Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving and Environmental Gratitude

This year Thanksgiving takes on a special meaning as we count the days to the beginning of COP21 and a hoped for global climate deal. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to deepen commitments to greener living and more sustainable business practices. Thanksgiving is all about being grateful for everything we have, and it is only natural that we should show our appreciation for the environment by learning to be better stewards of the earth.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from the Green Market Oracle

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States and people across the nation are celebrating by coming together to give thanks. Traditionally Thanksgiving is the holiday long weekend when people get together to celebrate the bounty of the fall harvest. The Thanksgiving tradition takes us back to the early days when European settlers were first making North America home. They were welcomed by Native peoples who showed them how to live in harmony with the Earth.

Canadian PM and Provinces Unified for COP21

On Monday November 23 Canadian premiers met with the Prime Minister to discuss a national strategy on climate change ahead of COP21. Provincial leaders will be attending the December climate talks alongside the Prime Minister. Although emissions reduction is a provincial prerogative, Ottawa will provide powerful incentives to the provinces for their emissions reduction achievements.

Trudeau has repeatedly stated that his government is prepared to ensure that Canada does it part to contain climate change.Trudeau has been making good on his commitments to advance climate action. At the meetings of the G20 and APEC last week Trudeau encouraged members to engage the struggle against global warming. Now the meeting with Canadian premieres prepares the way for Canada to play a constructive role at the forthcoming UN sponsored climate negotiations.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What Canadian Provinces are Doing to Combat Climate Change

Climate action is largely a provincial matter in Canada. This is the view of both the former Conservative government and the newly elected Liberals. This means that provincial and territorial climate plans are crucially important to Canada's collective effort.


The newly elected premiere of Alberta is Rachel Notley. Alberta generates 249.3 Mt CO2 per year representing 35.7 percent of Canada's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Notley has announced sweeping reforms to the province's energy sector that are intended to balance the economic concerns with climate concerns. The plan includes an economy-wide price on carbon, the phase out of coal, methane reductions l and a commitment to renewables and energy efficiency. The goal is to derive nearly one-third of the province's power from renewables by 2030. The plan also includes a 100-megatonne cap on carbon emissions from the tar sands (it currently emits 70 megatonnes annually).

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Alberta's New Climate Plan is a Quantum Leap Forward

The new NDP government in Alberta led by Premier Rachel Notley has announced sweeping reforms to the province's energy sector that are intended to balance the economic concerns with climate concerns. The plan includes an economy-wide price on carbon, the phase out of coal and a commitment to renewables and energy efficiency.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Saskatchewan to Get Half of its Energy from Renewables

Last week Brad Wall the premiere of Saskatchewan announced that his province will get half of its energy from renewables by 2030. This includes a combination of wind, solar and geothermal energy. To achieve this goal the province will have to double its renewable energy production. Saskatchewan currently gets 25 percent of its power from renewable sources, mostly wind and hydro.

This is welcome news from a province that has been repeatedly identified as a climate laggard. In a 2014 report titled "Tracking the Energy Revolution" from the climate think tank, Clean Energy Canada, Saskatchewan was singled out as one of the worst provinces in Canada in terms of its renewable energy efforts.

Financial Losses Associated with Fossil Fuels

The losses associated with fossil fuels are staggering and it is not just oil producing states and companies that are feeling the heat. Pension funds going long on oil are getting killed as they hope that prices will rebound.

With oil prices around $50 per barrel, the IEA estimates that OPEC states have lost half a trillion dollars a year in revenues since the oil price fell from over $100 a barrel in 2011-2014 to current levels. The declining price of oil is also creating volatility in the stock market and significantly impacting the petro-economies of both Russia and Canada.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Course - Online Diploma on Corporate Sustainability

Online training to receive a Diploma on Corporate Sustainability will take place on Friday November 27th, 2015. This training is from Centre for Sustainability & Excellence (CSE) and it is Certified by IEMA.

This is a certified online course for all professionals, entrepreneurs and graduates who want to have a recognized qualification.

The philosophy of this online diploma is to provide you with a step-by-step introduction to corporate sustainability and with unique knowledge in a simple and practical way.

What you will get from the diploma on Corporate Responsibility:

Event - Global Climate March

The Global Climate March will take place on November 28th and 29th, 2015. People will come together at nearly 2000 locations around the world for a series of marches and peaceful actions. The aim is to draw together the voices of hundreds of thousands of people and leave world leaders in no doubt that there is global support for an ambitious deal that will avert the worst impacts of climate change.

