The Grid: Energy, Resources, Environment, Sustainability | Bloomberg

All Your M&Ms Will Be Green by 2040: The Mars Mission

M&M Candies

Mars Inc., which sells about $30 billion of deliciousness a year, is going green. We’re talking 100 percent.

The Mars mission: to eliminate fossil fuel use by 2040. The maker of Snickers and M&Ms is just 3 percent green today, at least when it comes to renewable energy. But don't worry, your green M&Ms won't cost a penny more than the coal-colored ones, according to Barry Parkin, chief sustainability officer at Virginia-based Mars. The big strategy? Wait until switching is a no-brainer.

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California Climate Policies Continue To Survive Legal Challenges

Bloomberg BNA —Lawsuits challenging California's climate policies have yet to delay implementation of the programs, attorneys involved in the various cases said March 26.

“The California Air Resources Board is batting about 1,000,’’ Tom McHenry, a partner at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher in Los Angeles, said during a presentation on the status of legal actions the state still faces eight years after enacting the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (A.B. 32).

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Bloomberg BNA — More than 100 institutional investors have developed recommendations for integrating disclosure on environmental and social issues into listing rules for stock exchanges worldwide.

The proposal, released March 26 by sustainability advocacy group Ceres, is part of an effort to develop a common standard for sustainability reporting by companies listed on stock exchanges in the U.S. and other countries.

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The Two Numbers Climate Economists Can’t Stand to See Together

Okay, fine. You're persuaded that climate change is a problem. So if we can work out the costs and benefits of reducing carbon emissions, we'll be able to decide on the cheapest course of action, right?

Not so fast. The two numbers that you'd need to do that apparently shouldn't be compared, under penalty of lectures from either climate scientists or economists. Both numbers come from separate draft reports that are still being finalized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

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Baseball

When the Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals take the field in Cincinnati Monday afternoon, they help kick off a Major League Baseball season that starts about five weeks earlier than the first Opening Day. At the inaugural opener of the American Association in May 1882, the Red Stockings lost to the Pittsburgh Alleghenys, 10-9.

Spring itself is starting earlier, too, though it can't keep pace with spring training. Leaves unfurl in the United States on average just three days earlier than they used to, a week earlier in parts of the Southwest and Southeast, according to Climate Matters. CM is a project of the nonprofit science and journalism group Climate Central that dozens of broadcast meteorologists turn to for up-to-date, TV-friendly information about global warming.

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Drunk on Global Warming: Today's Top Reads

Good morning! Here are today's top reads:

  • Raise a glass of Scottish wine to global climate changes (Bloomberg)
  • In ocean of mud, a plea: Leave me and find my wife (NY Times)
  • Can text messaging solve Karachi's incredible water bill problem? (Atlantic Cities)
  • This could be the priciest baseball park in the whole Atlantic Ocean (Bloomberg)
  • Maryland Democrats at war over Chesapeake Bay project (E&E Daily)
  • Why oil drilling is both safer and riskier since Exxon Valdez (NPR)
  • David Cameron: Britain has a 'duty' to frack (Telegraph)
  • Here's how Vladimir Putin got involved in a Colorado Senate race (National Journal)
  • The healthiest (and least healthy) places in the U.S. (Fast Company)
  • Danish zoo that killed Marius the giraffe puts down four lions (Guardian)

Visit www.bloomberg.com/sustainability for the latest from Bloomberg News about energy, natural resources and global business.

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Sea-Level Rise in Miami

Something odd happens to the neighborhood around Marlins Park, Miami’s new $650 million baseball stadium, when you overlay 21st-century sea-level rise projections. It sinks below the waterline.

It’s a shame. The park has a retractable, cloud-white roof to shield players and spectators from the summer sun. It recycles, sips energy and water, and is plugged into public transit. It has 27 flood gates, and was built one foot higher than floods are supposed to reach in once-in-500-year storms. The total, publicly financed package, with debt servicing, could cost Miami $2.4 billion by 2049.

If the Atlantic inches in as projected, eventually it might not matter how many flood gates there are. Oceans are swelling as they absorb heat, and ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica have been melting faster since the early 1990s. Sea-level rise estimates for later this century have been revised upward, to a global average of a foot and a half to three feet by 2100, without aggressive carbon-cutting, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

South Florida is a national leader in understanding the changing world. But politics and even policy change much more quickly than bureaucracy. That makes Marlins Park a symbol for cities in transition, a future relic from a time when the people who could build really cool things worked more or less independently from the people who monitored how fast the seas were rising.

The same potential problem exists wherever cities are laying down infrastructure expected to last into the second half of the century. Boston’s “Big Dig” highway project, a generation in the making, wasn’t driven by late 21st-century storm surge considerations. Oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico have never been built with permanent sea-level rise in mind. Another newish baseball stadium, Nationals Park, stands yards from Washington’s Anacostia River.

"Cities can't wait for the next crisis," said former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, by email. He is now chairman of The Sustainability Exchange, a business that works with cities to identify more affordable and enduring infrastructure projects. "They need to plan today for what we know we will have to deal with tomorrow."

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China Cracks Down on Illegal Wastewater Discharges

China Water Pollution

Bloomberg BNA — China hopes to deal a “heavy blow” to businesses that illegally discharge wastewater, Premier Li Keqiang said in a special State Council meeting on energy savings and emissions reduction, in remarks posted on the body's website March 24.

Li said the government would “crack down hard” on such activities by businesses and on local officials who have “ignored basic social responsibility and legal liability” by failing to provide adequate oversight of wastewater discharge activities of companies in their jurisdictions.

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Hearts of Darkness: Today's Top Reads

Good morning! Here are today's top reads:

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Wastewater Reimagined: Better Technology, Changing Climate Could

Bloomberg BNA — Virtually all of the water flushed down toilets and sent down drains in U.S. homes and businesses goes to wastewater treatment plants where it is cleaned up and then discharged into rivers, lakes, streams and oceans.

Only a small percentage is directly reused.

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About The Grid

Nations and companies face rising competition for strategic resources — energy, food, water, materials — and the technologies that make best use of them. That's sustainability. It's about the 21st-century race for wealth, health and long-term security, across the global grid.

Analyses or commentary in this blog are the views of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloomberg News.

Eric Roston, Editor
eroston@bloomberg.net

Tom Randall, Deputy Editor
trandall6@bloomberg.net

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