Wednesday, July 31, 2013

White Paper - Oil Spills in Arctic Waters

This White Paper is a compilation of research on oil spills in ice-covered Arctic waters and it offers suggestions for future study. It is subtitled, "An Introduction and Inventory of Research Activities and USARC Recommendations."  The authors identify research entities in governmental, nongovernmental, industrial, and private organizations, and provide an inventory of research projects.

Given that much work is currently in progress, they provide only a snapshot in time, and an introduction to the topic. While an in-depth evaluation of the research results, a prioritization of research and development gaps, and a critical examination of the connection between research and oil spill response capability are undoubtedly important topics, they are beyond the scope of this effort.

Sweden is a Model of Sustainable Waste Management

Sweden has a garbage problem, but unlike the US and many other places in the world, Sweden's problem is not that there is too much trash, it is that there is too little. Thanks to Sweden's highly efficient recycling habits only four percent of the nations waste ends up in landfills.

This is in stark contrast to nations like the US where half of all waste ends up in landfills according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Americans recycled just 34 percent of their waste in 2010, and a total of 136 million tons of garbage ended up in landfills. Americans throw away nearly half of their food, costing roughly $165 billion per year, according to a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Fossil Fuels are making the Planet Uninhabitable

We risk an unprecedented global catastrophe if we continue to burn the earth's remaining fossil fuel resources. According to research conducted by former NASA climate scientist James Hansen and co-authors, our current trajectory of fossil fuel exploitation puts us on track to create a "practically uninhabitable planet" by triggering a "low-end runaway greenhouse effect."

These researchers looked at carbon from fossil fuels including tar sands and shale gas and came to the conclusion that if we extract and burn as little as one third of these reserves, we could reach carbon levels as high as 16 times the atmospheric concentrations that existed in 1950.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Green Building Infographic

More Evidence that Arctic Warming is an Economic and Ecological Time Bomb

Although our understanding of the Arctic is far from complete, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests melting Arctic ice will free massive deposits of methane locked in the permafrost of the far north. This represents an unprecedented danger both economically and ecologically. The latest evidence for this ticking time bomb was presented in a report by Gail Whiteman, Chris Hope & Peter Wadhams presented in the journal Nature.

Melting Arctic ice is expected to have far reaching impacts well beyond the far north. One of the most grievous threats comes from the release of methane trapped in the permafrost beneath the East Siberian Sea. The authors estimate that the cost of a massive methane release off the northern coast of Russia alone is $60 trillion. This is a startling figure when we consider that the value of the global economy in 2012 was estimated to be $70 trillion.

List of Climate Deniers in the US Congress

A 2010 study showed that 40 percent of Americans do not know that their is a scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change. This should come as no surprise considering that the vast majority of Republican leaders eschew the science to this day. 
While the number of climate deniers are declining, the sad reality is that the lies are being kept alive by Republicans in Congress.

Here is a list of climate deniers in Congress who deny the veracity of the science of global warming. As explained in the forward to the list "Climate change is real, it's caused largely by human activities, and it poses significant risks for our health. Some members of Congress disagree with this simple, scientifically proven fact. We need to work to curb climate change, and a big step is to raise our voices to change the conversation in Washington. Call these deniers out. Hold them accountable. Ask them if they will admit climate change is a problem."

Monday, July 29, 2013

Infographic: 13 Oil Spills in 30 Days

Here is an infographic from TckTckTck that shows just how dangerous it is to move oil. From March 11 to April 11, 2013, the global oil industry had 13 spills on three continents. In North and South America alone, they spilled more than a million gallons of oil and toxic chemicals during this period.

Obama Refutes the Keystone XL's Economic and Jobs Benefits

On Saturday July 27, US President Barack Obama said the number of permanent jobs created by the Keystone XL pipeline would be between 50 and 100. That is far less than the tens of thousands touted by supporters of the pipeline. If it goes forward the Keystone XL which would ferry tar sands oil from Alberta Canada to the US Gulf Coast. A decision on the fate of the pipeline is expected late this year or early in 2014.

"Republicans have said that this would be a big jobs generator," Obama said in a New York Times interview, "There is no evidence that that's true. The most realistic estimates are this might create maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline, which might take a year or two, and then after that we're talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 jobs in an economy of 150 million working people."

