Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Nuclear Fusion: Realizing the Dream of Abundant Clean Energy

The dream of almost limitless clean energy from nuclear fusion is close to being realized. After 6 decades of research and testing fusion finally appears to be on the cusp of delivering on its promise to revolutionize energy production. Sometimes called "star in a jar" because the technology mimics the energy conversion processes like those in our sun.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The US Military's Clear Consensus on Climate Change

There is no disputing the fact that America's fighting machine sees climate change as a clear and present danger. Those who are responsible for America's defense unanimously agree that climate change poses a significant risk to US national security and international security. This consensus is shared by the Pentagon, all branches of the US armed services, intelligence leaders, and senior military experts.

There has been a steady stream of reports that conclusively acknowledge that climate change is real and requires urgent action. The Pentagon's defense reviews in both 2010 and 2014 reiterated science-based views on climate change. In 2016 the Center for Climate and Security, a nonpartisan group of senior military and national security experts, released a "consensus statement on climate change".

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Pope Francis & Donald Trump: Environmental Advocacy vs. Climate Denial

Donald Trump and Pope Francis are a study in contrasts. The Pope is a leading supporter of climate action, he respects other traditions, and he is a selfless champion for the world's poor. The pontiff's attributes are in stark contrast to Trump's climate denial, xenophobia, and advocacy on behalf of himself and the wealthy.

The meeting between these two men represents a clash of two diametrically opposed ideologies. This organic antagonism extends well beyond their opposing positions on the issue of climate change. Trump is an opportunistic materialist while the pontiff is a principled and spiritual man. The president is a science eschewing narcissist who habitually lies, the pope is an honest and humble man who values the role of science.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Complementary Roles of Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy

Although it may not always be an accurate appraisal, environmentalists prefer renewable energy over nuclear power. They commonly lump nuclear power in with dirty fossil fuels like coal. Every nuclear plant that closes is heralded as a great victory. However, closing nuclear power plants commonly results in increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Those who welcome such closures don't seem to realize that the energy produced at this facility will need to be replaced. If that energy is created by coal or gas powered energy generation it will increase emissions. When Southern California Edison’s San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station (SONGS), was taken offline in 2012 and 2013 the state began generating hundreds of megawatts of energy from natural gas-powered facilities.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Trump's Corruption may be his Lasting Legacy and his Undoing

The Trump administration can be described as an oligarchy full of kleptocrats or a kakistocracy. Donald Trump is known for shady dealings and now that he is president his corruption has predictably become a defining feature of his presidency. While this should not surprise anyone who has followed Trump, the extent of the corruption is troubling.

Trump has a long history of corrupt business practices. This includes the scam that was Trump University. He has also failed to pay vendors for services rendered. Trump's progression from corruption as a "business man" to presidential corruption was seamless. Within a week of winning the election on November 8th he was hard at work exploring ways that he can profit from the presidency. Even before taking the oath of office he had created an influence peddling scheme whereby he sold access to foreign diplomats in the form of exorbitantly priced bookings at one of his hotels.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Event - International Conference on Water, Informatics, Sustainability, & Environment (iWISE2017)

iWISE2017 conference will take place Monday, July 3 - Wednesday, 5, 2017 at the River Building – Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario. The conference is organized by Science Target Inc. in collaboration with professional and academic institutions both are local and international.

Climate Change will increasingly challenge the Earth’s ecosystems to sustain human life and that’s why it is essential to find practical solutions to the challenges we face to build resilience in different tracks such as water, environment, biodiversity and energy with the help of the decision support tools.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Reasons for Climate Optimism in 2017 Despite the Elephant in the Room

Contrary to expectations, events in 2017 give us reason to be optimistic. There has been so much good news over the last couple of years culminating in the Paris Climate Agreement. Both 2015 and 2016 were good years for climate action. However, this momentum was interrupted by the election of arguably the most ill-informed man ever to have control over the White House. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Why Trump Should Not Quit the Paris Agreement

Upholding the Paris Climate Agreement makes good political sense. Trump's calculus is unlikely to factor the urgency of reducing carbon pollution to avert a climate catastrophe but he may embrace the deal as a matter of self interest.

Both the Washington Post and The New York Times recently reported that the momentum has turned against the Paris climate agreement in the Trump White House. However,  adhering to the deal makes political sense for the president in the context of the constitutional crisis he has created by firing FBI Director James Comey.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Trump Represents a Serious Risk Factor for Investors and Corporate America

Trump represents a serious risk to the interests of corporate America. Trump expected adulation from the corporate community for his deregulation efforts, however, they are increasingly seeing him as the harbinger of risk. Trump not only poses a serious risk to the world's ability to reign in climate change, recent research indicates that corporate America thinks that he also poses a risk for them.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Event - Ecocity World Summit 2017

This event will take place on July 12 - 14, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. The ECOCITY World Summit addresses the way humanity builds its home — its cities, towns, and villages.

The series focuses on key actions cities and citizens can take to rebuild our human habitat in balance with living systems, and, in the process, slow down and even reverse global heating, biodiversity collapse, loss of wilderness habitat, agricultural lands, and open space, and social and environmental injustices.

Event - Impact Capitalism Summit Nantucket

The 9th annual Impact Capitalism Summit (ICS) will take place July 19-20 on Nantucket Island. Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, Big Path Capital has announced the largest convening of investors focused on maximizing impact and maximizing return across asset classes.

