Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pruitt to Decimate Environmental Protections and Climate Action

Scott Pruitt was picked by Trump to eviscerate the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and eradicate climate action and other environmental regulations. The fact that Pruitt and all of Trump's cabinet were picked to dismantle the departments and agencies they were charged to head was confirmed by Stephen Bannon at CPAC in February, 2017.

By nominating Pruitt to head the EPA Trump has put the fox in the hen-house. Pruitt opposes environmental and climate action he also opposes science. Like Trump, he also opposes facts when they refute his agenda. He has a track record of undermining the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and anti-pollution programs He has spent much of his time as the former Attorney General of Oklahoma fighting the EPA in the courts. He has sued the EPA multiple times mostly on behalf of the fossil fuel industry.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Event - Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue

This event will take place 20 – 23 March 2017, in Berlin, Germany. Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue follows IRENA’s November workshop that discussed key energy challenges, current energy status, and frameworks for promoting renewable energy in Thailand.

This consultation workshop will engage experts and government officials in the preparation of a joint REmap-RRA report — aimed at accelerating renewable energy deployment in Thailand.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Bannon: Why Environmentalists are not the Only Ones who Should be Terrified (Videos)

Donald Trump may not be very bright and some have even questioned his sanity, however, the real madman behind this administration's crazy conspiratorial agenda is his chief strategy advisor Stephen Bannon. At the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Bannon admitted what we already knew, namely that the Trump administration has a plan to tear down not only environmental regulations but all regulations along with a host of government institutions and agencies. This administration has already started to dismantle environmental regulations but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Business Action on Climate Change

There are hundreds of companies that have committed themselves to achieving ambitious sustainability goals. Here are five corporate leaders who stand apart. Together these five companies represent $1,062,338,000,000 in revenue, which if they together formed a country would be the 19th-largest economy in the world. This list of companies leading the sustainability movement is excerpted from the Fortune 25 list:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Progressive Climate Action Will Win in the End But it may Come Too Late

With enough distance we can see that the political philosophy of the alt-right movement is a reaction to the inexorable movement towards progressive leadership including climate action. In the arc of history the alt-right's climate denial is a brief detour.

On the one hand this is comforting but on the other hand we have to acknowledge that this reprieve from responsible governance may slow us down just enough to make it impossible for us to keep global temperatures from warming beyond prescribed scientific limits.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Republicans Pushing a Carbon Tax

A group of prominent Republics with decades of experience in government has urged the Trump administration engage climate change. This group includes former cabinet Secretaries James Baker, George Shultz and Hank Paulson. The latter is one of the authors of the Risky Business report. This report and others show that the costs of inaction far outweigh the costs of action. The argument put forward by these Republicans is simple, we cannot afford to take the risk of delaying climate action.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Sustainability is not Impervious to Trump

Trump will not be able to stop sustainability or arrest the production of renewable energy, he may not even kill the Paris Climate agreement. There are clear market incentives that will continue to drive the green economy forward.  Optimism abounded at this year's World Economic Forum in Davos.  However, at some point we will have to face the bitter truth that market forces alone are not enough. 

Nor should we ignore just how far we have come. Sustainability is now a market dictate and a mainstream phenomenon. There are powerful drivers that make sustainability an unstoppable force. The business case has been made and a plethora of studies have demonstrated the ROI on sustainability.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Event - March for Science: Science Not Silence

The March for Science will take place on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22 in Washington, D.C. There will also be satellite marches on the same day in cities across the U.S., Canada and around the world. This march will include scientists but it is for everyone. The event is a celebration of science and a call to support and safeguard the scientific community. The slogan for this event is, "SCIENCE, NOT SILENCE" and the hashtag for is  #marchforscience.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Why Trump Hates Traditional Journalism and Loves Digital Media (Videos)

Trump despises traditional media for exposing his lies and he loves digital media because it can be spun to support his false narrative. The post factual reality, fake news and alternate facts being spun by the Trump administration reads like an Orwellian nightmare.  If this sounds like hyperbole you have not been following closely.  If you need more proof simply watch Trump's most recent tirades against the press. Trump needs to deride fact-based reporting as a matter of survival. He must discredit the press if he is to have a hope of fulfilling his dark agenda. This is a man who has declared war on the EPA. He wants to take away regulations that protect the air that people breathe and the water that people drink. This is a man who wants to remove sanctions against Russia so that Exxon can drill for oil in the Arctic.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Liberals Give Canada's Oceans More Protections

