Sustainability Blog - The Grid
President Barack Obama spoke in Tanzania today, ending his visit to sub-Saharan Africa by highlighting what the U.S. and other countries are doing to alleviate poverty among the world’s hungriest nations.
While it’s true that the aid programs have been successful to a degree, they are unable to address the core contributor to worsening hunger in the area: population growth that is undoing gains in other areas. Sub-Saharan Africa is the only major region of the world where the proportion of people living on less than 2,100 calories a day, the commonly accepted hunger threshold, is on the rise, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released Thursday.
InsideClimateNews.org — For nearly two years, refineries in the Midwest have been buying crude oil at steep discounts thanks to a glut of U.S. and Canadian oil. But drivers in the Midwest haven't seen a corresponding decrease in gasoline prices. In fact, they sometimes pay more at the pump than people in other parts of the country, even as windfall profits flow to BP, Koch Industries Inc. and other large Midwestern refiners.
"It's good to be a refiner," said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, a company that tracks energy markets. "For 20 years, the rule of thumb was that if you made $5 a barrel east of the Rockies, that was a good profit for a refinery. Recently, we saw a period in the Midwest where refiners were making $40, or $50, or even $60 a barrel on gasoline."
Cross-posted from the Bloomberg.com blog, Political Capital.
California Republican Duncan Hunter has proposed a measure that would force the White House to seek comment on its use of its estimate of the economic costs of climate change in proposed regulations.
Transcript of President Barack Obama's speech at Georgetown University announcing his new climate-change policy:
On Christmas Eve, 1968, the astronauts of Apollo 8 did a live broadcast from lunar orbit. So Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, William Anders -- the first humans to orbit the moon -- described what they saw, and they read Scripture from the Book of Genesis to the rest of us back here. And later that night, they took a photo that would change the way we see and think about our world.
One thing that makes so many people queasy about sustainability is that its advocates don't always put their money where their mouths are. Are corporate pension funds as "green" as executives swear their global manufacturing supply chain is? Are university endowment investments as diverse and inclusive as their freshman classes? Do foundations make investment choices as if it were part of their mission?
Not everyone is in a position to take a stance as strong as Tom Steyer, 55, the San Francisco billionaire who recently retired from Farallon Capital Management LLC. Farallon, the $20 billion hedge fund Steyer founded in 1986, manages university endowments, foundation investments and other assets.
Think gasoline is expensive? It’s all relative. The cost of filling up the 39-gallon tank of a Chevrolet Suburban in Turkey is $389.22, while in the U.S. it’s $137. In Venezuela, it’s just $1.56.
The price of gas is one of the most universal complaints -- whether it’s teeth gnashing at the water cooler or deadly protests on the streets. This week, we’ve launched a new data visualization about the price of gas around the world that shows which countries are most justified in their laments. Hint to my fellow Americans: We’re not even close.
Overheard in the Bloomberg newsroom in Singapore…
Colleague 1: You know what? It feels like I’m in Beijing.
Colleague 2: You know what? Beijing’s better than here!
Businesses need focus only on increaing their profits, as long as they stay "within the rules of the game, which is to say, engage in open and free competition without deception or fraud," wrote Milton Friedman in his iconic Sept. 13, 1970, New York Times Magazine essay, “The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits.”
Darn it if the game doesn’t keep changing, though, expanding "open and free competition," if not deception and fraud, to now include the big brands’ ongoing social responsibility beauty contest.
InsideClimateNews.org — Since 2010, at least three ruptured pipelines have spilled oil into U.S. neighborhoods, forcing officials to decide quickly whether local residents would be harmed if they breathed the foul air. But because there are no clear federal guidelines saying if or when the public should be evacuated during an oil spill, health officials had to use a patchwork of scientific and regulatory data designed for other situations.
As a result, residents of the three communities received different levels of protection.