Tuesday, March 19, 2019

A Response to Elon Musk's Detractors

Elon Musk is battling a number of obstacles, including production problems and legal hurdles. Musk is the genius behind Tesla Motors, Tesla Energy, SpaceX, and the Hyperloop. The list of his accomplishments is impressive. He has innovated online payments, shown EV leadership, pioneered commercial space exploration, revolutionized power storage and brought residential solar to the home energy market.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Who is the Greenest of them All? Ireland or Norway?

The governments of Norway and Ireland are leading the transition away from fossil fuels to renewable forms of energy. Four years ago Norway announced that it was divesting its assets from coal and now Ireland has decided to fully divest from all fossil fuels. Earlier this month Norway announced that they would begin withdrawing their investments from 134 international fossil fuel companies.

In 2015 Norway decided to divest 8 billion in coal holdings from their sovereign wealth funds.  Recently the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), which manages roughly $1 trillion worth of the nation’s assets announced it was withdrawing its investments from 134 international fossil fuel companies. In 2017 the Irish parliament voted to divest $361 million of public money from fossil fuels to became the first country to fully divest from coal, oil and gas. The Irish Parliament passed the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill in January which gives the National Treasury Management Agency five years to withdraw $8.5 billion of the fossil fuels assets from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Sustainability in the City and Beyond Conference by Loyola College for Diversity & Sustainability

This conference will take place on March 19-21, 2019 in Montreal and it will cover research being done on sustainability in general and urban sustainability in particular at Concordia University and beyond. Presented by the Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability and the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre this year's edition of the annual Sustainability Across Disciplines conference has an urban theme and a new partnership with the Institute for Urban Futures.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Unprecedented Global School Strikes for Climate Action

On Friday March 15th millions of students in 2,000 cities around the world came together to peacefully demand climate action. Young people in at least 123 countries protested the inaction of government officials and called for immediate climate action. The students are asking governments to declare a climate emergency, and they also want to see more education about climate change and the environmental crisis. The movement know as "Fridays for Future" was launched by Greta Thunberg. Although her efforts have been rewarded with a Nobel Peace Prize nomination she remains focused on the only metric that matters, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Greta's Strikes for Climate Action and Her Game-Changing Global Movement

Greta Thunberg is the 16 year old Swedish environmental activist behind the climate strikes that are sweeping the globe. Last year Greta decided to protest the governments inaction on climate change by sitting on the steps of the Parliament building in Stockholm. What started in Sweden soon spread throughout Scandinavia, then to Europe, Britain and Australia. Now it seems as though the whole world is taking part including countries like China, Tanzania, Vanuatu, Cuba, and Pakistan.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Trump's Proposed Buget Cuts Once Again Target Climate Science and Environmental Programs

Trump has been at war with science and climate action from the beginning of his mandate. In addition to cuts to education and medicare Trump's proposed 2020 budget slashes funding to climate science and environmental programs.

Trump has made similar budget proposals in 2017 and 2018. The 2020 budget proposal includes cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of the Interior, NASA, and NOAA. This is but the latest installment of the Trump administration ongoing war with science.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Trump's Swamp is Full of Fossil Fuel Advocates

The Trump administration is awash with fossil fuel lobbyists and advocates. Republicans are the minions of the oil industry and Trump's swamp is full of it's supporters. This administration is rife with industry influence from the initial beachhead team to cabinet secretaries. The Trump transition team was chalked full of operatives tied to climate denying Koch Industries. Some of these people came from the Institute for Energy Research, which wrote Trump's insane energy policy. Other early members of the Trump administration are Mark Maddox, a coal company lobbyist and Kerrie Carr, who worked for the coal industry.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Trump Shares Russia's Fossil Fuel Agenda

The Trump administration is a champion of fossil fuels.  They have killed 40 regulations and expanded extraction including offshore drilling in the Arctic.  They have begun drilling on public lands putting 42 national monuments at risk. To add insult to injury this is an administration that opposes efficiency.

With support from fossil fuel lobby organizations like, API, Count on Coal, the National Mining Association, the Western Energy Alliance, and the National Petroleum Council in the Department of Energy, the administration has dismantled progress made on energy during the Obama administration.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Virtual Conferences Offer Global Reach with Smaller Footprints

There is a new way of conferencing that connects participants from all around the world without the massive environmental impacts commonly associated with such events. When academics fly to international conferences, they burn up to a ton of carbon each, significantly increasing their personal greenhouse-gas footprint. This is particularly inappropriate in the context of sustainability focused conferences.

