Friday, July 19, 2019

Deadly and Worsening Heatwaves in India

The recent heatwave in India killed one hundred people and on July 17th at least 100 more died due to monsoon flooding and mudslides. The pre-monsoon heatwave lasted for more than a month and it was compounded by severe drought that has caused major water shortages. At its worst temperatures exceeded 50°C.

In April, central and northwestern India were suffering from a heatwave that was 6°C above the average. At the beginning of June Delhi hit temperatures of 48°C, the highest temperature ever recorded in that city for that month. The temperatures in Churu, set a new Indian record as they climbed above 50°C and helped to precipitate water shortages. The 9 million residents in the city of Chennai also faced water shortages. Some villages went without water for days. Approximately 40 percent of India has endured drought conditions in 2019.

Droughts are becoming more frequent and they are commonly being followed by sudden storms and floods. There have been radical changes to rainfall patterns in India over the course of the last ten years.

The situation in India is dire and getting worse. This has prompted questions about whether some parts of India will soon be incapable of supporting life.

An CNN article by Shekhar Chandra, a Ph.D. Candidate in Public Policy, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) suggests that the worsening heat will cause a humanitarian crisis as "large parts of the country potentially become too hot to be inhabitable".

Even if we do what we must to reduce emissions and minimize the impact of global warming, parts of India may still be uninhabitable as a certain amount of warming is baked into the system.

"Experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) say that even if the world succeeds in cutting carbon emissions, limiting the predicted rise in average global temperatures, parts of India will become so hot they will test the limits of human survivability," Chandra said.

The rate at which warming is increasing in India is troubling. Chandra reports that in 2010 there were 21 official heatwaves across India, in 2018 there were 484. This represents a 23 fold increase in less than a decade.

According to AK Sahai and Sushmita Joseph, of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, the situation is destined to get worse as heatwaves are expected to engulf the whole of India.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Heat Waves and the Climate Crisis

The climate crisis is here and its hot. If you think things are bad today they will get a lot worse if we continue with business as usual. Heatwaves are being amplified by a rise in global temperatures. They are already becoming more frequent and severe and they will only get worse if we fail to act. We have amassed a vast store of data that proves conclusively that the world is getting warmer. Heatwaves are 4 degrees Celsius hotter than they were a century ago and the heatwaves hitting Europe are more frequent and more severe.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

What is Causing Europe's Heatwaves?

The recent heatwave in Europe included the hottest day ever in France. The new hottest single day temperature in France is now 45.9C (114.6F). Germany, Poland and Czech Republic also set records at the end of June. Spain, Germany, Switzerland and Italy also experienced heat waves. Europe's intense heat waves and record setting temperatures are noteworthy because we can now say with a degree of confidence that this warming is at least five times more likely due to global warming. Europe's five hottest summers since 1500 have all been in this Century.

Using data from Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), the European satellite agency said the average temperatures on the continent at the end of June were more than 2C above normal. Temperatures were 6-10C above normal over most of France, Germany and northern Spain.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Record Breaking Heat in the Great White North

Image credit: The Weather Channel
We have seen heat records broken across Canada in the first half of 2019. Extreme heat has been present from the west coast to the east coast and the far north. The start of spring 2019 smashed 79 Canadian heat records including an all time record for Yoho Lake in the Northwest Territories. Environment Canada pointed to anomalies in the jet stream and said this kind of widespread heat in March hasn’t been seen in a quarter century.

In June Victoria shattered a 121-year-old heat record and Kelowna broke a 145-year-old temperature record in BC. All together Surging temperatures broke a total of 20 heat records in southern BC.

Monday, July 15, 2019

The Ocean / Climate Nexus

Our oceans provide two-thirds of the planet's atmospheric oxygen, absorb more than 90 percent of the Earth's excess heat energy and more than a quarter of the globe's anthropogenic carbon emissions. Warmer and more acidic oceans are decimating marine ecosystems, killing coral, kelp, shellfish starfish and plankton. Warmer oceans also have adverse implications for global weather including more intense storms.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Event - Clean Cities Renewable Energy Procurement

Clean Cities Renewable Energy Procurement will take place on July 24-25, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. This event answers the question, what does it take for cities to buy their own renewable energy? It will showcase the stories of pioneering cities who are developing and executing a successful game plan for renewable power procurement. Profit from their experience and learn the most sophisticated approaches to accomplishing your environmental goals.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Faith Leaders Called to Confront Climate Denial by Telling the Truth

On June 9th, the World Council of Churches issued a Pentecost message that reads as follows: "To prophesy is to tell the truth". Religious leaders have declared a climate emergencies and others are engaged in acts meant to raise awareness.

