Saturday, September 24, 2016

Letterman Comes Out of Retirement to Advocate for the Health of the Planet and Solar Energy (Videos)

David Letterman returns to television this fall to proclaim his love for the planet and rant against those who are destroying it. He is coming out of retirement to share his concern about climate change and the importance of renewable energy and solar energy in particular. This is not his usual comedic shtick, instead, he will be hosting an episode of a program on ecological degradation and environmental action. The program is an Emmy-winning climate change documentary-series called, "Years of Living Dangerously".

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Beer Industry is Emerging as a Sustainability Leader

Beer is a hugely popular beverage that is threatened by climate change and drought. In addition to water the beer industry is also dependent on grains and hops.

According to beer industry statistics, 1.93 billion hectoliters (100 liters) of beer are consumed globally each year. Beer is not only popular, it is also a huge industry with gross sales figures of around $20 billion per year.

Climate change is a threat to the beer industry.  As explained by Ceres the beer industry is rising to the challenge.

“leading breweries are finding innovative ways to integrate sustainability into their business practices and finding economic opportunity through investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency, water efficiency, waste recapture, and sustainable sourcing.”

The industry is acting to manage the risks associated with water scarcity and climate change and they have emerged as sustainability leaders in the process.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

What Aspiring Sustainability Professionals Should Learn in College

Here is some advice from young professionals for college students interested in pursuing a career in sustainability. Getting ready for the workplace starts when you are in school. Learn from the experience of a group of sustainability professionals as they offer insightful advice. This advice focuses on areas of study (courses, programs) and extracurricular activities (academic and personal) .

In an article titled "Young sustainability leaders reveal their career success secrets," Emma Campher asked GreenBiz 30 under 30 honorees— about their higher-education experience, and what advice they have for rising college students who are interested in the intersection of business and sustainability.

Reflections on Rhino Horn Economics and the Natural Capital Movement on World Rhino Day

September 22nd is World Rhino Day, on this day and throughout the year we say "NO" to legalizing the rhino horn trade.  People all around the world are engaging in activities designed to raise awareness about this magnificent and endangered  animal. The NRDC and others are calling on world leaders to stamp out trafficking in rhino horn and elephant ivory. 

The article which follows addresses these issues and related concerns about natural capital.

Sugar Coated Lies that Undermine Science

Big sugar's lies are the latest example of greenwash. The subterfuge of industry to serve it's bottom line at the public's expense is a crime that warrants public outrage.  We have recently seen evidence of this type of reprehensible behavior from big tobacco, big oil and automakers.

In 1994, we discovered that big tobacco was lying about the health impacts of smoking when Congressman Harry Waxman held a series of Congressional hearings that subpoenaed the CEOs of the four major tobacco companies. In 2015, big tobacco's cover-up was eclipsed by the revelation that decades ago, Exxon concealed research that showed how fossil fuels are a major cause of global warming. Further examination revealed that the whole fossil fuel industry was complicit in these lies. Also in 2015, Volkswagen found itself in hot water over a scandal in which they were found to have installed devices that falsified emissions tests.  Evidence of systemic dishonesty was then shown to extend across the auto-industry.  Now we can add big sugar to the list of industries responsible for strategic subterfuge.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Ecological Gaming and Gamification

Electronic gaming and gamification is a huge and rapidly growing industry that has the potential to help solve the environmental problems we face. Gaming involves specialized applications, whereas ecologically focused gamification transposes game mechanics and game design techniques to engage a wide audience and motivate people to act. Games and gamification can also disseminate critical information focused on climate, the environment and sustainability.

The focus of ecological gamification runs the gamut from entertainment that raises awareness to educational efforts surrounding the complex interrelated web of sustainability.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Heartland Institute's Fear Mongering in Climate Friendly California

There is no better illustration of fear-mongering and misrepresentation than the fossil fuel-funded Heartland Institute. Although they claim to be a free-market think tank they are a actually a fossil fuel funded advocacy group.

Most recently they launched a disinformation campaign targeting California's new emission reduction plans  that would see GHGs cut by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Heartland "scholars" condemned the law erroneously stating that California's new environmental policies will be an economic fiasco.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Adler University - Degrees for a More Just Society

The top of Adler University's site reads, "Graduating socially responsible practitioners for positive change." That is because this school is dedicated to graduating practitioners who will lead social change and create a more just society, through degree programs, training, and community engagement focused on socially responsible practice.

