Monday, February 8, 2010

Audi Green Police

This is an Audi ad that played as part of this year's Superbowl. Enjoy!

Monday, October 19, 2009

This is an urgent appeal for your help.

From WWF

One of Australia's biggest environmental disasters is unfolding off Western Australia's pristine Kimberley cost and WWF needs your help urgently.

Since August 21, over 400 barrels of oil a day have been spewing into the ocean from the leaking Montara oil rig 250 kilometres off Broome.

The spill threatens countless marine species, including the Fraser's dolphin, up to 16,000 green and black turtles, 30,000 sea snakes, and numerous seabirds like the red-footed booby. There are serious concerns that the slick will hamper the feeding and breeding of marine animals and that many will die from ingesting the oil. Vital fisheries and coral spawning are also likely to be affected

Clieck here to donate.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Maldives first to be lost in rising sea levels

NZ Herald.

The President of the Maldives is desperate for the world to know how seriously his Government takes the threat of climate change and rising sea levels to the survival of his country.

He wants his ministers to know as well.

To this end, Mohamed Nasheed has organised an underwater Cabinet meeting on October 17 and told all his ministers to get in training for the sub-aqua session.

At 6m below the surface, the ministers will ratify a treaty calling on other countries to cut greenhouse emissions.

Nasheed, the leader of a nation made up of 1200 atolls, 80 per cent of which are no more than a metre above sea level, has made the issue of climate change one of his most pressing priorities.

He has also established a fund to seek an alternative home for the 330,000 Maldivians.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The climate giant awakes. Have we turned a corner?

By Paul Gilding | October 8th, 2009 | Category: Cockatoo Chronicles |

Regular readers may be a little surprised by this column. I am regularly arguing that the science shows we are inevitably approaching, or may have past, a tipping point where widespread, rolling ecological and economic crises take hold.

But there’s another critical tipping point, of a very different character – where the world’s political and business leaders turn firmly towards action. Here’s the surprise – I think we may be at this tipping point already.

Scientists have become increasingly alarmed in recent years, as climate change reality has raced ahead of the political response. They point to countless examples of accelerating feedbacks, such as the reduction in the ocean’s ability to absorb CO2 and rapid Arctic melting.

While they regularly point these out to our political masters, many of them express despair at the slow response.

So on what basis do I think the global political system has started to turn?

I think we have recently seen a number of developments that, taken together, indicate a profound shift is under way. When such a shift takes hold, it will rapidly accelerate – with significant implications for campaign and business strategy in this area over the years ahead.

The most significant and encouraging shift is what Tom Friedman in his recent NYT column called the shift from Red China to Green China. The Chinese leadership has for many years been talking about the need to act on climate but has in recent months shown serious potential to lead on this issue.

The rationale for them to do so is certainly there. As they have reeled under the negative economic and social impacts of pollution, China has accepted that the growth model followed by Western capitalism cannot work for them. Will they now pursue clean energy so vigorously they will dominate this new global market? Could climate even provide the issue on which China can manifest its global leadership ambitions?

I increasingly think the answer to both questions is likely to be yes, with far reaching economic and geopolitical implications. There is a good summary of recent developments and this potential for leadership, including China’s potential to see its emissions peak by 2030 in the article “Peaking Duck” by the Centre for American Progress’ Julian L. Wong.

Another important indicator is the recognition in the US political debate that the strength of the Chinese response is an economic threat to the US. The fear is growing that the resistance to change in the US may leave that economy floundering in what will be the largest economic transformation in history. As argued by Tom Friedman in the column referred to earlier, while America is currently strong on innovation, research ultimately follows the market. Friedman pointed out that “America’s premier solar equipment maker, Applied Materials, is about to open the world’s largest privately funded solar research facility — in Xian, China.”

The goal posts are also shifting in the science. An increasing number of scientists are coming to the view that the global CO2 target should be closer to 350ppm rather than 450ppm. In recent months we’ve seen this get global credence in response to the campaign, with eminent figures like the climate economist Nicholas Stern and the IPCC Chair Pachauri coming out in personal support of the 350 target. They would both be well aware that such a target would require cuts far more dramatic than anything on the table now. With such a goal, the task becomes the elimination of net CO2 emissions from the economy rather than their reduction.

