Friday, August 30, 2019

Who is Preventing Kids from Learning about Climate Change?

Kids are not getting the climate education they need but this is not because of their parents or their teachers. Climate education has become a front-line issue in the battle against truth and kids are being used as pawns in an economically motivated war against reality. As reported by NPR, polls show that climate education has the support of parents (80%) and teachers (85%). Yet children are not getting the facts about climate change in public schools. A growing number of American adults (75%) acknowledge that the climate is changing but this message not being disseminated to kids.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Governments are Acting to Curb the Fires in the Amazon

Governments are responding to the planetary threat posed by the fires in the Amazon. There has been a 79 percent increase in fires in 2019 compared to the same period last year. These fires are a threat to air, water, and wildlife. The Amazon generates one fifth of the world's oxygen and it is the single largest reservoir of fresh water and biodiversity on Earth. The Amazon also regulates climate including heat and precipitation. The ongoing degradation of this region could trigger tipping points from which we will not be able to recover.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Grade 10 Climate Change Education in Ontario

Although the provincial government under Premiere Rob Ford has systematically dismantled climate action in Ontario, students in that province can still have access to the facts about global warming.  

Evidence for Climate Change offers an inquiry-based educational resource for Grade 10 students in Ontario. Hands-on activities focused on heat, carbon dioxide, and thermal expansion explore the essential science behind climate change.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Trump MIA at the G-7 Summit on Climate, Biodiversity and the Fires in the Amazon

US President Donald Trump skipped the climate summit and discussions about the fires in the Amazon at the recent G7 meeting in Biarritz, France and then his aides lied about the reason he did not attend. The climate emergency, protecting biodiversity and the fires in the Amazon were high on the agenda of the 45th G7 summit, which took place from August 24 to 26.

Monday, August 26, 2019

The Earth's Lungs are Burning and Bolsanaro is to Blame

Wildfires have raged all around the world in 2019 but nowhere is the situation more serious than in the record breaking Amazon fires. There have been almost 80,000 fires in the Amazon this year, more than 30,000 in recent weeks and almost 10,000 since the middle of August. Brazil's National Institute for Space Research, or INPET reports that there have been 74,155 fires in the Amazon in 2019. The massive plumes of smoke from these fires stretch for 1.2 million square miles, cutting across the entire continent of South America and extending out into the South Atlantic Ocean. The Amazon is composed of 2.12 square miles of rainforest that spans Columbia and Peru as well as other countries. However, the majority of the Amazon is located in Brazil.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

IRENA Innovation Day (Thailand): Solutions for a renewable-powered future

This event will take place on September 4th 2019 at the Athenee Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. IRENA’s Innovation Days will take place in different regions around the world and aim to connect experts and policy makers. This new series of events will showcase emerging innovations and inspire and inform the broader and faster uptake of innovative solutions that can help deliver a renewable-powered future. Innovation Days build on IRENA’s biennial Innovation Week events but will focus on the particular needs and experiences of countries in the region. The first Innovation Day is being held in Uruguay in July 2019.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Business Sustainability Management (Online Short Course) - University of Cambridge

A certificate from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership will give you the skills to argue the business case, develop integrated plans and implement strategies. This flexible eight week online course is offered in weekly modules, that can be completed in 8-12 hours per week.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Increasing Wildfires are the New Abnormal

It is with good reason that the fires in the Amazon are capturing headlines, but wildfires have burned all around the globe this year. What makes these events unique is their frequency, size and duration. Wildfire seasons are starting earlier and ending later.

