Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Climate Related Excertps from the Tenth Democratic Presidential Debate in Charleston

Seven candidates participated in Tuesday’s Democratic primary debate in Charleston, South Carolina. The participants in the tenth Democratic presidential debate were Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg and Amy Klobachar. Here are excerpts of the six times that climate change was mentioned in the debate.

STEYER: And let me say that I got into this race because I wanted to fight for economic justice, for racial justice, and to make sure we had climate justice for the American people. And I am scared.

SANDERS: In the White House today -- in the White House today, we have a self-described "great genius" -- self-described -- and this "great genius" has told us that this Coronavirus is going to end in two months. April is the magical day that this great scientist we have in the White House has determined -- I wish I was kidding; that is what he said. What do we have to do? Whether or not the issue is climate change, which is clearly a global crisis requiring international cooperation, or infectious diseases like Coronavirus, requiring international cooperation, we have to work and expand the World Health Organization. Obviously, we have to make sure the CDC, the NIH, our infectious departments, are fully funded. This is a global problem.

BLOOMBERG: But we -- make no mistake about it, we have to deal with China, if we're ever going to solve the climate crisis. We have to deal with them because our economies are inextricably linked. We would be -- not be able to sell or buy the products that we need.

STEYER: I want to say something about foreign policy, which is this, we keep acting as if we're in the 20th Century or the 19th Century. If you look at the biggest threats to the United States, we're talking right now about coronavirus that cannot be solved within the borders of the United States. We're talking about climate change which is a global problem where we need U.S. leadership for countries around the world. In fact, Mr. Trump's policy of us going it alone, of "America first," of having no values, no allies, and no strategy is disastrous for us. The biggest threat to America right now in terms of our safety of our citizens is climate. And it's time for us to deal with it that way. Every single foreign policy issue is about American leadership and coalition.

SANDERS: Misconception -- and you're hearing it here tonight, is that the ideas I'm talking about are radical. They're not. In one form or another, they exist in countries all over the world. Health care is a human right. We have the necessity, the moral imperative, to address the existential threat of climate change. Other countries are doing that. We don't need more people in jail, disproportionately African-American, than any other country on earth -- not a radical idea. The motto, the saying that -- that moves me the most is from Nelson Mandela. And Mandela said, "Everything is impossible until it happens." And that means, if we have the guts to stand up to powerful special interests who are doing phenomenally well; if we can bring working people together, black and white and Latino, we can create a nation... where all people have a good standard of living.

BUTTIGIEG: I seek to live by the teachings that say if you would be a leader, you must first be a servant. And, of course, the teaching, not unique to the Christian tradition, but a big part of it, that holds that we are to treat others as we would be treated. And when I think about everything at stake, from racial and economic justice to our stewardship of the climate, to the need to heal the sick and the need to heal this country, I seek for those teachings to order my steps as I go through this campaign and as I go through life.

WARREN: Understand this, the filibuster is giving a veto to the gun industry. It gives a veto to the oil industry. It's going to give a veto on immigration. Until we're willing to dig in and say that if Mitch McConnell is going to do to the next Democratic president what he did to President Obama, and that is try to block every single thing he does, that we are willing to roll back the filibuster, go with the majority vote, and do what needs to be done for the American people.

Climate Related Excerpts from the Ninth Democratic Primary Debate in Las Vegas
Climate Related Excerpts from the New Hampshire Democratic Presidential Debate
Climate Excerpts from the January 14th Democratic Presidential Debate
Climate Excerpts from ABC News' 3rd Democratic Presidential Debate
Climate Related Excerpts from the July 31st CNN Democratic Presidential Debate
Climate Related Excerpts from the July 30th CNN Democratic Presidential Debate
Climate in the Second Democratic Presidential Debate
References to Climate in the First Democratic Presidential Debate

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

A Turning Point for Canada as Protestors Diffuse a Massive Carbon Bomb

A massive environmental disaster has been averted in Canada. The interrelated combination of protest and economics have killed the Frontier tar sands mine. Citing the ongoing debate over climate policy in Canada, Vancouver-based Teck Resources Ltd., has withdrawn its application to build a massive tar sands project in northern Alberta. The result is that hundreds of square kilometers of pristine land will not be destroyed and millions of tons of carbon will be left in the ground.

