Thursday, August 6, 2020

The Fossil Fuel Industry is Financing the Militarization of Police

A recent report has revealed the fossil fuel industries, utilities and banks have extensive ties to police groups. Police organizations in big cities like Seattle, Chicago, Washington, New Orleans and Salt Lake City have all received funding from oil giants including Chevron, Marathon and Shell. Funds are diverted to and through these groups without public input or oversight. Some of this money is used to pay for training, weapons, equipment, and surveillance technology.  Fossil fuel companies even have senior staff serving as directors of some police foundations.

The information is from a report by the Public Accountability Initiative, a nonprofit corporate and government and its research database project called LittleSis. The research was conducted by Gin Armstrong and Derek Seidman and published on July 27, 2020. Their investigation found that fossil fuel companies, utilities and financial institutions have all contributed to police foundations. The list of fossil fuel companies that contribute to these foundations include some of the world's biggest polluters, companies.


According to the report Chevron has sponsored the New Orleans Police &   Justice Foundation and the Houston Police Department’s Mounted Patrol. A Chevron staffer is also a board member of the Houston Police Foundation. It also donates and occupies a position on the board of the Salt Lake City Police Foundation. Chevron has been singled out for pollution especially pollution emanating from its refinery in Richmond, California.


Marathon Petroleum is listed as a "Commanding Sponsor" of the Detroit Public Safety Foundation (the city's police foundation) and their Security Coordinator sits on the board. Marathon is the largest oil refining company in the U.S. and it is commonly cited as an emissions violator. The report singles out environmental violations at a Marathon facility in Detroit suggesting it is no coincidence that this is a city with one of the country’s largest Black populations.


The report notes that utilities have also funded police organizations including Exelon, the largest utility in the U.S. It is described as a "prolific donor" to police foundations in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Washington D.C. BGE, one of Exelon's subsidiaries, is a sponsor and sits on police foundation boards.

 JPMorgan Chase

banks such as JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo provide funding for fossil fuel companies and they provide funding for police foundations. JPMorgan Chase is a sponsor of of the New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation, which has used some of its funding to acquire surveillance equipment. A JPMorgan Chase executive also holds the Secretary/Treasurer position on the police foundation's board.

Casting Peaceful Protestors as Terrorists is the Key to Trump's Authoritarian Gamble
The Fossil Fuel Industry's Environmental Rascism and Funding Racist Police

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Fossil Fuel Industry's Environmental Racism* and Funding of Racist Police

As revealed in a July 27th report, fossil fuel companies are guilty of environmental racism and they also support racist cops who terrorize the communities they are supposed to be policing. The fight against racism is intimately connected to the fight for environmental justice. It is no secret that people of color are far more likely to be exposed to dirty air and polluted water and they are also much more likely to to be the victims of police brutality.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The Power of Protest in 2020

The freedom to participate in non-violent protest is an essential part of a healthy democracy. Over the years such protests have been crucial to the advance of a range of issues from women's rights to civil rights.  Most recently the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement stood up to police brutality and helped to bring real reforms to cities across the United States.

From income inequality to gun violence protestors are fighting for justice. These interrelated undertakings include the struggle against environmental racism. All around the world climate demonstrations are being led by young people. People like Greta Thunberg and many others show us the true power of protest.

Monday, August 3, 2020

The Plague Economy: Inequality and the Preoccupation with Growth

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed fault lines that highlight weaknesses in our economic system. Unfettered capitalism imperils biodiversity and endangers the future of civilization. Julia Steinberger echoes these sentiments saying that confronting capitalism is the only way we can "avoid disaster". We will not be able to protect the natural world or combat global warming without changes in corporate governance and more specifically the fiduciary obligation to deliver profits.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Online Workshops - Enhancing Federal Clean Energy Innovation

The remaining workshops in the National Academies series will take place August 3 - 7, 2020. These workshops are titled: Advanced Manufacturing and the Climate Crisis: Changes and Opportunities, Challenges and Opportunities for Cross-Agency and Cross-Sector Collaborations and Thinking Globally.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Republicans, Conservative Groups, Veterans and Donors Opposing Trump's Reelection

