Friday, December 30, 2016

Arguments for Climate Action that may Resonate with Trump and other Republicans

Acting on climate change should be a matter of common sense instead the GOP and the incoming Trump administration are opposed to climate action and many even deny the veracity of anthropogenic warming. However, there are some compelling reasons why even ideologically intransigent Republicans may want to consider reassessing their climate denial.

Logic dictates that we cannot afford to ignore the costs of climate change.  A robust economic argument can be made in support of climate action. The majority of Americans accept climate change and a number of cost-benefit analyses reveal that it is far less expensive to act than it is to wait. The longer we wait the more it will cost. Investing in the low carbon economy has also been found to create jobs and stimulate the economy.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

GMO's Annual Green School Series Review of Posts in 2016

This year the Green Market Oracle (GMO) published 32 articles as part of an annual series on green schools published at the end of summer and fall.

These articles include a review of the growing green schools movement, best practices and what sustainability professionals need to learn. That is followed by hundreds of sustainability-focused schools and accreditation, green school rankings, early education, impediments to green schooling, tools, resources and awards.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Obama Administration's Oil and Gas Initiatives

In their final year, the Obama administration has moved forward with some important actions to curtail extraction and reduce pollution from the oil and gas industry. Fossil fuels are responsible for the vast majority of greenhouse gases and deadly air pollution.

To help address these concerns President Obama has previously a raft of fossil fuel related actions. This includes, the Clean Power Plan, stopping the KXL, cuting Shell's Arctic drilling in half and halting the building of the Dakota Access pipeline.  In 2016 President Obama went even further and banned offshore Arctic oil drilling, changed the methane rules for the fossil fuel industry and canceled gas leases on Native lands.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Searching for Christmas Hope

Christmas is a time for hope but this year many are feeling crushed by the US election results.  Last Christmas we were celebrating the great triumph of COP21, this year we are preparing for what is shaping up to be a very destructive US presidency. This is a pivotal moment in world history. On January 20th, an anti-science climate denier will become the leader of the most powerful nation on earth. We will do our best to remain hopeful and we promise to keep fighting the good fight. The stakes are too high to countenance failure. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

How Conservatives Use Fake News to Control the Narrative

Donald Trump and many members of his administration have capitalized on the fact that conservatives love fake news and reject facts and scientific evidence. While there are fake news sites on both sides of the political spectrum, research shows that the problem is far worse on the right than it is on the left.

The Washington Post reports that conservatives are both more likely to post fake news and more likely to believe it compared to liberals.

Conservatives have been found to be highly receptive to stories that reinforce their existing worldview. While this may be somewhat true of many people, there is evidence to show that liberals are not as receptive to fake news. Not only are conservatives more likely to fall for fake news they are more likely to produce it. A Buzzfeed analysis of Facebook revealed that leading conservative pages were twice as likely to publish fake news compared to leading liberal pages.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Trump and the Darkness of Post Factual Media

Darkness is falling as a reality countering narrative is growing led by the subterfuge of unscrupulous fake news outlets. Facts undermine the alt-right agenda so they have created their own news which is little more than a collection of propaganda, spin and lies.

Monday, December 19, 2016

What We Do to Our Oceans We Do to Ourselves (Infographic)

We are in what is being called the sixth great mass extinction and this is having devastating impacts on ocean wildlife.  Almost half of all species on earth are or soon will be extinct. What we are doing to our oceans mirrors what we did to terrestrial species some 50 - 100 thousand years ago.  Our oceans are also already in the midsts of a mass-extinction.

Pollution is a huge part of the problem from CO2 that acidifies our oceans to plastic and other waste materials that we are continuously flush into our waterways. What we have done to our oceans is not only harmful to wildlife it is also harmful to us.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Event - AIREC (Argentina Renewable Energy Congress)

AIREC will take place on September 26-29, 2017 in Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires, Argentina. This is Argentina's leading renewable energy congress. At this event, you can position yourself at the forefront of Argentina’s renewable energy revolution and learn about new regulatory environment in detail and get n-depth insight into legal and financing complexities. AIREC is a great way to help you identify the best project opportunities and attendees can meet key influencers from policy and regulation as well as participate in discussions while forging relationships through interactive roundtables.

Event - Indonesia Renewable Power

Indonesia Renewable Power will take place February 27, 2017 - March 1, 2017 at Le Meridien Jakarta, Jakarta, Indonesia. At this event you will meet local and international power companies, municipalities and regulators, IPPs, renewable energy industry players (solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, waste-to-energy), project developers, EPC, equipment and technologies providers, delivery and transmission related companies, financial institutions, investors and project financiers, energy/power/legal consultants.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Clean Energy for a Sustainable Future (Videos)

Clean energy will continue to grow despite the utter ignorance and abject corruption of the newly elected American administration. However, we cannot avoid the realization that those interested in creating a sustainable future are in for a very difficult four years. 

