Heat pumps are here to stay
Apr14

Heat pumps are here to stay

For Vital Communities Imagine a refrigerator that increased threefold anything you put in it. Nice thought. But what sort of device multiplies by three what’s put into it? Heat pumps do. Every BTU — or British thermal unit — of electricity used by a heat pump produces three BTUs of heat, or thermal energy. That’s 300% efficiency. Compare that with 90% or lower efficiency of heaters using fossil fuels, wood or electric resistance. This...

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Is wood heat still good heat?
Jan20

Is wood heat still good heat?

For Vital Communities Here in northern New England, wood heat is in our DNA. We live by that old “saw”: “Wood heats you four times: when you cut it, when you split it, when you stack it, and when you burn it.” But now we’re also being warmed by climate change — which is caused in large part by combustion, including of wood. In light of this fact, can wood heat still be considered good heat? The argument against wood heat starts with...

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The electronic vehicle transition
Oct14

The electronic vehicle transition

 Vital CommunitiesNext time you’re driving behind another car, don’t tailgate, but do study its bumper. Is there a tailpipe?If not, the car is an EV (all-electric vehicle). And its driver is reaping big personal savings and contributing to positive regional economic trends — all while lowering the climate-change-causing greenhouse gases of which, in our region, fossil-fueled vehicles are the single largest source.While still a long...

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Creative Economy: Award-winning jazz composer-conductor takes lead in digital piracy battle
Mar29

Creative Economy: Award-winning jazz composer-conductor takes lead in digital piracy battle

When Maria Schneider was in graduate school in the 1980s, she was mildly interested in her required music-business courses, but her focus was the music itself. Little did she suspect that, decades later, along with having risen to the top of her profession as a big-band jazz composer and conductor, with five Grammy awards and high-profile commissions throughout the world, she also would emerge as a leading figure in debates about the...

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Creative Economy: At the Hop, Sharing the (Cultural) Wealth
Jun30

Creative Economy: At the Hop, Sharing the (Cultural) Wealth

April 13-18 was a week to remember at Dartmouth’s Hopkins Center for the Arts. The Nile Project was in town, and this collective of 11 musicians from the Nile Basin dove into a slate of activities that brought them in contact not only with students and faculty from all ends of Dartmouth College but also a remarkable cross section of the Upper Valley. They met with students in a high school global studies class at Rivendell Academy;...

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Creative Economy: At the Hop, Sharing the (Cultural) Wealth
Jun30

Creative Economy: At the Hop, Sharing the (Cultural) Wealth

April 13-18 was a week to remember at Dartmouth’s Hopkins Center for the Arts. The Nile Project was in town, and this collective of 11 musicians from the Nile Basin dove into a slate of activities that brought them in contact not only with students and faculty from all ends of Dartmouth College but also a remarkable cross section of the Upper Valley. They met with students in a high school global studies class at Rivendell Academy;...

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