Saturday, October 31, 2015

The New Speaker of the House is a Climate Retard (Videos)

Paul Ryan is the US rep from Wisconsin, he is also a leading climate denier and now he is speaker of the House. This makes him the third ranking individual in the line of command over the most powerful office in the world.

In 2010 Ryan said, “there is growing disagreement among scientists about climate change and its causes.” This statement was ridiculous in 2010 and even more absurd in 2015.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Climate Realities all but Absent from the Republican CNBC Presidential Debate

Rather than focusing on 21st century economic visions, the third Republican presidential debate seemed to be rooted in the 19th century. There has been some discussion in the press about the fact that even the GOP's presidential candidates accept the veracity of global warming, however there was very little evidence of this during the CNBC Republican presidential debate in Boulder, Colorado.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Climate Change is Here and Demands Urgent Action

The science of climate change is irrefutable even if some people remain confused and we are rapidly running out of time to deal with this urgent crisis. The threat is extends beyond an economic collapse, its implications are nothing short of civilization altering. 

Between 97 percent, and 99.9 percent of climate scientists say anthropogenic climate change is real. There is a mountains of research supporting the existence of climate change (not the least of which is the comprehensive IPCC AR5 report) while deniers do not publish papers because there is no credible scientific research that could support their claims. The only way that global warming deniers can support their position is by using falsified claims.

The World is Concerned about Climate Change and Wants Action at COP21

People around the world see climate change as the single greatest threat the world faces and they want governments to do something about it. According to a recent poll, people are more concerned about climate change than they are about global economic instability and the Islamic State militant group.

The survey by Pew Research Center found that climate change was identified as the most serious global threat in almost half (19 of 40) of the countries polled. This was particularly true in Latin America and Africa. A total of 45,000 respondents were asked to identify the most concerning global threats.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Europe ia Cutting GHGa while Refusing to Relinquish Fossil Fuels

European greenhouse gas reductions prove that we can grow the economy and reduce greenhouse gases at the same time. However, these reductions are unambitious and they also exist alongside new fossil fuel projects.

All of Europe has substantially reduced their GHGs emissions. Between 1990 and 2014 Romania recorded GHG reductions of 56 percent while Lithuania saw cuts of 60 percent. During this time the UK slashed its GHG emissions by 30 percent and as a whole the EU has cut emissions by 23 percent.

Wrap-up of the Final Round of Climate Talks before COP21

The final round of interim climate talks have wrapped up and it would appear that unlike the preceding talks countries are playing hardball in preparation for the final round. Five days of talks between more than a 190 countries concluded in Bonn concluded on October 24th. They produced a new 55 page draft, 33 pages longer than the draft that was released on October 5. What may appear to be intractable discord may be largely an effort to secure a strong negotiating position going into the final stretch in Paris.

As explained by Dan Reifsnyder, Co-Chair, ADP, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and previously a member of the US Department of State:

"If I am in a negotiations I am not going to put all my cards on the table when the big talks are in December."

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Arctic is still not Safe from Drilling

Although the Obama administration has effectively shut down Arctic drilling the region is far from being protected from the dangers of  fossil fuel extraction. The President has imposed stringent lease conditions on Arctic oil extraction but other Northern nations do not have such restrictive national laws. Countries  including Russia and Norway continue to set their sights on Arctic oil.

Arctic drilling is a source of concern for many reasons including the risks of a spill.  According to Greenpeace there is a 75 percent chance of a serious spill. This would prove catastrophic in this fragile and remote ecosystem.

Predictions about the Costs of Climate Action are Wrong

US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz recently explained how the costs of environmental sustainability have been consistently wrong. The subtext of his response is that managing climate change through clean energy and efficiency is both achievable and compatible with economic growth.

Secretary Moniz made the point in response to a question he fielded in a tele-town hall with 15,000 EDF members. Moniz addressed a range of topics including clean energy innovation, more efficient infrastructure, distributed energy, smarter grids, and climate pollution reductions.

