Tuesday, December 18, 2012

NextEra Energy Resources commissions its 10,000th megawatt of wind energy - 12/18/12

NextEra Energy Resources commissions its 10,000th megawatt of wind energy - 12/18/12:

NextEra (FPL by an older name) now produces enough Wind Power to run a city the size of Chicago, or it will.

Rather cool is to check out the company's Sustainability Report. http://www.nexteraenergy.com/news/index.shtml

This will give you an indication of what power generation companies should be talking about in terms of their production capacity and their carbon footprint.

For example:
"In 2011, 52 million tons of CO2 avoided
from zero-emitting generation and
customer energy efficiency programs."
And, compared to the industry, FPL -- I mean NextEra -- had:
"90% lower SO2 emissions,
80% lower NOx emissions, and
51% lower CO2 emissions."

This is compared to the industry, so the "industry, may or may not be pretty...
By NextEra is looking pretty pretty, by comparison.

It appears that this will put NextEra firmly in the leadership position of Wind Generation in the USA.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Better BTU Blog: Global Climate Change Summit Brings Questions of America’s Role in Reversing Carbon Trends

Better BTU Blog: Global Climate Change Summit Brings Questions of America’s Role in Reversing Carbon Trends:

Great article on the point that no government is leading on sustainability, at least in terms of those countries that count, namely the US, China and maybe India.

It is amazing and surprising that conservation and energy efficiency (EE) efforts don't move forward even without any government assistance or encouragement. A kilowatt or gallon never used is one that never had to be produced, distributed, and consumed. At least up to a point, the costs associated with EE can be very small with a ROI in months, not years. Then those efficiency savings can be realized for years to come... (And oh, by the way, it helps out the environment as well, now and in the future.)

Of course we can do some of this stuff later today or tomorrow. The low-lying fruit would be so easy to start picking at.

Getting started with or without government help (involvement) seems to be the first order of business. Savings this year that will be realized each year thereafter...

... This is a (Christmas) gift that keeps on giving...


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Energy and Ecology: Comparison of global CO2 emissions estimates by GCP, IEA, BP, EDGAR, and US EIA (1990-2012)

Energy and Ecology: Comparison of global CO2 emissions estimates by GCP, IEA, BP, EDGAR, and US EIA (1990-2012):

Here is a cool chart of the estimates for global carbon emissions.

It shows the estimates from various sources and proves an interesting view as to high and low estimates.

So we are probably at about 35B tonnes per year. The increase doesn't look like it is planing off any time soon though, no matter which way you measure it.

'via Blog this'

The global energy challenge: Awash with carbon : Nature News & Comment

The global energy challenge: Awash with carbon : Nature News & Comment:

Happy days, all you can eat at the energy banquet.

Or would that be happy daze.:-(

This is a great visual summary from the article in 2-page brochure and graphics of our fuel consumption ways.

Note how much China has passed the USA and how much of Chinese energy is from coal.


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Fracking is unearthing surprise bacteria | Health, Medical, and Science Updates

Fracking is unearthing surprise bacteria | Health, Medical, and Science Updates:


I'm not sure that many of us have been thinking about this? What is living in the oil and gas before we extract it from the wells?

This study starts to bring that to the (fore)ground. It is interesting that some of these guys do better, much better, related to the fracking process and/or being brought to the surface.

Hmmm... And I always thought the the main risks from fracking were: water contamination and possibly the increased chance for earthquakes.?

'via Blog this'

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Sustainable Walmart...

Check out the Corporate Responsibility Report by Walmart for 2012. http://www.walmartstores.com/sites/responsibility-report/2012/pdf/wmt_2012_grr.pdf

This is very impressive. It not only includes such things as Energy and Carbon Footprint from all of Walmart's stores, it also addresses the impact of the products and foods from suppliers and how sustainable they are.

Walmart's goals of renewable energy are pretty impressive, but they step up and state the long-term obvious: the long-term goal is 100% renewable energy.

They are moving toward more local suppliers (for foods) which also means they will have a lot more suppliers. They are moving toward all suppliers reporting on their carbon footprint (and water footprint).

One of the things I really like it that they focus on 10 areas that they think are the most important. Some should help the bottom-line directly, others only long-term or indirectly. Still, they seem to be an impressive, yet target-able  set of objectives. This fits very well into the Triple Bottom-Line of Sustainability.

Note the need for reporting all along the value chain.

Note the need for education & training all along the value chain.

[With all that Walmart does well/right, there are still some who complain and criticize. More on this view in another post.]

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rising ocean acidity tips delicate balance | TBO.com

Rising ocean acidity tips delicate balance | TBO.com:

There are lots of reasons to be concerned about rising ocean acidity. If it kills one year's generation of oysters, that is disquieting. If it starts to kill of the next year, and the next year, that is a disaster.