California's Climate Leadership and the Losers who Strive to Undermine these Gains

California is a shinning example of the way forward. This state's bold climate actions are meant to help us extricate ourselves from the world we have created. Rather than herald this great state's accomplishments, the oil industry is using their ill-begotten wealth to sow doubt and they are sicking their conservative attack drones in the state legislature to undermine California's green economy. They are trying to tear asunder the fabric of state's world-leading low carbon efforts. They do not seem to notice that the California is being disproportionately impacted by climate change and they seem oblivious to the state's four year long drought. Nor do they appear to be moved by the recent fossil fuel leaks including the large oil spill in Santa Barbara in May 2015 and the massive Porter Ranch methane leak towards the end of last year.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Event - Responsible Business Awards 2016

The 7th Responsible Business Awards 2016 Ceremony will take place on September 30th 2016. Celebrate with the global leaders in Responsible Business including Standard Life, B&Q, Munich Airport and Heineken.

This year you will enjoy over 4 hours networking, music, entertainment and interactive chef serving stations. Making for a much more fun and social occasion for you and your fellow 150 senior executive attendees.

Celebrate sustainability wins in large and small companies from all over the globe Be inspired by the leading CSR projects out there and how they've made an impact Acknowledge the best partners out there to make a difference to your sustainability initiatives.

Event - Global Green Awards 2016

The 20th Global Green Awards will take place on September 29th, 2016 in Downtown Los Angeles at the Alexandria Ballrooms on 5th and Spring. Start time of event is 6pm.Theme and dress is black and white cocktail/business attire. The evening is an intimate vegan gourmet dinner and awards. Chef Akasha Richmond from AR Cucina will be catering the zero waste event. The Global Green Awards (formerly known as the Millennium Awards) recognize the tremendous achievements – and the value shift or transformation – of individuals, organizations and corporations whose leadership embodies our global founder President Gorbachev’s call to reconnect humanity to the environment.

Event - SEJ's 26th Annual Conference

The Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) will be holding its 26th Annual Conference, in Sacramento, CA, on September 21-25, 2016. California has a 1,100-mile-long coastline. From the heights of Mount Whitney to the depths of Death Valley, the Golden State offers some of the most breathtaking landscapes around the globe.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Education - Sustainable Development Goals (OECD Video)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) replaced Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the end of 2013. These goals include an increased emphasis on water, they also include a focus on education. Goal number four of the SDGs is:
"Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all"
Andreas Schleicher, OECD Director of Education and Skills, analyses the issues facing OECD countries to improve their education systems to achieve the Sustainable Developments Goals for education by 2030.

Another Day Another Oil Spill This Time in Alabama (Video)

Although nobody seems to have noticed, between a quarter and a third of a million gallons of gasoline has leaked from a pipeline in the middle of September. The Colonial Pipeline Company reported the spill prompting the governors of Alabama and Georgia to declare states of emergency. The sad fact is that oil and gas spills have become so common that it is no longer construed as newsworthy.

The ecological impact of the spill appears to be secondary to concerns about the interruption of the supply. In Alabama the Pipeline spill triggered a supplier 'Red Alert' and Georgia Gov. Robert Bentley issued an executive order Thursday declaring a state of emergency in Alabama.

Friday, September 16, 2016

2015-2016 Awards for Reporting on the Environment (SEJ)

The Society of Environmental Journalists recently announced the winners of the 2015-2016 Awards for Reporting on the Environment. SEJ's journalism contest is the world's largest and most comprehensive awards for journalism on environmental topics.

SEJ will honor this year's winners on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016 at a celebratory luncheon at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Sacramento, California, in conjunction with SEJ's 26th Annual Conference.

SEJ's 2016 Awards for Reporting on the Environment are...

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Teaching Kids in Nature May be our Best Hope for the Future

Educating children in nature may be the best hope we have of righting all the ways that we have failed to be good stewards of the Earth. It is one thing to learn about nature, it is quite another thing to learn in nature.  Educational instruction in nature offers significant benefits to students. A slew of studies show that nature contributes to health and well being. Immersion in the natural world gives children access to the important developmental opportunities including sorely lacking movement and exercise.

Nature has been shown to be good for people's mental health. As Lindsay Holmes writes in the Huffington Post nature has healing powers. Exposure to nature benefits sleep, improves mood and enhances physical health. It can also inspire a sense of awe.  Teaching children in nature has been shown to benefit both students and teachers.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Energy East Pipeline Project is as Good as Dead

The controversial $15.7-billion Energy East pipeline project is hanging by a thread. If it were to be built it would deliver 1.1-million barrels of oil per day from Alberta and Saskatchewan to Eastern Canada refineries and a marine terminal in New Brunswick. Communities from Manitoba to New Brunswick have joined with environmental groups to oppose the pipeline.

