Business/ Economics

TIME TO LINK ARMS . . . . . . September 19- 25, 2014

QUOTE
“I will link arms with those marching for climate action.
We stand with them on the right side of this key issue for our common future.
Action on climate change is urgent.
The more we delay, the more we will pay in lives and in money.”
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon participates in a news conference about climate change meeting
Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary general

Ban Ki-moon to join climate change march

The secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, is to join a public march calling for action on climate change this weekend. His unusual step – high-ranking officials do not normally attend mass public protests – is a measure of how high the stakes are at a summit next week of world leaders, called by the secretary-general, to discuss climate change.
Article

 

QUOTE
“We’re going to sound the burglar alarm on people who are stealing the future.
We’ve watched the summer Arctic disappear and the ocean turn steadily acidic.
It’s not just that things are not getting better.
They are getting horribly worse.
Unlike any other issue we have faced, this one comes with a time limit.
If we don’t get it right soon, we’ll never get it right.”
Bill McKibben, co-founder of the group 350.org

MARCHpreparationWB

Busy Days Precede a March Focusing on Climate Change

The run-up to what organizers say will be the largest protest about climate change in the history of the United States has transformed New York City into a beehive of planning and creativity.
Article in New York Times 
and

 

ACTION: Participate in a march near you. Go to the website for a complete list. ClimateDeclarationtosignWB

 List 
And sign the Ceres Climate Declaration.

So what can you do to participate in Climate Week? No matter where you are next week, you can take a few simple steps to support action on climate change.
The Climate Declaration, which has now been signed by 1,000 companies and thousands of individuals, calls on U.S. policy makers to take action on climate change.
To sign 

 

QUOTE
“What is needed is an unprecedented re-channeling of investment from today´s economy
into the low-carbon economy of tomorrow.
Investors are owners of large segments of the global economy as well as
custodians of citizens’ savings around the world.
Having such a critical mass of them demand a transition to the low-carbon and green economy is exactly the signal Governments need in order to move to ambitious action quickly.”
AchimSteinerWB
Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme.

- On the radio yesterday, a speaker was arguing that having big business participate in climate talks was dreadful- we need small local businesses. Yes, we need to localize our economy, but if we make the mistake of waiting until that is done, it will be too late. Big money speaks very loudly- we need them now. – Editor

Trickle Of Renewable Energy Investors Turns Into Flood

Days before UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convenes the Climate Summit at the United Nations to spur climate action and facilitate a global climate agreement in 2015, nearly 350 global institutional investors representing over $24 trillion in assets have called on government leaders to provide stable, reliable and economically meaningful carbon pricing that helps redirect investment commensurate with the scale of the climate change challenge, as well as develop plans to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels.
Article

For the statement 2014 GLOBAL INVESTOR STATEMENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE

 

 

– At a climate meeting here in Santa Fe this week, the discussion of investing away from earth-destroying companies and moving to supporting solutions was begun. Green Century is only one of numerous green funds, but these 5 reasons are a quick and easy synopsis of why this must happen. I’d even remove the word “consider.” – Editor

looking at the chimney-stalksFive Reasons to Consider Divesting from Fossil Fuels

1. Get Your Investments in Line with Your Values
2. Reduce Corporate Influence on Energy Policy
3. Strengthen the Climate Movement
4. May Reduce Exposure to Stranded Carbon Assets
5. Reinvest in the Solutions
Article 

 

 

-insectpateWB Our previous article about insects for food upset a few readers. This new article, however, not only points out an emerging, thriving trend across the world, but also some amazing solutions to current problems. Did you realize that about half of all the seafood eaten is now farmed? And that these farmed seafood species are typically being fed forms of seafood, sometimes 8 times more weight than the resulting farmed fish- a huge waste?
We now have a sensible solution to this major destruction of ocean life- insects!
Another possible problem solver is that large quantities of waste can be used to feed insects. In commercial factories, one factory in a year can process 110 tons of waste a day that feed insects and then can make seven tons of edible mag meal a day!
My grocery store now carries yummy cookies made with cricket flour!! The potential for an array of entirely new and powerful solutions is growing daily and has huge climate implications! Some statistics show that our current agricultural/food systems actually cause nearly 1/3 of our total climate emissions! Your eating can cause far more climate change than your car! This, in addition to soil destruction, heavy water usage in dry areas, use of dangerous chemicals, loss of habitats, and more, means we need to get creative and rethink food sources. This is offering hope- and excitement- for innovators! – Editor

Insects to Feed the World Conference 2014

EdibleInsectsFAOreport2014WBThe first international conference on insects for food and feed brought over 450 participants from 45 countries together to discuss the state of the art in edible insect research, business and policy. Feed industry leaders, insect breeders, universities, NGOs and other stakeholders gathered for the first time, with a clear message – insects for feed and food are viable solution for the protein deficit problem.
Article 
Seriously- watch this amazing video- only 5 minutes- you’ll be amazed 
For the report Edible insects: future prospects for food and feed security 

 

– More and more, food is going to be grown indoors, and a great solution is to use existing buildings, rather than creating massive amounts of demolition rubbish going off to the dump. Dreaming big like this makes sense! If the energy-intensive non-local 18 wheelers stopped hauling food to your town, is your city prepared with multiple and bountiful sources of food that can be continuously grown? – Editor

Proposal to turn San Francisco’s Candlestick Park stadium into a gigantic hydroponic greenhouse

Surrounding the stadium is a new green-roofed, terraced podium that interfaces with the surrounding Candlestick Point redevelopment master plan, sheltering beneath it a marketplace for locally-produced urban agriculture and food goods.
The repurposed stadium enables the growth of sod on its seating tiers in addition to rotating food crops, while the main field offers the potential for housing occasional concerts in between times of harvesting and planting.
Article 
For the original article 
CandlestickbywaterWB

P.S. What do you notice about Candlestick Park, the round white circle?
When we plan for the future, we have to consider shifts in multiple variables.
They missed an important one here.
How many years left before it would be floating aquaponics?