Monday, October 26, 2015

September Heat Records Offer More Evidence for Accelerated Warming

September heat records add to the data corroborating the trend of accelerated warming. For hundreds of consecutive months we have been recording above average global temperatures, now that trend is being eclipsed by a string of the hottest months ever recorded. Almost every month this year was the hottest on record beating many records that were set last year. Seven out of the nine months in 2015 broke records including the last five months in a row.

While a powerful El Niño event in the tropical Pacific Ocean is a contributing factor, as demonstrated by the graph (center left) the real culprit is anthropogenic warming.

September saw the highest ever globally averaged sea surface temperature ever recorded. According to NOAA It was 1.46°F (0.81°C) above the 20th century average and the record that it beat occurred in 2014.

September 2015 also set another record as the month with the greatest rise above average since the dawn of record keeping. September broke the record that was set in March of this year.

Clean Power Plan Facing Lawsuits Despite Raft of Benefits

Last week the Clean Power Plan officially became law and rather than being hailed as one of the greatest climate, environmental, innovation and economic accomplishments in US history, it has been met with a raft of lawsuits from state governors.

The final version of the Clean Power Plan was released on August 3, 2015 and it sets even stricter emissions regulations than the proposal announced last year. The regulation, which aims to cut carbon pollution from power plants, cuts emissions 32 percent by 2030 from levels recorded in 2005. That is 2 percent more than the original draft rule that proposed a 30 percent reduction.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Event - Energy Storage Australia 2015

Energy Storage Australia 2015: 'Gold Rush' for Solar PV, Battery Energy Storage and Grid-Connected in Australia, will take place on November 18-19, 2015 in Sydney, NSW, Australia. Over 350 high level professionals from more than 23 countries will be present for this event. There will be more than 30 eminent speakers delivering exquisitely prepared keynote speeches. There will also be more than 39 cutting-edge technology providers exhibition.

Event - 2015 Fuel Cell Seminar & Energy Exposition

This seminar and exhibition will take place on November 16-19, 2015 - 19 November 2015, at the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles, California. The Fuel Cell Seminar & Energy Exposition is the premier U.S. conference for the fuel cell and hydrogen industry.

Event - Sustainable Brands ’15 London

Sustainable Brands ’15 London November 16-18, 2015, UK Beaumont Estate, London, United Kingdom. This event is the pace where brand, sustainability and design leaders find inspiration, tools and partnerships to drive business success and positive impact.

Event - 2015 Net Impact Conference

The 23rd Net Impact Conference (NI15) will take place on November 5-7, 2015 at the Washington State Convention Center, in Seattle, Washington. This is the premier gathering for next-generation leaders who want to change the world.

Event - 3rd Zing Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Conference

3rd Zing Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Conference will take place November 17-20, 2015 in Cancun, Mexico. The conference will focus on recent work on novel PGM-based and non-platinum based nanomaterials to systems for the portable, stationary and automotive sectors.

Event - CEO & Business Leaders Summit: Creating Future Cities

This Summit is subtitled, Creating Future Cities, it  will take place on November 19-20, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. CEO & Business Leaders Summit, is a gathering of a global alliance of CEOs, senior executives and experts involved in creating advanced and sustainable projects worldwide. CEOs, business leaders and experts interested in the business opportunities associated with creating better future cities are all welcome at this summit.  One of the unique characteristics of this summit is their connections with global political and business leaders plus their involvement with mega projects, sustainable initiatives and technologies.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

NextGen Energy Challenge for Presidential Candidates (Video)

NextGen is an organization that advocates on behalf of climate action.  The Clean Power Plan is now law in the US, but we will need strong leadership going forward to protect it and do more to combat climate change in America. The transition to a clean energy economy is already underway and to keep driving it forward NextGen is calling on the presidential candidates to develop a clean enery plan. The specific targets put forward by NextGen call for half of the nation's power being supplied by clean energy by 2030.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Corporate Pledges to Increase Renewable Energy

Late this summer some of the world’s most prominent companies pledged to derive all of their energy from renewables. Nine major companies joined RE100, a global coalition of firms intent on converting to renewable energy. The new members include Johnson & Johnson, Nike, Procter & Gamble, Salesforce, Starbucks, Steelcase, Walmart and Goldman Sachs. Some companies have already reached the 100 percent target. There are now 36 companies that have joined RE100 since it was launched at Climate Week in 2014.

