Friday, October 30, 2009

Prove It

Check out this intense new info-graphic developed by the British Met Office, that is now on display in the London Science Museum:

It shows what a 4 degree C (7 degree F) increase in average global temps would do, and how various areas around the world would be affected.

Check out the site and make sure you get counted in for a strong deal in Copenhagen - right now the status quo supporters are flooding the site and counting themselves out.

Stay going.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"I'm transferring"

What's in a name? At the University of Kentucky, a dorm renovation funded by a gift with strings attached to the name is raising controversy. Donors from the coal industry are putting up $7 million and insisting that the dorm for basketball players include "coal" in its name.

Ironically, as this article from the Lexington Herald-Leader points out, the renovation will earn the building LEED certification, and presumably be responsible for less coal getting burnt than the campuses other buildings as a result.

Still, the name makes a statement. Before too long, that statement will probably be something to the effect of "coal was part of our state's heritage." But right now, in this time of great transition, it says "we support coal, a dying industry that threatens our well-being and civilization."

As the student protests and claims of "I'm transferring" demonstrate, this move is a huge reputational risk, and as students are increasingly making college decisions based on commitment to sustainability (and relevance in the 21st century) I'm sure before long, the Trustees will realize the risk was not worth $7 million.

Stay going.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A little more 350

Go Big Green:

Stay going...


Thanks to ecological economist and outdated-world-view-destroyer Pete Sims for the heads up on Douglas Rushkoff. I haven't dug into his stuff too much yet, but a quick view of his session on the always hilarious Colbert Report makes it clear he's got some good things to say:

For more, his website is:

Stay going...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

One of those moments...

I'm having one of those moments. Moments where I think we might actually do this fast enough. We might collectively wake up and use some common sense. Common sense to protect our global commons ... the atmosphere in particular right now, and specifically getting CO2 concentrations back to 350 parts per million.

The moment's coming from scrolling through the site, after just a day of what I'm sure must be an overwhelming job of sorting messages, posting picture, dealing with press and getting the most out of the epic day that was 10/24/09.

Here in Gloucester, we had a great turnout despite the rain, and got some great shots around the "old salt" - the Man at the Wheel fishermen's memorial statue.

But a few of the other photos from just a small sample of the 5,200+ events in 180+ countries summoning memories from my own experiences, reinforcing how very personal and how very global this challenge is.

First, The Mountain School - a high-school program on an organic farm that attended, and which had a huge impact on me and my thinking is featured on the front page - their picture is of sap buckets and maple leaves:

And then there is the picture from the slum in Kenya. I visited my sister when she was living in Kenya, and it's hard to describe what the impacts of climate disruption will mean for people already living on the edge (i.e. a huge percentage of all people).

And finally, this one from Butte College in California, which is one of 657 signatories to the Presidents' Climate Commitment that I've been helping to support for the past couple of years, announcing that they're aiming to go climate neutral by 2015.

Raven's Message from Daniel Dancer on Vimeo.

Thanks so much to all of you who came out yesterday - in Gloucester and around the world!

Stay going.

Friday, October 23, 2009

350 - Tomorrow at the Fishermen's Statue

Join us at the Fishermen’s Memorial statue at 1pm tomorrow – Sat. Oct 24thfor a group picture that will be part of the collective International Day of Climate Action. Details at

350 represents the safe levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere we need to get back down to: 350 parts per million. Tomorrow nearly 5,000 events in 179 countries will take place to get this message to negotiators at the Copenhagen meeting in December.

Nearly 5,000 youth form the image of a windmill and 350 in Uden, Netherlands.
Nearly 5,000 youth form the image of a windmill and 350 in Uden, Netherlands. Photo: (c) Daniel Dancer and Uden Partners

We won’t be as elaborate as the folks from the Netherlands in the picture above, but Cape Ann’s iconic Fishermen’s Memorial will send a strong message that the health and safety of our oceans, fisheries, coastline, and so much more is at stake.

Come help us send a message – rain or shine so bring your slicker!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day 09

Seeing as I always blog about sustainability and a lot about climate change… and the theme of this year’s Blog Action Day is climate change, I thought it would be good to write a post about hypocrisy. Also, I’m flying on a plane as I write this. Hard not to think about hypocrisy.

It’s easy to be hypocritical when it comes to climate change and climate action. Even when you really know about it, and truly internalize the scope, scale, magnitude, and urgency of the crisis.

It’s easy to walk outside on a beautiful peaceful day and forget all about the folks in Africa (and Atlanta) who are suffering from extended droughts and flash floods.

It’s easy to think “2100 is so far away… so is 2050, 2020, and 2012 for that matter.” (ok, it’s hard to still think that about 2012).

