Sunday, November 29, 2020

Online Event - From Paris to 2030

From Paris to 2030 is a free live virtual event that is taking place December 9, 2020. Five years after the landmark Paris climate agreement, most countries remain far behind on meeting their 2030 emission-reduction targets, and will now have to double or even triple their commitments in order to prevent dangerous levels of global warming this century. 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

What we can Learn from the Pilgrims this Thanksgiving

The origins of Thanksgiving date back to a 1621 feast in which the Wampanoag people helped the Pilgrims to survive in the New World. We can draw inspiration and wisdom from the plight of the first English settlers who colonized this country.  If we peel back the sanitized renditions of this narrative we are confronted by unspeakable hardships. These settlers were ravaged by malnutrition and disease and most did not survive their first winter.  

This year the COVID-19 pandemic makes this a Thanksgiving like no other.  While many Americans are heeding advisories from public health officials and foregoing the usual gatherings, others see this as a political issue that infringes on their personal freedoms. This is a nation that is divided even on issues as fundamental as managing a deadly virus. 

The early settlers overcame division with the help of the Mayflower Compact.  This was a set of rules for self-governance established by the English settlers who traveled to the New World on the Mayflower.  Forty-one men signed the Compact and only nine did not sign it.. It was America's first governing document and a testament to the importance of agreement. 

As we look back on 2020 it would be easy to dismiss it as a year from hell. However, despite the devastation we have much to be thankful for not the least of which is renewed interest in America's democracy. More Americans voted in the 2020 election than ever before.  An unprecedented 80 million voters elected Joe Biden defeating the incumbent by a margin of almost 7 million votes (which is 17 million more votes than the incumbent received in 2016).  Perhaps most importantly America's institutions held despite four years of dystopian darkness and a flagrant attempt to subvert democracy from within.  

like the Pilgrims our survival depends on our ability to come together. This Thanksgiving many good people are asking how we can move forward? Part of the answer can be found in America\s founding agreements. There are also some improbable issues that can help to unite us.  

For most Americans the destruction of the natural world is a shared concern. Although climate action has devolved into a partisan issue, polls show that both sides of the political divide value the environment and both sides want to see more government action. As with the Mayflower Compact there have always been some who will object, but as repeatedly stated in America's venerable political documents, they cannot be allowed to override the will of the people.  

Fostering a shared basis of understanding starts by shedding light on disinformation especially the untruths that emanate from the bully pulpit of the  presidency. Even here there is reason for optimism as his brand may already be waning along with his influence

A new vision is taking hold. as evidenced by an election in which Americans rejected demagoguery and voted for a leader who pays heed to the facts,  People are becoming increasingly concerned about unprecedented storms and fires and they are worried for their children's futures. President-elect Biden has vowed to act on climate change.  His plan prioritizes climate action and promises to provide millions of good jobs. 

America arose out of the most horrific adversity starting with the arrival of the Mayflower. So while the COVID-19 pandemic is both a national tragedy and a national disgrace, it can be a womb as well as a tomb.  The upside is that this devastating virus may teach us something that the pilgrims knew almost 400 years ago. Coming together under the leadership of good men like William Bradford and William Brewster made them stronger. Like them we can come together to build a better world by turning all our suffering and death into a paradigm changing tipping point


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

COVID-19 and Other Crises Reviewed in a Year Over Year Assessment of GHG Emissions

There have been at least three times that we have seen reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic is also expected to cause a decrement in emissions. The virus has caused a 17 percent reduction in atmospheric carbon emissions during parts of this year and may decrease CO2 emissions by 4.2-7.5 percent in 2020 compared to 2019. These estimates from the United Nations' World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) are yet to be confirmed but they corroborate earlier data that shows the COVID-19 pandemic has driven down GHG emissions. This was initially observed in China as the first nation in the world to be stricken with the virus. As the virus spread around the world, we saw similar reductions in emissions in other countries. In previous years we have seen reductions in emissions correlated with economic crises and other factors. Some excellent data elucidating this trend comes from the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). This organization launched a research programme dedicated to studying the phenomenon of global change. The data collected by the IGBP has been compiled in a table (see left) that helps us to seen to monitor year over year changes in GHG emissions.

