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May 05 2012

La Chine malade de son charbon

Millénaires, les liens qui unissent la Chine et le charbon constituent un piège pour la modernisation du pays. La catastrophe écologique annoncée et les drames sociaux liés à l'extraction du minerai conduisent le gouvernement à miser sur une modernisation et une diversification des sources d'énergie. (...) / Chine, Écologie, Énergie, Industrie, Santé, Travail, Charbon, Environnement, Pollution - 2011/11

March 18 2012

Nucléaire, faits et fictions

Après le tsunami du 11 mars 2011, l'explosion de la centrale nucléaire japonaise de Fukushima-Daichi « a montré de façon dramatique comment un pays de haute technologie n'a pas été en mesure de faire face à une telle catastrophe ». Pour Bernard Laponche et Benjamin Dessus, une seule conclusion : il faut en (...) / France, Écologie, Énergie, Industrie, Nucléaire civil, Environnement, Pollution - 2012/02

December 12 2011

Mobilisation-éclair contre le gaz de schiste

Le groupe Total a annoncé le 13 mai 2011 avoir pris des participations dans des concessions de gaz de schiste en Pologne, ses projets étant contrecarrés en France par la contestation dont fait l'objet cette source d'énergie. Les opposants ont en effet réussi une campagne de sensibilisation (...) / États-Unis (affaires intérieures), France, Écologie, Information, Internet, Mouvement de contestation, Santé, Matières premières, Environnement, Pollution, Gaz naturel - 2011/06

December 10 2011

Title TERRA 617: Our Tomorrow

The environmental problems of the world are overwhelming and terrifying, yet something about this fear seems so familiar. Are we living in The End Times? Should we simply give up and admit defeat? In a fascinating mix of interviews, images, and animation, "Our Tomorrow" muses on the natural world and the Apocalypse.

December 09 2011

TERRA 617: Our Tomorrow

The environmental problems of the world are overwhelming and terrifying, yet something about this fear seems so familiar. Are we living in The End Times? Should we simply give up and admit defeat? In a fascinating mix of interviews, images, and animation, "Our Tomorrow" muses on the natural world and the Apocalypse.

August 02 2011

Sécurité au travail, l'exemple italien

« Notre force résidait dans les documents. Il a fallu beaucoup de temps pour les lire tous et commencer à faire le lien entre eux. C'était comme une mosaïque, nous avons dû attendre le dessin final pour comprendre, et à la fin nous avons lu les noms de Cartier de Marchienne et de Schmidheiny ». Dans (...) / Italie, Entreprise, Industrie, Justice, Santé, Travail, Environnement, Pollution - La valise diplomatique

June 15 2011

Climate activists target BP Portrait Award

Protesters displayed a collection of portraits outside the gallery showing the impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill

Climate activists on Tuesday night targeted the BP Portrait Award ceremony in protest against sponsorship from the oil giant.

Demonstrators claimed BP was using the arts in an attempt to divert attention away from its impact on the environment.

But the National Portrait Gallery said the support of the global company was beneficial to artists.

The protesters displayed a collection of portraits outside the gallery that showed the impact of last year's Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

One of the pictures, entitled First Splash Since Spill, pictured a child playing in oil-covered water in Louisiana after being told it was safe.

The artist, Beverly Curole, said: "I captured Max, my grandson, on the first day the beach was opened and supposedly safe.

"Max was so excited he jumped in the water and made a huge splash. I then noticed flecks of oil at the tide line and knew something was wrong.

Some 14 portraits from the US Gulf Coast were submitted for tonight's award by campaign group Facing the Gulf.

Despite none of them being selected by the judges, the organiser Nancy Boulicault hoped they would force the gallery to look again at its link with BP.

She said: "We think the National Portrait Gallery needs to start asking themselves some questions about this relationship, in the same way as the people of the Gulf have had to ask themselves very serious questions."

She went on to say that the artists had some sympathy with the gallery.

"They understand the complications that come when oil becomes part of your life, because it's part of their lives.

"But what became quite important to everyone is the fact that we need another vision without oil in our lives.

"Our cultural institutions are about trying to create another vision, but when they are in bed with oil it's very hard for us to find that vision through our arts."

Facing the Gulf and direct action group London Rising Tide invited Sandy Nairne, the gallery's director, to view the alternative exhibition ahead of tonight's ceremony but said he declined.

A spokesman for the gallery said: "The National Portrait Gallery, while principally supported by grant-in-aid from government, is pleased to work with a wide range of companies in support of its exhibitions and displays.

"The sponsorship of the annual Portrait Award by BP is now in its 22nd year and their support directly encourages the work of artists and helps gain wider recognition for them." © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

May 26 2011

Nourrir l'humain

En quelques années, la question agricole a pris en France un tour nouveau. L'Organisation mondiale du commerce (OMC) et les subventions, l'environnement et la remise en cause d'un modèle intensif jugé polluant conduisent les citoyens à un regard plus distancié, voire franchement critique. Quatrième (...) / Agriculture, Agro-alimentaire, Alimentation, Développement, Écologie, Santé, Syndicalisme, Environnement, Pollution - 2011/05

May 08 2011

Révolte globale contre un géant minier

Deuxième plus importante compagnie minière du monde, la brésilienne Vale se heurte depuis quelques années à une nouvelle résistance : des contestataires dénoncent les dégâts sociaux et environnementaux de l'activité minière. Pis, à l'image de la multinationale, ils se sont « globalisés »… / Brésil, Canada, (...) / Brésil, Canada, Écologie, Économie, Industrie, Multinationales, Politique, Syndicalisme, Travail, Matières premières, Pollution - 2010/10

April 26 2011

New Weaver Book a Gift for the Climate Confused

Canadian readers should keep an eye out for Generation Us, a tiny climate change primer by University of Victoria Professor Andrew Weaver, the Canada Research Chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis.

Subtitled The Challenge of Global Warming, Generation Us is like a climate change CliffNotes. Published by Raven Books as part of a "Rapid Reads" series, this is a short, succinct, clear and readable rendering of the science - followed by a passionate appeal for us all to move from "Generation Me" (which really seems to have outlasted its stylishness) to Generation Us, in which we start taking seriously the opportunity we have to mitigate the climate damage that we have already inflicted on future generations.

Actually, if you're looking for an informed tour through the science, I might recommend Weaver's earlier book even more highly. In Keeping Our Cool, Weaver drilled down into the topic a bit more thoroughly, even explaining precisely how scientists such as Lonnie Thompson torture 650,000-year-old oxygen isotopes to get them to admit what the temperature was on the year they were frozen into the Antarctic plains.

But for someone coming to this topic without any science background, GenUs is a perfect introduction - and as such is an important addition to the climate library.<!--break-->

March 15 2011 LIVE! Mehrere Geigerzähler aus Tokio und Chiba (bei Tokio)

Hier finden Sie aktuelle Geigerzähler in Räumen von Privatpersonen. Dabei werden Werte von 15, 16 und 27 CPM angezeigt was im Wert unbedenklich ist. In wie weit der Wert sich außerhalb der Gebäude vor Ort sich ändert ist unklar. Laut einen Bericht auf CNN wurden Menschen im Umfeld des explodierenden Atomreaktors mit Werten um 18.000 bis 40.000 cpm verseucht. Ab 100.000 müssen Menschen, laut den Behörden Dekontaminierung werden. Ein Wert um 10 CPM ist normal! Erst ab einen Wert von 130 CPM wird es kritisch.

Es wird in Tokio zur Zeit (15:12 Uhr) ein Wert um 16.77 Counts per Minute (CPM) gemessen.

Ein deutlich höherer Wert wird hier in Tokio gemessen. Um 15:13 Uhr war hier ein Wert von 27,87 Counts per Minute (CPM) gemessen.

Dieser Counter in Chiba (südöstlich an der Küste vor Tokio) hat einen Wert von 15 CPM


There is one of them on - permalink

Reposted fromgeoblogger geoblogger

March 10 2011

Industrial ecology and big data

On Wednesday, the Financial Times sponsored a very timely conference in New York with a focus on sustainable investments. In the face of uncertainty surrounding climate legislation, long term viability of certain alternative energy sectors, and risk averse investors, there were many relevant topics to be discussed.

The primary theme of the conference centered around tools and themes relating to investments in the environmental infrastructure of the next 10-50 years. Like any conference with a green theme, the typical high-level topics were covered. Discussions were woven around ESG reporting requirements, market outlooks for renewable credits, equity driven recommendations around who is/is not taking the lead, and long term sustainable investment themes.

Despite all of the positive discussions, I felt somewhat empty after leaving the final session of the day. I should be clear that this is not through a lack of qualified speakers or interesting discussion topics. Quite the contrary — for the most part, the speaker lineup was far better than what has been the standard self-promotional speakers that typify green conferences.