And so it’s easy to get in the car and drive, or forget to call the insulation guy again, and fly to California for Bioneers and some meetings and a visit.

So let’s use Blog Action Day 2009 – thousands of bloggers on all types of topics blogging about climate change for the day – as a reminder and a rally cry and an energy boost to acknowledge the hypocrisy all of us in the US live with to one degree or another, and not let it get us down, but drive us to do everything we can to spark meaningful action.

Here are a few immediate things you can do:

  1. Find a 350 event near you and participate on Sat. 10/24 – go to to find an event
  2. Find a contractor who does energy audits in your area and have them come do an analysis on your house or apartment – they’ll break it down by payback periods and in most cases find energy savings that will save more than enough money to cover the cost of the audit.
  3. Call your Senators and tell them (again if necessary) you support a strong climate bill and they better be doing all they can to stand up against heavily backed vested interests.
  4. See if your college president has signed the Presidents’ Climate Commitment, and if not send him or her a friendly email encouraging them to do so.
  5. Add your name to the petition to support a strong international climate agreement.

All super easy ways you can make a huge difference – keep it up and we can all move through our hypocrisy faster, and in time to avoid the worst impacts of climate disruption.

Happy Blog Action Day, and stay going!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Interface - pausing to take in the view

The Interface story never gets old. Check out this 8 minute video that gives a bit of a check-in on where they are in their great trek up Mount Sustainability:

Ray Anderson just released his new book, Confessions of a Radical Industrialist: Profits, People, Purpose - Doing Business by Respecting the Earth. I haven't started it yet, but I have a copy and can't wait to dig in.

In the meantime the stats since they've embarked on this journey speak for themselves, these come from a recent interview with Gallup Management Journal:

"Between 1996 and 2008, Interface cut its net greenhouse gas emissions by 71% in absolute tons (the Kyoto Protocol, in contrast, called for 7% reductions by 2012, which many said was impossible). Yet over the same time frame, Interface increased sales by 66% and doubled its earnings, expanding its profit margins and propelling innovation. Interface also reduced greenhouse gas intensity (relative to sales) by 82%, wastewater stream by 72%, landfill-bound scrap waste by 78%, total energy usage by 44%, smokestacks by 33%, and effluent pipes by 71%. Interface also reached the top of GlobeScan's Survey of Sustainability Experts -- all while saving the company $405 million. And, since 2003, Interface has sold 83 million square yards of carpet with zero net global warming effect."

These kinds of success stories show what is possible with leadership, dedication, and strong sense of purpose.

Stay going.

Beds are Burning

A decent remake of a classic for our new climate reality from TckTckTck (sign-up if you haven't yet):

Stay going.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

350 on 133

Without regard for the fact that we risk looking like bible-thumping crazies with "the end is near" signage in our front yard, we're using our house's perch on a busy road to raise a little awareness about

I painted up these signs for our big picture on Sat. Oct 24th in Gloucester (details: as part of the International Day of Climate Action, and figured I'd put them to good use in the meantime. Give a honk if you drive by! (actually, please don't do that, it could get really annoying).

Stay going.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Good Morning Gloucester

Cape Ann's most popular blog just ran a nice post about the event happening in Gloucester on Sat. Oct. 24 at 1pm at the Fishermen's Memorial statue.

Check it out and browse around the site a bit, Good Morning Gloucester.... they've got a ton of awesome stuff, including plenty of seagull hilarity.


Stay going.

The Natural Edge Project - huge emissions cuts, positive economic impact

My partner sent out the list (below) of reports demonstrating how we can achieve huge cuts in GHG emissions while not only avoiding costs, but driving economic prosperity in preparation for a roundtable discussion this afternoon with Michael Smith of The Natural Edge Project, an Australian think-tank that does an excellent job showing the benefits of whole-system thinking and design in pursuing sustainability. I couldn't help by share it:

Studies demonstrating that OECD Nations Can Achieve 60-80 per cent Emission Cuts Whilst Boosting the Economy and Jobs.

Hanemann, W., Farrell, A. et al (2006) Managing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in California. The California Climate Change Center at UC Berkeley at

Interlaboratory Working Group (2000) Scenarios for a Clean Energy Future, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory, CO. Available at

Torrie, R., Parfett, R. and Steenhof, P. (2002) Kyoto and Beyond: the low emission path to innovation and efficiency, Report for David Suzuki Foundation and Canadian Climate Action Network, Canada.

Lovins, A., Datta, K., Feiler, T., Rábago, K., Swisher, J., Lehmann, A. and Wicker, K. (2002) Small Is Profitable: The Hidden Economic Benefits of Making Electrical Resources the Right Size, Rocky Mountain Institute, Colorado.