The $20.6-billion Frontier mine, was to be located 110 kilometres north of Fort McMurray. It was the largest tarsands mine ever proposed. A July 2019, joint federal-provincial review panel concluded that the mine would adversely impact 292 square kilometres of wetlands and boreal forest. It also would have been a climate catastrophe producing 260,000-barrels-per-day and generating 160 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over its 40 year lifespan.

This decision is a demonstration of the power of protest. Petitions and actions across the country helped Teck to come to the conclusion that public opinion is against them. Canadians led by Indigenous communities and young people are saying no to fossil fuel developments. This is the same kind of people powered protest that killed the Energy East Pipeline.

"Unfortunately, the growing debate around this issue has placed Frontier and our company squarely at the nexus of much broader issues that need to be resolved. Teck CEO and president Don Lindsay said in a letter to the minister. "In that context, it is now evident that there is no constructive path forward for the project."

Although Lindsay portrays this as a Canadian issue, is is actually part of a global trend. Fossil fuels are increasingly being shunned not just by Canadians but by people, investors, insurers and banks around the world.  Rather than political considerations market forces are a major part of the reason why fossil fuel industry is dying.

Alberta's Conservative Premiere Jason Kenney blames Ottawa and warns about the erosion of national unity as part of a thinly veiled reference to western separatism. Kenney opposes climate action and he has been unyielding in his support for the fossil fuels. Kenney killed the climate action of his predecessor and successfully challenged the federal government's authority to impose a national carbon tax. He has refused to set specific emissions reductions targets, and is not enforcing the province's cap on emissions from the tar sands.

Kenney's ire may be misplaced as the issue may have more to do with the fact that he is increasingly at odds with public sentiment across the country. A Global News poll at the end of last year revealed that 71 per cent of Canadians believe the country needs to take the lead globally on the fight against climate change and 76 believe the country needs to be doing more on the issue as a whole.

There is also the fact that the economics of the Frontier project don't add up.  In July 2019, a joint federal-provincial review panel recommended the mine be approved, saying the economic benefits outweighed what it described as significant adverse environmental impacts. However, a January report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis made the case that Teck's application showed a "reckless disregard for the facts regarding oil prices in Canada." To be profitable the price of oil has to climb to almost $100 a barrel. At the current price of $60 a barrel the economic merits of this project are highly questionable.

Keith Stewart, senior energy analyst with Greenpeace Canada, suggested the project was doomed from the start. "This project never made economic sense; it didn't make climate sense; it wasn't really going to happen," Stewart told CBC News. "This was a project that might have made sense 10 years ago. It certainly doesn't today," he said.

Canadians have been obsessed with fossil fuels for decades but the tides are turning. The tar sands are a threat to both our climate and biodiversity. The ruling Canadian government has to make a choice and if they want to be on the right side of history, the choice is clear. Both politically and morally they have to come to terms with the fact that their desire to make Canada a climate leader is fundamental incompatible with expanding fossil fuel extraction. Canadian dualism is doomed and now is the time for the federal government to show leadership and pivot away from dirty energy. This is a turning point for Canada, or at least it could be.

Why We Should Stand in Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en People

Monday, February 24, 2020

The Corona Virus Reduces China's Emissions by 25 Percent

The Cororna Virus (COVID-19) has slowed Chinese emissions. China burns about half the coal used globally while at the same time it is the leading market for solar panels, wind turbines and electric vehicles. This duality is evident in Shanxi, which is both China's coal mining region and the location of some of the country's largest solar and wind power projects.

China is both a clean energy leader and a dirty energy behemoth. China is now the world's second largest economy and the largest carbon emitter. Their coal powered economic growth has unleashed a carbon bomb. Overall the country's carbon output tripled between 2000 and 2018, and its CO2 emissions now represents almost one third of the global total. An analysis by Global Energy Monitor reveals that the situation is going from bad to worse as the country is currently building or planing 148 gigawatts of new coal power capacity.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Event - Circularity 20: Circular Economy Conference

Circularity 20: Circular Economy Conference will take place on May 18-20, 2020 at the May 18 - 20, 2020 at the InterContinental Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia‎. This is the largest circular economy conference in the United States. Join 1,000+ thought leaders and practitioners to accelerate the circular economy. Rates Increase Feb. 28. Types: Design & Materials, Next-Gen Packaging, Business Model Innovation.