The Pembina Institute estimates the annual greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from the Energy East pipeline are the equivalent of putting an additional seven million cars on the road.

Steadfast opposition to the pipeline has intensified this year. In January Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and 82 Montreal-area municipalities announced their opposition to Energy East, saying the potential risks outweigh its possible economic benefits. In total there are almost 300 Quebec mayors who oppose the project.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Growth of Green Schools in 2016

Schools continue to be at the forefront of the green building movement. A growing number of educational establishments are investing to make their infrastructures more sustainable.  There are examples of green building at every educational level from preschool to colleges and universities. Schools are investing in a number of areas especially efficiency initiatives and renewable energy projects.

Interest in green school buildings is driven by the fact that these buildings reduce costs by being more energy efficient. They also offer students an improved learning environment.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Businesses are Thriving with Sustainbility and Risk Dying Without It

Sustainability and particularly environmental sustainability is an increasingly crucial part of business strategy. This huge and growing megatrend is expected to continue evolving and shaping global business strategy. Driven by consumer demand companies are positioning themselves to address the challenges they face. This trend continues against the backdrop of uncertain political outcomes.

Reams of research reveals the benefits of sustainability. Measures of the ROI of sustainability include company revenue, stock performance, product-level profitability, and the valuation of employee and consumer engagement. Metrics related to all of these areas underscore the sustainability advantage. Sustainability is also linked to enhanced brand reputation, innovation, product quality and global competitiveness. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Event - Companies & Causes Canada Conference

The 3rd Annual Companies & Causes Canada Conference will take place on November 3, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario. The conference is designed to support corporate citizenship efforts.

Featuring top Canadian brands including Unilever, MLSE Foundation, Manulife, General Mills, CIBC and Uber.

The conference is geared towards sharing the story-behind-the-story. This is the kind of thing you won't hear anywhere else. All with the express purpose of providing you with practical advice you can use to save time and resources.

Event - Renewable Energy World International: Renewable Energy on a Global Scale

This event will take place on December, 13-15, 2016 at the Orange Country Convention Center, North and South Halls, Orlando, Florida, USA.
Renewable Energy on a Global Scale is part of Power Generation Week Event

Renewable Energy World has a proven track record as renewable energy’s leading conference. Featuring insightful discussions and presentations during technical sessions related to technology, markets, business strategies and policy covering the wind, solar, biomass, hydro, geothermal, ocean/tidal/wave, biopower, bio-fuels hydrogen and energy sectors. There has never been a better time to be a part of the exciting, ever-growing world of renewable energy! We provide a unique opportunity to network with thousands of experts about the technologies and trends on the forefront of the renewable industry’s future.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Dakota Access Pipeline Halted by Government Despite Judges Ruling (Videos)

Resistance to pipelines have taken a devastating toll on the fossil fuel industry in North America. Most recently protectors have succeeded in halting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The the Keystone XL, the Northern Gateway, the Sandpiper Pipeline and the Kinder Morgan gas pipeline from upstate New York to Dracut have all been cancelled thanks to activism and now DAPL has been stopped. Efforts to defend the land have been led by a large coalition of indigenous groups.

Friday, September 9, 2016

150 Sustainability and Environmental Masters Degrees

Sustainability is transforming our educational system from primary school to post doctorate work. The need for scholarly research and human resources is making sustainability the most prescient field of study in the world today. The reality of an increasingly resource constrained world, the need to minimize environmental impacts and growing consumer demand are driving interest in this new way of doing business.

Here is a compilation of some of the best sustainability and environment focused masters degrees in the world according to Net Impact, Eduniversal and Masterstudies.

The Dakota Access and Protest that Kills Pipelines

Efforts to stop the buildings of pipelines has succeeded in killing four pipelines and Indigenous people are leading the charge to protect the land from America's newest mega-pipeline. No one seemed to have noticed as the the Dakota Access Pipeline Project (DAPL, aka the Bakken Pipeline) quietly received regulatory permission to begin construction. The last state permit was handed out in March and the final hurdle was cleared in July when the The US Army Corps of Engineers gave its blessing. However, it should be pointed out that the Corp. did not do an environmental impact statement, because as a utility it is automatically classified "minimal impact."

