Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Year End Review: Renewable Energy Achievements

In 2014 there were a number of uplifting stories in the field of renewable energy. From increased use to novel innovations. Here are some highlights from 2014 in the areas of solar, wind and ocean based power systems.

Solar Power

In addition to robust solar demand, 2014 saw a number of stellar solar stories. In February Ivanpah, the world’s largest concentrating solar plant, officially opened. It generates enough electricity to power nearly 100,000 homes. In the UK coal mines were re-purposed into solar farms. In 2014 research came to light that showed how solar power plants can save huge amounts of water compared to nuclear, coal and gas power plants.

2014 Year End Review: Climate and Energy Miscalculations

There have been some epic mistakes in the area of climate change in 2014. Each of the following four errors have serious consequences. Here are some egregious examples of miscalculations in the areas of renewable energy, climate models, climate denial and the Keystone XL pipeline.

Renewable Energy

Some economists have radically under-appreciated the value of renewable energy. Wind energy and solar power are actually far more price competitive with fossil fuels than some economists have suggested. A wide range of metrics reveal that wind and photovoltaic (PV) solar are growing fast due in large part to declining costs and improving productivity. These findings are at odds with a flawed Brookings Institution working paper by economist Charles R. Frank Jr. who erroneously claimed that solar and wind were more costly than previously thought. Frank's analysis is flawed because it is premised on inaccurate and outdated assumptions.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Infographic - Water Use in Power Plants

Infographic - The Water Energy Nexus
Infographic - Water and Energy (World Bank)
Infographic - Water Consumption in the US and in Developing World
Water Infographic: The Water Cycle
Infographic - Where Water Comes from and How we Use it

2014 Year End Review: Climate Change is Already Here and Left Unchecked it will get Far Worse

There have been a number of reports in 2014 that show that climate change is not only a concern for future generations it is with us here and now. A slew of studies from economists, government agencies, scientific bodies, and business coalitions have all indicated that climate change is a current day reality and we must act now to stave off the worst impacts.

The definitive compendium of climate science was issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Without hyperbole, thousands of pages in the UN's fifth climate assessment report made the scientific case for global warming convincingly and irrefutably clear. It documents the effects of climate change in the present and it warns of an "impending climate catastrophe," the Synthesis Report also said "We have a little time before the window of opportunity to stay within 2 degrees C of warming closes."

2014 Year End Review: People Powered Environmental Movement

In 2014 collaborative relationships were formed that helped grow the environmental movement. More than any other single factor, growing calls for climate action from people around the world give us reason to hope that we will manifest the change we need to see. People are capable of driving change and forcing businesses and political leaderships to act. In addition to protesting, environmentalists are flexing their financial muscles. In 2014 this point was driven home by environmental groups who spent $85 million in support of climate-conscious politicians. While we still have a long way to go before we have responsive political leaderships and widespread adoption of truly sustainable business models, people powered movements are growing and they have the capacity to change both politics and business.

2014 Year End Review: Reasons for Hope

Here are some of the most inspiring and transformative climate stories of 2014. Although global temperatures continue to increase and levels of atmospheric carbon are around 400 ppm, we have seen some reasons to buoy our hope over the course of the last year. People, companies, cities, states, countries, and regions are beginning to wake up and face the challenge of climate change.

There are some technological innovations (like graphene) that may help us to transition to a low carbon. However, even without such game changing disruptive innovations, in 2014 it became apparent that we can still make the transition with existing technologies and at reasonable costs. In 2014, both the Risky Business report and a White House report, illustrated the cost of delaying action.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Temperature Charts: Global Warming

Paying Homage to Leading Environmentalist Bill McKibben: The Green Market Oracle's Man of the Year

There are a number of people who have played important roles in advancing climate awareness and engaging crucial solutions in 2014. No one looms larger than environmental activist Bill McKibben, whose fight for the Earth now spans several decades. His accomplishments and recent accolades have earned Mr. McKibben The Green Market Oracle's Man of the Year award.