On February 15, 2017, the Government of Canada announced a partnership with the Province of B.C. and coastal First Nations to protect coastal ecosystems and the communities that depend upon them. This follows a November 7, 2016, announcement in which Justin Trudeau pledged $1.5 billion national Oceans Protection Plan. The plan creates a marine safety system, it restores and protects marine ecosystems and it strengthens the partnerships with Indigenous communities. The government also pledged to invest in evidence-based oil spill response methods.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Aussies Feeling the Heat of Global Warming

Australia continues its warming trend and scientists know that this is due to anthropogenic climate change. Even though carbon emissions were flat for the third straight year, 2016 was still the hottest year on record. Sixteen of the 17 hottest years on record have occurred since the dawn of the new millennium. According to the World Meteorological Association, 2016 was 1.2 degrees Celsius warmer on average than temperatures for the preindustrial Earth. That is only .3 degrees Celsius below the upper threshold limit of 1.5-degree-Celsius. Extreme heat is not just a source of discomfort it can be deadly. The Australian Climate Council says that more people have been killed by heat in the last century than any other natural disaster.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Resist Trump: Why Boycotts and Business Leadership Matters More than Ever

The business community is joining citizens in rising up and taking on Donald Trump and the GOP. Rather than being cowed by this new government, the voices of dissent are increasing. With growing boycotts of Trump-related products, people are challenging this administration in ever increasing numbers. Hundreds of America's leading companies are actively resisting Trump. Hotels and buildings have dropped the Trump brand, and now retail outlets and others are also coming together to say "no" to the new administration and the GOP.

Monday, February 13, 2017

50 Sustainability Drivers for 2017

This will be a challenging year for sustainability but there are reasons for optimism. Sustainability will not be killed by the new American administration and this post contains fifty compelling reasons why it is unstoppable. Despite some disconcerting global events, optimism pervaded the World Economic Forum earlier this year in Davos, Switzerland.

The sheer size of the opportunity is a powerful incentive. A report called The Death of Environmentalism: Global Warming Politics in a Post-Environmental World says that the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could unlock $12 trillion in market opportunities by 2030 and create up to 380 million jobs.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Event - Sustainable Brands 2017 Detroit

SB'17 will take place on May 22-25, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan at the Cobo Convention Center, conveniently located in downtown Detroit's dynamic civic center and overlooking the Detroit River, with views of neighboring Windsor, Canada.

Learn from Today's Change Agents Over 300 speakers will join us at SB’17 Detroit to jump start conversations around the potential for business success through purpose driven, sustainability-led innovation that creates scalable positive impact and profitability.

Event - Indonesia Renewable Power Summit 2017: Partnering Investment, Technology and the FIT for Capacity Growth

This summit will take place on February 27, 2017 - 01 March 1, 2017 at the Jakarta Le Meridien, Jakarta, Indonesia.  This renewable power event will focus on opportunities and ongoing developments in renewable power projects, infrastructure, generation & transmission, the prospects for solar, hydro and wind power in Indonesia as well as other sources of new and renewable energy.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Ads at Super Bowl LI Offer Counter Narratives to Trump's Dystopia (Videos)

The Super Bowl ads show what businesses can do to oppose the dark narrative coming from Washington Republicans. This is the world's most watched sporting event and with over 100 million viewers it is the highest profile advertising platform in the world. Corporations invested millions of dollars ($5 million for a 30-second spot) for Super Bowl commercials. This year advertisers used the premium venue to air ads with a social and political purpose.

While some made commercials that were simply designed to sell product, others crafted profound messages that speak to the darkness of our times. This year five stand out for providing narratives that squarely refute the positions of both Trump and the GOP.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The NoDAPL Protest's Last Stand

As the Dakota Access Pipeline is about to resume construction protesters have taken to the streets in 55 cities and 26 states across America. These protests are in response to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announcement that they will forego an environmental impact statement and grant the final easement needed for the pipeline to proceed. Now that the Army Corps of Engineers has given the green light there are no immediate obstacles preventing the pipeline from being built. All legal options have been exhausted. The Indigenous Coalition at Standing Rock called Wednesday's protest, "an international day of emergency actions to disrupt business as usual and unleash a global intersectional resistance to fossil fuels and fascism."

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

People's Climate Movement Overview and Strategy

On Monday, February 6th the People's Climate Movement held a conference call in support of the 100 Day Mobilization event that is planned for April 29th. There were more than 1000 people that participated. During the hour-long teleconference, different speakers reviewed the following four topics: 1. The current political climate 2. A review of the People's Climate Movement 3. Updates for the March on April 29th 4. digital support, strategies, and tools.