Event - Renewable Energy Markets 2020: Call for Abstracts

Renewable Energy Markets™ (REM) will take place on September 9–11, 2020,  at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis in Minneapolis, Minnesota. REM™ is seeking abstracts for presentations and panels that are timely, engaging, and informative. Are you a dynamic speaker with compelling story to tell? Presentations/sessions should be as discussion-oriented as possible. Ideally sessions will feature new data or ideas, consider important issues, and most importantly, fresh and informed thinking about where renewable energy markets are headed. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Why We Should Stand in Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en People

For anyone confused about the Wet’suwet’en situation this informative read provides important context.  The original author's name has been withheld for their safety.

Wet'suwet'en is an Indigenous nation whose territory covers around 22,000 sq km of land (would have been much larger before contact) in northwest B.C.

Before first contact, you need to visualize Canada (aka Turtle Island) as a territory that held many, many sovereign nations, each with their own unique cultures, laws, and governance systems. For all intents and purposes, it would have looked more like present-day Europe in that it was a land of many distinct nations.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Trump's 2021 Budget Seeks to Slash Funding for Climate Action While Increasing Support for Fossil Fuels

US President Donald Trump's proposed budget for fiscal 2021 seeks to kill climate action and science. This budget is a continuation of what we have seen in his previous three budgets. It includes opposition to pollution abatement, energy efficiency and renewable energy, while increasing support for fossil fuels. Here is a breakdown of how this budget impacts the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior, and Climate Adaptation Science Centers.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Climate Related Excerpts from the Ninth Democratic Primary Debate

Here are the climate related excerpts from the ninth Democratic primary debate, that took place in Las Vegas, Nevada on Wednesday, February 19, 2020. The debate included Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

More Record Breaking Heat

Month after month, year after year, decade after decade we keep setting new temperature records. The world’s five warmest years have all occurred in the last five years and the period from 2010-2019 was the hottest decade ever recorded. We have seen 421 consecutive months of above average temperatures. The five warmest decades on record have all occurred in the last 50 years and each successive decade was warmer than any preceding decade.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Gaming the System: Social Media Undermines Climate Action and Threatens Democracy

The climate crisis represents an unprecedented threat to human civilization. We have known about the looming danger for decades but we have not done anywhere near enough to address it. Although we have seen progress in countries like Sweden and Denmark, countries like the United States and Brazil are moving in the opposite direction. This paper explores how the public has been influenced to make this possible. It specifically explains how governments and private interests have hijacked public narratives to serve political and corporate agendas. This approach is employed by the fossil fuel and other industries. as well as political parties and political leaders like Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Trump Taps a Leading Fossil Fuel Defender as the DOJ's Chief Environmental Enforcer

US President Donald Trump tapped oil industry defender Jeffrey Bossert Clark to lead enforcement of environmental regulations. As head of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division Clark is responsible for overseeing compliance with important environmental protections including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Event - Canadian Sustainability Conference: Beyond Clean: Creating A Greater Vision

The Canadian Sustainability Conference will take place on April 7-8, 2020 at the Delta Hotels Toronto Airport & Conference Centre, 655 Dixon Rd, Toronto, Ontario. There will be 20 education sessions and 90 exhibitors, This is Canada’s leading conference and expo for cleaning, infection control and sustainable environmental solutions.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Four Lawyers and an Unlawful President

U.S. President Donald Trump has had dubious legal representation over the years but none of his layers was more unscrupulous than mob lawyer Roy Cohn. His influence can be seen in Trump's unrelenting altercations with the law. It is fair to say that Cohn groomed Trump to be the man he is today.. From many accounts of the way he operates, Trump acts more like a mafia boss than a president. This is a man who uses the vernacular of organized crime, calling people who tell the truth "rats" and he seeks revenge like the head of a criminal syndicate.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Short Brief on the State of Carbon Capture Research

Research into carbon capture and sequestration has shown both promise and disappointment. A 2010 study indicated that "negative emission technologies…significantly enhances the possibility to meet low concentration targets" (Azar et al, 2010). The American Geophysical Union has also called for further research (Landau, 2018). A recent article published in the Cambridge University Press called for a research agenda on NETS and stated: "There are many technological solutions to address climate change but unfortunately there are no silver bullets" (Nekuda, 2019).

