Crazy Weather Week for the East Coast

28 08 2011

Image via The New Yorker

Between earthquakes, tornado warnings, and a hurricane-turned-tropical storm, the US’s east coast has had a tough week in weather. A common question associated with major weather events is whether or not they are caused, or exacerbated, by global warming.

Take a look at this excerpt from The New Yorker for a preliminary answer:


Are more events like Irene what you would expect in a warming world? Here the answer is a straightforward “yes.” In fact, experts have been warning for years that New York will become increasingly vulnerable to storm surges and flooding as the planet heats up. In 2009, the New York City Panel on Climate Change, appointed by Mayor Bloomberg, concluded that, as a result of global warming, “more frequent and enhanced coastal flooding” was “very likely” and that “shortened 100-year flood recurrence period” was also “very likely.” Much of the problem simply has to do with sea levels—as these rise, any storm or storm surge becomes more dangerous. Marcus Bowman, an oceanography professor at Stony Brook University, has warned that the city could one day have “flood days,” the way it now has snow days.

Meanwhile, rising temperatures make other risks worse as well. Warm air holds more moisture, so as temperatures rise there is more water available to the system. And warmer ocean temperatures mean there is more energy available to fuel severe storms like Irene. As Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, in Boulder, explained recently on the blog Climate Progress, “Owing to higher SSTs [sea surface temperatures] from human activities, the increased water vapor in the atmosphere leads to 5 to 10% more rainfall and increases the risk of flooding.” Also, “because water vapor and higher ocean temperatures help fuel the storm, it is likely to be more intense and bigger as well.”

When we add all of these risk factors together, we can say with a great deal of confidence that in the future, there will be more and more events like Irene. We can comfort ourselves by saying that this particular storm was not necessarily caused by global warming. Or we can acknowledge the truth, which is that we are making the world a more dangerous place and, what’s more, that we know it.

, The New Yorker

We hope you all had a safe and happy weekend, with or without these weather occurrences!



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 »



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 »



Expedition: Clean Energy Denali 2008

18 04 2008

denali2008

On May 16-17 2008, five climbers, Laura Rapp, Radmila Jaksic, Zoran Vasic, Goran Rokolj and Vince Poulin, will depart Vancouver, British Columbia, in an attempt to reach the summit of  North America’s highest mountain – Denali. If successful the team will be the first team to summit the peak with a carbon neutral footprint. 

The expedition is supported by Green Printer and other companies who share similar environmental concerns. Their climb is being made carbon neutral using EcoNeutral tm Carbon Offsets by Ecosystem Restoration Association Inc. To achieve a carbon neutral footprint the team is calculating its total carbon footprint, and “off-setting” that using ERA”s green solution.

ERA’s offsets are those produced by the carbon stored in trees grown on public lands and held in trust for future generations. 

The Carbon Neutral aspect of Clean Energy Denali 2008 Team is a wake up call to us all, proving that with a little effort and help from each other we can all make contributions in the battle against global climate change. 



Earth Hour: Tooth fairy delusion or one hour vigil?

29 03 2008

Image source: http://timblair.net | Lights out for Sydney, Australia 2007

An http://greenprinteronline.com dispatch.

Earth Hour is tonight, March 29th from 8 to 9 pm. The idea is to turn off the lights as a symbolic gesture that us citizens, business owners, uber-corporations (hello, Google’s black screen, hello McDonalds in Toronto saving 10 000 kilowatt hours) local governments and non-profit groups are taking climate change seriously.

Despite gripes that Earth Hour falls on the NCAA basketball regional, it’s lights out for over 23 major cities worldwide like Toronto and Bangkok. Read the rest of this entry »



(Not So New) Markets for Green Businesses: Law, accounting and architecture firms

13 03 2008

Image source | www.jiinjoo.com

An http://greenprinteronline.com dispatch.

When asked: how “green” are you, the brains behind accounting, IT and architectural firms who, kudos to them – both the closet greens or eco-warriors who proudly bear their eco-badge on their sleeve – jump up to say that they are helping their clients drive sustainability solutions.

Even lawyers are realizing their impact on their environment. No seriously, lawyers are sharp enough to know that using all that virgin paper cannot be good to the environment.

But when it comes to driving internal sustainability initiatives? Many still respond by: “we recycle”. Period. Read the rest of this entry »



A green biz guide to recycling electronics – Origin Design does “Mission Zero”

2 03 2008

 

Photos by Chris Jordan | “Intolerable Beauty: Portraits of American Mass Consumption”

Design Goes Green – The first of a series of articles by Green Printer on the cross-section between the environment, business and the creative communications industry.

According to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, used or unwanted electronics amounted to 1.9 to 2.2 million tons in 2005, with most of that ending up in landfills. We did a post earlier on the how the chemicals that seep into the soil, even decades later, can have harmful human health effects and the fact that heaps of the stuff are often left abandoned in developing countries. Read the rest of this entry »



Designer Nate Burgos on Sustainability + ‘Design Activism’

16 02 2008

Image Source: http://www.replate.org

We ask design guru Nate Burgos, named Fast Company’s debut “Fast 50 Champions of Innovation“, to reflect on how the Internet changed how designers ‘make connections’ and why government and ‘big business’ should care about environmental sustainability and design activism.

Our take: major organizations should take a cue from the incredibly creative and nimble ways designers (who often, historically speaking, have a pulse on how online mediums work faster than business) are using the Internet and multi-media platforms to attract highly engaged users – not to mention high web traffic rates. Here are nine websites to watch and more on what the ever quotable Burgos said on design activism, the Internet and sustainability…

Here’s what the ever quotable Burgos said… Read the rest of this entry »



40 tips to “Eco” your Marketing Package in 60 Seconds or Less

6 02 2008

Image source: www.futureproofnola.com.

Design Goes Green – The first of a series of articles by Green Printer on the cross-section between the environment, business and the creative communications industry.

At some point, one comes to the inevitable conclusion that in order to “green” your marketing material, one needs to take a little extra time to plan ahead and live a “slow food” version of marketing. Yes, I hear the snickers and yes, even marketing speed demons can learn a thing or two from the slow movement.

So, for all you energizer bunnies out there, here are a few tips from Montreal based Vivace Design‘ s Karine Himbeault that, incidentally, we found take 60 seconds or less to actually carry out.

Read the rest of this entry »



The “Story of Stuff”: too Mulch Design?

25 01 2008

Image source: www.inhabitat.com

Design Goes Green – The first of a series of articles by Green Printer on the cross-section between the environment, business and the creative communications industry.

Today, I caught the “story of stuff“: a 20-minute, fast-paced look at the dark underbelly of our consumption patterns. The clip exposes the links between a host of environmental and social issues while showing you the real cost of that $5 radio (metals from South Africa, 14 years olds from the Congo dropping out of school to work in factories…). Read the rest of this entry »