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

Cloud Formation

I’m a moderate Republican - a fan of small government, light regulation and market solutions. A serial entrepreneur, I founded companies that invented 3-D television weather graphics and the first app on a cell phone. I’m a Penn State meteorologist. My day-job since 1979: tracking weather for TV news.

If you know anything about American politics these days, and follow the climate war at all, you might anticipate with some confidence that I agree global warming is a hoax. That’s a shame, and I hope it changes soon.

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Tortoises Seized in Smuggling Attempt

Tortoises are pictured at the Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on April 17, 2012. Bangladesh customs authorities seized more than 400 tortoises at the country's main airport as the reptiles were being smuggled from India to Thailand, an official said.

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Creating Eco-Friendly Cement

Planet Forward’s Frank Sesno explains how much energy is required to make cement. He reports on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Running Time: 02:51

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Rolling Hills and Clear Skies

You might think any corporate data that helps investors weigh the value of a company would be called "financial information," right? Not so. Welcome to the world of "non-financial information."

Five U.S. companies in 2011 expanded their financial disclosures -- information required of publicly traded companies -- to include data about environmental performance, employee and community relations, and corporate governance. Investors, nongovernmental organizations and even some governments are increasingly seeking this information as it relates to business risks and opportunities. Non-financial information, it turns out, can have a pretty big impact on financial performance.

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Sustainability Indicator: 70% Urban

Sustainability Indicator

Today's sustainability indicator, 70 percent, is the proportion of the world's population that will be living in urban areas by 2050. About half of the population is now rural.

This month's indicators:

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NASA's Perpetual Ocean


A NASA visualization of the world's surface ocean currents and their change over time. Courtesy NASA (Source: Bloomberg)

Running Time: 03:02

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Mad Scientist

A soot-covered scientist at the Grand Academy of Lagado successfully extracted sunlight from cucumbers and stored it in aluminum cans. The discovery will allow energy producers to generate solar-powered electricity at night and will provide unlimited on-demand wintertime heat, researchers said.

A lofty idea, but purely fictional. The Grand Academy is an invention of Jonathan Swift, in his 1726 novel, Gulliver’s Travels. The nearly 300-year-old tale comes to life again via Vaclav Smil, the prolific (nonfiction) author and energy-and-environmental systems professor at the University of Manitoba. He discusses Swift’s cucumbers in a 2011 essay, titled "Global Energy: The Latest Infatuations." The story resonates today because it fulfills what many people are looking for from the energy industry -- a simple solution to complex problems.

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Building the U.S. Power Grid: Today's Pic

Construction of the Sunrise Powerlink

A contractor hangs upside down during construction of San Diego Gas & Electric Co.'s Sunrise Powerlink, a 117-mile, 500-kilovolt electric transmission line that runs from Imperial county to San Diego, California.

SDG&E, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, provides energy to 3.4 million consumers in San Diego and southern Orange counties.

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Radiation Levels off Japan Elevated but Safe: Today's Pic

Fukushima Radiation Trail

The Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown in March 2011 was the largest accidental release of radiation into the ocean in history, according to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientists who studied the area in June. Some water samples showed radioactive particles, or radionuclides, at levels 1,000 times higher than before the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident -- but still safely below levels dangerous to humans and much sea life.

This image shows the scientists' route and the locations of their sampling stations. The red and yellow areas mark the Kuroshio Current, a regular feature in waters east of Japan. It carried radionuclides away from the accident, and also blocked them from dispersing to the south. The researchers' study was published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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The Sun Sets On Grangemouth Oil Refinery

The illuminated Grangemouth Oil Refinery exhales steam and carbon dioxide on March 29 in Grangemouth, Scotland.

U.K. government ministers triggered panic-buying last week by suggesting motorists should store gas in cans at home petrol , after fuel-truck drivers threatened to strike. It contributed to one of the worst weeks that U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has had since coming to power in May 2010.

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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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