Republicans and many business groups are pushing the administration to approve the pipeline while climate scientists and environmental groups are urging the administration to kill the project. Advocates for the pipeline have consistently justified the climate destroying pipeline as an economic boon and a great way to invest public money. Opponents to the pipeline point to the huge amount of emissions generated by fossil fuels and the tar sands in particular. James Hansen the recently retired NASA climate scientist and adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University, has referred to the building of the Keystone XL as "game over" for efforts to combat climate change.

Unstoppable Oil Leak at a Tar Sands Production Site in Alberta

On June 27, an oil spill occurred at Canadian Natural Resources Limited's (CNRL) Primrose operations 75km east of Lac la Biche. The spill happened on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range (CLAWR). reported a release of bitumen emulsion, which is a mixture of heavy tar sands crude and water from oil production.

According to a press release from the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) neither the company nor the government are certain of the volume of emulsion spilled.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Event - The Responsible Business Forum

The Responsible Business Forum will take place on November 18-19, 2013 in Singapore. The event is being organized by Global initiatives, Eco-Business, WBCSD, WWF International, and the TEEB Business Coalition. More than 500 regional business leaders, NGOs and policy-makers will be in attendance.

Tracks will include agriculture & forestry, palm oil, consumer goods, mining, financial services, building & urban infrastructure and energy

Transformation Growth and the green economy

Event - The Future of Sustainability Reporting 2013

This event will take place on 6th of September 2013, 10.00 to 18.00, at the Conference Center of the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, Schumannstrasse 8, 10117 Berlin. It will be in German with simultaneous translation of the plenary parts English-German and German-English. It is being presented by BSD and the Heinrich Böll Foundation. This is one of the most important events on sustainability and integrated reporting since GRI's launch of G4 in May and a few months before IIRC's framework launch in December.

Event - 2013 Renewable Energy Technology Conference and Exhibition

Renewable Energy Technology Conference and Exhibition (RETECH) will take place on September 9-11 in Marriott Wardman Park in Washington DC. This conference will address cleantech business development in the military & government. As new developments in renewable energy continue to grow, it’s important for you to stay on top of the ever-changing innovations in the industry. RETECH’s Conference program addresses today’s most pressing issues and opportunities facing every discipline of the renewable energy industry across four comprehensive tracks.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Chonic Spill in the Gulf of Mexico Leaking Oil Since 2004

There is an ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that has been leaching oil since September 2004 when it was hit by a sea floor mudslide triggered by Hurricane Ivan. The site is being referred to as “Platform 23051” because this is the name of the rig that serviced the area. Despite attempts to plug the leak with cement in 2011 it is still leaking oil. The chronic oil slick around the site is as much as 20 miles long.

An LLC named Taylor Energy is the company that unsuccessfully tried to plug the leak with a leased drill rig called the Ocean Saratoga. Satellite data and over flights have consistently contradicted Taylor's reports which appears to be significantly under reporting the amount of oil seeping from the area.

Another Blowout on a Drilling Platform in the Gulf of Mexico

On Tuesday July 23, at 9:50 AM a shallow-water natural gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico suffered a blowout. A cloud of gas hovered over the area at Hurcules Platform No. 265, located about 100 nm south of New Orleans, about 40 miles south and 12 miles west of Grand Isle. The Coast Guard dispatched a cutter and two aircraft and reported that the platform was safely evacuated. All 44 people onboard the platform managed to escape in two life boats.

As reported by On Wings of Care, a nonprofit dedicated to wilderness protection who happened to be on an airborne excursion in the area, by 2 PM, about a mile of very light surface sheen to the east of the platform, which would support public statements that "only" natural gas is leaking at this time. See the images they shot above left.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Combat Climate Change: 3 Ways to Support President Obama

President Obama has announced the biggest steps to fight climate change that any president has ever taken. He's not waiting around for climate deniers in Congress who won't even acknowledge the scientific fact of climate change to face reality in order to act—he's taking bold steps forward.

Here are three things you can do to get started today: 

Now is the Time to End our Reliance on Fossil Fuels: Worldwatch Institute's State of the World 2013 Report

Worldwatch Institute's State of the World 2013 discusses the challenges and opportunities presented by changing the way we produce and use energy. A July 23rd, World Watch press release notes that global Co2 emissions from fossil fuel energy combustion grew by 34 percent from 2000 to 2010. As a consequence we can expect to see temperature increases of as much as 6 degrees Celsius this century unless we take swift action.

