Monday, March 31, 2008

Earth Hour 2008 at the White House

GW's contribution to EarthHour.

We Can Solve the Climate Crisis

Can you imagine Al Sharpton and Pat Robertson on the same page when it comes to taking care of our planet? A topic as important as the health of our planet, that is largely ignored by the press will now be addressed with spot ads like this in the new "We Can Solve It" campaign that Al Gore and friends are promoting.

Grasping the idea of climate change and
global warming can be a scary thing. My own son talks about how his generation is filled with eco-anxiety about their futures. We can't wait, we have to wake up and do something about it. Even if the earth were not getting warmer, we are damaging the ecosystem and depleting our natural resources at an alarming rate. Yes nature bounces back, but it will be too late for many species who have already gone extinct. We are passengers on this ship and it is our duty to care for it. We have to turn things around and make people understand that the earth is a living organism, not just a rock filled with things that are there for us to exploit.

Al Gore and Tipper on 60 minutes

It is so good to see both of them on 60 minutes. I can't believe they live near my old house in Nashville. He opened my eyes and changed my life in my early years of environmentalism. I laugh and tell people that the only reason I voted for Bill Clinton was because he picked Al Gore as his running mate and I hoped that he would one day be the president. His campaign in 2000 was the first presidential campaign that I ever volunteered for. It was so horrible to watch the recount from ground zero. I'm so proud of what he has been able to do in spite of the stolen election.
I think of the movie "The Gladiators" and compare it to Al Gore. The character that Russell Crowe played was to become emperors but it was stolen from him and he was sold into slavery. But in the end, his character is triumphant and is able to destroy the enemy. And so will Al Gore. He, in the end will be able to change the world, withouth the presidency.
This is a good interview. He is now 60 years old. Let's hope they both live a long and prosperous life and continue to succeed in their efforts to wake up the world to the threat of climate change and global warming.

Shareholders of major corporations willing to bite the hand that feeds them if necessary to protect future investments from Climate Change

Photo Source: Click here

Investor Network on Climate Risk reported on their website that


as of March 6, 2008, leading U.S. investors have filed a record 54 global warming shareholder resolutions with U.S. companies that face far-reaching business impacts from climate change. The resolutions are nearly double the number filed just two years ago.


This is sugnificant because the shareholders include were filed by some of the nation's largest public pension funds, as well as labor, foundation, religious and other institutional investors.

They have not been happy with the "business as usual" approach that the American companies have been conducting and are ready to bite the hand that feeds them if necessary.



The Eco-Echo Chamber


I have been using goole alerts to follow some of the green topics emerging in the market place. What I see happening is an eco-echo chamber. One important story or report comes out and then everyone passes that information along. The story is repeated over and over again. Sometimes, like today, I feel like I'm just a an echo in this eco-echo chamber and. The Mckinsey Global Institute released a report on Monday that is making it's way through the green eco-echo. It is a big deal but not really that new. I read China Inc. last summer and the author said the same things that are in this report: "giant super cities in China were on the way." The book was several years old when I read it. No one really paid that much attention to it. But now that people are waking up to the potential for resource scarcity and carbon limits, this news has taken on a new dimension.

If you Google “population of China”, here is what you get: 1,321,851,888.
Another report, reporting on the McKinsey report says that China will produce 15 "super cities" with an average population of 25 million by 2030. Stop and imagine living in a city with 25 million people. I live in the Orlando area and according to one state report, this Metro area has a total of 1,645,000 people. Let's round that off to 1.5 million people. The traffic here is horrendous. The quality of life in suburbia American is questionable. We live in a very nice neighborhood, but really don't know our neighbors. Discussing suburb life in America will wait for another post, but can you imagine living with 25 million people in one city? What would that look like? How can you make that sustainable and have any quality of life beyond living like rats in a cage? How would you deal with sanitation issues?

How high would you have to make the buildings; how small the living space; did I mention food to feed that many people? Where will they work? Where will they play? How do you do that?

I'm glad there are people like William McDonough and Ed Mazria out there working on finding a green, sustainable solution to a greener future.
But we also need another Albert Einstein to figure out how to fix the energy needs for cities with 25, 000, 000 people… Wow!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

If not now, when?

I read about America's reluctance to join in on combating climate change. We are afraid of economic downturn. I read argument after argument on the web and in the news by politicians, scientists, religious leaders, economists, etc,. Like so many others, I keep asking "If not now, when?" What does it take to make Americans open their eyes and realize we have a problem? When are we going to stop arguing about it and decide it is time to act?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Baptist Leaders have a change of heart and acknowledge Global Warming

Grist reports that the Baptists are beginning to acknowledge that Global Warming can be caused by man and that we have a responsibility to change. This is good news, however, I hope I can find it in my heart to forgive them for all of the damage they have done by electing GW to the White House. Can I forgive them for their persecution of environmentalists, for their willful ignorance, for their self-rightous arrogance when confronted with the facts and science?

