My defining moment? Earning a permanent seat at the table

May 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

CSOs should be vocal about why addressing climate change is a matter of U.S. security, competitiveness and credibility. But don’t overlook turning sustainability into value creation.

Go here to read the rest:
My defining moment? Earning a permanent seat at the table

Google requested to label anti-fracking websites as fake news

May 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Following the results of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election , search engine website Google rewrote its engine algorithm to bury “fake news.” They were consequently blamed for Hillary Clinton’s loss and the “propaganda” which supposedly defamed President Trump . Since then, the phrase “ fake news ” has been a readily-used one. And, members of the industry-funded Texans for Natural Gas are taking advantage of it by urging Google to include anti- fracking websites in its list of sources that lack integrity and accuracy. In an open letter to Google which was published on Monday, the group wrote , “We believe many of the most prominent anti- fracking websites have content that is misleading, false, or offensive – if not all three. As a result, we urge you to consider purging or demoting these websites from your algorithm, which in turn will encourage a more honest public discussion about hydraulic fracturing , and oil and natural gas development in general.” Bloomberg reported in April that due to immense pressure to eliminate fake news , or what the company calls “low-quality” content, Google raters now “assess search results — to flag web pages that host hoaxes, conspiracy theories and what the company calls ‘low-quality’ content.” The process in question is hydraulic fracturing ( fracking ), which involves injecting large amounts of water, mixed with sand and an assortment of chemicals, deep into the ground to unlock reserves of oil and natural gas . The drilling technique is responsible for igniting the energy boom, but many environmentalists view it as a threat to the planet. This is because the process may contaminate groundwater, pollute the air and threaten wildlands. Additionally, some scientists believe fracking causes earthquakes, as Inhabitat previously reported . Related: EPA finally admits fracking contaminates drinking water Though the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did announce in 2015 that no widespread evidence was found proving that fracking contaminates groundwater, it later reversed its decision. In late 2016, the EPA concluded that there is evidence that fracking has contaminated drinking water in all stages of the process. Because of these findings, many citizens are adamant that they deserve the right to be skeptical of the process, especially considering the country’s reliance on fossil fuels is propelling climate change . Texans for Natural Gas believe otherwise, however. The group wrote to Google, “Claims made by the radical environmentalist campaign against hydraulic fracturing are protected by the First Amendment.” “Groups that wish to peddle misleading information about oil and natural gas are fully within their rights to do so. Many of the groups engaging in anti-fracking advocacy have devoted significant resources to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and as a result they receive significant web traffic,” they added. “But that is no reason for Google to reward such misinformation with its powerful search engine. We urge you consider adding these groups’ websites to your review of fake news and the kinds of content that you do not wish to promote.” Via The Daily Signal Images via Bloomberg

View post:
Google requested to label anti-fracking websites as fake news

Worlds largest offshore wind farm opens in The Netherlands

May 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Dutch officials have increased the country’s clean energy repertoire with the world’s largest offshore wind farm . Opened on Monday, Gemini wind park has 150 wind turbines spinning approximately 53 miles (85 kilometers) off the northern coast of The Netherlands ; the project is capable of generating about 600 megawatts at full winds – enough to power 785,000 Dutch households. The wind park, which was conceived in 2010 and cost $3 billion (2.8-billion-euro), comprises a collaboration between Canadian renewable energy company Northland Power, wind turbine producer Siemens Wind Power, Dutch maritime contractor Van Oord and the waste processing company HVC. “We are now officially in the operational stage,” said Matthias Haag, the company’s managing director, in a press release.” This been “quite a complex” operation, Haag added, “particularly as this wind park lies relatively far offshore… so it took quite a lot of logistics.” Over the next 15 years, the Gemini wind park will be able to generate about 13 percent of the country’s total renewable energy supply or about 25 percent of its wind power . This, in turn, will meet the energy requirements of about 1.5 million people. Related: Scotland’s latest wind farm will help fund 500 new affordable homes Phys.org estimates that the wind park will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.25 billion tons. Fossil fuels continue to make up approximately 95 percent of The Netherland’s energy supply, according to a 2016 report from the ministry of economics affairs. However, by sourcing 14 percent of its energy from clean sources – including wind and solar – by 2025, the Dutch country will be en route to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Hopefully, the example The Netherlands has set will inspire other countries to follow suit in an effort to curb climate change . Via Phys