Veterans and conservative groups are criticizing Trump calling him a failure and a traitor. Even some Republicans are openly disagreeing with him for the first time. Trump is the most consistently unpopular president in the history of the republic and his support is eroding even among the minority that make up his base*. Trump's support is collapsing because is on the wrong side of all the major issues of the day. His strategy divides Americans with culture wars, systemic racism, secret police, portraying protestors as terrorists, disinformation, conspiracy theories, corruption, nepotism, cronyism, disparaging popular media and rejection of science.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Casting Peaceful Protestors as Terrorists is the Key to Trump's Authoritarian Gamble

The U.S. has seen months of sustained protests against racism and police brutality, in response Trump is using militarized police dressed in camouflage combat fatigues to intimidate people in Portland. He is also threatening to do the same in many other Democrat run cities. Trump justifies his brazen political theater by casting peaceful protestors--American citizens--as terrorists and enemy combatants.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Trump Uses the Pandemic to Help his Family, Friends and the Fossil Fuel Industry

U.S. President Donald Trump is infamous for his corruption and nepotism and his COVID-19 relief package is no exception. As reported by ProPublica, a venture backed by Trump’s son and Kushner companies, all received tax dollars as part of the federal government's relief package. Businesses tied to Trump’s family and associates stand to receive as much as $21 million in government loans. Trump donors were also major beneficiaries. According to the Associated Press as much as $273 million in federal coronavirus aid was awarded to more than 100 companies that are owned or operated by major Trump donors.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Virtual Event - Sustainable Communities Conference: Bringing Projects to Life

FCM’s Sustainable Communities Conference (SSC): Bringing projects to life will take place online on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 – Thursday, October 22, 2020. This is Canada’s leading sustainability event for municipal leaders and practitioners. The theme of this year’s conference is Bringing projects to life. Delegates will explore the issues that are fundamental to building sustainable communities. And they’ll get exclusive tools and resources to help bring their municipal projects to life.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Are Green Buildings and Energy Efficiency Enough?

Buildings are a leading source of climate change causing greenhouse gas, and as such they are an essential part of carbon reduction efforts. Driven by lower costs and carbon abatement, green buildings offer tremendous benefits. New technologies like smart systems that access data in real time make it easy to identify savings opportunities. Buildings are becoming more efficient and their energy demand is expected to keep declining. This may be why the building sector and energy efficiency have outpaced most official projections.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Nationalism is Antithetical to Environmentalism

Nationalism is a disaster for the environment. Nationalistic regimes fixation on deregulation undermines human health and destroys biodiversity. Nationalist leaders have a tendency to eradicate climate action, abandon multilateral deals and sell off protected lands. According to ecological economist Clive L. Spash environmentalism is not faring well in the age of nationalism. His analysis reveals that nationalism justifies the exploitation of others,

Monday, July 20, 2020

The Sources of Disinformation and the Cognitive Biases that Fuel Climate Denial

We are on the cusp of the collapse of civilization and yet a dogmatic minority of climate deniers continue to be a salient political constituency that resists climate action. The polls show that although most Americans support climate action, there is still a significant number of people who resist the facts. The US is the world's leading climate denying nation and this has serious real-world implications. As reported by The Guardian,Australian researcher Rebecca Huntley has found that science based arguments are not getting through to some people. These are the people who vote for climate denying governments in places like the United States, Australia and Brazil.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Online Green Economics Conference: Crises Survival Solutions (Climate, Economy & Biodiversity Loss)

This free online event will take place on July 24th-26th, 2020. The the 15th annual Green Economics Conference is titled "Survival Solutions for the Crises: Climate, Economy and Biodiversity Loss" will take place on the zoom platform. This three day interactive, virtual conference will bring a diverse group of people together on Zoom for a global day sharing thoughts, solutions, campaigns, analysis and debate.  Topics include the green economic recovery, no more business as usual, global reset, build back better, a just transition, diversity, holism, sustainability, and  SDGs.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Its Now or Never for Climate Action: How We can Save Biodiversity and Ourselves

We are on the cusp of the collapse of civilization. Time is growing perilously short but key events in the coming year could put us on track to deal with the multiple interconnected crises we face. To all but the willfully ignorant there is more than ample scientific evidence to indicate that we are facing a biodiversity crisis and a climate emergency. It is still possible to reverse this trend but we must act quickly.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

COVID-19 has Uncovered the Fault Lines of a Broken Civilization

The coronavirus has laid bare systemic racism, rampant inequality and environmental degradation. This virus has brought to light the inhumanity of economic disparity and it has revealed the insanity of our genocide against nature. It has unmasked incompetent leaderships and exposed the glaring weaknesses of a system that myopically pursues short term profits at the expense of the biosphere on which all life depends.