Benefit Corporation Legislation Proves that Business can be a Force for Good

Thanks to the efforts of B Lab and the community of Certified B Corporations, legislation is being passed across the US that is helping to create a new kind of corporation called the benefit corporation. The purpose of a benefit corporation is to create general public benefit, which is defined as a material positive impact on society and the environment. These corporations provide good jobs and improved quality of life. They offer higher standards of purpose, accountability, and transparency.

Benefit corporation laws have been enacted in 19 states and is in the process of being reviewed in many others. In the era of partisan gridlock, this legislation is remarkable in that it has enjoyed overwhelming bi-partisan support, including 12 unanimous votes in state legislatures. The widespread support is due to the fact that this legislation is 100 percent voluntary and costs states nothing.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sustainable Supply Chain Transparency: Strategic Analysis and Best Practices

Download the Ethical Corporation's complimentary 10-page briefing that contains strategic analysis around key areas of sustainable supply chains.

In this document you will discover how to create a transparent supply chain that delivers results.

With wide-ranging perspectives from companies and NGOs across a variety of industries and countries this analysis will give you a great overview of best practice in supply chain transparency:

Higher Oil Prices a Blessing for Fracking but what about Renewables?

A new publication espouses the virtues of high oil prices for shale gas development in the US. "...persistently high prices have stimulated investment in the production of unconventional oil, in particular “tight” oil from oil bearing shale formations."

In July the Bank of Canada released a working paper titled, "A Blessing in Disguise: The Implications of High Global Oil Prices for the North American Market."  This paper examines the implications of unconventional crude oil production in North America.

The report indicates that we are faced with declining production from traditional oil fields as well as increased global demand. The authors of the working paper make the point that as long as oil prices remain high it will continue to expand what they call unconventional supply, namely, shale gas and tar sands oil.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Certified Carbon Strategy Training

A new training course titled Certified Carbon Strategy is now available from CSE. The IEMA Approved Certified Carbon Strategy Practitioner training enables participants to acquire the knowledge necessary to design and sustain a Carbon Footprint Strategy, manage reporting and learn the tools and techniques to create green products and services. CSE hosts unique accredited trainings throughout North America being a leading education provider for more than 800 Sustainability professionals. This course can help you improve your CDP and GRI score. See the details of upcoming trainings in San Francisco and Atlanta below.

Event - Sustainable Supply Chain Summit

The 8th annual Sustainable Supply Chain Summit will take place on October 7-8, 2013, in London. Discover how to create a transparent supply chain that delivers results. Drive CR, transparency and cost efficiency down your value chain.

The event will be attended by 150 people including 25+ corporate top executives, sharing best practice and discussing the ways to address the biggest supply chain challenges in 2013.


•Make supply chain sustainability a priority throughout your value chain, by engaging internally with buyers functions, middle management through to top level decision makers

Event - SEJ's 23rd Annual Conference

The Society of Environmental Journalists' (SEJ's) 23rd Annual Conference, will take place on October 2-6, 2013 in Chattanooga, TN. Chattanooga is born again. Once forgotten as a smog-obscured and industrially polluted backwater, this city cradled by the Tennessee River is sought out today as a showplace of green technology and as an outdoor mecca offering a lifestyle increasingly in sync with Tennessee’s hardwood-ribboned hills, deep hollows and plains.

Part of Chattanooga’s draw for creative young people and ecofriendlier industries is the city’s own state-of-the-art, multi-faceted fiber optics program that includes a smart grid and fully networked energy-saving street lights that can double as air monitors, surveillance, spotlights and emergency alerts.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Video - The Stella Solar Powered Family Car

The Solar Team Eindhoven (STE) of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) presented the world's first solar-powered family car. "Stella" is the first "energy-positive car" with room for four people, a trunk, intuitive steering and a range of 600 kilometers (373 miles). This is the car being entered by the student team in the Cruiser class of the World Solar Challenge that starts in Australia in October 2013.

