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

CEOs and Sustainability

Chief executive officers are happier with their own companies' progress on modern environmental and social challenges than they are with everyone else's.

It's easy to laugh that off as self-aggrandizement. After all, one's own work is always harder, more important and ultimately more successful than the next guy's, right? It's why all the kids in Lake Wobegone are above average and everybody loves their local legislator but loathes the legislature.

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Climate Skeptic Groups Launch Global Anti-Science Campaign

Rajendra Kumar Pachauri — Conservative groups at the forefront of global warming skepticism are doubling down on trying to discredit the next big report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In recent weeks, they've been cranking out a stream of op-eds, blogs and reports to sow doubt in the public's mind before the report is published, with no end in sight.

"The goal is to inform the public, scientific community and media that the upcoming IPCC report doesn't have all the science to make informed judgments," said Jim Lakely, a spokesman for the Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Chicago that has been spearheading the efforts.

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Work at Risk: Top 10 Cities Threatened With Disaster

Under Water 
Storms, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis -- with more than half the world’s population now concentrated in cities, the economic threat of natural... Read more »
What Happens When the U.S. Isn’t the Biggest Gas Guzzler?

Americans burn through 1.2 gallons of gasoline per person each day. There’s no other country that comes close. Even Canadians, themselves gas hogs, use almost a third less.

That’s why the chart above should scare the fuel out of everyone.

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Hundreds Missing as Floods Destroy Colorado Homes, Farms

Crushing Force
Massive flooding in Colorado has left as many as eight people dead and hundreds missing. Rain continued to impede rescue efforts on Monday. This... Read more »

Pipeline Safety Chief Says Regulatory Process Is 'Kind of Dying'

Pipeline Safety Chief Discusses Regulatory Process -- Jeffrey Wiese, the nation's top oil and gas pipeline safety official, recently strode to a dais beneath crystal chandeliers at a New Orleans hotel to let his audience in on an open secret: the regulatory process he oversees is "kind of dying."

Wiese told several hundred oil and gas pipeline compliance officers that his agency, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA), has "very few tools to work with" in enforcing safety rules even after Congress in 2011 allowed it to impose higher fines on companies that cause major accidents.

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How Farmers Harvest U.S. Taxpayer Dollars

On the Edge of Starvation
The devastation of the 1930s Dust Bowl triggered a host of government responses to help impoverished farmers. Among them: a program to insure crops... Read more »

Climate Change Doubles Likelihood of Sandy-Level Floods in NYC

Risk of Sandy-Level Flood in NYC Has Doubled Since 1950

Climate Central -- As the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaches, a new study points to the rapidly escalating risk of Sandy-magnitude flooding events in the New York City area. The study, published Thursday in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, found that sea level rise has already doubled the annual probability of a Sandy-level flood in New York City since 1950.

Rising seas are a consequence of manmade global warming, as well as local shifts in land surface elevations. Sea level rise has accelerated in recent years, from a rate of 1.7 millimeters per year between 1901 to 2010, up to 3.2 millimeters per year between 1993 and 2010.

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Residential Electricity Use

Customers of an undisclosed mid-Atlantic utility in 2011 received a series of five postcards in the mail informing them that their electricity use would be studied for a month. Their role was passive; they needn't do anything to participate. Just act normal and be studied.

The Carnegie Mellon researchers who dispatched the postcards were flirting with the sin of omission. They did hope to study the customers' electricity use — specifically, how it might change as they received postcards informing them of a study. Turns out it did. "Residential customers who received weekly postcards informing them that they were in a study reduced their monthly use by 2.7% — an amount greater than the annual conservation goal currently mandated by any state."

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Fire and Water: China's Looming Coal Problem

Majority Of China’s Proposed Coal-Fired Power Plants Located In

World Resources Institute -- To maintain its economic growth and provide for its massive population, China must reconcile two powerful, converging trends: energy demand and resource scarcity. One prime example of this tension is the country’s coal use and water supply.

According to a new WRI analysis, more than half of China’s proposed coal-fired power plants are slated to be built in areas of high or extremely high water stress. If these plants are built, they could further strain already-scarce resources, threatening water security for China’s farms, other industries, and communities.

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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

Tom Randall, Deputy Editor

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