Bill McKibben is an environmental titan who has played a leading role in the war against climate change. McKibben is one of the most influential environmental figures of all times, he has played a crucial role building a new environmental movement

Infographic - The Potential of Solar Power

2014 is the Hottest Year in Recorded History

It looks as though 2014 will qualify as the hottest year on record. This is noteworthy in the context of the string of record breaking heat in recent decades. This decade was warmer than last, which was warmer than the previous decade. With fourteen of the fifteen warmest years on record having occurred in the 21st century, the trend clearly points to a warming world.

The observation that 2014 will be the warmest year in recorded history is confirmed by reports from World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the U.K.’s Met Office and NOAA. We set global average heat records on average every five years, first in 2005 then in 2010 and now in 2014. According to data from NASA, NOAA and the Japan Meteorological Agency, global average heat records were set in the months of August, September and October of 2014.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Event - World Engineers Summit on Climate Change (WES) 2015: Call for Technical Papers

The World Engineers Summit on Climate Change (WES) will take place from 21 to 24 July 2015 at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre. The theme is ‘Sustainable Urban Development for Global Climate Resilience’.

After its inaugural success in 2013. WES has become an anticipated platform by the global community to exchange insights and ideas to address the effects of climate change.

Triggered by rapid urbanisation and industrialisation activities, global warming is unleashing undesirable effects across the globe, increasing average temperature, rising seawater levels, causing unpredictable weather patterns and destroying food crops, properties and lives. No country is immune to climate change and the variability it brings to the weather. There is a mounting necessity to place sustainability at the core of urban and industrial development.

Event - 11th International Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Conference, Partnering & Exhibition

This event will take place on March 17, 2015, from 8:00 to 19:00 at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Gallery Suite in Birmingham UK. The 11th International Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Conference, Partnering & Exhibition: Delivering Hydrogen & Fuel Cells to Market. Now in its 11th year, this conference has grown to be the UK's premier Hydrogen and Fuel Cell event, attracting over 200 delegates from UK, Europe and further afield.

Event - 3rd Water Research Conference

The 3rd Water Research Conference will take place on January 11 - 14, 2015 in Shenzhen Kylin Villa, Shenzhen, China.

The conference will address two main topics:

1) Catalytic processes and new materials and technologies in water/wastewater treatment
2)Water reuse and product recovery from water/wastewater treatment

Event - International Water Summit (IWS)

The IWS event will be held from January 19 to 22, 2015 in Abu Dhabi at the National Exhibition Centre. This is a premier global forum to drive actionable water security solutions. IWS is a global platform for promoting water sustainability and addressing the water-energy nexus in arid regions. As a natural extension of the UAE’s commitment to sustainability, IWS brings together policy makers, NGOs, scientists, business leaders and innovators to share the latest technologies and proposals for action that tackle the urgent challenges of wastewater and water access and security. Participants will also learn about the growing commercial opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Video - Hope and the Politics of Climate Change

The speaker in this lengthy video is Anthony Giddens is a former director of LSE and a Member of the House of Lords. It was recorded on 14 October 2014. Professor Lord Giddens published The Politics of Climate Change in 2007 and he is currently preparing a new edition for publication in 2015. In this lecture he explores how much progress has been made since the work was first published in containing global warming - arguably one of the greatest threats to a stable future for humanity.

Video - Scottish Clean Energy in 2014

Scotland is on its way to achieving its goal of 100 percent renewable energy. In 2014, Scotland used more power from clean energy sources than from nuclear, energy and gas. Scottish renewables onshore wind and hydro and other renewables produced 10.3 terra watt hours which is 30 percent more than the power generated by nuclear energy. There is also significant potential for offshore wind, wave and tidal power to add to the mix.

Video - Canada's Dirty Energy: Ban Ki Moon Calls on Canada to Back Away from Fossil Fuels

Due to its emphasis on fossil fuels and the oil sands in particular, Canada is increasingly isolated in the international community. In an interview with Peter Mansbridge, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon calls on Canada to back away from fossil fuels and engage transformative change including renewable energy. However, as addressed in this panel discussion, the Canadian people may not be ready to make the short term economic sacrifices. However, as one panelist argued, Canadians can change their attitudes but they will need federal leadership which is not forthcoming. Putting a price on carbon may offer a means by which Canada can make the transition. The provinces of Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia may be at odds with the current energy position of the federal government.