The kill off of the ocean reefs, pretty much world-wide, is in part because of ocean acidifciation. An estimate of 10% of ocean reefs are dead with some 60% at risk. That should rise to 90% and essentially 100% at risk by 2030 and 2050, respectively. Most of that impact is human caused, and a big part of that is fossil fuel related.

The greenhouse gases raise the air temperatures (again, the big debate is about how much and how fast). The oceans raise in temperature at a much delayed rate, especially deep ocean. So it may be years or decades before ocean temperature rises are felt from the time of increase in air temperatures.

But the other impact is directly from CO2 emissions. Land and water masses absorb the CO2 from the atmosphere. Maybe 30 to 40% go into water, mainly oceans. This ocean sink of carbon dioxide make the water more acidic. This in turn causes lots of problems for shell fish, coral reefs, etc...

Double whammy for the oceans.

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Why the Mail on Sunday was wrong to claim global warming has stopped... Ice cold debate

Why the Mail on Sunday was wrong to claim global warming has stopped | Environment | guardian.co.uk:

The Guardian comes back with a strong argument against the David Rose article in the Daily Mail on Oct 20, 2012.  David argues that there has been only a very small increase in global surface temperatures for the 16 years ending in 2011. Not as much, certainly, as expected, by forecasts.

First, no one anywhere can deny climate change. Higher highs, lower lows, and more extreme temperatures, pretty much everywhere. All of the places I travel (in the US and most of the places I read about and talk to people from) have been exhibiting extremes almost every year. Often the 100-year extremes have been reached a couple times over the last couple years!:-) Ouch.

The chilling goosebumps should come out on anyone who starts to check out the arctic ice caps. Much of the north pole was navigable this summer by ship, something that no researchers forecasted last century, they expected it about 2050 or later. The recession of the Arctic ice seems to be happening at a faster and faster pace.

James Hansen gives a simple but visual image of the warming of our planet. See this blog post here.

Richard Muller, the last skeptic of the climatologists, recently published research that was funded by the right-leaning Koch brothers. (I refuse to call them "conservative" because it debases the word.) In the first report Muller found that there is, in fact, global warming. In the second report he found that humans appear to be almost entirely the cause.

Carbon Dioxide has increased in the atmosphere in a direct match with the industrialization of the world and also with the increase of the population. But, if you look at the earth's systems as, well, systems, it is impossible to believe the the massive buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere would have not effect... And that many of those effects would not be adverse.

Given that we know CO2 has a long persistence, say 100 years, in the atmosphere, it should make a sane man nervous... very nervous.

Ignoring the facts, is a long distance from being helpful in any way.

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The next crisis: Sponging boomers | The Economist

The next crisis: Sponging boomers | The Economist:

The math is ugly. This is a great article that summarized some really big key issues that arise from the generational move of the Boomers into retirement. BoomAge could be the syndrome.

Those age 65 or older are expected to consume about $333B more in benefits/services than they paid in taxes. No worries, let's let our kids and grandkids take care of that bill.

And the bad thing about doing nothing (gridlock and more) is that it simply delays the solution and compounds the impact.

Some really cool (ugly really, but interesting) stats are the impact that inflation has had on the US national debt. The young, with debt, benefit from inflation. Older, with savings, get hit. The voting and politically active retirees will increase by almost 10% to 26% of the voters and will have time to push for services, benefits and low inflation.

Social Irresponsibility: Debt, Population, Inflation, Politics, gridlock, Boomers, Boomage

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In China, an underground luxury hotel | SmartPlanet

In China, an underground luxury hotel | SmartPlanet:

Wow. Don't know if we should be happy or sad about this resort project.

Kind of makes you wonder how and why this massive hole in the ground was constructed as a by product of the need for resources?

Good. This should start to make miners think hard about the use of the land when done. The open-pit mines for ore and oil and coal might start to design their end-game for the land as they dig and truck.

So, is this a resort that you wanna go visit? That's the Billion Yuan question?

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bill Gates Helps Reinvent the Toilet - Earth911.com - Poo Power

Bill Gates Helps Reinvent the Toilet - Earth911.com:

I know what you're thinking, when you contemplate the power of poo. You're thinking about Winnie the Pooh. Right.  "You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes." Winnie famously said... Talking about going out and making a difference.

Apparently the same can be said for poo. We need to take new and better toilets to the masses of people, 2.5B or so, that do not have clean sanitation. And you use that same poop and pee-power toilet to generate  poop and pee-power. Something you would want to call Poop-Pee Power, I'm sure.

Processing it and storing the "fuel" (methane?) can then be used for power. Fuel cell for on demand, when needed,no moving parts, power seems logical. A requirement is that the final outputs must be power and hydrogen. Bill Gates says in the press release related to the challenge/competition:

“Imagine what’s possible if we continue to collaborate, stimulate new investment in this sector, and apply our ingenuity in the years ahead, . . . Many of these innovations will not only revolutionize sanitation in the developing world, but also help transform our dependence on traditional flush toilets in wealthy nations.”

