05 November 2009

Economists agree pricing carbon would help economy; society doesn't agree on urgency of climate change; other company, technology, and government information

Top Stories

(Not yet) marching as to war.reliability high.
Discusses lack of consensus for strong action to reduce harm from climate change. "For Americans, climate change is becoming more divisive: one of those touchstone issues, like abortion and the death penalty, in which the opposing camps see one another as not just mistaken, but bad. That is exactly the opposite of what would be needed if, now or in future, an administration wanted to rally the nation behind the idea of sacrifices for the sake of posterity."  Also comments on UK and other public attitudes. From The Economist.

USC study finds big air pollution impacts on local communities.reliability high.
"Heavy traffic corridors in the cities of Long Beach and Riverside are responsible for a significant proportion of preventable childhood asthma, and the true impact of air pollution and ship emissions on the disease has likely been underestimated, according to researchers at the University of Southern California (USC)." "The impact of roadway proximity on the overall burden of asthma-related illness is remarkable. Air pollution is a more important contributor to the burden of childhood asthma than is generally recognized, especially to more severe episodes requiring visits to a clinic or emergency room." From EurekAlert. Abstract here. [This is just one example of the tide of research linking transport emissions to public health problems. If you or your suppliers ship goods by hydrocarbon-fueled transport, wake up and smell the externalities.]

Economists Concur on Threat of Warming.reliability medium.
"A New York University School of Law survey found near unanimity among 144 top economists that global warming threatens the United States economy and that a cap-and-trade system of carbon regulation will spur energy efficiency and innovation."
"'Outside academia the level of consensus among economists is unfortunately not common knowledge,' Richard Revesz, dean of the law school, said during a press conference Wednesday. 'The results are conclusive – there is broad agreement that reducing emissions is likely to have significant economic benefits.'" From New York Times Green Inc. blog. PDF of report here.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Ikea names Punjab towel-maker as best supplier.reliability high.
"Punjab-based towel manufacturer Abhishek Industries Ltd (AIL) has won the best supplier award from European retail chain Ikea." "Besides terry-towel business, Ikea and AIL have strengthened their partnership through a 'Better Cotton Initiative', which seeks to improve cotton cultivation and make it more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable." In Sindh Today from IANS.

BP eyes output of new biofuels from next year.reliability high.
Overview of BP's activities in liquid biofuels. " BP could launch commercial production of grass-based ethanol in the United States in 2010 with partner Verenium, which already has a demonstration cellulosic ethanol facility, Philip New, Chief Executive of BP Biofuels, said. BP is also planning to launch in 2012/13 commercial output of biobutanol at future biofuel plant in the UK, he said." "To compete with fossil fuels in the future, biofuels would have to live without subsidies and keep costs within $1 a gallon on a volume basis, New said." From Reuters.

Venture Firm Nth Power Names 5 Next-Gen Green Building Materials to Watch.reliability high.
"the authors of a new report on green building innovation from San Francisco, Calif.-based venture capital firm Nth Power and the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems see a series of 'revolutionary innovations' on the horizon for building materials." See earth2tech. Access report here.

Related: Liquid Granite and the hunt for a carbon-neutral cement.reliability high.
Reviews the emissions issues associated with cement-based concrete and discusses a couple of the new technologies being developed. From The Guardian.

New green chemicals from October.reliability medium.
"Here are last month's launch of new green chemicals in no particular order. This list is definitely a record-breaker compared to previous months. I also noticed more new products this month targeting the cleaning market." See Green Chemicals blog.

Government and Regulation

National Outdoor Lighting Improvements Would Save $5.1 Billion Annually.reliability high.
Electrical manufacturers and energy efficiency advocates have agreed on national standards for street lights, parking lot lights and other outdoor lighting, which will phase out the least efficient outdoor lighting products by the end of 2012. "The new rule can save 25 to 42 billion kilowatt hours per year by 2030, which is the equivalent of powering 2.5 to 4.5 million homes for an entire year. The standard will cut carbon pollution by almost 8 million metric tons per year, and will save between $2.8 billion to $5.1 billion annually on energy costs, according to American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)." From NRDC press release. Related blog post here.

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2009 HaraBara, Inc.]