Tag Archives: drilling

ANOTHER PLANET?

sla-logoEdie.net’s Sustainability Leaders Awards 2015 have broken the record for the highest amount of entries ever received in the awards’ 8 year history. Edie say they are all thrilled about the huge number of entries received – it is a sure reflection of how many of you are continuing to put the spotlight on sustainability And of course, it should also make for a great awards ceremony! With entry levels at an all time high, the 2015 awards promise to be something really special and Edie say “we cannot wait to get all leaders of sustainability under one roof to celebrate their achievements. More information here.

Twenty seven blocks of land across the UK have been formally offered to energy companies by the UK Government for the extraction of onshore oil and gas. The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), which allocated the land, said that a further 132 blocks were still undergoing environmental assessments, with the results expected “later in the year”. The first 27 blocks, each around 10km2 , are located mainly in the North East, North West and East Midlands. The second tranche is also largely clustered in the North of England. UK Energy Minister Lord Bourne said that onshore oil and gas – often recovered by fracking – would “play a key part in providing secure and reliable energy to UK homes and businesses for decades to come”.

arcticAnd Shell has received final permission from the US Government to drill for oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean for the first time since 2012. Having been granted permission by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) yesterday (17 August), Shell can begin exploratory operations into potential oil bearing zones in the Chukchi Sea of the coast of Alaska.The move comes after the icebreaker ship Fennica, which carries emergency well-capping equipment, arrived at the site.

Scottish Power has announced that its coal-fired Longannet power station will be closing on 31 March 2016 after 46 years of service . The closure was first announced back in March 2015, reportedly thanks to high carbon taxes and the high cost of connecting to the grid. Neil Clitheroe, the CEO of retail and generation at ScottishPower, said it was a sad day for the company, but green groups hailed the closure as a ‘historic step’ in Scotland’s energy transition.

Renewable power billionaire Elon Musk has introduced to the world his sleek new Powerwall – a wall-mounted energy storage unit that can hold 10 kilowatt hours of electric energy, and deliver it at an average of 2 kilowatts, all for US$3,500. That translates into an electricity price (taking into account installation costs and inverters) of around US$500 per kWh – less than half current costs, as estimated by Deutsche Bank. Read more here.

Leading representatives of Islam have called for action to tackle climate change across the world, at a symposium in Istanbul. Islamic representatives from the United Nations, the Middle East, the Far East, Africa and the UK set out a climate declaration for the world’s 1.6bn Muslims. The Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change says: “God created the Earth in perfect equilibrium … the present climate change catastrophe is a result of the human disruption of this balance.” The declaration from the leaders calls on the nations meeting in Paris in December later this year at the Conference of the Parties (COP21) talks on climate change to set clear targets, stressing the part well-off nations and oil-producing states have to play to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

birdsneonictonoidsThe bee-harming pesticides we’ve been fighting for years are worse than we imagined. Research suggests that neonicotinoids aren’t just decimating bee colonies — they’re hurting birds too. Researchers found that in areas with high concentrations of neonicotinoids, bird populations declined every year. This means our worst fears are coming true — neonicotinoids may be moving up the food chain and killing our birds and our bees. For the sake of the birds, the bees, and the whole food chain, THESUMOFUS are challenging one of the biggest neonicotinoids producers of them all: Bayer. “In two weeks, we’re going straight to Bayer’s door with our massive petition — and we hope to have your name in our massive petition box.” It’s not just the bees anymore. Neonicotinoids are killing our birds too. It’s time to get Bayer to stop producing these chemicals.

A new app that can reportedly cut household energy use by 10% is being rolled out to 200,000 Swedish homes. The Energy Tree app analyses data from the smart power grid to discover households’ energy trends and encourages users to consume less energy through personalised feedback and guidance. “The Energy Tree combines behavioural science and gamification with data analytics to engage and motivate households,” said a statement from the app developers Greenely. “By entering their energy consumption data into the user-friendly and accessible app consumers can realise a potential 10% reduction in energy use.” More here.

fde1Efficient recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) could be worth €3.7bn to the European economy by 2020, a new study has found. Researchers from the University of Sheffield found that recycling electronic waste was already worth €2.15bn in 2014 and could rise to €3.67bn by 2020. On top of the significant revenue gain, more effective recovery of materials could be environmentally beneficial by reducing manufacturers’ reliance on natural resources. The paper, entitled ‘Recycling of WEEEs: an economic assessment of present and future e-waste streamswas published by Professor Lenny Koh from the University of Sheffield and Federica Cucchiellaa, Idiano D’Adamoa  and Paolo Rosac  (University of L’Aquila, Italy). Professor Koh said: “This research has strong relevance to addressing global issues of materials availability and security, reducing reliance on unused non-renewable materials, especially precious, critical and rare earth materials in manufacturing for sustainability and for consideration for substitution.”