Video - Solar Boat Tûranor as it Embarked on its Global Voyage

The Tûranor is an extraordinary boat which highlights the seemingly limitless capabilities of solar energy. The largest solar boat in the world set sail from Monaco at the start of a world tour aimed at promoting the use of sustainable energy. The Tûranor is now the first solar powered boat to successfully circumnavigate the globe.

Related Articles
Solar Powered Yacht Turanor Circumnavigates the Globe
Luminos and Stella 2 Cars in the World Solar Challenge
Schindler Solar Elevator on the Rise
Solar Powered HB-SIA Plane Sets New Record
Video - The Stella Solar Powered Family Car
Video - The Solar Impulse Crosses the US Powered Only by the Sun

Video - The Solar Impulse Crosses the US Powered Only by the Sun

Watch the Solar Impulse as it flies from California on its journey across America. In 2013, the Solar Impulse became the only solar powered plane to fly across the country. This plane proves the extraordinary capabilities of solar power.

Related Articles
Solar Powered Yacht Turanor Circumnavigates the Globe
Luminos and Stella 2 Cars in the World Solar Challenge
Schindler Solar Elevator on the Rise
Solar Powered HB-SIA Plane Sets New Record
Video - The Stella Solar Powered Family Car
Video - Solar Boat Tûranor as it Embarked on its Global Voyage

Video - George Soros Says We Need to Rethink Economic Theory

Most of us engaged in sustainability advocacy recognize that there are profound flaws in our current economic system. While some naive and ill-informed green extremists believe we need to do away with economics all together, George Soros co-founder of the Institute for New Economic Thinking espouses a far more rational view.

"Economic theory needs to be rethought from the ground-up," Soros says. He specifically criticizes economists who are trying to produce theories that behave like laws in Newtonian physics, which Soros has long believed is impossible.

"You need a new approach with different methods and also different criteria of what is acceptable," he says. And he says that economic thinking needs to begin addressing real-world policy questions rather than simply creating more mathematical equations.

Related Articles
British PM Says Investment in the Green Economy is a Competitive Necessity
Global Risks Report 2013: Interconnectedness of the Economy and the Environment
New Support for the Interconnectedness of the Environment and the Economy
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity
Climate Change Highlighted at the WEF in Davos (2013)
WEF Global Risks Report 2013
The Green Economy is the Right Solution for our Troubled Times
Greentech and Renewables Help the Economy and Create Jobs
Historic Opportunities in the Green Economy
Corporate Sustainability is Driving Green the Green Economy
Launching of the New Global Green Economy
The False Choice Between the Economy and the Environment
British Government to Lead the Green Economy
The Growth of London's Green Economy
The Circular Economy (Video)
A Resource-Based Economy (Video)
China Leading the Green Economy (Video)
Building Gateways to the Green Economy

Friday, July 19, 2013

Corruption Undermines Environmental Protections

Corruption is a major global problem that has a direct impact on efforts to manage the world’s resources and combat climate change. Countries in South Asia, northern Africa, Madagascar, Mozambique and Zimbabwe are among the most corrupt places in the world. Other countries are by no means exempt as corruption is pervasive around the world.

According to a Transparency International report titled Global Corruption Report: Climate Change, risks exist in political decision-making, climate finance and the management of public funds. As stated in the report, “Where huge amounts of money flow through new and untested financial markets and mechanisms, there is always a risk of corruption.” The report further indicates that total global climate change investments will reach almost $700 billion by 2020.

The countries that are most vulnerable to climate change tend to be the most corrupt. The TI report on global corruption and climate change ranks nations according to their corruption risk, where zero is extremely corrupt and 10 is “very clean.” Not even one of the 20 countries most affected by climate change scored higher than 3.5.

Help the Town of Lac-Mégantic Quebec

Exactly two weeks ago, on July 5th 2013, a freight train hauling 72 tank cars of crude oil derailed and exploded in the middle of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. The toll on this small town of 6,000 has been devastating, 42 are now confirmed dead and many others are still missing. The twisted wreckage burned for two days and weeks later workers are still unable to locate and recover all of the bodies. Many buildings in the downtown core have been decimated including the library and irreplaceable archives. An unknown quantity of oil has contaminated the Chaudière River.

