Sustainable Design Advocates - moving America to be a low carbon nation by 2020
which launched April 2012, has accomplished a lot... 
We continued our support of high-profile non-profits, such as and , helping to build the new US climate movement. We created the new Atlas Awards, honoring over 100 climate heroes yearly. 
We are preparing to launch a local water/energy/food contest, to be called BeTheExample Contest, in Alamo/Danville/SanRamon CA.  It was inspired by the new Energy Efficiency contest, Georgetown Univ Energy Prize. also launching in Jan 2015.
See for details on this national effort.
please check out
for details on our petitions, both local to the SF Bay Area, and national ones.
Our sister websites are:  - we are looking forward to our third year of Atlas Awards, honoring climate heroes! - just launched in March 2013, we are building Climate Teams across the US, to challenge mayors and their city/town councils to go 100% renewable, with choices like CCA - Community Choice Aggregation Energy, and build awareness locally for smarter low carbon consumer choices.  We NOW FEATURE, our local BE THE EXAMPLE Contest - described above. -  sharing a menu of 17 ways for all Americans to take further steps towards more efficient clean energy lifestyles, by 2020 -  now including actions to take,  for more climate-savvy elected officials. - sharing affordable ways to do home energy retrofits. specifics on moving the 100% renewable plan nationally, and how the Transition Express campaign is part of it. - ideas for building a green career, specifically aimed at college grads, but good for those looking for a change in career too.


LINKS FOR LIVELY DISCUSSIONS with your network:  - on the HEALTH reasons to act more aggressively on climate change -  this Ezra Klein article shows graph of why significant emissions needs to drop significantly by 2020, to stay below 2 degrees of warming

Need a refresher?  Take 5 minutes, to appreciate the natural world - c/o National Geographic, with sound -
 Al Gore's article in Rolling Stone Mag, New Hope for the Climate - - a most meaty assessment of where we all are now, on the climate front...
petition to Congress asking for a Federal Budget that makes us sustainable by 2030
now published, all 50 state blueprints, showing how each can go 100% Renewable,
by 2030 -  - affiliated with Stanford University - campaign effort of Renewables 100 Policy Institute, Santa Monica CA - main website of institute listed immediately above - Stanford U. Environment Engineering Professor Mark Z Jacobson's upcoming website, based on his team's study for state by state blueprints to go 100% -  sign up for updates - NEW:  all 50 states are now posted at this updated website! - the back story on the Jacobson et al studies, state by state, to go 100% renewable  - on how Community Choice Aggregation works to expand the 100% renewables movement, city by city, county by county, possible in CA, IL, MA, NJ, OH and RI. - our 45 minute Climate Solutions movie, on building city Climate Teams, based on the 100% renewable plan, featuring affordability of leasing solar and how food and water connect to climate too - Professor Jacobson on Letterman show, Oct 2013 - making clear 2020 is when we need to have policies in place to go 100% renewable, in time
 valuable links for national/global action... - co-founder, Bill McKibben's website/see local EVENTS calendar
with boardmember Naomi Klein's growing effort with the climate movement  -'s Fossil Fuel Divestment plan with campuses, cities and faith communities - 350's Do The Math movie, which runs 45 minutes  - founded by passive solar expert, architect Ed Mazria, who has a challenge for all new buildings and building renovation to be carbon-neutral by 2030 - from the interfaith community in upstate NY on stewardship of our air and water, specific to hydrofracking
action on reducing atmospheric carbon...
see CEO Richard Branson's website,  There are 11 finalists.  One will be awarded 25 million dollars to escalate their effort to reduce our atmospheric carbon levels. - Ecologist John D Liu films desert restoration projects in China, Jordan, Ethiopia and Rwanda, eliminating poverty/regenerating the economy - Permaculture designer Geoff Lawton's TED talk on a holistic solution for a functional ecosystem-based economy, reversing desertification - new EarthTalk2013 with British lawyer Polly Higgins, on how ecocide can be an international punishable crime by 2020 - please sign Avaaz petition, requesting the prime minister of Austria be the head of state to move this process forward, described just above.  Once the link is opened, it changes to English
more TED talks and articles... - from 4 heads of the EPA working under Republican presidents:  a Republican Case for Climate Action  - Rachel Parent:  teen activist against GMOs, founder of Kids Right To Know.  Why important?  We need to respect Mother Nature and have a biodiversity based agricultural system, not a monoculture one that BigAg and Monsanto represent  - NYTimes op-ed column authored by Cornell Univ Prof Ingraffea, on the dangers of hydrofacking, and why our President needs to stop this practice  - a full hour with Bill Moyers with Wendell Berry, Bill McKibben on bees and the Oct 2013 Govt Shutdown - TED talk with Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer at IKEA, on going 100% renewable by 2020, and more, and why more businesses need to sign onto this goal - posted Oct 2013 - NEW version of a wind turbine, an MIT/Alaska 18 month experiment.  Less harmful to wildlife, much more efficient.  - the latest on EV trends in 2014, with hydrogen fuel cells about to debut with Toyota and Hyundai - new research shows how whales are slowing global warming in the oceans, creating a carbon sink, (but increasing acidification of the ocean, too).  - update on how renewables and industrial hemp are winning
and more...
 RESEARCH FOLLOWS, that helped us prime to launch the Transition Express campaign...
FIRST, we share two features...
ONE - a YouTube 4 minute video, with a script by Bill McKibben, video by Stephen Thomson of
TWO - our  GOLDEN FORMULA, for getting us on track, reducing
carbon emissions, and stabilizing planet earth at 350 ppm
(parts per million of atmospheric carbon)...
in order to shift 80% to clean energy by 2020, what climate and earth scientists now claim is our need, due to accelerating climate change...
if we shift down 1/2 in all 5 of the following categories, we will get to 80%:
(following is approximate % of all US greenhouse gas production)
     COAL PLANTS - 35%
     ALL US INDUSTRY - 27%
 = STABLE PLANET  @ 350 parts per million of atmospheric carbon (where we were globally, in 1990), plus massive reforestation to absorb the carbon already in the atmosphere
NOTE:   ALL Americans can influence these categories...
ONE - by making smart consumer choices where we live and work (especially if we own our home and  business building),
by choosing efficient clean energy.
TWO - by how we choose to travel (by buying hybrids, electric cars, or using public transportation, trains or bicycling and walking more).
THREE - by eating lower on the food chain and eating organic (larger livestock produces methane which has higher carbon pollutants than CO2, and eating organic means, that where that organic food was grown, will absorb 30% more carbon than traditional pesticide/fossil fuel-based farming, helping to bring down our carbon emissions in the atmosphere), or going with a plant-based diet, or vegan.
FOUR -  by choosing to use our consumer power, buying from companies that create products that are sustainable, and/or were created by sustainable energy sources.
THIS MEANS, that Americans have the capability to turn our country into a sustainable green economy, simply by the decisions we make on how we live our lives...
 our newest motto:   choose sustainability*
 * making daily choices that help ensure our planet is habitable for the next generation.
Sustainable Design BASICS
Building Energy Efficiency BASICS
home decor
solar accessories
Website links on issues related to climate change
What Sustainable Design offers:
  • ONE:  encouraging affordable solar installation, in coordination with energy efficiency.  The two are the best combination for the demands of a building, in the 21st century. We recommend solar leasing with  Now partnered with Lowe's in 8 states:  Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.  They will work with you to keep your costs low.  And also in 10 states:  Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon and Pennsylvania.  They also do commercial contacts with cities and schol districts, followed by solar farms on farms and private owned open spaces. Contact Aaron Olson in San Mateo CA at 650-963-4772 or email him at
  • TWO:  encouraging Energy Transition Teams of 
friends/neighbors - best with a group of 5 or 6 - to
get savings at Home Depot, Lowe's and smaller green
home businesses (see below *).
  • THREE:  simplifying what the building energy efficient
process involves (see 4-part description below).
  • FOUR:  encouraging a Green Number Rating home
audit, once an energy efficiency retrofit is completed. 
This Green Number Rating adds to the value of a home.
A LEED rating would be applicable to a commercial
* we encourage cost-effective group sales of Energy
Star appliances, cellular/honeycomb R2 rated window
shades and bulk CFL/LED bulbs: what AB811 in CA and the new PowerSaver loan won't cover, because they are removable from a building.
We encourage you to organize your own Energy
Transition Team of 5-6 friends and neighbors, to bring
costs down.  Home Depot offers you 15-20% savings,
if you go into their bidding room.  A minimum sale needs
to be $2,500 with one buyer handling the purchase. 
Contact a Home Depot Associate at the ProDesk for
more details.  Deliveries can be made from one store, to
most anywhere in the SF Bay Area, for instance.  
'65% of all the energy consumed to generate electricity
in the US each year is lost.' 
Carnegie Mellon University,
from  Al Gore's Our Choice 
(and why energy efficiency is crucial)
Building energy efficiency BASICs:
ONE - heating/cooling and the 'home/building
envelope': up-to-code insulation, R- rated windows or
window coverings, addressing air leakage, heating/
cooling and sealing related ducts.
TWO - installing key Energy Star appliances:  water
heater, refrigerator, washer/dryer  and dishwasher
THREE - lighting:  installing all-CFLs and low-wattage
halogen bulbs (up to 60 watts best), supplemented
with LED/solar lighting.
FOUR - water: interior&exterior.  Dual flush toilets ,
lowflow showerheads and sprinklers,
drip irrigation, rain harvesting, low water/xeriscape
landscaping, replacing part or all of your lawn, instant
hot water in kitchen.
In other words,  adapting your home/business with the
most efficient technology in all of these 4 crucial
Sustainable Design wants you to feel confident as you
transform your home and/or business, that you are
making the most cost-effective choices.   There are
various rebates available:  
from the federal govt,  from utilities, and from
Here are valuable links to access on rebates:
We are a member of EFFICIENCY FIRST, a new
non-profit trade association that unites Home
Performance contractors, residential energy
consultants, building product manufacturers
and other key members of America's growing
green-collar workforce.
Learn more on their website:
Phone contact:  866-959-9811 or email them at info@ Based in Washington DC.
All That We Share: a field guide to the Commons,  Jay
Walljasper, intro by Bill McKibben; leading visionaries
in the book include RFK Jr, Maude Barlow, Peter Barnes
The Clean Tech Revolution, Ron Pernick and
Clint Wilder.  Between these two co-authors, they have
expertise in clean tech research,  business and
journalism.  They both speak at industry events. 
Great resource on this surging industry.
Climate Capitalism:  Capitalism in the Age of Climate
Change, Lovins & Cohen - 'to build a future that values
people and the planet, we need to rethink how we do
business - Climate Capitalism shows how to do it': 
Gregor Robertson, mayor of Vancouver BC
Down To the Wire, David Orr -  
'powerful and prophetic':  
Wendell Berry
The Earth-Friendly Food Chain, Linda Riebel.
One of the best hands-on resources on the growing
concern of our food industry.  Order from her website: 
EcoCities: Rebuilding Cities in Balance with Nature,
Richard Register, -'EcoCities takes you on an
exploratory journey into the cities of the future' :
Jane Goodall
Forests Forever:  their ecology, restoration and
protection, John Berger - 'meticulously researched
and a magnificent book':  Paul Hawken; order from
Forests Forever Foundation at 415-974-3636
Plan B, 4.0 , Lester Brown. This book gets regularly
updated, by a prolific researcher/author, who worked
with the Kennedy administration as Secretary of Agri-
culture.  This current book release has some remark-
able updates on the advancements being made in China. 
You can get email news updates on his research, by
signing up at
The Post Carbon Reader: managing the 21st century's
sustainability crises, edited by Heinberg + Lerch; recom-
mended chapter:  Nine Challenges of Alternative Energy
Rebooting the American Dream: 11 ways to rebuild
our country, Thom Hartmann,  'a seminal work': 
Paul Hawken
2 books for entrepreneurs - 75 Green Businesses and
Starting Green, Glenn Croston,  'A terrific resource',
Josh Dorfman, founder/CEO, Vivavi
for kids - Harmony, Prince Charles (he has other
interesting books for adults, on organic farming)
get on email networks
on air carbon capture development, Prof Klaus Lackner,
geoscience dept/Columbia U:
id=washing-carbon-out-of-the-air  -
Scientific American article, June, 2010
(need to pay to get entire article)
National Geographic article, August 2010
- part one; influenced by daughter's middle school science project/
NOVA's Science Now
- part two, on mineral sequestration
- why CO2 needs to be removed from atmosphere
funding for - Virgin Earth Challenge/Sir Richard Branson:
on algae biofuel development (see 'Green Revolution',
below, for Navy/Marines use of):
US distribution starting in 2011:
on bee colony collapse/action by EPA:
on cap and dividend/price on carbon - see more under
Climate and activism, Congressional legislation:
discussed by Bill McKibben:
on carbon sequestration into rock:
on cars for the 21st century:
on car sharing-
'Drivestar' legislation -
EV charge stations on the west coast:
Nissan Leaf, with 100 miles per charge -
oil free tires to be available in 2013 -
sumitomo-rubber-offering-oil-free-tires/ - oil free tires
Plug-in conversions -
- A123 Systems can adapt ANY car to a plug-in, but most cost-
effective with a Prius
why higher prices at the pump is GOOD! -
on China, advancing on clean energy:
on city initatives focused on climate change:
on clean energy standard legislation (CES):
standard68796 - getting processed in Congress now, with a
bipartisan group of 6 senators, headed up by Sen Bingaman (D-NM)
and Sen Murkowski (R-AK)
on the climate, and activism*: Bill McKibben's global project* - Bill Nye's call to action* - San Diego based*
 Jim Hansen's petition for fee and dividend* scientific discussion; can subscribe to
emailings - Dan Miller,Chabot Space&
Science Center, Oakland CA - Lester Brown's Earth Policy Institute,
DC/can subscribe to emailings movement, DC* collaboration of Jim Hansen, Bill
McKibben, Lester Brown, and others, to influence Congress
on a carbon tax* -  youth movement* - scientific discussion - youth movement* -  on carbon power history:
on coal gasification in China and Texas/carbon
capture, negatives:
its negatives:
on Congressional legislation: - UK version of cap and dividend
on Copenhagen/Cancun and beyond: - Sec Steven Chu interview, Nov 29, 2009 -JimHansen, NASA -Jim Hansen talks - Carol Browner,
formerly with Clinton/Obama administrations
SEE - lead by water activist, Maude Barlow
on Corporate Climate responsibility:
on deforestation/reforestation: - Conservation Intl - Nature Conservancy - Rainforest Alliance - Rainforest Action Network
'Scientists estimate that more than 40% of
the excess CO2 that has accumulated in our
atmosphere has come from deforestation.' 
