profit funded by several large foundations and corporations such as Coca-Cola and ExxonMobil, announced on its website that it “has produced two 60-second television spots focusing on the alleged global warming crisis and the calls by some environmental groups and politicians for reduced energy use.” Myron Ebell, the […]

Whole Brand is More than Organics

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 (my birthday!) Connected Organizations for a Responsible Economy (CORE) is a Colorado cleantech and sustainability business trade organization. This week, its Boulder Business Breakfast topic was “Healthy and Natural Eating – Functional Foods, Dietary Supplements, and Organic Claims.” An attorney from Patton Boggs spoke on the three federal agencies (USDA, FTC, […]

Primitive Inventions

Let me set the stage. I’m flipping through the May issue of Wired, the one with a close-up of baby blue eyes (Al Gore) on the cover. “Climate Crisis! The Pro-Growth, Pro-Tech Fight to Stop Global Warming,” cries the lead article. As I write, Michael Klare, author of “Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences […]