2.5 Million Kilograms Of CO2 Emitted Just Getting To Conference On Climate Change In Davos Switzerland.

Kloster Ski Resort at Davos SwitzerlandOne more screwed up example of “do as we say, not as we do” environmentalism. From Grist:

“The 2,630 attendees cumulatively traveled over 550,000 kilometers by plane; in doing so, they generated 2.47 million kilograms of carbon dioxide. 2,470 metric tons. Add in train travel — 57,860 more kilograms — and the total footprint for those jetting in to Davos is 2,520 metric tons of carbon dioxide.”

The Grist article points out that maybe we could excuse the carbon emissions created by world leaders and CEOs to attend the WEF Conference because their intentions, reducing the use of fossil fuels, are for the greater good. But I’m not buying it and I wouldn’t be surprised if a few attendees wore their ski boots to a meeting so they could cut out the middle step, changing, and go right to the slopes.

In a past career, I had to pick tradeshows to attend and the weather and location were very important factors. That’s why I wouldn’t be surprised if the primary motivation of leaders attending this conference was to expense a ski vacation in Switzerland and not tackling climate change. It’s hard to not be cynical but these kind of forums / events play right into the hands of FOX News. They’re chomping at the bit to show how hypocritical it is to host a conference on climate change that furthers climate change. [Grist]

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During Natural Gas Production, Up To 9% Of The Methane Is Farted Into The Atmosphere.

Pulling my own finger methane releasing natural gas wells.Just as we were breaking up with dirty coal and starting a new cleaner relationship with natural gas comes news of a gas problem. It turns out the process of capturing natural gas is not as efficient as we thought and that 4-9% of the methane we fracture from the ground is released into the atmosphere. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is much more potent than carbon dioxide. From Nature:

“The researchers, who hold joint appointments with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado in Boulder, first sparked concern in February 2012 with a study suggesting that up to 4% of the methane produced at a field near Denver was escaping into the atmosphere.

Industry officials and some scientists contested the claim, but at an American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in San Francisco, California, last month, the research team reported new Colorado data that support the earlier work, as well as preliminary results from a field study in the Uinta Basin of Utah suggesting even higher rates of methane leakage — an eye-popping 9% of the total production. That figure is nearly double the cumulative loss rates estimated from industry data — which are already higher in Utah than in Colorado.”

How do we fix the gas problem? According to the Nature article, the EPA issued standards in April 2012 to reduce the amount of air pollution created during the natural gas extraction process. What can you do now? Consume less. [Nature via e360]

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Students From Hiroshima University And Humanix Build iSAVE-SC1. An Electric Car That’s Soft On Humans And The Environment.

iSAVE-SC1 electric car.It’s an older story that we missed but it’s worth bringing back.

The iSAVE-SC1 is a three-wheeled electric vehicle that has padded protection both inside and out. Here are some selling points for the iSAVE-SC1 EV:

  1. Travels 18 miles on a single charge.
  2. Can reach speeds of up to 31 mph.
  3. Electric so it’s environmentally friendly.
  4. Expected price is $9300
  5. Has a mattress strapped to its hood.

Basically, it has everything you’d ever want on your next new “electric” car. (Check out the mattress-free ELF from Organic Transport) [RocketNews 24]


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Canadian Company Makes Millions Sending Never Unloaded Rail Cars With Biodiesel Back And Forth Across US Border.

Rail cars carrying fuel.A loophole in how biodiesel is tracked and credited by the EPA in the US allowed a company in Toronto, Bioversel Trading Inc., to transport the same load of biodiesel back and forth across the border and make millions. From the CBC:

“Bioversel Trading hired CN Rail to import tanker loads of biodiesel to the U.S. to generate RINs, which are valuable in the U.S. because of a “greening” policy regulating the petroleum industry. The EPA’s “Renewable Fuel Standard” mandate that oil companies bring a certain amount of renewable fuel to market, quotas they can achieve through blending biofuel with fossil fuel or by purchasing RINs as offsets.

Because RINs can be generated through import, the 12 trainloads that crossed into Michigan would have contained enough biodiesel to create close to 12 million RINs. In the summer of 2010, biodiesel RINs were selling for 50 cents each, but the price soon fluctuated to more than $1 per credit.

Once “imported” to a company capable of generating RINs, ownership of the biodiesel was transferred to Bioversel’s American partner company, Verdeo, and then exported back to Canada. RINs must be “retired” once the fuel is exported from the U.S., but Bioversel says Verdeo retired ethanol RINs, worth pennies, instead of the more valuable biodiesel RINs. Bioversel claims this was all perfectly legal.”

You have to read the full crazy story on CBC’s website. [CBC via NY Times]


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Some Eco-Friendly Alternatives To Your Traditional Christmas Tree Are Not Very Cash-Friendly To Your Wallet.

One Two Tree.Cut Christmas trees and Halloween pumpkins share a common afterlife – they both have a meaningful place in our home for a short period of time and then they’re both hastily discarded. That’s why finding a lasting alternative to the traditional Christmas tree is so important.

Jubiltree Non-Traditional Christmas Tree Alternative.Inhabitat’s article, “14 Eco-Friendly Design Alternatives to the Traditional Christmas Tree,” was well-researched, timely and offered eco’ish alternatives to traditional Christmas trees but the prices can get more pretty crazy. Granted, a few of the smaller non-traditional tree options sell in the $20 range but four of the models listed in the artcle are priced above $349 and the wooden Jubiltree* eclipses the $500 mark. I may be wrong but I don’t think unreasonably over-priced alt-Christmas trees are going to change buying habits.

That’s why Jubbling would like to help you find reusable Christmas tree options that won’t crush your bank account and can be sourced locally. Our two reusable picks are the potted living Christmas tree and a used plastic tree from your local Goodwill store.

Going with a reusable potted living Christmas tree ($50-75) requires some management but it’s a great option for people who prefer an un-dead natural tree. If you’re ok with a plastic one, Goodwill has an assortment of previously-loved options in the $5-20 price range. Ideally, purchasing a used plastic tree means another new one will not be manufactured.

Consumers shouldn’t have to spend $500 on a eco-suavé Christmas tree alternative in order to gain some green street cred. Reusable Christmas trees that are wallet-friendly and match your preference (natural or artificial) are available and you don’t have to travel very far to find one. [Inhabitat]


*Jubiltree and Jubbling are not related.

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Trike-Bike Transportable Bao House: When Tiny Homes Go Bad.

Bao House from dot ArchitectsCould the Bao House from dot Architects be the mobile padded cell for the on-the-go mental health counselor? No, it’s a spray polyurethane foam (SPF) stuffed structure that’s toted around by a tricycle bike and touted as a possible “tiny home.” Bao is the Chinese word for bulge and I can’t help thinking about the disappointed web traffic they would’ve received had dot Architects gone with Bulge House instead.

Move along folks – not much to see here. [Treehugger]

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