The problem was that there was not much new to discuss in what can be a viewed as a great market opportunity. I have been working at the intersection of applied technology, finance and environmental commodity markets for more than 15 years. The piece that bothers me is that the action items, for the most part, are the same as those that were ubiquitous when I came out of graduate school (ie., define "sustainability") in 1996.

The bright spot: data

However, it became clear through the course of the day that there is a bright spot for a niche that has not been exploited to any meaningful degree in this community: the application and analysis of new and existing forms of data.

It was only a couple of decades ago that most manufacturing companies reported only what was required to satisfy local, state and federal pollution permits and/or regulations. The environmental management divisions were usually part of health and safety groups (many still are) and they were largely considered to be internal watchdogs, making sure that operations continued with minimal permit violations.

As cost pressures on raw materials and operations increased, innovative companies started to look at their own wastestreams for alternative uses of material not integral to the primary activity of the facility. As a result, new markets were spawned out of incremental improvements in operational procedures, centered around efficiency. Fast forward to 2011 and we now see job titles such as "chief sustainability officer" and "director of global environmental strategy." Instead of being a liability, cleaner operational procedures essentially evolved into a strategic profit center, right alongside the "core" business units.

The fact is that most companies are now tracking their inputs and byproducts very carefully, whether they are doing so as a direct means to reduce pollution, as a cost-savings measure, or simply for PR to satisfy investors. The net result is that there has been an exponential increase in efficiency/environmental data available for primary stakeholders and investors alike. The challenge, and what I see as the opportunity, is how this data can be turned into something that creates value beyond the obligatory satisfaction of regulatory requirements.

All of the panels at the FT event presented cogent arguments for being proactive, and how their financial performance correlates to their various activities (I was particularly impressed by the discussion by the Bombardier exec). But I do want to see what comes next. What I really wanted to learn was how these massive datastreams, possibly analyzed in a different way, can create new markets. It is nice to say that we reduced pollutant-X by a measure of 20% year on year. It's even better to say that we turned 15% of pollutant-X into a profit center.

Some interesting facts and partial truths came out of the various talks of the day, many of which stressed that new ways of doing business are needed to keep up with seemingly insatiable demand for raw materials. For example, in one early talk, a panelist noted that the US has only one metro population center with greater than 5 million people. By contrast, China has 51.

But there were also times where some fact checking was probably needed, evidenced by the statement from another panelist who described the sustainability initiatives at most Indian companies as top of mind to everyone from CEO to clerk. Or, that China has emerged as the world's cleantech leader as a result of the desire to develop industries around cleaner sources of energy extraction and production. While the benefits can not be discounted, we should be clear that in both cases the market is the driving mechanism.

I was also pleased to see a session devoted to what I feel will be the environmental wildcard of the century. Regardless of what may or may not emerge on the climate side, the limiting factor for all global corporations, whether they be in energy, material extraction, or agriculture, will be water.

Getting back to data, the sustainability focus of a manufacturing company stands to benefit from the current developments in the fledgling world of the smart grid. Industrial ecology is, at heart, a perfect application of applied data science. If what the associated sectors have been moving toward comes to fruition, in theory, a facility can be expected to manage every ounce of material (and byproduct) from the moment it crosses the gate on the inbound side, to where it leaves the facility as product, emission or effluent. New economic uses for previously discarded material will also be realized, as one man's waste is another's treasure. One need to look no farther than bagasse in Brazil for a simple example.

When it comes to establishing a meaningful dialogue around the creation and utility of data, the use of proper metrics will certainly arise as an issue, as will the creation of a meaningful baseline. When a panelist described her percentage reduction of a certain byproduct without referencing normal usage at a facility, this does not mean very much out of context. A weather analogy is appropriate here: Regions of interior Australia have been reported over the last few months to have received 500% more precipitation than the five-year average. However, +500% over 0.1 mm is still nothing.

What I am really looking forward to is next year's FT conference, with at least a session or two that has data at its core.

March 03 2011

Play fullscreen

Josh Fox: Gasland

GASLAND - (2010) Directed by Josh Fox. Winner of Special Jury Prize - Best US Documentary Feature - Sundance 2010. Screening at Cannes 2010.

It is happening all across America and now in Europe and Africa as well - rural landowners wake up one day to find a lucrative offer from a multinational energy conglomerate wanting to lease their property. The Reason? In America, the company hopes to tap into a huge natural gas reservoir dubbed the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. Halliburton developed a way to get the gas out of the ground—a hydraulic drilling process called fracking—and suddenly America finds itself on the precipice of becoming an energy superpower.