I will never forget standing in front of the Orlando Convention protesting where GW was speaking in 2003. It was on a Sunday afternoon and the convention center was filled with the "church people." A young man came out and quoted the bible to me. He knew everything about the old testament and nothing about current events. I reminded to him that Jesus had said to "Render to Cesar the things that are Cesar's and to God the things that are God's." I tried to explain to him that his civic duty to be an informed citizen and to know what was going on in the world. According to Jesus, it was what he was supposed to do. He just smiled and quoted the bible to me and said that God wanted GW to be the reelected. I felt frustration.


But later in the day, this very self righteous lady came walking down the street. She sneered at me and told me that I was a pig. I guess she didn't like my sign that said, "Bush Sucks!" This was 2003 when NO ONE dared to criticize him. I told her she was an ignoramus. She snarled at me and told me I was going to burn in hell. I wonder if this sister now acknowledges her sin. When the children are starving because of the coming famines that will inevitably come as the climate changes, will she be on her knees asking God for mercy? Will she acknowlege her part in their deaths?

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the Baptists have started to see the error of their ways, I just don't know right now if I can forgive them... I'm sorry I feel that way, but I just can't forget right now.... Maybe in time....

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Donate and Recycle your old pair of crocs to SolesUnited




SolesUnited is taking old crocs, grinding them down and making new shows to give to the poorest poor in neighboring countries. Here is a wonderful video that shows how an old pair of shoes can change a life for a child.

Climate Connections


More in the series on NPR on Climate Change.
Great resource.

NPR's A+ cartoon series that explains CO2 and Global Warming

This is a five part series produced by NPR showing in a non scary way what is causing Global Warming. This by the way, is a carbon atom, the star of the cartoon movie. Outstanding job guys and girls.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Life: This is so beautiful

Click here to see video
What an amazing video/animation about the cells that create life. I was watching Jim Kramer's Mad Money tonight and the CEO of an natural gas company was being interviewed. Jim the the CEO were making fun of "treehuggers" that worry more about the habitat of animals than in saving the economy by exploring natural gas. Now I like Jim and have read several of his book, but I find it amazing at the anthropogenic conceit of the human race at times.

Monday, March 24, 2008

REVERBERATE VIDEO WINNER! What?


I really like the winning video. I watched it twice right off the bat. Straightforward and funny. "Coal burns the hell of me." I loved the girl with the ribbons! I was surprised at the people in the video. No hippie looking people! The activists of today look nothing like the activists of the 60's.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

1000 Eco-Friendly Videos (topics)

Click here to see the list:

First of it's Kind! A free Life Cycle Calculator


So how do we get to that zero sum game? How do we know which products are the best to buy, which products will decrease our footprint? How do we know if it's green washing or legit. IDC (Industrial Design Consultancy) is the first to come out with an Life Cycle Calculator. Thanks! This is a step in the right direction!!

Environment industry produces 5.3 Million jobs in US

According to an article posted on the Center for American Progress, Green Jobs are up and coming. Wonder how long it will take for our schools to move in this direction?

A recent study conducted by Management Information Services, Inc., found that in 2005 the environmental industry nationwide generated more than 5.3 million jobs, $341 billion in sales, and $47 billion in tax revenues.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture has won an international competition to design the Masdar Headquarters, the first building in the zero waste,


Source:

A building the produces more energy than it needs.

Image that!

What to do if you break a Compact fluorescent light bulb


It's not as easy as just sweeping it up and throwing the glass in the trash. Since the bulbs contain mercury, the broken bulb has to be treated as hazardous waste. Here is an article that tells the best way to do it to keep from poisoning your family.



James Lovelock, father of the Gia theory says get ready for a global catastrophe. It's coming!


We're all doomed! We are 40 years from global catastrophe - and there's NOTHING we can do about it, says climate change expert.
Lovelock basically says that there is little we can do about global warming. We have put as much CO2 into the atmosphere to imitate what happened on earth 55 million years ago when volcanoes erupted and spewed out CO2. Life was almost wiped out. He said that we are past the tipping point and in by 2040 the CO2 levels will be the same as 55 million years ago. He says it's too late.

