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Bipartisan Report Tallies High Toll on Economy From Global Warming

Bipartisan Report Tallies High Toll on Economy From Global Warming | BigPivot | Scoop.it
Treasury secretaries dating to the Nixon years backed a new report predicting a heavy loss of coastal properties, a shift of farming northward, and dangerous outdoor conditions because of climate change.
Andrew Winston's insight:

The momentum on discussing climate change in 'serious' circles has shifted dramatically recently. A couple days ago Hank Paulson, Republican, former Treasury Secretary, wrote a tough op-ed about how real climate change is and how much it reminds him of the financial collapse/bubble he oversaw under Pres.Bush. And this story is the follow up about a new report on the cost to society of doing nothing -- coming from Treasury secretaries of all stripes. This is no Greenpeace report. Now it's time for businesses to get moving -- we've had too many wakeup calls...time for action and a Big Pivot!

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Hillary Clinton Aim Is to Thwart Quick Buck on Wall Street

Hillary Clinton Aim Is to Thwart Quick Buck on Wall Street | BigPivot | Scoop.it
Calling out “hit and run” activists, Mrs. Clinton said she would alter incentives to lengthen investment horizons and take a “hard look” at stock buybacks.
Andrew Winston's insight:

Yes, it's a just a candidate speaking, but it's a really unusual and important view that Hillary Clinton is espousing. We can't tackle our largest, long-term challenges -- climate change, inequity, the build-out needed for the clean economy and infrastructure in general -- without addressing the short-termism that is strangling business (and arguably governments). These are some very solid ideas for making Wall Street less a casino/speculation machine and dial it back to, you know, a market for mobilizing capital and investment. I'd even go further and tax trades with holding periods less than a day at 100% -- that would kill the day trading and 'front running' that does nothing for our economy.

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Obama Policy Could Force Robust Climate Discussion From 2016 Candidates

Obama Policy Could Force Robust Climate Discussion From 2016 Candidates | BigPivot | Scoop.it
Having to answer questions about President Obama’s aggressive actions on climate, those vying for president might have to debate what they will do to his climate legacy.
Andrew Winston's insight:

The Times' Coral Davenport raises an interesting question about whether the President's aggressive moves on carbon and power plants will force candidates to talk climate. I'd like to think so, since we've long moved past the 'is this a problem' stage in the science and we should be on to the 'how should we handle it' phase. But I fear that the debates this week and coming months of primaries will just lead to broad statements of 'I'll take apart his regulations' that are just as vague as the prescriptions for health care...about Obamacare, Trump recently said he'd "repeal and replace with something terrific." We don't have only 'terrific' options on cutting carbon fast -- there will be some pain in coal-producing regions. But the overall benefit to the country of going renewable fast will be cleaner air, more jobs in total, and a more resilient nation.

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Investors could lose $4.2tn because of climate change, report warns

Investors could lose $4.2tn because of climate change, report warns | BigPivot | Scoop.it
Investments in fossil fuel companies face serious risk from global warming, research by the Economist Intelligence Unit shows
Andrew Winston's insight:

It's important to put numbers on the financial risk to assets from climate change...and $4 trillion should be scary to investors who aren't looking at systemic risk to their holdings (apparently, that is, nearly all investors). But there's something a bit absurd in the analysis. The article talks about the $7 trillion losses if the world warms 5 degrees Celsius (9F). But it's unclear that humanity can survive a 5C change. That's what 'systemic risk' actually means -- the system we rely on to, you know, live.

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At Vatican, Mayors Pledge Climate Change Fight

At Vatican, Mayors Pledge Climate Change Fight | BigPivot | Scoop.it
The two-day conference was the first time the Vatican specifically invited local officials to address the issue, hoping to keep pressure on world leaders.
Andrew Winston's insight:

Two important elements of the expanding battle against climate change come out of this story. (1) The local. Mayors (and governors) will build pressure from below on national leaders to be bolder, but they also bring the climate issue to citizens who may listen more to local leaders, and they drive action on both mitigation and adaptation at the local level. (2) The moral. The Pope continues to push his 'we're all connected' social/environmental message on climate here. (see my summary of the Pope's encyclical and best quotes...http://bit.ly/1KthCL9). Action on climate is building.

