Just 100 companies have been the source of more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988, according to a new report.
The Carbon Majors Report (pdf) “pinpoints how a relatively small set of fossil fuel producers may hold the key to systemic change on carbon emissions,” says Pedro Faria, technical director at environmental non-profit CDP, which published the report in collaboration with the Climate Accountability Institute.
The report found that more than half of global industrial emissions since 1988 – the year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was established – can be traced to just 25 corporate and state-owned entities. The scale of historical emissions associated with these fossil fuel producers is large enough to have contributed significantly to climate change, according to the report.
ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron are identified as among the highest emitting investor-owned companies since 1988. If fossil fuels continue to be extracted at the same rate over the next 28 years as they were between 1988 and 2017, says the report, global average temperatures would be on course to rise by 4C by the end of the century. This is likely to have catastrophic consequences including substantial species extinction and global food scarcity risks.
HOUSTON — One by one, they stepped to a clear plastic lectern at the Global Plastics Summit here and talked about what their companies were doing in response to the world’s crisis in plastics waste.
Representing businesses all along the supply and packaging chain, the speakers suggested solutions ranging from new technology that would take plastic back to its molecular building blocks for repeated recycling to redesigning plastic bottles with caps that stay connected to the bottle.
But none of that is happening fast enough to keep pace with the global production of plastics, an analyst from IHS Markit told some 270 people attending the 2019 Global Plastics Summit.
Fueled by increased interest in grid service applications like time-of-use (TOU) shifting, self-consumption and backup power, the U.S. market for energy storage doubled in 2018 and is expected to double again by the end of the year. Of the 777 MWh of energy storage deployed in the United States in 2018 (which was an 80% growth over 2017 installs), 47% came from front-of-the-meter (FTM) projects, or those built and operated by utilities. Behind-the-meter (BTM) storage systems, including residential, accounte
WASHINGTON — A top financial regulator is opening a public effort to highlight the risk that climate change poses to the nation’s financial markets, setting up a clash with a president who has mocked global warming and whose administration has sought to suppress climate science.
Rostin Behnam, who sits on the federal government’s five-member Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a powerful agency overseeing major financial markets including grain futures, oil trading and complex derivatives, said in an interview on Monday that the financial risks from climate change were comparable to those posed by the mortgage meltdown that triggered the 2008 financial crisis.
“If climate change causes more volatile frequent and extreme weather events, you’re going to have a scenario where these large providers of financial products — mortgages, home insurance, pensions — cannot shift risk away from their portfolios,” he said. “It’s abundantly clear that climate change poses financial risk to the stability of the financial system.”
Mr. Behnam was appointed by President Trump to a seat on the commission that, by law, must be filled by a Democrat. He said that unusual status gave him a measure of political protection that other appointees within the administration might not benefit from.
A curious thing recently happened in Southern California. One of the largest utilities in the country scrapped a proposal to build a new peaker plant, opting instead to build a battery system that could store excess electricity from solar and wind when conditions are good and cleanly dispatch it when needed.
Batteries paired with wind and solar may not yet be competitive with the biggest natural gas plants in all markets, but they’re replacing one crucial sector of the gas market.
Could CPS Energy be doing this type of research?
This groundbreaking new project in Germany is testing the use of salt as an ingredient for a fossil fuel-free future.
The Reuter power plant in Berlin recently launched a new system of technology that is using calcium oxide, also known as quicklime, to store heat for long periods of time.
Germany already has the renewable energy capacity to power more than half of the country, but since many green energy sources are dependent on consistent weather conditions, the nation is forced to continue using fossil fuels as backup energy sources.
Quicklime, on the other hand, generates large amounts of heat when it is simply exposed to water.
The salt technology, which was developed by Swedish startup SaltX, works similarly to a battery except that it stores heat instead of electricity. Since more than half of Germany’s energy consumption is used on heating, the salt can be used to generate, store, and convert heat whenever the nation’s renewable energy sources fall short of the grid’s demands.
The technology is also far more efficient at storing heat compared to water storage systems that are notorious for gradually losing their heat over time.
Thanks to the Canadian company Modpools, your dream of having an expansive pool—or hot tub—might be more affordable and eco-friendly than you’d otherwise assume. They are turning shipping containers into swimming havens, and we’re all about it.
Traditional in-ground pools are notoriously a headache to install: the digging, the molding, the waiting. None of that is a factor with Modpools. According to the company’s website, you can be swimming the same day your pool is delivered. Prices range from $16,500 to $39,900, depending on the size (HomeAdvisor notes that an average in-ground pool can cost from $35,883 to $62,882)
Scientists have developed a pioneering new technique that could generate enough electricity to power an entire home – all by using solar panels that are much smaller than current models.