European heat waves ignited large wildfires in the winter and spring of 2019. In February hot temperatures sparked wildfires across western Europe and in April there were wildfires in Scotland, Norway and Sweden According to the Emergency Management Service of the EU agency Copernicus in the first three months of 2019, there were unprecedented number of wildfires in Europe that burned 74,482 hectares. France was among the worst hit accounting for more than one third of the 480 fires in the first quarter of 2019.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Green, Healthy, Sustainable Schools (Video)



In 2016, Jennifer Seydel discussed the value of sustainable schools and sustainability education. She suggested a framework for developing greener schools and school districts. Jennifer was a School Designer for Expeditionary Learning, a non-profit education reform organization that partners with existing schools and opens new schools with the goal of preparing children and youth for success in an ever changing world. She also served as an Associate Professor of Education at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts and as the Director of the S.A.G.E. Project, a college-community collaboration founded to address the needs of highest risk high school students in Springfield, Massachusetts, Jennifer designed the S.A.G.E. M.Ed. program, a graduate degree in Education and Counseling. The students who graduated from this program have gone on to become leaders and change agents in many urban school districts in New England.

Related
Comprehensive Green School Information and Resources 2010 - 2018 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Truth About the Rules on Climate Ads in the Canadian Federal Election

Elections Canada reviewed ad rules which have significant implications for the promotion of climate action during the forthcoming federal election. This clarification was in response to reports that Elections Canada had told environmental groups that they could not run ads about climate change. An August 20th Elections Canada statement indicates that environmental and other groups are free to address climate change. Stéphane Perrault Canada's Chief Electoral Officer issued the public statement in the wake of media reports that seemed to misunderstand the prohibitions against promoting climate action during an election campaign.  The confusion stems from misunderstanding "partisan advertising" and "issue advertising" (see Canada Elections Act).

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Trane Helping Schools Cut their Energy Bills in Half

The combination of efficiency and renewables is driving big savings at Massachusetts' Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School District. A performance contract signed with HVAC manufacturer Trane Inc. is expected to slash the districts annual energy spending by 62 percent, or $564,000 each year.

Trane is far more than just a leading manufacturer of HVAC equipment, they also offers cost saving projects and renewable energy efficiency solutions. They helped to design and install the district's 1.2-megawatt solar photo-voltaic system including five carport canopies ranging in size from 117 kW to 639 kW. This system now generates around 75 percent of the energy used by the district.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Countering Bolsonaro's Destruction of Brazil's Rainforests

The government of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is wreaking environmental havoc in one of the most ecologically important places on Earth.  The Amazon basin, more than half of which is in Brazil, accounts for 40 percent of the world’s tropical forests and 10-15 percent of the earth's biodiversity. Almost one quarter (800,000km² of Brazil’s original 4m km²) of Amazon forest has been lost to development including logging, agriculture, and mining. Last month alone Brazil destroyed more than 1,800 square kilometers of the rainforest earning Bolsonaro the nickname, "Capitão Motoserra" ("Captain Chainsaw").

Sunday, August 18, 2019

End to End Power Solutions (Utility Week, Powergen, Distributech, SolarVision & Energy Capital)

These end-to-end power solutions events (Asian Utility Week, POWERGEN Asia, DISTRIBUTECH Asia, SolarVision and Energy Capital Leaders) will take place on 3 - 4 September 3-4, 2019 at MITEC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In 2019, the 20th edition promises to be bigger and better than ever before. The convergence of leading events will bring you the world's and market's first end-to-end power mega event, covering power generation, distribution and digital transformation. With 11,000 visitors, 450 speakers, 2,000 utility reps and 350 exhibitors these events cover the whole value chain of power - from generation to transmission and distribution to its digital transformation.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

New Record Set for the Hottest Month Ever

The summer of 2019 started with the hottest month of June and that was followed by July which is now being considered the hottest month in recorded history.

This is the first time in the 140 years that we have monitored global temperatures that we have seen a global average reading of 62.13 Fahrenheit. July 2019 beat the record set in July 2016.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Environmental Masters Degrees from Vermont Law School

Vermont Law School (VLS) offers three environmental masters degrees. A master's degree from VLS is different from other law degrees. Instead of studying theories about how policies work, VLS master's candidates learn the law and how to use it to effect change. By studying advocacy, regulations, legislation, and markets, students acquire the tools to create more just systems and a more sustainable world. Environmental VSL Master's degrees in law cover a wide range of policy issues including energy, food and agriculture.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Trump's Ongoing War with Science

The Trump administration's relationship to reality is tenuous at best, when research does not support their narrative they censor scientists and hide reports. Trump resists science just as he opposes all serious efforts to delineate truth from falsehood.