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On Day 3 of Delays, New Jersey Transit’s Shortfalls Are Painfully Clear

On Day 3 of Delays, New Jersey Transit’s Shortfalls Are Painfully Clear | BigPivot | Scoop.it
The suspension of service in and out of Pennsylvania Station created chaos on Wednesday, a day after the federal transportation secretary called a lack of repairs “almost criminal.”
Andrew Winston's insight:

"This is a near-perfect storm example of short-term/magical thinking, political grandstanding, underinvestment in infrastructure, and climate change. (1) In 2010, Gov. Christie cancelled plans for a new tunnel that NJ would only pay 14% of, but it was anti-gov't, anti-tax fever taking over. We'll magically have great infrastructure without paying for it I guess. (2) Our bridges and tunnels are often a century old and clearly need investment. (3) Buried in this story is the fact that the deterioration of Hudson tunnels "accelerated after Hurricane Sandy". So now people stand on platforms and can't get to work. The costs of not investing when we need to are rising...

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With Spinoff, German Utility E.On to Focus on Renewable Energy

With Spinoff, German Utility E.On to Focus on Renewable Energy | BigPivot | Scoop.it
E.On said it would gradually leave the conventional power generation business of coal, nuclear, and natural gas and concentrate on alternatives like wind and solar power.
Andrew Winston's insight:

E.ON's move to focus its core business on renewable energy is smart strategy. The world is beginning a deep transformation away from conventional fuels and E.On is being proactive about pursuing a new direction, spinning off it's conventional electricity generation business. This is a logical move especially in Germany, a country with the most aggressive national policy in the world to transform their energy system. The country is going "all in" on renewables and E.On is choosing a wise path. The move is parallel to the recent announcement that US utility NRG will cut its carbon emissions by 90% by 2050 -- that utility, one of the most forward-looking in the country -- is planning for a deep shift in the energy system as well and trying to get out in front of it.

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Ingersoll Rand to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Half by 2020; Invests $500 Million in Energy Efficiency to Address Climate Change (NYSE:IR)

Andrew Winston's insight:

From the files of 'you may have missed this during the rush of announcements in climate week last month'... Here was a specific company commitment worth checking out. Ingersoll Rand, maker of very large HVAC systems, among other things, has set a 50% GHG reduction goal for its products that use refrigerants. Like so many companies, its footprint is mostly outside of its four walls -- particularly so for this kind of energy-using product -- but too few target the full value chain impacts in their goals and innovation efforts.

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Why the (awesome) climate march won't change American politics

Why the (awesome) climate march won't change American politics | BigPivot | Scoop.it

me Great as the march was, conservatives didn't come out to it, so it won't change Congress and it won't change the polarization gripping America.

Andrew Winston's insight:

Dave Roberts from Grist throws some hard-to-argue-with cold water on the excitement of the march, pointing out that conservatives were not there, so there can be no political movement. Agreed. But I think the best way to get conservatives there is through business. The only problem with the progressive big tent at the march (which I gleefully attended with my family) was that it was so anti-corporate. I marched with the albeit small number of companies that really get it (like Unilever and their Ben & Jerry's brand, including Ben and Jerry themselves!). But that said, the pro-climate business world is growing fast and that's how we get conservatives in -- it's becoming very clear that tackling climate change is good business and business, to put it mildly, leans right. Let's open that tent up!

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Is sharing really green?

Is sharing really green? | BigPivot | Scoop.it
Many have sung the sharing economy's environmental praises, but the evidence may not be there to back up their claims.
Andrew Winston's insight:

A really fair question from Marc Gunther -- and something i've wondered about for a long time.  There are some great aspects of sharing -- if nothing else, causing us to look at our consumption anew is worth it. But it has never been clear if all forms of sharing really reduce footprint. Or do they let us avoid, to some extent, asking ourselves the even harder, more heretical questions like...do i need to take this trip or use this thing at all?!.  As with all lifecycle type analyses, we often get an 'it depends', but it's worth looking at it again...