A team of experts from the University of Exeter has discovered an innovative way for generating photovoltaic (PV) energy – or ways in which to convert light into power. The new technique relies on ‘funneling’ the sun’s energy more efficiently directly into power cells, such as solar panels or batteries.
In the research, the team of physics experts developed a process to ‘funnel’ electrical charge onto a chip. Using the atomically thin semiconductor hafnium disulphide (HfS2), which is oxidized with a high-intensity UV laser, the team was able to engineer an electrical field that funnels electrical charges to a specific area of the chip, where they can be more easily extracted.
While current solar cells are able to convert around 20% of the energy received from the sun, the new technique has the potential to convert around 60% of it by funneling the energy more efficiently.
In humanity’s battle against man-made climate change, the Earth itself provides one of the most important weapons, a natural system that breathes in Earth-warming CO2 and exhales oxygen.
Yes, I’m talking about plants, engineered by nature itself over the course of millennia to harness the Earth’s natural conditions to turn sunlight and CO2 into oxygen and organic matter. Plants are the key to many climate-change-fighting tactics. Want to cut down on the methane gas that’s contributing to global warming? Eat more plants (and fewer farting cows). Want to offset some of the carbon emissions from your airline or consumer retail company? Buy a forest of oxygen-emitting trees. Want to create a natural fuel that won’t puff black clouds full of CO2 into the air? Consider vegetable oil (or photosynthesizing algae, which isn’t a plant but has a lot in common with them).
Plant biologist Joanne Chory thinks plants can do more. She has studied the genetics of plants at the Salk Institute in San Diego for more than 30 years, and she and the rest of the five-person Harnessing Plants Initiative team are convinced that photosynthesis itself can be exploited to create a biological solution to carbon capture.
Tired of plastic pollution? There are many alternatives. Why should we and brands care about plastic pollution?
Plastics is one of the biggest challenges the world is facing right now. Thanks to David Attenborough’s Blue Planet, consumers are suddenly aware of the thousands of tonnes of plastic filling the ocean.
As plastic is so prolifically used, especially in packaging, brands are going to need to act quick to find plastic alternatives. In fact, 25% of consumers are extremely concerned about plastic packaging, 42% think manufacturers should prioritize making packaging recyclable and 21% think the industry should work toward entirely plastic-free packaging (Kantar). This number is only going to grow as plastic continues to get covered daily in the press. Brands will need to be seen to be taking a responsible approach, otherwise they will risk damaging their hard-earned equity.
With so many plastic alternatives being developed, we’ve rounded up some of the most exciting innovations in plastic replacement. The following are some good sources to learn about many of the available alternatives to plastic.
And think about all the good paying green jobs this new industry has to offer in our communities.
That said, keep in mind not all that’s claimed to be green is golden. So take a closer look to distinguish between the green sheen of greenwashing from the real thing:
- 5 Plastic Alternatives Doing More Harm Than Good — and What to Use Instead
- The Most Common Eco-Friendly Alternatives for Plastic Packaging
- 25 cheap and easy replacements for plastic in your home and kitchen
- Back to the future as innovators seek plastic alternatives
- Natural products that can replace plastics
Texas, home to the world’s largest oil reserve and America’s biggest source of coal-fired power, is on the verge of a clean-energy boom.
Wind already supplies about 15 percent of Texas’s electricity, and now developers are about to quadruple the state’s solar capacity, adding enough panels by 2022 to light up all of Dallas. But they won’t just power homes. Solar developers are responding to demand from oil and gas drillers, whose booming operations are gobbling up electricity and pushing prices spiking above $1,000 a megawatt-hour.
The fact that Texas is turning to solar for help when it’s home to some of the cheapest energy resources in the world is the best evidence yet that the technology can compete head on with fossil fuels. Solar is getting built based purely on economics in the state, which isn’t offering the types of incentives that have spurred clean-energy booms elsewhere.
“People are trying to get in as much solar in Texas as they can,” Mike Garland, chief executive officer of San Francisco-based clean energy developer Pattern Energy Group Inc., said in an interview.
Building a solar farm in Texas currently costs about $32 per megawatt-hour, spread over the lifetime of the plant, according to BloombergNEF. Compare that to $38 for a high-efficiency gas plant. Plus, solar farms can be built in six months, while gas plants can take years. That’s crucial for Texas, which needs more power plants as soon as developers can put them up.
Perhaps it’s time for doctors to start prescribing more produce than pills. That’s, at least, what researchers argue in a new study that finds “prescriptions” for healthy foods could save more than $100 billion in healthcare costs.
Researchers at Tufts University made the case that subsidized fruits and vegetables could prevent millions of cases of chronic diseases. Roughly 70% of diseases in the U.S. are chronic and lifestyle-driven, according to the CDC, and nearly half of the population has one or more chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, obesity, or cancer.