At a deeper level, Stern also lent his considerable intellectual weight to the debate on economic growth, stating what was previously heresy – that economic growth itself must now be questioned. He recently put the case that there were probably only 20 years left for further economic growth before the earth was full.

Equally important as these scientific and political developments are shifts in the business community. While debates are raging in Western economies including in the US, Japan and Australia on climate policy, there are signs of a profound underlying shift emerging in corporate attitudes. Symbolising this in the United States is the rapid withdrawal of major companies from the US Chamber of Commerce over their lobbying against action to regulate greenhouse gases. In recent weeks, major corporates such as PG&E and Apple have resigned, Nike has quit the Board of the organisation and GE and Johnson & Johnson have both publicly distanced themselves from the Chamber’s anti-climate action lobbying efforts.

Another example was a recent initiative by Cambridge Program for Sustainability Leadership’s Corporate Leaders Group, with 500 companies signing on to the Copenhagen Communiqué which endorsed strong action on climate by the world’s governments including keeping warning below 2 degrees and urging early action. “There is nothing to be gained by delay”, the communiqué states.

Many other countries previously in the background on the global climate debate like Indonesia (which is the world’s 3rd largest net emitter due to its extensive deforestation) recently announced its intention to cut emissions by 26% by 2020 compared to Business As Usual and by 41% if they get international financial support to go further. They also believe they can turn their forests into a net carbon sink by 2030.

And of course there is a storm of grassroots campaigning erupting around the world in the lead up to Copenhagen with campaigns like and many others.

Many of you will have the correct response that these are all only words – that we are yet to see action of real substance. That’s certainly true. Words are early signs, not conclusive evidence. But I think I can smell it now, and when these things do turn, they do so remarkably quickly – as we saw when governments responded to the recent financial crisis.

Of course this does not mean we can relax and it will all be OK! The climate system is now rapidly descending into crisis and the consequences will be felt for decades even with strong action now. What it does indicate however is that we will not be the proverbial boiling frogs who just sit here passively as the system collapses around us. It is only early signs of the turn, but it gives us an indication of what’s coming.

So we mustn’t back off, not even a little bit, with the pressure being applied to the system to encourage change. But we should perhaps reconsider tactics.

I think some of our energy should be focused for example on developing an emergency plan to fix the climate. The science clearly lays out what a stable climate looks like and it requires the elimination of net CO2 emissions from the economy within decades. Any rational analysis says this is going to require the equivalent of a war plan to achieve it. In future columns I’ll be saying a great deal more on that topic.

But for now, take a look around. The world is turning our way and while the crisis is still coming, the crisis response may not be as far behind it as we thought.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Great Way to Reduce Emissions & Save Money

I was picking up a toner cartridge on the weekend and spotted this little device in the "impulse buy" section. What a great invention! It's called "eco button".

How does it work?

The ecobutton™ acts as a strong visual reminder and prompt for you to save electricity each time your computer is going to be left idle. The ecobutton™ is illuminated and sits on your table/desk top next to your keyboard. It connects to your computer via a USB cable.

Each time you take a short or long break, a phone call, go for a meeting etc. you simply press the ecobutton™ and your computer is put into the most efficient energy saving mode available - they call this 'ecomode'.

People generally do not like turning off their computers due to the time it often takes to restart (particularly when hibernate is used). However, with ecobutton™ by simply pressing any key on your keyboard (some computers require a momentary press of the power button) your computer instantly returns to where you left off.

There's also an additional bonus as each time your computer is put into 'ecomode' the clever ecobutton™ software records how many carbon units and how much power and money you have saved by using the ecobutton™. Over time this can add up to quite a lot (especially if you have many computers running in an office) and you can use this data to help reduce your carbon footprint as well as your energy bills.

Using the eco-button together with Little Green Genie to offset what you can't reduce is a great way to green your computer!