Technological solutions have been around for years and now YouTube is live streaming events. Other existent and emerging internet communication technologies are making promising conference formats possible. Besides reducing emissions, these technologies allow smart conference organizers to reduce costs for participants -- especially those from non-rich countries who would not otherwise have been able to participate. The international conference of the future will be truly global, with a bigger and more diverse program, higher cultural diversity, and much lower emissions.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Transition Away from Fossil Fuels Towards Renewables is Already Underway

Several indicators suggest that renewable energy is gradually replacing fossil fuels. Coal use is down, renewable energy is growing and we are seeing increased fossil fuel divestment.

Even some oil companies see the writing on the wall. In 2017, Royal Dutch Shell, the world’s second largest publicly-traded oil company, announced plans to increase its investment in renewable energy to $1 billion a year by the end of the decade. Ben van Beurden, the company's CEO supports a carbon tax and he indicated that he is concerned about the loss of public support if progress is not made in the transition to cleaner energy.

Friday, March 8, 2019

27 Inspirational and Motivational Posts Commemorating International Women's Day

Women are the Key to a More Sustainable Future

The importance of women to the future of our species goes way beyond their procreative power. Female leadership is better leadership and this augurs a better world.

Women's Day is an opportunity to advocate for true equality and to share the evidence revealing why women are the more sustainable sex. Empowering them is good for people, the planet and profits. If we want to move forward we need to unambiguously assign blame. Women's rights are human rights and men that deny these rights need to be called out.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

National Petroleum Council Influences the US Government from the Inside

The National Petroleum Council (NPC) may be part of the US government but it is anything but non-partisan. They are a group composed largely of fossil fuel advocates who have openly professed an anti-science pro-dirty energy agenda.

There are a lot of fossil fuel front groups that influence government from the outside but the NPC is a federally chartered and privately funded advisory committee established in 1946.  As explained on their website: "The purpose of the NPC is solely to represent the views of the oil and natural gas industries in advising, informing, and making recommendations to the Secretary of Energy with respect to any matter relating to oil and natural gas, or to the oil and gas industries submitted to it or approved by the Secretary."

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Fossil fuel Industry Owns the University of Calgary

While the fossil fuel industry clearly has a hold on American universities Canada is not much better. It was not that long ago that Stephen Harper's conservative government pulled the country out of the Kyoto Protocol, cut research funding and silenced scientists. Although they were replaced by Justin Trudeau's Liberals in 2015, they have continued to push for expanded fossil fuel exports. In Alberta the newly elected NDP aggressively support their oil industry.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Tar Sands are a Threat to Biodiversity

Tar sands not only increase climate change causing greenhouse gas emissions, they destroy habitats and contaminate air, soil and water. Tailing ponds at tar sands extraction sites have been growing in Alberta for decades and they keep getting bigger. There are now more than a trillion litres of tailings in artificial ponds covering cover 230 km² or 88 square miles. By 2030 there will be a trillion and half.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Event - BC Power Symposium

The 13th annual BC Power Symposium will take place on March 19th 2019 in Vancouver, Canada This conference will focus on the the growing demand for clean power. demands in the province. Participants will have the opportunity to network with the greatest minds in the power sector to develop your clean energy strategy.
The Canadian Institute will combine insights on further developments to Site C dam in addition to exploring newer clean energy methods, keeping in line with the Federal and Provincial commitments to generating clean energy.

British Columbia is rapidly progressing towards generating and sustaining clean energy. The 2018 conference explored a myriad of views of the developments and consequences of the Site C dam. Community views, stakeholder insights and regulatory perspectives provided a holistic overview to impacts and outcomes.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

The Energy Paradox: Environmental Defence on Canada's Escalating Oil Subsidies

Both Canada and the province of Alberta want to have it both ways. They want to be climate leaders and major oil and gas exporters.  The Canadian federal government and the provincial government in Alberta provide massive subsidies to the oil and gas industries in the form of tax breaks, fiscal support and direct grants.  Canada is the largest provider of government support for oil and gas production per unit of GDP in the G7.

