Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Climate Related Excerpts from the July 30th CNN Democratic Presidential Debate

Here are climate related excerpts from the first Democratic presidential debate that took place in Detroit, Michigan on July 30, 2019. The 20 Democratic presidential candidates were randomly divided into two groups of ten, these excerpts are extracted from the debate between the first ten, the second group of ten will debate on July 31. The comments of progressives like Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders were contrasted by the more cautious approaches we saw from Governor Steve Bullock, Congressman John Delaney, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Congressman Tim Ryan, and Governor John Hickenlooper. The remaining three, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Congressman Beto O’Rourke and Marianne Williamson, seemed to try to have it both ways.  Here are comments made by the candidates on the subjects of climate, economics (green new deal), jobs, fossil fuels, renewable energy, electric vehicles, agriculture, science and Republican denial.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Obsession with Fossil Fuels is a Canadian Disease

While the ecological impacts of Canada's fossil fuel industry are well documented the possible adverse economic impacts associated with natural resource booms have received little attention. Despite popular perceptions there are reasons to believe that Canada's long history as a resource exporter to countries like Britain and more recently the United States have been harmful rather than helpful.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Webinar: The Power of Effective Communication in Environmental Consultancy

This training webinar will take place on 29 August 2019 at 13:00 BST. Virginia Cinquemani will discuss key components of successful communication.

Excellent two-way communication is the starting point for any successful business endeavour. Building a relationship based on trust and clarity with your clients is essential for a positive and lasting outcome.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Environmental Law Toolkit Webinar: Common Law Tools for Protecting the Environment

The Environmental Law Toolkit Webinar Series presents Richard Lindgren of CELA on Common Law Tools for Protecting the Environment. This webinar will take place online on Tuesday July 30, 2019 at 1:00pm EDT. For those who cannot make it a recording of the webinar will be made available to all those who register (available until September 30, 2019).

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Arctic Heatwaves are a Final Warning

When the coldest place on Earth is regularly breaking heat records it may be time to concede that the end may indeed be nigh. The world is heating up but nowhere is this warming trend more pronounced than in the Arctic. The Arctic is getting hotter three times as fast as the rest of the world. This year (2019) was the second or third warmest Arctic spring on record. At the end of March temperatures in parts of the Arctic were 22° C above seasonal norms smashing the all time temperature record for the month. In May it hit  29° C (84° F) in Arkhangelsk, Russia which is situated near the Arctic Ocean. In Koynas, an area east of Arkhangelsk, temperature exceeded 30.6° C (87° F).

Friday, July 26, 2019

Alaska is Warming Faster than the Rest of the U.S.

Record breaking heat is plaguing Alaska. According to NOAA the winter of 2019 in Alaska was the third-warmest on record. This spring there were unseasonably warm temperatures in the frontier state. March temperatures averaged 11° Celsius (C) above normal. On March 30, the Alaskan Arctic recorded temperatures that were 22° C above normal. On March 31 a mass of high pressure in the atmosphere called an "upper-level ridge" in Alaska set records for the month with temperatures in excess of 70° Fahrenheit (F). The so called "omega block" is an area of high pressure that forces the jet-stream to flow around it. Klawock reached 71° F on March 31 and at least five other locations in Alaska set monthly high temperature records.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

United States Rocked by Summer Heat

Heatwaves are increasingly common and increasingly intense and long lasting in the U.S.  June was hot in the U.S. and so was July. The month of July started with a heatwave that enveloped almost half the country and just past the middle of the same month another heatwave saw even hotter temperatures.

While the June heatwave saw temperatures exceed 90 Fahrenheit (32° Celsius) in one third of the country, the second July heatwave saw more than half of the country enduring temperatures surpassing 100° F (38° C) when the humidity was factored.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Where Does Boris Johnson Stand on Climate Change?

New UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been compared to Donald Trump because of his climate denial, racism and penchant for lying. The two men also share similar stances on immigration and a common disdain for journalists. Johnson is a conservative who is best known for his populist antics. His support for brexit helped to get him elected by an underwhelming 0.2 percent of the population.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

How Global Warming has Increased Precipitation in the U.S.