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Why We Need Carbon Capture and Sequestration

Carbon capture and sequestration have often been considered technologies of last resort. As emissions keep rising and global carbon budgets decline, it is becoming increasingly apparent that if we are to stave off the worst of climate change we must deploy and scale these desperate remedies as quickly as possible.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Trump's Doing it Again This Time with Funds Earmarked for Climate Mitigation

U.S. President Donald Trump is up to his old tricks again except this time instead of military aid he is withholding funds for climate action. According to recent reports Trump is sitting on almost a billion dollars earmarked for renewables, electric vehicles and energy efficiency. This comes only a couple of days after Republicans in the Senate acquitted him, completely ignoring clear evidence of efforts to meddle in the presidential election later this year. They did not dispute the fact that the commander-and-chief withheld Ukrainian aid to secure political favors, on the contrary they argued that it is perfectly acceptable if the president believes his reelection is in the national interest.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Event - Sustainability Conference for Future Sustainable Societies 2020

Sustainability Conference for Future Sustainable Societies 2020 will take place on Saturday May 30 (10:00 AM – 5:00 PM EDT) at the University of Toronto Scarborough, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto, Ontario. This event is organized by Sustainable Development Network (SDN), a chapter organization of HSDN. The theme is diversity and inclusion for sustainable societies. The event will consist of raising awareness and promoting practical models for sustainable development through cooperation, collaboration and striving to reconcile economic growth with environmental interests and the protection of unique societal practices, cultures, and traditions.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Climate Related Excerpts from the New Hampshire Democratic Debate (ABC News)

The Democratic 2020 presidential candidates debated in New Hampshire on February 7 before the New Hampshire primary on February 11. Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Yang, and Joe Biden participated. Pete Buttigieg was also present but he made no reference to climate change or related issues so he is not included in these excerpts.

Bernie Sanders

[Y]ou need to rally the American people to tell the drug companies, to tell Wall Street, to tell the insurance companies, to tell the fossil fuel industry this country belongs to all of us, not a handful of special interests.

Friday, February 7, 2020

A Decade from Hell on the Road to Ruin

In the last ten years we have witnessed a series of calamities starting with the massive oil spill from BP's rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The effects of the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010 resulted in the largest oil spill in American history and the effects are being felt to this day.

The decade has been marked by extreme weather including deadly hurricanes and heatwaves. Last year was the second warmest year on record, 2019 will also be remembered for the fact that July was the hottest month ever recorded. The months of June, September, October and December also broke records. With only one exception every month in 2019 has been in the top three hottest on record.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

The Trump Administration is Racking Up a String of Environmental Losses in Court

Teflon Don may seem like he is impervious to legal challenges but he is anything but invincible when there are actual trials with actual evidence. The Trump administration has won only two of 39 environmental-regulation cases. Although Trump’s bellicose pronouncements capture headlines, the courts are quietly but consistently overturning his attempts to weaken environmental protections. A wide range of organizations and individuals are successfully turning to the courts to oppose the recklessness of this administration. In many instances Trump's environmental rollbacks were overturned and, in several cases, the courts ordered agencies to enforce their own rules.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Trump's State of Disunion (2020 Edition)

Trump's 2020 State of the Union address reaffirmed his ongoing penchant for dishonesty, his utter lack of civility and his conspicuous avoidance of climate change. Trump began by refusing to shake the hand of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and he went on to deliver the most divisive State of the Union speech in the modern memory.

Trump bragged about the fact that the US is the world's largest producer of fossil fuels. He did not acknowledge the mounting evidence that suggest fossil fuels are on their way out, and not once did he mention renewable energy. As is often the case with this president, he tried to take credit that is not his to take. "The United States has become the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world, by far. With the tremendous progress we have made over the past three years." The truth is this happened in 2012, four years before he was president. Trump boasted about energy jobs but what he failed to say is that there are now more renewable energy jobs than there are jobs in the fossil fuel industry.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

China and the EU: Two More Reasons Why 2020 Will Be a Make or Break Year

The decisions made this year may well determine the fate of life on Earth. Our actions have become especially important in the wake of our failure to reign-in emissions and address collapsing ecosystems.  In a previous post I outlined four reasons why 2020 will be a make or break year for environmental action.  Events in China and the EU provide two additional reasons.

