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): 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

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,, requires some access in order to participate in the "sharing" and participation process associated with the design.]

'via Blog this'

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.

'via Blog this'

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.

'via Blog this'

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.

'via Blog this'

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.

'via Blog this'