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

Good, Old-Fashioned Soot Traps Heat as It Fouls Air

Diesel Exhaust Fumes

Diesel engines and burning of biomass are responsible for the lion's share of black carbon emissions in the United States, according to an EPA report to Congress on emissions of the carbon particulates. EPA's report on black carbon-- the most effective form of particulate matter, by mass, at absorbing solar energy--holds some interesting facts in regard to the largest U.S. sources.

First, here’s the breakdown of total U.S. black carbon emissions that appears in the agency’s Report to Congress on Black Carbon released March 30:

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Playing in the Sun

When will American business wake up to the scientific reality of climate change?

When the common-sense moderate middle wakes up. When pragmatic entrepreneurs and investors realize an intransigent, inflexible and, worst of all, factually incorrect political stance could lose the U.S. global influence and mountains of cash. We risk our technological and engineering -- and moral -- leadership to other countries if we continue to deny and debate established science.

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Cloud Formation

I’m a moderate Republican - a fan of small government, light regulation and market solutions. A serial entrepreneur, I founded companies that invented 3-D television weather graphics and the first app on a cell phone. I’m a Penn State meteorologist. My day-job since 1979: tracking weather for TV news.

If you know anything about American politics these days, and follow the climate war at all, you might anticipate with some confidence that I agree global warming is a hoax. That’s a shame, and I hope it changes soon.

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Tortoises Seized in Smuggling Attempt

Tortoises are pictured at the Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on April 17, 2012. Bangladesh customs authorities seized more than 400 tortoises at the country's main airport as the reptiles were being smuggled from India to Thailand, an official said.

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

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Creating Eco-Friendly Cement

Planet Forward’s Frank Sesno explains how much energy is required to make cement. He reports on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Running Time: 02:51

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Rolling Hills and Clear Skies

You might think any corporate data that helps investors weigh the value of a company would be called "financial information," right? Not so. Welcome to the world of "non-financial information."

Five U.S. companies in 2011 expanded their financial disclosures -- information required of publicly traded companies -- to include data about environmental performance, employee and community relations, and corporate governance. Investors, nongovernmental organizations and even some governments are increasingly seeking this information as it relates to business risks and opportunities. Non-financial information, it turns out, can have a pretty big impact on financial performance.

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Sustainability Indicator: 70% Urban

Sustainability Indicator

Today's sustainability indicator, 70 percent, is the proportion of the world's population that will be living in urban areas by 2050. About half of the population is now rural.

This month's indicators:

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NASA's Perpetual Ocean

Play

A NASA visualization of the world's surface ocean currents and their change over time. Courtesy NASA (Source: Bloomberg)

Running Time: 03:02

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Mad Scientist

A soot-covered scientist at the Grand Academy of Lagado successfully extracted sunlight from cucumbers and stored it in aluminum cans. The discovery will allow energy producers to generate solar-powered electricity at night and will provide unlimited on-demand wintertime heat, researchers said.

A lofty idea, but purely fictional. The Grand Academy is an invention of Jonathan Swift, in his 1726 novel, Gulliver’s Travels. The nearly 300-year-old tale comes to life again via Vaclav Smil, the prolific (nonfiction) author and energy-and-environmental systems professor at the University of Manitoba. He discusses Swift’s cucumbers in a 2011 essay, titled "Global Energy: The Latest Infatuations." The story resonates today because it fulfills what many people are looking for from the energy industry -- a simple solution to complex problems.

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Building the U.S. Power Grid: Today's Pic

Construction of the Sunrise Powerlink

A contractor hangs upside down during construction of San Diego Gas & Electric Co.'s Sunrise Powerlink, a 117-mile, 500-kilovolt electric transmission line that runs from Imperial county to San Diego, California.

SDG&E, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, provides energy to 3.4 million consumers in San Diego and southern Orange counties.

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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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