 

FIND A NEW PATH FOR THE $21 BILLION

QUOTE

The All of the Above energy strategy is not only climate denial

it’s climate denial that is funded with more than $20 billion in taxpayer support each year.

Until our representatives in Washington and around the country find the courage necessary to put people’s interests ahead of rich polluters, this theft of our tax dollars is likely to continue.

The next step for saving the climate should be clear: Stop Funding Fossils.”

StephenKretzmannOilChangeWB

 Stephen Kretzmann, Executive Director of Oil Change International.

- How often do we hear there’s no money for all the good things we need to protect our future. There is money- it just needs to go to the right places! All the comparisons on prices of fossil fuels versus renewables are wrong- add in all the supports and the massive damages and put dollar signs on loss of human and environmental health, and our problems are solved! – Editor

U.S. Government Providing Billions in Fossil Fuel Subsidies to Unburnable Carbon

PriceofOilreportWBToday, Oil Change International released a comprehensive report on fossil fuel exploration and production subsidies in the U.S which demonstrates that at a time when we need urgent action on climate change more than ever, the U.S. government is channeling huge and growing amounts of money to increasing discovery and production of oil, gas, and coal. These federal and state subsidies totaled $21.6 billion in 2013. Article

For the report Cashing in on All of the Above: U.S. Fossil Fuel Production Subsidies under Obama

QUOTE

“Change is in the air. Solutions exist. The race is on, and it’s time to lead.

Deep decarbonisation is feasible, but it requires global commitment to advancing key low-carbon energy technologies.”

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

- It’s disturbing that even with this huge push, they have said there still remains a 30% chance we won’t make this goal. Politics certainly reduces logic, since a 100% chance of success is the only goal that makes sense. See ACTION below to help get this plan moving forward. – Editor

U.N. Proposes Pathways to Decarbonisation

DeepDecarbonizationreportWBNational teams in 15 of the world’s largest carbon emitting countries collaborated to produce a 194-page report, which outlines the vast technological transformations that each country must make to prevent global warming from exceeding 2 degrees C. The report, launched Tuesday by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the U.N.’ s Sustainable Development Solutions Network, aims to lead the debate in the run-up to the 2015 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris. It was the first report of the Deep Decarbonisation Pathways Project (DDPP). Article  For the The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) Report 

ACTION: Stand Up and Be Counted on Climate Change

Message on Climate Change to World Leaders

JeffreySachsactionWBFrom Jeffrey Sachs Director, Earth Institute at Columbia University

This is your moment, as a Global Citizen, to raise your voice to head off disastrous climate change. The 2-degree limit is the last guardrail for a safe global climate. Many of the world’s leading scientists and climate experts have put forward a statement to global leaders for delivery at the United Nations Climate Summit on September 23. Here is your chance to add your name with these illustrious signatories. Be Counted Here 

- Being clever at hoarding money won’t save them if/when climate change hits hard. The very wealthy get behind closed doors far more often and can block important political and economic change. How do we get them to care about the future? – Editor

STUDY: Rich Republicans Are the Worst Climate Deniers

richRepublicansdeniersWBA new study in the journal Climatic Change finds that among Republicans, as levels of income increase, so does their likelihood of “dismissing the dangers associated with climate change.” But among Democrats and independents, there is little or no change in climate views as levels of income increase or decrease. At the lowest income level, the probability that a Republican would give one of these dismissive answers was only 17.7 percent. But at the highest income level, it was 51.2 percent. Among individuals with conservative political orientations, there is a correlation between occupying advantageous positions within industrial economic systems and an unwillingness to acknowledge the risks associated with climate change.

Article

For the report Public views on the dangers and importance of climate change

- A fun article to read! When a city creates an electric car rental system, it can do wonders for air pollution and more. If powered by wind and solar, this is a total winner! – Editor

Electric ‘Boris cars’ are coming to London- how they work in Paris

subscriptionboothelectriccarParisWBParis’s Autolib’ electric car sharing scheme is looking like a success. Membership is up from 5,650 a month two-and-a-half years ago to 155,000 today. Members have clocked up the fairly remarkable total of 30.4 million miles. The service’s 2,500 Bluecars – hitting 3,000 by the end of this year – are now averaging a total of well over 10,000 rentals every day. A survey showed Autolib’ means fewer cars on the roads of the Paris. Cars used to be like toothbrushes – you didn’t share, you didn’t borrow. But we’re shifting from a possession model to a usage model. A car is a tool for transportation, nothing more. Article and

