Climate Change is a Women’s Issue and so is the Clean Economy

In terms of climate change impacts women have the most to lose and in terms of engaging climate action they have the most to gain. Women are the sex most likely to suffer from the effects of climate change and they have been shown to be better environmental stewards than their male counterparts. Women are on the front lines of climate change and they are have made major contributions to both environmentalism and sustainability.  However, there is a vast potential that has yet to be fully unleashed. B U S I N E S S   &  E C O N...

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Does Business Need Government to Incentivize the Green Economy?

The business community is driving sustainability forward in response to market incentives. The question is how far can the private sector go in the absence of responsible leadership from government? Businesses are leading first and foremost because they are looking to reduce costs and capitalize on opportunities. Other factors are also at play. Publically traded companies are beholden to shareholders and as such, they have a fiduciary responsibility to address threats. Investors are calling for nonfinancial information and a number of shareholder resolutions have demanded more disclosure and actions to mitigate climate change as well as adaptation strategies to protect...

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The Green Economy is an Undervalued Opportunity

Independent of the climate and environmental benefits, the economic potential of the green economy is staggering. The sheer scale of  the opportunity warrants more attention from heads of government, investors and the general public. As quoted by the Guardian, Nick Austin, director of agricultural development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said, "We recognize that adaptation has been a vastly under-invested opportunity, an upside in economic opportunities for resilience to climate change." More than a dozen years ago the Stern review anticipated this opportunity. The report noted that climate action will, "create significant business opportunities, as new markets are...

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Trump Cutting Taxes While the Rest of the World Invests in the Green Economy

While governments around the world are investing in the green economy Donald Trump is providing massive corporate tax breaks.  Trump's inept economic policies now appear to be wreaking havoc as evidenced by unprecedented stock market declines and the subsequent ripple effect around the world.  The Dow's 1,175 point plunge on Monday February 5th was the biggest decline ever and on February 6th markets around the globe are being pummeled. Trump's tax scam, his only legislative accomplishment, may be the cause of this market volatility. As explained by CNN's Matt Egan, Trump's tax cuts, "may be playing a role in the...

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A Review of Trump’s Positions on Climate, Energy and the Economy

What would a Trump presidency look like? This is the question that thinking people must ask. Trump is notoriously vague but he has offered some insight into his positions on the climate and energy fronts. If Trump were to become President it would signal the end of the Paris Climate Agreement, environmental regulations would be gutted and fossil fuel extraction would multiply. This is a recipe for disaster. Here is a review of his positions on climate change, energy, the economy, and government regulations. Included is a review of his shady business practices, and his love for Russian dictator Vladimir...

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Exposing the Fantasy of Trump’s Policy Positions on Energy and the Economy

Donald Trump has laid out his vision for both energy and economics and independent assessments of his policy positions suggest that he is either profoundly ignorant or a bold faced liar. His energy policy seeks to expand dirty energy and while that would benefit the fossil fuel industry it would condemn the planet to a climate apocalypse. In a policy speech to the Detroit Economic Club, on Monday, Aug. 8, 2016, Trump said that his presidency would deliver "a complete rethinking of our energy policy." This translates to unmitigated expansion of domestic fossil fuel extraction. If the US were to...

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Despite the Oil Rally Expect Low Prices to Continue in 2016

Even though we have seen a recent uptick in oil prices the outlook in the short and medium term is anything but bullish. According to a number of energy pundits, there is little reason to believe that oil prices will keep their current value. First, despite the agreement to reduce production from Saudi Arabia and Russia, there is no agreement from other producers to curb production and secondly Iran’s oil shipment to Europe will rise sharply by May. In a March 29th Seeking Alpha article titled, "Big Trouble For Oil Prices Could Be Brewing," Daniel Jones says that despite the...

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Six Types of Sustainability

Sustainability is an expansive concept that applies widely. The definition of sustainability is commonly narrowly defined particularly by entrepreneurs and some members of the business community.  The Brundtland commission definition from 1987 definition defines sustainability as follows, "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet its needs". Many focus exclusively on profitability, at the expense of the other dimensions of sustainability. However, profitability is only one of the three pillars of the so called three legged stool of sustainability (people, planet and profits).  While no one can deny the importance of...

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Oil’s Price Volatility is Bad for the Economy and the Environment

No matter how you slice it, oil's price volatility is bad for business and bad for the economy. At the start of this decade headlines were commenting about the high cost of oil now they are awash with remarks about price declines. Unpredictable oil prices hurt everyone. The problem of oil's price volatility was made apparent during the OPEC oil embargo of 1974. Since then we have seen a number of radical fluctuations including a sudden price spike in the summer of 2008 when a barrel of crude hit more than $130 only to fall to $40 per barrel a...

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Low Oil Prices will Slow Renewable Energy and Impede the Growth of the Green Economy

With oil prices at a 5-year low, renewable energy and the green economy are being hit with some serious headwinds. Low oil prices are not only detrimental to the growth of renewable energy it is also decreases demand for hybrid and electric cars as well as cleantech in general. High oil prices buoy interest in renewables, while low oil prices put downward pressure on the growth of the low carbon economy. For more than a quarter century we have been exploring the ways in which oil prices are related to renewable energy. A 1989 World Bank study showed how renewable...

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