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

Climate Economists Deftly Tackle Their Second Hardest Question

Among economists, "What's the future worth?" has been one of the most chewed over questions since the U.K. released a major assessment of the costs of climate change in 2006. There are plenty of answers that the question brings up in ordinary life, from the emotional ("Every bit as much as the present!") to the practical ("How will answering this question help my re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives?")

In the world of climate change, though, it's a hard numbers question: how much should we spend now to head off climate disaster in the future? It depends on how much you think the value of money will change over large spans of time. Economists talk about the value of the future in terms of a "discount rate": how much we value a dollar's worth of goods or resources X years in the future compared to today.

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Sustainability Indicator: $12.3 Billion Water Savings

$12.3 Billion

Today's sustainability indicator, $12.3 billion, is the estimated annual savings that emerging markets would receive from implementing smart-water efficiencies to reduce leaks and curb scarcity issues.

And there's more...

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Climate-Friendly Companies Have More in Common Than Carbon Cuts

If your facilities need water, and projections call for drought, here’s some advice: Use less water.

If some companies are following this advice, and others aren't, the former might deserve more investor consideration.

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Draft IPCC Report Supports Case for Action On Climate

Bloomberg BNA -- A draft working group report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change due Sept. 27 will reinforce the case for urgent action to address global warming, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said Sept. 23.

Kim was among several speakers at the opening session of the annual Climate Week NYC event in New York City suggesting that the IPCC draft should put to rest the scientific questions about the role of human activity and present a challenge to action.

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Yes, Actually, It Is a War on Coal: Chart

CO2 Emissions From Electricity Generation

There’s been a lot of talk in the past year about whether President Barack Obama is waging a so-called war on coal. It’s a loaded phrase, especially in coal-rich states like Wyoming, West Virginia and Kentucky.

Today the Environmental Protection Agency issued draft rules that would limit power-plant emissions of carbon dioxide, the most consequential greenhouse gas, meeting a deadline Obama set out in an address on climate change in June. The regulations, which apply to new facilities, will surely add heat to the political coal fire.

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CEOs and Sustainability

Chief executive officers are happier with their own companies' progress on modern environmental and social challenges than they are with everyone else's.

It's easy to laugh that off as self-aggrandizement. After all, one's own work is always harder, more important and ultimately more successful than the next guy's, right? It's why all the kids in Lake Wobegone are above average and everybody loves their local legislator but loathes the legislature.

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Climate Skeptic Groups Launch Global Anti-Science Campaign

Rajendra Kumar Pachauri — Conservative groups at the forefront of global warming skepticism are doubling down on trying to discredit the next big report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In recent weeks, they've been cranking out a stream of op-eds, blogs and reports to sow doubt in the public's mind before the report is published, with no end in sight.

"The goal is to inform the public, scientific community and media that the upcoming IPCC report doesn't have all the science to make informed judgments," said Jim Lakely, a spokesman for the Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Chicago that has been spearheading the efforts.

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Work at Risk: Top 10 Cities Threatened With Disaster

Under Water 
Storms, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis -- with more than half the world’s population now concentrated in cities, the economic threat of natural... Read more »
What Happens When the U.S. Isn’t the Biggest Gas Guzzler?

Americans burn through 1.2 gallons of gasoline per person each day. There’s no other country that comes close. Even Canadians, themselves gas hogs, use almost a third less.

That’s why the chart above should scare the fuel out of everyone.

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Hundreds Missing as Floods Destroy Colorado Homes, Farms

Crushing Force
Massive flooding in Colorado has left as many as eight people dead and hundreds missing. Rain continued to impede rescue efforts on Monday. This... Read more »

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

Tom Randall, Deputy Editor

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