Innovation such as this will bring sanitation, health and power to poor and unclean masses.

No crappy jokes here. (Well, maybe a few.)

This is a great idea, that's a HEAD of its time -- or maybe a little BEHIND the times.

We all really should have done something like this a LONG time ago.
And that's the stinking true of it.

“Innovative solutions change people’s lives for the better,” said foundation Co-chair Bill Gates. “If we apply creative thinking to everyday challenges, such as dealing with human waste, we can fix some of the world’s toughest problems.”

By the world's toughest problems, do you think that Bill thinks we can apply some of such solutions to politics? It seems that PolitiPoo should be especially high-octane and extremely combustible. !:-)

The trick seems to be keeping it out of the fan long enough to harness PolitiPoo power.

'via Blog this'

Ethanol Producer Mag -- Strategies for Collaboration in Innovation

Ethanol Producer Magazine | EthanolProducer.com:

Strategies for Collaboration in Innovation

This is a short, but concise article on collaboration and strategic partnerships in the agrofarm business.

In forming agreements of sole supplier, independent contractor & R&D agreements, it is clear that clairvoyance would be best to make these decisions!:-) 

Unfortunately, in farming, as in many things in life, you make your bets in advance when you make your agreements and when you sow the seeds. And then you wait to see if it was the right bet given the weather appears on the horizon. 

You might hedge your bets with revenue insurance and such, but your bets are pretty well planted in the ground with the seeds.

In this article, it's not so much the farm as the bins to store grains in, but the concepts and strategies still apply.

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Ethanol Producer Magazine

Issuu - bbiinternational - Documents:

Check out issues of Ethanol Producer Magazine... And other Biomass, biodiesel, biomass, biofuel rags. (Reading these online is surprising smooth once you get the swing of it.)

Great info in this month's edition of Ethanol Producer. Because of the trade-off between burning our food (corn) and eating it, the use of corn-ethanol as a fuel is critical. It's especially critical during times of drought. It takes a lot of water to grow corn, and it takes a lot of water to process ethanol.

Ethanol is down, corn-based ethanol is down, exports are down, etc.

But what's interesting is the field tests (pun intended) of new corn crops that are more drought tolerant.

If you haven't yet ventured off into this genre of magazines, you will find it very interesting and surprisingly relevant. Relevant, if you drive, if you eat food, if you have interests in the economy. . .

Make no doubt about it, the drought is gonna impact us all in food, fuel and more, for at least the next couple years. What we have just learned this year about droughts will be useful for the rest of the world, too, in seasons to come.

Hang on for the bumpy ride.

'via Blog this' (also blogged at IPZine)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dirty little Coal secrets... shhh .... Talking Tr-Ash...

Sustainability eMagazine

If you have never done so, you want to visit the EarthJustice site about coal ash: http://earthjustice.org/our_work/campaigns/coal-ash-contaminates-our-lives

And what you want to do, is visit this site every time you see one of these sweet and pretty ads about "Clean Coal".

Admittedly, the EarthJustice takes the other side of this far, very far-from-clean, source of energy. However, coal produces half of the electric power in the US. Well, all right, now only about 34%. But that "cheap" energy has a lot to do with the high quality of life that we all enjoy. It also does not get credit for the hidden costs it presents to the environment and to personal health.

Back to the dirty little secret of Coal Ash. Remember the Ash trashing by TVA in 2008. The damage is into the billions of dollars and climbing. And it has not been cleaned up. All those heavy metals in the ash down a couple rivers. Sadly, that's a gift that keeps on giving.

Heavy metals include lead, mercury, arsenic and more. Sulfur, lots of sulfur. They can have traces of radiation. We, in the US, tend to want to clean most of these by-products from this soot from the smoke. Other countries like India and China, not so much so.

And we have these ash build-ups all over the world.... And the mountains are growing.

Here's just one source on the running costs and litigation at ABC News.

Of course is the worst fossil fuel, by far, in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

We don't need to burn that dirty coal, better simply to ship it to China and India and let them burn it there. No harm done in that.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hain up about 20% on great earnings?

Hain Celestial (HAIN) was way up today on great earnings... That's right, the high end and heathy food company. Shouldn't they be getting crushed on the high prices from the great drought of 2012?

Healthy eating is "not a fad, not a trend", according to CEO Simon. Consumption of the category is up 14%, vs about 1% on the main stream food categories.

Of course the super fast growth of Whole Foods doesn't hurt, but HAIN is growing like mad in Walmart, Costco,and ... wait for it ... Amazon!
Organic chips, Sleepy Time tea and a book, why not?

97% are GMO free.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Happiness Happens Month... Diversity... Innovation..

Happiness Happens Month
This month is Happiness Happens Month.  http://sohp.com/society-celebrations/happiness-happens-month/

Sponsored by the Secret Society of Happy People. www.SOHP.com

The idea is that everybody complains about stuff, but we should have a day (Aug 8) and a month (August) where people don’t complain. Nobody talks about being sick or discriminated against or …

Well, you get the picture.

