A Bold Campaign

Bold Strategy

When attempting to change the status quo there are many tactics one can use. Sometimes one can get lucky and find success in convincing the status quo maintainer using sound logic and rationale. But sometimes what is really needed is a biased, slanted, aggressive campaign to not only throw the status quo maintainer into a state of panic, but to try to knock some sense into them as well. This is what two groups, Oil Change International and The Other 98%, did late last year, rolling out a bold campaign taking on the oil industry. “Exxon hates your children” is the… read more

EU Shark Finning Ban

Shark finning ban

After 6 years of campaigning and debate, the European Parliament voted to close loopholes in the European Union ban on shark finning. Shark finning is slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea. Pretty gruesome! The EU, which is one of the largest exporters of shark fins to Asia, banned finning in 2003, but in a loophole, companies with freezer vessels applied for special fishing permits which would allowed them to continue if they landed the fins separately from the bodies. After years of debate, the Members of the European Parliament finally voted overwhelmingly in favor of the… read more

Welcome Boost in Jobs

Job growth in solar industry

At a time when a primary concern for the U.S. is jobs, unemployment, and underemployment, news of job growth is always good and welcomed. Further, news of job growth in an industry plagued by setbacks and challenges can flip an industry from crippled confidence to burgeoning. On November 2nd, The Solar Foundation (TSF) announced encouraging statistics showing despite recent false starts and layoffs, the U.S. solar industry is expanding nearly six times more than that of the overall economy. The report reiterates and adds to the credibility of earlier studies suggesting a similar boom in the solar industry, though the… read more

The Building Scraping the Sky

Dubai Tower landscape

Our population is growing at a rate of 77 million people per year, and shows no signs of slowing down. In countries like China and India,  their populated areas are full of dangerous and unsanitary housing, plumbing, rundown schools and major traffic snarls. It is clear that reformation is well overdue, and the solution may be found by reaching for the stars. The tallest building in the world right now is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE. Formerly known as the Dubai Tower, the Khalifa is home to approximately 30,000 people, or the population of a small city. It cost… read more

Safe Sources of Energy?

Safe Sources of Energy?

Hydraulic fracturing processes hold many secrets. Safety information held by Michigan state regulators state that one ingredient, an unidentified solvent, can cause damage to the kidney and liver. A subsidiary of Nabors Industries Ltd. (NBR) pumped a mixture of chemicals identified only as “EXP-F0173-11” into a half-dozen oil wells in rural Karnes County, Texas, in July. A year-old Texas law requires drillers to disclose chemicals they pump underground during fracking, but the law was unable to compel transparency for EXP-F0173-11. The solvent and several other ingredients in the product are considered a trade secret by Superior Well Services, the Nabor… read more

Solar Industry Growth

Solar industry growth

Fueled by falling solar panel prices, job growth in the U.S. solar industry will outpace employment in wind energy, according to a new report issued by CleanEdison Inc. Wind energy is facing the expiration of federal wind credits at the end of the year, which has contributed to the rise in solar industry employment, along with diminishing confidence in the wind industry—making the wind industry weaker. CleanEdison expects around 36,000 people will be certified as technical employees in the U.S. solar industry in 2020, including the incredibly important position of installer. If these estimates are correct, then there will be… read more

Irresponsibility Punished

Gulf of Mexico oil spill

BP has agreed to pay the largest criminal fine in U.S. history—$4.5 billion—to resolve all criminal charges arising from the fatal oil rig explosion and subsequent catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The company said that it had agreed to pay $4 billion to the U.S. government over five years, and $525 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the next three years. However, the settlement does not resolve all of the claims against BP for the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, and the company could face billions in restoration costs to the waters, coastline, and… read more

Prepaid Electricity Bills

Benefits of prepaying electricity bills

For the longest time, the Swaziland Electricity Company has used the traditional billing system whereby the company sends a monthly electricity bill to consumers through the postal service. Recently, the utility company embarked on a countrywide project in which it completely abandoned the aforementioned system for prepaid electricity. Prepaid electricity brings much needed hope in energy conservation and alternative energy sources in that, consumers no longer have the luxury of grace periods which allowed them to compound or accumulate a bill while continuing to consume electricity. The consumer is now forced to be vigilant and careful as to the amount… read more

Tax Credits for Wind Power

Wind Farm subsidies

The US federal wind power production tax credit is set to expire at the end of the year, and many have been advocating for the expiration or the continuation of the credits. Supporters of letting the credits expire claim the national fiscal situation has become so dire that the government can no longer afford to maintain a wind power production credit. Opponents of the expiration claim the wind industry would be stunted and damaged by the expiration, in more than one way. The production credit allows for the wind industry to be bolstered by federal funds, which leads to more… read more

Green Engineering

Development in Africa

Swaziland like most African states is a developing economy with ambitions of attaining first world country status in the future. These ambitions are pursued in numerous ways, one of which is the improvement of infrastructure in the country. The improvement of infrastructure includes numerous construction and excavation projects throughout the country. Currently, the iron ore deposits are being mined, a new international airport is under construction, new tarred roads are being built, electricity is being made accessible to remote areas, and water pipes are being installed to ensure that rural communities also have access to water. All these projects are meant to increase the economic standing of the… read more