This year will also see a major shift away from dirty energy. Investors, insurers and banks are abandoning fossil fuels. Major lending institutions have stopped financing coal, oil and gas at the start of 2020 and the Guardian become the first major news organization to refuse ads from fossil fuel companies.

Monday, February 3, 2020

The End is Near for Dirty Energy: Fossil Fuels are Being Abandoned by Investors, Insurers and Banks

“I’m done with fossil fuels. They’re done. They’re just done. We’re starting to see divestment all over the world.” - CNBC’s Jim Cramer

The fact that investors, insurance companies and banks are abandoning the fossil fuel industry is a clear sign that coal, oil and gas are in the final stage of their energy dominance. Those who refuse to come to terms with this fundamental reality will by punished financially and in the court of public opinion.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Event - Impact Investing World Forum Conference

This impact investing conference will take place on April 30 - May 1, 2020 at the The Great Hall, Kensington Conference and Events Centre, Hornton St, Kensington, London W8 7NX. There will be 200 Delegates and 25 speakers including including UBS, EIF, Big Issue, MoJ and DFID.

Event - Iber-REN

Iber-REN will take place on September 22-23, 2020 at the new VP Plaza España Design hotel in Madrid, Spain. Iber-REN unites the entire Iberian renewable energy value chain, offering premium networking experiences with 300 key decision-makers and more than 80 speakers in a 5-star setting. Network with senior level decision makers.

Bring your whole team to Iber-REN and maximise your networking opportunities. Get in front of the right people by exhibiting at Iber-REN you will have the opportunity to showcase your latest products to over 200 attending delegates, proving your commitment and position with the Iberian clean energy sector. Conduct face-to-face meetings and reach important prospects in an environment designed for business. Invite your key clients to Iber-REN for a special discounted rate and shake hands with key players in the market.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Event - E-TALIA 2020 Summit

E-TALIA 2020 Summit will take place on April 28 - 29, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Milan, Italy. This is a strategy & technology summit to drive the Italian energy transition to solar, wind and electric vehicles. This annual congress will help accelerate renewable energy projects, grid investments, energy storage, asset management and EV charging network across one of Europe’s strongest renewable energy markets. E-TALIA 2020 will unite traders, utilities, corporates, investors and banks with Italy’s renewable energy value chain to unlock the country’s wind and solar potential. This summit will also assist corporate/industrial players with their energy strategies, accelerating electricity storage and E-mobility, to achieve a 32 percent clean energy goal by 2030. Over 300 people are expected to attend this summit which will include more than 25 hours of content. There will be 80 industry leaders who will be speaking at E-TALIA 2020.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Fifty Shades of Greta

Greta Thunberg may be the the world's most famous activist but she is quick to shine the spotlight on the thousands of other activists around the world. Luisa-Marie Neubauer is an activist who is commonly called the German face of the Fridays for Future movement. However, Neubauer rejects comparisons with Greta. "We're building a mass-movement and reaching out quite far in our methods of mobilizing and gaining attention. What Greta does is incredibly inspiring but actually relatively far from that," she said.

Many activists have been fighting in the trenches long before Greta came on the scene. Greta is a recent incarnation in a lineage of young environmental advocates that dates back decades. More than a quarter century ago a 12-year-old by the name of Severn Cullis-Suzuki spoke at the plenary session of the Rio Earth Summit. She may have been among the the first to say "we are fighting for our lives" a phrase which has become the battle cry of this generation. Ten years ago, 11-year old Smoan Brianna Fruean founded the Samoan chapter of after a powerful cyclone devastated her community. At 16, she became the youngest person ever to win the prestigious Commonwealth Youth Award.

Here is a brief introduction to 50 young activists that are fighting for the health of our planet and our communities.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Greta Shines the Spotlight on Other Climate Activists

Greta Thunberg wants to use her celebrity status to support other young climate activists especially Indigenous people from the global south. Greta first came into public view in August 2018, when she started skipping school on Fridays to protest climate inaction. Soon other students joined her and before long the school strikes had spread around the world. She may have helped to galvanize a global movement, but she is the first to acknowledge that there are many other young climate leaders and she considers it her "moral duty" to promote them. Greta has encouraged the media to shine the spotlight on youth leaders especially those in the places hardest hit by climate change. On January 28th, Greta posted a Tweet that read, "There are countless school strikers and young climate activists around the world. Not just me. They all have names and stories waiting to be told."