litterA survey has shown that 30% of people in the UK believe that more should be done to educate school children about recycling. Conducted by Direct365, the research highlighted that more needs to be done to inform future generations on how to minimise waste and promote eco-friendliness. As part of their Green365 campaign, which aims to help industries reduce their environmental impact, Direct365 asked 750 people a range of questions as to what measures schools can take to improve waste management. The survey showed that almost 30% want to see schools teach kids how to prevent food waste, while 25% stated that energy-saving lessons should be on the National Curriculum. 11% felt that children need more guidance on saving water

whales being mudreredThe horrific mass slaughter of whales in the Faroe Islands has sparked a reaction from two cruise lines, who announced they will no longer send their ships there. The latest move against the annual bloody massacre announcing means that Hapag-Lloyd and AIDA cruise lines are looking at alternative destinations for their vessels.  Both AIDA and Hapag-Lloyd were contacted by Netherlands-based charity Sea Shepherd to immediately postpone cruises to the Faroe Islands in the face of the on-going slaughters. Dr Monika Griefahn, a director at AIDA, confirmed the re-routing of the company’s ships in a letter to the charity. She said: “In the interest of our crew and our guests as well as for reasons for species protection AIDA Cruises has decided to stop making port calls to the Faroe Islands until further notice.”

handgunIn Culiacán, Mexico, the city with the highest rate of gun deaths in the nation, many people know the devastating consequences these weapons can contribute to. That’s where creative activist Pedro Reyes comes in. Reyes is an inspired artist who likes to focus on the failures of modern culture in a positive light. He doesn’t believe in failure but instead believes that failure is the outcome of a certain perspective. he has melted down  1,527 guns and turns them into shovels for planting trees. Reyes is an inspired artist who likes to focus on the failures of modern culture in a positive light. He doesn’t believe in failure but instead believes that failure is the outcome of a certain perspective. With this unique perception, he transforms things people see as broken and models them in a new way. He encouraged local residents to swap their guns for household and electronics goods vouchers before re-making the metal into shovels. Read More: http://www.trueactivist.com/artist-melts-1527-guns-and-turns-them-into-shovels-for-planting-trees/. Let’s be honest – of we divered all the vast amount of money spent on wars and weapons into food, medicine, education, culture and housing we would ALL be well fed, healthy and well educated.

Indigenous communities in Brazil are using a new project called Tribal Voice to publicise how their homes and lands are being destroyed by loggers, ranchers and miners. The peoples, from some of the remote areas of the world, use Tribal Voice to air their voices o the internet. In Brazil the powerful farming lobby is trying to persuade the Brazillian government to clear;ly map out tribal lands – something the agribusinesses want to control themselves. They are lobbying the Brazilian government to turn over control of the mapping from a independent agency to Congress itself – something tribespeople say would be a disaster. Tribal Voice (not to be confused with the UK based sustainable tourism consultancy or the clothing company both of the same name) say “Ever wondered what life’s like in a remote tribal community? What tribal people have to say about the world? Tribal Voice, a project by Survival International, brings the thoughts and experiences of some of the most diverse societies on earth direct to your screen in real time. We’re kicking off the project with two tribes in Brazil. The Guarani, whose land has been stolen and destroyed by plantations and ranches, are now sending regular updates about their lives, and their struggle to survive. It’s time to listen.”