But what comes out of the ground with that natural gas? How does it affect our air and drinking water? GASLAND is a powerful personal documentary that confronts these questions with spirit, strength, and a sense of humor. When filmmaker Josh Fox receives his cash offer in the mail, he travels across 32 states to meet other rural residents on the front lines of fracking. He discovers toxic streams, ruined aquifers, dying livestock, brutal illnesses, and kitchen sinks that burst into flame. He learns that all water is connected and perhaps some things are more valuable than money.

GASLAND Trailer 2010 (via CMGOpMgr)

Reposted fromcreamneuron creamneuron

February 25 2011


Natural Gas Industry Rhetoric Versus Reality

As the recent natural gas industry attacks on the Oscar-nominated documentary Gasland demonstrate, the gas industry is mounting a powerful PR assault against journalists, academics and anyone else who speaks out against the dangers of hydraulic fracturing and other threats to public health and the environment from shale gas development. DeSmogBlog has analyzed some of the common talking points the industry and gas proponents use to try to convince the public and lawmakers that fracking is safe despite real concerns raised by residents living near gas drilling sites, whose experiences reveal a much more controversial situation


December 15 2010

Roberto Schmidt in Southern Sudan

The AFP photographer has followed voter registration for a January referendum on independence in Southern Sudan

November 10 2010

Prévisions mondiales de la demande de transports routiers

Si les tendances observées depuis une quarantaine d'années dans les pays industrialisés, et que l'on constate maintenant dans les pays du tiers-monde se confirment, on peut s'attendre à une véritable explosion des trafics routiers – de marchandises et de personnes – au cours des cinquante ans à (...) / Relations Nord-Sud, Transports, Pollution - Energies

June 22 2010

Sous les sables bitumineux de l'Alberta

A force de cadeaux fiscaux, d'absence de régulation et de laxisme environnemental, les conservateurs au pouvoir en Alberta ont transformé le nord de la province canadienne en un supermarché du pétrole sale. / Canada, Aborigènes, Entreprise, Amérindiens, Industrie, Pétrole, Santé, Environnement, (...) / Canada, Aborigènes, Entreprise, Amérindiens, Industrie, Pétrole, Santé, Environnement, Pollution - 2010/04

May 31 2010

May 26 2010


BP and the Audacity of Greed

Even as BP’s blown well a mile beneath the surface in the Gulf of Mexico continues to gush forth an estimated 70,000 barrels of oil a day into the sea, and the fragile wetlands along the Gulf begin to get coated with crude, which is also headed into the Gulf Stream for a trip past the Everglades and on up the East Coast, the company is demanding that Canada lift its tight rules for drilling in the icy Beaufort Sea portion of the Arctic Ocean. In an incredible display of corporate arrogance, BP is claiming that a current safety requirement that undersea wells drilled during the newly ice-free summer must also include a side relief well, so as to have a preventive measure in place that could shut down a blown well, is “too expensive” and should be eliminated. Yet clearly, if the US had had such a provision in place, the Deepwater Horizon blowout could have been shut down right almost immediately after it blew out, just by turning of a valve or two, and then sealing off the blown wellhead. The current Gulf blowout has already cost BP over half a billion dollars, according to the company’s own information. That doesn’t count the cost of mobilizing the Coast Guard, the Navy, and untold state and county resources, and it sure doesn’t count the cost of the damage to the Gulf Coast economy, or the cost of restoration of damaged wetlands. We’re talking at least $10s of billions, and maybe eventually $100s of billions. Weigh that against the cost of drilling a relief well, which BP claims will run about $100 million. The cost of such a well in the Arctic, where the sea is much shallower, would likely be a good deal less. Such is the calculus of corruption. BP has paid $1.8 billion for drilling rights in Canada’s sector of the Beaufort Sea, about 150 miles north of the Northwest Territories coastline, an area which global warming has freed of ice in summer months. and it wants to drill there as cheaply as possible. The problem is that a blowout like the one that struck the Deepwater Horizon, if it occurred near the middle or end of summer, would mean it would be impossible for the oil company to drill a relief well until the following summer, because the return of ice floes would make drilling impossible all winter. That would mean an undersea wild well would be left to spew its contents out under the ice for perhaps eight or nine months, where its ecological havoc would be incalculable.
Reposted fromFreeminder23 Freeminder23
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