Bay Area governments make big electric-vehicle buy

A group of San Francisco Bay Area cities, counties and water agencies has joined forces for what is being billed as one of the largest single government purchases of all-electric vehicles in the country. The six cities, two counties and two water agencies have united to buy 90 electric vehicles with the help of a $2.8 million grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The vehicles will save more than $500,000 in fuel costs and about 2 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over five years. The rest of the money coming from funds set aside by the governments and agencies to buy new vehicles. Article 

- Of course, renewable energy and storage solutions vary from location to location. However, this storage solution is amazing and has serious potential for the right locations! Imagine how simple this would be – “between 20 and 40 of these systems would be enough to stabilise a 100 per cent renewable Australian electricity system.” Get out the maps and the backhoes now! – Editor

How pushing water uphill can solve our renewable energy issues

offriverhydrostorageWBIf renewable energy is ultimately to dominate the market, we will need ways to store the energy so we can use it round the clock. The good news is that it is easy to store energy. All you need is two small reservoirs – one high, one low – and a way to pump water between them. This technique, called “off-river pumped hydro energy storage,” can potentially provide the energy storage that Australia needs to embrace renewables fully. Pumped hydro is by far the cheapest. It has no standby losses while the water waits in the reservoir, and can reach full power in 30 seconds. Using pumped hydro storage to smooth out the peaks in output from a solar power station only adds an extra 25 per cent to the cost. That’s much cheaper than using batteries. Article 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- So many solutions exist. Solarizing new projects in creative ways is fabulous! – Editor

Roadside Noise Barrier to Generate Solar Energy

highwaysoundbarrierWBA novel acoustical barrier that that doubles as a solar power source will be installed along the motorway in the Netherlands, suppressing noise and generates energy at the same time. What is special is that the barrier components consist of two-sided solar cells. We can absorb the morning light from the east and the afternoon light from the west. This will enable us to significantly increase the energy output. Article

 

 

 

 

 

 

QUOTE

This is almost a once in a lifetime opportunity.

If we miss this opportunity for another 50 years,

the rest of the world is going to look at us and wonder why we didn’t think weather and climate and sustainability were important.

PaulChinowskyUofColoradoBoulder2

Paul Chinowsky, co-director of the Institute of Climate and Civil Systems and the Mortenson Professor of Sustainable Development in the University of Colorado

- He’s right! This is big! Most plans for adaptation do not fully consider these critical every day shifts .Every climate plan needs to incorporate these kinds of changes NOW, not 20 years from now! – Editor

Prepare infrastructure for climate change

Much attention has been paid to the likelihood of more drought, fires and floods as the planet warms, but the most significant impact on public infrastructure won’t come from extreme weather events. It will be the change in what constitutes normal weather in various regions — higher temperatures for more sustained periods of time, higher or lower average humidity and rainfall — that will most tax buildings, roads and bridges that were built for one set of conditions and now have to function in another. “Road surfaces get weaker in heat,” Chinowsky said. “Asphalt gets softer. As trucks and cars pass, you get a lot more potholes, more cracking. It won’t be a one time event but a constant thing. That’s the part we don’t talk about, but that’s the part that’s going to have a huge economic impact. The city wants to know what changes from current building standards it should incorporate into the rehabilitation effort to make sure the building doesn’t need expensive repairs in just a few years. Article

- Even investment banks want new visions in electricity! Nu-tility- great word! – Editor

Seven ‘radical’ ideas for Australia’s renewable energy policy

electricitypricessmartAnalysts at investment bank UBS have come up with a suite of policy suggestions that they say could put Australia at the cutting edge of a carbon light de-centralised electricity grid. UBS says the world is transitioning away from carbon-intensive centralised models to a carbon light distributed model. If policy settings were designed to assist the transition to the “Nu-tility” world, where distributed energy takes over from centralised power – there would be a carbon tax, subsidies for storage, incentives for rooftop PV, mandatory time of use meters and networks would be unregulated competitive businesses sharing the pain. Article 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- Let’s make the transition even faster! – Editor

Solar has won. Even if coal were free to burn, power stations couldn’t compete

solarimpactingcoalWBAs early as 2018, solar could be economically viable to power big cities. By 2040 over half of all electricity may be generated in the same place it’s used. Centralised, coal-fired power is over. Last week, for the first time in memory, the wholesale price of electricity in Queensland fell into negative territory – in the middle of the day. “Negative pricing” moves, as they are known, are not uncommon. The impact has been so profound, and wholesale prices pushed down so low, that few coal generators in Australia made a profit last year. Hardly any are making a profit this year. State-owned generators like Stanwell are specifically blaming rooftop solar. In an energy democracy, even free coal has no value. Article

Emergency Actions or Let It Get Worse June 27- July 3, 2014

QUOTE
“If cities are going to drive the revitalization of this nation, then
we need to become the laboratories and incubators of change.
We must be the engines driving the local and national economy.”
JohnsonMayorSacramentoWB
Mayor Johnson, President U.S. Council of Mayors and Mayor of Sacramento
Article

U.S. mayors call for emergency action on climate change

Conference ofmayorsJune2014WBThe U.S. Conference of Mayors, a bipartisan group that represents the leaders of 1,400 cities, has called on the Obama administration and Congress to “enact an Emergency Climate Protection law that provides a framework and funding for the implementation … of a comprehensive national plan” to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.
Article  and
Document

 

QUOTE
“We know that the next several years will be critical for establishing
the policy and market solutions needed to avert dangerous climate change.
This report shows that well-designed climate mitigation efforts can result in
important economic and social benefits.”
CharlottePeraWB
Charlotte Pera, President and Chief Executive Officer of ClimateWorks Foundation

