Business and Economics

Is Population Growth Really at the Heart of Sustainability Issues?

 Population growth is a major source of stress on the earth's limits. Even though it is at the heart of sustainability problems, it is not the most helpful frame to design sustainability solutions. Population growth contributes to a wide range of sustainability problems and it complicates sustainability challenges. Population growth is part of an interconnected web of adverse impacts that have created an ecological crisis that threatens both biodiversity and human survival.  The complex interrelationships between key sustainability issues are illustrated by the myriad ways that population growth is correlated with increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These emissions exacerbate climate...

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The Best Green Business Blogs, Websites, and Influencers

The Green Market Oracle was recognized as a leading climate change website and two days later it is being honored as one of the top green business influencers. On May 6, 2021, Feedspot released their list of the Top 45 Climate Change Blogs and Websites To follow in 2021 ranking the Green Market Oracle ahead of well-known prestigious sites like The New York Times, Climate and Environment, Columbia Law School, The Guardian Climate Change News, IMF Climate Blog, BSR | Climate Change Blog, IIED Climate Change and World Bank's Development and a Changing Climate blog. On May 8, 2021, the...

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What is the Circular Economy?

The idea of a circular economy, sometimes called a closed-loop economy, has been gaining steam over the last five years. It is generating a lot of press in Europe especially in countries like the Netherlands. The EU has agreed to increase its recycling and reuse target to 65 percent by 2035. The idea has not gained as much traction in the U.S. but this is slowly changing. While some sustainability professionals in the U.S. may not be familiar with the idea of a circular economy, they are likely aware of related concepts like industrial ecology, natural capitalism, biomimicry, cradle-to-cradle, the...

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Reversing Nature Loss is Everyone’s Business – Earth Hour 2021

Members of the business community have supported Earth Hour for years.  This support continues in 2021, however, in light of COVID-19, the Earth Hour global team is recommending businesses organize online/virtual events. Supporting Earth Hour starts with turning off your lights on March 27th from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Businesses can use their communication channels and platforms, to tell everyone why their organization is taking part in Earth Hour, they can share the official Earth Hour video, and they can post messages (using the hashtag #EarthHour).  Some are live streaming events and running sustainability-focused workshops, others are putting forward...

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Decarbonization Through Electrification in Waterborne Transportation

All modes of transportation are gradually being converted to electric propulsion and this includes watercraft. Driven by ominous increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions the move to decarbonize transportation through electrification is growing and while land and air travel get a lot of well-warranted attention, we also need to decarbonize vehicles that travel on water.  In recent years we have made major strides in electric cars, trucks, and buses as well as electric-powered aviation, but there are even greater opportunities to electrify watercraft because they are not as limited by space and weight as their air and land-based counterparts. Electrification is especially well...

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Banks are Backing Away from Fossil Fuels and Embracing Sustainability

Major banks have been slow to act but it appears as thought they are moving away from dirty energy. Big lending institutions have have pledged to support emissions reductions consistent with the Paris Climate agreement, however, until recently their words have not matched their deeds.   Banks have been involved with sustainability for years and many have set sustainability investment goals. Almost ten years ago Bank of America and Wells Fargo each committed $50 billion for financing sustainable initiatives and green transport. In 2015 Citigroup announced that they would invest 150 billion in sustainability.  Valerie Smith, director of corporate sustainability at...

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Corporate America’s Break Up with Trump & the GOP

Resistance to Donald Trump started shortly after he announced his intention to run for public office, but it was not until recently that corporate America finally stood up to him in earnest. Even before Trump won the Republican nomination, some powerful business leaders openly opposed him. Shortly after he was elected in 2016, many pundits predicted that Trump was a serious risk factor that should be countered by corporate America. This was followed bywarnings about the dangers of "Trump's defective judgment, psychological dysfunction and amorality". Early corporate resistance It did not take long for corporate leaders to realize that Trump's...

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A Cautionary Tale about Stranded Assets

Just in time for Christmas a cautionary tale of two power plants is warning investors to be wary of fossil fuels. As predicted by many the evidence is mounted to support the contention that dirty energy is destined to be stranded assets. The closure of coal powerplants all around the world corroborate this prediction. Here are two examples from opposite sides of the world that demonstrate how once dominant coal powered powerplants are being replaced by renewable sources of energy causing investors to lose billions of dollars.  The imposing smoke stacks that towered 775 feet above Arizona's Navajo Generating Station...

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The Plague Economy: Inequality and the Preoccupation with Growth

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed fault lines that highlight weaknesses in our economic system. Unfettered capitalism imperils biodiversity and endangers the future of civilization. Julia Steinberger echoes these sentiments saying that confronting capitalism is the only way we can "avoid disaster". We will not be able to protect the natural world or combat global warming without changes in corporate governance and more specifically the fiduciary obligation to deliver profits. Even more fundamentally we need to challenge the business ethos that seeks profit at the expense of everything else. Our metrics must reflect the costs and the risks associated with environmental...

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Decarbonization Through Electrification Creates Jobs

There is a positive vision emerging of decarbonization through electrification. This would not only substantially reduce climate change-causing greenhouse gas emissions, but it would also buoy the economy and provide jobs. This pandemic can be a turning point. The coronavirus has already augured a 4-7 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions along with other environmental benefits. Although COVID-19 has decimated the energy sector it will disproportionately enfeeble the fossil fuel industry and embolden renewable energy. The pandemic has already changed the way we work and green stimulus spending could revolutionize our economies.On the afternoon of Thursday, May 28, 2020, experts...

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