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Shame and Sustainability: Changing the Paradigm

Shame may be able to move us in a more sustainable direction, it may even be able to help us change the paradigm. There is reason to believe that we can leverage the little voices in our heads to do better. We may even be able to curtail our culture of over-consumption, make more responsible consumer choices and better buying decisions.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Corruption in Washington: The Money Trail Leads to the Fossil Fuel Industry

If you want to know why elected officials flout public interest and subvert democracy follow the money. The main reason that lawmakers fail to advance policies that are in the national interest is because they are in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry. The fossil fuel industry controls academia, politicians and political outcomes. Although the tale of political corruption is as old as time, in the U.S. the situation took a tragic turn for the worse when the courts unleashed a floodgate of dark money with the Citizens United ruling.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Event - Public meeting of the North American PRTR Initiative

The public meeting of the North American PRTR Initiative will take place on February 25 and 26, 2020 at Delta Hotel, 475 Avenue du Président-Kennedy, Montreal, Québec, Canada. This meeting is for those interested in pollution prevention and sustainability within North American industry. All are invited public meeting of the North American Pollutant Release and Transfer Release (PRTR) Initiative.

This meeting is being organized in collaboration with Canada’s National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) Data Users’ workshop. It will bring together individuals from industry, governments, non-governmental organizations, academia, and the public interested in environmental sustainability within North American industry.

Event - McGill Sustainability Research Symposium: Sustainable Food Futures

McGill Sustainability Research Symposium (SRS) will take place on January 30, 2020 in the Thomson House Ballroom, 3650 Mc Tavish St, Montreal, Quebec. SRS is an annual one-day symposium funded by the McGill Sustainability Systems Initiative (MSSI). The upcoming 2020 symposium will be the 10th anniversary and it will be centered on Sustainable Food Futures. Attendees can expect inspiring speakers, lightning student talks, student posters and awards, panel discussions, and networking opportunities.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Event - Modern Solutions Power Systems Conference

The 2020 Modern Solutions Power Systems Conference will take place on April 7-9, 2020 at the Indianapolis Marriott, 350 West Maryland Street Indianapolis (Indiana). Attendees will hear different perspectives about the biggest topics in the electric power industry. The focus this year is value. They will delve into cybersecurity, distributed energy, wildfire mitigation, speed, and more, they will discuss how we can ensure that electric power continues to provide significant value to peoples’ lives. Whether you work in transmission, distribution, generation, planning, or regulation, you’ll get fresh insight you can apply to your own projects, generate and share ideas, and make strategic connections.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Greta is Steadfast Despite Being the Target of Generational Warfare

Heads of state that oppose climate action are targeting climate activist Greta Thunberg. The teenage climate warrior is undeterred by the fact that she is in the cross-hairs of a generational struggle. She has steadfastly spoken truth to power and unflinchingly confronted the inaction and lies of global leaders. She called out U.S. President Donald Trump saying, "Unlike you, my generation will not give up without a fight. Our house is still on fire. Your inaction is fueling the flames." She accused Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison of, "failing to make the connection" between rising temperatures and extreme weather events like the bush fires. "Not even catastrophes like these seem to bring any political action. How is this possible?" she tweeted to her 3.7 million followers.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

What We Should and Should Not Do with Captured Carbon

Carbon capture technologies are an essential part of efforts to reduce climate change causing greenhouse gas emissions. The captured carbon can be sequestered underground or it can be used to make products that would be made anyway.  The advantage of using recycled CO2 is that it uses captured carbon that would otherwise end up in the atmosphere and it sequesters them in products without generating additional greenhouse gas. Carbon dioxide can be used as a raw material in a wide range of products including everything from concrete to car seats. It is even being used by soft drink manufacturers and it can also be used to make dry ice, fish food and toothpaste. One potentially significant application is in water desalination.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Fossil Fuel Powered Politics Driving Trump's War with Nature

The Trump administration will live in infamy for exacerbating climate change and perpetrating genocide against nature. This administration has systematically undermined the well being of the natural world. Deregulation has decimated environmental protections including the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This government has enacted policies that have unleashed unprecedented assaults on wildlife that is properly described as a war on nature.