Climate policies could generate $2.6 trillion a year

Smart climate policies in the US, EU, Brazil, China, India and Mexico could add up to US$ 2.6 trillion to the world’s economy a year, according to the World Bank. The new report, ‘Climate-Smart Development: Adding up the Benefits’, assesses the impact of potential government policies on energy efficiency, waste management and public transport across the six regions. It would also save around 8.5 billion tons of CO2 emissions being pumped into the atmosphere, and save the equivalent energy to taking 2 billion cars off the road.
It finds that implementing these new policies would have significant benefits for the economy, climate and health.
Article
For the report

QUOTE
The timeline to act is really now.
It’s to our detriment to think that we have 50 years to solve the issue of unsustainable agriculture.”
DaniellenierenbergFoodTankWB
Danielle Nirenberg, founder Food Tank, a food sector research institute

- It takes years to develop effective and responsible food systems, so Danielle is right- start now. Whether it’s fast rising food prices, or severe events that prevent food from coming in, or numerous food sources no longer available- or all of these- we need to get creative in a multitude of ways to feed cities. Indoor food production must be a part of the new systems, with major advantages- avoiding weather catastrophes, reducing water needs, and far more. This burgeoning field of insects certainly has the “ick factor” but is actually healthier than high-fructose corn syrup that people devour every day. Can we accept these opportunities? – Editor

Brave New Food

Jena MartinAndrew Brentano

Weather is pummeling our food supply through droughts, wildfires and the changing climate. Meanwhile, the global population is exploding. (One answer: eating insects.) In some circles- typically those of the young, affluent and health conscious- the idea of eating insects, or entomophagy, has caught on, fast, spurred on by a 2013 pro bugs-as-food report from the U.N. Meat or no, people need protein, which is where the insects come in. “This bag by itself, which is about the size of a shoebox, will put out about two pounds of edible meat, which is nutritionally equivalent to chicken,” Andrew Brentano, a founder of Tiny Farms, an edible insect farm production company. With one of Tiny Farms’ bags, you can harvest about two pounds of mealworm meat every 26 days. And meat it is. When dried, the insects are more than 50 percent protein. Unlike other food animals, 100 percent of a mealworm is edible. Believe or not — the demand for human-grade edible insects far outstrips the supply. It’s a boom that has happened just in the past year and a half. Tiny Farms can’t make and ship their farms fast enough.
Article  and

We’re Tiny Farms- The edible bug company

Website and

Open Bug Farm

Grow your own edible insects, at home. We’re building the world’s first Open Source insect farm kit. “Help revolutionize agriculture.”
Article
and another business- Bitty Foods makes delicious high-protein chocolate chip cookies with cricket flour-  Website 

Elsewhere: – Seems a bit like a new rendition of an old nursery rhyme- “All the (dictator’s) horses and all the (dictator’s) men couldn’t get (the food to grow) again.”- Editor

North Korea army mobilised as rivers run dry in worst drought in years

North Korea’s rivers, streams and reservoirs are running dry in a prolonged drought, state media said, prompting the isolated country to mobilise some of its million-strong army to try to protect precious crops.
Article

America’s Largest Companies are Jumping on Clean Energy Bandwagon and Saving More Than $1 Billion a Year

Recent corporate renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction efforts equivalent to PowerForwardreportWBretiring 15 coal-fired power plants
The nation’s largest companies are leaving Washington gridlock on climate change behind and rapidly embracing renewable energy sourcing and greenhouse gas emissions reduction efforts, according to a new report. The analysis, released today, reveals that these efforts are the new “business as usual” among many of the country’s largest companies, with 43 percent of Fortune 500 companies having set targets in at least one of three categories: reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, improving energy efficiency, and procuring more renewable energy.
The report Power Forward 2.0: How American Companies are Setting Clean Energy Targets and Capturing Greater Business Value, shows that clean energy is becoming mainstream for U.S. corporations – with 60 percent of the Fortune 100 having goals for renewable energy or greenhouse gas reductions.
Article
For the report 

When elections are more about money than understanding issues, where will this get us? – Editor

Oil and Gas Industry Buys Colorado Fracking Election

frackcoloradoWBIn what may have been the most expensive and farce of an election in the history of Colorado, the oil and gas industry has likely spent $1 million to buy a fracking election in the city of Loveland, CO. When the votes were tallied last night for a two-year fracking moratorium in Loveland, “no” votes squeaked out a victory. Protect Our Loveland was likely outspent by a 100 – 1 margin by the most profitable industry on the planet.
Article
and
- Of course these dangerous chemicals should not be blasted deep into the ground for many reasons, but then they shouldn’t be above ground, exposing everyone, either. Guess that only leaves not using them at all! – Editor

Colorado suspends oil and gas wastewater disposal well after quake

Disposal of wastewater from oil and gas drilling into a Colorado well was ordered halted this week after seismic activity was detected in the area, state regulators said. It is the latest in a string of events linking oil and gas operations with seismic activity in the United States as energy drilling increases.
Article

 

