Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Importance and the Power of Protest: Why We Must Stand Up to Trump

The need for protests challenging the Trump administration's destructive actions and their deceptive narrative have become even more glaringly apparent in the wake of the tragic murder of peaceful Muslims in a Quebec city mosque. Look at the face of terrorism, note the pale skin and the light blue eyes. The man who committed this barbaric crime was not an ISIS sympathizer he supported Donald Trump and other racist nationalistic movements. This man is what is called in French "pure laine" literally meaning pure wool, referring to those whose ancestry is exclusively French-Canadian.  As reported by The Independent, the killer's Facebook page indicates that he is a supporter of nationalistic movements including Donald Trump in the US, Le Pen in France, and the separatist Parti Quebecois.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Event - Energy Storage 2017 Conference

This event will take place February 7 - 9, 2017 in Paris, France. This conference will bring together key industry stakeholders to address the current challenges of the energy storage market and discuss the latest developments. Energy Storage 2017 will offer insights on business cases, regulatory environment, financial aspects and technological advancements for the energy storage industry.

Event - Training Programme to Support Renewable Energy Deployment in Asia-Pacific Island Nations

This event will take place on February 6 –- 10 February, 2017 in Kobe, Japan. This is a followup to the first "Training Programme to Support Renewable Energy Deployment in Asia-Pacific Island Nations" that took place in February 2016. This event is one of several co-organized by Japan's Ministry of Environment and IRENA.

Event - People’s Climate March 2017: 100 Day Mobilization

This event will take place on April 29th, 2017 in Washington, D.C., cities nationwide and around the world. The People's Climate March in 2017 is being called the 100 Day Mobilization. It is being organized by a coalition of environmental and climate justice organizations (see list at the bottom of this page). These protests are intended to oppose the Trump administration's destructive environmental policies. This is a pivotal time in human history. We have come so far with the signing and coming into force of the Paris Climate Agreement.  This massive step forward is being undermined by the darkness of the Trump administration which is working to dismantle our hard-won progress. We are running out of time and we cannot afford to give up, too much is in the balance.

In the wake of the nomination of Tillerson and Pruitt and the commencement of the war against the EPA we must come to terms with the environmental catastrophe and climate hell that this administration augurs. The Green Market Oracle is a proud partner of the People's Climate Movement. To see the full list of partners click here.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The State of Arctic Warming and Melting Ice in 2016 (Videos)

The trend of warmer Arctic temperatures and melting Arctic ice appears to be worsening. Less ice means more global warming. Last year was the warmest year on record replacing 2015. We saw a number of extreme weather events in 2016 and ongoing evidence of the global warming trend, particularly in the Arctic.

A WMO report presented at COP22 at the end of 2016 indicates that in recent years parts of Arctic Russia, temperatures were 6°C to 7°C above the long-term average. Many other Arctic and sub-Arctic regions in Russia, Alaska and northwest Canada were at least 3°C above average. The global average temperature increase is around 1.5°C above average.

The report also revealed a cascade of related phenomena including sea level rise associated with rapidly melting polar ice. Over the past five years, Arctic sea ice is 28 percent below the average of the previous 29 years. The impact from this melting trend is not only rising sea levels it is also decreasing global cooling from the ice associated with the albedo effect (light or radiation that is reflected by a surface). Simply put, less ice means more warming.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Climate Optimism and Sustainability Initiatives at the World Economic Forum in Davos

The low-carbon transition was the central focus of the 2017 World Economic forum (WEF).
Considering the state of world affairs there was a surprising amount of optimism at this year's WEF. The theme of WEF 2017 was "Responsive and Responsible Leadership". This annual event took place in Davos Switzerland from January 17 to January 20. There were over 400 sessions on the official program, covering a wide range of subjects ranging from sustainability to inequality.

The WEF advocates, "economic opportunity through bold climate action." They state, "the importance of bold and transformative climate action has never been stronger".  However, climate change is a multifaceted issue with implications for energy, food security, immigration and health.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pipelines Reborn: They're Back Thanks to Trump

The day after Donald J Trump fired the first salvos in his war against the EPA and others, he delivered on his promise to double down on fossil fuels with the approval of two pipelines. On Tuesday, January 24th, Trump signed Executive Orders that overturn the Obama administration's decision on the Keystone XL (KXL) and the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL). This authorizes TransCanada Pipelines to move forward with the 1,179-mile KXL and Energy Transfer Partners can also proceed with the 1,172-mile DAPL.

This is a blow for environmentalists and indigenous people who had fought hard to shut down the KXL and DAPL. Keystone was killed by President Barack Obama after years of protests and DAPL was stalled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the face of massive protests by indigenous people led by the Standing Rock Sioux.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Trump's War against the EPA has Begun

Donald J Trump has begun to deliver on his promise to gut the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Trump administration announced that it has suspended all new business activities at the EPA.