BUT, don’t tell anybody, it’s a secret.

Oh, and another secret, It’s rumored that this society has partnered with the National Cannabis Day (April 20) folks, which could be a key ingredient in their perpetual happiness for an entire month each year.:-)

Maybe they’ll expand it to the entire year! HHY.

Shhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t tell anyone.

If every cause has a day, and some causes even have a month and some special causes even have a year, then when are we going to have more than and EarthDay and a Water Day?
Embrace diversity.

Friday, August 17, 2012

AP IMPACT: CO2 emissions in US drop to 20-year low - Yahoo! News

AP IMPACT: CO2 emissions in US drop to 20-year low - Yahoo! News:

CO2 from the US is down. WOW!. See the full EIA report on CO2 Emissions.

The last time we had that was in 2009, we all assumed that was mainly because of the economic slowdown. But apparently, even then, part of it was because of the switching to NatGas.

"[T]he U.S. Energy Information Agency, a part of the Energy Department, said this month that energy related U.S. CO2 emissions for the first four months of this year fell to about 1992 levels. Energy emissions make up about 98 percent of the total."

So the big reasons for the CO2 emissions reduction is primarily because of the switch to NatGas from coal in energy generation! ... The slowing of economic growth down to 1.8% is another reason. 

What's amazing about this is that the switch to natgas is primarily driven by market forces. The power industry has been wining endlessly about the big food of the EPA on the juggler veins of the power industry... and of course the US economy. Yet, the move happened way ahead of schedule. 

Low prices of nat gas make it, well, irresponsible, not to switch to clean gas away from dirty coal.

Health benefits (fewer deaths and injuries in mining). Massive improvement in air and water quality. No coal ash to deal with.

This would all be a good thing, if it weren't for the massive increase in coal consumption from China and India. Where, exactly, is the benefit of us cutting back on coal when we simply ship it to China and they burn it. And they don't worry about scrubbing it as much as we.

China now burns half the coal in the world, and rising quickly.

Sorry for looking good news in the eye and sounding skeptical. We sometimes simply need a little good news here and there and just to enjoy it.

Ahhhh, NatGas, A cleaner addiction to a unsustainable problem.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Social Irresponsibility: Healthcare: Guess What Mitt Romney Once Called 'The Ultimate Conservative Idea'… - Business Insider

Guess What Mitt Romney Once Called 'The Ultimate Conservative Idea'… - Business Insider:

This is a source of interest and entertainment.

Romney is the governor who set up "RomneyCare" in Massachusetts. Apparently, it has been rather successful, incidentally.

The first thing he wants to do as president is kill off the healthcare enacted during Obama's reign, what is unfondly referred to as "ObamaCare".


'via Blog this'

Thursday, August 9, 2012

NASA GISS: Research Links Extreme Summer Heat Events to Global Warming. (It's perception, Toto)

NASA GISS: Research News: Research Links Extreme Summer Heat Events to Global Warming:

Op Ed: We must stop rolling the dice on Global Warming.  (1 page)
Full Paper/Presentation: Perception of climate change. (5.8 mb, PDF)

James Hansen (& Soto & Ruedy, 2012) from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Exploration just completed a big study on world temperature change. This research uses simple, straight forward stats, and our friendly bell-shaped curve from elementary statistics. (It doesn't use the complicated weather modeling with the spaghetti lines that almost no one really understands.)

This is the same Hansen who first really started warning us that the climate has changed in the 1980s...
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."

The graphics are powerful. Watch the the bell-shaped curve of temperatures move distinctly and precipitously to the right, compared to a "normal" 10-year period 30 years ago. And because of more extreme weather, the bell curve has flattened out.

If you are a denier of global warming, you will be very sad about this report.
If you haven't made up your mind about global warming, you shocked by this revelation. And very sad about this report.
If you've been a siren about global warming, this will make you want to cry. But it will also provide some of the most powerful materials ever, to go sound the alarm.

Now your next conversation with God, or a mere mortal, for that matter, might go like this.
"I'm sorry Sir, the patient is getting sick, and running a fever... and the fever is rising...  Yes, there's about 7.1 billion people who are inadvertently, but consistently, poisoning the patient.. No, I'm sorry they don't seem to want to stop doing what they're doing... Why not? ... Well, its a mater of perception!"

Before reading this report consider this. Hansen et al. include the scorcher of a year in 2011 (think Texas and Oklahoma drought), but do not include the record-setting 2012 mega-scorcher.

Related Links:
+ NASA What on Earth blog: The New Climate Dice

Hansen, J., Mki. Sato, and R. Ruedy, 2012a: Perception of climate changeProc. Natl. Acad. Sci., doi:10.1073/pnas.1205276109. Early draft posted as "Public perception of climate change and the new climate dice", arXiv.org:1204.1286.