Friday, July 12, 2019

More Hot Data Contributes to Existential Concerns

The heat records being set around the globe foreshadow a world where new record setting high temperatures are commonplace. According to the EU‘s satellite agency, last month was the hottest June ever recorded.

Europe has been suffering through excruciating heat waves and countries including France have set all time heat records exceeding 45C. In parts of Asia including Kuwait and India temperatures are exceeding 50 Celsius.

While seasonal temperature spikes are not evidence of global warming, they are part of a clear and unmistakable trend. There have been a succession of hot months in 2019 including the Earth's fourth-hottest May, and the second-hottest April and March. February's global average temperature was the fifth hottest on record and January was the third hottest.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Companies in the UN Global Compact Outperform their Peers in Sustainability Assessments

A report released earlier this year found that companies committed to the UN Global Compact perform better across their supply chains than those who have not made such a commitment. Sustainability performance assessment themes included environment, labor and human rights, business ethics and sustainable procurement. The report assessed 20,000 companies and was conducted by EcoVadis, a provider of business sustainability ratings.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Christians Among those Declaring Climate Emergencies

All around the world governments and organizations including Christian communities are declaring climate emergencies. Thus far we have seen such declarations in more than 700 jurisdictions covering almost 150 million citizens. The declaration of a climate emergency is meant to mobilize immediate action as it draws attention to the fact that we are not doing what we must to avert a climate catastrophe. There are dozens of action groups that support the declaration of a climate emergency and the student strikes and organizations like the Extinction Rebellion have helped to take this movement mainstream.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

UN Global Compact: Sustainability Strategies for Business

The UN Global Compact is the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative with 9,913 companies participating in 161 countries. This broad coalition of more than 20 businesses, civil society and UN leaders encourages companies to set more ambitious climate targets consistent with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement which seeks to keep temperatures from increasing more than the prescribed upper temperature threshold limit of 1.5°C. They focus on three key areas, environment, social and governance issues. They help companies to align their strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Despite Obstacles 100 Percent Renewable Energy is Possible

Research proves that 100 percent renewable energy is possible despite detractors who dismiss the idea and the failure of governments to provide adequate support. The need for renewable energy is being driven by mortal threats to both the biosphere and human health, specifically the need to combat both the climate crisis and air pollution. Renewable energy provides all of the power requirements in countries like Iceland and others like Cost Rica are on the verge of doing the same. The latter has operated for extended periods of time on nothing but clean power. Even major economies like those in Germany and the UK have been able to operate for short periods without relying on fossil fuels.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

BSR Conference 2019: The New Climate for Business

The 27th annual BSR Conference 2019: The New Climate for Business will take place on November 12-14, 2019 in San Jose, California. This leading sustainable business conference is one of the longest-running and most prestigious sustainable business events. This is an even for collaboration and action. This year, they will explore the transformations that are creating a new climate for business and help to pave the way for companies, people, and planet to thrive in this era of rapid change.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Anglican and Other Faith Group's Green Advocacy on World Environment Day

Faith communities came together to celebrate the 45th World Environment Day (WED) on June 5th. There were thousands of faith-based environmental initiatives on WED.  As explained in a WED article published by the UN Environment, faith based communities have a crucial role to play and they are involved with a wide range of actions that include everything from tree planting to youth forums. The article explains how faith communities are called to be good environmental stewards and points to excerpts from the sacred texts of 11 traditions (Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shintoism, Sikhism, and Taoism).