After decreasing federal payments to Big Oil by $150 million in 2017 Justin Trudeau's Liberal government appears to have changed direction in 2018. Last May the Canadian government announced it was going to buy Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion. Last December the Liberals announced that they were giving oil and gas companies $1.65 billion in new grants, loans and financial supports. This is in addition to Export Development Canada, the country’s export credit agency, that provides, on average, $10 billion in government-backed support for oil and gas companies every year.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Ivy League Science Awash with Oil: How the Fossil Fuel Industry Controls Academia

As explored in a 2017 article by Benjamin Franta and Geoffrey Supran the fossil fuel industry's invisible colonization of academia is a threat to climate action. They point to devious techniques employed by oil companies to use academia to influence people's reality. They further say this is part of a "systemic pattern".

One year ago, the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center hosted a film screening of the "Rational Middle Energy Series." The university promoted the event as "Finding Energy’s Rational Middle" and described the film’s motivation as "a need and desire for a balanced discussion about today’s energy issues."

Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Fossil Fuel Industry has Known they are the Leading Cause of Climate Change for Decades

While some in the fossil fuel industry now appear to support climate science, the truth is they have been acting to obscure the facts for decades. ExxonMobil and the whole fossil fuel industry has known that they are the leading cause of global warming for more than half a century.

A letter by Benjamin Franta titled "Early oil industry knowledge of CO2 and global warming" confirms that the fossil fuel industry knew about its impact. The letter published by Nature reads as follows, "archival documents show that even before Keeling published his measurements [in the 1960s], oil industry leaders were aware that their products were causing CO2 pollution to accumulate in the planet’s atmosphere, in a potentially dangerous fashion."

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Fossil Fuel Industry Buys Politicians and Political Outcomes

The fossil fuel industry has used their immense power and wealth to subvert the facts and manipulate the public. Republicans are complicit in this sophisticated anti-science campaign of disinformation. The Price of Oil calls the fossil fuel industry, one of the "most powerful lobbies in the United States, if not the world. And they are peddling their influence both through lobbying on the Hill and by lining the campaign coffers of our representatives."

In March 2015 President Obama called out Republicans for their resistance to climate action and their support for fossil fuels. Calling them "shills for the oil companies or the fossil fuel industry," Obama explained their conduct by saying, "there’s a lot of money involved".

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Economic Assessments Overwhelmingly Support Climate Action

Conservatives commonly argue that acting on climate change is too costly, however, this is contradicted by a slew of economic assessments. When we look at the data it becomes clear that conservatives use economic insecurity to obscure the facts and control the narrative.

There are a number of studies that show global warming undermines economic growth, but the most compelling data comes from cost benefit assessments.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Ending Fossil Fuels Really is the Answer

Climate change is a complex multi-dimensional problem, however, there is a solution.  If we understand what causes the problem the solution becomes obvious. Fossil fuels are responsible for deadly air pollution and climate change. As the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions fossil fuels are at the core of the crisis. We know that we must radically reduce the amount of carbon we emit into the atmosphere but such reductions are impossible as long as we continue to burn fossil fuels.

Fossil Fuel Industry Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds

The fossil fuel industry is run by duplicitous hypocrites who prioritize their financial interests at the expense of both people and the planet.  Although they have known about the adverse impacts of burning hydrocarbons for decades, they have used their immense wealth and power to manipulate public opinion through clever disinformation campaigns. They buy politicians who help them to sew doubt by questioning good science simply to cast aspersions on its veracity.

Program - Blockchain Technologies and Applications for Business

Blockchain Technologies and Applications for Business. Innovation and collaboration can solve the world’s most pressing problems. The two month long program starts on March 28, 2019. It is an online course that requires between 4 and 6 hours per week. The velocity of technological change is staggering, the digital revolution is marching through industry at a fast clip and blockchain is part of the spectacle. The business value-add of blockchain will grow to slightly more than $176 billion by 2025, and it will exceed $3.1 trillion by 2030. Almost 85 percent of executives say their organizations have at least some involvement with blockchain technology.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Event - Asian Conference on Sustainability, Energy & the Environment 2019 (ACSEE2019)

The 9th Asian Conference on Sustainability, Energy & the Environment 2019 (ACSEE2019) is an international sustainability conference that take place May 20, 2019 - May 22, 2019, at the Toshi Center Hotel, Tokyo, Japan. The conference theme for ACSEE2019 is Independence & Interdependence.