Video - Adaptation to the Earth's Changing Climate (UNFCCC)

A new video documentary by the UNFCCC Adaptation Committee aims at raising awareness on climate change adaptation. The 20 minute documentary “Adapting to a changing climate” introduces viewers to the topic of climate change adaptation, weaving in inspiring stories of adaptation action and interviews with experts.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Unimpressive Year for Canadian Cleantech Stocks: Top Performers

It has been an unimpressive year for cleantech stock in Canada. The S&P/TSX Renewable Energy and Clean Technology Index opened at 109.26 on January 3, 2014 and it closed at 110.47 on December 24, 2014. The index has just one solitary stock single stock with a triple digit gain. 

Freedom Industries and CEO Charged Over Spill

Just before Christmas, Freedom Industries and six former officials of the company were charged with federal crimes associated with the spilling coal processing chemicals into the Elk River in West Virginia. The spill, which occured on January 9th 2014 poisoned the drinking water of at least 300,000 people.

The leak emanated from a storage tank consisted of 7,500 gallons of a coal washing chemical known as 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCMH). A number of people got sick and went to hospital due to their ingestion of the chemical. In addition to contaminating drinking water and making people sick the spill reportedly cost local businesses $61 million.

Dow Jones Sustainability Indices Leaders 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays and a special thank you to readers of The Green Market Oracle. 

In the spirit of the season we wish you a safe, happy and healthy holiday and a prosperous 2015. 

Together we are making the world a greener more sustainable place.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Infographic - Wind Energy in America

A Green Christmas Carol

This is a reedited and updated 2012 article. Since the publication of this article we have seen some modest progress towards the building of a global agreement to limit emissions, however, nowhere near enough to stave off the worst impacts of climate change.  From the time this article was first published until today, the level of atmospheric carbon has grown from 392 ppm to 398 ppm. The latest IPCC reports reiterate what we already know, we are changing our planet in ways that represent an imminent existential threat. As we count down to COP21 in Paris next year the urgency of the need for action has never been greater.

This summary covers the shameful environmental disregard of the past, the woeful inaction of the present and the hopelessness of a future in which we fail to act. This is a story of environmental neglect inspired by A Christmas Carol, the famous tale written by Charles Dickens and published in 1843 at the height of industrial revolution. However, unlike the Dickens tale, this is not a work of fiction.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Companies with the Best CSR Reputation.

A new study identifies companies with the best corporate social responsibility (CSR) reputations and two digital firms have won the top two positions.

A CSR Rep Trak study ranks the top 100 companies based on reputable citizenship, governance and workplace.

Here are their top ten firms:

Hundreds of Last Minute Gift Ideas with a Conscience

Here are a number of last minute green gift suggestions that range from renewable energy costing thousands of dollars to small donations to environmental groups. Here are hundreds of gift ideas from a wide range of sources including:

- Huffington Post
- Renewable Energy World
- Triple Pundit's B Corp
- Inhabitat
- Climate Reality
- Gaiam

Green Stock Outlook Post Santa Claus Rally

While markets have been generous once again this Christmas, there are some dark clouds on the horizon for green investors.

Almost ever year Wall Street enjoys a "Santa Claus Rally" and this commonly includes green stock. This year, as markets fell in December, investors where wondering whether bearish sentiments were going to deny them a Christmas rally.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Training Courses - CSE (Europe North America and the Middle East)

Here are three courses focusing on sustainability (CSR), reporting and carbon strategies from CSE, the first organization to provide Accredited Training Programs in Europe, North America and Middle East. CSE experts have trained over 5,000 sustainability and CSR professionals in 5 Regions and more than 30 countries.

Event - 2015 EHS and Sustainability Software conference

This event will take place on February 24 - 25, 2015 in Tampa, Florida. At this conference you can learn how your peer companies are using data management systems to track compliance metrics, mitigate business risk and report sustainability results externally.

Event - Solar Power and Japan's Exhibits at the WFES

At the eight annual Word Future Energy Summit (WFES) on January 17 - 24, 2015 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Japan will host a number of fascinating exhibits on solar energy including JAXA's Space Solar Power Systems.