Original post:
Worlds largest offshore wind farm opens in The Netherlands

San Franciscos rapid transit to run on 100% renewable energy

May 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Commuters in the San Francisco area can feel even better about taking public transport to lower their carbon footprints , as the Bay Area’s Rapid Transit (BART) system will soon be powered by 100 percent renewable energy . Days ago, the BART board of directors passed an electrical portfolio policy that requires 50 percent of the organization’s power to be sourced from renewables by 2025. By 2045, the electric train system is expected to run on 100 percent renewable energy . As Digital Trends reports , this move has far-reaching implications for the entire region since BART consumes roughly 400,000 megawatt-hours annually – the equivalent of a small city like Alameda. “Every day, BART takes cars off the road and helps drive down our greenhouse gas emissions,” said BART Director Nick Josefowitz. “But especially now, BART and the Bay Area must shoulder even more responsibility to combat climate change. Even though BART is not required to comply with the state’s renewable energy standards, we have committed to purchasing 100 percent renewable electricity and taking a leadership role in decarbonizing our transportation sector.” Related: San Francisco bike shop lets you trade in car for e-bike The train system already runs on a variety of renewable energy sources, including solar, wind and small hydroelectric facilities. Additionally, carbon emissions have been cut by lowering the number of single occupant automobiles sitting in traffic on the Bay Bridge each morning. Sustainability Director Holly Gordon said of the progressive initiative, “We’re doing this to advance clean energy, but we’re also doing this because we think it is cost effective. We feel as though we can purchase clean energy while maintaining low and stable costs for the district as well.” BART may very well be the first electrified public transit system to commit to running on 100 percent renewable energy – at least in the US.  Via Digital Trends

Read the original:
San Franciscos rapid transit to run on 100% renewable energy

EPA dismisses 5 members of major scientific review board

May 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on EPA dismisses 5 members of major scientific review board

In addition to its goal to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by the end of 2018, the Trump Administration is now slowly dismissing key members from its major scientific review board. According to a spokesman for EPA head Scott Pruitt , the decision is a result of desiring to replace academic scientists with representatives of industries whose pollution the agency is tasked with regulating. He said, “The administrator believes we should have people on this board who understand the impact of regulations on the regulated community.” Mr. Pruitt’s first outing as head of the EPA included a visit to coal mines, where he pledged to restore the industry. This occurred despite members of both of the EPA’s scientific advisory boards advising against such action. A spokesperson for Mr. Pruitt said the agency wanted “to take as inclusive an approach to regulation as possible.” President Trump also directed Pruitt to “radically remake” the agency. So far, this has included reducing its main scientific branch by 40 percent, as well as revoking major regulations instated during Obama’s presidency to combat climate change and protect water sources. Related: Trump’s EPA chief lifts ban on pesticide that poisons children The agency’s latest decision to dismiss five scientists from the major scientific review board has not gone unnoticed. Some are claiming that the EPA is downgrading its science to elevate business interests. Ken Kimmell, the president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said, “This is completely part of a multifaceted effort to get science out of the way of a deregulation agenda. What seems to be premature removals of members of this Board of Science Counselors when the board has come out in favor of the E.P.A. strengthening its climate science, plus the severe cuts to research and development — you have to see all these things as interconnected.” In recent weeks, the EPA removed from its website scientific data that explained the causes and effects of climate change. According to J.P. Freire, the agency’s associate administrator for public affairs, this was done to “eliminate confusion by removing outdated language first and making room to discuss how we’re protecting the environment and human health by partnering with states and working within the law.” Mr. Pruitt also publicly questioned the established science of human-caused climate change. Via New York Times

Read more here:
EPA dismisses 5 members of major scientific review board

Scientists warn thawing soil could suddenly unleash deadly pathogens unseen in centuries

May 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Scientists warn thawing soil could suddenly unleash deadly pathogens unseen in centuries

