“Harvard’s endowment is 36.4 billion dollars- the largest endowment in the world.
Our main motivator should be about the students, and
how can you invest in fossil fuel companies that are threatening our future?
It is an immoral bet against my generation.”
Chloe Maxmin, 22 year old Harvard student and co-founder Divest Harvard
Watch the CNN video!
– The 22 year old is right! Is she alone? What do some thinking investors believe? Here is a warning from Jeremey Grantham, a British investor and co-founder and chief investment strategist of a Boston-based asset management firm, who also warns of the need for rapid change from a different angle. – Editor
The Beginning of the End of the Fossil Fuel Revolution (From Golden Goose to Cooked Goose)
It is vital, therefore, to emphasize fuel efficiency, reduce wastage of all kind, and encourage the rapid development of sustainable “alternative” forms of energy, particularly those that displace oil. These alternatives are competitive today with only very high-cost fossil fuels but in 20 to 30 years, if encouraged, may replace $40 or $50 barrels of oil, at which price the global economic system may muddle through. Unfortunately, this target is hindered by the fossil fuel industries, which actively oppose incentives for alternatives.
As a sign of the immediacy of this problem, we have never spent more money developing new oil supplies than we did last year (nearly $700 billion) nor, despite U.S. fracking, found less – replacing in the last 12 months only 4½ months’ worth of current production! Clearly, the writing is on the wall. It is now up to our leadership and to us as individuals to read it and act accordingly.
“The world is likely to strengthen its resolve on climate change.
Investments in fossil fuels should be seen as a rather risky activity.”
Nicholas Stern, member U.K. House of Lords, and former chief economist at the World Bank
Oil Investors at Brink of Losing Trillions of Dollars in Assets
Some operators and regulators are taking note of the risks from exposure to fossil fuels. EON SE, Germany’s biggest utility and second-largest polluter, said yesterday it will spin off its fleet of dirty, aging power stations and oil fields to focus on renewable energy.
Hours later, a letter emerged from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney to a committee in Parliament stating that he had instructed his staff to review whether sizable losses from stranded coal, oil and gas reserves could hurt banks, investors, insurance companies and the rest of the financial system.
Bank of England to assess ‘carbon bubble’ risk
– This is really important! The faster signals are sent, the faster solutions will fall into place. Speed is our survival mechanism. – Editor
ACTION: JOIN Global Divestment Day in February- Prep Workshop December 10
Global Divestment Day Web Workshop 1: Planning For Action
Wednesday, December 10th 5:30pm PT/8:30pm ET
Let’s make fossil fuels history!
On February 13 and 14, we need thousands of people everywhere to turn out and take up collective action demanding our institutions do what is necessary for climate action by divesting from fossil fuels.
To answer questions and generate ideas with you on how to participate in this historic day, we are holding an open web workshop Wednesday, December 10, 2014.
- Beyond divestment, we must take a serious look at determining embodied energy in the things we consume. An electric car is not enough. So much destruction around the world happens because of consumerism. Estimates range, in part because of measuring different variables, in part because it’s complex! Is it only an energy issue when a primal forest is torn down for paper towels? One study says 44 percent of our total emissions are from “stuff”- non-food products and packaging. Others say 68% when food is included! This can not be ignored, and is so relevant around the holidays. – Editor
Urban RAM: Assessing the Energy Impact of Having People in Cities
A new model—the Urban Rapid Assessment Model (Urban RAM)—was built to provide a high-level breakdown of the major contributors to a given city’s energy and carbon footprint. By allocating both embodied and operational energy consumption to the various functions of city residents, such as living, commuting, shopping, or working, it is possible to understand better the drivers of urban emissions growth and areas of possible policy intervention. The model calculated three-quarters is energy embodied in the city’s infrastructure and goods and services consumption and the other 26% is operational energy. Of the embodied energy, nearly 80% came from goods and services that city residents consume each year, of which nearly half came from food and nearly one quarter embodied in the clothing.
Everyone knows that it takes energy to produce anything. The energy used in mining, transport, processing, manufacturing, delivery, management and disposal is “embodied” in every product we consume.