In addition to silencing the EPA, The Washington Post also reports that Trump has muzzled the Interior department and the Agriculture department. Scientists at the agriculture department have been ordered to stop publishing "outward facing" documents and news releases.

"Starting immediately and until further notice, [the Agricultural Research Service] will not release any public-facing documents. This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content," wrote ARS chief Sharon Drumm in an email to employees.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Trump's Victory has Spawned Unprecedented Opposition

The inauguration of Donald Trump marks the start of a very dark time in the history of the world. However, it has also given birth to a movement that gives us reason to hope.

The scale of the protests against Trump is unprecedented. The protests started even before inauguration day and they steadily grew. These protests culminated in the Women's March in Washington D.C., across the US and throughout much of the world. This was not your average protest. It was the largest March in US history with almost three million Americans participating in every state in the union. This protest was larger than even the biggest civil rights protests, there were more people present to protest Trump than there were at protests against the Vietnam war, this event even dwarfed the Million Man March.

Event - Do Oil and Water Mix? Strategies to Protect Our Offshore

This event will take place on Sunday, January 29th, 2017, 1-4 pm, at 45 School St. Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada. This afternoon meeting is designed to provide knowledge about offshore drilling on the Scotian Shelf and to strengthen strategies to address risks associated with oil and gas development, as well as the need to reform regulatory and environmental assessment processes. East coast offshore oil and gas operations generate more than 5 percent of Canada's oil per year.  Engage with organizational allies and invited speakers, and share ideas in the strategy session.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Event - Environmental, Energy and Land Use Law

This prescient and informative event will take place on January 24, 2017 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the NYU School of Law, Lipton Hall, D’Agostino Hall, 108 West 3rd Street, New York, NY 10012. US oil and gas policy may undergo substantial change in the next administration. Federal rules governing methane emissions, the leasing of government lands, exports, and much more could be revised in the coming years.

Please join experts from government, academia, and industry as they assess the changes that may be in store.

This event is being produced in collaboration with Vinson & Elkins Speakers: Thomas P.J. Cape, Senior Analyst, Evercore ISI; Jayni Foley Hein, Policy Director, Institute for Policy Integrity at NYU School of Law; Robert Seber (Moderator), Partner, Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity, Vinson & Elkins; and Alexandra Teitz, formerly (as of 1/20/17) Counselor to the Director, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Interior; previously Senior Counsel, Environment and Energy/Chief Counsel for Energy and Environment, Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives.

Event - Intersolar Europe 2017 Conference and Expo

The annual Intersolar Europe 2017 Conference and Expo will take place starting on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 and run until Friday, June 2, 2017 in Messe München, Munich, Germany.

Intersolar Europe is the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry and its partners. It focuses on the areas of photovoltaics, energy storage and renewable heating, as well as on products and solutions for smart renewable energy.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Obama Legacy and How Trump Signals the End of an Era (Videos)

The Obama Presidency will be remembered as one of the most competent and by far the greenest presidency in American history. His list of achievements will ensure that his climate legacy will be remembered, even if some do not yet fully appreciate the gift he has given to future generations. We who fight for the Earth and its inhabitants owe President Obama an eternal debt of gratitude.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Trump's Inauguration Met with Protests as Darkness Officially Descends

It has begun. As Donald J. Trump stepped up to the podium to take the oath of office the rain began to fall. The darkness officially descended at high noon on Friday, January 20th, 2017 as Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

Trump's speech was identical to those he gave on the campaign trail, rather than take the opportunity to heal divisions. Trump's message to Americans and the world was a reflection of the same populist and nativist vision that made him president. Pundits have watched and waited for Trump to become presidential, but the promised pivot never occurred and if the inauguration is any indication, it never will.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

President Obama's Climate Achievements (2009 - 2016)

Here is a year by year account of President Barack Obama's long list of climate achievements. During his presidency, emissions and growth decoupled. Emissions from the energy sector fell by 9.5 percent while the economy grew by more than 10 percent.

Unlike the President-Elect and the incoming administration, Obama acknowledges the veracity of climate science and like any sane person he calls the warming trend "terrifying". Juxtapose Trump's dismissal of climate change as a "hoax" with the position of the Republican presidential nominee John McCain eight years ago. During the campaign Obama and McCain had the same take on climate change. Shortly after Obama's victory, the Republican party violently shifted to the right which led to knee-jerk obstructionism and party-wide climate denial.

Obama's agenda was also undermined by the fossil fuel industry (and their GOP minions), as well as related movements including the Tea Party and super PACs. Together these efforts eroded American's support for the veracity of global warming and by extension climate action.