QUOTE
Dumping (of fracking waste water) seems to be a really ongoing problem.
We’re seeing dumping down old mineshafts and dumping on roads where the spigot at the end of the tank is [allowed] to dribble all the way to the [disposal] well.”
And
We have a health risk. In Ohio, we’re just ignoring it. With each law, we’re getting weaker, not stronger.
JulieRiceOhiofrackingWB
Julie Weatherington-Rice, senior scientist at Bennett & Williams Environmental Consultants, Ohio
Article

US fracking boom threatens water supplies

There is no overarching policy regulating how the industry uses water. In the Energy Policy Act of 2005, a provision known as the “Halliburton loophole” exempts oil and gas operations from almost all federal air and water regulations, leaving protection of these basic life necessities to the states.
Article 

Retired Pa. health staffers say department muzzled them on fracking

Two retirees from the Pennsylvania Department of Health say its employees were silenced on the issue of Marcellus Shale drilling. One veteran employee says she was instructed not to return phone calls from residents who expressed health concerns about natural gas development. “We were absolutely not allowed to talk to them,” said Tammi Stuck, who worked as a community health nurse in Fayette County for nearly 36 years. Another retired employee, Marshall P. Deasy III, confirmed that some nurses told him they were not allowed to respond to complaints about gas drilling and the subject of natural gas development was considered “taboo” and was not openly discussed among fellow employees.
Article
and

Fracking chemicals could mess with your hormones

The researchers analyzed 24 chemicals commonly used by frackers — noting that those chemicals represent a small subset of the hundreds of chemicals used in fracking, many of which are kept secret. Not only were most of the studied chemicals found to mess with our estrogen and androgen systems, but some of them were also found to affect hormones that prepare our bodies for pregnancy (progesterone), that break down sugar (glucocorticoid), and that regulate growth and development (the thyroid system). Only one of the 24 chemicals did not affect any of the hormonal systems studied.
Article 
and

Endocrine Disrupting Activity of Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals and in vivo
Adverse Health Outcomes

Article
and

Hormone-Disrupting Activity of Fracking Chemicals Worse Than Initially Found

Mixtures of these chemicals act together to make their hormone-disrupting effects worse than any one chemical alone, and tested drinking water normally contains mixtures of EDCs.
Article 

 

WHAT ADVERTISING SHOULD BE!

A MUST WATCH AND SHARE VIDEO!

spooffilmWB

See what yes is doing

Watch this video 

Excerpts from this clever video “advertising” the truth in soothing voice, lovely music:
“We’re making the energy that hurts communities and harms the environment.
We need the energy to always ask:
Is there a better way to increase our year-end bonuses?
Are there ways to take fresh water from fish-bearing streams and dump more polluted water into our rivers?
Can we lobby the government to weaken regulations and impact aboriginal communities with impunity?
Can we cover up our impacts and accelerate climate change?
These are the questions we ask every day in playing our part to destroy the world we share.”

 

- THIS is the kind of advertising we need! Once forests and rivers are gone, they’re gone! Once hormone-disrupting chemicals have changed the sex of your baby from boy to girl, it’s done. Once your thyroid is shot, it’s pills every day for the rest of your life. There are many forms of emergency. – Editor

New Campaign Spoofs Suncor’s “What Yes Can Do” Green PR Blitz

SumOfUslogoWBA new website launched today by the corporate accountability group SumofUs.org asks ordinary Canadians to take a closer look at oilsands major Suncor’s latest ad campaign, “What Yes Can Do.” By launching their own version of the ad campaign at www.whatyescando.org , SumofUs.org is questioning the disparity between “what yes can do” as Suncor puts it, and “what yes has done” in the Alberta oilsands. SumofUs.org’s alternative campaign brings the pleasantries of corporate advertising into stark contrast with the difficult reality of oilsands development as it affects local water, the industrialization of the boreal forest, vanishing local caribou populations, and First Nation’s treaty rights.
Read more 

 

Welcome to SumOfUs

SumOfUs  is a new world-wide movement for a better global economy.
Here’s what we stand for:
Governments that answer to citizens – not corporations
The right of communities to manage and protect their own environment and natural resources
Business models that put people and the planet first instead of being driven by shortsighted greed.
(And more, of course)
Website 

 

FAST CHANGE . . . . . . . . . . . May 23 – 29, 2014

QUOTE “Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift; it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude. We are Custodians of Creation. But when we exploit Creation, we destroy the sign of God’s love for us,

in destroying Creation we are saying to God: ‘I don’t like it! This is not good! So what do you like? I like myself!’ – Here, this is sin! Yes it is true God always forgives. We men, women, we forgive sometimes – Yes sometimes we forgive, not always. But father Creation never forgives! And if you don’t custody Creation, it will never forgive you.”

Pope at Audience: If we destroy Creation, it will destroy us

For the Vatican news

Pope Francis: ‘We Are Custodians of Creation’

popeRevkinartricleWBPope Francis is digging in on the role of faith and science in shaping a smooth human journey in this turbulent century of cresting appetites and global interconnection. Echoing conclusions reached at the recent Vatican meeting of scientists, theologians and others on sustainable development, he spoke yesterday about the human responsibility for “wise stewardship” of the environment, both for our own sake (“If we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us!”) and out of a broader sense of what is right. The comments are the latest sign that Francis plans to make environmental sustainability an important theme of his papacy. Article 

