Category Archives: Cleantech

Clean energy as culture war

Conservatives say the American way is to use more and pay less, Walmart-style. No wonder they’re scared about the shift to clean energy and sustainability.”

Good article by David Roberts on the Grist about how clean energy is quickly replacing climate change as enemy number one of the American way of life.

China’s Janus-face on energy and climate policy

Western environmentalists are often pointing to the clean energy leadership of China to convince their own leaders to act faster and clean up their act. The problem is that China’s energy policy also has its dark (coal) side.  

Richard Heinberg provides some of the ugly figures behind China’s coal consumption. The country will burn over 4 billion tonnes of coal in 2012 and produces  greenhouse gas emissions of over 8.8 billion tonnes.

It’s time for the gloves to come off on climate change

In the information war on climate change, stealing the opposition’s documents is not a way to achieve change, but stealing the methods from skeptics’ playbooks might make a difference.”  

Great piece at GreenBiz.com by a Weber Shandwick communication expert on how to win the war against climate deniers. Time to change the game and get dirty:

Conservative attack dogs … have no hesitation going for the jugular, or playing to our most primordial instincts and fears. The liberal elite, meanwhile, continue to try to influence policy and public opinion by citing science, by correcting factual mistakes and by engaging in "substantive debate.

They will never win, because they are not only playing by the wrong rules, they are playing the wrong game.

Prompting action on climate change requires open warfare. Gloves off. If there are rules, they are street rules, i.e. logic is out the window. On the street, it is all about protecting your people.

The idea that accurate reporting will change the way anyone thinks or acts on Capitol Hill is ridiculous. It’s like planting a seed in Death Valley and expecting it to miraculously sprout into a beautiful carbon-mitigating flower. Not going to happen.”

Financing the transition to a green economy

"The ‘next’ great transformation of capitalism needs to be focused with laser-like precision on changing the energy markets (from fossil fuels to renewables), the resource and commodity markets (from resource intensity and waste disposal to circular economy resource-linkage), and above all the finance markets to drive the transformation. Until the bond markets are seriously involved, at the scale of tens of trillions of dollars, the transition cannot be said to be seriously under way."  

Very good analysis in OpenDemocracy on the need for a radical rethink of eco-investment finance. Are "climate bonds" or "ecobonds" not a better instrument than the proposed Eurobonds?

Greenpeace report: IT full of green rhetoric but little action

“The tussle for the top of our Cool IT Leaderboard has taken its latest twist, with Google grabbing the top spot ahead of 20 other tech companies, including Cisco and Ericsson.”   (Source: Greenpeace International)

More interesting and depressing than who comes first in Greenpeace latest Cool IT ranking is the fact that IT’s energy footprint keeps growing and that the sector is not using its innovation power and its economic “clout” to push for more sustainability.

With the urgent need for cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions, tech firms are failing to speak up against that dirty energy companies guilty of stalling climate change policy debates at all levels of government. This is troubling; the IT industry is full of environmental rhetoric but simply doesn’t seem to be taking any real action. This is not tenable – the industry expanding too fast, and has too much potential for helping cut global emissions to just stand in the shadows.

Several companies dropped points for pushing vague plans to mitigate their climate footprint, and for the lack of any plans for powering their future data centres with renewable energy. To remedy these problems, companies need to become more transparent on their investments into IT solutions that work to mitigate climate change and future emissions savings goals.”

Predictions for cleantech in 2012

What will 2012 have in store for the cleantech/greentech market? Kachan & Co. offers its predictions for the new year, calling 2012 a mixed bag for cleantech. “ 

This is an incredibly interesting and well-written report about the outlook for the clean technology in 2012. It lists opportunities as well as challenges and is a must-read for anyone interested in this sector.

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