Throughout his two terms, Republicans religiously opposed Obama's every move especially his climate action plans. In the absence of congressional support, President Obama found some creative ways to move the climate agenda forward. The Clean Power Plan was arguably his crowning achievement. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA issued regulations on dangerous pollutants. Other notable achievements include Obama's leadership to secure the Paris Climate Agreement and toxic chemical reform legislation.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Apple Leads Greenpeace Tech Company Rankings

For the third year in a row Apple is at the top of Greenpeace's environmental rankings for tech companies in 2017.  Apple led platform operators with a score of 83 percent on Greenpeace’s Clean Energy Index. Facebook came in second with a score of  and Google 67 percent and Google came in third with 56 percent.

Apple's final grade was an A for energy transparency, renewable energy commitment, energy efficiency and mitigation, and renewable procurement. The company received a B for advocacy. Google got all A's except for a B in the transparency category, however as noted above they did not fare well in the clean energy component.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Ten Worst Climate and Sustainability Stories of 2016

The future of our planet and the fate of humanity is under threat from a world ravaged by climate change and ecological degradation. It is ironic that Just as the world began to collectively assume responsibility, Americans elected Donald J. Trump to assume the helm of the most powerful and influential nation in the world. This was a tragic end to a fateful year.

In reverse chronological order here are the 10 worst sustainability and climate stories of 2016:

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Ten Best Climate and Sustainability Stories of 2016

It was the best of times it was the worst of times... While this can be said of almost every age it is certainly true of our times. Last year was a momentous year for both climate action but as the year came to a close the clouds of environmental doom began to coalesce in America auguring a darkness not seen since 1933.

Despite the historic implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and bold national leadership, 2016 will be remembered as the year that America voted for a climate denier whose incompetence is surpassed only by his coarse demeanor. However, there was more to the year than the election of Donald Trump. In reverse chronological order here are the 10 best climate and sustainability stories of 2016.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Événement - Le droit international de l'environnement et l'agroécologie

Cet événement gratuit aura lieu le lundi 13 février 2017 De 11 h 45 à 13 h 00, chambre A9-162, Université de Sherbrooke.

La production alimentaire industrielle est devenue la méthode préférée pour la culture de produits alimentaires au cours du siècle dernier. Il est intéressant de noter qu’à cette époque alors que le droit international de l’environnement émergeait (dans les années 1970), la production alimentaire industrielle prenait place à une vitesse fulgurante. Presque cinquante années plus tard, le droit international de l’environnement est devenu partie intégrante du droit international en s’intéressant à la sécurité de la production alimentaire industrielle ainsi qu’à ses conséquences environnementales. De plus, récemment, le droit international de

Saturday, January 14, 2017

CNN and Trump Battle Over the Existence of Reality (Video)

President Elect Donald J. Trump and CNN are at war to determine who are the real purveyors of fake news. In a muddy game of uncertainty where the delineation between truth and fiction are blurred CNN is standing up to the President-Elect and taking on the darkness of his post factual dystopia.

The President-Elect is once again furious that media is airing stories that are unfavorable to him. Trump's most recent outburst was directed at CNN and took place at his first news conference since winning the election. Trump was enraged that CNN reported on a story from an online media outlet claiming that the Russians have compromising information on Trump.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Tillerson Equivocates on Climate at the Senate Hearings

Rex Tillerson, Trump's pick to be secretary of state shared his stance on climate change at a confirmation hearing in the Senate. Here are the climate highlights distilled from more than six hours of testimony.

When Tillerson was asked to share his “personal view” of climate change, this is what he said: “I came to the conclusion that the risk of climate change does exist. And the consequences of it could be serious enough that action should be taken. The type of action seems to be where the largest areas of debate exist in the public discourse.”

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Two Steps Forward One Step Back: Threats to Democracy and Optimism in Obama's Farewell Speech

In a moving farewell speech, President Barack Obama drew on the Constitution using the words and invoking the spirit of the founding fathers to speak to the most important issues of our day. Just over eight years ago the 44th President of the United States and the first African American, assumed power. On January 10th 2017 just days before President-Elect Trump assumes power, President Obama delivered a powerful yet respectful final address as commander and chief. He warned about threats to democracy and urged Americans to stand up and fight for the changes they seek.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

We Cannot Afford to Deny the Cost of Climate Change

The cost associated with our warming planet are staggering and it will only get more expensive the longer we wait to engage climate action. According to research from ICF International and NextGen Climate America, if we continue with business as usual, climate change will cost the US 36 percent of its GDP by the end of the century. A Citigroup report states that by 2060 the cost of climate change will be $44 trillion. According to research from the International Finance Corporation and Carbon Trust the global cost of climate change impacts will reach between $2 trillion and $4 trillion by 2030.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Tillerson Loves Putin's Oil and Putin Loves Tillerson's Pull

Rex Tillerson and Vladimir Putin have a strategic alliance that transcends national borders. The man tapped to be the next Secretary of State shares Trump's love for the Russian dictator.  In his capacity as the CEO of Exxon, Tillerson forged a close personal relationship with Putin. In 2013 he was even awarded Russia's highest honor, the Order of Friendship. The tie that binds Tillerson and Putin is oil.