The Guardian reRIOports that the world governing body of sailing is threatening to move events for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics out of the city’s polluted Guanabara Bay unless “a whole lot more is done very quickly” to clear the venue of floating debris and sewage. Alastair Fox, head of competitions for the governing body, ISAF, said: “We’ve got quite frustrated with it all,” adding that Brazilian “politicians and the government must get going”. Fox suggested two sailing courses located just outside the bay in the open Atlantic – and a third being planned there – could be used for all races. Three other courses have been planned inside the bay but may not be used. The enclosed bay is heavily polluted and has been described as an “open sewer” by Olympic sailors. The Rio state government promised to reduce the amount of raw sewage flowing into the bay by 80% but has since admitted that goal is unlikely to be met.
Gyre ocean rubbishA giant mass of floating plastic rubbish in the Pacific Ocean is believed to be far larger than previously feared — even though it was first estimated to be twice the size of Texas. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is much more than patch now – its a vast toxic ‘ocean fill’ of rubbish dumped from ships and washed out from the West Coast of North America. Julia Reisser, the main oceanographer on the “mega expedition” made up of 30 ships that surveyed the Patch, said that they had found much more plastic than expected, “perhaps an order of magnitude more”. The Ocean Star, the 171ft mother ship of the expedition, docked in San Francisco carrying huge white bags and freezers filled with plastic samples taken from 80 separate locations in the patch. “The trawls we did found little marine life, but lots and lots of plastic,” Dr Reisser said. “I would say that we had hundreds of times more plastic than organisms on our catch.” The Great Pacific Garbage Patch was first discovered by Charles Moore, a sailor and oceanographer, in 1997 as he returned home from the Transpacific Yacht Race, which starts in Los Angeles and ends in Honolulu. More here and more on Plastic Soup News here.

An American solar firm has launched a new liquid technology that turns regular windows into solar panels which could be up to 50 times more productive than regular roof-based photovoltaics. The solar windows, designed for skyscrapers, are created by applying ultra-thin layers of liquid coatings on to glass and flexible plastics. These liquid coatings produce ultra-small solar cells and form groups called ‘arrays’.  Solar Window Technologies revealed its innovation via a webinar, with a video demonstrating the windows collecting electricity, which was then used to charge a monitor.

orangsStarbucks has become the latest major brand to come under fire from campaign groups for its palm oil policy, with a new video urging consumers to boycott the coffee shop chain. The video is part of an ongoing campaign from the SumOfUs group, which has almost reached its petition goal of 200,000 signatures calling on Starbucks to cut conflict palm oil from its supply chain. The video highlights that, while 99% of Starbucks coffee is ethically sourced and sustainably produced, the company is still implementing “environment-wrecking” palm oil in its other commodities, such as baked goods

The private sector could cut more than five hundred megatons of greenhouse gas emissions in the next five years, simply by scaling up existing green initiatives, according to a new report. Researchers from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and energy consultancy Ecofys, analysed five current initiatives, such as the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 and En.lighten. The report found that expanding these schemes could save emissions equivalent to one years’ worth activity from 130 coal power stations. The report focuses in particular on so-called ‘cooperative initiatives’ between businesses, Governments and NGO’s. One of the programmes looked at is WWF’s Climate Savers, which aims to help companies develop zero-carbon business models.

In the USA President Obama has unveiled  a package of programmes to help America switch to cleaner energy, including $1bn in loan guarantees to boost ‘innovative’ technologies, like smart grids and solar rooftops. The funding will also go towards installing solar panels on military housing and helping low-income families become more energy-efficient The initiatives aim to boost innovation, ensure grid reliability and ‘help the country towards a low carbon future’.

Edie.net reports that Rebuilding Scotland’s energy sector around green technology could generate 44,000 additional jobs compared to the current oil-and-gas status quo. That’ s according to a new report – Jobs in Scotland’s new economy – published by the Scottish Greens.  The report states that 200,000 new jobs could be created by adopting more renewable energy, compared to the 156,000 people currently employed in the country’s fossil fuel industry.

Audi2018Audi has unveiled concept designs for its first all-electric SUV, with a full reveal expected at the International Motor Show 2015 in Frankfurt next month. The concept car – the Audi e-tron Quattro – would have a battery range of more than 310 miles. Audi says the E-tron Quattro would come somewhere between Audi’s current Q5 and Q7 models in terms of size, and a production model for the SUV could be expected from 2018. The German carmaker said the electric model was constructed using Audi’s experience of its electric Audi R8 e-tron sports car, which entered a highly limited, on-demand production run this year.

And a French start-up claims to have developed the world’s first Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) for road freight vehicles. Popularised in Formula 1, a KERS system recovers the kinetic energy usually lost under braking, and uses it to power a small electric motor. French firm Adgero, working with German company Skeleton Technologies, claims to have developed a KERS system that can be used with trucks and lorries, reducing associated emissions by up to 25%.

deforestationbrazilgreenpeaceAnd finally back to Brazil: Germany has pledged €550m to help Brazil’s deforestation and energy efficiency programmes as part of a new climate change agreement between the two countries. Following Angela Merkel’s state visit to Brasilia on Thursday, the two countries issued a joint statement calling for an ambitious agreement at the Paris climate talks in December. Brazil President Dilma Rousseff promised to end deforestation by 2030, while Germany also donated €23m to help Brazil establish a rural land registry aimed at increasing monitoring of the Amazon. “Brazil is the key to all goals related to the climate,” said Merkel. She added that the biodiversity of the rainforest was as important as its carbon absorption. “What gets destroyed here cannot be replaced,” she said. More on Edie.net here.