This is the deadliest rail disaster in Canada in more than a century. As the mourning continues, the cleanup begins and the people of this town need our help.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Dangers of Transporting Fossil Fuels

Recent events illustrate that fossil fuels cannot be safely transported. According to a Manhattan Institute report, petroleum production in North America is now nearly 18 million barrels a day, and could climb to 27 million barrels a day by 2020. The recent deadly explosion of rail cars carrying oil highlights the dangers associated with shipping petroleum. There are also very real risks associated with the transportation of fossil fuels, whether by train, truck, tanker, or pipe.

In India Childhood Malnutrition is Compounded by Deadly Corruption

The combination of malnutrition and corruption are proving to be deadly in India. A total of 22 children have died so far from eating a pesticide laced lunch at a Chapra primary school in the rural Indian state of Bihar. Doctors are fighting to save the lives of 25 others. On July 17, the day after the incident, heartbroken parents and their supporters protested the tragic loss of innocent lives outside the school and at a local police station.

The cook complained to the headmistress about the smell and the taste of the food, but she insisted that it be served nonetheless. In response the authorities had suspended a food inspector and are pursuing a criminal case against the school headmistress who fled the scene and is currently being sought. The state has ordered an inquiry and announced that parents of the dead children will receive financial compensation.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Greenbizbook: Canadian Directory for Green Business

In the Greenbizbook directory you will find listings and reviews of Businesses that provide organic food, natural health products and holistic health services, eco friendly house items, clean energy and a lot more. Greenbizbook makes it simple to find the best businesses and worthy organizations committed to shaping a more environmentally and socially responsible society.

Solar Powered Yacht Turanor Circumnavigates the Globe

At the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi Planet Solar unveiled the Turanor, the world's largest solar powered boat. As reported in Triple Pundit, this is the first ocean going craft to sail around the world powered entirely by solar energy.

The massive 8.5 ton yacht comfortably carries a crew of a half dozen and can accommodate up to100 people at a time.

It cruises comfortably at 5 knots with a maximum speed of more than 10 knots. Thanks to its lithium-ion batteries the boat can also sail at night.

Luminos and Stella 2 Cars in the World Solar Challenge

Here are two solar powered cars, Luminos and Stella that are both being entered into Australia's World Solar Challenge in October 2013. The goal of this competition is to travel 3000km across Australia from Darwin to Adelaide. The key qualifying feature is with the exception of 5kW hours of stored energy, all other energy must come from the sun or be recovered from the kinetic energy of the vehicle.

Luminos, is a Stanford Solar Car Project, which is the 11th such vehicle since their founding in 1989.

As reported in Cleantechnica, Luminos boasts several major innovations including their own highly efficient drive motors – one on each front wheel. Another innovation of the Luminos involves the use of monocrystalline silicon solar cells from Sunpower that have one of the highest production conversion efficiencies available in the world today, as well as a 3M-designed antireflective layer that also has excellent aerodynamic properties.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Schindler Solar Elevator on the Rise

The Schindler Solar Elevator supplies up to 100 percent of elevator power needs in residential and low-rise commercial applications. This technology reduces energy costs while ensuring operations during power interruptions.

As reported in Energy Manager Today, some of Schindler's engineers contributed to the record breaking flight of the Solar Impulse.

According to the head of Schindler Elevators, the successful journey of the Solar Impulse has implications for solar elevators. What they learned can be put to work to make elevator and escalator operations more energy efficient. Their experience will also help them to develop power management systems, including batteries, and the lightweight construction.

Solar Powered HB-SIA Plane Sets New Record

Earlier this summer, the plane known as the Solar Impulse landed at New York's JFK airport, completing the final leg of a journey across the US using nothing but the power of the sun.With the exception of a tear in the fabric of the left wing, the journey went off without a hitch.

Nearly 12,000 solar cells, drive its four propellers and charge the plane's 400kg of lithium-ion batteries for night-time flying.

The two seater HB-SIA craft carried out the first inter-continental flight in 2012 and holds the world record for the longest manned solar-powered flight at 26 hours.

Chinese Solar to Lead the World

According to a July 15 statement from the State Council, China will increase its installed solar capacity to 35 gigawatts (GWs) by 2015. The country plans to add 10 GWs of solar-power capacity annually over the next three years.

China is already the world’s biggest maker of solar panels, but it is suffering from oversupply. The expansion of domestic solar is designed to reduce the problem of oversupply that is plaguing the Chinese solar industry.