America has voted for a climate denying, racist and misogynist who has promised to gut regulations designed to protect the environment and ramp-up production of fossil fuels. The Trump administration is a kakistocracy that is far worse than most people realize. It is no exageration to say that the incoming administration will augur death on a planetary scale.

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Electoral College is the Last Hope to Stop Trump

The  electoral college is our last best hope to avert an unprecedented calamity. The coalescing Trump administration has been described as the most dangerous group of individuals in the history of the world. Trump himself is a pathological liar and a horrifying combination of conceit and ineptitude.

Make no mistake about it a darkness is about to descend on America and the globe.  Environmentalists, social activists, and those with a modicum of common sense are grasping at straws to try to find some way, any way to keep this climate-destroying kakistocracy from taking power on January 20th.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Fake News is Serious but so are Efforts to Combat it

Fake news is not a joke it is a serious threat to the institution of democracy and planetary health. Indeed it is not overstating the case to say it threatens the very survival of our species. Fake news contributed to Trump's election victory, the Brexit vote in the UK and climate denial. To make good decisions people need to be well informed and this requires that they have access to accurate information.

After her election defeat, Hilary Clinton decried the "epidemic of fake news." She also said, "It’s now clear that so-called fake news can have real-world consequences." Hilary understands that fake news is a serious problem that has implications well beyond the election of 2016. "This isn’t about politics or partisanship. Lives are at risk," she said during a post-election speech on Capitol Hill.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Truck Transport: Green Greener and Greenest (Video)

Truly "green" 18 wheeler transport trucks (aka Class 8 or semis) must have a little or no environmental impact.  A sustainable transport truck must be emissions free if it is to make a positive contribution to the environmental, social and economic sustainability of the communities they serve.  There is also a strong business case that can be made for reducing emissions in truck transport. Here are some examples of truck configurations that offer varying degrees of ecological benefit.

Advanced diesel

The combination of advanced diesel engines in tractor-trailers and better aerodynamics could lower the fuel consumption of semi trucks. Advanced diesel alone could increased efficiency by 20 percent and improved aerodynamics could deliver an 11 percent reduction in fuel use. However, even the most advanced diesel truck will still emit pollutants ranging from carbon to fine particulate matter.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Marketing Sustainability and the Science of Storytelling

Marketing sustainability is about telling a good story and creating an emotional experience. While it may seem like an art there is a lot of science behind good storytelling. The advantages good sustainability focused storytelling benefit both the brand and the bottom line. The goal is to invoke drama that incites emotion. Well crafted branding can arouse the kinds of emotions that call for action and encourages customers to make buying decisions. This is what all marketers try to do but it is especially important when it comes to sustainability.  The buy in that is encouraged here goes beyond taking a product to the cash, it even goes beyond the forging of a loyal bond between a product and a consumer. Sustainability focused storytelling pushes us beyond our own experience and gives us potency to act on a global problem.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Historic Pan-Canadian Climate Deal

Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has delivered on his promise and succeeded in securing an historic national climate deal with the provinces. Under the new pan-Canadian agreement each province and territory will advance their own climate action plan.

The wide-ranging accord includes  carbon pricing, eliminating coal-fired power, lowering carbon content of motor fuels. The agreement will see more investments in renewable energy, electricity infrastructure, clean-technology and energy efficiency.

The deal is a creative mix of carbon tax and cap-and-trade with BC and Alberta using the former and Ontario and Quebec employing the latter. While cap-and-trade is less expensive under the deal companies must invest outside of Canada (California) to reduce emissions.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Event - SustPack 2017 (Sustainable Packaging Conference and Exhibition)

SustPack 2017 will take place on April 24-26 in Scottsdale, Arizona. This leading packaging sustainability conference and exhibition is an annual event hosted by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and Smithers Pira. At this three-day conference more than 500 brands, organizations, government officials and academics will come together to learn how packaging fits into supply chain sustainability. Attendees will get a comprehensive look at the inputs, outputs and impacts of packaging in supply chain sustainability.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

NASA and Climate Science: What We Stand to Lose (Videos)

NASA's invaluable contributions to climate science will be slashed by the incoming Trump administration. America's greatness is premised on science and the work of NASA in particular. For decades NASA has contributed to our understanding of climate science and its impacts. They conduct research on greenhouse gases that cause climate change. They also document its impacts.

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Science of Storytelling: Making Facts Matter in a Post-Factual World

A new narrative is needed to counter prevailing ignorance and augur collective behavior change. However, we will never be able to get a handle on climate change, environmental degradation and a host of other problems with facts alone. Now more than ever we need science, but it is up to the storytellers to bring it to life.

As evidenced at the ballot box, Americans and others around the world are woefully misinformed about science. There is an unwarranted deep seated mistrust of scientists. People once revered scientists and politicians once depended on science to make policy decisions. However, those days are receding and we are facing what amounts to the darkest period in modern history.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Trump puts the Fox in the Henhouse: Pruitt to Head the EPA

With the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-Elect Trump is making good on his promise to eviscerate the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pruitt is a disaster for the environment and climate change.