Turton, H., Ma, J., Saddler, H. and Hamilton, C. (2002) Long-Term Greenhouse Gas Scenarios: a pilot study of how Australia can achieve deep cuts in emissions, Australia Institute Paper No 48,

Mintzer, I., Leonard, J.A. and Schwartz, P. (2003) US Energy Scenarios for the 21st Century, Pew Center on Global Climate Change.

Department of Trade and Industry (2003) Our Energy Future – Creating a Low Carbon Economy, Energy White Paper, UK Department of Trade and Industry, Version 11.

Bailie, A., Bernow, S., Castelli, B., O’Connor, P. and Romm, J. (2003) The Path to Carbon Dioxide-Free Power: Switching to Clean Energy in the Utility Sector, Tellus Institute and Center for Energy and Climate Solutions for the World Wildlife Fund, USA.

Jochem, E (eds) (2004) Steps Towards A Sustainable Development: A White Book of R&D for Energy Efficient Technologies. Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI)

Saddler, H., Diesendorf, M. and Denniss, R. (2004) A Clean Energy Future for Australia Energy Strategies, WWF, Canberra.

Lovins, A.B., Datta, E.K., Bustnes, O.E., Koomey, J.G. and Glasgow, N.J. (2004) Winning the Oil Endgame: Innovation for Profits, Jobs and Security, Rocky Mountain Institute, Colorado.

National Institute for Environmental Studies (2005) Japan: Low Carbon Society Scenarios toward 2050, National Institute for Environmental Studies. Japan.

Stern, N. (2006) The Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Makhijani, A. (2007) Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy, Nuclear Policy Research Institute and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research.

Smith, M. and Hargroves, K. (2007) ‘Analysis of the Costs of Inaction versus the Costs of Action on Climate Change for Australia’, a submission by TNEP to the Garnaut Review, The Natural Edge Project, Australia.

Diesendorf, M. (2007) Paths to a Low Carbon Future Reducing Australia’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 30 percent by 2020, Sustainability Centre.

Hatfield Dodds, S., Jackson, E.K., Adams, P.D. and Gerardi, W. (2007) Leader, follower or free rider? The economic impacts of different Australian emission targets by 2050, The Climate Institute, Sydney, Australia.

IPCC (2007) Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [B. Metz, O.R. Davidson, P.R. Bosch, R. Dave, L.A. Meyer (eds)], Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

National Institute for Environmental Studies (2007) Japan Scenarios towards a Low Carbon Society – Feasibility study for 70% CO2 emission reduction by 2050 below 1990 level, National Institute for Environmental Studies. Japan.

Smith, M., Hargroves, K., Stasinopoulos, P., Stephens, R., Desha, C. and Hargroves, S. (2007) Energy Transformed: Sustainable Energy Solutions for Climate Change Mitigation, The Natural Edge Project, Griffith University, and CSIRO, Australia.

Department of Trade and Industry (2007) Meeting the Energy Challenge: A White Paper on Energy, Department of Trade and Industry, UK.

Institute of Public Policy Research, WWF and RSPB (2007) 80 per cent challenge: Delivering a Low Carbon Britain. Institute of Public Policy Research, WWF and RSPB. UK.

Pembina Institute and David Suzuki Foundation (2008) Deep Reductions, Strong Growth: An economic analysis showing that Canada can prosper economically while doing its share to prevent dangerous climate change. Pembina Institute and David Suzuki Foundation.

Von Weizsäcker, E., Hargroves, K., Smith, M., Desha, C. and Stasinopoulos, P. (2009) Factor 5: Transforming the Global Economy through 80% Improvements in Resource Productivity, Earthscan, London. (Pre publication Hardcopy bound copy given to LBNLs)

Stay going.


Friday, October 02, 2009

C-ROADS less taken...

Speaking of Hopenhagen - you want some hope?? Check out this new TED talk from (fellow Dartmouth alum!) Drew Jones of the Sustainability Institute. This is the kind of way we need to be thinking - acknowledging the danger of potential "Business as Usual" emissions scenarios, and then immediately recognizing that those are not a pre-determined future, and that we must mobilize immediately and in a big way if we're even going to get close to achieving atmospheric concentrations of 350 ppm in a meaningful timescale. Enjoy, (and learn more at the Climate Interactive Blog):

Stay going.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


Another grassroots campaign to show the broad support for meaningful action in Copenhagen (we need all we can get!)

Check out the site - pretty inspiring to see the quotes from around the world of what gives people hope in a very cool visual lay out:

And sign the petition.

Stay going.