To achieve its ambitious goal China will help supply credit to profitable photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers, encourage overseas investment and offer tax breaks to solar companies that acquire others, merge or reorganize their operations. The government will also encourage partnerships between the makers of polysilicon (used to make solar panels) with chemical companies.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Canadian Green Direction Business Directory

Green Direction's Canadian Green Business Directory is a paperless guide that will help you to locate green companies in your area. Shopping local is your first step to shopping green. By clicking on the directory you will launch their green search tool, where you will be able to locate the type of green business that you are looking for, that is as close to home as possible. Their green businesses directory includes organic products, locally grown produce, sustainable products, fair trade products, and environmentally friendly products.

If you are a green business that would like to be added to their directory, just drop them a line by clicking on the “add a listing” tab. If you would like to recommend a company that deserves recognition, just send them an e-mail.

America Surpasses a Solar PV Milestone and Keeps Going

NPD Solarbuzz reports that due in part to state incentive programs, the US has installed more than 1.8 gigawatts (GWs) of solar photovoltaics (PV) in the first half of 2013, pushing the nation beyond 10 GWs. Solar PV is a semiconductor technology used for generating electricity by converting the the sun's rays into electricity. America joins Germany, Italy and China which have already produced more than 10 gigawatts of solar power.

The performance of US solar in the first half of 2013 exceeds the growth of solar in the first half of 2012 (1.8 GWs compared to 1.3 GWs). The Utility-scale market was responsible for at least 45 percent of solar PV installations.

European Parliament Revives Hopes for Cap-and-Trade

After a failed attempt in April, the European Parliament succeeded in passing a measure early in July to address the low price of the EU’s emissions trading system. Emissions prices in the $72 billion cap-and-trade program had lost more than 70 percent in the past four years. The low price of Europe’s carbon market is attributable to the prolonged recession of 2008 and the glut of permits that cut the price to as low as about 2.75 euros a ton.

Europe's carbon markets are essential to the continent's strategy to reduce GHGs and combat climate change. Cap-and-trade systems gradually make polluting more expensive thereby using market forces to drive the adoption of greener technologies and the reduction in carbon emissions.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Event - The New Metrics of Sustainable Business Conference 2013

The New Metrics in Sustainable Business event will take place on September 24 and 25, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Explore the future of sustainable business metrics at the Sustainable Brands event. Learn from over 60 current change agents. More than 30 plenaries and breakout discussions including up to the minute trends, drivers and examples of the most successful ways businesses are creating and capturing entirely new forms of value, or quantifying previously-ignored existing economic, social and environmental impacts.

Event - Energy and Environment Leaders Networking Reception

Energy and Environment Leaders Networking Reception will take place on July 15th, 2013 from 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM at Woodcock Washburn, LLC Cira Center, 12th Floor 2929 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. The venue is accessible by train from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Event - Supply Chain Sustainability Forum & Networking Luncheon

The Supply Chain Sustainability event will take place on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 from 8:00 AM to 1:30 PM (EDT) at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Slaughter Hall – CIMS Conference Center, 111 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, New York. The event will address sustainability from a suppliers point of view. It will specifically address what customers want. The event is sponsored by the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute in partnership with Nixon Peabody LLP. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Video - Truck Carrying Oil Crashes Killing 204 Illustrating the Dangers of Transporting Fossil Fuels

This video shows the aftermath of a crash involving an oil bearing tanker truck that killed more than 200 people in the Congo in July, 2010. The video reiterates, the horrible lessons learned from the tragic July, 2013, explosion of a train bearing oil in Canada in which an entire town was decimated. Fossil fuels are a danger on public roads, and they are no safer on rail lines, shipping lanes or in pipelines. Whether by train, pipe, ship or truck, fossil fuels cannot be safely transported.

Video - The Ongoing Impacts of the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico

Years after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster people are still getting sick. Despite a huge effort to cleanup the spill, the aftereffects of the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico continue to adversely impact human health and natural ecosystems. This sad state of affairs illustrates that once spilled, oil cannot be contained and this has long-term ramifications. Massive cleanup efforts have not been able to protect people and wildlife from the noxious impacts. BP spent billions on the cleanup and billions more will be paid out in lawsuits.  However, this does not factor the real costs to human health and the environment which are far more than just monetary. These impacts beg the question, can we really afford to continue to our reliance on fossil fuels?