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Media has Learned How to Keep Trump from Escaping His Lies

Birds fly, fish swim and Trump lies. Not only does Trump lie, his whole team lies. His Press Secretary gets tied up in knots almost every time he is confronted by the press. Trump himself said that it is not always possible to tell the truth. In response to the uproar about his litany of deceit Trump has threatened to cancel White House briefings.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Senate Vote to Preserve Methane Rule May Signal Change

The Senate has voted down a resolution designed to roll back climate pollution standards emitted by the oil & gas industry on public and tribal lands. The rules prevent 180,000 tons of methane associated with drilling from escaping into the atmosphere each year. This preserves both clean air and climate protections. A critical mass of Republicans joined Senate Democrats to keep the standards in place. This includes Senators John McCain, Susan Collins and Lindsey Graham.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Corporate America Rejects Trump's Climate Ignorance

Corporations are opposing Trump and standing for climate action in increasing numbers. Governments around the world are applying pressure in an attempt to get Trump to honor the Paris Climate Agreement. A little more surprising to some is the fact that corporations are also urging the White House not to quit Paris. Never has the business community faced such a pivotal choice.

"It’s imperative that businesses take an active role in meeting the goals set out by the Paris Climate Agreement," said Anna Walker, Senior Director of Global Policy and Advocacy at Levi Strauss & Co. "It will be critical that we work together to ensure the U.S. maintains its climate leadership, ultimately ensuring our nation’s long-term economic prosperity."

Monday, May 8, 2017

Vive La France! French Electorate Rejects Climate Denial and Commits to Progressive Action

The world can breathe a sigh of relief as the country that hosted COP21 has recommitted itself to continue its climate leadership. On Sunday May 6th, three-quarters of French voters rejected the anti-globalization, anti-immigration, anti-climate rhetoric of the far-right.

Emmanuel Macron won the French election by a landslide (66 percent), beating xenophobic candidate Marine Le Pen and her National Front party. In the French election globalization defeated populism, a more open worldly vision for France defeated the closed, nativist view of the far-right.

Climate change appears to have been a key issue that contributed to Le Pen's defeat. She was forced to change her stance on the issue because unlike her counterpart in the US, French voters would not go along with her climate denial. In 2012 Le Pen said: "I am not sure that human activity is the principal origin of this phenomenon." In an attempt to capture voters she recently revised her position adopting the Republican line saying, "I am not a climate expert, I think that human activity does contribute to a proportion, which I can’t measure, to this phenomenon."

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Event - Impact Capitalism: Diversity Driving Revenue

This event will take place on May 16th, 2017 at Thomson Reuters, 3 Times Square (7th Avenue between 42nd & 43rd Streets) 30th Floor, Carnegie Room, New York NY New York City. Diversity Driving Revenue is designed for investors to explore how diversity and inclusion can provide insights into risk management and drive financial outperformance long-term.

Event - Innovate4Climate

The inaugural edition of Innovate4Climate will take place on May 22-25, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.  Innovate4Climate is destined to become the place where finance, markets, and technology meet to accelerate climate action. 

While climate change poses an immense challenge to humanity, it also represents a potential – perhaps the opportunity of a lifetime. National climate action strategies or NDCs submitted as part of the Paris Agreement require a $23 trillion investments between now and 2030.  There are a number of opportunities in renewable energy, low-carbon cities, energy efficiency, sustainable forest management, and climate smart agriculture.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Which Side is Your Business On?

In the age of the Anthropocene, there are two diametrically opposed ways of doing business and they are about to go head to head. In today's highly polarized political climate, the battle lines are being drawn. One side sees increasing shareholder value as the overarching duty of a corporation the other acknowledges that long-term viability is premised on managing a much wider range of variables.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

If Trump Pulls out of the Climate Agreement Europe Could Impose a Carbon Tax on the US

"Europe Levels a Carbon Tax Against the US." This could be the headline if President Trump pulls out of the Paris Climate Agreement.  The latest word suggests that the Trump administration is thinking of exiting the historic deal. There are likely to be repercussions from such a move. One of the possible responses involves imposing a carbon tax on all goods being shipped out of the United States.

The idea was proposed by Nichola Sarkozy the former president of France. As quoted in DW, shortly after US election on November 8, Sarkozy Sarkozy said, "Donald Trump has said – we’ll see if he keeps this promise – that he won’t respect the conclusions of the Paris climate agreement". Sarkozy who was running again for president said that he believes Europe should impose a carbon tax on the US.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Climate Protesters are Part of a Broad Coalition that Cannot be Ignored

On Saturday, April 29th people came together to demand action on climate change. This is one of a series of protests with a message for the Trump administration, Republican lawmakers and the business community.

At the end of April large numbers of people, organizations, and even a few forward looking businesses came together in support of climate action. In Washington DC alone more than 200,000 people assembled for what was called "The People’s March for Climate, Jobs, and Justice". The march shut down Pennsylvania Avenue, surrounded the White House, and rallied in front of the Washington Monument. Thousands of others also marched in almost 400 cities across the US and dozens of countries around the world. Countries that held marches included Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, Greece, Japan, Kenya, the Philippines, Mexico, New Zealand, Uganda, and the UK.

In 2013 we saw the beginnings of a new environmental movement that culminated in the first Peoples Climate March in 2014. The largest climate march in history may have heralded the birth of the next generation of environmental protest.