We live in an era of fossil fuel powered politics where a corrupt cabal of politicians and industry steal from the public till in plain sight. It is unconscionable that the dirty energy industry gets ten-times more tax dollars than the public education system. It is criminal that the fossil fuel industry buys politicians and political outcomes.  It is irrational that the government keeps investing in fossil fuel infrastructure.  However, it all starts making sense when you realize the power of the fossil fuel industry. They exert their influence on government through the National Petroleum Council (NPC) and they weave webs of disinformation through the American Petroleum Institute (API). Their influence extends throughout Trump's swamp.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A Carbon Market for Aviation could Spur the Growth of NETs

There is an increasing need to curtail emissions from airlines. Traditional air travel generates some of the most damaging greenhouse gases but if carbon markets were used by the aviation industry it could provide a massive and much needed boost to negative emission technologies (NETs). Air travel currently accounts for about 2 percent of global carbon emissions but they are expected to quadruple by 2050.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss are Center Stage at WEF 2020

Last year climate change was a hot topic in Davos, but this year it is the overwhelmingly dominant concern. Along with biodiversity loss, climate change is considered to be the greatest threat the world faces. This is the finding of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Risks Report 2020.

The warning comes as we teeter on the cusp of an apocalypse. We are not doing what we must to reduce emissions and business as usual will push us past tipping points from which we will not be able to recover. Despite a plethora of warnings emissions keep rising and the longer we wait to harder it will be and the more it will cost.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Event - Sustainable Finance | Clean Energy Conference

The Sustainable Finance | Clean Energy Conference will take place on May 28, 2020 in Toronto, Canada. Canada aspires to transition to low GHG emission growth. To turn those aspirations into achievements, they will need to address the barriers slowing that transition. The event address existing barriers to the timely development and deployment of technologies that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the industrial, transportation, and building sectors and their financial foundations. It will include actions to overcome those barriers.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Event - World Biodiversity Forum 2020

The World Biodiversity Forum 2020 will take place February 23 - 29 at the Congress Centre in Davos, Switzerland. The Forum will provide a platform for exchange, covering a wide range of perspectives, and capturing a diversity of visions. With this, it aims to redefine and set the agenda for biodiversity as a focal point over the next 10 years in current themes and topics across sectors. The aim of the conference is to explore the future of biodiversity.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Amazon Wins with Climate Action and Fails by Silencing Employee's Climate Advocacy

In less than six months Amazon has gone from being a climate champion to a corporate villain. Despite an ambitious climate plan and renewable energy leadership employees are being threatened for demanding that the company do more. An employee letter that circulated in April gained the support of more than 7,500 Amazon employees. It called for a resolution demanding an aggressive climate plan. However, shareholders voted the resolution down in May. Around the same time Amazon updated its communication policy for employees requiring them to seek prior approval before speaking about the company in any public forum.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Combating the Biodiversity Crisis and Learning to Live in Harmony with Nature

We are facing a biodiversity crises and the actions we take this year will determine the fate of life on Earth. Humans have altered three quarters of the land and two thirds of the seas and in the process we are destroying the natural world and driving mass extinction. The combination of habitat loss, pollution, exploitation of natural resources, population growth, environmental degradation, and climate change have pushed the creatures that inhabit this planet to the brink. For many species it is already too late.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Climate Excerpts from the January 14th Democratic Presidential Debate

Here is a comprehensive summary of references to climate change from the CNN/Des Moines Register Democratic debate at Drake University on January 14th 2020. There were six Democratic Presidential candidates that qualified to participate in this debate they are Tom Steyer, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former South Bend Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Here are the candidates references to climate change in the order that they appeared during the debate.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Examples of Carbon Capture Technology