Friday, July 5, 2019

More than 500 Companies have Adopted Science-Based Emissions Reduction Targets

Businesses are adopting science-based emissions reductions targets. These efforts Such efforts drive innovation, enhance competitiveness and manage risk. This is also an effective approach to meeting the objectives laid out in the Paris Climate Agreement. Hundreds of companies are aligning themselves with the Science-Based Targets (SBT) initiative which is a framework to help companies remain competitive while reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Declaration of Independence from Fossil Fuels

On the fourth of July 2019, Americans need to start preparing for new leadership and thinking seriously about declaring their independence from dirty sources of energy. Two hundred and forty three years ago, US colonies freed themselves from the injustice of British rule, now America needs to free itself from the tyranny of dangerously incompetent leadership.

The United States' Declaration of Independence is a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. On that day, thirteen American colonies proclaimed their freedom from Great Britain.

The industrial revolution began shortly after the American revolution. These two revolutions fueled America's meteoric rise to global dominance. While, fossil fuels are the engine that drove this growth as a leading cause of both pollution and climate change, it is time for them to be replaced with cleaner alternatives.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The Power of Procurement to Reduce Both Emissions and Costs

Leveraging action across supply chains is a critical part of efforts to address the climate crisis.  We are seeing tremendous growth in companies investing in sustainability and these corporations are helping to drive the transition to a low-carbon economy. Reports demonstrate that this is both an indispensable strategy to manage risk and an important part of cost cutting efforts. The financial and environmental benefits include energy and resource efficiency.

According to a 2019 CDP/Carbon Trust global supply chain report, over the last decade some of the world's biggest purchasers have leveraged their buying power and demanded transparency from their suppliers. In the process they have cut carbon emissions by 633 million metric tons and saved an average of almost $20 billion annually.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Climate in the Second Democratic Presidential Debate

In the first Democratic presidential debate climate was a major topic of discussion. This carried over into the second debate. At the beginning of the debate Savannah Guthrie made it clear that climate change was on the agenda, however, the debate on climate was confounded by the confusion of moderator Chuck Todd who did not seem to understand the difference between climate mitigation and climate action.

Although there were points of disagreement, all the Democratic presidential contenders appeared to agree that Donald Trump is a racist who panders to dictators. They also appeared unified in their desire to see him voted out of office. As Biden said, "it is important we restore the soul of this nation. This President has ripped it out." The record-setting television audience for the second debate suggests that many voters are interested in exploring alternatives to the current commander-and-chief.

Event - SRI30 Conference & Community Speakers List

SRI30 will take place on November 11 - 15, 2019 in Colorado Springs. A partial speakers has been announced for the 30th SRI Conference which is called #fromEVOLUTIONtoREVOLUTION! Here are 19 of those scheduled to present at SRI30.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Happy Canada Day?

When it comes to environmentally responsible governance Canada is both the best and the worst. On the one hand you have the Canadian federal Liberals who under the leadership of Justin Trudeau have passed the most progressive climate action plans the country has ever seen. However the same government has also bought a pipeline that will ferry some of the dirtiest, most carbon intensive energy in the world.  The policies of the ruling federal government are best described as an oxymoron.

Canada's energy picture is challenging to say the least. There are dramatic clean energy success stories alongside fossil fuel expansion efforts. In some respects Canada's Indigenous people are at the epicenter of Canada's energy confusion.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Sustainability Leaders Survey Webinars

These webinars will take place on July 9th at 11 am New York time (4 pm London time) and July 10th at 10 am Hong Kong time (10 pm EST, 7 pm PT) to discuss the results of The 2019 Sustainability Leaders Survey.

These webinars will feature global thought leaders who will share their insights on the 2019 survey findings and answer your questions on the current and future state of sustainability leadership.

Sustainability Leaders Survey is the largest and longest-running survey of its kind and has tracked expert opinions on sustainable development leadership for over 20 years.

Friday, June 28, 2019

References to Climate in the First Democratic Presidential Debate

The climate crisis was a noteworthy topic in the first Democratic primary debate on Wednesday, June 26, 2019. Climate is a prescient topic, particularly given that the debate took place in Miami, a city that is breaking heat records and vulnerable to sea level rise and extreme weather.