Apple's Renewable Energy Investments in China

On October 21, 2015 Apple announced that it is ramping up its renewable energy investments in China. The company is working with its Chinese suppliers to produce 2.2 gigawatts of solar power and other renewable energy. This move will decrease Apple's carbon footprint by an estimated 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas as more of its suppliers rely on renewable energy between now and 2020.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

More US Corporate Climate Action in Support of COP21

Ahead of the forthcoming COP21 UN Climate Talks the white house has mobilized 68 companies to join the American Act on Climate Pledge. This is in addition to the July pledge in which 13 companies pledged emissions reductions of as much as 50 percent and a combined total of $140 billion in new low-carbon investments. These companies include Alcoa, Apple, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Cargill, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Google, Microsoft, PepsiCo, UPS, Walmart.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fossil Fuel Divestment and Reinvestment Resources

There are a plethora of investment guides that help individuals and institutions to divest from fossil fuels.
One of the newest divestment/reinvestment resources is known as FossilFreeFunds.org. This web platform makes it easier for investors to assess the holdings in their portfolios. The project is the brain child of Andrew Behar, who is chief executive of, As You Sow, a 23-year-old nonprofit in Oakland, Calif., which promotes shareholder activism and dialogue with corporations. To create the divestment/reinvestment resource, Behar sifting through federal securities databases to identify all known fossil companies.

Climate Change May Give Democrats the Edge in the 2016 Federal Election

There are indications that climate change is finally emerging as a critical election issue and this could help the Dems and sink the GOP's presidential ambitions. Almost all of the candidates who participated in the first Democratic Presidential debate have plans to address the climate crisis.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Canada's New Government and Hopes for Climate Action

On October 19th 2015 Canadians rejected the Conservative's corrupt fossil fuel pipedream and voted for change. The Liberal party of Canada led by Justin Trudeau now has a solid majority in the Canadian parliament and a solid mandate to alter the nation's direction. A new day has dawned in Canada but to realize the promise of a cleaner future we need to see concrete climate actions.

Canadians have successfully ousted the climate averse Conservatives but now the real work begins. During the debates leading up to the election Trudeau criticized outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative party for having done nothing to address climate change during their 10 years in office. Now, the Liberals must prove that this critique was more than just campaign rhetoric. They must use their mandate to steward a new course and move beyond the 19th century energy obsession of their predecessors.

The New Liberal Government's Climate and Energy Promises

To live up to their campaign promises to do our share to keep temperatures below the 2 degree Celsius upper threshold limit, the Liberals will have to get serious about climate action, particularly as far as Canada's energy infrastructure is concerned. To quickly reduce emissions we will need to see the Liberals put a price on carbon, manage the tar sands, kill pipeline projects and contribute to adaptation finance.

The Liberals have promised to establish a new climate change framework by February 2016 that includes phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies as well as investment in climate resilience, clean technology and low-carbon infrastructure. The party has also promised to put $2 billion into emissions-reducing projects through a new Low Carbon Economy Trust.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Harper Conservatives' Tar Sands Complicity

Stephen Harper's ruling Conservative government is doing everything in its power to grow the tar sands, some of the dirtiest energy on earth. Worse still they are complicit with the fossil fuel industry in developing public relations campaigns designed to misinform. While climate change may not be the leading issue in the Canadian federal election of 2015, it is definitely a higher profile concern than it has been in previous years. Canadians are increasingly aware that if they want to participate in the 21stst century economy they must free themselves of the party powered by 19th century energy.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Strategic Voting to Oust Harper in the Federal Election of 2015 (Leadnow)

The latest polls suggest that the Liberals should win the federal election of 2015. However it is a tight race and those who want to ensure that the Conservatives do not win are coming together to vote strategically.

