08 January 2010

Green marketing sells? EV predictions and other company, industry, government and science facts

Top Stories

80% of Firms to Increase Green Marketing Spend.reliability high.
"A new study conducted by Environmental Leader and MediaBuyerPlanner has found that the majority of companies see their green marketing efforts as creating real business value - and not as a fad to garner consumer attention. 33% of respondents said green marketing was more effective than their normal marketing efforts, with just 7% saying it was less effective." From Sustainable Life Media. PDF of executive summary here.

Study Raises Cost Estimate for Electric Cars.reliability high.
"The study, conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, said battery costs were not expected to fall as much as automakers have projected, making electric vehicles too expensive for most consumers even 10 years from now. . . . It predicts that the cost of a battery pack about the size of the Volt’s will fall by $10,000, or 64 percent, from 2009 to 2020. But even then it would take about 15 years for the cost of owning an electric vehicle to equal that of a gas-powered car." From The New York Times. BCG press release here. PDF of report here.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Can the aviation industry ever be green?reliability medium.
"such is our addiction to flight that many believe it's more feasible – not least politically – to make deeper cuts in non-aviation sources than to accept being earthbound. The climate change committee has floated the idea of introducing flying allowances as one way of keeping aviation growth to an acceptable 60% by 2050 (as opposed to the Government's estimate of 200%). Even so, just keeping emissions static will be a huge challenge to the airline industry." Commentator doubts industry can find ways to cut carbon that allow everyone to fly as much as they want. Extensive discussion of options, plans, and possibilities. From The Guardian.

CES: Ford's Sync puts apps into cars.reliability high.
"At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally showed off how consumers could soon catch up on Twitter, listen to Internet radio, check movie times and get free maps with turn-by-turn directions, using Sync's voice commands or 8-inch color touch-screen in the dashboard, in Ford's spring lineup of cars. . . . This year, Ford gave outside developers a chance to integrate their mobile applications with Sync so drivers could use the car's controls to summon, for example, Pandora Internet radio. (The apps themselves sit on an iPhone or other smart phone.) Ford is also pairing up with companies such as AOL Inc.'s MapQuest and Google Inc. to wirelessly bring street directions and other information to its cars." From The Los Angeles Times.

Urban Wasteland: Tackling Energy Waste in Skyscrapers.reliability medium.
Story on energy waste and potential savings in big commercial buildings, using example of Morgan Stanley's global headquarters in New York and the savings they achieved with advice from EnerNOC. Tim Healy, EnerNOC’s chief executive, "figures active monitoring of buildings to save energy will be a $30 billion to $40 billion market in the U.S. in a few years." See Wall Street Journal Environmental Capital blog.

Government and Regulation

EPA Puts Science Behind New Smog Standards.reliability high.
"Strict new health standards for smog will impose extra costs as the Environmental Protection Agency rolls back the more lax Bush-era smog standards. The new limits, proposed Jan. 7, are likely to put hundreds of counties nationwide into violation, meaning that they will have to find ways to clamp down on the pollution or risk losing federal highway dollars, for instance" "The new limits are in line with what was proposed by scientists during the Bush Administration, which instead set a more relaxed standard after protests from utilities and industry." From Environmental Leader.

Canada to study biofuel's environmental impact.reliability high.
"The Canadian government has ordered a study of the environmental impact of making ethanol and biodiesel just as a government regulation mandating fuel blending is set to take effect." Environment Canada has ordered the study. See Reuters. [A bold step, as an impartial study might reveal that biofuels produced in Canada are worse polluters than some fossil fuels. Potential conflict with powerful agricultural interests.]


US should stop mountaintop coal mining--scientists.reliability high.
A technical paper published in Science says unequivocally that "An analysis of recent scientific studies showed mountaintop coal mining, which accounts for about 10 percent of U.S. coal production, does irreparable environmental harm", and that the U.S. government should no longer permit the practice. "They said research also shows that mountaintop mining exposes local residents to a higher risk of serious illnesses. 'Its impacts are pervasive and long lasting and there is no evidence that any mitigation practices successfully reverse the damage it causes,' said lead author Margaret Palmer of University of Maryland at College Park in a statement. The scientists said no mountaintop mining permits should be granted 'unless new methods can be subjected to rigorous peer-review and shown to remedy these problems.'" The list of authors includes several members of the National Academy of Sciences. From Reuters. [This will be hard for regulators to ignore. EPA is still approving MTR projects.]

The betting is that 2010 will be the hottest year on record.reliability high.
"IT MAY seem implausible at the moment, as northern Europe, Asia and parts of America shiver in the snow, but 2010 may well turn out as the hottest year on record." Discusses various predictions and the difficulties of using climate models to make them. From The Economist.

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2010 HaraBara, Inc.]