Trump is a monumental liar. According to the Washington Post Trump has lied more than 12,000 times since becoming president (he has recently ratcheted-up his deceit increasing his lies per day average from 12 to 20). Trump's mendacity is a way of life and he has become synonymous with his lies.

The reasons why Trump derides science are obvious, he knows that facts reveal his ignorance and truth exposes his lies.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Bentley University Arena is a Model of Sustainability

The environmentally sustainable multipurpose Bentley Arena at Bentley University is the first stand-alone ice arena to earn LEED platinum certification. It cuts the buildings carbon footprint in half compared to comparable traditional arenas and it also uses half the energy. The 76,000 square-foot highly efficient arena is lit by natural light and LED lighting and a 504-kilowatt rooftop solar array generate 40 percent of the building’s electricity needs. Heat generated by the rink's ice making equipment heats the water in the building. The arena also uses high efficiency plumbing fixtures, waterless urinals, dual-flush toilets, and low-flow faucets and showers to reduce water usage.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Trump Guts ESA as Part of his Ongoing War with Nature

The Trump administration is behind a steady barrage of environmental insults but his most recent is one of the most devastating to date. There are so many assaults on environmental protections that it is hard to keep track--and that is precisely the point. Trump also uses sensational news stories as cover for his attacks on nature. On Monday August 12 Trump quietly gutted the Endangered Species Act knowing the story would get buried under the racist headlines he was generating.

Monday, August 12, 2019

School in Pakistan Shines Light on the Power of Renewables

Many of the 23 million Pakistani children who do not attend school work during the day.  They cannot attend school at night because some of the places where these kids live do not have electricity.  work during the day so they cannot attend school. In 2016 two schools in Faisalabad began offering night courses using electricity from solar energy to power lights, fans, and IT equipment.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Event - Ecology 2019: The Future of Ecosystems (20 Tracks)

The 2nd International Conference on Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology will take place on August 19-20, 2019 will take place in London, United Kingdom. Ecology 2019 is organized around the theme of "the future of ecology" and it will include keynote speeches, presentations, talks, and exhibitions.

Ecology is the investigation of living life forms, it is derived from the word oikos, a Greek word that means 'home'. In the context of ecology this implies the study of living beings and their interactions. The meaning of nature is defined as "the investigation of biological communities".

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Addressing Biodiversity Loss: The Convention on Biological Diversity

Efforts are underway to try to counter humanities genocide against the natural world. Unless we act in a timely fashion to prevent further destruction of biodiversity entire ecosystems are at risk of collapse. According to a recent IPBES report human activity (eg climate change causing emissions, habitat loss and pollution) could result in the demise of up to one million species in the next 20 years.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Ocean Heatwaves Killing the Climate Canary in the Marine Coalmine

A new study shows that ocean heatwaves are twice as common as predicted and this is decimating aquatic ecosystems. This summer's abnormally warm ocean temperatures are cooking mussels in their shells along the west coast of North America. Mussels are the proverbial canary in the coalmine, they are a foundation species and their well-being is indicative of the health of entire ecosystems.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Comprehensive Green School Information and Resources 2010 - 2018

In 2019 the Green Market Oracle (GMO) is reprising its annual Green School Series. This series is for people who want to know what schools are doing to be more sustainable, it is also for students interested in sustainability focused programs, degrees and courses. Over the course of the last nine years the GMO has published more than 400 articles related to environmentally oriented academics, sustainable infrastructure and green initiatives in pedagogical settings. Over the course of the coming months we will post education related articles as part of the 10th edition of the Green School Series. These efforts contribute to the growth of a well informed population, a sustainable economy and ultimately a healthier planet. This focus on education is a key part of the GMO's mission to help facilitate the convergence of sustainability and the global environment.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

