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

Hot off the Griddle: November 29

Good morning, and welcome back to the Griddle, a morning menu of fortified  items for the busy person's media diet. Black Friday sales reached $11.4 billion last weekend, a 6.6 percent leap over last year. Perhaps the only shoppers more determined than holiday-gift buyers are the Chinese and Indian manufacturers, whose appetites are pushing raw material prices ever higher. Goldman Sachs expects commodities to return about 15 percent in the next 12 months. The last time there was a recession, prices slumped 43 percent.

And now the news:

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10Q: A Charge Through the Americas

SRZero Electric Racecar

If you think finding a gas station can sometimes be tricky, imagine re-charging an electric racecar in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, or Chimbote, Peru.

No problem, said Alex Schey, founding member of the Racing Green Endurance team, a group of students from Imperial College, London, who designed, built and drove their SRZero race car across 26,000 kilometers (16,155 miles) of the Pan American highway. It takes in 14 countries and some of the globe's most extreme landscapes, from Arctic tundra to Chile's Atacama desert. Schey recently spoke with Bloomberg News energy reporter Kari Lundgren about the prospects for electric cars and the challenges he faced building the twin-motor sports car.

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Liebreich: Stop the UN Climate Charade

Wind turbines in Palm Springs, California

The annual UN climate negotiations are among the most ambitious diplomatic ventures ever undertaken. The talks are geared toward getting 200 nations to agree on an equitable ways to reduce global carbon emissions and share the cost burden of climate change adaptation. Finding common ground has proven elusive in the past 16 years of talks.

Frustration has mounted in many quarters. As evidence, we are passing along the views of a guest. Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, who contributes The Grid's first "My Take" column:

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Hot off the Griddle: November 28

Good morning, and welcome back to The Griddle, a morning menu of fortified items for the busy person's media diet. Today’s leading sustainability indicator is $187 billion. That’s how much was invested last year in building renewable power plants -- wind, sun, waves and biomass -- surpassing global investments in fossil fuels ($157 billion) for the first time in history, according to an analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. You can read more about it at our new site devoted to all things sustainability: www.bloomberg.com/sustainability.

And now, the news:

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10Q: Yunus Finds 'Happy' Profit in Yogurt

96375729-sized

Muhammad Yunus and the bank he founded, Grameen Bank, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for helping to establish the microcredit movement across the developing world. He spoke recently with Margaret Collins, a personal finance reporter for Bloomberg News in New York.

Q: What is "social business?" I bet it doesn't mean what it sounds like.
A: Social business is business that solves problems rather than make people money. The simple idea is by making money you make yourself happy. So the happiness is measured in the money that you make. I'm saying there's another source of happiness.  By making other people happy, you become happy. Somehow in the business world we have not allowed that happiness to sneak in. We kind of put a wall that 'oh, that's something you do philanthropically.' I said, 'No. We can do it as a business.' 

I'm calling this "social business," because the profit-making business is about me. It's me-centered. Social business is nothing about me. It's all about others.

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Hot off the Griddle: November 23

Good morning, and welcome back to The Griddle, a morning menu of fortified items for the busy person’s media diet. Bloomberg.com has launched a new section about all things “sustainability.” In the United States, this hexasyllabic moniker often connotes corporate environmental programs, many of which sound too good to be true. The sustainability imperative bursts beyond that years-old narrative. The story is now about long-term profitability amid intensifying global competition for strategic resources. It's about embedding long-term thought in daily decisions. It's the race for power and stability in the 21st century. See you at http://www.bloomberg.com/sustainability

And now, the news:

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Wind-Turbine Maker Vies For Sailing Record

sailrocket2

Vestas Wind Turbines isn't satisfied with being the world's largest maker of wind turbines. Today the Danish company is hailing the Greek wind god, Aeolus, to whip up winds strong enough to break another world record - in sailing.

Vestas engineers, drawing on expertise in aerodynamics and light-weight materials, designed and built the aptly named Sailrocket 2 at their research facility in the U.K.'s Isle of Wight. Today the team put their boat into water to challenge the previous sailing record, held by American kite surfer Rob Douglas. Kite surfing is an extreme water sport where the rider holds onto a large kite as if he were water skiing.

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Hot off the Griddle: November 21

The Keeling Curve

Good morning, and welcome back to The Griddle, a morning menu of fortified items for the busy person's media diet. In 1958, a scientist named C. David Keeling started monitoring the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere, which was then about 314 ppm, or parts CO2 per million parts of air. Within two years, Keeling could tell it was trending up. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration maintains this data set, known as the "Keeling Curve," to this day.

This morning, the World Meteorological Organization issued its annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, which measures levels of heat-trapping gases driving climate change. The WMO reports that 2010 set a new CO2 record, of 389 ppm, indicating a rebound in the global economy and a harbinger of the challenges ahead.  And now, more news:

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Life Springs Anew in NYC River Post-Detox

Newtown Creek

Newtown Creek, one of the most polluted bodies of water in North America, is showing signs of life.

After more than 150 years of industrial-grade abuse, the 3.8-mile waterway on the Brooklyn-Queens border in New York City is slowly becoming home to wetland plants, fish and waterfowl.

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Hot off the Griddle: November 17

Good morning, and welcome back to The Griddle, a morning menu of fortified items for the busy person's media diet. Some state officials think the EPA's oversight of natural gas extraction from shale (aka hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking, aka fraccing) is better left to the states. “Fracking has never been regulated by the federal government,” Michael Krancer, secretary of Pennsylvania's environmental agency, told Bloomberg News. “This is a philosophic question that goes back to 1789.” See first opinions here by early blogger James Madison.

And now, today's news:

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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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