Sustainability Blog - The Grid
InsideClimateNews.org — Jeff Tollefson will be reporting from the Brazilian Amazon for the next eight weeks and exploring Brazil's efforts to protect the world's largest rainforest — and the earth's climate. This is the first blog post in a series.
As Portland recedes into the distance, my thoughts drift from my home in Oregon to the Amazon. There's a moment, as the urban grid gives way to rural farms and then forests, when these landscapes could be mistaken for one another; anybody who has peered out the window of an aircraft has witnessed this transition. But Oregon and the Amazon are worlds apart. Even setting aside their physical, biological and ecological characteristics, I'm leaving a land governed by laws that are more or less enforced, or at least feared. The world's largest rainforest, rivaling the contiguous United States in size and generating 20 percent of the world's freshwater, is a vast battleground where humans have yet to sign a meaningful accord with nature or each other.
Bloomberg BNA — The research records of climate scientist Michael Mann are exempt from disclosure under Virginia's Freedom of Information Act, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled April 17.
“Because we do not attribute to the General Assembly an intention to disadvantage the Commonwealth's public universities in comparison to private colleges and universities, we hold that the higher education research exemption's desired effect is to avoid competitive harm not limited to financial matters,” Justice Donald W. Lemons wrote for the court.
Bloomberg BNA — Canada's National Energy Board released its final report April 24 detailing continued noncompliance findings in an audit of Keystone XL proponent TransCanada Pipelines Limited's environmental protection, emergency management, safety management, third party crossings and public awareness programs.
The regulator's February report, “National Energy Board Onshore Pipeline Regulations, 1999 (OPR-99) Final Audit Report for Integrity Management Programs,” said the company was noncompliant in hazard identification, risk assessment and control, operational control in upset or abnormal operating conditions, inspection, measurement and monitoring, and management review.
Good afternoon! Here are today's top reads
Why is Google putting $100 million into financing rooftop solar power in the U.S.?
There are two answers. The first is simple enough. The company has made a strategic commitment to invest in renewable energy. It will help the company to secure its own reliable energy sources, develop new products and services around energy-use data, earn tax credits and cut carbon pollution.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper missed the signs of growing opposition to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, Bloomberg reporters describe in a behind-the-scenes investigation today. It took just one phone call with President Obama, on Nov. 10, 2011, to bring him up to speed.
By the time Harper hung up… he had sized up the potential economic calamity for Canada and its oil ambitions. (Read the full story here.)
That the oil-hungry U.S. couldn’t be counted on for limitless consumption “came as a shocking epiphany” to the Canadians, write Edward Greenspon, Andrew Mayeda, Rebecca Penty and Theophilos Argitis, drawing from interviews with more than 75 people.
Bloomberg BNA — During a visit to China to see firsthand how the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases plans to reduce emissions, European Union Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard said all countries must do their part to fight climate change and that whatever commitments they make should be “legally binding.”
Hedegaard spoke during a news conference in Beijing, responding to a proposal in a recent United Nations report that would make emission-reduction commitments binding for developed nations but voluntary for developing ones.
TGIF! Here are today's top reads
- Obama's last shot (Rolling Stone)
- White house disputes report on Keystone XL decision (National Journal)
- How Obama shocked Harper as Keystone Frustrator-in-Chief (Bloomberg)
- Blue-Footed boobies, a Galapagos treasure, under threat (NY Times)
- China hopes to take rare animals off the menu with tough jail sentences (Guardian)
- How a study of biased reporting on climate change morphed into a tale of biased science (ClimateWire)
- A botched plan to turn nuclear warheads into fuel (Bloomberg Businessweek)
- Meat and dairy consumption should be halved in Europe to cut nitrogen (Scientific American)
- Study links California drought to global warming (Washington Post)
- This 10-mile loop of parks would protect New York from rising water (Fast Company)
Visit www.bloomberg.com/sustainability for the latest from Bloomberg News about energy, natural resources and global business.
Here are today's top reads:
- China enacts biggest pollution curbs in 25 years (Bloomberg)
- A defiant rancher savors the audience that rallied to his side (NY Times)
- Keystone delay: Politics at play or regulatory clog? (Wall Street Journal)
- The easy way to fix your city's transportation system (Atlantic Cities)
- Storm surge could flood NYC once in every four years (Climate Central)
- Coffee crop prayers for rain met with threat of a deluge (Bloomberg)
- Amid legal uncertainty on conflict minerals, alternatives emerge (Guardian)
- Darren Aronofsky discusses "Noah" and climate change (Mother Jones)
- Biofuels mandate is cut drastically (Scientific American)
- CO2 makes growing seasons longer (Nature)
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Bloomberg BNA — Pronounced dead-on-arrival upon its introduction in 2013, the carbon tax bill authored by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is attracting a healthy bit of lobbying, suggesting both industry and environmental groups are looking down the road to a resurrection of legislation that failed in the Senate in 2010.
A total of 36 companies and organizations reported lobbying Congress in the first quarter of 2014 (Jan. 1 through March 31) on the Boxer-Sanders bill, and 10 lobbied on a yet-to-be introduced climate bill being readied by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and other House and Senate Democrats. Some of those groups lobbied on both bills.