Strategic voting initiatives are designed to keep the Tories from winning another term in office. People are not excited about Thomas Mulcair or even Justin Trudeau. People are coming together with the shared ambition of defeating ruling Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

They know that if they want to participate in the 21stst century economy they must free themselves of the party powered by 19th century energy. 

A poll suggested that the majority Canadians want to get rid of Harper and they will vote strategically to do so.

Event - Embark Conference 2015

This event will take place on October 27-29, 2015 at the InterContinental in Miami, Florida. This conference is brought to you by the Independent Sector, the only national leadership network for nonprofits, foundations, and corporations committed to advancing the common good.

Embark. It’s the first action of an important journey. The moment when you decide to leave the past behind and venture into an uncharted future. This fall in Miami, join more than 1,000 forward-thinking leaders and professionals who are on a journey to radically improve the nonprofit and philanthropic sector.

Event: Verge 2015

This event will take place on October 26 - 29 in San Jose, California. VERGE is GreenBiz Group's global event series focusing on the technologies and systems that accelerate sustainability solutions across sectors in a climate-constrained world. The event brings together the world’s largest companies, technology innovators, utilities and cities, creating a broad ecosystem of players to accelerate opportunities for business, the environment and society. The program focuses on transformative but practical, scalable, solutions-oriented exchanges through seven program tracks: Grid 2.0, Next-Gen Buildings, Smart Cities, Connected Transportation, Intelligent Supply Chains, Food & Ag Tech and Sustainable Water Systems.

Webcast - Green Infrastructure and the Triple-Bottom-Line: New Tech for Sustainable City Design

This webcast will take place on November 3, 2015 at 1 PM ET. Cities across the world are looking for more sustainable ways to manage their stormwater. As pollution increases and traditional methods bring with them new risks, many cities are embracing green infrastructure, an approach to water management that protects property and maintains water quality by mimicking the natural water cycle. Green infrastructure generates a wealth of social, environmental and economic benefits, from filtering pollutants to harvesting new sources of water. Autodesk now has new tools for simulating green infrastructure designs, quantifying their triple-bottom-line value, and communicating that value to civic stakeholders.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Infographic - Environmental and Climate Positions of Canadian Federal Parties (David Suzuki Foundation)


Why Divesting from Fossil Fuels is the Only Option

While there are many approaches to reducing our use of fossil fuels, outside of government regulation (eg: carbon pricing) divestment is really the only one that produces results. We know that to stave off the worst impacts of climate change we must keep temperatures within the 2 degree Celsius upper threshold limit. The only way we are going to do this is by radically reducing our consumption of fossil fuels. Investments that support the companies that are driving climate change are unethical and irresponsible. It is important to note that divesting from fossil fuels does not translate to lower returns. There are now a wide range of alternative investments that offer competitive rates of return.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Jim Webb: Views on Climate Change in the First Democratic Presidential Debate

Jim Webb is a former Republican whose record and policy positions on climate and energy are in line with the GOP. He supports more drilling including in the Arctic and more pipelines including the Keystone XL. He would like to expand the extraction of oil, gas and even coal and he wants to limit the EPA's authority to regulate emissions.

Webb seems to be the odd man out among the slate of Democrats vying for the presidential nomination. He is clearly far less interested in combating climate change than the other candidates: Martin O'Malley, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Lincoln Chaffee.

