Thursday, March 26, 2020

Coronavirus Augurs Hope for Climate Action

The coronavirus will augur change and while it is far too early to say with any certainty, it may very well drive the kind of radical transformation that we need to address the climate crisis. People are coming together to face this modern day plague.  We are seeing a return to multilateralism and perhaps even a reversal of the trend towards increasing polarization. In the first few weeks of the pandemic we also began to see a reduction in climate change causing emissions.

To be clear we have little reason to celebrate at present.  Health care systems are being overwhelmed and people are sick and dying. To make matters worse this pandemic is unfolding against the backdrop of the Trump administration's tragic mishandling of the crisis and a global economic meltdown. The stock markets are experiencing unprecedented volatility and U.S. job losses have spiked to a record 3.3 million making recession a virtual certainty.

However, amidst the pain and suffering we are seeing glimmers of hope. The pandemic has encouraged people to once again appreciate the value of expertise and the importance of science. We can expect renewed interest in fact-based decision making and this may arrest anti-science politics in the U.S.

The global pandemic gives us an opportunity to reconsider the myopia of our propensity to avoid long term thinking and planning.  It is not unreasonable to assume that global efforts to combat the coronavirus will contribute to renewed interest in climate action. We have been repeatedly warned that we must act to avert this crisis. It stands to reason that we may see an increase in support for efforts to avert the most serious global threat humanity has ever faced.

In recent weeks we have stood together to fight this pandemic, there is no reason why we cannot do the same to engage the climate crisis. COVID-19 could be the shock we need to finally get serious about combating climate change.

We are on the cusp of a climate catastrophe and we must act quickly if we are to avoid surpassing upper threshold temperature limits from which we may not be able to recover. Climate change is the cause of a wide range of diseases and other health concerns. Acting on climate change is about staving off a catastrophe that represents an existential threat to life on earth.

Managing the economic consequences of this pandemic will require a rethink of some basic economic values. Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures.  We need a coordinated global response that will take us into the next century and it should be obvious that business as usual won't do. If we reconsider the de-regulatory mayhem that resulted in the financial meltdown of 2008 and the insanity of deregulation under the Trump administration, we may be able to change our perilous course. 

As we are forced to deal with recession we will have to carefully consider the kind of economic stimulus we will apply. It is reasonable to assume that governments will heed the economic case for climate action. The economic benefits of climate action combined with the disincentive of  economic collapse if we fail to act, make a compelling case that will be hard to ignore.

Any serious climate action starts with a reappraisal of our energy landscape. Even before the pandemic hit the oil and gas industry was on life support. We need to acknowledge that the dirty energy industry is being abandoned by investors, banks and insurance companies. Rather than trying to prop-up a dying industry governments need to prepare for the way for the kinds of energy that can safely power our future. Clean energy is vital to our future as it will both grow the economy and provide millions of good jobs. The auto industry will be hit hard by the economic downturn, however, with the appropriate government support this could be an opportunity to transition away from the combustion engine. We need to come to terms with the reality that the benefits of climate action far outweigh the costs.

Resistance to the economic reality comes from politicians that are beholden to the old energy industry. However, this pandemic may signal the end of the fossil fuel powered politics of both Trump and the Republican party.  After decades of deceiving the American public, the American electorate could bring the GOP's corruption to an end.

Our times challenge some longstanding principles that are at the core of western civilization and the virus may cause more people to question our market driven economy.  We need government support to keep the economy from completely collapsing and government stimulus packages should include efforts to retool the economy to prepare for the world of tomorrow. This should include massive investments in clean energy like wind and solar energy. It must also include carbon removal technologies like direct air capture (DAC) and carbon capture and sequestration or (CCS). These so called negative emissions technologies may be our last hope of reigning in climate change.

We need to see an end to business as usual and this pandemic might very well be the catalyst for the kind of change we need to see.  This may include structural changes to our economy. .We are already seeing behavioral changes as less people travel and more people are working from home. If nothing else the reaction to COVID-19 shows us that rapid global change is possible.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg denounced governments for taking urgent action against the coronavirus outbreak but failing to treat global warming as an emergency. "It is shameful that for so long the climate and environmental emergency has been ignored. We are still in a crisis that has never once been treated like a crisis," Thunberg said.