Evangelicals in Florida turn to climate change and call on Gov. Scott to act

FloridaevangelicalWBEvangelical leaders in Florida have taken on climate change as a cause and are trying to increase pressure on Gov. Rick Scott to take action, while criticizing Sen. Marco Rubio’s stance on the issue. Article  “Toxic emissions from power plants are threatening the health of our children, destroying creation, and exacerbating natural disasters that hit the poor the hardest. Redemption is always possible. We need to face these challenges head on, not pretend they don’t exist. That’s why Christians all across Florida are calling on Governor Rick Scott to make creation care and confronting the impacts of climate change a priority.” For the petition

ACTION: Save Africa’s oldest national park from one oil company

Male Chimpanzee, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa

Over 700,000 people have signed to get oil company Soco out of Virunga National Park, but now we need YOU more than ever. Since the recent attack on Virunga’s warden, intimidation against anti-oil activists has increased. Help us get to 1 million voices of support for those fighting to keep Africa’s oldest national park from becoming its newest oil field.  Help by signing the petition

 

 

Poor data continue to lead to disastrous decision-making. If we had accurate and complete data that included health impacts, clean-up costs, value of land, life, and water, etc., we would have the strongest case for moving rapidly and totally to renewables, critically important even without serious concerns over climate change. – Editor

In 2011, the EIA estimated California’s Monterey Shale had 64% of all recoverable tight oil reserves in the U.S. We told them they were wrong. Really wrong. This week they downgraded their estimates by 95%

What Happened to My 13 Billion Barrels?

drillling-californiareportWBIn 2011, a consulting firm estimated how much oil might be recoverable from California’s vast Monterey Shale formation. The EIA published this number as its own, and the University of Southern California then went on to use the 15.4 billion barrel figure as the basis for an economic study. We at Post Carbon Institute took a skeptical view. In 2013, PCI Fellow David Hughes produced an in-depth study. Now, on May 21 the Los Angeles Times reported that “Federal energy authorities have slashed by 96% the estimated amount of recoverable oil buried in California’s vast Monterey Shale deposits, deflating its potential as a national ‘black gold mine’ of petroleum.” The EIA had already downgraded its technically recoverable reserves estimate for the Monterey from 15.4 to 13.7 billion barrels; now it was reducing the number to a paltry 0.6 billion barrels. Even with oil at $100 per barrel, the EIA now thinks only a very small portion of the Monterey formation’s oil resources can be produced profitably. Maybe with oil at $150 or $200 per barrel that percentage would change. But how high an oil price can the American economy bear before it falls into recession? Evidence suggests that $100 per barrel oil is already acting as a brake on economic expansion. The new EIA estimate is a welcome note of realism in a California energy discussion that had veered into hyperbole and wishful thinking. Can we now begin a reasoned discussion about our energy future? It’s late in the game, but better late than never.

Article 

For the 2013 study- Drilling California: A Reality Check on the Monterey Shale

For Write-down of two-thirds of US shale oil explodes fracking myth

For the Los Angeles Times article

For The Devastating Economic Impact of Constantly High Oil Prices 

 

 

QUOTE

“If you talk with big companies in Germany, and ask them 6-7 years ago did they have any anticipation what was going to happen in six years, they did not. Now some of them have lost 90% in value, so the energy world can change quicker than 30-40 years. To have a view that goes further than five years is extremely difficult these days.”

TorbjornKjusWB

Torbjørn Kjus, an oil analyst at DNB, Norway’s leading investment bank

The insanity of not assessing climate risk

boblittermanriskmanagerWBOne of the world’s leading risk managers has labeled the failure to factor in climate risk in the world’s leading equity portfolio as “insanity”. Bob Litterman, the former global head of risk at Goldman Sachs, and now chairman of the risk committee for $2 billion hedge fund, says risk managers need to assess the “worst case” scenarios for climate to properly protect shareholders, and says the best way to address the issue is to hit it hard, and early, with a high carbon price. As a risk manager, it’s best to focus on the worst case scenario. These are equally difficult to quantify, but ensures a safety first approach. Isn’t that just being alarmist, we ask. Litterman says: “I say no, that is the job of the risk manager.” “That means that it a good time to get out of stranded asset,” he says. “Coal in particular, if I can sell coal at today’s prices, I think that’s a good deal. Article   – A friend of mine who loves her leased Nissan Electric LEAF said last weekend “No one will want to buy a gasoline car in 5 years. There’s no point in buying one now.” Will change be this fast? Our climate is wordlessly telling us we’d better speed up our transition to carbon neutrality. Our money can help! – Editor

Where Should the Divestors Invest?

divestfossilfuelWBThe stunning success of the fossil fuel divestment movement has caught many of us off-guard. A “moral screen” that simply rules out fossil fuel companies, and perhaps a few other morally questionable investments, is a necessary, but not sufficient, step. Addressing the climate crisis requires massive investment in rebuilding our society and our economy on a sustainable basis. That means not only a radically different energy system but also transformed food, transportation, building, manufacturing, healthcare, and other systems. We need to direct capital to disruptive innovations that can fundamentally transform our economy and deliver broadly shared benefits. To do this, we need a framework and guiding set of principles for identifying these innovations. But won’t green investment result in a lower “return on investment” for college funds, thereby starving other programs? Absolutely not. George Washington University dedicated $5.3 million to replace outmoded heating and cooling systems. The plan will reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent by the year 2025. According to the University, the entire $5.3 million investment will be recouped in seven years. And after that the University will save $800,000 a year free and clear on its investment. Article