Lincoln Chafee: Views on Climate Change in the First Democratic Presidential Debate

Lincoln Chafee is a contender for the Democratic nomination who supports climate action. As he said in the first Democratic Presidential debate:
"I want to address climate change, a real threat to our planet. And I believe in prosperity through peace."
Chafee is nowhere near as well known as Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or even Martin O'Malley. He is a supporter of clean energy and he wants to protect the Arctic from drilling. Although he has indicated that he wants to reduce fossil fuel use, he would not deny funding (subsidies and tax breaks) to the fossil fuel industry.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Martin O'Malley: Views on Climate Change in the First Democratic Presidential Debate

Martin O'Malley is the best known of the four lesser candidates and he may be the most strident proponent of renewable energy of them all. The polls indicate that he is in third place, however he has a better plan to tackle climate change than the front-runner, Hillary Clinton and perhaps even the second place contender Bernie Sanders.

O'Malley says that tackling climate change and specifically transitioning the US away from fossil fuels and growing renewable energy will be the number one priority of his presidency.  As he said in the Democratic presidential debate on October 13th:

Bernie Sanders: Views on Climate Change in the First Democratic Presidential Debate

Bernie Sanders embraces the science of climate change (including the IPCC AR5 report) and the need for immediate action. Sanders has been a tireless champion of climate action. He has repeatedly professed his conviction that we need a climate policy informed by science. Polls show that Sanders is the only candidate anywhere near the front runner Hillary Clinton, however, her climate record is nowhere near as strong as his.

Hillary Clinton: Views on Climate Change in the First Democratic Presidential Debate

Clinton accepts the veracity of climate change and the need to act while she dismisses Republicans and those who think otherwise, "The reality of climate change is unforgiving no matter what the deniers say."

"You don't have to be a scientist to take on this urgent challenge that threatens us all. You just have to be willing to act," she said. "You don't have to be a scientist to accept scientific evidence," Clinton tweeted.

Presidential Candidate Lawrence Lessig on Climate Change and Campaign Finance

Lawrence Lessig announced his bid to run for the presidential nomination of the Democratic party on September 9. He has one goal, to get money out of politics. This is a laudable ambition because as long as fossil fuel industry is able to buy Republican politicians, Congress will not act on climate change.

Lessig is a Harvard Law School professor who taught international law at the University of Chicago before focusing his attentions on cyberlaw and, more recently campaign finance.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Infographic: Top Ten Most and Least Energy Efficient US States


The Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement is having an Impact on Investors Businesses and Power Companies

The fossil fuel divestment movement is gaining serious traction and resonating widely. Divestment is at the forefront of efforts to manage climate impacts, and due to concerns about growing financial and reputational risks, investors, businesses and power companies are being forced to take notice.

While many initially dismissed divestment from fossil fuels as purely symbolic there is growing reason to believe that it is powering meaningful change. To date we have seen a total of 2.6 trillion divested from fossil fuels and the movement continues to grow. In the last year alone there has been a 50 fold increase in divestment activity.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Course - DNV GL Energy Academy: Wind Turbine Technology

DNV GL Energy Academy: Wind Turbine Technology will take place on October 28 - 29, 2015 in Bristol, England. This two day course explains the basics of wind energy conversion and the evolution of today's giant wind turbines. It also reviews many key decisions about the design concepts of the turbine technology that is powering the fastest growing sector of the world’s electricity industries. This includes explanations behind the number of blades and locating turbines  upwind or downwind.

Canadian Thanksgiving is at Odds with Columbus Day

Although they co-occur, in many respects Columbus Day and Canadian Thanksgiving are diametrically opposed to each other. While Canadian Thanksgiving is a harvest festival celebrating nature's bounty, Columbus Day marks the start of our systematic destruction of the natural world.