Her logic is sound and if reason prevails COVID-19 could bring about an unprecedented paradigm shift. However, there are some dark days ahead. This pandemic is far from over, and many more will suffer from the disease and the economic aftershocks. As Naomi Klein points out such shocks augur change, sometimes they are for the better and sometimes for the worse.  We need to anticipate the very real possibility that if we let it, COVID-19 and its aftershocks could drain money and political will from climate action. We must not allow restrictive capital markets to prevent the flow of financing for clean technologies. We must also be ever mindful of authoritarian efforts to use the crisis to undermine democracy. Let us hope that this dark period will be a womb and not a tomb.

Coronavirus Stock Losses in 2 days Equal to the Cost of Climate Adaptation for the Next 10 Years
Emissions Reduction from the Coronavirus is Being Undermined by Government Subsidies Trump's Handling of the Coronavirus is a lot like his Climate Strategy
Coronavirus Related Stock Losses in 2 days Equal to the Cost of Climate Adaptation
Coronavirus Reduces China's Emissions by 25 Percent

Saturday, March 21, 2020

The Scourge of Ghost Planes in the Wake of the Coronavirus

Early in March as the coronavirus was breaking and air travel was declining airlines began flying empty planes so that they could keep their flight slots. According to European rules if airlines fail to fly their allocated flights they risk losing their right to fly these routes. These passenger-less flights are being called ghost planes. As a consequence they wasted thousands of gallons of jet fuel and generated emissions that we can ill afford given our dwindling carbon budgets.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Zombie Pathogens and 5 Other Climate Concerns Undermining Human Health

The world is preoccupied with coronavirus, however, our health is also being impacted by climate change in a number of ways. There are a host of serious diseases that are being unleashed as the world continues to warm. Melting ice and rising seas are expected to add to the number of pathogens that undermine human health.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Fossil Fuels are Increasing Emissions and Driving Climate Change

It is important to acknowledge where most of the current emissions come from. The world still gets about 80% of its energy from fossil fuels today which generate the lions share of emissions. According to the EIA, in 2017, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from burning fossil fuels for energy were equal to about 76% of total U.S. anthropogenic GHG emissions (based on global warming potential) and about 93% of total U.S. anthropogenic CO2 emissions. As reported by MIT, as of 2011, the burning of fossil fuels were responsible for more than 36.6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution (MIT, 2012). We continue to burn fossil fuels at a prodigious rate.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Climate Related Excerpts from the March 15th Democratic Presidential Debate between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders

Here are the climate related excerpts from the CNN Univision Democratic Presidential Debate between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders that took place on March 15, 2020 in Washington DC. The debate was moderated by CNN's Jake Tapper, Dana Bash, and Univision’s Ilia Calderón.  Although the coronavirus was predominate theme in the debate, more than 12 minutes were devoted to climate change and fossil fuels. Here is the full summary:

Monday, March 16, 2020

Emission Reductions from the Coronavirus are Being Undermined by Government Subsidies

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 4,000 people and infected more than 120,000, but on the upside it is cutting global carbon emissions for the first time in more than a decade. In China we have seen emissions fall by 25 percent (200 megatonnes of CO2). We are seeing a tremendous decline in emissions intensive air travel (global air traffic decreased by 4.3% in February) and a looming recession could decrease fossil fuel consumption and resultant emissions just like we saw in the recession of 2008-2008.

Whether or not the coronavirus has long-term impacts depends on what we do. Subsidies, such as those that prop-up the fossil fuel industry will exacerbate the problem. The key question is will we go back to business as usual or will we take this opportunity to get serious about climate action. If the past is any indication of the future it is likely that we will ramp up carbon intensive activity once this crisis abates. If we do this then the future is grim. However, there is a small chance that this may give us pause for refection and perhaps even augur change.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Event - Impact Investing Forum 2020 (West Palm Beach)

Opal Group's 5th annual Impact Investing Forum will take place on March 29, 2020 - March 31, 2020 at the Hilton West Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, FL.