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Advocacy: Sustainability a 3 part harmony series

Advocacy: Sustainability:

Check out this 3 part series on Sustainability.

Part 1 talks about "What if they are right?"

Part 2 addresses "How we liver our lives?"

Part 3 takes on "A plan for the interim period?"

Basically, what are we gonna do right here, right now.

These are pretty long articles so sit back with a good late' and let it rip.

'via Blog this'

Friday, August 3, 2012

"Humans Are Almost Entirely The Cause Of Climate Change" Richard Muller Former Climate Change Denier - YouTube

"Humans Are Almost Entirely The Cause Of Climate Change" Richard Muller Former Climate Change Denier - YouTube:

This is a very interesting video/news from MoxNews.

The Exxon Valdez has an oil spill, has a name change, has a name change, has a shipwreck, has a name change, and is now being dismantled/retired. The wreck, by any other name, is still Valdez.

NatGas +/-  . . . Not so sure about the Frac'ng story... But hang in there til the end. It is well worth the wait. If it has equal likes and dislikes, then it is probably pretty good!

Richard A. Muller, the last hold out of global warming, has now come out with a book. Once you remove the noise, the level of CO2 matches perfectly with global warming. It is important to know that humans are the cause, probably the primary cause, of global warming. This is good, kind of. "If we cause it, then there's something we can do about it." He didn't think solar variations, volcanic eruptions, el nino, etc., had longer term impacts. "The carbon dioxide curve was right on."

Muller won the MacArthur Genius Grant 30 years ago. He was the last major skeptic on Global Warming. He just completed major research on global warming funded by the Koch Foundation, a ?conservative? group by the Charles G. Koch family, the oil billionair family. Anyone knowing about the funding source, would have been surprised about the results.

He found last year that Global Warming is real.

He now has determined that human activity seems to be the predominant cause. The rise in CO2 matches perfectly with the rise in temperatures. Correlation is not causation, but the correlation is very strong.

Global economic shock to cut back on CO2 emissions? Energy efficiency. And switch away from coal. He suggests NatGas as immediate switch away from coal. NatGas produces 1/3 the level of CO2 as coal. (I'm not so sure about 1/3, I think it is 33% less CO2 than coal per energy equivolent.)

The big thing is that the controversy of Global warming is dead. It's a fact. It appears to be perfectly correlated with human factors that generate greenhouse gases (eCO2). So the next debate (or controversy, maybe) is what are we gonna do about it.???

New version of his book:

'via Blog this'

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ikea starts generating solar power at Tampa store... If Idea can do it...?

Ikea starts generating solar power at Tampa store | TBO.com:

Well, if Ikea can do it, why can the rest of us.

Solar on the roof-tops of buildings (stores and homes) seems like a great way to start cutting back on traditional electricity (~45% coal).

It shouldn't take a Swedish company to tell us (show us, really) what we should be doing to become more sustainable.

Check out their 2011 Sustainability Report.  They are doing energy efficiency and renewable energy, of course. But they also use huge amounts of fabric and wood. See what they are doing with certified wood and sustainable cotton.!:-)

Way to go Ikea!.

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

DOW's Solutionism. !:-)

Dow Solutionism:
This is a very cool concept from DOW.

Solutionism... Kinda a cure for consumerism, where it's all about how much you can consume in your lifetime.

Maybe this should be one of the cures for consumerism, one of the great Social Irresponsibilities?

Interesting idea. Work backwards from each problem -- and the associated solutions to them -- into helping address the root cause of the original problem.

Generally we tend to symptom solutions, not real solutions.

Pretty cool ads for greening up the Olympics as well.:-)

Solutionism. I like it.
'via Blog this'

Friday, June 29, 2012

Social Irresponsibility: Energy and the cost of carbon

These are all part of a dramatic change in the way that we view carbon emissions.

There are three things that are prominently in the news about carbon emissions and addressing them in June of 2012. These are all part of a dramatic change in the way that we view carbon emissions.
  1. Australia is opening up a Carbon Tax at $23 per ton. They are adjusting from the mistakes of Europe when they started cap and trade at too low a price. Undermining the whole process.
  2. In the meanwhile, Texas is opening a market for carbon. The Oil capital of the US is also the largest Wind producer of electricity.
  3. California credit allowances jump in price dramatically.
Generally there are three ways to address the issues associated with externalities caused by carbon emission (and greenhouse gas emissions)

1. Voluntary corporate social responsibility (CSR). Look at Shaklee corporation and Microsoft. Shaklee, a health and nutrition company, is the first company to be certified climate neutral in April 2010. In the meanwhile, Microsoft intends to be carbon neutral by the end of 2013.