To be fair, Tillerson is not a puppet like Trump.  He is far more adept at navigating the nuances of international diplomacy. Tillerson is arguably the only member of the prospective Trump administration that has a clue about the complex realm of geopolitics.  However, Tillerson comes to the job with a clear agenda and both men have their eyes fixed on black gold.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Event - McGill Sustainability Research Symposium

Planning is now underway for the 7th annual McGill Sustainability Research Symposium on ‘Resilience’. This event will take place at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.

Sustainability research is, by design and necessity, interdisciplinary; researchers in this field require platforms and spaces to share ideas and create connections. The symposium meets this need by bringing together faculty, students, and leaders from the Montreal community to share research on, and solutions for, sustainability challenges that we face today.

Event - 2017 National Sustainability Summit

This event will be held on January 31st, 2017 in Dublin, Ireland at the Citywest Hotel. At last year's National Sustainability Summit Over 1000 delegate gathered to hear from 80 speakers and network with over 50 exhibitors offering cutting edge technology and services.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Trump's Denial of Reality Makes Him Putin's Puppet (Videos)

President-Elect Donald Trump denies the veracity of climate change, he refutes the legitimacy of fact based media and now he is questioning US intelligence on Russian interference. This makes Trump the perfect stooge for Vladimir Putin's sophisticated plot to destabilize his enemies. Trump maintains his ignorance despite being given numerous briefings, including one from the heads of US intelligence services on Friday, January 6th.

Trump is easily manipulated with platitudes. He admires the Russian dictator and he has repeatedly called him "smart". Unlike the buffoon that will soon lead America, The Russian strongman is indeed smart. Think of what he has managed to do. He has driven a wedge between the President-Elect and the intelligence community, he has encouraged a rift between the US and its allies and he has divided the American people. This bloodless coup also sets the stage for the removal of sanctions against Russia and drilling for oil in the Russian Arctic.

Friday, January 6, 2017

WTF Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State!

Donald Trump's decision to give Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson run of the State department is the President-Elect's most egregious affront to the climate yet. That is saying a lot given the appointment of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Exxon Mobil is now infamous for its climate subterfuge. Exxon's own scientific research revealed that they knew about the impacts of fossil fuels on the climate decades ago. Rather than act on this information they covered it up and worked to undermine the perceived veracity of climate science. Exxon has been very good to Tillerson including an alleged $180 million retirement package.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Attribution Science Proves that Climate Change is Deadly

The idea that climate change Climate change kills, plants, animals, and people isn't new, what is new is our ability to track this relationship with the help of attribution science.

Reuters reported on a study, which predicted more than 100 million will die by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change. We are failing and people are dying. According to at least one report climate change is killing 400,000 people each year including 1,000 children a day.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Mother Nature Strikes Back: A Review of Extreme Weather in 2016

Extreme weather is a deadly corollary of climate change. A UN study found that between 1995 and 2015, 600,000 people died from natural disasters. Global warming is known to exacerbate the intensity of extreme weather events. We are already seeing clear evidence of climate change playing a role in a growing number of natural disasters. Thanks to advances in attribution science we can now see the role that climate change plays in driving a succession of increasingly severe extreme weather events.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Partial Summary of Oil Spills in 2016

Fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change, they are also prone to spills. Such spills are toxic and they have been a consistent part of the fossil fuel industry since its inception. As long as we extract and transport oil and gas spills are a statistical certainty.

In December, Wired reported that there are about 30,000 oil spills in US waters every year. In October, Hurricane Ivan caused dozens of leaks in undersea oil wells and pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico. Some of these spills will leak for decades. The Taylor Energy site will continue to leak between 84 and 1,470 gallons per day for the next hundred years. The oil slick from this spill stretches over eight square miles on an average day. Taylor Energy has gone bankrupt and they just walked away from the mess they created.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Warming Temperature Trend Continues Despite Trump

As Americans went to the polls on November 8th, 2016 scientists delivered a report that indicated a clear and consistent warming trend. The report was presented on the same day that the Russians and the FBI duped Americans into electing Donald Trump. The President-Elect is a climate denier who loves fossil fuels and has no interest in science. He is the least qualified president in US history.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Global Warning 2017: Combating the Dystopia of the Trump Administration

Welcome to the dawn of the American decline. We are on the cusp of a dystopia that will cast a shadow that will be felt for generations. While we were beginning to do what we must do to manage climate change, the election of Donald Trump changes everything. Some have said we should wait and see what he will do before we pass judgment. Under normal circumstances this would be sage advice. In the case of Trump only willful blindness can deliver us to the hope that he may not be as bad as he appears.