Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Making Ecocide a Crime

Many of the world's most serious environmental problems would be addressed if we were to make ecocide a crime. This would also protect Indigenous livelihoods and lands. Here are excerpts from an article titled Ecocide, genocide and the disregard of alternative life-systems by Tim Lindgrin. It was published in the International Journal of Human Rights.

As defined by by Polly Higgins, in a book titled Eradicating Ecocide: Laws and Governance to Prevent the Destruction of Our Planet (London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 2010). Ecocide refers to “the extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished” (Higgins, Short & South, 2012, p. 4).

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Green and Environmental Job Search Resources

Although there are tens of millions of opportunities afforded by the green jobs revolution, it is not always easy for the uninitiated to know how to go about getting these jobs.

People want to work for a healthier, more sustainable world. According to a recent report the vast majority of millennials indicated they want green jobs. A BEIS survey of 1,000 young people aged 18-24 reveals that more than two thirds of 18-24 year olds are interested in working in the green economy.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Event - Call for Submissions: International Conference on Environmental Pollution and Remediation (ICEPR’20)

The 10th International Conference on Environmental Pollution and Remediation (ICEPR’20) will take place on August 19, 2020 - August 21, 2020 in Prague , Czech Republic. The Conference Proceedings will be published with an ISSN and ISBN, indexed in Scopus and Google Scholar, and archived permanently in Portico.

ICEPR’20 aims to become the leading annual conference in fields related to environmental pollution and remediation. The goal of ICEPR’20 is to gather scholars from all over the world to present advances in the relevant fields and to foster an environment conducive to exchanging ideas and information. This conference will also provide an ideal environment to develop new collaborations and meet experts on the fundamentals, applications, and products of the mentioned fields.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Event - Eco-Green-Solar Expo Canada

Eco-Green-Solar Expo Canada will take place on Friday February 7 to Sunday February 9, 2020, at the Exhibition Place, in Toronto Ontario. These events aim to bring local and regional businesses together with consumers for the sole purpose of exposing consumers to Eco-Green and Solar companies products and services, geared towards saving the environment through the use of Green Products.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Event - Global Summit and Expo on Pollution Control

The 7th Global Summit and Expo on Pollution Control will take place in Paris, France on December 03-04, 2019. This summit is subtitled: Advanced Technologies and Brilliance of New Era in Pollution Control. Thia event offers well organized scientific program including keynote presentations, workshops and networking opportunities.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Climate Action Offers Trillions of Savings and Stellar ROI

Renewable energy, electrification and efficiency would save the global economy $160 trillion over the next 30 years.  A rapid transition to renewable energy, "deep" electrification, and energy efficiency are also the most cost effective ways to keep temperatures below the upper threshold limit of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). These are the finding of a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) titled the Global energy transformation: A roadmap to 2050 (2019 edition). The $160 trillion in cost savings are derived from 30 years of cumulative savings from avoided health costs, energy subsidies and climate damages. Electrification of the transportation sector could grow the electric vehicle market from five million to one billion. Renewable energy consumption could go from 16.6 percent to 66 percent.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Businesses Cannot Afford to Ignore Climate Risks

Transitioning to a net zero economy will impact every asset class so businesses of all types must take notice. The far reaching economic repercussions of the climate crisis means that businesses can either adapt or die. Those that view sustainability as nothing more than a buzzword will be punished while those who respond to the risks and seize the opportunities will reap the rewards. Sustainability is a culture not a buzzword on a company website. However, as highlighted by the failure of sustainability focused certification schemes,  companies are guilty of greenwashing. In many quarters sustainability is little more than jargon exploited for public relations purposes.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Liberal Minority Government is Good for Climate Action

A Liberal minority government has been elected in Canada and this is good news for climate action. A Liberal majority government would have meant more climate dualism. Their minority status may force them to ratchet up their climate ambitions and soften their support for the fossil fuel industry.  The fact that Liberals have won only 157 seats means they must find a way to gain the support of at least 13 members of parliament to get to a 170 majority. This means that Justin Trudeau's Liberals will need to deal with the NDP (24 seats) and the Green Party (3 seats) to get anything done.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Event - New Frontiers in Renewable Energy and Resources

New Frontiers in Renewable Energy and Resources will take place on November 25-26, 2019 in Rome, Italy. The theme is "Renewable Energy for a Better Future" and the it will include: Keynote talks, Plenary sessions, Discussion Panels, B2B Meetings, Poster symposia, Video Presentations, and Workshops.

