President Obama Adresses Climate Change: Signs Bill Exempting US Airlines From EU Carbon Tax.

Plane flying over Heathrow Airport.The US had a opportunity to take action and lead non-EU countries on the issue of climate change and we did – by going in the opposite direction. The Guardian posted “Obama fails first climate test by rejecting EU aviation carbon regime” about President Obama’s decision to sign into a law a bill exempting US airlines from paying into a European Union carbon tax. It’s part of the EU’s effort to create an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that would assess a tax on flights to Europe that originate in the US. The tax would’ve cost US airlines $3.1 billion by 2020. President Obama claims that addressing climate change is a priority of his second term but it sure feels like getting a member of his own party elected in 2016 is taking precedent. Global Warming 1, Climate Action 0. [The Guardian]

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Virgin Atlantic Recycled PET Amenity Kits: Lipstick On A Monkey Or Genuine Jubbling?

Virgin Atlantic rPET Amenity Kits

“These [amenity] kits not only look great but also have a better sustainability profile.”
Paul Sands
head of product and service for Virgin Atlantic

In the Business Green article, “Virgin Atlantic: Taking recycling to 33,000ft,” Virgin Atlantic is taking a step in the sustainable direction by offering amenity kits made out of recycled PET (rPET) on their domestic UK flights. The amenity kits [which hold toiletries, headphones and related items] will be made out of recycled plastic bottles and distributed to Upper Class and Premium Economy customers.

The move is partially in response to environmental opposition to Virgin Atlantic’s decision to start the domestic UK flights. The short inter-UK flights are considered energy inefficient due to the frequent and high fuel consuming take-offs and landings; especially when compared to existing rail options between the routes that will create less emissions.

So what do you think: are the recycled PET amenity kits lipstick on a monkey or an example of some good Jubbling? OOOH OOOH AAAH AAAH! [Business Green]

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Wired’s Review Of The ZERO DS Electric Motorcycle: Looking Beyond The ‘Green’ And At The Functionality

ZERO DS Electric MotorcycleWes Siler’s review of the ZERO DS Electric Motorcycle was refreshing to read. So often, ‘green’ websites are sold on any electric vehicle (EV) on sight and then blown away by the manufacturer’s reported specs. But Mr. Siler went further and rode the ZERO DS for three weeks hoping that it could be his zero-emission commuting solution and it wasn’t. Here are his inconvenient truths about the ZERO DS Electric Motorcycle:

  • Truth #1: [Despite its spec’d 115 mile range]Sixty miles is about as much as you’ll want to rely on.
  • Truth #2: Even with a quick charger, full recharges take five hours.
  • Truth #3: Easily accessible outdoor outlets are much harder to find than you think.
  • Truth #4: Plugging in for 45 minutes here or an hour there at some random outlet (the quick charger is too big to conveniently take with you) does absolutely nothing.
  • Truth #4: Distances aren’t one way when you can only really charge at home. A 10-mile journey has to be thought of as 20 miles, or one-third the 9kWh Zero’s effective range. That’s right, something that’s 10 miles away is one-third of your maximum reliable travel distance. You can travel there three times a day max and, once you’re there, your next move has to be limited accordingly.

Check out the full article and review for more information.

Of course I’m no different – I want to see an electric vehicle succeed. But in the future, thanks to Mr. Siler’s review of the ZERO DS, I’ll be a little more reluctant to buy into the hype. [Wired: Autopia]

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Jubbling Up Your Holiday Travel

Santa Claus Going Through The Backscatter X-rayGood posted an article, “How to Green Your Holiday Travel“, where they did a cost benefit analysis for each mode of holiday travel. They compared the carbon footprint of traveling by plane, train or automobile.

After some careful analysis, Jubbling has developed its own holiday travel tip: Don’t Go! I think the “why the hell am I leaving town?” hit me over Thanksgiving when I was going through TSA and temporarily misplaced a kid and our passports, was shoeless with 8+ bins of stuff, saw the backscatter dong-x-ray ahead of me and discovered my zipper was down the whole time. Skip the hassle, stay home and take the points. Do this not for green reasons but because you don’t want the headache. As for your family… if they truly love you, they wouldn’t want you to spend the money (reverse the guilt).

You can still follow the article and analyze the sustainable merits of each travel option or you can just say “F’it” by staying home and saving 2 wasted days of travel. Your wallet will like you, the family you are supposed to visit will be guilted into liking your decision and your holiday will get a sprinkling of Jubbling.

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Ocean, Air and Auto: Slow Down And Save

Slowing down ocean freight could cut up to 30% in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Slowing down ocean freight could cut up to 30% in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

The NY Times has an interesting article about the positive impact slowing down will have on the bottomline and environment with ocean freight, air and auto travel. Saving money with reduced fuel consumption which in turn reduces CO2 emissions. Now, the problem is getting everyone to buy into the “slow down” idea. Full article @ NY Times

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