A new light for dog poop.
Arizona’s award-winning Cosmo Dog Park, located in Gilbert, has urged a project that could use dog waste to light street lamps throughout the park. The project is called the “Dog Waste Digester” and is scheduled to be presented to the Town Council in August.
The design aims to convert the waste to methane gas that generates enough energy to light up a lamp. Methane is a natural gas that is used for heating. It is colorless, odorless and good for the environment.
Continue reading on Examiner.com A new light for dog poop. - Scottsdale Sustainable Living | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/sustainable-living-in-scottsdale/a-new-light-for-dog-poop#ixzz1S6NJR6Ed
Activist Investors Change Companies via Social Media
In 2007, Eric Jackson had 96 shares of Yahoo stock and a blog with a readership that could be counted on your hands (without even bothering the thumbs). One blog post later, he was being interviewed on TV, his blog was being read by thousands & he eventually got exactly what he wanted; then Yahoo CEO Terry Semel’s resignation.
He was lucky enough for his post to go viral, but with that foot in the door he built a voting bloc of like-minded Yahoo stockholders that owned $60 million worth of the company.
Now, a number of platforms have sprung up to help other investors do the same; join together and get the change they want done, done.
In the corporate world, the department responsible for controlling these conversations is the Invester Relations (IR) department. They’ve realised they can no longer let these Activist Investors act with impunity, and have begun to take back some ground. In the end though, the larger your entity, the slower it will be able to move to deal with the social media world that is by definition lightning fast.
I found this story in an article on Mashable and it got me thinking about the potential for a company’s environmental credentials to be questioned by those who tweet, facebook or what-have-you.
Traditional journalists certainly aren’t asking enough of the right questions. Perhaps the rest of us, especially the Carbon Managers of this world who know what the right questions to ask are & can smell greenwash from a mile off, need to pick up the slack.
When a company’s eco claim rings a bit hollow in your ear, ask for clarification - then tell someone about it.
The Carbon Manager, for one, is certainly happy to help by getting what you’ve found in front of more people. We, together, have to ask the questions because not enough people are & the challenge we face is too great.
Would probably be kinda fun, too.
UPS Testing Plastic Bodied Trucks
UPS has announced they are testing a new truck that could, should it prove up to snuff, save 40% of fuel costs. The sheeting that makes up the body of the standard truck is aluminium, but has been replaced by ABS plastic - saving over 450kg of weight per vehicle.
UPS drivers clock up over 4.5 billion kilometers per year, so if this vehicle gets the green light and is rolled out across their fleet the fuel and hence greenhouse emission reductions will be significant.
There may be issues though. While aluminium can be described as ‘solid electricity’, it is at least highly recyclable. The process for recycling ABS plastic is a bit more difficult; the only group that can recycle mixed plastics at the moment is the US Dept of Energy’s Technology Development & Commercialisation arm, The Argonne National Laboratory.
On the surface, switching to ABS plastic to reduce weight seems like a good plan. As all Carbon Manager’s know however, no plan is any good in isolation. It has to exist in the real world, where things are complex & it takes time for one part of an industry to catch up with another. If whoever is driving (excuse the pun) this at UPS recognises the need for this plan to mesh with others (like the commercialisation of recycling the plastic they use) then the switch to plastic is, at the least, not as sustainable as it could be.
Free-market Capitalism will protect the environment: Robert F Kennedy Jr
In a keynote address to the Sustainable Operations Summit, RFK Jr put forward a postition that goes against the traditional biases of both environmentalists & capitalists.
By the end of his address however it’s been reported that opinion in the crowd was largely on board.
His main point is that capitalism comes in two flavours; free-market capitalism & the current reality of crony capitalism. “Show me a polluter, and I’ll show you a subsidy,” said Kennedy, to support his case that capitalism today is of the crony variety.
Crony capitalism allows business & governments to, ‘cheat the marketplace’ - evidenced he says by the litany of laws against our & our planets best interests, most notably in the coal-mining industry.
See the original article for more information.
The Risks of Quantification - from The Harvard Business Review
There is a tendency that comes with living in a scientific and technologically advanced age to try to deal with the complexity that is the real world by quantifying it. By building models and making decisions based on the numbers those models produce we ignore the truth in a bid to reduce uncertainty.
"What we misunderstand is that introducing mathematics and quantification into any situation subtly changes that situation and this needs to be taken into account. We are attached to our analytic and computational tools and have become blind to their limitations."
William Byers, professor of mathematics at Concordia University in Montreal and author of a couple of intriguing books goes on to spell out 4 of the major issues, and makes the point that embracing ambiguity and uncertainty will not only lead to better decision-making, but that ‘the creative breakthroughs we are looking for will only come by actively engaging ambiguity and the uncertainty it brings in its wake’
See the original article here: http://ow.ly/4XPcE
Sir Paul Nurse, the new president of the Royal Society of London began his tenure by putting together a doco for the BBC taking on deniers of accepted science, climate deniers in particular.
My favourite example that he uses occurs around the 29 minute mark, in response to a ‘skeptics’ position that consensus does not equal science;
'Say you had cancer, and you went to be treated, there would be a consensual position on your treatment, and it is very likely that you would follow that consensual treatment, because you would trust the clinical scientists there.
Now the analogy is that you could say, ‘Well, I’ve done my own research into it and I disagree with that consensual position. But that would be a very unusual position for you to take.
And I think sometimes the consensual position can be criticised when in fact it is most likely to be the correct position.’
Much stammering from the ‘skeptic’ follows.
Reducing supply chain emissions and saving $ at the same time
Triple Pundit has posted a good article on the key to improving a business’s supply chain - the key being collaboration between all parties in the supply chain.
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics looks after the global shuffling about of a number of auto-makers. They were able to save their client Tata Motors 22% on transport costs and 33% on CO2-e by creating a decent model of their system and playing around with delivery lead times from different distribution hubs. Holding on to stock for 2-3 days longer than normal in a few hubs was all it took to make the above savings.
Collaboration and challenging cost assumptions at the same time certainly seems to be the quickest way to creating positive organisational change.
What do you guys think?
See the original article here.
A useful definition is to split it up into three sorts of denial;
Literal denial, which is like your denial industry funded by fossil fuel companies and there are lots of people who have written about that.
Then there is interpretive denial, which is what we know better as spin, which governments tend to use, much the same as where you talk about collateral damage instead of massacring civilians.
And then there is what we became most fascinated with, or I did in writing this section, is implicatory denial, which is the denial…something makes us afraid, if it conflicts with our self image and we have the ability to flick a switch in our brains and deny it. And that’s why the science is getting more and more certain but we have dropped at least 20% in Australia in terms of the people who believe climate change is real.
Hear the full interview here;
Recycled iPad Cases
Steve Job’s latest technological game changer is finding it’s way into the hands of more and more Australians.
Protecting the iPad from drops, scuffs, coffee spills, overzealous bicycle couriers & louts on public transport requires a case of some kind.
Might be time for me to get the sewing machine out. And buy an iPad.