The period from January to May of this year was the wettest 12 months period on record in the United States. This is part of a wider trend which has seen substantial increases in rainfall in the eastern part of the country. Climate Central reports that rainfall in the Eastern US is now between 29 and 55 percent heavier than it used to be. According to NOAA annual precipitation has increased by about 7 percent across the contiguous US during the past Century.

Monday, July 22, 2019

The Deadly Collusion of Heat and Poverty

The combination of heat and poverty threatens the lives of millions of people in countries like India, China, Nepal, Zimbabwe.  If we do not substantially reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, it will get much worse for everyone but a warmer planet will be particularly brutal for the world's poor.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) India is among the countries that will suffer the most from climate change. That is not only because of an increasing frequency and duration of heatwaves it is also because India is one of the most populace countries in the world with with one of the highest incidences of poverty. More than 86 percent of the country lives on less than $5.50 per day.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Event - Ivey Sustainability Research Conference 2019

The Centre for Building Sustainable Value Ivey Sustainability Research Conference 2019 will take place on December 5th 1:00 PM - December 6th 5:00 PM at the Ivey Business School, London, Ontario. The purpose of the Ivey Sustainability Conference is to create an inclusive community of scholars who are eager to push the frontiers of knowledge towards sustainable development. Researchers from all disciplines and career stages are welcome to attend and participate in the conference. At a time when intellectual discourse seems to be divisive, we hope that, through this conference, we can build safe, stimulating arenas for the scientific community to engage and grow intellectually, in order to assure the prosperity for all.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Asia is Heating Up and the South May Soon be Uninhabitable

Asia is one of the world's hottest continents and it is also the most populated continent in the world with 60 percent of the total population of the Earth. Like many other places around the world many of the 50 countries in Asia are suffering from heatwaves in 2019. In the period between April and June of this year India was hit with protracted heatwaves as was neighboring Pakistan and a number of other Asian countries including Vietnam, Kuwait, Bangladesh, and the Philippines.

Vietnam was hit with a heatwave in April that included setting a record for the hottest day ever in the country. The Vietnam national weather service reported that Ha Tinh, a town about 320km south of Hanoi, recorded a high temperature of 43.4°C. This new national heat record breaks the record that was set just four years ago. What makes this particularly anomalous is the fact that the hottest months in Vietnam are usually in June and July.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Worsening Deadly Heatwaves in India

One of India's longest and most intense heatwaves has killed at least one hundred people and on July 17th at least 100 more died due to monsoon flooding and mudslides. The pre-monsoon heatwave lasted for more than a month and it was compounded by severe drought that has caused major water shortages. At its worst temperatures exceeded 50°C.

In April, central and northwestern India were suffering from a heatwave that was 6°C above the average. At the beginning of June Delhi hit temperatures of 48°C, the highest temperature ever recorded in that city for that month. The temperatures in Churu, set a new Indian record as they climbed above 50°C and helped to precipitate water shortages. The 9 million residents in the city of Chennai also faced water shortages. Some villages went without water for days. Approximately 40 percent of India has endured drought conditions in 2019.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Heat Waves and the Climate Crisis

The climate crisis is here and its hot. If you think things are bad today they will get a lot worse if we continue with business as usual. Heatwaves are being amplified by a rise in global temperatures. They are already becoming more frequent and severe and they will only get worse if we fail to act. We have amassed a vast store of data that proves conclusively that the world is getting warmer. Heatwaves are 4 degrees Celsius hotter than they were a century ago and the heatwaves hitting Europe are more frequent and more severe.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

What is Causing Europe's Heatwaves?

The recent heatwave in Europe included the hottest day ever in France. The new hottest single day temperature in France is now 45.9C (114.6F). Germany, Poland and Czech Republic also set records at the end of June. Spain, Germany, Switzerland and Italy also experienced heat waves. Europe's intense heat waves and record setting temperatures are noteworthy because we can now say with a degree of confidence that this warming is at least five times more likely due to global warming. Europe's five hottest summers since 1500 have all been in this Century.

