Sunday, January 14, 2007

New year’s and Climate Change

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season. I spent a good portion of it traveling (a terrible habit I’m working to break) and talk from various parts is ever-more focused on the weird weather, and the economic costs. Wind storms in the north west have been responsible for Stanley Park in Vancouver losing around 4,000 trees, and two deaths, and restoration efforts will cost at least $5 million, according to recent estimates, though they won’t know for sure until this summer at the earliest. Province-wide the utility there is already looking at upwards of $40 million in storm damage, vs. the $5 million budgeted.

Also, couple of other interesting headlines from Environmental Finance:

London, 11 January: The World Economic Forum (WEF) has upped its assessment of the risk posed by climate change, estimating that it could cause up to $250 billion of economic losses over the next 10 years.

(Read the full story)

London, 11 January: The European Commission has called on industrialised countries to cut their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% by 2020 compared with 1990 levels.

(Read the full story)

All of these represent examples or manifestations of the funnel walls for individuals, businesses, universities and all other organizations. Luckily, solutions-oriented approaches are finally becoming more common, and this is where it gets fun – when we pull together against our common enemy of unsustainability and start developing the creative, innovative solutions that will move us past the carbon economy, provoking us to step back and reconsider what is the real purpose of our endeavors here on Earth, reconnect with our local communities and throughout it all learn together.

One such uplifting recent development is the Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability opening this month and general trends towards sustainability in higher education. My company Greenland Enterprises will be in the mix over the coming months helping out with the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment mentioned in the article. We’re very excited about this, and encourage anyone working in college administration, or know people who are, or if you’re a student, or an alum or a college or university to encourage those institutions to take a stand and make the commitment, and enjoy a leadership role in this exciting challenge.

We’re also very excited to be back in Boston, and look forward to catching up with everyone, and getting involved with exciting sustainability initiatives going on around here. More excited still for the Pat’s game this afternoon and a graceful defeat of San Diego on their home turf. Stay going.