February 22, 2007

Minn. Raises Bar on Renewable Energy Use

Minnesota put its faith in a future fueled by renewable energy Thursday as the governor signed a law requiring utilities to generate a quarter of their power from renewable sources such as wind, water and sun by 2025. Considering where Minnesota stands now - about half the power produced in the state is from coal, and only 5 percent from renewable sources - the move is the most aggressive in the country, analysts say.

"We have to break our addiction to fossil fuels," Gov. Tim Pawlenty said in signing the legislation.

The new law, which sailed through the Legislature, encourages the use of wind farms, hydroelectric power and solar energy, as well as cleaner-burning fuels.

February 18, 2007

Al Gore's Musical Call to Action

The hit-making record producer Pharrell Williams, the wizard behind the beats of everybody from Ludacris to Britney, promises it will be "the biggest party on Earth." How big?

At the news conference Thursday announcing this summer's ambitious "Live Earth" concerts -- designed as an exercise in "mass persuasion" about threats of global warming -- Al Gore described his vision: a 24-hour musical extravaganza across seven continents, featuring as many as 150 of the world's top recording artists, introduced by an army of "celebrities and thought leaders" (think: Cameron Diaz and Richard Branson), playing before a total live audience of a million people, and reaching 2 billion more via television, radio and the Internet on July 7.