Related Articles
 The Costs of Offshore Drilling Transocean to Pay $1.4 billion for its Role in the Gulf Oil Spill of 2010
The Cost of Oil: BP Barred from Doing Business with the US
The Costs of Oil: BP Liable for Tens of Billions
Responsibility for the Costs of the Gulf Oil Spill
The Costs of Offshore Drilling
The Cost of Carbon
Video - Truck Carrying Oil Crashes and Explodes Illustrating the Dangers of Transporting Fossil Fuels
Train Carrying Oil Derails Illustrating the Dangers of Transporting Fossil Fuels
Debate: McKibben vs. Epstein—Are Fossil Fuels a Risk to the Planet? (Video)'s Connect the Dots End Fossil Fuel (2012)
Two More Reasons to Move Beyond Fossil Fuels

Video - The Power of Storytelling: Lessons in Consumer Engagement

Humankind is impacted by stories and as such they are a powerful way of engaging people. Stories relate to myth which emanates from deep within our psyches. For millennia before the advent of modern science myth ruled the day. Even today we are forced to acknowledge that facts do not impact people as powerfully as a story. Simply put, myths engage us in ways that science never can. Myths run far deeper in the human psyche than does our science.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Green Collar Research B2B Directory

With over 250 Green Categories and close to 7000 companies listed, Green Collar Research claims to have the largest B2B Green Directory on the web.

Use their directory to find the companies and products your business needs to become more sustainable.

Three of the Most Destructive Tanker Oil Spills in History

While the dangers associated with shipping of oil through rail and pipe has received a lot of press of late, oil tankers are responsible for some of the largest oil spills in history. Here is a review of three of the most destructive tanker spills. Quantities are measured in tonnes of crude oil with one tonne being roughly equal to 308 US gallons, or 7.33 barrels, or 1165 liters.

1. Odyssey, was an oil tanker that spilled its load of crude oil 700 nmi (1,300 km; 810 mi) off Nova Scotia, Canada on November 10th, 1988. In total it spilled an estimated 132,157 tonnes of oil into the ocean. An explosion caused it to sink and the resulting spill remains one of the largest oil spills in world history.

Green Business Directory from the Carbon Trust

While an ever increasing number of organizations want to make their operations greener, finding suppliers they can trust is not always easy. To help address this concern the UK based Carbon Trust announced the launch of its Green Business Directory. This directory is ideally suited to assist organizations with their green initiatives in the UK and Europe. This database of accredited suppliers helps firms with the procurement of energy efficient and low and renewable technology suppliers.

Carbon Trust provides independent validation and recognition of a supplier's skills and services which "must meet or exceed criteria set by the Carbon Trust designed to examine their capability to deliver thoughtful, well-designed energy efficient and renewable energy systems."

The directory currently has 46 accredited suppliers in areas like: AM&T (automatic metering & targeting), compressed air, controls, energy efficient UPS (uninterruptible power supplies), HVAC systems (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), IT, lighting, and solar PV.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Adolescent Pregnancy on World Population Day 2013

The focus of this year's World Population Day is on Adolescent Pregnancy. As reviewed in a message from the UN Secretary General, about 16 million girls under age 18 give birth each year. Another 3.2 million undergo unsafe abortions. Issues including sexual coercion and child marriages, make adolescent Pregnancy a prescient issue. High rates of juvenile pregnancy are often about a lack of informed choice. These young mothers and their newborns experience higher levels of heath risks than do adults.  The offspring of adolescent girls also face a host of factors that disadvantage their prospects for the future.

As explained in a message from the Executive Director of UNFPA, young women have the power to transform our world. However, they are commonly deprived of the right to make an informed choice about pregnancy, which often undermines their ability to control their destinies.

World Population Day and Curbing Co2 Emissions on a Per Capita Basis

Thursday, July 11th, is World Population Day. The issue of population growth is highly contentious as many want to point their fingers at the developing world where we are seeing the largest population increases. This is particularly true of Africa. However, rather than look solely at population increases we need to consider the significantly lower national per capita Co2 emissions profiles of developing nations as compared to developed countries.

