If you havn’t seen the mindboggling advertisements put out by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, watch the video below. CEI, funded by numerous companies – notably ExxonMobile, has produced these ads to make people belive that there is, in fact, no climactic crisis on the globe at all. The ads are so bad, they look like deliberate parodies.
I almost feel sorry for Exxon. They’ve got so much money right now they really don’t seem to know what to do with it. While BP and Shell continue to accept the facts about peak oil and global warming, slowly and visibly tranistioning themselves to a post-oil world by investing in solar and other technologies, ExxonMobile and other myopic corporations continue to blindly fight like stubborn mules. In ten or fifteen years, unless ExxonMobile gets a clue, we’re going to see BP and Shell picking apart its remains, and deservedly so.
Al Gore’s New Film, An Inconvenient Truth, Comes out in NY and LA this week, and elsewhere the following week. If you’ve ever seen his slide show, then you’ve basically seen the film, but it’s still worth checking out to reinforce the sense of urgency with which we really need to address our environmental problems – not just those concerning CO2 emissions. You can read my review on TreeHugger, as well as check out the current list of opening days around the US and Canada. Click here to see the list and review.
From this weeks SF Business Journal, VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers will offer an annual $100,000 prize to promote green technology. Citing the “enormous power in prizes”, the firm expects green innovation to be the among biggest economic opportunities of the new century. (Don’t we all?) (thx Jamie)
Holy Cow – There’s more on Green Business in today’s New York Times than I’ve seen in one place. I’ve only begun to check it out, so no thoughts yet, other than today is a good day to go out and buy the times.
Presidio grad Simran Sethi will be hosting a new TreeHugger TV segment called “TreeHugger News”, a weekly wrap up of highlights from the site, and other interesting news! The debut looks pretty sweet so far. Check it out by clicking here. The future is green, as we say!
The urban heat island effect is a costly bi-product of having a lot of land paved and built on. It can raise the air temperature in cities enough to send air conditioning bills through the roof, in addition to making things just plain un confortable. Green roofs, and lighter colored pavement help alleviate the problem, and a new innovation from Japan might help further – it’s pavement that actually soaks up water, which then is released slowly into the air, reducing the pavement temperature. This particular example actually uses the groundwater – so i’m not sure it’s such a great idea, but I would imaging you could do something similar with stormwater or rain.
I should probably be working on my capstone (thesis) presentation for tommorow, but I couldn’t help spending a few minutes checking out the “Toxic 100” list from UMass which lists the 100 “most polluting” companies in the US. Everyone loves these rankings, and this one is filled with excellent detail down to the individual facilities’ emissions per company. Of course, this doesn’t necesarily mean that the highest ranking companies on this list are the “worst” in terms of making efforts, just that they’re the biggest. So before we start demonizing the top 10, do a little homework. Notably missing are airlines and delivery companies – do emissions from operations not count? or do they really not add up that much? See the list here.
More fun to have while I take a break from writing. Google Trends is sort of a build-your-own Zeitgeist where you can track the popularity of words and phrases in search queries as well as in the news. It’s even got geographic specificity. Here are a few interesting ones to play with: Peak Oil John Kerry Global Warming Katrina BioDiesel Kyoto Protocol
Another TreeHugger project, we’re proud to announce the launch of Hugg. If you are familiar with sites like Digg, then you’ll “get it” right away. If not, please read the detailed description on TreeHugger and start hugging!
So… I’m finishing up school this week and there are unlikely to be too many posts. Sometimes I gotta take a break. If you have antying worth sharing send me an email with a pre-formatted post and I’ll see what I can do. In the meantime, pop on over to some of these sites and have a read! TreeHugger Sustainablog City Hippy GreenLAGirl WorldChanging See you on the other side!
Chalk up another progress point for clean-tech. The NASDAQ, along with Clean Edge have launched a clean energy index which will follow the performance of certain publicly traded clean energy companies. (WSJ article here). The index is great news for anyone following clean tech, and I’m guesing it will out perform the market (given today’s energy situation). Let’s hope it does! (thanks Joel)
Or rather, the villan in “The Constant Gardener”. Pfizer has been charged in Nigeria with administering experimental drugs to children with no authorization. It may or may not have lead to any deaths, but it’s certainly dodgy behavior from a giant pharmacutical who ought to know better. This is the kind of corporate leadership that ends up brining down companies, not to mention the reputations of more well behaved firms. Not a good move on the part of Pfizer who will probably catch a lot of heat for this, and deservedly so. The effect on their share price remains to be seen.
This is my favorite kind of post. Penn State has some really good data for people considering green roofs outlined on this page. It’s not as simple as laying out some dirft and throwing on some grass seed. There is an innumerable variety of plants and soil types, as well as arrangements of both that perform differently under different conditions. At the Penn State green roofs test facility (check it out), they’re testing all of it. Of particular interest is the data they’ve collected on storm water runoff. If I’m reading it corectly, a green roof will prevent 3 times as much stormwater runoff as a traditional roof, in addition to providing filtration of what does run off. With increasing costs associated with stormwater there’s an obvious busines case here. (via Greenclips)
Carbon prices are down a whopping 50% over news that many European countries emitted far less CO2 last year than the market had anticipated (article on WBCSD). While it’s good news that emissions are down, the immediate negative effect, of course, is that with lower prices for credits, companies have less incentive to cut back and sell them. Of course, as long as a credit is worth more than zero, there’s still something there no? Cutting emissions is usually profitable in the long term regardless of whether there’s an incentive program in place, but could this reduction in incentives be too much to keep companies excited about it? What will the effect of this be on projects like TerraPass or DriveNeutral? (if something similar happened in the US market?) It seems to me that if consumers were picking up the slack and buying lots of credits to offset their driving, it would make up for the difference and stabilize the price.
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