Home of Big Oil to get 150 MW solar plant at half cost of coal

Austin Energy has signed a power purchase agreement for 150 megawatts with Recurrent Energy for the largest singlenickelkwhWB solar power plant in Texas at “just below” 5 cents per kilowatt-hour, due to be completed in 2016. The 5-cent price falls below Austin Energy’s estimates for natural gas at 7 cents, coal at 10 cents and nuclear at 13 cents. It has also been suggested that a developer could overbuild the solar project beyond the contracted capacity and sell into the spot market if the developer gained approval from ERCOT. Austin Energy has a 35 percent renewable energy resource goal by 2016 and a solar goal of 200 megawatts by 2020. The utility is currently at about 25 percent, much of it made up by its 850 megawatts of wind. GTM Solar Analyst Cory Honeyman called the 5-cent price “an unprecedented low for large-scale projects.” Article 

 

- If they can, we can! Help make it happen! - Editor

Mexican government wants 33% of electricity capacity to come from renewable sources by 2018

 

SunSeekerTrackerMexicoWBThe Mexican government has set lofty goals for the future (and) wants 33% of the country’s installed electricity capacity to come from renewable sources by 2018. If approved, this legislation would make it easier for “both large companies with cutting-edge technology and those who want to put a solar panel on the roof of their house to do so, to acquire a solar heater or to lease a part of their land for wind generation. Currently, Mexico only gets 17% of its energy from renewable sources.

Article

 

 

 

 

 

– Lots of scientists are trying to convince us to move fast on climate change. Here are some big ice stories, although other areas also have disappearing ice with disastrous consequences to large populations of people. The ice clock is ticking/dripping even faster than before! – Editor

Ice picks- Five pieces of ice news revealing earth’s ice cover is in serious decline

greenlandtrenchesWBMelting ice has filled the newspapers over the past couple of weeks, with a deluge of new research. We’ve taken a look at several new papers that highlight the speed at which earth’s vast ice sheets, glaciers and ice caps are diminishing. Put them all together, and it makes for a stark picture. 1. Antarctic ice melt is twice as fast as ten years ago 2. West Antarctic glaciers are collapsing (now), and it’s “unstoppable” 3. The Greenland ice sheet could melt faster than scientists first thought 4. Other ice caps and glaciers in the northern hemisphere are melting faster too 5. Soot from forest fires contributed to unusually large Greenland surface melt in 2012 For Carbon Brief

FUNNY?

onedaythiswillallbeyoursWB

And this isn’t even climate change!

For cartoon 

CLIMATE- THE DEFINING CHALLENGE…

PRESIDENTAL QUOTES

The liberty of a democracy is not safe
if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where
it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself.
That in its essence is fascism:
ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power

Franklin D. Roosevelt
April 29, 1938
F D Roosevelt
http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/219075.Franklin_D_Roosevelt
For a speech still relevant:
http://publicpolicy.pepperdine.edu/faculty-research/new-deal/roosevelt-speeches/fr042938.htm

AND
“I believe this is the defining challenge of our time,
making sure our economy works for every working American.”
President Barack Obama
http://www.voanews.com/content/obama-economic-inequality-is-hurting-americas-future/1803524.html
For video- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/04/obama-income-inequality_n_4384843.html

– When I heard Obama on the radio say that the economics of working Americans is the defining challenge of our time, I shouted back at him No! No! Why? Solving climate change will be how our era is judged in the future. Without that, no economic shift will be meaningful, eaten up by ecosystem collapses and severe weather. Yes, you need to feed your kids breakfast, but if your house is on fire, which will be the defining challenge?
I read The Crash of 2016 and decided not to include this depressing book in Climate Today, but after Obama’s claim, it’s jumped back in. We need to see how both unjust economics and inaction on climate change are connected, backed by the same greedy players!  Thom Hartman’s reveals HOW, over decades, big funding has manipulated all aspects of our democracy, and he makes it clear why solving climate change- and economic justice- is proving to be a very tough battle. Billionaires crave even more billions, while our planet’s ecosystems collapse, and the poor get poorer. Corporate interests twist elections, court decisions, education, and importantly, the media. Hartman concludes that we will just have to begin to build the new systems that will restart our society after the Crash. We can hope he’s wrong about the Crash, but he’s right about building eco-responsible and socially just solutions NOW. FDR warns about the dangers of allowing private power to be stronger and more controlling than democracy, and this book begins to shed light on how decades of hidden plots and big money blind us to the science and politics of survival. – Editor

The Crash of 2016 Thom Hartman 

The Crash of 2016 -The Plot to Destroy America”and What We Can Do to Stop It
The United States is more vulnerable today than ever before-including during the Great Depression and the Civil War-because the pillars of democracy that once supported a booming middle class have been corrupted. Corporate and billionaire power and greed have replaced democratic infrastructure and governance. Although we are in the midst of what could become the most catastrophic economic crash in American history, a way forward is emerging. Before us stands a genuine opportunity to embrace the moral motive over the profit motive- and to rebuild the American economic model that once yielded great success. THE CRASH OF 2016 is not just a roadmap to redemption in post-Crash America, but a critical wake-up call, challenging us to act.
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-crash-of-2016-thom-hartmann/1115779224?ean=9780446584814
For a video interview- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izxP_U2vzoU