"Having Scott Pruitt in charge of the US Environmental Protection Agency is like putting an arsonist in charge of fighting fires," said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. "He is a climate science denier who, as attorney general for the state of Oklahoma, regularly conspired with the fossil fuel industry to attack EPA regulations. Nothing less than our children’s health is at stake."

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Scientists Tell Trump to Act on Climate Change

Scientists are standing up ahead of the inauguration of the most anti-science administration in modern American history. The people tapped to lead President-Elect Trump's transition team make it clear that this administration will be composed of climate deniers who have tremendous disdain for science

 Heads of state, climate scientists and business leaders have all warned Trump not to cancel the Paris Agreement and they have called on the President-Elect to act on climate change.

On Tuesday, December 6th, more than 800 Earth scientists and energy experts launched a petition and released an open letter urging President-Elect Trump to act on climate change. The letter lists six key actions to protect America’s economy, national security, health and safety.

Here is the letter in full:

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Ivanka Exposes Trump to Climate Reality in the Form of Al Gore

Environmentalists have been given a much-needed infusion of hope after Ivanka Trump invited Al Gore to discuss climate change with her father. 

A lot of environmentalists are grasping at straws hoping to find some pretext for optimism as the inauguration of a climate denying science hating president draws near. As we count down to the start of these dark days, the meeting that took place between Al Gore and Donald Trump is as good a reason as we will find for climate optimism this year.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Business Case for Reducing Emissions in Truck Transport

There is a strong business case that can be made for reducing emissions associated with trucking. While trucking is essential for the transportation of goods, it is associated with air pollution and climate change causing greenhouse gases (GHGs). Reigning in emissions from transportation is a serious issues as this is the second largest source of GHGs after energy production. However, a new generation of emissions-free trucks is on the horizon that is better for both the environment and the bottom line.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Event - MIREC WEEK: Mexico's Largest Clean Energy Gathering

This event will take place May 8 - 12, 2017 in Mexico City, Mexico. MIREC WEEK is Mexico's largest clean energy congress and marketplace. After two successful rounds of electricity auctions, a commercial and industrial (C&I) market rapidly moving towards clean energy certificates (CELs) and a potentially exciting residential sector, Mexico’s clean energy future looks brighter than ever.

MIREC WEEK 2017 will feature new potential customers from C&I energy users, international investors and global pension funds. We are also introducing two entirely new streams on grid and storage and investment, as well as a host of new features, including a huge cocktail party, a new mobile partnering app and the first ever Clean Energy Innovation Challenge.

Event - Iran Renewable Energy Commercial Conference 2016 (IranRECC 2016)

This event will take place December 5 - 8, 2016 in Tehran, Iran. IranRECC 2016 is designed to help you access the Iranian renewable energy sector. At IranRECC 2016 you will find more than 45 senior level industry speakers. Almost three-quarters of those in attendance are directors. There will be 3 days of content with 3 technical workshops and more than 40 hours allocated to networking.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Nikola One: The Hydrogen Powered Electric Semi Truck of the Future (Video)

One of the most widely anticipated green trucks ever produced was officially announced at the beginning of December 2016. The Nikola One hydrogen range-extended electric truck is a class 8 commercial semi truck. It is the brainchild of the Salt Lake City-based Nikola Motor Company. The power and the extraordinary range of this new truck concept make this one of most advanced semi's in the world.

As reviewed in Green Car Reports, the Nikola One was originally a natural-gas turbine powered vehicle, however in the US and Canada the truck will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

The Nikola One has twice the power of current trucks on the road. It has more than 1000 horsepower and 2,000 pound-feet of torque. It is powered by has six electric motors and a two-speed transmission.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Sustainable and Responsible Impact Investing in the US

There has been tremendous growth in sustainable investing in the US. This finding has been borne out in a new report released on November 14th 2016. The biennial report on US Sustainable, Responsible, and Impact Investing Trends was created by the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment and the US SIF Foundation. This is the only report of its kind in the US. It provides extensive data on assets using one or more sustainable investment strategies and examines a broad range of significant ESG issues such as climate change, human rights, weapons avoidance, and corporate governance. Additionally, for the first time the report includes data on prison related issues and gender lens investing.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Liberal Dualism: Canadian Climate Leadership is at Odds with Ramping Up Fossil Fuels

The ruling federal Liberals have canceled one pipeline and approved two others. It is but the most recent example of Canada's one step forward two steps back approach to climate action.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has the laudable goal of wanting to be a climate champion and an economic leader. However, this balancing act is completely undermined when you add increased fossil fuel production to the equation. Canada was criticized at COP22 for expanding its fossil fuel production and now they have compounded the problem by adding a couple of pipelines to the mix.

Contradictory climate and energy policies

Canadian government energy and environmental policy is a checkerboard of seemingly opposing policy positions. The government announced a carbon tax then followed that up with a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) project. To further illustrate the two faces of this government, they banned tanker traffic off the coast of northern BC while increasing traffic to the south. Most recently they rejected some pipelines while approving others.