Monday, July 13, 2020

We are on the Cusp of the Collapse of Civilization

We have known the situation on Earth is dire for many years. In 2019 reports surfaced that predicted the end of civilization. While these scientists were criticized for their overly pessimistic assessments, more recent research suggests the situation may be even more perilous than they predicted. According to recent research published by the AGU, we may have underestimated CO2 emissions from thawing permafrost by as much as 14 percent.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Virtual Event - Sustainability Week 2020 Disruption as a Catalyst for Action

Sustainability Week 2020 Disruption as a Catalyst for Action will take place on October 5th - 9th 2020 1pm - 3pm BST (8am - 10am EDT) . This virtual event will feature 10 hours of curated content over 5 days. Some of the topics that will be covered during Sustainability Week 2020 include: Scaling action on sustainability amid covid-19 / Can bold policies save the world? / Are you suffering from eco-anxiety?

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Hope in the Midst of Despair - A Collection of Environmental Success Stories

This is a time of hope, it is also a time of great despair. The United States is ruled by a dangerous man who has declared war on nature. He is an unapologetic racist who is fanning the flames of a deadly pandemic. His actions have directly contributed to the 3,097,538 cases of coronavirus in the U.S. and the 133,991 Americans who have died from the disease.  Worse still, his multiple failings are expected to contribute to the deaths of tens of thousands of additional souls in the coming months.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Trump's Support is Collapsing Because He is on the Wrong Side of History

Trump is swimming against the tide of history and he is hemorrhaging support. The polls indicate that Trump is on the wrong side of almost all of the key issues of the day. The combination of racism, mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic, environmental rollbacks, tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and overt corruption are causing this presidency to implode. Trump has removed those with expertise from all levels of government. In their place he has given foxes the run of the hen house hiring fossil fuel industry advocates rather than qualified individuals. He has fought with allies like Canada while praising the dictators in Russia, North Korea and Brazil.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Webinar - The Post-Covid Sustainability Agenda: Revolution, Retreat or Return to Normal?

The Economist presents a Sustainability Week Insight Hour webinar titled "The post-covid sustainability agenda: revolution, retreat or return to normal?" will take place on July 7th 2020, 6am PST | 2pm BST | 3pm CET | 9am EDT. This webinar features a conversation with Axel Weber, Chairman, UBS Group.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Rascism, Hate and Police Brutality are Alive and Well in Canada

Canadians often see the systemic racism of their southern neighbors as a uniquely American phenomenon. However, the evidence suggests that racism and is alive and well in Canada. There are hundreds of hate groups in Canada and Canadians are involved thousands online channels that espouse rascism, misogyny and other extreme right-wing views.. Canada is a bastions of the white supremacy movement. As reported by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network there are over 300 active right-wing extremist groups in Canada.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Canada's Climate Action in the Era of COVID-19

Canada's federal Liberal government has put forth the most progressive climate action plans the country has ever seen, but they also support fossil fuels. The federal government has bought the Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline which was designed to ferry tar sands bitumen some of the dirtiest, most carbon intensive energy in the world.  Tar sands oil is not only a major contributor to climate change it is also a threat to biodiversity. Such policy dualism can best be described as an oxymoron.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Courts have Stymied the Trump Administration's Agenda

Private organizations and state governments have successfully leveraged the courts to check the Trump administration's anti-environment, pro-fossil fuel agenda. Many environmental groups and state attorney Generals are suing the Trump administration over environmental rollbacks. The New York state attorney general has launched 17 lawsuits against the Trump administration's agenda, and Washington state’s attorney general has launched 19 similar lawsuits, California leads the pack having sued Trump more than 50 times.