A review of the IGBP data reveals that we have seen at least three years when emissions declined in recent years. Negative values can be seen in 1982, 1992 and 1996. The negative index values in 1982 reflect the demise of the Soviet Union. In 1992 carbon emission hit a 20-year low due to three factors: A mild winter, reduced demand for gasoline and, most significantly, a drop in coal-fired electricity generation because of historically low natural gas prices. The negative values in 1996 are due to a slowing economy associated with the Asian financial crisis.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Trump’s Coup Attempt and his Scorched Earth Policy

U.S. president Donald Trump and his allies are doing everything they can to tie President-Elect Joe Biden's hands before he is inaugurated. They seem intent on burning down the house as part of a scorched earth policy designed to make life as difficult as possible for the incoming administration. They are poisoning people with baseless accusations of electoral fraud and impropriety, while resisting science based action to combat COVID-19.  They are firing key personnel, hiring loyalists, announcing sanctions, withdrawing troops and rattling the sabers of war.  All the while they are continuing their assaults on environmental protections and climate action.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Trump is no Kingmaker

Many predict that U.S. President Donald Trump will be a kingmaker, however, there is more than ample reason to suggest that his brand is dying. Exhibit one is the million MAGA march in Washington DC on Saturday November 14. Attendance at this event was more than 980,000 short of the million people the White House had hoped for.  The administration lied about attendance in even more spectacular fashion than they lied about crowd size at Trump's inauguration

Monday, November 16, 2020

Online Event - IRSEC 2020

The 8th edition of IRSEC  will take place from 25 to 28 November 2020. This edition is focusing on workshops, totally online, and free of charge. A rich and varied scientific program is expected. Several workshops and special sessions are scheduled. November,  23 and 24 will be consecrated to Tutorials and other IRSEC activities.. Keynote talks in Workshops and Special Sessions will tackle cutting-edge technologies and hot topics related to Renewable Energy, Energy Storage, and Energy efficiency.  More than thirty confirmed international experts from 17 countries will present the latest news in the fields of Renewable Energy, Energy Storage, and Energy efficiency. In addition, a virtual exhibition is prepared to host national and international industrials.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Online Event - MaRS Impact Week 2020

The first-ever MaRS Impact Week will take place from November 39 - December 4, 2020 and it will tackle some of society's greatest challenges — from smart cities and climate moonshots to ESG investing and creating a fairer version of capitalism. This five day immersive online event is Canada's leading conference. It is for people who believe that innovation can create a better world 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Environmental Plebiscites: Municipal Referendums and State Ballot Initiatives

The November 3rd election not only elected an environmentally responsible president it also gave Americans a chance to vote on environmental issues in five state ballots and two city referendums. Americans  weighed-in on clean energy, fossil fuels and wildlife.

Issue 1 referendum in Columbus, Ohio asked the electorate in that state to vote on whether they want to the city to run on 100% renewable energy by 2022. It gives the government the power to buy renewable electricity for residents of Columbus (passed).

Measure 4 in East Brunswick, New Jersey asked voters to decide if they want to give residents and businesses access to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 (passed).

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Polls Suggest that Climate Action could Unite Americans

Americans desperately need to find common ground and climate science may prove to be a catalyst that helps to bring people together. Despite deep divisions there is reason to believe that the environment is a shared concern that can foster unity. We are seeing increasing support for climate action in the U.S. including the Green New Deal  This is due at least  in part to COVID-19. A poll from the Yale Program for Climate Communication indicated that 70 percent of voters favor federal stimulus funding for clean energy rather than fossil fuels.  In 2019 it was becoming clear that Americans were increasingly at odds with their government on climate action and in 2020 climate change was a ballot box issue that contributed to president-elect Joe Bidens decisive victory.  

Monday, November 9, 2020

Virtual Event - Big Path Capital’s Company Showcase

This free virtual event will take place on Tuesday, November 17, from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM ET. This event is an opportunity for institutional investors, family offices, funds, investment advisors, and foundations to hear from pimpact and sustainable private companies including the 10 best-in-class impact companies. This event will focus on pre-screened companies that are generating returns and creating impact. Throughout the program, the format provides opportunities to meet CEOs. Big Path Capital has worked with over 50 Impact Private companies. In our twelve-year history, over 5,000 Impact Investors have attended Big Path events.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Biden is the Last Great Hope for our Planet

Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States and this could pull us back from the precipice and change the course of history. The former vice president garnered more votes than any candidate since the dawn of the republic more than two centuries ago.  A Biden presidency will preserve democracy and return the U.S. to a fact-based approach to governance. Science will once again take its rightful place informing policy including national efforts to manage COVID-19. However, the most important corollary of this election may be reviving hope that we can act in time to preserve the future of life on the planet.  President-elect Biden's platform includes the most ambitious climate action plan every put forward by a major U.S. party. This election was timely as we are teetering on the cusp of the collapse of civilization and our window of opportunity to act is rapidly closing. A 2018 report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the world has less than a decade to slash greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the most disastrous climate impacts. 

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Virtual Event - The Battery Show Digital Days Expo 2020

The Battery Show Digital Days expo will take place on November 10-12. At this show participants well get insights, contacts, and suppliers to help propel your career forward. you access to the latest products from some of the top-industry suppliers, networking activities, as well as educational opportunities. 

The features of this show include virtual booths that will showcase hundreds of exhibitor. These booths will have easy-to-find products and services.