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

How Much Hot Air do the UN Climate Treaty Talks Produce?

How Much Hot Air do the Climate Treaty Negotiators Produce?

Diplomats fly, drive or otherwise fling themselves hundreds or thousands of miles to United Nations climate treaty talks every year. As they converge on Warsaw this week, with attendant nongovernmental organizations and journalists, it’s worth considering just how much pollution they create in the name of cutting pollution.

``In the grand scheme of things, the emissions of the conference aren’t very big,'' said Alden Meyer, director of policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. ``But as a symbolic gesture, it's important to offset them.''

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NFL's Eagles Lead Division From Gridiron to Power Grid

Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia

(An earlier version of this article misstated the the number of parking spots in the lot.)

If the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, who wear green, added any more wind or solar power to their stadium, the facility would have to comply with rules meant for Pennsylvania electric utilities.

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Al Gore’s Come-to-Wall-Street Moment Has Investors Weighing Risk

Al Gore has come a long way from the Inconvenient Truth raconteur who in 2006 extolled the “leaves rustling with the wind” and talked about boiling frogs as a metaphor for humanity in need of a "rescue."

Gore has been fighting climate change since he co-sponsored the first congressional hearings on the subject in 1976. While his essential aim hasn’t changed, his tactics and rhetoric have. Flush with cash after making $70 million in the sale of the Current TV network, Gore is buddying up to investors, working to change their minds about billion-dollar climate risks lurking in their portfolios. Gore, snubbing trees, is now a hugger of Wall Street.

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Impact Fund Seeks to Reboot Aquaculture

ImpactIQ.org — Within a few years, most of the fish we eat will be farmed, not caught.

That could be a boon for already over-stressed oceans. But the worldwide explosion of aquaculture since 1970 has left its own trail of environmental destruction, from toxic concentrations of waste, to outbreaks of disease, to the continued over-harvesting of smaller ocean fish for feeding their penned brethren.

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An Icy Break-Up at the Bottom of the World: Today's Pic

Pine Island Glacier

This Nov. 10 NASA satellite photo shows an iceberg the size of Singapore parting ways with the Pine Island Glacier, on the western end of Antarctica. Scientists first noticed a break in the ice about two years ago. The section broke off on July 10 and remained more or less in place, before moving out to sea this week.

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

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America Is Winning a Race That It Never Signed Up For

Carbon Intensity of the U.S. Economy, 1949-2012

When it comes to reaching international deals on climate change, the U.S. hasn’t had much success. No one has. That’s too bad, because when it comes to cutting greenhouse-gas emissions, America ranks among the best in the world.

The chart above shows the carbon intensity of the U.S. economy since 1949. The blue line shows metric tons of carbon dioxide produced per million dollars of economic output.

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Oil Production from Tar Sands

The phrase “unburnable carbon” has gained currency among climate-minded investors, popularized by a U.K.-based nonprofit called the Carbon Tracker Initiative. It refers to the vast fossil-fuel reserves that, if burned, would probably push the global climate into the danger zone.

Some investors are concerned that stock-market valuations would plummet if oil companies continue to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on exploration while the world lunges away from oil. Last week, a coalition of 70 large investors representing more than $3 trillion in assets said they had dispatched letters to 45 of the largest fossil-fuel companies and utilities, asking them to explain how they plan to deal with the risk. This morning, Al Gore and Generation Investment Management co-founder David Blood published a paper on the topic.

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Gore: I Tried to Buy Twitter, Still Very Bullish

The United States has no national tax or price on carbon dioxide pollution. That doesn't mean it doesn't cost investors anything there or elsewhere, says former Vice President Al Gore. He and David Blood, co-founders of Generation Investment Management, this morning published a new paper explaining the evolution of their thinking on "sustainable capitalism," and how investors can lessen their financial risks from climate change. Gore and I spoke on Oct. 17.

Q: What are the hidden costs of carbon?

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Wal-Mart Now Draws More Solar Power Than 38 U.S. States

Wal-Mart

Solar power and keg stands have one thing in common: Wal-Mart wants to profit from them.

In the race for commercial solar power, Wal-Mart is killing it. The company now has almost twice as much capacity as second-place Costco. A better comparison: Wal-Mart is converting more sun into energy than 38 U.S. states.

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The Ages of Energy

I hope you're sitting down. Republicans and Democrats agree on something, at least nominally. It's called an "all of the above" energy policy. That phrase occurs in both White House policy pronouncements and the 2012 Republican platform, meaning basically that the U.S. should pursue all of the energy options favored by whoever's in power. The parties differ on details, but, you know, "details."

Bipartisan agreement is a rare thing, and yet it's still not nearly as rare as the notion of having multiple energy choices in the first place. For 200 years the world burned wood, then coal, then oil. Now toss in gas, nuclear, hydropower and renewable power generated from wind, sun, water and earth. Judging by the projections of Citi Research, above, these options will be with us for some time.

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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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