Sustainability Blog - The Grid
Everyone seems to play together so nicely these days.
Australian mining giant BHP Billiton teamed up with two major environmental groups to preserve a 125,000-acre biodiversity "hotspot" in Chile, where the world's biggest woodpeckers live among the world's smallest deer.
Windmill-hugging Europeans announced a plan last week to get 27 percent of their energy from renewables by 2030. If they don’t watch out, they may soon be upstaged by an unlikely eco warrior: the U.S. military.
U.S. armed forces have a target that’s similar to Europe’s -- 25 percent renewables -- but is on track to meet it five years sooner. Europe’s plan took a lot of heat last week for being unenforceable. By contrast, U.S. military goals aren’t just aspirational; they’re law. This comparison isn’t to poke another finger at the EU proposal. Instead, it shows just how ambitious the U.S. military’s quest for renewables has become.
- Popular flood insurance law is target of both political parties (NY Times)
- California farms going thirsty as drought burns $5 billion hole (Bloomberg)
- Obama Vows More Executive Action on High-Tech Manufacturing, Climate (Scientific American)
- Obama doubles down on climate (Climate Desk)
- Branson's butanol heading to U.S. as ethanol substituted (Bloomberg)
- The 1969 oil spill that launched the modern environmental movement (Atlantic Cities)
- State of green business: Chemical transparency creates a window of opportunity (GreenBiz)
- Public support for fracking in Britain fall for a second time (Guardian)
- 2014: The year for a smart carbon tax (Just Means)
Here are today's top reads:
- Obama urged to act alone on climate if Congress unwilling to pass legislation (Bloomberg)
- Genetic weapon against insects raises hope and fear in farming (NY Times)
- Keystone opponents use rail constraints to urge rejection (Bloomberg)
- DDT pesticide linked to Alzheimer's (BBC)
- Norway's sovereign fund halves coal exposure (Reuters)
- Kenyan energy bonanza fans violence in arid northern region (Bloomberg)
- This enormous Moscow park used to be a four-lane highway (Fast Company)
- The year in weather like never seen before (Climate Central)
- FEMA: Caught between climate change and Congress (InsideClimate News)
- The wrongful death suit that could finally define Uber (Atlantic)
Visit www.bloomberg.com/sustainability for the latest from Bloomberg News about energy, natural resources and global business.
Bloomberg BNA — As President Barack Obama prepares to give his Jan. 28 State of the Union address, advocates of greenhouse gas reductions are urging the president to turn up pressure on Congress to pass climate legislation while demonstrating his willingness to act alone in the face of congressional inaction.
The president in last year's address called on Congress to move forward on a market-based approach to reduce emissions but warned that if it was unwilling to act, he would use his executive branch authority to cut greenhouse gases and prepare local communities for more severe storms related to climate change.
InsideClimate News -- Thanks to climate change, extreme weather disasters have hammered the United States with increasing frequency in recent years—from drought and wildfires to coastal storms and flooding.
It is perhaps surprising, then, that the U.S. agency in charge of preparing for and responding to these disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), doesn't account for climate change in most of its budget planning and resource allocation or in the National Flood Insurance Program it administers.
Q: When isn't ice ice? A: When it's made of methane, not water.
This photo shows white towers of methane, frozen in water-ice and under Russia's Lake Baikal.
Covering business and climate change often reminds me of the bird that used to sit on a tree branch outside my parents' house and fly into a window. A moment of freedom punctuated by a thud. Whee! Thud. Every day, all summer long.
Whee!: Global companies want to stave off potential unpleasantness in the years ahead, from increased competition for fewer resources and from meteorological disruptions. To cite only one articulation of this trend, the World Economic Forum last week extolled the potential of the "circular economy," a trillion dollar opportunity (it says) to decouple economic growth from resource use, resulting in less waste of materials, energy and labor. "Linear consumption" -- which sounds like a euphemism for traditional economic growth -- "is reaching its limits," WEF authors write.
- Canada natives block energy projects: 'We own it all' (Bloomberg)
- IPCC hearing brings U.K. closer to U.S. polarization on climate change (Guardian)
- The good, the bad, and the ugly of natural gas (National Journal)
- Pope Francis preps tome on the environment (The Hill)
- Texas Panhandle drought on record streak (Amarillo Globe-News)
- How business has stepped up the opportunity of sustainability (Guardian)
- Remembering Google's dream, by way of Star Trek (Slate)
- Wood car takes automakers back to future in mileage quest (Bloomberg)
- Rain falling on mountains speeds CO2 removal (Climate News Network)
- Is it immoral to watch the Super Bowl? (NYT Magazine)
Elon Musk, maker of sports cars, solar farms and space ships, tends to make dramatic claims that challenge popular wisdom, and he’s often right. Not always.
Bloomberg News recently published a story about Musk’s sniping at car regulators for using the term “recall” to describe Tesla modifications to prevent overheating. (Musk hates the word “recall.”) During the reporting of the story, the billionaire co-founder of Tesla pushed back against the flak the Model S has taken after several accidents resulted in fires: