Sunday, October 23, 2011

New Blog: Green Forward

Click here to check out my new blog called Green Forward. The blog examines bipartisan, common sense solutions to global climate disruption, environmental conservation, renewable energy security and the transition to a sustainable economy.

I will no longer be blogging at Green DC.

Thanks for reading about the national capital's clean economy.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Where Does Our Electricity Come From?

The Union of Concerned Scientists has put together an online interactive quiz about where our electricity comes from. The answers might surprise you. Hint: A lot of states (especially in the Southeast) are importing a lot of dirty coal from Wyoming and exporting a lot of their clean, renewable energy sources like woody biomass to Europe. Find out for yourself by clicking this link to take the quiz.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Movie Trailer: Carbon Nation

Check out this trailer for "Carbon Nation: A Climate Change Solutions Movie (That Doesn't Even Care If You Believe in Climate Change)."

It will be screening in these select cities in February and March:

2/11/11 - New York, NY– Cinema Village
2/18/11 - Los Angeles, CA - Laemmle Sunset 5 Theatre
3/4/11 – Portland, OR – Regal Fox Tower Stadium
3/4/11 – Seattle, WA – SIFF Cinema
3/11/11 – Austin, TX – Regal Arbor Cinema

Climate Crisis In Pictures

Queensland, Australia: The worst flooding in the last 35 years has devastated both human and animal alike.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: The strongest rains in 30 years have killed 81 people, causing the government to declare a state of emergency.

Carmel, Israel: Orthodox Jews watch the massive forest fire that claimed 44 lives, making it the deadliest in Israeli history.

Pakistan: Heavy monsoon rains flooded one-fifth of Pakistan's land area, killed close to 2,000 and affected 20 million people.

Moscow, Russia: Record heat and drought created massive wildfires that brought heavy smog to cities, killing an estimated 56,000 people.

New York, New York: The December 2010 blizzard dumped 20 inches of snow on Central Park and was the sixth largest recorded snow storm in NYC history.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Report: No Health Threat From Smart Meters

As a follow up to my investigative piece on the safety of Smart Meters, a new report released today confirms my findings that Smart Meters pose no health risks to the public. In the report, the California Council on Science and Technology states that the intensity of the radiation from Smart Meters falls well within federal limits for wireless devices.

Click here for a link to the San Francisco Chronicle story on the report.

Click here for a link to download the full report on the health impacts of Smart Meters.

Click here for my original story on Smart Meters and Radiofrequency (RF) radiation.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tesla Electrifies D.C.

Looking out the window of my parents' 10th floor condo in downtown D.C. on a recent morning I was pleasantly surprised to see the Tesla Motors sign across the street. The iconic California-based luxury electric car maker is setting up shop in our Nation's Capital with a showroom at 11th and K St.

Not only is this a great sign for the national and local economy that Tesla is expanding, but it is also positive news for reducing tailpipe emissions and our dependence on petroleum.

Kudos to Tesla for doing their part in the clean and green economy.


Green Business Spotlight: Johnson Chimney Service and Home Vent Experts

Chimney sweeping isn't just for movies like 'Mary Poppins,' above. It is a great way to save energy and provide better indoor air quality.

by Walter Kerr

My name is Walter Kerr, and I am the Owner and President of Johnson Chimney Service ( and Home Vent Experts ( I have lived in Montgomery County, Maryland for over 30 years, and currently reside in Bethesda. I am the father of three boys, ranging in ages from 8 to 13. Needless to say, running two businesses, having three young boys, multiple sporting events and practices all over the area, keeps me quite busy and on my toes.

I worked for WGL (Washington Gas and Light) for over 10 years and was looking to expand myself, what I had to offer, and what I wanted to learn. In that time, I became certified and received my MCHI (Montgomery County Home Improvement) license and became certified with the National Chimney Sweep Guild. Aware of what matters most, I became licensed, bonded, and insured and directed my skills to what I like to do most: helping people.

