The Petermann Glacier

4 09 2011

Petermann Glacier After the Break

A true sign of the precarious environmental times we live in comes in the form of the Petermann Glacier, which lost a very large chunk last year and stands to lose more in the near future. If anyone ever needed proof of the damage that has been done (and is still being done) to our planet, this is a perfect example.

The Huffington Post‘s Green section reports:

When a 100 square mile chunk — an area four times the size of Manhattan — broke off Greenland’s Petermann Glacier in the summer of 2010, scientists knew that it was a historic event. After all, it was the largest known calving in Greenland’s history, and the largest to occur in the Arctic in nearly 50 years.

Over the last year, scientists have only been able to view the extent of the breakup via satellite imagery. Until now.

Photographs taken in July and released on Wednesday offer a new perspective on the August 2010 break, showing before and after images of different areas of Petermann Glacier.

“Although I knew what to expect in terms of ice loss from satellite imagery, I was still completely unprepared for the gob-smacking scale of the breakup, which rendered me speechless,” Alan Hubbard, the scientist from Aberystwyth University in Wales who took the most recent photograph, said in a statement.

And we can expect more. Hubbard told MSNBC.com that another sheet, about half the size of the 2010 chunk, is poised to break away.

Jason Box, a scientist with the Byrd Polar Research Center at The Ohio State University and photographer of the 2009 image, told HuffPost that the summer of 2010 was Greenland’s warmest on record, and records have been kept since 1873.

“We’re bearing witness to abrupt climate change,” Box told HuffPost. “This isn’t of in the future. It’s very much now.”

, The Huffington Post

Unfortunately, at this point it seems there is not a great deal that can be done to change the course of this glacier’s future. The damage is there, but we need to look forward to the future and what we can do to prevent more incidents like this.



Ecopreneurs to play a key role in Friedman’s “Hot, Flat, and Crowded”

27 11 2008

www.greenprinteronline.com dispatch.

A post by contributing writer Melissa Chungfat.

The next big green

I’ve been seeing a lot of Thomas Friedman on the tube talking about his book Hot, Flat, and Crowded. The three-time Pulitzer Prize winner is getting a lot of buzz stressing the necessity of a green global industry. Ecopreneurs are key in developing innovative solutions to deal with the tremendous global environmental problems.

The book title refers to the convergence of global warming, the rise of the middle class, and the exponential population growth. These factors drive the following five trends over their tipping point:

  • Energy and resource
  • Petro dictatorship
  • Biodiversity loss
  • Climate change
  • Energy poverty

In our culture of convenience, so many people want to help the environment – if they can keep all of their luxuries; they want to green their habits – if it’s convenient enough; they want to buy green products – if it’s easy enough to find. But this attitude won’t fly anymore with the problems we are facing. Read the rest of this entry »



Top three financial reasons (and a climate change one) why your company needs an eco-calculator

4 09 2008

A www.greenprinteronline.com dispatch.

You cannot stop a negative habit without knowing how much and how often you are doing it. Enter the financial “carrot”: the online environmental calculator with a finance edge.

True, public demand, employee engagement, shareholder interest and newly defined sustainability goals are the “pressure points” for companies to cut their consumption habits and curb carbon emissions.

But today, organizations like Xerox, RecycleBank and Creative Citizen are offering more than just a climate change reason to decrease consumption: money. And, they are doing it by showing your employees the financial figures generated in conjunction with their online, environmental calculators. Read the rest of this entry »



Raising kids into “Forest Citizens”: Get funky, go green, get active with kids

19 08 2008

Above: The Secret Life of Paper – A Project of INFORM, Inc.

A www.greenprinteronline.com dispatch.

INFORM does it again just as parents can once again embrace the “most wonderful time of the year- the Staples Inc. version“. In other words, it’s back to school time for the kids.

My assumption is that kids are already well ahead of their parents in terms of incorporating green living (with less fuss than adults) into their lives and those of their peers. In fact, kids often pressure parents to recycle, according to a study published in the BBC.

