Today’s edition has a decidedly cold war flavor: a former CIA officer warns that ISIS could destroy the entire U.S. grid by merely attacking nine key power stations, while in a battle against corporate online espionage, SolarWorld Americas wants the U.S. government to slap higher tariffs as a weapon against China. And more chilling news: the Burger King deal with Canadian Tim Hortons might be a harbinger of disaster for the rainforests.
Quote of the day
“Few recognize the threat this merger poses to the world’s tropical rain forests. Both companies have appalling track records on palm oil.”
Lael Goodman, an analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists, in the Huffingtonpost’s story Burger King Deal With Tim Hortons May Be Disastrous For Rainforests
ISIS Will Target the U.S. Power Grid, Former CIA Says; Could Tap Other Fellow Extremist Groups to Do the Job
Esther Tanquintic-Misa, International Business Times
A former CIA officer has warned the United States its power grid will sure to be massively hit once the ISIS carries out its anticipated terror strike against the superpower.
***LB: Also in this story “The study said the country stands to suffer a coast-to-coast blackout with saboteurs just merely knocking down nine key substations.”
Solar Company Seeks Stiff U.S. Tariffs to Deter Chinese Spying
Diane Cardwell, The New York Times
In the daunting battle against corporate online espionage worldwide, one major solar company wants to deploy a powerful and novel weapon: higher tariffs. http://jlne.ws/1qwHcVY
***LB: Also in this story “SolarWorld Americas, the largest manufacturer of solar panels in the United States, has asked the Commerce Department to investigate claims that Chinese military personnel broke into the company’s computers and stole documents important to its business and its long-running trade dispute with China.”
Burger King Deal With Tim Hortons May Be Disastrous For Rainforests Alexander C. Kaufman, Huffingtonpost
Burger King’s plan to merge with doughnut chain Tim Hortons in Canada may be a bad sign for Southeast Asia’s rainforests.
***LB: Also in this story “Now, advocates fear that Burger King’s plan to build the fastest-growing fast food empire in the world will lead to a marked uptick in the destruction.”
China Seeks Pollution Cut With National Carbon Market
China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, plans to start a national market for carbon trading by 2016 as it seeks to balance pollution reduction with economic growth.
China seeks help from NGOs to boost environmental protection push
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen
China’s Supreme People’s Court is seeking the advice of western NGOs as it begins work on a new environmental tribunal that aims to tackle the country’s toxic smog levels and other environmental challenges.
5 reasons NATO needs to worry about climate change
Sophie Yeo, RTCC (Responding to Climate Change)
Climate change raises major security threats that NATO cannot afford to ignore at its summit this week.
9 years after Katrina, New Orleans aims to turn environmental weaknesses into economic strengths
Mark Waller, The Times-Picayune
It might have been after Hurricane Sandy delivered havoc to the Northeast in 2012 that the realization came into focus.
France underlines commitment to “legally binding” agreement at Paris climate summit
The French government has stressed it wants to deliver a “legally binding” climate change agreement at the UN’s Paris summit in late 2015, arguing that it represents the primary goal of the crucial meeting.
A Mile Below Paris Drillers Hit Hot Pools to Warm Houses
Tara Patel, Bloomberg Businessweek
In the midst of a suburban sprawl halfway between the Eiffel Tower and Paris’s busy Orly airport, a drilling crew works night and day burrowing deep into the Earth’s crust in search of underground heat.
***LB: Also in this story “The muddied workers from Cofor and Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB:US), an oil-services company that typically sinks wells in the deserts of Oman and deep waters off the shores of Brazil, will spend four months in Villejuif on the edges of the French capital.”
Reports: Japan mulls 30 per cent renewables target
The Japanese government is considering a significant increase in its renewable energy targets, according to local media reports.
(UK’s) Liberals Democrats plan to ban ‘unabated’ coal and offer tax cuts for greener homes
Will Nichols, BusinessGreen
A ban on unabated coal plants and decade-long council tax cuts for energy efficient homes are among the green pledges on which the Liberal Democrats will fight next year’s election.
***LB: Also in this story :”The two policies are among five green laws Ed Davey, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said the party will demand in any future coalition negotiations, which also include a nature bill, a zero-waste bill, and green transport bill.”
EMA’s 18th Annual Meeting
Join the Environmental Markets Association and environmental industry professional for two days of dynamic sessions, two nights of networking receptions, and countless opportunities to increase your business contacts.
October 22 – 24, 2014
Santa Monica, CA
FT European Gas Summit
The FT European Gas Summit brings together leading and aspiring gas suppliers from around the globe, as well as energy industry experts, commentators and government decision makers to review the potential barriers to new gas supplies for Europe, and the impact on the region’s economic competitiveness. The summit will be chaired by Guy Chazan, Energy Editor, Financial Times.
23 October 2014
Carbon prices to average 23 euros in the 2020, analysts say
EU carbon prices are set to more than treble to an average of around 23 euros a tonne during the 2020s, according to a new analysis.
South Korea delays smog tax; starts emission trading in 2015 – finance minister
South Korea has delayed a proposed tax on vehicle carbon emissions by over five years to the end of 2020, but confirmed it would push ahead with plans to begin its carbon emissions trading scheme from the start of 2015, finance minister Choi Kyung-hwan said on Tuesday.
Shenzhen carbon market allows trades to be settled in foreign currencies
China’s Shenzhen carbon market will allow carbon permit trades to be settled in foreign currencies through the Bank of China, as the city tries new ways to attract foreign capital to its nascent market.
Natural Gas / Coal
Call Putin’s bluff – he will not cut off Europe’s gas
Matthew Bryza, Financial Times
In Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale, two tailors promise to make an emperor a suit that is invisible to unwise people.
Coalgate: India urges supreme court not to close coal mines
Karl Mathiesen, theguardian.com
The Indian government has urged the country’s supreme court to allow 46 illegally granted coal licenses to continue to operate.
***LB: Also in this story “It is expected that some, possibly all, licenses granted during the period will be revoked and companies will have to bid for them in a transparent, law-abiding way.”
Wind energy outstrips coal as industry smashes August generation record
James Murray, BusinessGreen
The UK’s wind energy industry is celebrating today after new figures showed that the sector set a raft of new records during August, delivering more power than coal and nuclear generation on several days.
(UK) Government launches electricity demand reduction pilot project
A £20m pilot scheme to provide companies with a financial incentive to install equipment that reduces their energy consumption has opened for funding applications, the government announced yesterday.
***LB: Also in this story “The Electricity Demand Reduction (EDR) pilot would provide organisations with financial support to install equipment that delivers “lasting” reductions in peak electricity demand.”
Tesla and Apple Reportedly Working on Cars Charged by iPhones
John Nassivera, Headlines and Global news
Tesla is reportedly working with Apple on a project that will let drivers charge its Model S vehicles with their iPhones.
Pay motorists to scrap diesel cars, says Mayor Boris
Owners of diesel cars could be paid £1,000 to scrap their cars under London Mayor Boris Johnson’s latest proposal to tackle the capital’s air pollution.
Is Rational Water Management Finally Emerging in Dry California?
Andrew C. Revkin, The New York Times
I encourage you to read Felicity Barringer’s article on California’s effort (finally!) to exert some control on groundwater pumping.
California drought: Why doesn’t California build big dams any more?
Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News
How much money drought-stricken California should spend to build new dams was a big part of the debate over the bill that Gov. Jerry Brown signed last month to put a $7.5 billion water bond on the November ballot.
EPA Criticizes Restoration Plan for California’s Water Hub
Circle of Blue
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency criticized a $US 25 billion water supply and ecosystem restoration plan for California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, saying that the plan would violate federal Clean Water Act standards for water quality and may not produce the desired habitat improvements.
Scotland Launches the World’s Largest Tidal Power Project
Living on earth
Scotland is a world leader in tidal and wave power research and hopes to produce all of its energy from sustainable low-carbon sources by 2020.
Meltwater Is Rising Sea Levels In The Antarctic Faster Than The Rest Of The World
Chris Pash, Business Insider Australia
Fresh water from melting glaciers has caused the sea level around the coast of Antarctica to rise by 2 centimetres more than the global average of 6 centimetres.
Greenhouse gas fear over increased levels of meat eating
Roger Harrabin, BBC
Global consumption of meat needs to fall – to ensure future demand for food can be met and to help protect the environment – a study says.