2. Cap and Trade exchanges. Texas and California.
a.   Texas is opening a market for carbon. “Bad joke, or perhaps an oxymoron”, right?  Nope, it is the Texas Climate & Carbon Exchange. The Oil capital of the US that produces about 1m barrels of oil per year is also the largest Wind producer of electricity (producing about 6.5m GHw/hr in 2010, nearly twice as much as Kansas). This is one of several exchanges, with the most notable one in the us operating in California.
b.   This headline from Reuters: “California carbon allowances (CCAs) for delivery in 2013 closed at $16.75 per tonne on Thursday, up $1.10 from one week ago on a growing belief that the shutdown of a California nuclear power plant will boost carbon emissions due to higher fossil fuel use.” A 7% jump was followed by $20+ call options that anticipated future CCAs rising aggressively in the future.

3. Tax Mechanism.
The carbon pricing scheme will impose costs on big polluters, which will result in higher end prices for certain products. Treasury estimates that an average family will pay $9.90 more per week in the first year of the scheme’s introduction.” But 9 out of 10 households will get some level of reimbursements “ through personal income tax cuts and increases in pensions and allowances, as well as other measures”. This will already take effect from May-June 2012. Check out the Household Carbon tax estimator for Australia 
a.   What is the Carbon Tax? (Australia):  http://www.carbontax.net.au/category/what-is-the-carbon-tax/ A $23 per ton initial tax on heavy polluters.
c.   Discussion (Australia). Australia is one of the worst (developed countries) for carbon footprint per capita. Unlike Canada (cold) this is partially because of the sprawl of the country and the abundance of fossil fuels. The tax is directly on the producers of carbon (starting with coal) and this tax is applied directly to those impacted. Those households impacted can spend the money any way they want.  The more accurate costs of dirtier energy (coal and oil) will serve to shift prices to cleaner energy.

So, what does this mean? It means that in lots of places and within lots of organizations (and governments) there is a movement toward addressing carbon emissions. Even the glacial movements in the US are starting gain speed, much like the melting glaciers themselves are.

A market mechanism like Australia's seems like an good approach. There is not a massive initial gift of credits to the coal-burning companies. The government doesn't take all the money and run. The market is given an opportunity to improve the costing to accommodate the externalities of fossil fuels.

Let's see how that plays forward? 

Coming soon to an eBook store near you: Social Responsibility by the www.RefractiveThinker.com

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Carbon Disclosure Project Newsletter - Reporting Standard Interface

Carbon Disclosure Project Newsletter - May 2012: "

The Carbon Disclosure Project has introduced a standard reporting format that is similar to the reporting for financials purposes. This should streamline the reporting process and make it easier for organizations to report.

Of course, monitoring, measuring and reporting is only a small first step toward sustainability, but it is a critical first step.

Here's what they said in one area of the newsletter:

Did you know that disclosing through CDP automatically meets the Caring for Climate reporting requirements?

Caring for Climate (C4C), a joint initiative between the United Nations Global Compact and the United Nations Environment Programme, has recommended CDP as a reporting framework for almost 400 companies that are C4C signatories. Newly published guidance outlines disclosure-related responsibilities for C4C signatories to meet the annual reporting requirements. Companies that publicly disclose their climate change strategies and carbon emissions through CDP will automatically meet the C4C annual reporting requirements and need only refer to their most recent CDP response to be in full compliance."
. . .
"eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is set to transform the way you disclose your climate change information. It is already widely used around the world for financial reporting ..."  

In this way, information can be easily and consistently reported by organizations. They are talkin about creating a Climate Change Reporting Taxonomy (CCRT) for the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB).

We probably should not complain about the alphabet soup of acronyms here. When creating something new, it is often better to invent new terms and phrases than to try to work with existing, but inaccurate terms.

Check out the websites of CDP and CDSB where you can find information about this project.

[Note that this link, https://standardscenter.com, requires some access in order to participate in the "sharing" and participation process associated with the design.]

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Federal Appeals Court Ruling Puts Climate Change into Election Debate

Federal Appeals Court Ruling Puts Climate Change into Election Debate:

So there is no question. The EPA can, in fact, regulate greenhouse gasses (GHGs).

It gives additional credibility to the science of GHGs=> Global Warming => Not good things for the future.

There are a couple things that this will do. It will elevate the EPA and its regulations in the election world.

It should escalate the attacks on the EPA.

And one would hope that at least COAL would start to lose favor.

It will be interesting to see how this plays forward.

Here's the AP take on the same court ruling in the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Global Carbon “Footprint” by Nation | The Big Picture

Global Carbon “Footprint” by Nation | The Big Picture:

Just in case you had not seen this really cool chart from a year ago...

Here's the BIG FOOT, big picture of emissions by country. Note that China has now outpaced the US based on pretty much any measure of emissions you might want to consider.

They now burn half the worlds coal, adding on a new coal power plant every few days (about 5 last I heard). India is growing emissions with a vengeance as well.