Growing population is undeniably a serious environmental issue. The earth has a finite carrying capacity which we are already exceeding. The more people there are on this earth the greater the demands we make on the planet's limited resources.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Climate Change Speech by European Commissioner Hedegaard

This is the full transcript of a climate change speech by Commissioner Connie Hedegaard on March 3rd 2013, at the Europe Conference, Harvard University.

Good afternoon and thank you for inviting me. What an amazing programme!

The last time I was here at Harvard, politicians in this country could not - or did not - use the "dirty word" climate. Now the situation has changed. Climate played a prominent role in both the President's Inauguration Speech and State of the Union address. And recent media coverage also shows that, indeed, the Times They are a-Changin'.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Top 25 Oil Spills in the Last Decade

Here is a listing of the worst oil spills in the world in the last ten years. The information is listed in the following order: The name of the spill is followed by the country, location, date and quantity of oil spilled. Quantities are measured in tonnes of crude oil with one tonne roughly equal to 308 US gallons, or 7.33 barrels, or 1165 liters. 

1. Deepwater Horizon, United States, Gulf of Mexico, 20 April 2010 – 15 July 2010, 627,000 tonnes

2. 2010 ExxonMobil oil spill, Nigeria, Niger Delta, 1 May 2010, 95,500 tonnes

3. Xingang Port oil spill, China, Yellow Sea, 16 July 2010 - 21 July 2010, 90,000 tonnes

Investment in Fossil Fuel & Renewables in South East Europe

The European Investment Bank (EIB), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD),  invest more in fossil fuels than they do in renewable energy.

According to EIB officials, between 2007 and 2011 their bank invested €15 billion in fossil fuel projects compared to €14.8 billion in renewables.

According to the new South East Europe Change Network (SEECN) report, (which covers Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia), between 2006 and 2012, 32 times more of the €1.68 billion invested by development banks in the Western Balkans’ energy infrastructure went to fossil fuels than to non-hydropower-based renewables.

European Commissioner for Climate Action Urges Development Banks to Divest from Fossil Fuels

The European Union (EU) Commissioner for Climate Action has urged development banks to cease supporting fossil fuels and divest from related projects, plants and infrastructure.

Connie Hedegaard is the first ever EU Commissioner for Climate Action. Prior to 2010, She was an accomplished journalist and a distinguished politician. When she was elected to the Danish Parliament in 1984 she was the youngest person ever to be a Danish MP. In 2007 she was appointed the Danish Minister for the Environment where she set up the 2009 UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen. In 2008 she published Da klimaet blev hot, [When the climate got hot]. In addition to her work as a politician, journalist and author she is also a lecturer who has sat on a number of committees and boards.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Breakdown of Solar Demand in Q1 & Q2 2013

According to NPD Solarbuzz analyst Michael Barker, Germany, China, Japan, and the US accounts for more than 60 percent of solar demand in the first half of 2013. China and Japan alone are responsible for 45 percent of global demand in the second half, up from just 10% three years ago.

According to the quarterly report from NPD Solarbuzz, nearly half of the demand in the first half came from large-scale utility and commercial ground-mount applications, with just 20 percent from residential rooftops. The rest of solar demand came from non-residential rooftop installations like businesses and off-grid applications.

Deutsche Bank Revises its PV Forecasts for 2013

As reported in REnew economy, Deutsche Bank has revised upward its outlook for the global solar PV industry. The bank is predicting that the global solar market will be 45 GW by 2014. As of the start of 2013 the global solar PV industry had risen to approximately 40 GW.

Duetsche's forecasts have been revised upward based on strong demand from Japan, US, India, and China. We are also seeing increasing solar PV demand from emerging markets like Chile, the Middle East, and South East Asia.

Another Gas Pipeline Rupture in Montana

Early in July a gasoline pipeline outside of the small town of Lodge Grass on Montana's Crow Indian Reservation spilled 25,000 gallons of gasoline. Over the last 20 years there have been at least three spills from the 8-inch underground pipeline now owned by Phillips 66.

The Lodge Grass spill comes almost two years to the day after 63,000 gallons of crude spilled into Montana's Yellowstone River from an Exxon Mobil line. The cleanup and repair costs for that spill totaled more than $135 million.

Phillips 66 is a Houston-based oil refinery and chemical company. They said the boken pipe outside of Lodge Grass will have to be excavated to be repaired and the contaminated soil likely will have to be removed.