Archive for December, 2011

In the House: Matt Petersen at Governor’s Climate Conference

December 15th, 2011

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On the afternoon agenda today for The Governor’s Conference on Extreme Climate Risks and California’s Future, our CEO Matt Petersen will have a conversation with Arnold Schwarzenegger on “Perspectives on California’s Leadership on Climate Change.” Here’s the full agenda. Livestream is on the Governor’s website.

Updated: here is a video of the segment, and a good summary of the interview.

What He Said: Gorbachev on COP17

December 14th, 2011

“It is unacceptable that world leaders are still stalling on a global plan to cut emissions of carbon to curb the increase of temperatures… We witnessed in Durban wrangling and hair splitting over legal terminology, as well as bald-faced delaying tactics that threatened to derail the negotiations. The decision-makers must wake up to the fact that the lives of billions of people today and in the future depend on them to act in unison to respond to the global challenge that climate change poses.” – Mikhail Gorbachev on the outcome of COP17

Word Up: Henry David Thoreau Quote

December 13th, 2011

The quote from today’s staff meeting comes from Henry David Thoreau: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.”

Global Green Weekly Rewind: Dec. 5-11

December 12th, 2011
Michelle Branch performing at our Gorgeous & Green gala in SF.

Michelle Branch performing at our Gorgeous & Green gala in SF.

Here are stories we’re still talking about from last week.

We announced the big winner of our Green School Makeover Competition: The Texas School for the Deaf in Austin. Here’s the story; here’s a local newscast on the school’s win; and here are the runners-up.

Our 7th Annual Gorgeous & Green gala in San Francisco was fabulous. Here are photosmore photos, and even more photos; here is a post on the styles from the eco fashion show; and here is co-host (and board member) Zem Joaquin’s EcoFabulous summary.

The COP17 climate talks in Durban wrapped up. Here is a story that sums it up succinctly from Grist; and here is a video of a college student who stood up and spoke her mind before being removed from the room.

The Environmental Protection Agency linked water contamination to fracking for the first time. Here is a ProPublica story on the subject.

Warren Buffet announced he is buying a huge solar farm. Here is a Treehugger story on the topic.

True Giving: Holiday Message from Matt

December 12th, 2011

gg_logo_holiday_holyDuring this time of holiday spirit and giving from the heart, I ask you to consider making a donation to Global Green USA as a holiday gift to friends and family (we will send them an email letting them know!), and help us continue improving the lives of individuals in need, and protecting the environment.

You might also consider some of these holiday gift ideas from our staff: personal, handmade, and locally-sourced. And here’s a list of films and books on the environment that are good for giving and sharing. Or, when you need to purchase a gift, consider products from friends of Global Green that walk the talk by practicing sustainability — and donate a portion of their proceeds to Global Green.

Most importantly, give yourself the gift of time with your loved ones this holiday season.

RESTORE Act: Support Online

December 12th, 2011

bl_never_againI’ve recently seen first-hand the continuing devastation of the BP oil disaster. Just as importantly, though, I’ve seen that the coastal damage can be repaired — with innovative science and dedicated local community members and businesses. But to repair the Gulf Coast, we need to make sure that most of BP’s fines for damaging the Gulf Coast come back to the Gulf Coast. Which is why we call upon you to act to support the RESTORE Act today.

Today and tomorrow, we are joining our friends at the Restore the Mississippi River Delta in a two-day call to action for supporters to help us urge Congress to pass the Restore Act — with the use of social media.

We are in full support of the RESTORE Act, which will help clean up the damage done by the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The law would guarantee that at least 80% of BP’s Clean Water Act fines and penalties will be directly paid to Gulf Coast states for ecosystem restoration.

It is estimated that more than hundreds of businesses in 27 states would benefit from the passing of the bill. Of course, economic help for the Gulf will be beneficial for the entire nation, which needs a strong Gulf Coast for the energy security of our country; our fisheries; and our international shipping.

We need support from coastal communities, small businesses, and individuals to help us urge Congress in supporting this act. Please join us on Twitter today (retweet what we post on the issue to your followers) and on Facebook Tuesday (like our post and share it with our friends).

TED Talk: Michael Mann on Climate Change

December 12th, 2011

Great TEDx talk on “A Look Into Our Climate: Past To Present To Future” by climatologist Professor Michael Mann.

On the Road in Russia: Kizner Visit

December 12th, 2011
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Paul Walker, Finn Longinotto, Vladimir Leonov

Green Cross/Global Green’s Security and Sustainability team visited the Udmurt Republic, or Udmurtia, a Federal Republic of Russia located in the western part of the Middle Urals, December 7-9, 2011. Paul Walker, Vladimir Leonov, and I all flew from Moscow to Izhevsk, Udmurtia’s capital, for a three-day visit.  The first day was taken up by a visit to Kizner, where we arrived after four hours driving through a blinding snow storm. Kizner is the site of a major Chemical Weapons Destruction (CWD) facility, which is still under construction. The second day, we visited the Green Cross office, the CWD laboratory, and other sites in Izhevsk, finishing with a local Udmurtian vaudeville show.

The Kizner chemical weapons stockpile is one of seven declared by Russia under auspices of the international Chemical Weapons Convention requiring complete, safe, and verified elimination. Russia declared 40,000 metric tons of chemical agents in 1997 and has destroyed about 56% of this — about 22,400 metric tons — since 2002. Kizner holds 5,745 metric tons of nerve and blister agents, and is one of the sites at which the Security and Sustainability Program has managed a local outreach office for the last several years.

All the local and regional officials stated that the Kizner CWD facility would not open until mid-2013, at the earliest, although some speculated that it could be earlier in 2013 with more funding. Some officials simply shrugged their shoulders, saying that a longer schedule would be fine in terms of local funding and jobs — “the longer, the better.”  All the officials and colleagues were very pleased that Green Cross/Global Green would continue with support for 2012 of the Public Outreach and Information Office (POIO) in Izhevsk. Russia has stated that the facility would operate through 2015, but some observers believe its schedule will slip beyond that year.

The Green Cross/Global Green delegation was shown the newly renovated school and the new medical clinic, both of which looked excellent from the outside, in Kizner. We also visited the regional environmental laboratory in Izhevsk, managed by German Frizorger, and were given a full tour. This was the first time, reportedly, that foreigners were provided access to the laboratory, the Udmurt Republic State Environmental Control and Monitoring Regional Center (SECMRC). We will all celebrate when both Russia, with almost 18,000 metric tons of chemical agents remaining, and the U.S., with more than 2,800 metric tons remaining, complete their stockpile destruction programs in the coming decade.

Your Green Corner: Recycled DIY Ornaments

December 9th, 2011

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Sharon in our Santa Monica office put on her Santa hat to decorate for the holidays this week. Pictured here on the tree in our entryway: light bulbs painted by Allison, a former super-intern who now works with us part-time. We guess that many of you have already switched your light bulbs to more energy-efficient CFLs, but what else are you tossing in the trash and sending to a landfill that could be transformed into a reusable decoration for the tree? Find DIY ideas galore on the web; start with Threadbanger, Instructables, and the always crafty Martha Stewart.

What He Said: Bill Gates on Energy Innovation

December 9th, 2011

“Energy transformations take generations. But if the United States begins in earnest today, the nation’s energy challenges can be solved in ways that truly set America on a path of energy independence and that provide affordable energy for everyone, especially the poor. The return on this kind of investment could change — perhaps even save — the world and provide generations to come with a brighter future.” — Bill Gates, in a Science magazine editorial