The stage for the discussion was set by activists including those from the Sunrise Movement who camped out in front of DNC headquarters demanding a debate focused solely on the climate emergency.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Increased Competitiveness Revealed by the Sustainability Leaders Survey

The results of a recent sustainability poll, indicate that Unilever, Patagonia, and IKEA are the world's top sustainability leaders. According to the 2019 GlobeScan* / SustainAbility** Leaders Survey these are the most recognized sustainability leaders on the planet. The survey conducted in partnership with Sustainable Brands*** found that  Patagonia and IKEA have made substantial gains, narrowing the gap between themselves and first place finisher Unilever.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Canada's Energy Divide and Modern Day Colonialism

While First Nations communities have been at the forefront of resistance to fossil fuels, some are being lured by the promise of riches from oil and gas development.

Historically, the French and the British exploited native people to pursue their colonial interests in the New World. The French were allied with the Algonquin and the Huron while the British forged alliances with the Mohawk and the Iroquois. The consequences of the European invasion have been devastating for Indigenous people. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Canadian Conservatives Fossil Fuel Powered Green Plan

Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) leader Andrew Scheer's recently released a 60 page "green plan" that panders to Canada's oil and gas industry. It is no coincidence that it is very similar to a plan proposed by the Canadian fossil fuel industry. The Federal Energy Platform was released by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers on June 3.  Like ruling Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, Scheer's plan includes a carbon pricing scheme for big polluters (ie facilities emitting more than 40 kt of carbon per year). However, rather than pay a tax, companies that exceed these parameters would have to invest in green innovation commensurate with their emissions. This begs the question what is the incentive to reduce emissions if all they have to do is reinvest back into their own company?

Monday, June 24, 2019

Democrats Will Revive the Climate Action and Environmental Protections Killed by the GOP

It has become painfully clear that there is no reason to believe we will ever see responsible leadership from Trump and his Republican minions, however, Democrats give us reason to hope. Democratic presidential contenders and those who control the House of Representatives point to a brighter future.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Event - Sustainable Business Summit Toronto 2019

This event September 19, 2019, 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West Toronto, ON M5T 1G4, Canada. The fourth annual Sustainable Business Summit Toronto 2019 is part of the Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summits which bring together business leaders and investors globally to drive innovation and scale best practices in sustainable business and finance.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Trump's Deregulation and the Death of the Clean Power Plan

The Trump administration has eradicated dozens of environmental protections and this long list includes the clean power plan. Trump's regulatory hit list targets protections that hamper energy production. In addition to making it easier for fossil fuel companies and harder for wildlife, this administration has weakened pollution standards designed to protect public health.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Canadian Oxymorons and the Dangers of Liberal Dualism

On Monday June 17th the House of Commons voted to declare a climate emergency than less than 24 hours later Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his government would be proceeding with the Trans Mountain pipeline. Trudeau is trying to get reelected by reviving the policy dualism that got him elected in the first place.

Climate action bombshells and carbon bombs

Trudeau spent $4.5 billion of taxpayer dollars to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline, now he is saying that all of the revenue the project generates for the federal government will be put towards the green economy. This is an oxymoron and a dangerous political gambit.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Swedish Government is Commmitted to 100 Percent Renewables and Negative Emissions

Sweden is on track to be the first nation in the world to achieve net zero emissions and they are well on their way to getting all of their power from renewable sources. The home of iconic activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg is not settling for carbon neutrality they want to be carbon negative.

Sweden is one of the first nation's to pledge to go fossil fuel free and they have passed legally binding legislation that mandates carbon neutrality by 2045. The vote passed in the Swedish parliament by an overwhelming margin of 213 votes (254 for and 41 against). Sweden's Climate Act is part of Sweden’s climate policy framework and includes long-term goals that are overseen by a climate policy council. Sweden's ultimate emissions goal is to be a net carbon sink.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Polls Suggest the GOP's Climate and Environment Disinformation Efforts are Faltering

Support for climate action and environmental protections is gaining ground despite the early success of the GOP's disinformation efforts. These polls reveal an ever expanding gulf between the views of Americans and the ruling Republican administration. While polls show that a growing number of Americans, including Republicans, increasingly acknowledge the veracity of climate change, President Donald Trump and members of his administration deny the facts.