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Australia votes to repeal carbon tax

Australia votes to repeal carbon tax | BigPivot | Scoop.it
Australia's Senate votes to repeal the so-called carbon tax, a levy on the biggest polluters brought in by the Labor Party.
Andrew Winston's insight:

What a sad state of affairs. As the science, and cost, of climate change gets clearer by the day, Australia moves definitively backward from the most important policy we can use, a price on carbon. This is in direct contradiction to the piece I scooped yesterday about the success of British Colombia's carbon tax. We will end up with prices on a carbon everywhere. Two steps forward, one step back...

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Despite Heat, Low Electricity Prices In Texas Show How Wind Is Good For Consumers

Despite Heat, Low Electricity Prices In Texas Show How Wind Is Good For Consumers | BigPivot | Scoop.it
It turns out wind power isn’t just a source of clean energy — it also helps protect consumers from price volatility.
Andrew Winston's insight:

One of the common, and out-dated, complaints about renewable energy is that it will cost more and is not dependable. Both are turning out to be wrong (or greatly oversimplified in the case of 'undependable'). This is a cool story about Texas discovering that during a heat wave, when spiking energy should've driven up costs, increased wind provided a buffer and actually lowered costs. So having multiple sources of energy, with a large dose of renewables, creates a more resilient system. Nice.

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The CEO of Coca-Cola on Using the Company’s Scale for Good

The CEO of Coca-Cola on Using the Company’s Scale for Good | BigPivot | Scoop.it
A Q&A with Muhtar Kent.
Andrew Winston's insight:

This is an interesting Q&A with Muhtar Kent, a CEO who has been out front on a number of sustainability issues for years. The key part for me is at the end where he talks about being "constructively discontent" about progress on sustainability issues. As he elaborates, it's a way of "recognizing achievement but also understanding that we can never be satisfied with it." I think that perfectly describes the challenge of continuous improvement in general, and work on big environmental and social issues in particular. We have a long way to go, and we must appreciate what we accomplish, but keep pushing.

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One Day After U.S. Announces Emissions Target, China Says Carbon Cap Is On The Way

One Day After U.S. Announces Emissions Target, China Says Carbon Cap Is On The Way | BigPivot | Scoop.it
One day after the United States proposed rules to limit the amount of carbon emitted from existing power plants, China said it will limit its total CO2 emissions for the first time possibly starting in 2016.
Andrew Winston's insight:

Big news on the heels of U.S. Carbon and coal rules (which i wrote an op-ed on for Fortune yesterday, saying that companies should move away from fossil fuels as fast as possible...see... http://fortune.com/2014/06/02/why-obamas-climate-change-policies-wont-hurt-corporate-america/).  But this is an amazing follow on story. Lots of businesses and politicians use China as the scapegoat for inaction. That story is getting less tenable. China will cap carbon and attack it relentlessly. Neither announcement may be as fast as the science requires, but it's a very good start.

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Methane Leaks May Greatly Exceed Estimates, Report Says

Methane Leaks May Greatly Exceed Estimates, Report Says | BigPivot | Scoop.it
A device that measures leaked methane may greatly underestimate it, says an inventor of the technology used in the device, possibly affecting climate change predictions.
Andrew Winston's insight:

This is the latest 'oops, we underestimated something important' headline. I for one am tired of headlines like this, or 'Ice melting faster than anyone expected'. Some people are looking for positive spin on the science, but the surprises are almost all to the negative. I had a fascinating discussion/debate yesterday with a former energy exec about the range of estimates in IPCC numbers around how a doubling of CO2 drives warming (anywhere from 1 to 4 degrees). He was saying it could be closer to 1, which would give us more time to transition and bring (fossil) energy to the developing world. But uncertainty is not what it seems -- as "Black Swan" expert Nasim Taleb has pointed out, it's not a normal curve of possible outcomes and damage. The range of impact/damage to ecosystems and economies moves exponentially. For me the uncertainty in outcomes means we need MORE aggressive and quicker climate action, not less.