GMO's Annual Green School Series Posts in 2018

Each year the Green Market Oracle (GMO) publishes a series of posts addressing a wide range of green school related subjects. In addition to green buildings, this series has reviewed hundreds of sustainability-focused schools and accreditation. Last year the ninth edition of the GMO Green School Series included 15 posts and articles bringing the total to more than 400. Posts in the 2018 Green School Series addressed student activism, climate denial in schools, green school building and sustainability focused courses. Here is a complete list of these posts:

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Climate Related Excerpts from the July 31st CNN Democratic Presidential Debate

Here are climate related excerpts from the second CNN Democratic presidential debate that took place in Detroit, Michigan on July 31, 2019. In the CNN debate on July 30th, the first group of ten randomly assigned candidates discussed subjects including: the climate crisis, the Green New Deal, fossil fuels, renewable energy, electric vehicles, agriculture, science, and Republican denial. In the second CNN debate candidates addressed the subjects of climate, the Green New Deal, fossil fuels and science.

Monday, August 5, 2019

The World Keeps Warming as We are Running Out of Time

We are seeing heatwaves break records all around the world. From India to Alaska, records are falling as record breaking heat is becoming the new norm.  After a brutal heatwave in the middle of July, Europe suffered through yet another heatwave as the month drew to a close. More than a dozen countries in Europe recently broke heat records including Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK.

Global heat records are also being broken. After the hottest month of June on record, the EU's Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) reported that last month was the hottest July on record breaking the record set in 2016. According to Copernicus, every month this year is among the four warmest on record.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Event - World Congress on Earth and Environmental Science

The 7th World Congress on Earth and Environmental Science (Earth Science 2019) will take place on August 21-22, 2019 at the Holiday Inn Atrium, in Singapore. The theme is An Insight into the Recent Advancements in Earth and Environmental Science. Scholars from all over the world will attend and present their respective scientific research. Earth Science 2019 is a global platform to discuss and learn about ecology, geosciences and geology, geophysics, atmospheric sciences, extreme weather, global warming, pollution, and the effects of climate change on ecosystem. The conference will include keynote presentations, talks, and exhibitions.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Webinar: An Adaptation Blueprint for Communities

Climate Action Planning Creating Low Carbon Resilient Communities, an adaptation blueprint for communities, will take place on August 7, 2019 1:15 to 2:45 PM EDT. This is an Island Press Webinar Series.  Three panelists will talk about new examples of cities approaching the challenge of climate change in creative and innovative ways including transportation, to greening city buildings, to protecting against sea-level rise, to vulnerability assessments that help each community to identify their greatest risks and opportunities.

The panelists are the authors of Climate Action Planning (published by Island Press). This is the most comprehensive book on the state of the art, science, and practice of local climate action planning. It should be a first stop for any local government interested in addressing climate change. Their guidance contextualizes international, national, and state mandates and goals.

Friday, August 2, 2019

What Canada Must Do To Reduce Emissions

Canada’s Oil and Gas Challenge
A recent report makes it clear that Canada is not on track to meet its emissions reduction commitments nor is the country doing anywhere near enough to keep temperatures from warming beyond the upper threshold limit.

The report, titled Canada’s Oil and Gas Challenge: A Summary Analysis of Rising Oil and Gas Industry Emissions in Canada and Progress Towards Meeting Climate Targets, was released at COP24 by Environmental Defence and Stand.earth.  According to the IPCC if we are to have a chance of not exceeding 1.5 degrees of warming we need to decrease emissions from oil and gas 37 percent by 2040. For Canada this means doubling our emissions reductions commitment.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Fossil Fuel Industry Lobbying in Canada

Fossil fuel lobby groups are a significant reason why we have not seen serious climate action in Canada. The scope of their influence demands consorted redress from both provincial and federal leaders.

While we have seen climate action at the provincial and the federal levels these efforts are often diluted or eliminated due to the influence of the fossil fuel industry. While the ruling Liberal government under Justin Trudeau has introduced a carbon tax the oil and gas industry are largely exempt. Intense lobbying from the oil and gas industry resulted in exempting about 80 percent from the carbon price.