Event - American Climate Leadership Summit 2019 (ACLS19)

The 8th Annual American Climate Leadership Summit (ACLS19), will take place on May 1-2, 2019 in Washington, D.C. The event is subtitled Breakthrough: Solutions and Leadership. Consistent with the Breakthrough theme this event will explore strategies and ideas to help transform climate action into a true national priority.

ACLS is the nation’s largest and most diverse gathering of leaders dedicated to broadening and catalyzing action and advocacy for effective climate solutions to redirect America toward climate action.  As the organizers explain on their website, if there was ever a time to bring leadership together to share learning, build collaboration, and publicly support climate solutions, this is that time. Now more than ever we need climate mitigation and advocacy, so that we can boldly move the needle on solutions.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Oil CEO Supports Science and Decries Climate Denying Politicians

There are some in the fossil fuel industry who publicly acknowledge the veracity of climate science there are even a few who criticize climate denying politicians.  As reported by the CBC, Suncor president and CEO Steve Williams wonders how the science on the right and the left can be different. "It is a matter of profound disappointment to me that science and economics have taken on some strange political ownership. Why the science of the left-wing is different than the science of the right-wing," Williams said adding conservatives should just cop to the reality that climate change is real. "Hey, it's just a fact. Let's get some facts out on the table," Williams said.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Forget the Border Wall Climate Change is the Real Emergency

American president Donald Trump is ignoring the real crises while exploiting the emergency powers of the executive branch to create fake ones. Trump is flouting the Constitution by seeking to finance a border barrier without the approval of congress. The effort is a political stunt to appease his base. There is no threat from illegal immigration and any weaknesses that do exist will not be solved by building a border wall.

As explored in a GMO post at the beginning of this year, climate change is the real emergency border walls are a ruse that threaten both flora and fauna. While the fear being generated around the caravans of migrants is fabricated, the evidence supporting the existence of the climate crisis is clear and irrefutable.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

API's Long History of Climate Denial and Disinformation

The American Petroleum Institute (API) exists to serve the interests of the fossil fuel industry. They have been discrediting the facts and spinning the truth for decades. API is behind a raft of disinformation efforts designed to undermine science and manipulate public perceptions. Through front groups and politicians they fund climate denial and the denigration of science.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Fossil Fuel Industry is Dying

All around us there are clear signs that the fossil fuel industry is dying. For some divestment from fossil fuels is a proactive strategy that mitigates against the risks of stranded assets while others see it as a basic moral imperative. Whatever the reason the trend away from fossil fuels is unmistakable. Much of this momentum is being created by local community movements. However, there are also a number of trends at the international and national levels that foreshadow the end of dirty energy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A Brief Chronological Summary of Climate Science

The science of climate change has been the subject of study for almost two centuries. Global warming was first addressed by French mathematician Joseph Fourier who described the greenhouse effect in 1824. The relationship between atmospheric CO2 and temperature increases was explored by Swedish scientist Svante August Arrhenius in 1903 and climate feedback effects were documented by Russian climatologist Mikhail Budyko in the 1950s. In 1954 the California Institute of Technology outlined the link between fossil fuels and increased levels of atmospheric CO2. Subsequently a researcher at Humble Oil Co. found that the carbon isotopes in tree rings corroborate the unpublished Caltech findings.

Monday, February 18, 2019

President's Day Special Report: How Trump's Contempt for Climate Science Harms the National Interest

President's Day celebrates the honor and leadership of George Washington, the first president of the United States (1789–1797).  America's founding father urged tolerance for all religions and the most enduring quality assigned to Washington is his truthfulness, a quality that is altogether lacking in Donald Trump. According to the cherry tree myth, when Washington was six years old he damaged his father’s cherry tree with a hatchet. When confronted by his father young George said, "I cannot tell a lie…I did cut it with my hatchet."

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Event - China Utility Week (CUW) 2019

China Utility Week (CUW) will take place on April 15-16, 2019 in Shanghai, China. In addition to learning opportunities this two day conference offers a syndicate of more than 100 exhibitors.  This is the preferred platform for energy industry professionals to expand their business, share innovative technologies and solutions and communication.