WFES is one of a number of events that comprise Sustainability Week (ADSW), the largest gathering on sustainability in the Middle East, attracting global policy makers, industry thought-leaders and clean technology innovators together with 32,000 delegates and visitors from more than 170 countries.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Videos - Call for Divestment from Fossil Fuels

The calls for divestment are growing and getting louder. There is evidence that this call was heard by World Leaders assembled for COP20 in Lima Peru. Reference to phasing out fossil fuels was found in a draft resolution. The final draft explicitly mentions "zero fossil fuel emissions by 2050."

One of the most beautiful divestment actions took on a Saturday evening, the Saturday before Advent, environmentalists gathered at Sergels Torg in Stockholm, Sweden. The dancers carried white umbrellas – whilst dancing they fluttered round & round, up & down, back & forward like a clear waterfall in the dark.From all sides the crowd closed in upon the dancers with black umbrellas, closed in around them like a dark sea. Until there was no white light left to be seen. Until the white umbrellas dove out from below and aimed their spotlights toward our demand: DIVESTERA

An introduction video of the Fossielvrij movement in the Netherlands. Divesting public money away from oil, coal and gas companies is needed for a quick energy transition to keep climate change below 2 degrees.

Video - Environmental Success Stories in 2014: People's Climate March in Lima Peru

As a followup to the People's Climate March in NYC, an estimated 15 000 people came together on 10 December 2014 during the COP20 Climate Talks in Lima Peru. Together they called for action, for their families, their livelihoods and the planet. These protests send a clear message to world leaders. People are demanding a global climate agreement at COP21 scheduled to take place in Paris next year.

Video - Environmental Success Stories in 2014: Historic People's Climate March in NYC

The People's Climate March was a historic achievement in 2014. The world came together in New York but also in hundreds of related events around the world. As world leaders assembled in New York City for a landmark summit on climate change, they let it be known that citizens of the world demand action on the climate crisis. As explained by, the People's Climate March, "is turning point - a huge step forward in our calls for climate justice." Now as never before those calling for action on climate issues are part of a "big, beautiful, unified movement" that is demanding a brighter and more just future for everyone.

Video - Environmental Successes by NRDC Activists in 2014

Watch all the inspiring victories that NRDC Members and activists helped win in 2014. Click here to see how you can help the NRDC with next year's victories.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Enbridge Spills Again

On December 16th, a 1,350-barrel (56,700-gallon) oil spill at a Regina terminal in Saskatchewan forced Enbridge to temporarily close a pipeline that connects to a terminal in Wisconsin. The 796,000 barrel-a-day Line 4 pipeline was shutdown after a leak was detected in a valve.

Enbridge is a $57 billion company that is no stranger to oil spills. Early in 2014 a W5 report showed how Enbridge's Line 9 had a host of unreported spills, alarming communities. According to the report, the 830 km Line 9 pipeline runs between Sarnia Ontario and Terrebonne Quebec has had at least 35 unreported spills.

Enbridge is best known for their role in the largest and most expensive inland oil spill in US history. The 2010 event in Michigan spilled more than 800,000-gallons (3.8 million litres or 20,000 barrels) of diluted oil-sands bitumen, contaminating a 48-km stretch of the Kalamazoo River. The cleanup was hampered by the fact that the tar sands crude sank to the bottom of the river. The cleanup costs alone were at least $1.2 billion excluding the reimbursement to those who were impacted.

Oil Spill Poisons Muskeg in Northern Alberta
Two Pipeline Spills: Tar Sands and Brine
Unstoppable Oil Leak at a Tar Sands Production Site in Alberta
Infographic: 13 Oil Spills in 30 Days
Top 25 Oil Spills Over 1000 Tonnes in the Last Decade
Pipelines and Oil Spills in Alberta Canada
Enbridge and The Farce of Canada's Carbon Capture
How the Hell did Enbridge get on the 2012 -2013 DJSI Leaders List?

Infographic - Toxic Chemicals in America (Environment America)

Climate Change Communication Guide (ecoAmerica & CRED)

ecoAmerica and the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, have released a new climate change communication guide, Connecting on Climate: A Guide to Effective Climate Change Communication. The guide explains how anyone, from religious leaders, to healthcare professionals, businesspeople, community leaders, journalists, scientists, educators, policymakers, and other interested parties, can better communicate with and engage the American public on the issue.