                Our Choice, Al Gore
on Eco-City development:
on EPA action:
MNQ41ID7H4.DTL - March 17,2011 limits
on coal plants, specifically on mercury
on energy efficiency in buildings: -Santa Fe, NM, founded by architect,
Ed Mazria -DC non-profit, upgrading Home
Performance profession
on fee and dividend legislation:
recommended by leading US climatologist, James Hansen.
on food, converting to organic agriculture: -  Kutztown PA - 2030 goals for CA
2010 best food stories (including good news on bees): - new meat eater's guide,
which also includes Seafood Watch, from Monterey Aquarium,
Monterey CA
on forests, their ecology, restoration and
protection: San Francisco CA
on Green Jobs/careers:
and resources:
_source=iPost&utm_medium=email home consulting -see Green Dream Jobs - offers jobs - parties focused on green purchasing
on 'Green Revolution' in the Navy and Marines:
on home greening:
on Marin Energy Authority/new community
choice program:
on Marine Life Protection Act in CA:
on natural gas 'fracking' and negatives:
EPA getting involved on fracking controversy:
Cornell peer-review study, indicating fracking as bad as coal:
on Nature Rights:
9 minute explanation by water activist, Maude Barlow, on newest international effort, since April 2010 gathering in Bolivia, following the failed effort at Copenhagen16, Dec 2009.
on Nuclear Power, and negatives: - 3rd and 4th generation
- upgrading safety and looking at graphite reactors
_032211.pdf -  Ed Mazria questions officials on amount of US nuclear
use (Lester Brown supports Ed Mazria's numbers -
see Plan B, 4.0 book, page 138 - official reports are at 20%,
Ed Mazria/LesterBrown indicate 10%).
more on nuclear use negatives:
on solar thermal/molten salt alternative to nuclear:
other hybrid alternatives to nuclear:
media continues to advocate for non-nuclear solutions:
need for UN inspection on all global nuclear reactors:
from Physicians for Social Responsiblity:
with physicist Vandana Shiva and water activist Maude Barlow
on Overpopulation - as we hit a global
population of 7 billion, October 2011:
on Plan B Documentary, with Lester Brown and other energy experts - narration by Matt Damon:
on plastic-free living:
on population stabilization:
their study on climate change:
program with Center for Biological Diversity:
on 'post carbon' living:
postcarbon.orgPost Carbon Institute, Santa Rosa CA
25 minutes with Richard Heinberg, PCI director:
how journalist Bill McKibben envisions it:
on Recovery Through Retrofit program:
22 region listing of 2 year pilot project:
on Renewable/Sustainable Energy, going 80%:
on Rights of Nature - see Nature Rights
on solar thermal power, with molten salt:
on solar power that is portable:
on sustainable community building, in cities
and counties: - Contra Costa county  CA - Lafayette CA -San Mateo county CA - San Ramon CA Petaluma, CA/Sonoma county CA - MASTER SOURCE for entire US
on urban farming: - headquartered in MI with
city projects across the US
on water: -Pacific Institute, CA
desalination of rivers -
challenge of water privatization -
on (calculating your) water footprint:
on wildlife:
lead-free hunting in CA:
on US wind development, partnering with China:
GOOD NEWS... on U.S. carbon emissions, from Lester
Brown, founder of Earth Policy Institute, based in DC:
We have reduced our carbon emissions 9% since 2007.  He claims this means we are finally 'walking the walk', based on more efficiency, more alternative energy use, lowered use of oil and coal, and clearly the recession factors in there too.
See his article, currently featured on his website, at   Search for, 'walking the walk.'
Obviously, whatever can be done with energy efficiency, then clean energy, saves us energy and money, but most importantly, starts to push back on Extreme Weather, to make our planet livable. 
Join us.
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