Using data from Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), the European satellite agency said the average temperatures on the continent at the end of June were more than 2C above normal. Temperatures were 6-10C above normal over most of France, Germany and northern Spain.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Record Breaking Heat in the Great White North

Image credit: The Weather Channel
We have seen heat records broken across Canada in the first half of 2019. Extreme heat has been present from the west coast to the east coast and the far north. The start of spring 2019 smashed 79 Canadian heat records including an all time record for Yoho Lake in the Northwest Territories. Environment Canada pointed to anomalies in the jet stream and said this kind of widespread heat in March hasn’t been seen in a quarter century.

In June Victoria shattered a 121-year-old heat record and Kelowna broke a 145-year-old temperature record in BC. All together Surging temperatures broke a total of 20 heat records in southern BC.

Monday, July 15, 2019

The Ocean / Climate Nexus

Our oceans provide two-thirds of the planet's atmospheric oxygen, absorb more than 90 percent of the Earth's excess heat energy and more than a quarter of the globe's anthropogenic carbon emissions. Warmer and more acidic oceans are decimating marine ecosystems, killing coral, kelp, shellfish starfish and plankton. Warmer oceans also have adverse implications for global weather including more intense storms.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Event - Clean Cities Renewable Energy Procurement

Clean Cities Renewable Energy Procurement will take place on July 24-25, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. This event answers the question, what does it take for cities to buy their own renewable energy? It will showcase the stories of pioneering cities who are developing and executing a successful game plan for renewable power procurement. Profit from their experience and learn the most sophisticated approaches to accomplishing your environmental goals.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Faith Leaders Called to Confront Climate Denial by Telling the Truth

On June 9th, the World Council of Churches issued a Pentecost message that reads as follows: "To prophesy is to tell the truth". Religious leaders have declared a climate emergencies and others are engaged in acts meant to raise awareness.

Friday, July 12, 2019

More Hot Data Contributes to Existential Concerns

The heat records being set around the globe foreshadow a world where new record setting high temperatures are commonplace. According to the EU‘s satellite agency, last month was the hottest June ever recorded.

Europe has been suffering through excruciating heat waves and countries including France have set all time heat records exceeding 45C. In parts of Asia including Kuwait and India temperatures are exceeding 50 Celsius.

While seasonal temperature spikes are not evidence of global warming, they are part of a clear and unmistakable trend. There have been a succession of hot months in 2019 including the Earth's fourth-hottest May, and the second-hottest April and March. February's global average temperature was the fifth hottest on record and January was the third hottest.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Companies in the UN Global Compact Outperform their Peers in Sustainability Assessments

A report released earlier this year found that companies committed to the UN Global Compact perform better across their supply chains than those who have not made such a commitment. Sustainability performance assessment themes included environment, labor and human rights, business ethics and sustainable procurement. The report assessed 20,000 companies and was conducted by EcoVadis, a provider of business sustainability ratings.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Christians Among those Declaring Climate Emergencies

All around the world governments and organizations including Christian communities are declaring climate emergencies. Thus far we have seen such declarations in more than 700 jurisdictions covering almost 150 million citizens. The declaration of a climate emergency is meant to mobilize immediate action as it draws attention to the fact that we are not doing what we must to avert a climate catastrophe. There are dozens of action groups that support the declaration of a climate emergency and the student strikes and organizations like the Extinction Rebellion have helped to take this movement mainstream.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

UN Global Compact: Sustainability Strategies for Business

The UN Global Compact is the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative with 9,913 companies participating in 161 countries. This broad coalition of more than 20 businesses, civil society and UN leaders encourages companies to set more ambitious climate targets consistent with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement which seeks to keep temperatures from increasing more than the prescribed upper temperature threshold limit of 1.5°C. They focus on three key areas, environment, social and governance issues. They help companies to align their strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Despite Obstacles 100 Percent Renewable Energy is Possible

Research proves that 100 percent renewable energy is possible despite detractors who dismiss the idea and the failure of governments to provide adequate support. The need for renewable energy is being driven by mortal threats to both the biosphere and human health, specifically the need to combat both the climate crisis and air pollution. Renewable energy provides all of the power requirements in countries like Iceland and others like Cost Rica are on the verge of doing the same. The latter has operated for extended periods of time on nothing but clean power. Even major economies like those in Germany and the UK have been able to operate for short periods without relying on fossil fuels.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