The US Army is not particularly shy about adopting the latest high-tech gadgets, and renewable energy is a case in point. Despite all the fossil friendly rhetoric emanating from the White House, the Army is still pursuing microgrids with renewable solar energy to improve operations and cut costs at its domestic bases here in the US and at forward operating bases overseas, too.
That’s improving operations as compared to relying on diesel generators for back-up power and transportable power generation, by the way.
The latest development in the forward operating base category is a new contract with the microgrid company Go Electric, to develop a “portable, modular, self-forming microgrid solution” that can withstand whatever punishment the US Africa Command can dish out while maximizing fuel efficiently and improving reliability over diesel generators. Sounds like magic, right?
The Return Of The SPIDERS Microgrid
Well, it’s not magic. Just a lot of elbow grease and years of R&D.
If the name Go Electric rings any bells, you may be thinking of the company’s role in the cutting edge SPIDERS microgrid project.
SPIDERS stands for Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security. It’s a three-phase, $30 million project under the umbrella of the US Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories. The aim is to deploy microgrids with renewable energy as a more efficient, more reliable, and more secure replacement for conventional diesel generators.
The Food Policy Council of San Antonio‘s 2nd Annual San Antonio Chicken Walk coop tour will be held Saturday, April 13th, with great coops in north central San Antonio. The provide a map and passport to pre-registered visitors by email, but you can register on the day of the tour.
This tour celebrates the October 2017 change to the San Antonio animal ordinance, raising the limit of backyard chickens allowed without a permit from 3 to 8. The San Antonio Express-News covered the inaugural event last year online and in the print edition, view the online Coop Tour Article.
Last year more than 140 people took the tour, and many people gathered afterward at Pittman Sullivan Community Garden for food, music, and raffle prizes. Use the hashtag #SAChickenWalk to share your photos on social media.
Price: $10.00. Purchase your ticket now! For more details click this source: San Antonio Chicken Walk Coop Tour | Food Policy Council of San Antonio
Experts have recommended how the United States can drastically curb the use of throwaway plastics with new federal legislation. Read more about how do you solve a problem this big?
There are currently no federal laws restricting single-use plastics, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t good examples that could serve as useful templates.
According to Stein, Congress could shape federal policy by following existing local and state laws that have already been crafted to tackle plastic problems with bans on all types of single-use plastic items, from bags to expanded polystyrene foam food containers to straws. California made headlines in February after lawmakers proposed a phaseout of all plastic products that aren’t completely recyclable.
Such laws are grounded in scientific evidence that plastics are problematic because they don’t break down in the natural environment and pose a danger to wildlife and probably people.
There’s a precedent for using state and local laws to help craft national legislation: microbeads. After several states and municipalities banned the sale and manufacture of health and beauty products containing these ecologically damaging exfoliating plastic beads, the United States passed a federal act doing the same.
Most experts agree banning single-use plastic products is a more useful strategy for reducing plastic use and pollution than recycling, which is much less effective. A ban also tackles the issue at the source, helping to curb greenhouse gases coming from the rapidly expanding petrochemical industry that uses fossil fuels to produce plastic.
“Overall, we felt the reception was positive — plastic pollution is a topic that is on the minds of the American public and the congresspersons who represent them,” Stein says. “We’re hopeful that Save Our Seas 2.0 legislation in the Senate may provide a chance to think about comprehensive federal strategies to reduce plastic pollution.”
Solar panel recycling is important for the future of solar. Solar panels have a lifetime of about 30 years. With the increasing number of solar panels being sold and installed in the United States each year, it’s only a matter of time before high volumes of silicon solar panels are at the end of their useful life and have to be disposed of. Solar panel recycling is still at a very early stage, but as the market continues to grow, it will have an important part to play in the solar industry.
Solar energy is inexpensive and environmentally friendly – until your solar panels have reached the end of their lifetime. After about 30 years, many crystalline silicon solar panels will start having significant dips in energy production and it may be time to replace them or dispose of them entirely.
Besides environmental protection, recycling solar panels will be economically impactful as well. Some of the rare elements in photovoltaic (PV) cells like gallium and indium are being depleted from the environment over time. If we were able to recover those elements, we can conserve the limited amount available on earth and continue to use them for solar panels and other products. Furthermore, a 2016 study by the International Renewable Agency (IRENA) estimated that $15 billion could be recovered from recycling solar modules by the year 2050.
What parts of solar panels can be recycled?