I found in this industry what matters most is honesty, integrity, and professionalism. And  I strive each and every day for all that and more - not only with my business, but in life as well. Johnson Chimney Services and Home Vent Experts are both deeply committed in volunteering our time, energy, and money back into our community.

In 1991, my wife and I started Johnson’s, and we’ve been intent and resolute in making the business work to help people with their chimney needs. Johnson’s is all about service, safety, and savings. Our goal is to keep a regularly scheduled maintenance program with all customers so bigger issues don’t become possible future disasters. We like to keep our clients informed in what is up and coming in the chimney industry, as well as what items and/or services benefit them first.

I recommend inspections and cleanings, for the majority, about every 2 years. No matter if you use your fireplace or not, it still takes a beating from the elements, and it still needs attention, both inside and out.

Sometimes, it takes annual cleanings to fix the many years of previous neglect.

Over the years of sweeping, cleaning, and repairing chimneys, I saw yet another avenue of overlooked, homeowner maintenance. At Home Vent Experts we provide the same service, the same dedication, and the same commitment to the maintenance, service, and care of your ducts and dryer vents. It is with the commitment to each customer that your home is provided with the safety and service it needs to keep comfort, health, and savings in your home and pocket.

Now that you know a little more about me and my background, I thought I’d fill you in on some frequently asked questions I get during my day to help you better understand the whats and whys and importance of maintaining and upkeep of your chimney and vents throughout your home.

For instance, not many people know the importance that a chimney cap holds and how it protects their home from water damage and at the same time keeping the critters out!

A properly sealed chimney keeps the cold air out, and the warm air in. This could equal a savings of $300 or more in your bills.

Furnace, Duct, and Dryer Vent maintenance and cleaning are just as important and cost-effective as maintaining your chimney. If your system is clean and working and up to par, then, in turn, it is using less energy and providing better indoor air quality to the consumer.

The typical inspection that I perform covers top to bottom, addressing all the seen and unseen places. It is important to me for you to live and feel secure in a safe environment. Any recommendation that I give to you is as if it were my own home.

Solar attic fans are important as well in savings and comfort because they are a natural way to circulate the air in your home.

Many homes in the DC and surrounding area could definitely benefit from the services I provide in that the community, as a whole, is protected from unwanted fire-related incidents and/or animals entering your living environment.

All in all, the amount of protection and maintenance for your home and family are the direct result of what you and I put into your upkeep. I stand behind you, the Customer, in the recommendations I provide and the protection that those recommendations give you and your family.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Metro Getting Better Looking and More Bike Friendly

Metro is experimenting with different interior color and fabric schemes for its new 7000 series trains that will be rolling out soon. I was lucky enough to board a preview train with new blue seats and carpet-less floors. My first impression? I really like it. It's a big improvement aesthetically and will be easier to maintain. What do you think?

And on the topic of improvements. That hideous looking bike corral at the Ballston Orange Line Station has been removed and replaced with normal looking bike racks. Here are pictures of the construction progress:

Friday, January 7, 2011

Progress at Ground Zero

On each visit to New York City I always make a pilgrimage to the sacred ground of The World Trade Center site where terrorists changed the world on that fateful September morning a little over nine years ago.

And each time I visit I come away disappointed at the lack of progress in rebuilding this massive graveyard where over 3,000 innocent souls lost their lives at the hands of a few misguided mad men. Why, I would ask myself, can New York build two new baseball stadiums and one new football stadium but let Ground Zero fall victim to politics and economics.

But this time was different. I visited NYC a couple of weeks ago and was amazed at the rapid pace of progress in lower Manhattan. One World Trade Center (formally called Freedom Tower) is already halfway to the top at 52 levels. When finished, it will be the tallest building in the United States. The PATH train station is up and running, carrying thousands of commuters every day from WTC to New Jersey and back. And the 9/11 Memorial should be finished in time for the 10th anniversary dedication this September 11th.

Here are recent photos of Ground Zero:

Video of snow storm at Ground Zero:

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