BSR Conference 2019: The New Climate for Business

The 27th annual BSR Conference 2019: The New Climate for Business will take place on November 12-14, 2019 in San Jose, California. This leading sustainable business conference is one of the longest-running and most prestigious sustainable business events. This is an even for collaboration and action. This year, they will explore the transformations that are creating a new climate for business and help to pave the way for companies, people, and planet to thrive in this era of rapid change.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Anglican and Other Faith Group's Green Advocacy on World Environment Day

Faith communities came together to celebrate the 45th World Environment Day (WED) on June 5th. There were thousands of faith-based environmental initiatives on WED.  As explained in a WED article published by the UN Environment, faith based communities have a crucial role to play and they are involved with a wide range of actions that include everything from tree planting to youth forums. The article explains how faith communities are called to be good environmental stewards and points to excerpts from the sacred texts of 11 traditions (Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shintoism, Sikhism, and Taoism).

Friday, July 5, 2019

More than 500 Companies have Adopted Science-Based Emissions Reduction Targets

Businesses are adopting science-based emissions reductions targets. These efforts Such efforts drive innovation, enhance competitiveness and manage risk. This is also an effective approach to meeting the objectives laid out in the Paris Climate Agreement. Hundreds of companies are aligning themselves with the Science-Based Targets (SBT) initiative which is a framework to help companies remain competitive while reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Declaration of Independence from Fossil Fuels

On the fourth of July 2019, Americans need to start preparing for new leadership and thinking seriously about declaring their independence from dirty sources of energy. Two hundred and forty three years ago, US colonies freed themselves from the injustice of British rule, now America needs to free itself from the tyranny of dangerously incompetent leadership.

The United States' Declaration of Independence is a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. On that day, thirteen American colonies proclaimed their freedom from Great Britain.

The industrial revolution began shortly after the American revolution. These two revolutions fueled America's meteoric rise to global dominance. While, fossil fuels are the engine that drove this growth as a leading cause of both pollution and climate change, it is time for them to be replaced with cleaner alternatives.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The Power of Procurement to Reduce Both Emissions and Costs

Leveraging action across supply chains is a critical part of efforts to address the climate crisis.  We are seeing tremendous growth in companies investing in sustainability and these corporations are helping to drive the transition to a low-carbon economy. Reports demonstrate that this is both an indispensable strategy to manage risk and an important part of cost cutting efforts. The financial and environmental benefits include energy and resource efficiency.

According to a 2019 CDP/Carbon Trust global supply chain report, over the last decade some of the world's biggest purchasers have leveraged their buying power and demanded transparency from their suppliers. In the process they have cut carbon emissions by 633 million metric tons and saved an average of almost $20 billion annually.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Climate in the Second Democratic Presidential Debate

In the first Democratic presidential debate climate was a major topic of discussion. This carried over into the second debate. At the beginning of the debate Savannah Guthrie made it clear that climate change was on the agenda, however, the debate on climate was confounded by the confusion of moderator Chuck Todd who did not seem to understand the difference between climate mitigation and climate action.

Although there were points of disagreement, all the Democratic presidential contenders appeared to agree that Donald Trump is a racist who panders to dictators. They also appeared unified in their desire to see him voted out of office. As Biden said, "it is important we restore the soul of this nation. This President has ripped it out." The record-setting television audience for the second debate suggests that many voters are interested in exploring alternatives to the current commander-and-chief.

Event - SRI30 Conference & Community Speakers List

SRI30 will take place on November 11 - 15, 2019 in Colorado Springs. A partial speakers has been announced for the 30th SRI Conference which is called #fromEVOLUTIONtoREVOLUTION! Here are 19 of those scheduled to present at SRI30.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Happy Canada Day?

When it comes to environmentally responsible governance Canada is both the best and the worst. On the one hand you have the Canadian federal Liberals who under the leadership of Justin Trudeau have passed the most progressive climate action plans the country has ever seen. However the same government has also bought a pipeline that will ferry some of the dirtiest, most carbon intensive energy in the world.  The policies of the ruling federal government are best described as an oxymoron.

Canada's energy picture is challenging to say the least. There are dramatic clean energy success stories alongside fossil fuel expansion efforts. In some respects Canada's Indigenous people are at the epicenter of Canada's energy confusion.