Recycling solar panels can only be effective if the materials used to build them are able to be used again, 30 or more years later. Solar panels are made from several components, including:
- Silicon solar cells
- Metal framing
- Glass sheets
Solar panels are good for the environment, and recycling is coming
While solar panel recycling isn’t widely available in the U.S. for all of the components in solar panels, there’s still a little time before the number of panels needing to be recycled gets too high. Groups like SEIA and Recycle PV are doing important groundwork for the industry, but there’s more to do in years to come.
California is in the process of determining how to divert solar panels from landfills, which is where they currently go, at the end of their life. When taking a product back to be recycled, reused or biodegradable it’ll be designed and engineered to accommodate for infrastructure by creating it’s own circular supply-chain infrastructure.
It is better to design and engineer sustainable circular economy solutions than simply create systems that are just another form of indulgence paid for our environmental sins while doing nothing about them. More circular solutions need to be created to counter the criticism of, “If Solar Panels Are So Clean, Why Do They Produce So Much Toxic Waste?“
What should wealthy countries do with their plastic waste now that China no longer is buying it? For years, America sold millions of tons of used yogurt cups, juice containers, shampoo bottles and other kinds of plastic trash to China to be recycled into new products.
And it wasn’t just the U.S. Some 70 percent of the world’s plastic waste went to China – about 7 million tons a year. Numerous Chinese millionaires were minted as recycling businesses started and blossomed. Sure, they paid for the world’s plastic and paper trash, but they made far more money from processing it and selling the resulting raw materials.
New dumping destinations aren’t likely to last. Already, Vietnam and Malaysia are cutting back imports of scrap plastic because they are overwhelmed. They can’t handle the huge diversion of plastic to their countries since China shut out imports.
Recycling experts say it’s a time of reckoning for their industry and that wealthy countries need to stop exporting to countries that can’t handle it. That leaves America with a recycling problem and here’s how to solve it.
The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, which manages $1tn (£770bn) of Norway’s assets, is to dump investments in firms that explore for oil and gas, but will still hold stakes in firms such as BP and Shell that have renewable energy divisions.
The Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), whose assets exceed those of rival sovereign wealth funds such as China’s, said it would phase out oil exploration from its “investment universe”.
Tom Sanzillo, director of finance for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said: “These are very important statements from a big fund. They’re doing it because fossil fuel stocks are not producing the value that they have historically.
“It’s also a warning to the integrated oil companies that investors are looking at them to move the economy forward to renewable energy.”
He said GPFG’s investment strategy also “underscores that the fracking business model is unsustainable”.
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Here is your San Antonio Area Planting Calendar in pdf format suitable for printing. I’ve been giving these away for years. Includes most favorable dates for planting and destroying crops yielding their harvest ABOVE and BELOW ground for Spring and Fall Gardens.
Please give some love to the helpful folks at Fanick’s Nursury and Garden Center by buying something from them! They are really great people, have been around for years and are experts and one of the few remaining independent nurseries in the San Antonio Metro area. Doing so helps support local businesses and keeps our dollars in the community while lowering our carbon footprint.
Companion Planting can be described as the establishment of two or more plant species in close proximity so that benefits such as pest control, higher yield, etc. can be derived from the pactice.
Whale blubber and buggy whips were once fine industries, but progress moved us away. And today we know the days are over of a false choice between environmental protection and economic growth.
Since when did the simple concept of leaving the planet a better place for our kids become a partisan issue? We all benefit from energy independence, green jobs, preservation of habitat and watersheds, livable cities, clean air and water, and healthy children when we see it as an apolitical issue of good economics, health and progress.
The business leaders in our development community and oil and gas industries need to step-up there game, rise to the occasion, embrace the many new opportunities of creating climate wealth, and become leading experts in their respective profession’s modern methods.
Perhaps it’s time to decide if we’re simply in the fossil-fuel business or the energy business. Those who chose energy rather than whale blubber adapted and prospered.
We understand you’re scared about your survival being that it’s become clear the titans of the fossil-fuel industry knew for decades about climate change but chose to fund obfuscation of their own research findings.
As city leaders we need to work together to better inform and educate our city’s residents and business community about the CAAP and the prosperity it brings for now and the future.
I invite Ray Chavez and Richard Perez to a conversation and visit SustainableSA.com to learn about all the profitable benefits being deployed through ecopositve practices and regenerative solutions that create holistic long-term abundance and improved health.
As leaders of our City’s Manufacturers Association and largest Business Chamber we should be leading and cheering on the ways of doing business for today and tomorrow not yesterday.
If we’re concerned about small and medium-sized businesses then lets set up mandates in the climate equity portion of the CAAP for funding and incentives for training programs about new technologies, practices and methods, and how to adopt and embrace change to help our businesses get through the learning curve and be successful in their particular industries.
How about we be the change and lead the change in the world economy for new job creation and economic development of the 21st Century?