This event offers end-to-end industry solutions as well as specific zones dedicated to Innovation & start-ups, Intelligent Buildings & Energy Revolution.

At this event you can discuss and test your innovative solutions to drive the digital energy transition in China. China offers great opportunities for international exporters, particularly suppliers and service providers in the areas of high voltage transmission, synchro phasor technology and modernization of transmission operations, Renewable and Energy efficiency and partnerships in Smart City and smart grid projects.

Friday, February 15, 2019

US Polls Reveal Increased Acceptance of Climate Change Alongside Entrenched Republican Ignorance

Although surveys indicate that Americans are increasingly concerned about climate change they also reveal Republicans are increasingly estranged from the facts.

In 2015 the polls suggested that support for climate denial was waning. In 2016 a survey showed that Republican voters were slowly coming around to a more fact based understanding of climate change.

More recent studies suggest we are seeing rapidly changing attitudes on the subject of climate change. According to a December 2018 study by Yale University and George Mason University, 72 percent of Americans say that global warming is "personally important" to them. This is an increase of 9 percentage points from March of 2018. Over the same time frames 8 percent more Americans have become "very worried" about climate change.  Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and one of the survey’s co-investigators told Verge, "We’ve never seen a shift like that before."

Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Valentines Day Love Letter: Gratitude for the Planet that Sustains Us

Valentines day is an opportunity to express love to people we care about. There may be no better expression of love than to strive to protect the conditions necessary for life on this planet.

While we need to come to terms with the obstacles we face we must also muster hope that we can do better.  The crisis we face today is a crisis of love. Love for each other and love for the Earth upon which we all depend.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Webinar - Building an Impact Economy: The Role of Philanthropy

This live webinar will take place on Thursday, February 14, 2019 from 12:00 PM to 1:15 PM (EST). This live webinar will include a question and answer period. This is part of Impact Entrepreneur's Building an Impact Economy Webinar Series. It features presentations, conversations and panel discussions with the leading individuals and organizations in impact investing and entrepreneurship.

Monday, February 11, 2019

B Lab is Reforming Capitalism with Benefit Corporation Governance

B Lab is a non-profit that sees business as a force for good. They oversee both Benefit Corps and B Corps. They have a vision of an inclusive and sustainable economy that creates shared value for all. They seek to replace the maximization of profit and shareholder primacy with the maximization of benefit for all people and the planet. This is a business model designed to serve the public good through legal structures, performance standards and transparency. This humanity focused approach considers the impact of their decisions on all stakeholders  including shareholders, workers, customers, suppliers, communities and the environment.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Event - Impact Capitalism Summit (ICS 2019)

Big Path Capital's 15th Impact Capitalism Summit (ICS) will take place on April 23 & 24, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. ICS is one of the longest-running series of convenings for investors focused on maximizing impact and maximizing return. Impact Capitalism Summits offer a curated, thought-provoking, and actionable agenda designed to facilitate peer-to-peer learning and encourage collaboration in a unique environment that captures the imagination and inspires participation.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Video - Reforming Capitalism with Social Businesses (Mohammed Yunus)




Nobel Peace Prize winner and the father of microfinance Mohammed Yunus says capitalism is broken. He says wealth inequality is a ticking time bomb and he points to staggering wealth inequality including the fact that 8 people in the world have more wealth than the bottom 50 percent. This concentration of wealth is described by Yunus as a disease and it is making capitalism sick.

Friday, February 8, 2019

The House of Representatives Welcomes the Return of Science

The blue wave that flipped the House of Representatives gives us reason to hope that science may once again be used to help legislators perform their constitutional duties. While the House was under Republican control science did not inform legislation nor was it part of government oversight. This all changed with the new slate of Democrats who were sworn into the 116th Congress.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

IKEA's Journey from Laggard to Environmental Leader

Few companies chew up resources and generate more waste than the IKEA Group. However, the world's largest furniture retailer has made tremendous strides that have enabled the global brand to emerge as a leading sustainability-focused company.

Apple may have an enormous customer base, but it is dwarfed by the IKEA. With approximately one billion people served the Dutch company of Swedish origin has almost almost twice as many customers as the tech giant.

IKEA recently pledged to make all of the 12,000 products they sell from renewable and recyclable materials by 2030. They have also adopted science-based emission reduction targets pledging to derive all of their energy from renewable sources within a year.