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ANOTHER PLANET?

hawksbill-turtle-thailandThe warming of the oceans due to climate change is now unstoppable after record temperatures last year, bringing additional sea-level rise, and raising the risks of severe storms, US government climate scientists have said. The annual State of the Climate in 2014 report, based on research from 413 scientists from 58 countries, found record warming on the surface and upper levels of the oceans, especially in the North Pacific, in line with earlier findings of 2014 as the hottest year on record. Global sea-level also reached a record high, with the expansion of those warming waters, keeping pace with the 3.2 ± 0.4 mm per year trend in sea level growth over the past two decades, the report said.

Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger has said  global warming is a ‘battle in the real world’ that’s bigger than any movie, at the first summit of conscience for the climate in Paris. Schwarzenegger has been chosen by the French government to join Nobel prizewinners, philosophers, UN secretary generals, spiritual leaders and theologians to make the moral case for the world to act urgently on climate change. Talking at the world’s first summit of conscience for the climate on Tuesday – ahead of the crucial UN climate change meeting in the city in December – the Terminator star and former California governor declared the science debate over, saying planetary catastrophe could only be avoided with ethical action saying “I’ve starred in a lot of science fiction movies and, let me tell you something, climate change is not science fiction, this is a battle in the real world, it is impacting us right now.”

warm houseBritain’s first low cost ‘energy positive’ house, which can generate more electricity than its occupants will use, opens on Thursday despite George Osborne axing plans to make housebuilders meet tough low carbon housing targets from next year. The modest three-bedroom house built in just 16 weeks on an industrial estate outside Bridgend in Wales cost just £125,000 to build and, said its Cardiff University designers, will let occupants use the sun to pay the rent. Using batteries to store the electricity which it generates from the solar panels that function as the roof, and having massive amounts of insulation to reduce energy use in winter months, it should be able to export electricity to the national grid for eight months of the year. For every £100 spent on electricity used, it should be able to generate £175 in electricity exports, said Professor Phil Jones, whose team from the Welsh School of Architecture designed the house specifically to meet the low carbon housing targets set by the Labour government in 2006. More on the Guardian here.

beesThe UK government has gagged its own pesticide advisers, after they refused to back an application by the National Farmers Union to lift a ban on bee-harming chemicals. The gag is intended to prevent campaigners lobbying ministers on the issue, according to documents seen by the Guardian. Neonicotinoids, the world’s most widely used insecticide, were banned in the European Union in 2013. Substantial scientific evidence indicates that the nerve agents cause serious harm to bees, whose pollination is vital for many crops. The National Farmers Union says oil seed rape is becoming impossible to grow without the pesticides and applied for an emergency lifting of the ban on two neonicotinoids.

A best-selling herbicide that the World Health Organisation suspects causes cancer could get a new lease of life in Europe after being deemed safe by a key assessment based largely on classified industry reports. A decision on whether to extend the license for glyphosate’s use in Europe is pending, but earlier this year, it was deemed “probably carcinogenic to humans” in a preliminary report from the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The full report is due for release imminently. More here.

London_smog-_UKNearly 9,500 people die early each year in London due to long-term exposure to air pollution, more than twice as many as previously thought, according to new research. The premature deaths are due to two key pollutants, fine particulates known as PM2.5s and the toxic gas nitrogen dioxide (NO2), according to a study carried out by researchers at King’s College London.

The first conclusive sighting of a pine marten in England in over 100 years suggests that the elusive domestic cat-sized member of the stoat and weasel family may have been living in the Shropshire hills for years. Amateur wildlife recorder Dave Pearce took two photographs of the dark brown creature thought to be extinct, in a wood in south west Shropshire last week. The photographic evidence has now been verified by Stuart Edmunds, chair of the Shropshire mammal group.