Protests against DAPL have has been going on for some time now. but they intensified as construction began early in September. Environmental groups like the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition, a collective of 30-plus environmentalists' and landowners' associations as well as others are fighting against the building of the pipeline.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Energy Efficiency: Kids Teaching Parents

A study suggests that children may be powerful agents of change when it comes to environmental issues particularly on the subject of energy efficiency. Compared to their parents kids are more likely to accept the veracity of climate change and they are more likely to act on this knowledge. It therefore makes sense that children are able to share both their awareness and their propensity for action with their parents.

This is an effective way to get through to parents who are skeptical regarding the science of global warming and its logical corollary climate action. This is the gist of a Washington Post article titled,  "The best way to teach adults to save energy might be through their children," by Chelsea Harvey.

Solar Innovations are Revolutionizing Energy

This is an exciting time in the world of solar energy with technological innovations becoming routine. Less expensive polymer solar cells are on the cusp of being commercially available. This summer Japan installed a floating solar system with microinverters that make the panels 10 percent more efficient.  As revealed at the end of this article, the next big frontier is space. Ohio University has recently won an award for "beaming" solar power. These are the types of innovations that are revolutionizing the world of energy.

This article was originally published in Global Warming is Real under the title, "The Golden Age of Solar Innovation

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Green Futures: Sustainability in Philadelphia Schools

Schools see value in sustainability. The benefits are  economic, social, environmental and pedagogical. The Philadelphia School District is a case in point. Their five year sustainability plan will decrease energy usage and create cleaner environments in which children can thrive. They are also teaching students how to be more conscious and responsible people.

Philadelphia School District Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. called the initiative, Green Futures and he described it as, "more than a strategic plan. It is an opportunity for all of us in our own way to contribute to every child's health and well-being, both at school and in our communities, and to preserve our environment for the future."

Enbridge: If We Can't Build Pipelines We Will Buy Them

Canada's largest pipeline company is getting bigger through mergers and acquisitions. Enbridge has gone on buying spree after facing opposition to its pipeline expansion plans. It has been difficult for Enbridge to move ahead with its pipeline projects so the company has decided that if it cannot build pipelines it will buy them. Enbridge has prospered because of petroleum they have also contributed to the climate crisis.

Things have not been going so well for Enbridge. They have had to endure low oil prices and they have been deluged with a number of protests. Recently Enbridge's security forces attacked protestors with dogs and pepper spray near Standing Rock Sioux reservation.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Footprint Calculator: Measure Your Schools Footprint or Measure Your Own

The Global Footprint Network’s Ecological Footprint calculator teaches university students about sustainability in a fun and engaging manner. The calculator is able to render the multifaceted dimensions of sustainability in the form of consolidated scores. In addition to measuring the problem this instructional tool also offers solutions.

Both graduate and undergraduate students in 16 countries are currently using the calculator. It is being used in a number of diverse academic disciplines. One would expect to find the tool being used in environmental science classes but it is also being applied to other areas like cultural anthropology.

This interactive tool allows for direct comparisons between universities. The tool can also be used to assess the personal footprints of individual students.

2016 Corporate Sustainability Leaders

A bevy of iconic brands have been singled out as the world's leading sustainability companies. The results of the 2016 GlobeScan/SustainAbility survey of corporate sustainability leaders were released on June 7th 2016. The list is formally known as the The 2016 Sustainability Leaders and his year it was produced in partnership with Sustainable Brands,

The Sustainability Leaders Survey tracks expert opinions on the evolution of sustainability. These experts are now saying that values and purpose are "top drivers" of change. Leaders in sustainability excel at integrating social and environmental purpose into their core business. Leading companies also model innovation and set ambitious goals.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Natural Light in Schools: Architectural Resource for Daylighting

Driven by a host of benefits, natural light (or daylighting as it is often called) is a logical choice in educational settings. Using natural light in schools has been shown to have a host of benefits that include health, learning, financial, cultural, and environmental factors. Reducing the amount of energy used for lighting is good for the environment while at the same time it reduces costs. It also offers improved health and enhanced academic performance. Despite the plethora of proven benefits there are still relatively few educational establishments that employ natural lighting. 

The US/China Ratify Climate Deal and Corporations are Decoupling

On Saturday September 3 the world's two largest polluters, the US and China, formally ratified the Paris Climate Agreement. While this is no surprise it does contribute to the momentum of the process and it adds to the pressure on other nations who have not yet ratified the deal. The signing of the agreement by the world's economic superpowers is far more than just a photo op. Together China and the US are responsible for 40 percent of the world's emissions and the ratification is but the latest example of climate cooperation between the two nations.

