(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Keep America Beautiful and its network of affiliates and participating organizations are celebrating Earth Day as well as every day in April and throughout spring by conducting unique Great American Cleanup events across the country. Through the events, Keep American Beautiful is spreading the message of shared responsibility among the communities and reminding that small actions can make a big difference to preserve the environment.
(Justmeans/3BL Media) - As I sat at my desk trying to find a suitable subject for the 44th annual Earth Day, I scoured my Twitter feed and my inbox looking for the story that would capture the essence of where we stand right now in our battle to save the planet. While there is plenty of interesting news coming out every day, it is so strongly divided into good news and bad news, that there is no way that one story can possibly sum it all up.
Take the IPCC, for example. Earlier this month, Working Group II, responsible for studying the impacts of climate change issued a frightening report that was hard to view as anything other than a call to action. The impacts are already occurring, chain reactions have been set in motion, and we can expect things to get quite bad, especially if we don’t begin to substantially escalate our efforts to curb emissions. IPCC chairman Rajendra K. Pachauri, said. “nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change.” This will be particularly true for those most vulnerable, including low-lying and poorer countries, as well as the poorest residents of all countries. But the same report (which still is yet to be officially published) also said that the economic cost of a 2.5 degrees Celsius rise is going to be somewhere between 0.2 and 2.0% of the global GDP, far less than expected. That might be considered good news, though it might also encourage politicians to defer action on the bad news contained in the report.
Then there is the question of natural gas. There can be no doubt that the large-scale replacement of coal with natural gas for electric generation purposes, accelerated by the drop in natural gas prices, has led to a dramatic reduction in carbon emissions. Coal has been the largest source of carbon pollution, and natural gas emits only half as much carbon. Unfortunately, this boom in natural gas production has come to us via hydraulic fracking, a method that is fraught with problems of its own, ranging from earthquakes, to sizable methane releases (methane is twenty times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas), to contamination of drinking water. These concerns are substantial enough for the National Renewable Energy Lab to declare natural gas less climate-friendly than diesel fuel, though still better than coal. Producers are also pressing to increase natural gas exports, which is not only bad for the environment, but will also raise gas prices here in the US.
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The White House has announced a new draft plan that would provide loan guarantees for innovative projects that limit or avoid greenhouse gas emissions. The plan involves $4 billion in fresh federal loan guarantees that are aimed at promoting sustainable projects that help integrate power grid with renewable sources, develop more compatible biofuels for conventional vehicles, and turn waste into energy.
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – About three years ago, Discovery Communications, the world’s topmost nonfiction media company, introduced an innovative annual initiative for high school girls called “Say Yes to the Prom.” The initiative brought together Discovery employees, industry partners and leading lifestyle brands to make prom more accessible and empower high school girls across the country.
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The 2014 Cone Communications Recycling in the Home Survey, in partnership with the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies as part of its Care to Recycle program, has revealed that the biggest barrier to recycling at home is lack of bins. Recycling efforts at home often do not go beyond the kitchen despite a genuine concern among the consumers to protect the environment.
(3BL Media/Justmeans) - One of the first things that Prince William discovered he had in common with Kate Middleton when they first met was that they had both been on expeditions to Chile to volunteer before they started university.
(3BL Media/Justmeans) - In business a successful organisation has always been interpreted as one driven by profit. Well, not anymore.
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The European Parliament has passed a historic law that makes it mandatory for the largest companies in Europe to include sustainability factors as an integral part of their annual financial reporting. The law, which was passed with a thumping majority vote of 599-55, will apply to publicly traded companies employing more than 500 workers.
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Microsoft Corp. has entered into a three-year agreement with the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) to research and develop sustainable technologies. The goal is to make Microsoft’s data centers more energy efficient and economically viable. The company has also made a gift of $1 million to UTSA to support the university’s R&D programs.