Britain should drop its focus on nuclear power and carbon capture and storage (CCS) and refocus spending on optimising renewables and energy efficiency, a leading academic has urged. Catherine Mitchell – a professor of energy policy at Exeter University a lead author on the IPCC’s Fifth Synthesis report – said: “I think the current energy policy in place is simply not credible.” Speaking at an event in Westminster, titled ‘Renewable energy: How far can Britain go?’, Mitchell said: “We may have one or two new nuclear plants, we may not. Even if we do, it doesn’t actually matter, because it does very little for carbon reductions. There may also be CCS being talked about – but even if CCS comes out, there’s really no space to put the carbon. “The only thing in town is renewable energy and energy efficiency. And it’s because those are the only things in town that we need to take stock as a country, and make sure that things are in place to be the building blocks of the future.”

Developers of a new biomass plant in Sheffield have secured £30m funding from the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) and fund managers Equitix. The funding will see the construction of a 6.5MW capacity combined heat and power (CHP) facility in the Holbrook area of Sheffield, with the potential to heat more than 6,700 local properties. The scheme received £14.6m from the fund Energy Savings Investments, in which GIB is an investor, and £15m private capital from the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund.

sea_ice_polar_bearThe former US vice-president and climate champion Al Gore has made a rare criticism of Barack Obama as Royal Dutch Shell prepares to drill an exploratory well in the Arctic Ocean, denouncing the venture as “insane” and calling for a ban on all oil and gas activity in the polar region. With Shell planning to begin drilling in the oil-rich Chukchi Sea within days, Gore said in an interview with the Guardian that Obama was wrong to ever allow drilling in the Arctic. It was the only real point of criticism from Gore of Obama’s efforts to fight climate change, at home and through a global deal to be negotiated in Paris at the end of the year. “I think Arctic drilling is insane. I think that countries around the world would be very well advised to put restrictions on drilling for oil in the Arctic ocean,” Gore told the Guardian in Toronto, where he was passing on his techniques for talking about the climate crisis to 500 new recruits from his Climate Reality Project.

Andy Gotts has photographed almost 60 celebrities wearing the Save the Arctic T-shirt designed by fashion icon and activist Dame VivienneWestwood, in a project that has taken 18 months.

arctichurt

 

ANOTHER PLANET?

windturbines_300Prince Charles has said that the prospect of his first grandchild, William and Kate’s expected first child, has increased his fears for the plane saying “I’ve gone on for years about the importance of thinking about the long term in relation to environmental damage, climate change and everything else telling ITV’s Breakfast show that in a “sensible world” we wouldn’t hand on “an increasingly dysfunctional world to our grandchildren, to leave them with a real problem …. a poisoned chalice”.

Interesting article in Diva magazine by Lily Pritchard  – Isn’t it time you went Vegan – asking “could this be the year you follow Ellen (DeGeneris)  and Portia’s (de Rossi) lead and give up animal products”  – and posing the question “We can now get 100% of the nutrients and minerals we need without consuming any animal products at all. Hooray! So why are you still doing it, I ask?” Well, more on Diva here.

Satellite pictures have been released showing the extent of the shrinkage of Arctic sea ice. Sea ice is at its lowest level since satellite records began in 1979 and the ice cover reduced annually since 2000 and the loss has been accelerating since 2007. As the dark blue sea absorbs heat – replacing the white ice which reflects the sun, a ‘feedback loop’ is set in motion, increasing the rate of ice loss and global warming.

In Australia burned out cars and homes were searched by Police and fire fighters in Tasmania as authorities struggled to find over 100 missing people after the widespread wildfires. Police Commissioner Scott Tilyard said that 40 blazes continued to burn. And feeding off drought conditions and high winds, wildfires are raging across some of Australia’s most populous regions. Meteorologists have said it is the country’s hottest ever spring and summer since records began. In New South Wales, as roads melt, 1,300 square kilometres of farmland and forest has been consumed by fires. Over 141 fires were reported with 31 ‘out of control’ the state’s Rural Fire Service said.  At the beginning of the week the average temperature across the country was 40C hitting nearly 50C in some interior areas.

Global wind turbine manufacturers have breathed a sigh of relief after the US Government extended a crucial tax credit, although some criticised the damage already done by the late announcement of the credit.

The UK Community Secretary Eric Pickles  is to introduce legislation to end “unreasonable” fines on people who place bins out on the wrong day. Pickles also said a neighbourhood test would be introduced to end “ludicrous” fines on people who put rubbish in the wrong bin.

The US Interior Department has opened an urgent review of Arctic offshore drilling operations after a string of blunders and accidents involving Shell Oil’s drill ships and support equipment, culminating in the grounding of a drill vessel last week off the coast of Alaska.