This conference is a global platform to discuss and learn about aims to provide a Renewable energy researchers, scientists, industrialists, policy makers, energy economists and academicians to exchange and share their experiences and research results about all aspects of Renewable Energy and Resources.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Event - SRI 30

The 30th edition of the SRI Conference will take place on November 13-15, 2019 at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Advisor Summit Workshop will take place on November 11-15, 2019. If you are interested in socially responsible investing you need to attend SRI. For 30 years, the SRI Conference has been the most important annual gathering for investors, asset owners, asset managers, financial advisors, researchers, academics, mission-driven organizations, and enterprises who share the common goal of deploying private capital to address some of our most pressing environmental, social, and economic challenges.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Climate Action Must Include Efforts to End Fossil Fuels

Climate change is a top priority issue in this years federal election. While this is borne our in the polls, a study published by the Public Policy Forum and McGill University found that Canadians are prepared to pay up to 13 cents more per litre for gas if it benefits climate action. The same study found that there is strong support for renewable energy subsidies.

However, Canadians also want fossil fuels. We are obsessed with oil, as revealed by an Angus Reid poll roughly the same percentage of Canadians want climate action (60%) as want oil and gas development (58%). The attempt to pander to these competing interests explains Liberal dualism.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Polls Reveal Unprecedented Support for Climate Action

Image source: Ecojustice
Polls show that climate and environmental issues have unprecedented support in Canada.  The question is whether this will impact voting behaviors.  There are many reasons why Canadians are concerned about climate change. This includes the fact that Canada is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world.

This is the first time in Canadian history climate change is a priority issue for Canadians. Polls show that Canadians want climate action. More than three quarters (76%) of Canadians agree with the statement that the scientific evidence "clearly shows" climate change is real and caused by human activity.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Failure of Sustainable Certification Schemes

Green certification schemes are an impediment to environmental action. There are a plethora of certification schemes which purport to guide environmentally friendly decision making. These sustainable endorsements include everything from labels to industry wide initiatives. However, according to a recent report these efforts are counterproductive and require major reforms.

Research from the Changing Markets Foundation, examined voluntary certification schemes for seafood, textiles and palm oil. The main conclusion of this report is that certification has lost its way.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Kids May be Our Best Hope of Getting Through to Climate Deniers

Studies show that kids can influence adults in ways that very few others can. This is critical because people who deny the veracity of climate change are almost impossible to reach with science and reason.

According to a 2018 Gallup poll, there is a global warming age gap. The poll found that 70 percent of Americans age 18 to 34 say they worry about climate change, compared to 56 percent of people 55 and older. Kids realize that our failure to act puts their futures in jeopardy. They are aware that we are not doing what we must to address biodiversity loss, sea-level rise, and extreme weather including devastating heat waves. As explained by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg,"You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes".

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Quebec Voters Poised to Determine the Outcome of Canada's Federal Election

It is looking as though voters in Quebec will decide who forms the next federal government in Canada. After the French language debate support for the Block Quebecois surged as did support for the NDP. This has come at the expense of the Liberals. While the Conservatives cannot expect to gain any ground in the province, the fact that the Liberals may be hemorrhaging support does not bode well for their bid to secure another four years in power.

The outcome of Canada's election may be contingent on young people (18-34). The two key issues for the youth demographic are climate change and affordability. The Conservative platform tries to capitalize on the latter while the Liberals, NDP and Green Party are all vying for the climate vote.  However, this will only mean something if young people turn out to vote. In 2011 young people could have prevented Stephen Harper from becoming Prime Minister, but they did not vote.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Celebrating Oxymorons: Canadian Thanksgiving and Columbus Day

Although they co-occur, in many respects Columbus Day and Canadian Thanksgiving are diametrically opposed to each other. While Canadian Thanksgiving is a harvest festival celebrating nature's bounty, Columbus Day marks the start of our systematic destruction of the new world. Monday October 8th is Canadian Thanksgiving, a time to be grateful, it is also Columbus day in most parts of the new world. It is hard to reconcile the start of our exploitation of the Americas and the expression of gratitude for the bountiful harvests nature provides. 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Event - Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Management Conference

The 8th International Conference on Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Management will take place on November 12-13, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Biodiversity Congress is a global platform to discuss and learn about Ecology and its associated fields, Evolution of Species, Plant & Animal Biodiversity, Biodiversity Management, Fauna & Flora, Biodiversity & Food Security, Conservation of Endangered Species, Marine Biodiversity, Forestry, and Sustainable Energy Development.