Lovelock says that he feels sorry for the Americans because we will not let go of the fantasy that the problem can be solved. Green/Clean Tech will make a lot of money but not change the outcome. He says the Chinese will see their continent decimated first and they will move to Africa. (He thinks they have already begun.)

Lovelock thinks something bad is about to happen. Survival will depend on the ability to migrate and move as needed. Most people will be heading north. We have too many of our species for the earth to support and natural selection will eliminate the weak.

Basically, he thinks that our effort to change human industry and behavior is a waste of time. Pleasant thoughts... :-(
I think it is human nature to not give up! We have to try!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

What is your ecological mentality?

Highly Committed

or

Indifferent

or

Opponent

or

None of the above

?

Hybrid Car Owners Educated, Wealthier, Older, More Creative, Less Dogmatic


According to MC Marketing, hybrid owners are more educated. They have identified older educated women as being primary buyers. If younger educated women could afford it, I think there would be many more.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Portable Energy


I'm not ready to buy one of these yet. Looks like some interesting products are being developed. Here is an example of why we need government regulation or at least green standards.

Oh no! My car ate my tax rebate


CNN reports: Rising gasoline prices means that up to a third of your stimulus rebate check - designed to boost the U.S. economy through spending at stores, restaurants and other businesses - could be spent buying gasoline, most of which is imported from abroad...

I wish Molly Ivins were still alive so she could say "I told you so!" She pointed out in her book, "Bushwhacked" that historically, every business that GW touched broke and went belly up. His dad had to bail him out of everything. And yet, we elected him as president of the United States. What else would you expect.

I'll bet he and Dick Cheeny and the senior officals in his administration have taken the profits they have somehow managed to slip past the sleeping public and invested in one of the new man-made islands in Dubai. KaChing!

Wear Blue on Earth Day: Call for Climate: Architecture 2030




Wear Blue is the new Architecure 2030 campaign. From April 19 to April 22 to wear blue and then "make your voice heard." They are hoping the millions and millions will jam the phone system and rattle the doors of congress. "Pick up the phone: Call Congress at 202.224.3121 and demand an immediate ‘Moratorium on Coal’ - a halt to the construction of any new coal-fired power plants. Through this Call for Climate event, Earth Day hopes to generate over a million phone calls to Congress!" Oh yeah... and spread the word.

Population and Peak Oil

Photo Source:
Andrew C. Revkin recent post on Dot Earth: Earth 2050: Population Unknowable? Basically he says research is showing the we are on a collision course with the price of oil and the carrying capacity of the earth. Some scientists say we will top out at 9 billion. Others say that that we can't even go that high. Still others say that we are like Wile E. Coyote. We have already run off the edge of the cliff and simply don't know it yet.... "Beep Beep"

How do I miss these things


I consider myself a pretty serious student of environmental issues. It never ceases to amaze me at what I've missed. I subscribe to the New York Times on Sunday and am a huge fan of theirs. Best newspaper in the country! How did I not know about the blog Dot Earth! It must be information overload. Anyway, I'm adding this to my blog roll: Great Science based blog on the environmental issues.

IMF sounds alarm about Climate Change


I read today that the man who started the Weather Channel is suing Al Gore over Global Warming. He is claiming it is financial fraud. The IMF is sounding an alarm to climate change. I wonder if he will sue the IMF too!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wal-Mart 2.0?

Will Wal-Mart flex its muscle to convince suppliers to go green?The CEO of Wal-Mart, Lee Scott, was supposed to have had an awakening after Hurricane Katrina. Wal-Mart's supply chain was instrumental in getting desperately needed supplies to survivors througout the region after the storm hit. Since then Mr. Scott has been moving Wal-Mart toward sustainble business practices and pushing their suppliers in this direction as well. Many in the environmental community held their noses, a few clapped, most were skeptical. Others have been taking a wait and see attitude toward the giant retailer, waiting for proof that it is not just PR. Today, I read about Wal-Mart's new effort to influence China to supply cleaner products. The article said that Wal-Mart still wants low prices for its consumers, but not at the expense of polluting the air and water in China. Now that's a switch, isn't it. Let's hope they can nudge China toward greener supply chain practices.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Why can't we change?

Earth Clock
David Suzuki is an emeritus professor at the Sustainable Development Research Institute, at the University of British Columbia. I found an article he wrote titled, "Blind Date with Disaster". As a biologist, he emphasizes the intelligence of our species yet bemoans our unwillingness to change even when we know that "business as usual" will lead to disaster. He sites New Orleans and reminds us how scientists' warnings pre-Katrina predicted the outcome long before it happened. Now I hear about Southwest Airlines intentionally skipping inspections knowing they were gambling with the lives of their customers.