Monday, June 29, 2020

More Record Breaking Heat (January - June 2020)

Month after month, year after year temperature records keep being broken. Last July was the hottest month ever recorded and 2019 was the second hottest year on record. The five last years have been the hottest on record, as was the decade from 2010-2019. The five warmest decades on record have all occurred in the last 50 years and each successive decade was warmer than any preceding decade. We have seen 425 consecutive months of above average surface temperature and 43 consecutive years with above average global land and ocean temperatures. Since the 1970s global temperatures have risen an average of 0.2 °C per decade due mostly to carbon dioxide (CO2) from the burning fossil fuels. Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 are now at their highest level in at least 800,000 years.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Event - Sustainability Virtual Summits: Smart ICT

This free on-demand series is the first virtual conference an tradeshow to present a case for a future-oriented ICT industry, to respond quickly to the challenge of sustainability. This series summarizes the cutting-edge information and best practices that you need to support you in your sustainability journey.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The End is Nigh for Trump and the GOP

With a bit more than four months until election day President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers appear to be on the wrong side of many of the major issues of the day. According to a recent New York Times and Siena College poll Democratic challenger Joe Biden leads the incumbent by 14 points. Only a bit more than a third of Americans say they will vote for Trump. Biden's commanding lead is not just in coastal cities, it extends to 6 key battleground states. The most concerning poll for GOP is the generic ballot which as of the end of June shows Democrats as being 9 points ahead of Republicans (49 percent favor a Democrat controlled Congress versus 40 percent who favor a Congress under Republican control).

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The Power of Protest: A Summary of the Achievements of the BLM Movement

In recent weeks we have seen how mass protest produces results. In response to the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police we have seen wave after wave of protest.  This mostly peaceful assembly has prompted concrete actions aimed at arresting police violence and racial injustice. Floyd's murder by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was the catalyst. His murder was the most recent in a seemingly endless succession of African Americans killed by police. Chauvin murdered Floyd by kneeling on his neck for more than eight minutes. "I can't breathe" said Floyd, crying out for his mother before he died. Floyd's experience is not unique, others face the same kinds of deadly abuse by police and not just in America. "Je ne peux pas respirer" ("I can't breathe") were also the last words of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black man who was killed four years ago by French police in Paris.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Livestream - USMCA and the Environment / Clean Technologies for Resilient Communities

Their will be a live streaming of a virtual meeting between the environment ministers of Canada, Mexico and the United States on June 26, 2020. This live event will also include leading environmental experts to discuss the future of regional environmental collaboration and the important role of clean technology in making our communities more resilient. This event is organized by The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) and it is open to the public.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

COVID-19 Inspires Renewed Interest in Facts and Science

In the era of COVID-19 people want facts and this is driving a shift towards a renewed interest in science and away from partisan sources of information. For a time disinformation succeeded in hijacking the popular narrative. Led by organizations like Fox, some media outlets declared war on reality.The use of targeted disinformation on social media succeeded in gaming the system.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Celebrating the Achievements of Wind Power on Global Wind Day

June 15th is Global Wind Day, an opportunity to explore the power of wind energy to help reshape our energy systems, decarbonise our economies and boost jobs and growth. Wind is key to our energy mix because it reduces fossil fuel use which combats climate change and contributes to cleaner air.

There is now more than 591GW of wind power capacity installed globally in 91 countries, with continued growth predicted.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Webinar: The Coronavirus and the Future of Air Travel

A webinar titled The Future of Air Travel will take place on June 23, 2020, from 5:00pm to 6:00pm. Panelists will discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the airline industry and if it is possible to view this as an opportunity for reinventing air travel.
Could the pandemic present an opportunity to think innovatively to address the immediate crisis facing the industry and accelerate the switch to newer and greener technology? Following the outbreak of the coronavirus, airlines have been forced to cut jobs in the face of a steep decline in passenger demand and companies have had to halt the production and delivery of orders.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Electric Planes are the Future of Aviation

Six years ago a sun-powered emissions free aircraft called Solar Impulse, captivated our imagination by crossing the Pacific Ocean. That same year Airbus Group and its partners, unveiled the electric E-Fan training aircraft. However, it would take another five years for a test flight of an electric commercial carrier. In 2019, Canadian company Harbour Air and electric motor startup Magnix made history with their all electric converted 6 passenger de Havilland DHC-2 beaver seaplane. Recently MagniX conducted a successful test flight of a larger plane in Washington state.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Will We Learn from COVID-19 or Will We Go Back to Business-as-Usual?