The guide is designed as a follow-up to CRED's 2009 guide The Psychology of Climate Change Communication: A Guide for Scientists, Journalists, Educators, Political Aides, and the Interested Public and draws from a range of social science fields including psychology, anthropology, communications, and behavioral economics.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Green Retirement Residences: 3 Case Studies (Features, Joint Ventures & Finance)

Green buildings are growing and as baby boomers age their is a massive increase in demand for seniors housing. The number of retirement residences has grown alongside this demand. Here are three case studies that highlight sustainability features of a green retirement facility, as well as the kind of joint ventures and financing options that exist for such residences.

Features of a Green Retirement Retirement Residence (PARC Retirement Living)

Summerhill PARC in North Vancouver was the first retirement residence built by PARC Retirement Living. As builders they are committed to quality retirement residences that incorporate green building practices and architectural beauty, as well as meeting top standards for safety and durability.

White Paper - Communications Strategy for Green Investment

A 2013 white paper released by the publisher of the Global Green Economy Index™ addresses communications as a strategy for advancing green investment and growth. Research and data associated with the Global Green Economy Index™ (GGEI) suggest that strategic communications and better information exchange between consumers, businesses and policymakers is often an overlooked strategy for advancing green growth and cleantech investment.

The white paper from Dual Citizen LLC supports this finding through six cases where strategic communications and better information campaigns have a role to play in supporting investment, cleantech entrepreneurship and policy development that advances green economic growth.

Studies in New York and Quebec Reject Fracking

Two studies cast aspersions on the value of fracking suggesting that the risks outweigh the benefits. In the last few days both New York State and the Canadian province of Quebec have released reports that say the deleterious impacts associated with hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) for natural gas overshadow the economic benefits. The findings of a five year New York state study and a four year Quebec report show that fracking offers more risk than reward.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Companies Fail to Communicate Sustainability to Investors

Although soliciting capital is crucial for growth companies have difficulty communicating sustainability to investors. creating strategies for communicating with investors on sustainability. This was the finding of a UN Global Compact, Accenture CEO Study on Sustainability. The study was conducted in collaboration with the Principles for Responsible Investment. The study is called, "The Investor Study: Insights from PRI Signatories."

The importance of sustainability to investors was borne out in two statistics that emerged from the study. The first is that 88 percent of the investors surveyed see sustainability as an opportunity to establish a competitive advantage. The second is that 78 percent of investors see sustainability as a differentiator in determining industry leaders.

However, more than 9 out of 10 (91%) of surveyed investors think companies could do a better job of communicating sustainability to investors. Further, 88 percent indicated that companies should pay greater attention to sustainability in company valuations.

Charts - Car MPGs and Gas Prices

The Case for Green Building

In addition to saving money, green buildings contribute to people's health and quality of life, they combat climate change by having a lower emissions profile and they preserve the environment by conserving resources. They also address energy security, create jobs and mitigate against regulatory risks. Perhaps the most important consideration for building owners is the bottom line and according to a number of sources, the design and construction of green buildings are cost competitive even before you factor the savings from reduced operating costs.

According to Betzwood Associates, Green buildings can decrease carbon emissions by 35 percent, energy consumption by 50 percent, water use by 35 percent and solid waste by 70 percent.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Congress Funds Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Obscured by the spate of anti-environment legislative riders, Congress has also agreed to support both energy efficiency and renewable energy.

As reported by Energy Manager Today, Congress appropriated $1.93 billion for the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. This represents an increase of nearly $25 million from the previous year.

Cromnibus Bill Foreshadows the GOP's Legislative Agenda

In the December budget bill, Republicans gave themselves and their friends a number of Christmas gifts. The so called Cromnibus bill is a pale reflection of what Republican legislators will do when they have even greater control in 2015.