Henning Töegel, managing director and founder of the German concert agency, Moderne Welt, has died. He suffered a heart attack on January 9th at the age of just 58.

claude nobsAnd Claude Nobs, founder  of the Montreux Jazz Festival, has died after sustaining injuries in a skiing accident at Christmas. He was 76. Born in Montreux, Nobs (pictured right) grew the festival year-on-year to become an important fixture in the jazz world’s calendar and, as the music policy of the programme expanded somewhat, in the wider European festival circuit. And the event continues to enjoy much success today, attracting an eclectic mix of artists, and gaining particular attention for its annual awards.

OOne of the interesting issues raised at the Go Group panels at the EuroSonic conference in Groningen (January 9th – 12th) was the variety of schemes and colouring used in different countries – and at different festivals – to signify waste and recyclables – with many different schemes for labelling waste – waste only, compostable food, metals, glass, plastics and card/paper with the suggestion that perhaps organisations like the GO Group, Yourope and A Greener Festival could work towards a standardised labelling scheme so festival goers have similar . In the UK, Long-running battles over kerbside collection methods are damaging efforts to increase recycling rates in the UK, according to a leading industry commentator, Don Robins who heads up Cheltenham-based Printwaste Recycling & Shredding.

A green economy will be so integrated into business practice that the term will no longer be relevant, according to progressive Conservatives who have laid out their vision of the country in 2020.   Known as the 2020 Group, the MPs yesterday published a pamphlet, 2020 Vision – An Agenda for Transformation, which includes forecasts and recommendations on the nature of a sustainable economic future. That said, Green groups expressed anger after the Coalition Government’s mid-term review document offered no new policies on climate change.

Tens of millions of sharks are mutilated and thrown back in the oceans and left to die slowly each year – so that some affluent people in Asia can eat shark fin soup. Despite education and reform the practice is (clearly) widespread – and surely this has to stop. More here on TreeHugger (with some very upsetting photos) http://www.treehugger.com/slideshows/ocean-conservation/shocking-thousands-mutilated-shark-fins-drying-hong-kong-rooftops/

The UK has pledged to invest up to £10m in a European scheme aimed at developing innovative bioenergy projects. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced today that the UK will partner up with seven other EU countries as part of the ERA-NET Plus BESTF scheme worth approximately €47m (£38.3) in public money.

Space debris could be recycled and made into radiation shields for spacecraft exploration if research from NASA scientists bears fruit. More at http://www.edie.net/news/5/NASA-lifts-off-with-closed-loop-project-for-space-waste/23776/nl

The global cost of meeting climate change targets is set to soar unless urgent action is taken, new research has warned. According to an in-depth study from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), climate target levels will become much more difficult to achieve, and more expensive, if the problem isn’t tackled soon.  In the UK, pressure is mounting on society to ‘accept and adapt’ following news this week from the Met Office that UK businesses are at an increased risk of flooding due to extreme rainfall. After a year of unpredictable weather in which hosepipe bans were swiftly replaced with periods of tumultuous flooding, some industry observers see the extreme conditions as an inevitable consequence of climate change and are arguing for adaptation rather than prevention as a response. And in the USA, government scientists say that global warming is already having a major impact on life in America. The draft version of the US National Climate Assessment reveals that increasing storm surges, floods, melting glaciers and permafrost, and droughts are having a profound effect on the lives of Americans, saying that extreme weather such as Hurricane Sandy and radical changes in local climates will become more normal. The authors say that global warming is primarily  caused by human activity, predominantly from burning fossil fuels. See the Observer (13.01.13) US scientists warn in fresh alert over effects of global warming and see here and much more on the Guardian website and in Climate change set to make America hotter, drier and more disaster-prone

Channel 4’s Jon Snow has hit back at media mogul Rupert Murdoch for stating on his twitter account that the world should switch from “useless renewable energy investments to real job creating infrastructure projects”.  Replying to Murdoch’s tweet, news anchor Snow referred to Murdoch’s mother, a staunch advocate of the dangers of climate change and suggested that the media mogul would not have to deal with the consequences of climate change.

Edie.net reports that Greater supply chain collaboration to design out waste will dominate retailer efforts around sustainability this year, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).  The BRC confirmed  that waste prevention would be one of the key priority areas for its members in the coming 12 months, as the next phase of the Courtauld Commitment prepares to get underway.  According to figures from WRAP released last October, food retailers still aren’t reaping the full benefits of waste prevention despite making good progress in reducing waste across their supply chains.

Time to stand up to food waste (and walk more): The planet faces the prospect of having to feed 10 billion people by 2050. We need to stop throwing good food in the bin