Event - Design Your Own Sustainable Home Workshop

The Design Your Own Sustainable Home Workshop event will take place on Saturday November 16 to Sunday November 17, 2019, in Peterborough. The instructor is Chris Magwood an expert guide for this journey, having helped hundreds of owner-builders through the process of designing and building their dream green home.. This is Endeavour’s most popular workshop. This workshop has been called exciting, engaging and even life changing. You will be guided through the process of setting the goals that will shape your project and learn how to assess all the available material and system options to meet your goals.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Schools and Climate Change Eduction - The Good News and the Bad News

Schools are increasingly teaching kids about climate change. Many U.S. states have public school policies that include climate change curricula. A total of 36 states have climate change in their educational standards. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have adopted fact-based Next Generation Science Standards which are taught starting in middle school.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

References to Climate in the 2019 Canadian Federal Leaders Debate

Here are all the references to climate change from the Canadian federal leaders English Language debate that took place on October 7, 2019. This debate was organized around five themes: Leadership in Canada and the world / Polarization, human rights and immigration / Indigenous issues / affordability and income security / environment and energy.

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Elizabeth May: [W]e really need to renegotiate the World Trade Organization and make it an organization that promotes climate action. We need a World Trade and Climate Organization. We need to support the rule of law and human rights around the world because we are world leaders...The Greens are proposing a reinvigorated form of federalism. Modelled after what has been done in Australia, we want a council of Canadian governments. So the federal government, provincial, territorial, municipal, and the local orders of government need a seat at the table; so too do Indigenous leadership – First Nations, Métis, and Inuit – around the same table, finding common ground on urgent issues like health care, on the climate emergency, and working together in the public interest.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Renewable Energy and Fossil Fuel Subsidies

While the real costs of fossil fuels are increasing the costs of renewables are declining. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) released a study the shows the cost of onshore wind power generation has dropped 23 percent since 2010, while solar electricity saw a decrease of 73 percent.  Cheaper renewable energy also decreases the cost-effectiveness of fossil fuel subsidies.

Private entities are taking advantage of the ongoing price decline in renewables energy. This is driving the clean energy despite the unwavering support the fossil fuel industry receives from both governments and businesses.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Hottest September on Record Ends the Hottest Summer on Record

In the wake of the hottest month on record (July) and the hottest summer on record, the fall season began with the hottest month of September ever recorded. According to Copernicus Climate Change Service, September was not only the hottest month in the 140 years we have kept records, it was also the 417th consecutive month with above-average global temperatures. We have not seen below average temperatures in 35 years. The four warmest decades on record have all occurred in the last 40 years. Eight of the ten warmest years have occurred in the last decade and the five warmest years in recorded history have all occurred in the past five years. This year is on track to be another record breaker.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Event - Congress on Soil, Plant and Water Sciences

The 3rd Annual Congress on Soil, Plant and Water Sciences will take place on November 11-12, 2019 at Madrid, Spain. The theme is “Invention of new significant tool for sustainable growth in soil, plant and natural resources on earth.”

This event gives attendees the chance to interact with largest assembly of participants from the soil sciences associations, water science association’s soil sciences societies, water science societies, Agriculture, Agronomy, hydrology, soil sciences and water sciences Academicians.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Event - Environmental Pollution and Health

The 2nd Annual Congress on Environmental Pollution and Health will take place on October 21-22, 2019 Sydney, Australia. The theme is: "Sustainable Environmental Practices for Reducing Global Pollution and related Health hazards".

Friday, October 4, 2019

Thousands of Colleges and Universities Have Declared Climate Emergencies

Higher education institutions are coming together to declare a climate emergency and collectively commit to action. Thousands of colleges and universities around the world have made declarations "in recognition of the need for a drastic societal shift to combat the growing threat of climate change".  These schools join thousands of emergency declarations around the world.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Fossil Fuel Subsidies are Funding Global Warming

Fossil fuel subsidies are growing as we are running out of time to act on the climate crisis. With a few exceptions most nations are increasing their fossil fuel subsidies. The energy policies of nations like the United States and Australia convincingly demonstrate this point.  Countries like China and Canada try to have it both ways. On the one hand they engage in climate action and on the other they are increasing subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Trump's War Against Cleaner Cars

In March U.S. President Donald Trump directed the EPA to dismantle the Obama administration's vehicle emissions standards. These regulations mandated company wide averages of 51 MPG by 2025 and cut carbon pollution by 140 million metric tons per year compared to the Trump administration’s proposal.

Although Congress gave California the right to set its own mileage standards, Trump is moving to revoke the state's mpg waiver. California's Advanced Clean Car Rule forces automakers who sell cars in the state to reduce pollution from by 40 percent compared to 2012 levels starting in 2025.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The U.S. Spends 10 Times more on Fossil Fuel Subsidies than Education

There is something profoundly wrong with countries that spend more on fossil fuels than they do on education. Fossil fuels are the leading cause of climate change while education is essential to the health and well being of both individuals and the societies they inhabit.

According to a recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report, the U.S. spends ten times more on various forms of fossil fuel subsidies than it does on education. The U.S. fossil fuel industry receives 649 billion in subsidies, that is ten times more tax dollars than the public education system.
To make matters worse, the Trump administration has sought to increase support for fossil fuels while decreasing support for education.