After the House voted in favor of a 1.1 trillion government funding bill, the Senate followed suit and passed the bill on Saturday night (December 13) with a vote of 56 to 40. To avoid a government shutdown, Republicans demanded some non-germane amendments that amount to big gifts for themselves and their friends in the oil industry and on Wall Street.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Falling oil Prices and a Global Climate Agreement

The decline in oil prices underscores the risk associated with fossil fuel investment. On December 1 as the COP20 talks began in Lima Peru, the UN's climate chief said that falling oil prices show the "high risk" of fossil fuel investments compared with renewable energies. This perspective was underscored by the December 14th Lima draft agreement that included mention of a world free from fossil fuel emissions by 2050. A final global climate agreement is scheduled to be signed in 2015 at COP21 in Paris. Prior to the Lima agreement there were agreements by the US and China and the European Union to cut greenhouse emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.

EDF is Putting Technology to use for Social Good

The EDF is on the front lines of efforts in the virtual space to improve our world. The digital world has created a whole series of opportunities for people to get involved in social betterment. Two areas that have benefited from the explosion of new media are the environment and efforts to combat the climate crisis. One of the newest holidays is something called #MobileMonday. This brand-new holiday celebrates the many ways we can use technology for social good. As explained by the EDF's Action Network Coordinator Heather Shelby the timing of MobileMonday couldn't be better.

COP20 Agreement at the Lima Climate Talks

After being near death, a draft climate framework has been salvaged that keeps hope alive for a final agreement in 2015. The compromise agreement was reached after a two day extension of the COP20 climate meetings in Lima Peru. The 194 nations present managed to agree on a framework for setting national pledges that will be submitted next year at COP21 in Paris.

While some dismissed the outcome as an ineffectual compromise, others hailed the agreement as an important step forward. Once again the UN climate talks were marred by wealthy nation's reluctance to assume the financial burdens of emissions reductions in poorer countries.

Nonetheless the agreement contains support for "vulnerable" developing nations from wealthy countries. Most importantly it continues to seek an "ambitious agreement" in 2015 that reflect the "differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities" of each nation. National targets for emissions reductions are to go beyond their "current undertaking."

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Event - Edmonton Green Homes Summit

The Edmonton Green Homes Summit will take place on January 29, 2015. It will focus on residential construction, covering both single-family homes (including townhomes and various attached styles) and multifamily projects up to the midrise level (up to 12 storeys), and will include sessions on LEED Canada for Homes, and many regional energy and green building standards.

Agenda includes full day of sessions and expert presenters The agenda includes a morning keynote presentation, a number of expert plenary sessions, and ample opportunity to network with fellow members of the industry.

Event - Toronto Green Homes Summit

The Toronto Green Homes Summit will take place on January 28, 2015 and Edmonton on January 29, 2015. Delivered as a combined effort from CaGBC National and local Chapters, the first Summit was successfully held in Halifax on October 3, and two more will be taking place in Edmonton on January 29 and Toronto on January 28, 2015. These events are customized for each region by local program committees and led by local expert builders and developers.

Toronto Green Homes Summit

The Toronto Summit will focus on residential construction, covering both single-family homes (including townhouses and various attached styles) and multifamily projects up to the midrise level (up to 12 storeys).

Event - 2015 CIWEM RCG Winter Conference

The 2015 CIWEM RCG Winter Conference will take place on January 29th at SOAS, University of London Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, UK. The conference is subtitled, Signposting New Developments in Asset Management. The aim of this event is to raise awareness and increase access to emerging and new guidance in the field of Flood and Coastal Erosions Risk Management (FCERM) asset management, demonstrating the benefits and outcomes arising from application of the new knowledge base.

Event - 2015 Land and Water Summit

The 2015 Land and Water Summit, Watershed CPR: Restoring Natural, Built and Human Environments will take place on February 19 - 20, at the Sheraton Albuquerque Airport Hotel.

Watershed Health is everyone’s concern. Our watersheds are in great need of resuscitation and this year Land&Water Summit will concentrate on learning about ways to improve watershed health.

Event - Energy and Climate Change: National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment

The 15th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment will take place on January 27-29, 2015 in Washington DC. Organized by the National Council for Science and the Environment This event will engage over 1,200 leaders to expand and accelerate their efforts and work across the traditional boundaries. Through partnering organizations, the conference will advance solutions with specific initiatives and engage participants over the long term.

For climate change, this is time of urgency, big ideas, and hope. 2015 will be a year of decisions – particularly at the 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris.

