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

Sustainability presents company legal departments with something of a paradox.

The movement encourages companies to become ever more transparent with their "stakeholders" -- investors, employees, communities, regulators, customers -- about topics traditionally left unaddressed. These include environmental footprints, records on social issues, and corporate governance protections.

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If Ocean Heat Pump Switches On, Expect to Feel It

Sea-surface temperatures

Scientists are chipping away at a question that has dominated public climate change discussions in the U.S. the last few years: Where's the heat? Despite unchecked carbon pollution, warming felt on the Earth's surface has slowed since 1998.

Clues keep pointing to the Pacific Ocean, and a new paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) predicts that the temperatures will rise again toward the end of this year.

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Keystone Consultant Disclosed Work Leading to Alleged Conflict A

Bloomberg BNA – The consulting firm that wrote a largely favorable environmental review of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline disclosed to the State Department work it did that led to allegations of a conflict of interest after it won the contract, according to newly released documents.

The firm, Environmental Resources Management, part of London-based ERM Group Inc., has come under fire from environmental groups led by Friends of the Earth for not disclosing the work that one of its subsidiaries did on a project jointly owned by TransCanada Corp., the company that is seeking permission to build Keystone.

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In Hot Water: Today's Top Reads

Here are today's top reads:

  • Global-warming slowdown attributed to pacific winds (Bloomberg)
  • Political tussle of Duke Energy spill bubbles to the surface (Business Journal)
  • Nuclear waste solution seen in desert salt beds (New York Times)
  • Data made beautiful: Weather, climate and fracking water (Bloomberg)
  • Students sent home from West Virginia schools amid fears over water contamination (National Journal)
  • Social media and green tech helps create sustainable communities (Guardian)
  • How companies profit by solving global problems (GreenBiz)
  • Keystone XL: Is it the right fight for environmentalists? (National Geographic)
  • Harper sees history clinching Keystone nod with or without Obama (Bloomberg)
  • Exit interview: Phil Radford, Greenpeace (GreenBiz)

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

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Data Made Beautiful: Weather, Climate and Fracking Water

Wind and Surface Current Forecast

Data are ruthless. They reduce all of human experience to seconds on a watch and measure inches of snowfall without regard to snow angels. A datum sees the sun set and calls it just another day.

Humans bring life to data and put them together in ways that help us better understand the world. Some people call this art “data visualization,” and 2014 has already produced some mind-splitting examples. Below are four favorites.

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Big Companies Step Up Efforts to Trim Environmental Risks

Bloomberg BNA -- Multinational corporations say they are increasingly taking on a regulatory role in their supply chains to improve performance on environment, health and safety (EHS) issues, especially in developing countries where government oversight can be weak.

Although EHS regulations are strong in some developing countries, including China, they can be difficult to enforce, as governments struggle to keep up with growth in manufacturing.

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Banking on Global Warming: Today's Top Reads

Here are today's top reads:

  • Are big banks fueling global warming? (National Journal)
  • Redford: Alberta won't play emissions chicken on Keystone (Bloomberg)
  • Huge leak of coal ash slows at North Carolina power plant (New York Times)
  • Bloomberg: 'The biggest thing you can do…is to close coal-fired power plants' (National Journal)
  • Coalition 'taking an axe' to environment, says Mark Butler (Guardian)
  • Haze over cities is a problem bigger than China: Today's Pic (Bloomberg)
  • America's power is under threat (Wall Street Journal)
  • Higher education gets smart about climate change (GreenBiz)
  • How the Netflix model impacts the environment, economy and society (Guardian)
  • Opening ceremony: Who has Sochi's craziest outfits? (Bloomberg)

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

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Chemical Spill West Virginia

Bloomberg BNA – West Virginia residents affected by the recent Elk River chemical spill should trust federal regulators' assurances that their drinking water is safe, according to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D).

Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, Environmental Protection Agency experts have examined the distribution system and determined that levels of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM) in tap water are at safe or even undetectable levels, said Region 3 Administrator Shawn M. Garvin, who joined Tomblin at a news briefing Feb. 5 in Charleston.

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Haze Over Cities Is a Problem Bigger Than China: Today's Pic

Particle Pollution in Eastern China

China's big industrial cities are learning the hard way that rapid economic growth comes at a price frequently paid by the lungs.

Residents of Bejing and Shanghai live under continuous threat that air pollution will make walking around the block harder than climbing a mountain. This side effect of economic progress turns out to be somewhat contagious, as local pollution goes global, according to a recent study in Nature Communications by scientists from Texas A&M University, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Peking University.

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Fracking's Thirst for Water: Investors Warned of the Hidden Risk

InsideClimateNews.org -- Some of the nation's driest, drought-plagued places have quickly become its busiest hot spots of drilling for shale gas and oil, especially in Texas, Colorado and California.

It's a dust-bowl-sized problem likely to become worse, according to a study released Wednesday by the nonprofit sustainability advocacy group firm Ceres. Fracking, the controversial drilling technique, is consuming billions of gallons of water each year in states where water is increasingly scarce. The report warns that investors need to demand information about how energy companies are managing this problem or risk their investment portfolios being clobbered.

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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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