Humans have fought viruses for centuries. We struck a temporary winning blow with the discovery of penicillin, but now we’re watching bacteria develop antibiotic resistance . But what if we were exposed to viruses that have been dormant for millennia? As climate change melts permafrost , the frozen soil could suddenly release ancient, deadly bacteria and viruses that humanity hasn’t had to deal with for thousands of years. 2016 saw a case of an illness trapped inside ice being released to harm people . A 12-year-old boy died and around 20 people were hospitalized with anthrax in August 2016 in the Siberian tundra. Researchers think the anthrax came from a reindeer that died more than 75 years ago and was trapped under permafrost, but when that permafrost thawed in a 2016 heat wave, the anthrax was released. And researchers fear this may not be the last time such an event occurs. Related: Dramatic disintegration of Canada permafrost threatens huge carbon release Jean-Michel Claverie, an evolutionary biologist at France’s Aix-Marseille University, told the BBC, “Permafrost is a very good preserver of microbes and viruses, because it is cold, there is no oxygen, and it is dark. Pathogenic viruses that can infect humans or animals might be preserved in old permafrost layers, including some that have caused global epidemics in the past.” Over a million reindeer perished due to anthrax in the early 20th century. Most of their carcasses rest near the surface in 7,000 burial grounds in Russia. But even more than the anthrax, researchers fear other diseases that might be lurking in the permafrost. Scientists found pieces of RNA from the Spanish flu in bodies buried in the Alaskan tundra in mass graves. They think the bubonic plague and smallpox could hide in Siberian permafrost. But some bacteria won’t come back to life. So some people argue we should be more concerned about threats we know for sure climate change will unleash. Claverie says there’s a non-zero probability dormant microbes could come back to life and harm us. He told the BBC, “How likely that is is not known, but it’s a possibility. It could be bacteria that are curable with antibiotics, or resistant bacteria, or a virus. If the pathogen hasn’t been in contact with humans for a long time, then our immune system would not be prepared.” Via the BBC Images via NPS Climate Change Response on Flickr and Pixabay

Here is the original: 
Scientists warn thawing soil could suddenly unleash deadly pathogens unseen in centuries

World officials entreat Trump to stay in Paris agreement

May 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on World officials entreat Trump to stay in Paris agreement

President Donald Trump’s policies don’t just impact the United States. As climate change grows increasingly dangerous, executive orders on the Clean Power Plan and fossil fuel development in a top greenhouse gas-producing country have consequences for other countries as well. The Guardian spoke with world leaders, some of whom were involved in the 2015 Paris climate deal , who agree it would be disastrous if Trump were to pull America out of the historic agreement. Trump threatened to pull out of the Paris agreement on the campaign trail, and has yet to follow through. But he’s taken shots at the environment anyway, by rolling back pollution rules including Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan. He could make a decision on the agreement as soon as this week, and former Brazilian environment minister Izabella Teixeira, instrumental in Paris, said the situation reminds her of when George W. Bush pulled away from Kyoto protocol. Related: ExxonMobil exhorts White House to keep Paris agreement Former head of climate policy in Uruguay Ramón Méndez, who was present in Paris in 2015, said it was an extraordinarily strong shock to hear of Trump rolling back the Clean Power Plan. He said of all the policies the president has pursued, this one holds the worst consequences for the rest of the world. He also told The Guardian if the U.S. leaves the Paris agreement, “it will make it harder for other countries to maintain their ambitions.” Trump advisers reportedly can’t decide if pulling out of the agreement would be worth the diplomatic fallout sure to follow. But United Nations environment chief Erik Solheim pointed to an economic fallout as well. He told Reuters , “The future is green. Obviously if you are not a party to the Paris agreement, you will lose out. And the main losers of course will be the people of the United States itself because all the interesting, fascinating new green jobs would go to China and to the other parts of the world that are investing heavily in this.” Even if Trump doesn’t back out of the agreement, he still needs to take action. Peking University expert Zhang Haibin told The Guardian the president could pursue a semi-withdrawal instead: “I think the greater likelihood is that Trump will end up not pulling out of the pact but instead adopting a passive approach towards it [and] meeting none of its commitments.” Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia Commons and Michael Vadon on Flickr

Go here to see the original: 
World officials entreat Trump to stay in Paris agreement

Stephen Hawking: Humans must leave Earth within 100 years to survive

May 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Stephen Hawking: Humans must leave Earth within 100 years to survive

Would you like to travel to Mars? Get in line. According to Stephen Hawking , humans need to leave planet Earth within 100 years or perish due to overpopulation, climate change , disease and artificial intelligence. In the past, Hawking claimed that humans had about 1,000 years left on the planet. In BBC’s Expedition New Earth documentary, however, he states that humans must colonize Mars within the next century if they have any hope of survival. Throughout the program, Hawking reveals the technological and scientific advances that will enable life to exist on other planets . According to BBC , the documentary will show “Hawking’s ambition isn’t as fantastical as it sounds—that science fact is closer to science fiction than we ever thought.” Related: Stephen Hawking announces plan to explore Alpha Centauri for alien life The goal to transport billions of people to colonies on Mars may not be as outlandish as it seems. After all, Elon Musk of SpaceX is already planning to send humans (on a one-way trip) to Mars within the next decade, reports The Telegraph. Some, such as columnist Eric Mack, are shaking their heads at the notion, however. In an article published on Forbes , Mack expressed that a reality check is needed for anyone who believes Mars, the moon, or other nearby planets are more hospital than Earth after countless disasters. “Just cleaning up our own mess and starting over by rising from the rubble seems more practical” and more affordable than learning new methods of growing food or surviving radiation poisoning on Mars, he wrote . The columnist also added that “somehow, the grass is always greener for some people, even when it’s on a dead Red Planet.” + Expedition New Earth Via Telegraph