‘A Quarter Of The Energy We Use Is Just In Our Crap’- Black Friday And The Destruction Of Planet Earth
The tragic irony is that much of this holiday shopping is supposedly for our kids — and yet this overconsumption is a core part of our climate inaction, which, as President Obama has said, is a betrayal of our children!
U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Systems-based view including emissions embodied in international trade
Based on the report, nonfood products are associated with 37 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Extending the EPA analysis to include the impacts from producing products abroad that are consumed in the U.S. brings the share of products and packaging to 44 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
– What a great question! Cities should whittle away at consumerism. So many solutions exist! Here are many that are easily implementable- start a project or two in your city, help slow the ripping apart of our Earth and feel great! – Editor
What Role Should Cities Play in Sustainable Consumption?
Today Portland is on the cutting edge of an issue with which cities around the world are grappling: sustainable consumption. ResourcePDX is a program encouraging Portlanders to buy smart, reuse, borrow and share, and fix and maintain to reduce waste.
For Resourceful PDX
’Tis the season: for plastic, for wrapping, for quantity, for abundance. Has the sheer abundance of our continent ultimately conspired to corrupt our better angels? Or were we doomed by some inner corruption, some genetic predisposition to be the bipedal locusts hoovering up all in their path? Do all the geegaws we purchase this holiday season give us any more sense of well-being? Where we have ended up is as the spoiled kid on Christmas morning, surrounded by new geegaws and already bored.
- Dr. Sandra Steingraber understands “the unextendable time frame that remains to us.” She won’t be buying boxes and boxes of plastic gee-gaws for the family! Have you had the experience of being deeply concerned for life on this planet and the well-being of our kids while others blindly re-enact the lifestyle of America’s 1950’s, continuing Earth’s destruction? I sure have! – Editor
The Crappy Mom Manifesto- Letter to Fellow Mothers from the County Jail
We mothers who are already fighting on the frontlines (of protesting fracking) —with our whole hearts, all of our spare cash and as much time away from our kids, spouses and jobs as we dare offer— inhabit two parallel worlds. When we rush back from the rally, the press conference, the public hearing, the arraignment, in order to attend the soccer game, the Halloween party, the parent-teacher conference, we listen to other moms talk about bake sales, home improvement projects, vacation plans. Some of us are on wartime footing. Some of us don’t yet know there is a war going on.
- Major solutions in providing responsible electricity are occurring more rapidly in some places. Here we have national, state, and city examples which must serve as models for others to truly cut global emissions. Help make these new models work wherever you are!- Editor
E.ON’s move would be “a great influence on the Energiewende, making it more possible and probable. This is a structural change that gives you hope that our big approaches will have success.
It is really something.”
Maria Krautzberger, President of the German Federal Environment Agency
E.On’s switch to renewables is a sign of things to come, say experts
Germany based energy giant E.ON has announced it is switching its focus to renewable energy, away from nuclear, coal and gas energy. More companies are likely to follow. The Energiewende transformation is reconfiguring Germany’s power generating capacity, with a nuclear phase-out planned by 2022 and a renewables roll-out that is slated to provide 35-40% of electricity by 2025, rising to 55-60% by 2035 and at least 80% by 2050. About a quarter of Germany’s electricity currently comes from renewables compared to 6.2% in the US and 4.8% in France.
and even the state of Hawaii is jumping in:
NextEra Energy to acquire Hawaiian Electric Industries in $4.3B deal
NextEra Energy announced plans to acquire Hawaiian Electric Industries in a $4.3 billion transaction. The Florida energy company plans to move Hawaiian Electric further toward renewable energy, adding more rooftop solar energy, improving Hawaii’s electric grid and decreasing the state’s use of foreign oil. Hawaiian Electric provides power to about 95 percent of Hawaiians.
and get your city to compete with Palo Alto:
A California Community Shoots for the Moon: Palo Alto Targets Carbon Neutrality
Palo Alto, the heart of Silicon Valley and regional birthplace of Google, is eyeing today’s version of reaching the moon—becoming the first carbon-neutral city in the United States. Palo Alto’s now carbon-neutral (and soon to be all-renewable) electricity prices are 23 percent below the California average.
The City website
Happy holidays of simplicity! Share non-consumable joys! We will, plus taking time to catch up on other projects- please join us again in January! – Editor