The horrific events in Paris have led to the decision by the French authorities not to allow the march that was planned to go ahead, but there are hundreds of other events around the world. There are marches in Sydney, Oslo, Madrid, Melbourne, Berlin, London, Auckland, Ottawa, Mexico City, Edinburgh, Kampala, and many other cities.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Energy Solution: Free Electric - Game Changing Stationary Bike (Video)

Free Electric offers a powerful solution to the burgeoning global demand for energy. This energy innovation can radically reduce emissions while increasing access to electricity for poor people all over the world.

Access to electrical power with zero emissions is about more than climate change, it represents an important step towards economic advancement for billions of people living in poverty. Free Electric can light their homes and shops, make food storage possible, and usher them into the 21st century.

Landmark Court Decisions Acknowledge Citizen Rights to a Healthy Climate (Video)

Ordinary citizens including children are using the courts to force governments to act on climate change. A number of lawsuits and some early judgements suggests that the courts may be able to spur significant climate action.

In August a group of 21 children, supported by renowned climate scientist James Hansen, filed a landmark constitutional climate change lawsuit against the federal government.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Climate Adaptation Plans of Federal Government Agencies (National Green Energy Council)

The National Green Energy Council has created a resource called US Government Energy and Climate Policy that profiles the Climate Adaptation Plan of every federal government agency. .

The National Green Energy Council are focused on the "promotion, protection and improvement of the environment through sustainable energy resources."

They represent the interests of the organizations they serve in legislatures, the courts and regulatory agencies. Their mission statement reads as follows:

Obama Signs Executive Order to Reduce GHGs in the Federal Government and Across their Supply Chain

President Obama is leading by example and significantly reducing the federal government's greenhouse gas emissions. In the first week of November the President signed an executive order that cuts emissions and weaves sustainability into the fabric of the federal government.

The move will cut government greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40 percent and avert 26 million metric tons of GHG emissions by 2025. The White House claims that this will save tax payers up to $18 billion in energy costs and increase the share of federal energy derived from renewables by at least 25 percent.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

October 2015 Breaks More Heat Records and Corroborates Accelerated Warming

It just keeps getting hotter, almost every month this year has been the warmest in recorded history and October is no exception. Within this trend is an even more alarming concern. The steady increase in recorded departures from the norm.suggests that the warming may be accelerating.

October 2015 was by far the warmest October on record. This is confirmed by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), NOAA and NASA. Until last month we had never recorded a monthly average temperature increase that was more than 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) above average.

October was 1.04 degrees Celsius above average for the month. NOAA said that October had the largest monthly global temperature anomaly in 1,630 months of record-keeping. The previous record monthly temperature anomaly was set in September of this year.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Republican Senate Passes Legislation to Kill the Clean Power Plan

The Republican's anti-environment witch hunt continues with yet another piece of legislation that seeks to dismantle the centerpiece of US climate action. On Tuesday November 17th the Republican controlled Senate passed legislation designed to kill the most important climate action ever taken in the US. As he had promised, Mitch McConnell is doing everything he can to stop the EPA from regulating power plants.

As explained by the President, the Clean Power Plan will reign in emissions in a way that is both effective and flexible. In addition to reducing the nation's greenhouse gas emissions, the plan will provide both economic and health benefits.

How the Paris Terror Attacks are related to Climate Change and why a COP21 Deal is More Important than Ever

Climate change helped to spawn ISIS and the attacks in Paris may be an attempt to undermine the forthcoming COP21 negotiations. A severe drought may have contributed to the rise of radical revolutionary sentiments that coalesced into ISIS. While many have dismissed this as fiction it is borne out by a number of studies. Independent research has demonstrated that climate change exacerbates social tensions and can lead to conflict. his is especially true in the levant which encompasses both Iraq and Syria, the geographical birth place of ISIS. These findings are corroborated by a 2014 Department of Defense report which identified climate change as the cause of instability that can lead to the rise of extremism.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

Climate Excerpts from the CBS Democratic Democratic Primary Debate

The CBS Democratic Democratic primary debate took place in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday November 14th. Here are the climate related excerpts from that debate. The moderator for the debate was CBS News political director John Dickerson. Hilary Clinton summarized the field of Democratic candidates for President when she said, "All of us believe climate change is real."