The need for negative emission technologies (NETs) is becoming increasingly apparent in the wake of our failure to draw-down atmospheric greenhouse gases. Plants can harvest the CO2 from the air and sequester it or sell it for agricultural or industrial applications. It can also be recycled and used to make synthetic fuel. This means that the same CO2 molecules could be used over and over again. Here are four examples of carbon capture technologies that may prove to be critical to our efforts to keep global temperatures from rising above the upper threshold limits. The first two suck carbon out of the air or water and the other two are used at source to capture carbon emissions.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Event - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting will take place on January 21-24, 2020 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. The event has 7 themes and offers a diverse range of content delivered by 600 speakers and 150 webcast sessions. The Forum engages the world's top leaders in collaborative activities that shape global, regional and industry agendas. The Forum's mission is about improving the state of the world. This guides the design and development of the Annual Meeting objectives. Participants will address the most pressing issues on the global agenda including many of the world’s most difficult environmental challenges. They will do so in the “Spirit of Davos”, which features interdisciplinary, informal and direct interaction among peers.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Thus Saith Greta: Hope is Achieved Through Action

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is an internationally renowned climate icon who is well known for saying she does not want our hope, she wants our action. "Until you start focusing on what needs to be done rather than what is politically possible there is no hope," Greta said. "The one thing we need more than hope is action. Once we start to act, hope is everywhere. So instead of looking for hope, look for action. Then, and only then, hope will come."

Friday, January 10, 2020

Trump's Environmental Assaults in the Last Six Months

U.S. President Donald Trump has unleashed a reign of terror against the environment, killing climate action and ramping up government support for fossil fuels. His administration has all but declared war on nature.  During his three years in office his administration has rolled back 88 environmental regulations. 

Here are 8 additional environmental assaults perpetrated by Trump and his administration in the last 6 months.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Negative Emission Technologies are Our Last Hope

Negative emission technologies (NETs) are a necessary technological innovation. Such technologies reduce atmospheric emissions by removing CO2 from the point at which they are generated or from the ambient air. Rising emissions and dwindling carbon budgets make it abundantly clear that we need to find a way to drastically reduce atmospheric carbon.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Rising Emissions are Exhausting our Carbon Budgets

Greenhouse gas emissions are rising and our carbon budget* is dwindling. Between 2014 and 2016, global carbon emissions remained mostly flat, but emissions began to rise again in 2017. They rose in 2018, and there is good reason to believe they have risen again in 2019. According to the UN's 10th Emissions Gap Report, global emissions are expected to keep climbing putting us on track to push past dangerous upper threshold temperature limits.

A report from the Global Carbon Project, expects that emissions from industrial activities and the burning of fossil fuels will add an estimated 36.8 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 2019. They predict that as of the end of 2019 the total carbon emissions from all human activities, including agriculture and land use, will likely cap off at about 43.1 billion tons.

Monday, January 6, 2020

The Climate Leadership of German Chancellor Angela Merkel

German German Chancellor Angela Merkel proves that major industrial powers can also be climate leaders. Merkel stands out in stark contrast to nations failing to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The climate failure of the political regimes in the U.S., Australia, and Brazil are highlighted by wildfires.

Merkel is the polar opposite of U.S. president Donald Trump, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and Brazilian President Jair Bolsanaro. She has a long history of environmental advocacy which has earned her the nickname of "climate chancellor". She holds a doctorate in quantum chemistry and is a former research scientist so it should come as no surprise that her approach is science-based. Her first portfolio was that of minister of the environment. In 2005 she became Germany's first female chancellor and in 2011 she launched an energy transition policy called energiewend which is moving the country away from fossil fuels and nuclear energy towards renewable sources of energy.

Event - WFES Future Sustainability Summit

WFES Future Sustainability Summit will take place on January 13 – 16, 2020 at the National Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The theme for the event is rethinking global consumption, production and investment. Attending the Summit gives you a unique opportunity to network directly with the key market players who are redefining the way we do business, create policies and develop communities.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Event - WFES Smart Cities Expo & Forum

WFES Smart Cities Expo & Forum will take place on January 13 – 16, 2020 at the National Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The Smart Cities Expo & Forum is where the city of the future comes to life, bringing forward-thinking governments and municipalities together with pioneers in smart infrastructure, future transportation and next-generation building technology to develop the potential of connected communities – from sustainable planning to smart mobility.

Event - WFES Solar Expo & Forum

The WFES Solar Expo & Forum will take place on January 13 – 16, 2020 at the National Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The Solar Expo & Forum keeps you in touch with the latest trends, deals, innovations and opportunities in Solar PV, Solar Thermal and Energy Storage. Bringing the world’s engineering companies, technology providers and pioneering financiers with the region’s utilities and governments together, it is Solar’s leading MENA marketplace.