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Electric Cars Are Critical To Stopping Global Warming, But That’s Not Why They’ll Take Off

Electric Cars Are Critical To Stopping Global Warming, But That’s Not Why They’ll Take Off | BigPivot | Scoop.it

I wouldn’t blame you if you thought electric cars weren't green. There's a massive misinformation campaign against them, and part of that is trying to seed doubt about one of their top advantages -- that they are one of the best solutions to global warming. I'll tackle that point below, but first, let's get something…


Via Flora Moon
Andrew Winston's insight:

The clean tech writer Zach Shahan provides some great analysis that destroys the misperception that an electric car isn't green since it's just plugged into dirty grid power. He provides a really cool chart from Union of Concerned Scientists showing what (equivalent) mileage you get from plugging an electric into each power/utility region in the U.S. (e.g., drive a Volt in California and it's like getting 96 mpg in a regular car...drive one in coal-heavy Indiana, and you get 36 mpg, which still ain't bad). As the shift from coal continues and nat gas and renewables grow, these numbers will only get better. So, yes, it's worth it carbon-wise to drive electric.

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FACT SHEET: White House Launches American Business Act on Climate Pledge

FACT SHEET: White House Launches American Business Act on Climate Pledge | BigPivot | Scoop.it
Andrew Winston's insight:

If the world has a chance at a substantial global agreement on carbon in Paris, leaders need to know business is on board. This is an important step. Most of the goals are not new (see the goals of these companies and 250 others at my free goals database, www.pivotgoals.com)...but it's important to see business standing side-by-side with the government to declare, "we want action on climate, and we're willing to go first."

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Home Page

Home Page | BigPivot | Scoop.it
The New Climate Economy Report shows how countries at all levels of income can achieve economic growth while combating climate change
Andrew Winston's insight:

An important new report from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate (coordinated by 7 countries). It's worth watching the 1 minute video on the site. Makes the case that 10 key initiatives/themes of action would get us 96% of the way to necessary carbon cuts by 2030. Core theme is compact, connected, smart cities...along with efficiency, carbon pricing, renewables, etc. It's a familiar list, but there's important analysis behind it to prove the case. The evidence is really mounting that tackling climate change aggressively is the smart economic move.

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Narendra Modi, Favoring Growth in India, Pares Back Environmental Rules

Narendra Modi, Favoring Growth in India, Pares Back Environmental Rules | BigPivot | Scoop.it
The new government is moving with remarkable speed to clear away regulatory burdens for industry, the armed forces, mining and power projects.
Andrew Winston's insight:
The false idea of a tradeoff between economic growth and environmental protections rears its head in India. In the very short run, it may seem smart to prioritize jobs and industrial expansion over any kind of environmental protections. But it really doesn't pay. The environment you're protecting includes all the resources for a prosperous society and business community -- clean air and water, a stable climate, natural resources, etc. China is dealing with the extremes of growth over environment now with cities where people can barely breathe -- and China is acting to go the other way and tackle coal consumption and emissions in general. In this story on India, we can see the effects of one region's industrial growth on those down river -- fishing areas destroyed and serious health impacts. The costs just show up elsewhere in the system. It's bad policy and bad business.
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NRG Seeks to Cut 90% of Its Carbon Emissions

NRG Seeks to Cut 90% of Its Carbon Emissions | BigPivot | Scoop.it
The company, which operates coal and other conventional power plants, plans for a reduction of 50 percent by 2030 and 90 percent by 2050.
Andrew Winston's insight:

A very big announcement from NRG, one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the U.S. This is an impressive commitment from a utility that is generating energy mostly from coal today. The recognition that the world, and thus the electricity-generation sector, needs to find a path away from carbon in the next 15 to 35 years is unusual. This puts pressure not just on the industry, but on all large companies -- if a coal-burning giant can set this kind of goal, why can't a CPG company or manufacturer (of course, if NRG and its peers get there, then the energy buyers' goals get MUCH easier to reach). Bravo... 

(PS, here's NRGs announcement with more details...http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20141120005471/en/NRG-Energy-Sets-Long-Term-Sustainability-Goals-Groundbreaking#.VHKLQpPF_qN)

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Why not follow the Swiss Energiewende? - EnergyPost.eu

Why not follow the Swiss Energiewende? - EnergyPost.eu | BigPivot | Scoop.it

eNeither rushed like Germany’s nor sluggish like France’s, the Swiss nuclear phase-out is slow but steady.