I'm wondering if the climate-change-train-wreck is just another calculated risk that businesses and governments are willing to take while accepting that the potential loss of lives and habitat destruction will be cheaper than trying to fix the problem. I hate to be so cynical but it makes one wonder when the media yawns at dire warnings highlighted in David Suzuki’s article.

Swicki Users Go Green


Thanks to James Tolles for mentioning GreenNetizen in his Swicki higlights. They have recently built one for green home renovations.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Green Titles 08


Here is a link to the Publisher's Weekly Magzine listing all the new Green book titles for 2008. Do you see a trend?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Green Link

I stumbled on this today. Haven't had time to really read through the posts but I have seen a few that I'm going to go back and read. This is my pick of the day.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Architecture 2030 Face It entries are now avaiable on line


Architecture Ed Mazria and Architecture 2030 Face It Challenge has announced winners. Students competed to produce the best body and face paint job that conveyed a "no coal" message. Emily Bibler of Ohio State won the Face Color Award; Jackie Fabella of Cal Poly Pomona won for best B+W. A student told Metropolis:

“The entries varied in meaning: some depicting strong political messages about health and environmental impacts, while others took a positive approach by displaying a set of alternatives to coal.” ::Metropolis; See all the entries at ::Architecture2030

Friday, March 07, 2008

What happens to the animals we abandon?

I know that people don't like to be confronted with video like this. If the bible says we were made in the image of God, is this the face of God?

B Corporations: A new and better idea for business


Now here is a good idea. Brand the companies that are sustainable a new name. That will make it easier to sort out the wheat from the chaff. They are called "B Corporations."

George Bush's Green Legacy

Source:

The S&P and NASDAQ close at their lowest since 2006. The Dow Jones is down again. The jobless rate climbs. Let's see what this continued downturn does to all of the new green businesses that are just beginning to bloom and blossom.

I was watching the new eco-friendly businesses in 2000 when George Bush came into office. Many of them went belly up. The Freemarket neocons’ philosophy does not believe in government subsidies to assist a new industry. Wall Street are less inclined to buy the stock of companies the rely on them. Freemarket neocons believe that a new inustry must stand on their own two feet right off or they die. They are a lot like the Spartans in their beliefs; survival of the fittest. And many of the young companies trying to do right by the planet and right by the workers died.

Now we have billions of dollars invested in Green Tech, Clean Tech. Will they weather this storm? Let's hope for the planet’s sake, and the sake of all children everywhere they do...

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Calculate the eco-impact of paper with paper calculator


This is an interesting tool. I think it is more geared toward industry, but it is a good example of what could be developed for consumers. I'd like to be able to go to a paper calculator and see the impact of all the magazines and newspapers I subscribe to. I'd also like to be able to see the impact of that magazine. If I was able to see their footprint and compare it to a competitor, I might elect to change my subscription or eliminate it.

Elementree's Carbon Calculator

I liked Elementree's intro. The calculator was not useful because we don't use metric very much in the US so converting everything to metric to do the carbon footprint would be a pain. There are US carbon footprint websites that do the same. But I especially liked the intro to for their services. It would be useful to see more things like this over the Internet that could be shared. The main idea is to open people's eyes to the possible.

Examples of environmental performance indicators green consumers want to consider when shopping

I am pretty good and finding information on the Internet so I was surprised when I couldn't find an e-copy of the environmental performance indicators that I found in the book titled “Greening the Supply Chains” by Joseph Saris PhD. I hunted for a long time trying to find this list online. It's almost like it was a secret that the organizations didn't want to actually publish. The impression was that they were protecting us from the "TMI" (Too Much Information) syndrome. So I typed them up and will post them here. These are the things that consumers should consider when deciding whether or not something is green.

Biodegradable /compostable (%)
Commitment to periodical environmental
auditing
Contains no ozone depleting substances
Emission and waste (per
unit of product)
Energy efficient label
Environmentally-responsible
packaging
Global application of environmental standards
Hazardous air
emissions
Hazardous waste
Involvement in Superfund site
International
Organization of Standards (ISO) 14000 certification
Landfill-tons of waste
per year
Longer shelf life than industry standard
Number of hours of
training on environment per employee
Use of less hazardous alternative (% of
weight/volume)
On Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 17 hazardous chemical
list
Ozone depleting Chemicals
Participation in voluntary EPA
Programs
Pre/Post consumer recyclable content (%)
Public disclosure of
environmental record
Received any EPA/(RCRA non compliance fines)
Second tier supplier environmental evaluation

Let's hope Exxon will be hit hard


See post below