It does appear as though we have learned a few things from this modern day plague. Although it is not yet known whether this deadly virus will be the catalyst that helps us to alter our perilous trajectory, there is reason to believe that we will see lasting change. This virus has killed more than 400,000 people, but it has also augured a range of positive environmental benefits.

Many are cautiously optimistic that at least some of the benefits will outlast the pandemic. As explained in a Yale360 article, those changes that are likely to stick are those that were already underway before the outbreak. This is the view of Amy Myers Jaffe, director of the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Largest Ever Arctic Oil Spill and Climate Feedback Loops

The largest ever Arctic oil spill has drawn attention to warming related feedback loops. The recent Siberian oil spill was caused by thawing permafrost which caused ground subsidence under a storage tank.  This is a pervasive problem in Russia as 65 percent of the country is covered by permafrost. Fires and melting sea ice are two additional feedback loops that exacerbate Arctic warming.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Webinar - Impact of COVID-19 on the Renewable Energy Sector (IRENA Youth Talk)

This webinar will take place on June 8, 2020 from 11.00 AM to 1:30 PM EST.  Following the first IRENA Youth Forum held on 10 January 2020 at the margins of the Agency’s tenth Assembly, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is launching IRENA Youth Talk — a series of webinars aimed at strengthening the Agency’s engagement with the youth, amplifying their voice and actions in supporting renewables, achieving climate stability, and advancing the sustainable development agenda. Through this webinar series, young people from around the world will have the opportunity to exchange ideas amongst themselves and other stakeholders.

Friday, June 5, 2020

World Environment Day Activities and Events

Happy World Environment Day! Today is the big day and there is a packed agenda spread across multiple time zones and languages. Today we will be celebrating with more than 150 virtual events including live concerts, speakers like Jane Goodall, film screenings, virtual journeys, expert panels. and so much more. Some additional highlights include the Global Landscape Forum (GLF) Bonn Digital Conference (see details below) and Unlocking Human Potential for Biodiversity Online Event.

The host country for this year's World Environment Day is Columbia Events featuring experts on biodiversity issues from across the globe. Here is a quick look at the agenda (all times local to Bogota¡ which is GMT-5) To convert to your local time click here. 09:00 AM - 4:00 PM Content focusing on conservation of the Amazon, sustainable use of biodiversity, green business and the COVID-19 pandemic, the close relation between cities and environment, climate change, the circular economy and more.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Decarbonization Through Electrification Creates Jobs

There is a positive vision emerging of decarbonization through electrification. This would not only substantially reduce climate change causing greenhouse gas emissions, it would buoy the economy and provide jobs.

This pandemic can be a turning point. The coronavirus has already augured a 4-7 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions along with other environmental benefits. Although COVID-19 has decimated the energy sector it will disproportionately enfeeble the fossil fuel industry and embolden renewable energy. The pandemic has already changed the way we work and green stimulus spending could revolutionize our economies.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Systemic Racism and Environmental Injustice in Trump's America

People in cities across the U.S. are taking to the streets to decry systemic injustice. Racial inequality is one of the most pernicious and enduring forms of injustice in the United States and the callous insensitivity of the GOP and the ruling administration leads many to believe that protest is the only way to make their voices heard. The evidence indicates that overt racism has worsened under this president as have other less obvious forms of racial injustice.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Online Event - Unlocking Human Potential for Biodiversity Virtual Conference

This virtual event will take place on June 5, 2020 from 9 a.m. to noon as part of World Environment Day (WED). Montréal is the North American host city for WED. This event is being organized by Space for Life and the Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.  It imagines the future of our planet, our cities, and our spaces as well as the cohabitation between species on Earth, humans included.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Deadly Implications of Trump's Cuts to Environmental Protections

President Donald Trump's cuts to environmental protections are even more deadly in the era of COVID-19. The United States has reached the grim milestone of 100,000 coronavirus deaths, that is more than 33 times the number of people that died in 9/11 and more than the number of US troops killed in the Korean and Vietnam wars combined.