Few things are as uniquely unsustainable as southern Louisiana. Astrology last month briefly joined the list of forces blamed for the Gulf of Mexico swallowing the equivalent of a football field of Louisiana land every hour -- about 1,900 square miles since the 1930s.
The Louisiana Applied Coastal & Environmental Sciences Division (LACES) issued a study at the end of January recommending that policymakers plan for an estimated one-meter rise in sea level this century. The report's summary for coastal managers curiously stated that "Sea-level rise is caused by a variety of dynamic interactions, and is influenced by atmospheric, geologic, oceanic, and astrological changes, whether natural or anthropogenic."Read more »
Good morning, and welcome back to the Griddle, a menu of fortified items for the busy person's media diet. Sports apparel-maker Puma issued an "environmental profit and loss statement," last week, which it describes as "The first ever attempt to measure, value and report the environmental externalities caused by a major corporation and its entire supply chain." The bottom line: if Puma treated the environment like a business service provider, the company would owe the Earth 8 million euros ($10.6 million) for its core operations last year and another 137 million euros for the impact of its suppliers. Executive Chairman Jochen Zeitz described it as a "wake-up call" for Puma, and for all companies. The question is: will investors and other companies hear it?
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Good morning, and welcome back to the Griddle, a menu of fortified items for the busy person's media diet. Sea-level rise is threatening the Maldives, the Indian Ocean nation made up of 1,200 islands, 80 percent of which are less than a meter above sea level. The country will will be largely uninhabitable by the end of this century, according to a 2010 review article in Science by Robert J. Nicholls and Anny Cazenave. Former President Mohamed Nasheed put the Maldives on the map by calling attention to predictions that his nation was disappearing from it. A coup forced Nasheed from power this week, and the U.S. has recognized the new government. The new regime's position on global climate policy is not yet established. Nor is it known if they'll share Nasheed's penchant for publicity -- and try to top the 2009 cabinet meeting he held under water, in scuba gear.
And now the week's best of Bloomberg Sustainability News:Read more »
Pop artist Andy Warhol rendered this portrait of a banana in 1967 for The Velvet Underground’s debut record album. Almost half a century later, the rock & roll band is suing the artist’s estate for trademark infringement. The band knows something farmers are increasingly concerned about: bananas need protection.
That’s not just any banana. That’s a Cavendish, the kind familiar to Western grocery shoppers (although the Warhol Museum couldn’t confirm its variety). When The Velvet Underground issued its self-titled banana album, the Cavendish was as new to the American palate as rock & roll. A different banana, the Gros Michel, dominated fruit bowls in the first half of the 20th century. The larger, less-curved and less-sweet Gros Michel survives in tropical regions, but in the U.S. it's as distant as the 20s-era song it inspired: "Yes, We Have No Bananas.”Read more »
Good morning, and welcome back to the Griddle, a menu of fortified items for the busy person's media diet. The New York Giants won Super Bowl XLVI this week powered in part by renewable energy. Green Mountain Energy supplied renewable energy credits to offset power use of everything from stadium lights to sportswriters' computers. Next year's Super Bowl venue, New Orleans (video), is becoming increasingly difficult and costly to "green." Southern Louisiana is sinking at the same time ocean waters are rising, making coastal erosion a crisis at the Mississippi River Delta. A report issued this week by Louisiana's coastal science advisory advises policymakers to assume the Gulf of Mexico sea level will rise 1 meter by 2100. The state currently loses the equivalent of a football field of land every hour.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger told a conference in New Delhi last week that huge American cars aren’t responsible for global warming. Their engines are. "It's not the big car that's the problem. It's the technology inside the car," he said.
Swapping out engines is an easier way to fight climate change than trying to modify people's lifestyles. The Hollywood icon and former California governor converted his two Hummer trucks to run on hydrogen and biofuels.Read more »
Baseball has always provided Americans a rich mine of metaphors and parables. Then along came Michael Lewis’s book Moneyball, now a movie nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, to knock one out of the park. Its lessons are applicable far from home plate.
Moneyball tells the story of Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane, who two decades ago threw aside commonly held assumptions about how to build a team roster. He proved that deep statistical measurement and analysis are more useful than conventional wisdom, sending the A's to the World Series on one of the lowest budgets in baseball.Read more »
America's got a plumbing problem. The country's aging water infrastructure is leaking, and the plumber just came in with an estimate: $1 trillion, payable over the next 25 years.
That's the figure given by American Water Works Association, an industry training and research group, to ensure clean and abundant water in a country that's grown to expect it. Unfortunately the bank account needed to pay this bill -- government spending and bonds backed by taxes and utility bills -- is running dry.Read more »
Good morning, and welcome back to the Griddle, a menu of fortified items for the busy person's media diet. Many sustainability strategists we interview say they feel emboldened by increased attention to the topic even during the Great Recession. But corporate actions don't always match their intentions. GreenBiz this month downgraded six of 20 environmental indicators in its recently released State of Green Business Report 2012. The group's research showed performance declines among companies in clean energy investment, energy efficiency, green offices, packaging, toxic emissions and toxics in manufacturing. The authors wrote: "Simply put, sustainable business is suffering a recessionary hangover."
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Finance is the most lopsided industry in the MSCI World Index when it comes to appointing women as directors and promoting them to management positions, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The Chart of the Day shows how banks, insurers and asset managers in the index of stocks in 24 markets have a disproportionately low percentage of female board members compared with employees, 51 percent of whom are women. Finance also scores lowest in matching the percentages of women workers and managers. The materials sector, including mining companies, does best in balancing its female workforce and directors, though in that industry just 18 percent of employees are women.Read more »