The 15th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment: Energy and Climate Change will develop and advance partnerships that focus on transitioning the world to a new "low carbon" and "climate resilient" energy system. It will emphasize putting ideas into action - moving forward on policy and practice.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Video - Fossil of the Day Awards at COP20

The first place Fossil of the Day in Lima at the UN Climate Talks goes to Australia, Belgium, Ireland and Austria for not contributing to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). After a string of encouraging initial contributions to the GCF, it seems a few free-riders within Annex 2 believe they are off the hook on this one. That translates into several billions of dollars missing in the fund’s coffer.

Video - Why Oil Prices Will Keep Falling

Oil prices are already low and they continue to decline as more downward pressure is expected. On Friday December 12th the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast a decline in demand for 2015 and they further predicted that healthy non-OPEC supply gains were poised to aggravate a global oil glut. The current outlook for global oil demand for 2015 was cut from 230,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 0.9 million bpd.

Video - Summary of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report Synthesis Report

Friday, December 12, 2014

After a Failed Cover-up Shell Sub-Contractor Pleads Guilty

On December 11, Noble Drilling, Shell’s sub-contractor pleaded guilty to eight felony charges relating to environmental and safety violations on board the vessels Noble Discoverer and Kulluk in the Alaskan Arctic in 2012.

In addition to the offenses which include unsafe operating procedures Noble Inc. also tried to cover-up their illegal actions. According to the court ruling, Noble, “actively took steps to conceal its use of illegal [systems]”, and “knowingly made false entries” concealing problems from the authorities. Noble also admitted to illegally discharging bilge water from the Discoverer.

Webinar - EHS Lessons Learned in 2014 and Looking Forward to 2015

Air, water, waste, health and safety -- environmental regulations are evolving rapidly and so are the best practices for achieving compliance. Many companies endeavor to effectively manage their environmental programs, but few are true leaders in environmental excellence. This free December 17th webinar will offer you a rare opportunity to learn from industry leaders at four organizations that are pioneering new paths to environmental management and compliance. These companies are harnessing environmental technology in new ways to experience greater compliance breakthroughs and efficiencies. This session will highlight environmental successes and lessons learned in 2014, and what changes are in store for 2015. Attendees will learn how to improve technology use and increase efficiency to achieve greater environmental program outcomes in 2015!

Anti-Environmental Tidings in a Bill to Keep Government Running

A pre-Christmas bill contains some bad tidings for the environment. Republicans had an extortion list to avert a government shutdown that included blocking environmental protections. The so called Cromnibus bill, narrowly passed in the House with a vote 219 to 206, it will keep the government running until next September. The $1.01 trillion, 1,603-page spending bill is chalked full of pork including a number of anti-environment provisions.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and many of her colleagues were particularly displeased with two attached riders that would significantly increase the ceiling for political donations from wealthy patrons while scaling back the Dodd Frank Wall Street reform act designed to reign-in the kind of Wall Street activity that sparked the financial crisis of 2008.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Graphene May Herald Green Miracles

Graphene may provide technological solutions to a host of issues including the climate crisis. It is as hard as diamond, in fact, it is two hundred times stronger than steel, yet lighter than a feather, making it both ultra-light and durable. This, inexpensive tough new material is also as flexible as rubber and it can heal itself when it is damaged.

As it is only one atom thick, graphene is the thinnest known material, a million times thinner than a human hair and hundreds of thousands of times thinner than a sheet of paper. To put this in context, three million sheets of graphene would be only one millimeter high. A very small amount of this revolutionary material is required to cover a huge area (one gram could cover an entire football field). It weighs only 0.16 milligrams per cubic centimeter and the cost is negligible at a few hundred dollars per kilo.

Event - Faculty of Environmental Studies Graduate Program Information Session -York University

The Faculty of Environmental Studies Graduate Program at York University in Toronto, Ontario is holding an information Session on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 12:30 - 2:00pm MES Room 140 Health, Nursing and Environmental Studies (HNES) Building, York University, Keele Campus Campus.

At this session participants can learn details about their Master in Environmental Studies (MES) program and Doctorate in Environmental (PhD) programs and speak to professors and current students.