Fossil Fuels are being Replaced by Renewable Energy

We are moving away from dirty hydrocarbons and replacing them with renewable sources of energy. As the future of clean power continues to brighten, the prospects for fossil fuel are looking increasingly grim. Financial markets are reflecting the growing value of renewables and coming to terms with the declining value of fossil fuels. As evidence of a wider trend, almost a dozen stock exchanges around the world now require sustainability risk disclosure from listed companies.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Event - The 100% Possible March for Climate Solutions

The 100% Possible march for climate solutions will take place on Sunday, November 29, 2015 from 1pm to 4pm. The march will start at Ottawa City Hall (Marion Dewar Plaza, 110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, Ontario) and it will end at Parliament Hill.

This event takes place on the eve of the UN Paris Summit and it is shaping up to be the biggest climate action ever in Canada's capital. It will tell the newly elected Liberal government that climate action is a top priority for Canadians. The march in Ottawa is one of hundreds of global climate marches in cities across Canada and around the world.

Event - Environmental Leader 2016 Conference: Call for Papers/Presentations

There is a call for presentations for this event that will take place on June 21-23, 2016, at the he Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center, Denver, Colorado. The submission deadline is Wednesday, December 23, 2015. This event is about real-world challenges and ready to go solutions for environmental, sustainability and energy management professionals.

Event - 2016 Waste Management Executive Sustainability Forum: Circular Economy Making it Work

The 2016 Waste Management Executive Sustainability Forum will take place on Thursday, February 4 at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Arizona. Now in its sixth year, the Forum continues to build on its reputation as a perspective-changing collaborative event. The Waste Management Executive Sustainability Forum brings together sustainability focused executives to seek opportunities and solutions for economic development, social advancement, and environmental protection.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Canadian Government Scientists can Now Speak Freely Again (Video)

Following the Liberal's federal election win, Canada's government scientists are once again allowed to speak freely to media. Justin Trudeau's new Liberal government appears to have delivered on the promise it made during the election campaign.

When they were in power Stephen Harper's Conservative's put forth guidelines that prevented tax payer funded scientists from communicating their findings. This view was corroborated by August research. The Conservatives silenced scientists on a number of issues including public statements about retreating Arctic sea ice.

As reported in the National Observer, media relations spokesperson with Environment Canada told National Observer that any restrictions on scientists that had been in effect under the Conservatives had been lifted.

President Obama's Climate Focused Facebook Launch (Video)

Recently US President Barack Obama launched himself into the world of social media with a Facebook page video about climate action. As he took people on a guided tour of the backyard at the White House he explained how led by the US, the world is coming together for COP21 to try to protect the planet from the ravages of climate change.

"Because of American leadership we have already been able to get 150 countries that represent about 90 percent of the world's economy and carbon emissions to agree that we need to come together to create that international framework...," the President said.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Opposition to Climate Action in the Fourth Republican Presidential Debate on Business

While eight candidates (Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FLA., Sen Ted Cruz, R-TEXAS, Sen Rand Paul, R-KY, Gov. John R. Kasich, R-Ohio, Carly Fiorina, Donald Trump, Former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-FLA, Dr Ben Carson) are seeking the Republican nomination for President of the United States, only Rand Paul and Jeb Bush commented on climate change and clean energy in the Fox Business Network debate in Milwaukee on Tuesday November 10th. The moderators were Gerald Baker, Editor-In-Chief, Wall Street Journal, Neil Cavuto, Fox Business Network Anchor, and Maria Bartiromo, Fox Business Anchor.  Here are some climate and energy excerpts from the debate:

Political Changes Signal the Dawn of a New Day for Climate Action

People are calling for change and governments around the world are responding. Part of this effort derives from a committed new form of grassroots activism that is demanding climate action.  It is fair to say that in 2015, after decades of effort we have finally reached a turning point in the history of efforts to combat climate change. This change is not a moment too soon as we ebb every closer to COP21 and the expected global climate agreement.

Market Based Approaches to Combating Climate Change

Sustainability has woven its way into market mechanisms and it is changing business models. Almost a dozen stock exchanges around the world now require sustainability risk disclosure from listed companies and around 7,000 companies now produce annual sustainability reports through GRI. Carbon pricing, the long awaited holy grail of market based change is slowly becoming a global reality.  Both to capitalize on opportunities and to mitigate against risk, sustainability is now a strategic imperative that no business can afford to ignore.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Combating Climate Change as a Moral Imperative

The moral call to act on climate change has grown and it is resonating around the world. Morality is a powerful force that transcends politics, race, ethnicity, gender and geography. Religions are making a moral argument and faith groups around the world are calling for ambitious climate action. This morality is also inspiring them to divest their holdings from fossil fuels.

Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical is an important catalyst for religious activism in support of climate action. The science based encyclical highlights efforts to combat climate change as a moral duty and calls us to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.