One of the positive developments that emerged from this call was a report on the growing unity between various groups with differing priorities and agendas. In an effort to combat the current administration Democrats appear to have healed divisions and various non-political groups have put their ideological differences aside for the same reason. One of the speakers specifically addressed the coming together of groups that support environmental issues and those who support racial and economic justice. These groups are now unified in support of this event.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Protests are a Necessary and Appropriate Response to the Trump Administration

Donald Trump has augured protest unlike any that have gone before it. The level size and scope of these protests are unprecedented. They started while Trump was on the campaign trail and persist to this day. We have seen a massive protest on Inauguration Day January 20th and the Women's March that took place on January 21.

The electoral victory has spawned an unprecedented movement. Protest is important and never more than in the dark times heralded by Trump's win in November.  The reasons to protest are numerous and include the numerous swipes Trump and Republicans have taken on climate action and environmental protections.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Republicans Trying to Kill the EPA Quickly

Trump drew first blood with an Executive Order that enfeebled some of the EPA's activities, now Republicans are going in for the kill. They recently proposed a bill that seeks to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Known as H.R.861, the bill has the following self-explanatory title: "To terminate the Environmental Protection Agency."

While this bill is unbelievably destructive for the American people it should come as no surprise when you consider Republican obstructionism for the last eight years and the man who is now President of the United States. Within his first two weeks in office, Trump signed an Executive Order that targeted the EPA.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Event - Solar Middle East

Solar Middle East will take place February 14, 2017 - February 16, 2017 at the Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). This event is the Middle East's leading solar trade event and the most comprehensive gathering of solar technology suppliers in the region.

This exhibition offers an unrivaled opportunity to see the latest developments in Solar. More than a hundred international companies exhibit at Solar Middle East, including some of the international industry's key players (for the complete list of exhibitors click here). This event attracts thousands of MENA's top project decision makers, major utilities, and government policy makers.

Event - EcoCareer Conference 2017: Building Pathways to Sustainable Careers Virtual

The EcoCareer Conference is a live, 2-day interactive webinar series will take place online on Wednesday, February 22nd from 10 - 5:30 PM ET and Thursday, February 23rd - Workshop Day from 12 - 3 PM ET. This virtual conference is for students, faculty, and staff from high schools, colleges, and universities across the country. The National Wildlife Federation and their partners will prepare students and young professionals for wildlife and sustainability careers by providing information on the latest EcoCareer trends from leading analysts and employers, clarifying career-enhancing credentials and academic offerings, and formulating a better understanding of the competencies employers seek in the green sector.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

What Romanians can Teach Us About Combating Corruption

The way Romanians are tenaciously defending their democracy by standing against corruption is a model for the world. The nation's hard-won anti-corruption gains are now under threat due to a government issued decree.

As January drew to a close, the country’s Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu issued an emergency decree that decriminalizes some forms of corruption. This is but the latest attempt by members of the Romanian government to escape indictment. For days Romanians in 50 towns and cities have been on the streets to show their support for the country's anti-corruption laws. These are the largest demonstrations since the fall of communism almost thee decades ago.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Republicans to Sell Off Public Lands and Strip Powers from Federal Agencies

The Republican-controlled Congress is moving to sell off public parks and take away the law enforcement capabilities of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the US Forest Service. On Tuesday, January 31 US representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah introduced a new piece of legislation (Bill 621) would direct the interior secretary to immediately sell off 3.3m acres of national land, maintained by the BLM.
Just before this bill was tabled Trump launched the first salvos of his assault on the EPA. Shortly thereafter the GOP started gutting environmental protections and consistent with Trump's pipeline Executive Order the last remaining Dakota Access pipeline protest camp was raided.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The GOP Starts Gutting Environmental Protections and Transparency

Republicans in Congress have removed obstacles preventing the coal industry from polluting streams. Thanks to the GOP initiative, the coal industry will soon be allowed to resume dumping its debris, including coal ash, into these waterways.  Such debris poses a serious health hazard to both wildlife and humans. This action follows Trump's recent Executive Order that signals his administration's intent to move forward with halted fossil fuel pipelines. Consistent with this objective there has been an assault on the camp of those protesting the Dakota Access pipeline.

Camps Raided as Trump Moves Forward with DAPL

On Wednesday, February 1, police moved in and raided the Last Child camp, the remnants of the Standing Rock camp. In a scene reminiscent of the American Indian Wars, they destroyed the camp and burned tipis. This move comes on the heels of Trump's Executive Order (EO) in support of the Dakota Access pipeline and the Keystone XL. The hypocrisy of Trump's EOs is dumbfounding. Apparently, the same people who lambasted Obama's EOs now laud Trump for doing the same. However, there is a salient difference, when Obama began using Executive Orders it was because he was facing an obstructionist Republican congress.  The GOP now have control over both the House and the Senate.