Bjorn Yesterday: NY Times Runs Op-Ed Asserting Poor People Need More Carbon Pollution

- Just one example of far too many! Great climate reporters are being fired in so many companies. Ownership and advertisers permeate most media to cleverly not deal with greenhouse gases building up. – Editor

media confuscating climate science

The New York Times shuts down its environment desk and its Green Blog this year. Then last week, the Times’ public editor publishes a damning analysis showing that the paper’s climate coverage had dropped sharply.
The paper’s response? Devote some of its scarce op-ed space to the umpteenth rehashed Bjorn Lomborg piece touting more carbon pollution and R&D in place of climate action, The Poor Need Cheap Fossil Fuels. If that headline sounds familiar, it’s because Lomborg had pieces in USA Today and National Post making similar arguments. Lomborg twists the facts beyond recognition.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/12/04/3018051/bjorn-lomborg-carbon-pollution/

Tasmania Aims For 100% Renewable Energy

QUOTE
It will take commitment from all Tasmanians
if we are to achieve our shared vision for the future.

I am optimistic that while the task ahead is urgent,
we have built strong foundations that will
support Tasmania to adapt and prosper in a low-carbon economy.
Together, we can help shape the future in this,
the critical decade.

Cassy O'Connor Tasmania
Cassy O’Connor, Minister for Climate Change, Tasmania, and Visionary

Continuing the vision of solutions even when her nation’s Prime Minister Abbott aims to repeal carbon emissions trading and has slashed funding for renewable energy! An example for us all! - Editor

Climate Smart Tasmania

Last week, the Tasmanian government released “Climate Smart Tasmania: A 2020 Climate Change Strategy.”  “Tasmania is a renewable energy powerhouse – our annual average electricity supply comes from 87 per cent renewable energy,” says the Minister for Climate Change, Cassy O’Connor. Tasmania has also set a goal of slashing its carbon emissions by 35% by 2020. The Strategy sets out 9 priority areas and more than 80 actions both to reduce emissions and prepare for the impacts of a changing climate.
http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4055
For the report Climate Smart Tasmania- A 2020 Climate Change Strategy- http://www.dpac.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/212762/2020_Climate_Change_Strategy.PDF

Ready Or Not. Abrupt Climate Changes Worry Scientists Most

- At Climate Today, we have a file called Surprise Factor, stuffed with articles of scientists in a wide variety of fields being shocked because climate changes were happening far faster than they’d anticipated. The surprise file is the scariest of them all. Years ago, we reported on the book Abrupt Climate Change written in 2002- it’s more than tragic that we’ve known for so long and done so little! Some changes will occur very quickly and will be irreversible. Now the crazies don’t even want to fund a warning system! Don’t they have children? – Editor

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change

An expert panel at the National Academy of Sciences is calling for an early warning system to alert us to abrupt and potentially catastrophic events triggered by climate change.
The committee says science can anticipate some major changes to the Earth that could affect everything from agriculture to sea level. But we aren’t doing enough to look for those changes and anticipate their impacts. And this is not a matter for some distant future. The Earth is already experiencing both gradual and abrupt climate change.
To listen- http://www.npr.org/2013/12/03/248474721/ready-or-not-quick-climate-changes-worry-scientists-most
http://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/other-reports-on-climate-change/2013-2/abrupt-impacts-of-climate-change/
For a 4 page summary- http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/materials-based-on-reports/reports-in-brief/abrupt-climate-change-brief-FINAL-web.pdf
For the older book Abrupt Climate Change- http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10136

2014 Shrimp Season In The Gulf Of Maine Has Been Canceled

QUOTE
I think everyone was startled by what we saw in 2012,
and there was a lot of pressure to close down the fishery for the 2013 season.
The survey this summer found just 20 percent of the 2012 record low,
so it has fallen off incredibly sharply.

John Annala
John Annala, Chief Scientific Officer at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute

– Here’s a small example of how precarious ecosystems and their bounty can be. When you hear words like surprised or startled, it’s not good. This is also a hint of why we at Climate Today are deeply concerned about the issue of food. Similar situations of reducing diverse food yields are happening all over the world. – Editor

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted unanimously to halt shrimping for the upcoming season. The annual shrimp survey in 2012 revealed the lowest abundance of adults ever recorded in the survey’s thirty-year history. During the last ten years the water temperature in the Gulf of Maine has been running about 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the previous one hundred year average. Even if Northern shrimp prove themselves to be more heat tolerant than scientists predict, the warmer waters in the Gulf of Maine are proving deadly to the shrimp’s food supply, tiny zooplankton. Last spring, the usual surge in plankton never happened.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/12/04/3021451/maine-shrimp-season-closed/

Preparing for Hell and High Water

QUOTE
“Adapting to an evolving climate is going to be required
in every sector of society, in every region of the globe.
We need to get going, to provide integrated science if we are going to meet the challenge.
Richard Moss PNNL
Richard Moss, senior scientist, Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

In the journal Science, an international group of researchers urge the development of science needed to manage climate risks and capitalize on unexpected opportunities. Climate preparedness research needs to integrate social and climate science, engineering, and other disciplines.  The need to adapt and adjust is going to be global.
http://www.pnnl.gov/news/release.aspx?id=1020
For the article Hell and High Water: Practice-Relevant Adaptation Science “http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6159/696.summary?sid=f9097460-2c0d-4d2d-a856-0f2aac9893bc