Impact investing is an approach that seeks to create positive social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Today, we see an increase in companies proving that mission-driven and communication based strategy, can attract value based workforce, investor base, and like-minded consumer. Impact investing strategies are also proving to be able to generate returns in line to their traditional counterparts. Over the next four decades, it is estimated that over $41+ trillion will transfer from baby boomers to Millennials. As we move to the next generation of investors, we are going to find companies aligning their beliefs, operation, and communication strategies with that of the Millennials. The Impact Investing Forum will look at many of the asset classes that encompass this space.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Two Climate Pledges Honoring the Paris Climate Agreement

Businesses have signed two climate promises in recent years. The most recent is the Climate Pledge which was founded by Amazon along with Global Optimism an organization founded by Christiana Figueres, the UN’s former climate change chief and Tom Rivett-Carnac, a former senior advisor to the Executive Secretary at the UN Climate Convention.  As part of his work with the UN, Carnac developed the political strategy for the landmark Paris Climate Agreement.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Trump's Mishandling of the Coronavirus is a lot like his Climate Strategy

U.S. President Donald Trump did not cause the Coronavirus just like he did not invent hate or the climate crisis, but he does have an extraordinary aptitude for making bad situations worse. More than 1000 Americans are known to have the virus but that number is likely far higher as tests are in short supply. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) only slightly more than 8,000 Coronavirus tests have been administered in the U.S. to date. The WHO offered the administration a test a month ago but Trump refused it. This has led many people to conclude that this administration may be trying to minimize the number of tests available to keep the numbers artificially low.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Female Investors Make More Money by Caring about People and the Planet

Women control $14 trillion of personal wealth in the U.S. and they are an important part of the rapidly growing impact investing market. According to the Global Impact Investing Network (GINN) the size of the impact investing market doubled between 2017 and 2018 to $228 billion in assets under management.

The investing community is still very much a male dominated world.  Between 80 and 90 percent of hedge fund managers, financial advisors, and traders are male. However, this is changing as illustrated by the recently launched Impactive Capital LP,  whose co-founders are two women by the name of Christian Asmar and Lauren Taylor Wolfe. Their ESG focused fund launched with $250 million from the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, or CalSTRS.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Why the Climate Movement Needs Women in Positions of Political Power

Countries with female political leaderships adopt more stringent climate change policies, so if we had more women heads of state we could expect to see more ambitious actions. This is the conclusion of a 2018 study which demonstrated that female politicians are better climate leaders than their male counterparts.

We are seeing an increasing number of women assuming positions of political leadership all around the world. In 2017 Iceland elected the Green Movement's Katrín Jakobsdóttir who is working to make Iceland a global climate leader.

Friday, March 6, 2020

28 Posts Commemorating the Seminal Efforts of Female Environmentalists

March 8 is International Women's Day, and this is a day to honor all the women who have contributed to environmental stewardship around the world. However, this year we are forced to acknowledge that women are increasingly being targeted by a growing chorus of misogynistic voices.

In the era of trump sexism is thriving. The despicable abuse hurled at global climate icon Greta Thunberg by world leaders is a deplorable case in point.  The problem extends well beyond world leaders as demonstrated by the U.N. Development Program's Gender Social Norms Index in which nearly 90 percent of respondent indicated that they harbor some type of bias against women.

As explained by Nina Munteanu in a Vancouver Sun article, the reason that conservative men are so negatively disposed towards female environmentalists is because these women threaten their gender identity. She illustrated the link between climate-denial and misogyny by citing an August 2019 article by Martin Gelin which explains that attacks against Greta are "consistent with a growing body of research linking gender reactionaries to climate-denialism."

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Using the Courts to Challenge the Trump Administration's Environmental Assaults

Trump's disdain for the environment is being challenged by those who refuse to submit to this administration's autocratic rule. Although Trump is actively subverting constitutional constraints to embolden his bid to hold on power, organizations like the NRDC and the Sierra Club are leveraging the courts to push back against this administration's environmental assaults

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The Economic Opportunities Associated with Carbon Removal

Technologies that draw-down carbon represent a massive economic opportunity. The global carbon capture and sequestration market is projected to reach USD 8.05 billion by 2021, representing a compounded annual growth rate of 13.6 percent from 2016 to 2021. According to some estimates carbon capture and utilization (CCU)** alone will be a $1 trillion market by 2030.