Monday October 12th is Canadian Thanksgiving a time to be grateful, it is also Columbus day in most parts of the new world. It is hard to reconcile the start of our exploitation of the new world and the expression of gratitude for the bountiful harvests nature provides. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Event - International Conference on Earth Science & Climate Chang

The 5th International Conference on Earth Science & Climate Change will be held on July 25-27, 2016, in Bangkok, Thailand. The theme of the Conference is “Stimulating and Analysing the changes of Earth & Climate-ICESCC”. More than 300 participants from more than 50 countries are expected to participate.

Event - Companies & Causes Canada

This event will take place on October 22, 2015 in Toronto Canada.Two weeks from today the second annual Companies & Causes Canada conference arrives in Toronto. At this conference you can Meet like-minded peers in a comfortable way. Not only will you hear from top Canadian brands, you'll also have an opportunity to attend small, more interactive mini-workshops throughout the day. Here are some of the nonprofits and companies that will be in attendance:

Event - RenovaMex 2015

This event will take place on December 1 & 2, 2015 at the Hotel Sheraton Santa Fe, Ciudad de Mexico. RenovaMex provides participants with an excellent opportunity to position their business as a leader in Mexico's new energy market.

RenovaMex 2015 is the leading conference and meeting place for the renewable industry in Mexico. At this event you can meet the corporate leaders, government officials and financiers behind the development of renewable energy in Mexico. These are the people who can help you to overcome regulatory, financial and technological challenges.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Environment and Sustainability in China Study Tour (Video)

The Environment and Sustainability in China Study Tour is a collaborative venture between La Trobe Asia and local partner CERES Global, led by Dr Benjamin Habib from La Trobe University, Ben Walta from CERES Global, and La Trobe graduate and China hand Angela Fennell. Funding for this project has been provided through the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan. Student participants have been selected on a competitive basis to take part in this tour, which will count as a credit-bearing elective subject in their undergraduate degree.

The Fossil Fuel Industry and Republican Climate Change Deception

Sen. Whitehouse attributes climate misinformation to the fossil fuel industry and their Republicans minions. He points to the scientific inaccuracy of the climate change hiatus as a classic case in point. Such lies are deliberately woven to prevent us from acting.

The science is clear, and comprehensive. Global warming is caused by carbon pollution. However, for decades the fossil fuel industry has bought off Republicans in the senate who proceed to use their position to undermine the facts and obstruct action on climate change.

Friday, October 9, 2015

EDF Trains Business Leaders Through their Climate Core Program

Almost all 21st century MBA programs include some for of sustainability schooling, however, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) adds valuable real world experience through practical onsite training. Through a program called Climate Corps, EDF provides training to young MBA students so that they may be better prepared to make a difference in the business world. This premier fellowship program recruits and train top graduate students and embeds them in leading organizations to provide expert hands-on support for your energy management initiatives.

Businesses Practicing Sustainability are Leading the Way Forward

A growing number of businesses are redefining the scope of their responsibilities. Whether as part of a sustainability program, or as a function of CSR initiatives businesses are beginning to appreciate that they will not thrive in the 21st century without addressing environmental and social issues.

Importance of business

Many years ago Paul Hawken said: "Business is the only mechanism on the planet powerful enough to produce the changes necessary to reverse global environmental and social degradation."

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Renewable Energy Development in Mexico and the World

In Mexico and elsewhere renewable energy is a rapidly developing and expanding field. Here is an audio presentation that reviews the framework within which the industry is developing.

This lecture is by Michael Liebreich, founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance is from a previous edition of the RenovaMex annual conferences. In this lecture you can get:

The Cost of Oil: BP Reaches $20 Billion Settlement with the Federal Government

In the largest single entity settlement in the Department of Justice's history, BP will have to pay $20.8 for its role in the infamous Gulf of Mexico oil spill in April, 2010. Since the disastrous explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform BP has been engaged in protracted negotiations with the federal government. Now the Department of Justice have finalized the settlement with BP. The settlement comes after years of legal wrangling. In July, the Supreme Court denied the company’s appeal to block benefits for those not directly affected by the spill.