Emissions Reduction is Mainstream

In 2015 we are beginning to see an end to rising greenhouse gas emissions and we are advancing the agenda that will see their rapid decline. To reduce their emissions governments and businesses are ramping up renewables and engaging energy efficiency. The massive deployment and cost effectiveness of renewable energy is lending credence to the hope that we will succeed in dramatically reducing our GHG emissions.

In 2013 Al Gore correctly summarized where we are and he further anticipated the near term future:

A Turning Point for Climate Action: Reasons for Optimism

People, governments, business and investors are acknowledging the importance of urgent climate action. This includes a policy informed by science. Driven by a growing awareness of our carbon budget, we are coming to terms with the fact that most of the world's known fossil fuel reserves cannot be burned if we are to stave off the worst climate impacts.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The History and Importance of 2C and Carbon Budgets

Five years ago two key concepts were adopted that now serve as the framework for efforts to combat climate change. In 2010 following the Durban climate conference in 2009, carbon budgets and the 2 degree Celsius threshold gained widespread acceptance. Historians will look back on this year as a crucial time in the evolution of international efforts to combat climate change.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Conservative Governments Fail to Reign-In emissions

Conservative government in Australia, Canada and the UK have failed to reign-in greenhouse gas emissions. Under the leadership of three conservative climate stooges these nations have failed to meaningfully reduce their carbon pollution. Before being kicked out of office by Canadians, the Conservative government of Stephen Harper failed abandoned Kyoto and then set new emissions reduction targets which were unachievable. the Canadian Conservatives failed to meet their climate targets due in large part to their fixation on oil and their obsession with the tar sands in particular.

Growing Levels of GHGs are Warming the Planet and Contributing to Disasters

New data shows that we are seeing higher levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and this is heating up the planet and contributing to disasters. GHG levels have reached unprecedented highs and this is pushing the global average temperature past a dangerous new milestone.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Environmental Record of the New Canadian Conservative Leader

The track record of the new leader of the Conservative Party suggests she is as antagonistic to the environment and climate change as her predecessor Stephen Harper. The former prime minister has a woeful record on the environment and the new leader looks as though she will stay the course. Earlier this month Rona Ambrose, a former environment minister, was chosen as the interim leader of the Conservative Party and the Leader of the Official Opposition.

Canada's New Minister of Environment and Climate Change is Already at Work

Catherine McKenna is not only Canada's new environment minister she is also the minister of climate change. This is the first time in Canadian history that the environment minister title also includes climate change. McKenna is an international lawyer with a background in trade law who is eminently qualified for the job.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

24 Hours of Reality and Live Earth: The World Is Watching

On November 13 — 14, the world will come together to demand our global leaders act on climate change and set us on the path to a better future. For years we’ve watched our climate change. We’ve watched glaciers melt, seas rise, and storms get fiercer. We’ve watched this new reality transform our lives while too many leaders just stood by. Now the time for standing by and watching is over – and on November 13—14, 24 Hours of Reality and Live Earth brings the world together to let our leaders know.

Event - Let's Talk Climate: Messages to Motivate Americans (Webinar)

This webinar will take place on Friday, November 20th, 2015. It will address research on communicating climate change and a followup discussion. This webinar will review the research findings on the most effective language to use when talking about climate change. It will focus on the messages that most effectively motivate Americans and how these messages can be used for greatest success across a broad diversity of American audiences.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Obama Kills the KXL Now Other Pipelines Should Also be Axed

On November 6, 2015, President Obama announced that he is killing the Keystone XL pipeline. In explaining his decision he cited minimal economic benefits due to low oil prices and climate impacts.

For seven years environmentalists and those concerned about climate change have been actively opposing the carbon bomb known as the Keystone XL pipeline.

Although the President cited low oil prices, the most powerful reason why the KXL had to be killed was its carbon load. Tar sands oil is not only expensive, it is among the dirtiest and most energy intensive hydrocarbons on earth.

Keep it in the Ground: The Campaign and the New US Bill (Videos)

The international campaign titled "keep it in the ground" and a new US bill are calling for a moratorium on the extraction of fossil fuels. The logic behind these efforts reflect the fact that the vast majority of existing fossil fuel reserves (coal, oil and gas) cannot be burned if we are to stay within our carbon budget and have a chance of keeping temperatures below the upper threshold limit of 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial times. The science is clear and the math is impossible to refute, we need to act quickly to radically reduce emissions from fossil fuels. Known fossil fuel reserves far exceed our carbon budget so sanity dictates that we must stop looking for new sources and we must limit extraction.