China has promised to stop the upward path of its emissions by 2030. China is already reducing its use of coal and the Paris deal will mean that the nation will have to move away from coal at an even faster rate if it is to achieve the emissions targets it has agreed to. This will in turn have a ripple effect in the dirty energy sector driving another nail into the coal industry's coffin. The death of coal can't come soon enough for those who hope to keep the world from warming more than the upper threshold limit of 1.5 Celsius above preindustrial norms agreed upon in Paris. Urgent action is required as we are already 1.3 of our way towards the upper limit.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Event - Los Angeles Green Festival

Los Angeles Green Festival will take place on September 16 - 18 in Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, South Hall K. Hours are as follows, Friday: 12pm - 6pm; Saturday: 10am - 6pm; Sunday: 10am - 5pm. Sign language interpreters are available Saturday and Sunday.

Join the Green Festival Marketplace by exploring over 250 exhibitors, learning from over 50 inspirational speakers, indulging in some delicious vegan or vegetarian food and learning all you need to know to live a more sustainable lifestyle!

Event - 2016 Energy Manager Today Awards: Call for Entries

2016 Energy Manager Today Awards is calling for entries. The deadline for entries is October 19, 2016, the early Bird special ends September 23, 2016.

The Energy Manager Today Awards recognize and honor the strides made in the field of energy management, from developing and implementing energy strategies to recommending and buying energy-related equipment to monitoring and improving energy-use metrics to facility design and construction, and beyond. Companies are invited to enter original and successful products and projects that achieved high standards in terms of their contribution to reductions in energy consumption and energy costs.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Celebrating ASU's School of Sustainability (Video)

ASU's School of Sustainability is the very first school of sustainability in the US. It has been training world class leaders for the last ten years. In 2016, the school is celebrating a decade of innovation, adaptation and advances. This school is at the forefront of efforts to train leaders that will contribute to global betterment. It has become a model for sustainability programs around the US and the world.

Free Educational Resources at the Supply Chain Sustainability School (Video)

Here are free resources to help you come to a better understanding of supply chain sustainability. Integrating sustainability into your supply chain is about gaining a competitive advantage, showing leadership and getting ahead of regulations. As explained in the video below, this is not just about the environment this is also about economics.

Friday, September 2, 2016

25 Back to School Books to be Well Informed on Climate, the Environment and Sustainability

In alphabetical order, here are 25 books in the Green Market Oracle's back to school reading list. The books on this list address a wide range of subjects related to sustainability, climate change and the environment. These books are focused on business, nature, the economy, policy and design. Anyone who reads all 25 of these books is sure to be well informed. Readers can expect to understand the science behind the Earth's degradation as well as needed environmental and social actions.

Without further ado here are the 25 Books on the Green Market Oracle's well informed reading list

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Pseudosynthesis - Solar Power that Mimics Photosynthesis

Nature offers us some promising design solutions that could revolutionize solar energy. One of the most interesting is the biomicry of the ubiquitous process in nature that converts sunlight to energy. The specific process is called photosynthesis, which uses sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water. In plants this commonly involves the green pigment chlorophyll where oxygen is a beneficial byproduct. This process has been around for almost 3 billion years. Now scientists have succeeded in creating an artificial leaf, long considered to be one of the Holy Grails of science.

The first solar cell capable of photosynthesis like process was created in 2001, but it was too expensive. In 2011 Dr Daniel Nocera created a commercially viable low-cost, artificial leaf using nickel and cobalt catalysts and water that mimics the process of photosynthesis. It makes fuel by splitting oxygen and hydrogen atoms and storing the latter in a fuel cell. This concept has been improved in 2016.

Solar and Storage - A Match Made in Heaven

Storing the sun's energy is the holy grail of solar power. Despite solar's vast potential it still suffers from intermittency. Simply put, solar's biggest weakness is the fact that the sun is not always shinning. This increases the need for some form of energy storage system. One that can dole out electricity at night or when the sun is obscured by clouds.

Renewable energy has shown strong growth and the COP21 agreement signals accelerated growth.  Driven by market forces clean energy keeps growing. The costs of energy storage are declining and solar is now the least expensive form of power on earth.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Business Sustainability Certificate Program at Loyola Chicago

This one day world-class Business Sustainability Certificate Program at Loyola Chicago takes place on Thursday October 6, 2016. Space is limited and the deadline for application is September 30.

This new one-day certificate program in global business sustainability being offered Thursday, October 6 at the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago. The location is 16 East Pearson Street in Chicago, near the city’s historic Water Tower district.