Monday, June 17, 2019

UK Businesses Support the Government's Net Zero Emissions Plan

UK businesses support the ruling government's ambitious climate leadership. Theresa May has announced that her Conservative government is amending the Climate Change Act and ratcheting up ambitions with a net zero energy emissions objective by 2050.

"This country led the world in innovation during the Industrial Revolution, and now we must lead the world to a cleaner, greener form of growth," May said in a statement announcing the plan.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Events - Environmental Sciences Conferences

A total of 24 Environmental Sciences conferences will take place from June to December 2019.  Environmental Sciences events, conferences, symposiums and workshops address a wide range of subjects including medical, pharma, engineering, science, technology and business.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

People Want Climate Action and Dirty Energy

We need to see transformative change if we are to stave off the worst impacts of climate change. Polls show that people want climate action but electoral outcomes suggests they also want dirty energy.  We have seen evidence of this in recent elections. In Australia a government was reelected that is committed to exploiting and exporting coal, one of the dirtiest forms of energy on Earth. The Canadian province of Alberta recently elected a government that is eliminating climate action and increasing fossil fuel development. This follows similar electoral outcomes in other Canadian provinces including Ontario.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Trump Administration's Ongoing Energy Insanity

The Trump administration's irrational energy agenda is now infamous. This is an administration that in both word and deed has undermined clean energy and supported fossil fuels. Trump's contempt for renewables is bad for the nation and a threat to life on the planet. This is an administration that has eliminated vehicular emissions restrictions and made it easier for companies to spew methane into the atmosphere.

This energy agenda can only be described as insane and a new report makes it clear that there is every reason to believe it is getting even crazier.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Groundbreaking UK Climate Leadership and Milestones in the Last Three Years

The UK government has announced the industrialized world's most ambitious climate action targets to date which Greenpeace’s chief scientist Doug Parr called a "big moment for everyone in the climate movement". Here are some of the nation's climate milestones over the last three years culminating in this visionary target.

In June 2016 the UK announced that it will cut carbon emissions by 57 percent by 2032, from 1990 levels and 80 percent by 2050. In January 2017 the UK launched a £8.6 million national research program to explore approaches to removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Protesting Trump is Essential to the Survival of Life on the Planet

The climate crisis and the rapid degradation of the Earth's biodiversity represent existential threats. The ruling US administration is exacerbating these interrelated catastrophes. American President Donald Trump's recent visit to the UK was met by hundreds of thousands of protestors. In total the visit spawned more than two dozen anti-Trump protests across the UK. During his stay Trump added more lies to the over 10,000 he has told since becoming president.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Event - Going Beyond Green: Canadian Cleaning Industry Sustainability Conference

This event will take place May 14th & 15th, at the Toronto Congress Centre, 650 Dixon Rd, Etobicoke. This conference is subtitled Beyond Clean: Creating a Greater Vision and it supports UN Sustainable Development Goals in Health, Sanitation and Innovation.

It includes 100 exhibitors and more than 1000 networking opportunities. This event will be attended by professionals in healthcare, government, facilities management, sustainability, environmental, business and industry.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Discerning Truth From Falsehood

Our world is awash with misinformation and disinformation. People are commonly confused about key issues including climate change and fossil fuels.
Self knowledge is the first step towards understanding. As the famous writer Leo Tolstoy (1828- 1910) said: "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself".
Coming to grips with the reality of our world starts with trying to ensure that we are perceiving the world accurately.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Reports Foretell the End of Civilization

We have been confronted by several reports that paint an apocalyptic vision of our future. A recent report bluntly states that we are destroying the Earth's biodiversity at a perilous rate. Another even more recent report predicts the end of civilization in the coming decades.

According to an analysis written by an independent Melbourne, Australia think-tank called Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration (BNCCR), continuing with business as usual represents a "near to mid-term existential threat to human civilization".

Co-written by former fossil fuel executive Ian Dunlop, this research warns that we rapidly approaching the point of no return. Inaction will augur "extremely serious" security threats by 2050. The report says that as vast swaths of the Earth becomes uninhabitable, nations will breakdown along with the international order.