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

Businesses That Ignore Natural Capital Could Lose out: Report

Businesses That Ignore Natural Capital Could Lose Competitivenes

Bloomberg BNA — Businesses that fail to account for risks associated with the “startling” erosion of natural capital could lose competitiveness, according to a recent report.

Natural capital—including assets such as fossil fuels that have a market price and others such as clean air and water that are often undervalued—is being depleted at an accelerating rate, according to the report from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

Read more »
Barnett Shale — Between February 2010 and July 2011, Lisa and Bob Parr filed 13 complaints about air pollution from gas and oil operations near their ranch in Wise County, Texas. Sometimes they had trouble breathing, they told the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). They also experienced nausea, nosebleeds, ringing ears and rashes.

Other families were also alarmed. Between 2008 and 2011, the TCEQ received 77 complaints from Wise County, in the Barnett Shale drilling area in North Texas. One said the odor was so powerful that the complainant "couldn't go outside," according to the TCEQ report.

Read more »

Controlling the Weather: Today's Top Reads

Good morning! Here are today's top reads:

  • Solar farmers in Japan to harvest electricity with crops (Bloomberg)
  • Governments await Obama’s move on carbon to gauge U.S. climate efforts (NY Times)
  • Wanted: A breed of chicken that can survive crippling heatwaves (Guardian)
  • How oceans can solve our freshwater crisis (CNN)
  • EU wants to sanction Russia and buy its gas (Bloomberg)
  • Obama's new rules for coal power plants are a B.F.D. The ensuing political fight may be even bigger (New Republic)
  • Antarctic ice collapse could devastate global food supply (Climate Central)
  • The petroleum product that can save millions of lives each year (Forbes)
  • Can we control the weather? (Scientific American)
  • China to scrap millions of cars in anti-pollution push (Reuters)

Visit The Grid for the latest about energy, natural resources and global business.

Read more »

An American Cowboy Fights for the Amazon 

Brazil — I entered the Amazon on the wings of a military-trained cowboy from San Antonio, Texas. Below, the Araguaia River flowed reddish-brown along a meandering path that extends some 1,600 miles before flushing into the Atlantic Ocean alongside the Amazon. Peering down from the cockpit, John Carter reminisced about life before bulldozers, fires and guns forced a tactical retreat.

"When we lived here, this was all my backyard," he says. "During the dry season, this water is crystal clear. I used to go spear-fishing."

Read more »

Duke Energy Shareholders Sue Over Coal Ash Oversight

Bloomberg BNA — Duke Energy Corp. shareholders accused the board of exposing the company to billions of dollars in liability by failing to clean up coal-ash ponds in North Carolina, setting up another legal challenge for the largest U.S. utility owner after a February spill in the state.

Company officials have known for years that coal-ash ponds were seeping toxic chemicals into soil and rivers, shareholders Edward Tansey and the Police Retirement System of St. Louis said in a complaint made public May 22 in Delaware Chancery Court in Wilmington.

Read more »

U-Turn on Climate Policy: Today's Top Reads

Happy Memorial Day weekend! Here are today's top reads:

  • Australia’s pollution U-turn threats UN climate talks (Bloomberg)
  • Glacial melt pours iron into ocean, seeding algal blooms (Scientific American)
  • Near-average hurricane season is predicted for U.S. as El Niño develops in the Pacific (NY Times)
  • Extreme U.S. and U.K. winters linked to CO2 (Bloomberg)
  • Colorado's unregulated marijuana farms persist despite legal 'green rush' (Guardian)
  • Inside the looming food crisis (National Geographic)
  • How green energy won out over fossil fuels in a red state (National Journal)
  • Tea Party members really, really don't trust scientists (Mother Jones)
  • A bogus claim that electricity prices will nearly double with clean coal technology (Washington Post)
  • The cities with the most energy efficient buildings (Fast Company)

Visit The Grid for the latest about energy, natural resources and global business.

Read more »

Aliens in Washington: Today's Top Reads

Good morning! Here are today's top reads:

  • Obama divides power players with rule utilities accept (Bloomberg)
  • Worries turn to disease as waters recede in Balkans (NY Times)
  • Rain! Storm heads for Southern Plains, won’t end drought (Climate Central)
  • The House Science Committee has held more hearings on aliens than on climate change (National Journal)
  • Placenta home to diverse bacteria that may affect newborn (Bloomberg)
  • Japan court rules against nuclear restart in rare ruling (Reuters)
  • Fusion experiment breakthrough: In a first, the fuel released more energy than it absorbed (Scientific American)
  • Green billionaire prepares to attack ‘anti-science’ Republicans (CNN)
  • Could the next transit trend be water buses? (Treehugger)

Visit The Grid for the latest about energy, natural resources and global business.

Read more »

Jailed and Shot for Fighting Coal: Q&A With Ramesh Agrawal

Ramesh Agrawal — With great difficulty Ramesh Agrawal limped to the podium in San Francisco last month to receive the prestigious Goldman Prizef or grassroots environmental activism. Still recovering from gunshot injuries inflicted by thugs allegedly on the payroll of a steel and power giant, Agrawal had to be helped up by his son Raman.

The shattered thigh bone he suffered in July 2012 was the price Agrawal, 60, paid for helping block a coal mine by the powerful Jindal Steel and Power Limited in his mineral-rich state of Chhattisgarh. Months after the mine was rejected assailants broke into the small Internet cafe Agrawal owned since 1999 and aimed guns at his chest. A mobil phone he hurled knocked the men off balance before they fired. Most of the bullets missed, but one entered his thigh and another his groin.

Read more »

Bloomberg BNA — McDonald's plans to implement its recent pledge to purchase sustainable beef using region-specific standards for its suppliers, one of the company's sustainability officials told Bloomberg BNA May 21.

McDonald's, which is one of the largest buyers of beef in the U.S., vowed in January to begin purchasing verified sustainable beef by 2016, with the goal of eventually buying all of its beef from sustainable sources.

Read more »

U.S. Agency Will Assess Dangers of Tar Sands Oil Spills

Federal Study to Assess Dangers of Dilbit When It Spills — The federal government said Tuesday it will study a critical question in the battle over oil pipelines carrying Canadian diluted bitumen: Are spills involving dilbit more dangerous to people and the environment than leaks of lighter traditional oil?

In recent years, dilbit spills in Michigan, Arkansas and elsewhere have provided convincing evidence on the subject, but researchers are still working on definitive scientific studies that would translate those examples into broader conclusions about the risks of dilbit.

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

Sustainability Video

  1. New Green Schemes Planned for U.K. Coastline
  2. Brazil’s Win in Alternative Energy
  3. Looking Ahead to the Future of U.K. Solar Energy