Travel News

Connecting Nature and Fearless Leadership: Finding Your Fiercest Self

(3BL Media and Just Means)- “I would ask you, Julie, who are the seagulls in your life? How can you emulate the pelican behavior?" This was Beverly Winterscheid, the founding partner of Center for Nature and Leadership, and Leadership Development Professor in the Bard Sustainability MBA, talking and, as always, prodding.

Social Enterprise WorkSquare Creates a “People First” Hiring-Placement Business

(3Bl Media/Justmeans) - WorkSquare is revolutionizing the hiring placement industry in Miami, Florida. What began as an MBA thesis at Harvard Business School by founder Vanessa Bartram has developed into a people first, B Corp- certified social business.  WorkSquare’s team launched the company in 2008 to create a path toward financial stability for South Florida’s low-wage workers.

Death of EVs Greatly Exaggerated

(3Bl Media/Justmeans) - Mark Twain once quipped, “reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

The same might be said of the pronouncement of Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jones, who said “EV’s are dead, long live TESLA.”

Stock analysts are not particularly well-known for their patience, and if Google went back far enough, you could probably find a similar sentiment being expressed by great-granddaddy Jones back in 1908 about the first Fords rolling off the assembly line. The impetus for the comment was an announcement that Toyota was ending its parts contract with Tesla.

Okay, admittedly, EV’s have not become highly profitable overnight, the way that Wall Street likes them. Yes, market penetration is still tiny, and some companies like Fiat, are losing money on every 500e they sell. But think of the size of the battleship that is turning around. In the US alone there are more than 120,000 gas stations. How many EV chargers are out there? Roughly 8,000. How long does the average American hold onto his car? Almost six years. How long has there been a viable, affordable EV on the market? Nissan LEAF sales began in December 2010.

EVs are superior to internal combustion vehicles in almost every way except that:

  1. They are more expensive
  2. Charging infrastructure is still being built
  3. Range is still an issue for many people
  4. They are not yet considered mainstream

All of this is changing rapidly. As Tesla has already demonstrated, and Jones himself acknowledges, they are being enthusiastically grabbed up by those that can afford them. Jones just happens to call them “compelling performance vehicles that just happen to be EVs.”

The fact that they just happen to be EVs, is not just a coincidence, but rather an outcome of something called low-end torque that electric motors can smoothly deliver in a way that even the best engines can only dream about. In a nutshell, it’s the power available before a vehicle has come up to speed.

UNWTO Promotes Sustainable Tourism to Conserve Migratory Bird Flyways

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has launched an innovative project that aims to develop sustainable tourism at destinations along the world’s major migratory bird routes. The organization will bring the project into spotlight on the World Migratory Bird Day 2014 – celebrated in more than 70 countries on 10-11 May.

Leaks Make Natural Gas Vehicles Less Climate-Friendly Than Diesel

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - A couple of weeks back, we wrote about how natural gas was being used to replace diesel to fuel many large trucks. California-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp. opened several natural gas filling stations in locations stretching from coast to coast. We wrote, “Natural gas has become an attractive option for high-horsepower trucks, because it is less expensive (by up to $1.50/gal), cleaner (23% less GHG emissions), and offers better price stability when compared with conventional diesel. It's also better for the health of drivers and the communities in which they operate. Given the high level of natural gas availability in the US at this time, it also offers the opportunity to reduce dependence on imported oil.“

A recent study, just released, reveals some information that could potentially pour cold water on this approach. The study, which was jointly conducted by scientists at Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), found that there is currently 50% more methane already in the atmosphere than had previously been thought. The researchers have determined that this gas must come from leaks throughout the natural gas supply chain.

After conducting a detailed analysis, weighing both the benefits and costs, the team determined that from a greenhouse gas perspective, the added methane resulting from these leaks, more than offsets the reduction in carbon dioxide resulting from the switch from diesel to natural gas. In other words, according to the study’s lead author, Adam R. Brandt, Assistant Professor of Energy Resources at Stanford, “Switching from diesel to natural gas, that’s not a good policy from a climate perspective.”

The leaks, however, were not severe enough to tip the balance when it came to replacing coal-fired power plants with natural gas. That's because of the enormous amounts of CO2 that comes from coal. Even factoring in the methane leaks, gas-powered plants have half the impact of coal plants.

Companies Earn Gold Medals for Sustainable Travel Programs

airplaneThe GBTA Foundation, the education and research foundation of the Global Business Travel Association, has awarded "Gold Medals" to five companies for spearheading sustainability in the travel industry.


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