Andrew Winston's insight:

It's sometimes hard for us Americans to look elsewhere for inspiration, but we should try harder. There are a number of countries attempting large-scale energy shifts to low-carbon economies. Germany most famously is trying to go renewable AND shut down nuclear at the same time (which is causing their emissions to rise for now). But this thorough, fascinating article describes how Switzerland is taking a more prudent path toward a 2050 goal of being nearly entirely renewable powered (with a big chunk being its natural endowment of hydro power).

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Coal Fades, So Electrics Get Cleaner

Coal Fades, So Electrics Get Cleaner | BigPivot | Scoop.it
An analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists showed that, for the majority of the country, electric vehicles are cleaner than even the most efficient hybrids.
Andrew Winston's insight:

Good news to quiet skeptics on electric vehicles. The logic behind electrification has always been that we can then kill two birds with one stone -- move the grid toward renewables and you've cleaned both power generation AND transportation. We're now getting some serious momentum on carbon as we green both paths.

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Without Much Straining, Minnesota Reins In Its Utilities’ Carbon Emissions

Without Much Straining, Minnesota Reins In Its Utilities’ Carbon Emissions | BigPivot | Scoop.it
While many have howled about complying with a proposed rule slashing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, Minnesota has been reining in its utilities’ carbon pollution for decades.
Andrew Winston's insight:

We're already finding out that the new Obama admin rules -- 30% carbon reductions by 2030 (which some have called economically devastating) -- are not going to be that hard for large swaths of the country. Here's Minnesota well on their way and discovering the benefits of renewables and having a more resilient energy system. Bravo. Next step is to set carbon reduction goals for the country and companies based on science, not what's politically 'feasible' -- that would be around 6% reduction in carbon intensity annually.

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The shocking truth about B.C.’s carbon tax: It works

The shocking truth about B.C.’s carbon tax: It works | BigPivot | Scoop.it
The province has the lowest personal income tax rate in Canada, and one of the lowest corporate rates in North America
Andrew Winston's insight:

So let me get this straight. A large region implemented a carbon tax and it didn't kill the economy, force people to live in the cold and dark, or cost every household half their income. Huh.  Kidding aside, this is a great summary of what's happened in British Columbia for the last 6 years. The big takeaways for those wanting a price on carbon in the U.S....Offsetting taxes with cuts elsewhere is the way to go. BC has actually "cut $760-million more in income and other taxes than needed to offset carbon tax revenue." BC has low personal income taxes and the economy has outperformed the rest of Canada. Very nice.

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Yale Environment 360: Roughly $80 Billion Wasted on Power for Networked Devices, Report Says

Yale Environment 360: Roughly $80 Billion Wasted on Power for Networked Devices, Report Says | BigPivot | Scoop.it

The world’s 14 billion online electronic devices, such as modems, printers, game consoles, and cable boxes, waste around $80 billion in electricity annually because of inefficient technology, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).


Via Flora Moon
Andrew Winston's insight:

Yikes. Not much to add to this, but it's just a nice little example of all the waste in the system we can tackle for very easy wins...very big easy wins. I have a plug at home that charges an iphone or ipad, but then stops current when the device is full. That's a good start on limiting 'vulture' waste.

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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, July 2, 2014 6:11 PM

In 2013, networked devices consumed around 616 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity, with most of that used in standby mode. Roughly 400 TWh — equivalent to the combined annual electricity consumption of the United Kingdom and Norway — was wasted because of inefficient technology.

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Bipartisan Report Tallies High Toll on Economy From Global Warming

Bipartisan Report Tallies High Toll on Economy From Global Warming | BigPivot | Scoop.it
Treasury secretaries dating to the Nixon years backed a new report predicting a heavy loss of coastal properties, a shift of farming northward, and dangerous outdoor conditions because of climate change.
Andrew Winston's insight:

The momentum on discussing climate change in 'serious' circles has shifted dramatically recently. A couple days ago Hank Paulson, Republican, former Treasury Secretary, wrote a tough op-ed about how real climate change is and how much it reminds him of the financial collapse/bubble he oversaw under Pres.Bush. And this story is the follow up about a new report on the cost to society of doing nothing -- coming from Treasury secretaries of all stripes. This is no Greenpeace report. Now it's time for businesses to get moving -- we've had too many wakeup calls...time for action and a Big Pivot!

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