Still, raising children to be good citizens and those that can quickly make the link between paper usage, recycling, deforestation, government action and climate change later in their life (I coin these savvy “Forest Citizens”) is not easy but it is well worth it on many levels. Here is who we are watching to help us raise good Forest Citizens as we embark on the craziness of the school year: Read the rest of this entry »



Direct mail companies go green(er)? Say it isn’t so, Green Marketing Coalition!

25 07 2008

A Green Printer dispatch.

This week, greenwash fatigued bloggers (Gawker describes it as improbable a real news item as ‘the hot dog industry going vegetarian’) and non-profit spokespersons turned a skeptical eye on a group of direct marketing companies called the Green Marketing Coalition (GMC). Corporate clients, including Microsoft, Washington Mutual and OptimaHealth, are also in on the initiative.

GMC’s goal? Altruistic enough. According to the New York Times article “Direct marketing goes green. No, really”, these marketers are joining hands and taking small, albeit very conservative, steps to make an inherently unsustainable practice (i.e. sending wads of personal junk mail) at least a little bit greener. We have already written about junk mail solutions and naughty, catalogue-sending companies before and so we were curious about what best practices the industry funded group came up with. Read the rest of this entry »



Recycled paper at Starbucks, Citigroup and UPS – Where is it now?

19 06 2008

A www.greenprinteronline.com dispatch.

A few weeks back, I was writing about CO2-friendly supply chains and saw the hefty list of U.S. companies that the Environmental Defense Fund had helped switch to recycled content in a drive to reduce paper waste across the nation.

Now, paper is back under the public eye in fuller force than ever because of its significant climate change footprint.
“Paper is a tremendously resource-intensive product to produce,” explains project manager Victoria Mills, “and the decomposition of paper in landfills generates methane, a greenhouse gas with 23 times the heat-trapping power of carbon dioxide.” Read the rest of this entry »



Six real-life tips to kickstart a Green Team at work

14 06 2008

A www.greenprinteronline.com dispatch

For all those days when you believe your green values aren’t aligned with your workplace but you can’t – or don’t want to – make the eco-entrepreneur step, here are some immediate action steps to try out at the office this Monday.

Remember: while many green teams start from humble beginnings, they can grow exponentially – pent up passion for green amongst employees can be powerful driving force. Read the rest of this entry »



Paperlight footprint? A Day in the Life of a Slick Brochure

6 06 2008

Image source: it all skyrocketed with Gutenberg‘s printing press…

A Green Printer dispatch.

Ever wondered how much energy and thought it took to produce that shiny brochure your marketing staff handed to you this week? And no, it’s not just the brand and visual design genius we’re talking about.

Let’s face it: making a few pieces of paper look pretty takes up some pretty hefty resources and the paper and pulp industry is there to meet our paper hungry needs (so much for the paperless office). Read the rest of this entry »



CO2-friendl(ier) paper supply chains in an instant gratification world

20 05 2008

Image source: National Geographic

A short, weekly “school of hard knocks” history of why paper supply chain management is not as easy as it looks – but can be. A Green Printer dispatch.

Deforestation hurts. Just ask Harrison Ford – he waxed his chest and demonstrated just how close forests are to his heart.

Sustainable management of forests, not simply trees or more recycling, is what Rainforest Alliance‘s executive director Tensie Whelan recently advocated for in GreenBiz and she’s right: while recycling has its environmental limits, sustainably managed forests as a whole ensure the well-being of the forest ecosystem and biodiversity survival for generations to come. Read the rest of this entry »



Office Hypocrisies: Eating steak at climate change conferences

16 05 2008

A Green Printer dispatch.

Today, I sat in at an insurance board of trade luncheon conference to learn about the value of investing in our nation’s sewage and water infrastructure as a means to deal with the havoc climate change could wrought on our nation’s coastal communities.

Apparently, history has shown that access to clean water is the first thing to go down in several weather, flooding and tidal storms. Translation: we could be scrambling for bottles of water if our government does not get to upgrading our current system up to par. Read the rest of this entry »