Within 10 years, there will have to be another foot, or something, simply to show the BRIC countries. Well, maybe not the "B"razil in the BRIC countries but Russia, definitely.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Marine scientist champions Blue Carbon

Marine scientist champions Blue Carbon: "Seagrass meadows act as a massive carbon sink, capable of storing as much carbon as forests. There’s only one problem: due to poor watershed management and declining water quality near shorelines, seagrasses are disappearing at alarming rates." [Italics added.]

Great! We can get sea grass to function as a massive sink for CO2. There's lots of ocean with lots of room for seagrass.

The only one, small, tiny problem: we're killing off the seagrass.

Ooops. That's a little inconvenient, don't you know.

But, that said, this is good to know. Maybe water quality and water management will escalate in importance to help save the reefs and the grasses.

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Friday, June 8, 2012

New Garnier Fructis Pure Clean : Shampoo 2in1: 92% biodegradable! HUH!

New Garnier Fructis Pure Clean : Shampoo and Conditioner:

Here's the add from Garnier below.

AM I MISSING something. 92% biodegradable. What about the other 8%? !!!!

Is this green marketing or bad humor?

And shampoo is already, what 90% water?

If this is good, it makes you wonder what the rest of the shampoo & conditioner world has to hold for the user, her hair and the environment.

·         Garnier commercial. Fructis shampoo, the strength to shine.
NEW Pure Clean 2in1. New Pure Clean Clear 2in1 is a breakthrough innovation – the only shampoo and conditioner in a clear conditioning formula that is also 92% Biodegradable.
·         With no silicone, paraben or dye. Pure Clean Clear 2in1 provides a refreshing cleansing experience that does not weigh hare down and does not leave a heavy residue behind. Hare is 4 times healthier with weightless shine. Link to Ad.

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Flex-Fuel Humans

Flex-Fuel Humans
Wow this is a cool blog article.

It works off of energy in and energy out of the human existence/cycle.

Eating lower on the food chain is, of couse, far more energy efficient!

But the article takes it much further. We are what we eat. What we eat can be efficient or opulent. Right?

Monday, April 23, 2012

How Green Are You? (quick Green Questionnaire)

How Green Are You? | Parade.com

Earth Day Questionnaire.

Great Earth Day. Planting and Sowing...  Try this simple questionnaire to see: How Green are You? Parade.com: How Green Are You?

Pretty good questionnaire. I'm not as green as I should be.  I drive too fast, for example.

Couple questions were a little fuzzy.  I didn't like the rationale on the Light Bulb questions.

See how you do.

Only takes a couple minutes. 

Maybe it will lead you to some Earth Day resolutions you made yesterday.

Good luck.

Think Green.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day Number 4 (of 4). Transportation & Telecommuting

Number 4. Transportation & Telecommuting. Consider alternatives before you drive some place. Smart phone “apps” let you do all kinds of comparison shopping without driving an inch. Consider carpooling. Most jobs can be done via telecommuting, at least occasionally. The savings are 5 to 10 times the price of the gas involved when consider the costs to the employer, employee and the environment.

ToDo: Telecommute occasionally if your job allows it… Work to get your employer to allow it (only about half have such an option). There are about $20,000 to $30,000 in telecommuting savings for a Full-time equivalent (FTE) employee.)

A quick summary of statistics related to telecommuting research can be found at Commute Zero.
 “If all those who drove or carpooled who had the ability to telecommute actually did so, the time savings would be equal to 470,000 new jobs in the economy.” Stated differently, might be that if they all worked (another job) to replace the lost time in commute they would represent about a half million FTE workers. 


About half of the workers in the US could telecommute at least occasionally. About 25% could telecommute full time, but only about 11% do.

Earth Day Number 3 (of 4): Energy Efficiency (EE)

Number 3. Energy Efficiency. The savings for energy efficiency at home (and at the office, church, etc) can easily be 20% to 35% with a fractional investment. Ring up the local power company to schedule an energy audit. With very inexpensive fixes like duct tape, caulk, programmable thermostats, and timers, the utility savings can easily be $30 to $100 per month. (Payback in a couple months.)

: Buy a couple Compact Florescent Light (CFLs) bulbs and start to use them in place of the most frequently used incandescent light bulbs. CFLs (and LEDs) cost more but they will save $30 to $40 in electricity over the life of the bulb. (Save 5-15% on utilities, payback 2 to 8 months.) Oh, make sure to buy the special versions if the light is adjustable on a rheostat.

ToDo: Get (and program) a programmable thermostat. Adjusting the thermostat 1 degree warmer (and 1 colder in winter) can result in about a 10% savings. 

It makes you wonder. If your power company suddenly charged you an extra $1,000 or $2,000 per year, you would break out the shotgun and go have a talk with them about it. Right? (Well, maybe not the shotgun, but ...) 

But virtually everyone everywhere can take $1,000 to $4,000 off of their annual bill, starting within one month. AND, that savings would be realized for years. Forever, really, if you continue to pay attention to the WATTS.