Read the original post:
Stephen Hawking: Humans must leave Earth within 100 years to survive

Eco artists build gigantic octopus to save coral reefs in the British Virgin Islands

May 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Eco artists build gigantic octopus to save coral reefs in the British Virgin Islands

A group of artists working under the name Secret Samurai Productions have installed a massive mesh octopus on top of a defunct Pearl Harbor ship only to push the large barge into the deep ocean waters of British Virgin Islands – all in the name of coral reef research. Now at the bottom of the sea off the coast of Virgin Gorda, Project YOKO is the world’s largest underwater art installation and marine life habitat, and it will raise funds for research into the ongoing destruction of the area’s coral reefs . The hollow rebar and mesh sea monster with 80-foot tentacles holding court at the bow of the Kodiak Queen was actually the last step of the ship’s reformation. The team of artists spent months cleaning the boat and transforming its chambers into an interactive art installation that will be explored by divers from around the world. Related: Rising ocean temperatures are cooking the Great Barrier Reef to death In addition to the artists’ efforts, the project counted on support from various members of Maverick1000 , a group of entrepreneurs who meet annually on Sir Richard Branson’s famed Necker Island. At the 2016 meeting, the founding manager for the nonprofit Unite BVI , Lauren Keil, gave a presentation on the challenges of the BVI community, focusing mainly on the problems caused by global warming and overfishing and their undeniable impact on the health of the area’s beloved coral reefs . During the presentation, Keil also mentioned the Kodiak Queen, a WWII fuel barge that had been discovered in a local junkyard. After Keil’s speech, Aydika James, art director of Secret Samurai Productions had the idea to use the historic ship as a way to bring attention to the growing issues facing the BVI waters. With collaboration from fellow members and Branson himself, the idea for the YOKO BVI Art Reef was born. Thanks to funding from local supporters, the ship was soon being transformed into an artificial dive site that would serve as beacon of hope for the region’s disappearing coral reef populations . The artists and dive specialists worked together to create an interactive diving experience,taking divers through the ship’s many chambers. To convert the installation into a research center as well as diving site, the nonprofit organization, Beneath the Waves , was called in to install an emerging technology called environmental DNA that will be used to collect data on the entire marine ecosystem surrounding the sunken ship. And the giant octopus? Well, it’s more than just a fun sculpture; it actually plays a vital role in the project. Its body and tentacles were designed to form a protected habitat for the repopulation of grouper. The dwindling grouper population is a major cause of coral damage considering the large fish help form an ecosystem in BVI waters, which is essential to the health of the coral reefs. After a long process of fund raising and transforming the boat, Project YOKO is slated to open to divers at a cost of $10 donation. All funds will go towards research into local marine health as well as a program promoting swim education for children. + Project YOKO BVI Art Reef + Secret Samurai Productions Via Fast Company Photography by Rob Sorrenti + Owen Buggy Photography via BVI YOKO Art Reef

The rest is here:
Eco artists build gigantic octopus to save coral reefs in the British Virgin Islands

Norway’s breathtaking Infinity House has giant windows instead of walls

May 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Norway’s breathtaking Infinity House has giant windows instead of walls

This minimalist retreat offers breathtaking views of the gorgeous landscape of Northern Norway . Rotterdam-based architect Vladimir Konovalov designed the Infinity House with huge windows that soak up daylight and offer panoramic views of the mountains and the Norwegian Sea. The house is located in a remote area of Northern Norway, far from busy touristy places. Its main purpose is to complement the existing landscape and create a visceral connection to nature. The predominantly monochrome interiors accentuate the changing light instead of distracting from it. Related: Timber-clad waterfront house in Norway epitomizes modern Scandinavian design The building comprises three main elements– an exterior concrete superstructure that emerges from the rocky site, an infinity pool roof and a black volume housing a bathroom and a secret staircase. + Vladimir Konovalov Via Highsnobiety Images by Omega Render

The rest is here: 
Norway’s breathtaking Infinity House has giant windows instead of walls

« Previous PageNext Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1177 access attempts in the last 7 days.