There are numerous co-benefits associated with reducing greenhouse gas emissions in addition to climate mitigation. This includes those that improve health. These health co-benefits could be worth $100 US per tonne of CO2 in high-income countries like the U.S. and Canada.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Net Economic Gains from Climate Action

Cost is a commonly cited reason for resistance to climate action, however when we factor co-benefits and the real costs of inaction the logic for action is overwhelming  Research shows that when we include reduced death and disease as well as increased technological innovation and other co-benefits, the costs of climate action offer a  net economic benefit.

When we add up the costs of action and compare them to the costs of inaction the value equation becomes clear.  The benefits of climate action far outweigh the costs.  This includes $160 trillion dollars worth of savings associated with climate action and massive risks associated with inaction.  According to the U.K.’s National Oceanographic Centre, the costs of sea level rise alone could exceed $14 trillion a year by 2100. The costs are already being felt. According to a Nature article, CO2 emissions in 2017, have a global impact of more than $16 trillion.

Monday, March 2, 2020

The Energy End Game: Renewables vs Fossil Fuels

The combination of market forces and changing public sensibilities are driving a major shift in the energy landscape. The need for renewable energy to combat climate change is incontrovertible, while a plethora of warnings tell us that we are rapidly exhausting our carbon budgets. Ending fossil fuels is a mathematical imperative if we are to have a chance of keeping temperatures from rising above the upper threshold limit of 1.5 - 2.0 C.

In 2016 we were already seeing how diminishing profits were contributing to the fall of fossil fuel and the rise of renewables  In 2020 the momentum away from fossil fuels is undeniable. They are being shunned by investors, insurance companies and banks. Fossil fuels are approaching the end of their life cycle while renewables are becoming increasingly attractive due to the declining cost of solar and storage.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Events - SUSTAINATOPIA 2020 Series (Los Angeles, New York, Boulder and Vancouver)

SUSTAINATOPIA 2020 Series will take place in Los Angeles · New York · Boulder · Vancouver. Impacting the World for GOOD for more than 11 Years. Founded in 2009, SUSTAINATOPIA remains one of the leading events in the world for social, financial and environmental sustainability & impact. Attendees have participated from more than 60 countries. Consisting of both a mega-conference and a broad-ranging Festival, SUSTAINATOPIA brings together the global ecosystem of social, financial and environmental sustainability & impact like no other singular event. Over 3,500 expert speakers have participated since 2009 and record attendance is expected the 2020.

Workshop - Supporting the Deployment of Renewable Energy in the Caribbean

The workshop "Supporting the deployment of bankable renewable energy projects in the Caribbean" will take place on March 15 – 18, 2020 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In recent years, a range of stakeholders, including governments, development banks and official development assistance providers have made significant efforts to foster the inclusion of renewable energy in the Caribbean. These efforts include comprehensive planning processes, sectorial roadmaps and in some countries the adjustment of the institutional and regulatory framework. While these actions are key, there is a need to move from planning to action and thus to support the development of bankable renewable energy projects in the Caribbean.

Friday, February 28, 2020

The Heartland Institute's Answer to Greta

To counter the appeal of Greta Thunberg the fossil fuel funded Heartland Institute has hired a young German women by the name of Naomi Seibt. The institute is known for its disinformation efforts including targeting public school children with "educational" materials that misrepresent the facts about climate change.  Like Seibt, Heartland casts aspersions on science, sews doubt and muddies the waters to weaken support for climate action.. "Climate change alarmism at its very core is a despicably anti-human ideology," she has said.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Coronavirus Related Stock Losses in 2 days Equal to the Cost of Climate Adaptation for the Next 10 Years

Stock market losses associated with Coronavirus (COVID-19) equals the cost of climate adaption over the next decade.  Standard and Poor's 500 recorded a $1.7 trillion loss in two days of trading due to Coronavirus. This is roughly equivalent to the estimated cost of climate adaption until 2030. This according to a 2019 report from the Global Commission on Adaptation which is led by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, World Bank chief executive Kristalina Georgieva and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates as well as and 31 other world leaders.

The report indicated that investing $1.8 trillion in climate adaptation could yield benefits worth more than $7 trillion. This involves investments in warning systems, infrastructure, agriculture, mangroves, and water. They say these investments would provide a "triple dividend" that includes avoiding future losses, generating positive economic gains through innovation, and delivering social and environmental benefits. All together this dividend is valued at $7.1 trillion.

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.

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.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Coronavirus Reduces China's Emissions by 25 Percent

Corornavirus (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.