And we are all not doing this.... Why?

Earth Day 2012 | Earth Day Network

Earth Day 2012 | Earth Day Network:

A Billion Acts of Green and COUNTING!!!...

Mobilize the Earth.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Earth Day Number 2 (of 4): Reduce, reuse, recycle (rethink)

Number 2. Reduce, reuse and recycle. You actually want to add rethink here. Something as simple as using water bottles saves hundreds of dollars per year, per person. You simply buy one or two water bottles and use them for years… refilling from fountain or tap water that is essentially free.
ToDo: Buy (BPA-free) Water Bottles and start using them instead of bottled water and sodas. (A couple dollars invested results in up to $100 savings per month.)

Earth Day Number 1 (of 4) Wellness... Gleaning feeds the needy | Highlands Today

Gleaning feeds the needy | Highlands Today: "Gleaning feeds the needy"

Earth Day... Basic four things to do. Right now.

Number 1. Health and wellness. People can’t be healthy, and they certainly can’t be productive, if they don’t have the basics of health and living conditions. Just drinkable water and basic sanitation is a critical issue. This combined with the lack of basic nutrition results in major health and wellness issues for approximately 2 billion of the world’s population.

ToDo: One of the things that can be done here is to go on missions to developing countries to help them learn and develop the sanitary and development skills. You will want to develop your own survival skills first in a programs such as the HEART program at Warner University.
ToDo: Consider helping with composting, urban gardens and gleaning projects. Gleaning, as mentioned in the bible, is where volunteers are allowed to go through the fields after they have been harvested to pick the edible -- but not necessarily pretty -- fruit and vegetables. (See Gleaning For The World (www.GFTW.org), End Hunger (www.EndHunger.org), gleaning in Florida (this article). 

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Speculators are driving up gas prices - Opinion - Mar. 21, 2012

Speculators are driving up gas prices - Opinion - Mar. 21, 2012:

So apparently there's a pretty large premium for commodities like OIL because of all the speculation investors.

If everyone wants some long options on oil, or everyone wants an ETF with oil or other commodities, there there will be upward pressure on oil. Unfortunately those same forces should result in a similar downward pressure when they all sell off and the option traders move to short positions.

Unfortunately, if this is correct, the trading in oil might move like it die in 2008 with the drop from ~$150 to $35 per barrel.


Double ouch.
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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Daylight Saving Time - Saving Time, Saving Energy... EE Efficiency...

Daylight Saving Time - Saving Time, Saving Energy:

Remember to move your clocks forward an hour today. Your laptops and cell phones should give you the right time. But, while you are at it, PONDER THIS....

This is actually a pretty good play on energy efficiency and smart(er) energy policy.

The idea is that spending more wake time when the sun shines will result less energy usage. The greenest possible killowatt is the KW saved.

Although Daylight Savings Time was first mentioned by Ben Franklin it was a century later that it fully got its start:

"Though mentioned by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, the modern idea of daylight saving was first proposed in 1895 by George Vernon Hudson [8] and it was first implemented during the First World War. Many countries have used it at various times since then; details vary by location. " (Daylight savings time, 2012, para. 2).

The savings turns out to be somewhat sporadic and not conclusive. But it ranges from 0% to about 4% for residential savings of electricity use. A California study showed only a modest savings of electricity (.4% to .2% for winter and summer) but a significant savings of money because of the peak-time shift in usage (California Energy Commission, 2011). The Department of Energy study in 2008 (related to prior years) estimated 0.5% savings. (But this study has several limitations.)

With about 2.5% of the US GDP devoted to electricity, the savings over a year would be somewhere between $2B and $20B savings per year.  The back-of-the-envelope computations are shown in the following table.

Electricity as % of GDP:

Growth in US GDP:
($T) US 
Est. Elect
DST Savings
DST Savings
DST Savings
DST Savings
Usage $B
10-yrs Savings

The 10 year savings is between $21B and about $200B savings for the US. Multiply that times all the northernmost and southernmost countries in the world, and the savings could add up.

Of course this is a paltry amount of savings compared to something like switching away from incandescent light bulbs.

TIP: When changing all the clocks in the house, it is advised to check/change the batteries in smoke detectors and pressure in fire extinguishers. Also, while at it, check all the electricity use appliances and replace the most frequently used incandescent lights with compact fluorescents… or even better with some of the new LED lights that use a fraction of the electricity.

But let’s take our savings wherever we can get them.

DST does help many retailers, so arguably it helps the economy in that respect if in no other!-)

Shop ‘til you drop, starting when the sun comes up.!

California Energy Commission. (2011). Saving time, saving energy: daylight savings time: Its history and the reason we use it. Retrieved March 11, 2012 from: http://www.energy.ca.gov/daylightsaving.html

Daylight saving time. (2012, March 11). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:31, March 11, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Daylight_saving_time&oldid=481293297

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