Posts Tagged ‘climate change’

Why polar bears are doing better than you think

Last year Greenpeace campaigners in the UK paraded a giant polar bear puppet the size of a double-decker bus through the streets of Westminster to protest against planned drilling in the Arctic. This year the polar bears made it into the Houses of Parliament, as a Canadian professor told a meeting there Wednesday night that the animals are not as endangered as many think.

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“Look out for the flags,” former Anglo boss warns miners

Most small mining companies are not in a position to look beyond funding the next stage of their project or trying to find a strategic partner. But a recent presentation at the Hong Kong Mines and Money conference gave an insight into how large mining companies take a much longer-term view, and how they consider all kinds of eventualities that could impact their business.

British-born Clem Sunter was CEO of Anglo American’s successful gold and uranium businesses in South Africa, and became the company’s expert in “scenario planning.” He and co-author Chantell Illbury penned a book on the subject, entitled Mind of a Fox, which became a best-seller in the wake of 9/11.

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Cow burps foul the air more than natural gas

So, two cows were walking away from their buddies in the herd down in the vale. They did not want to be seen or heard by the herd’s owner, Farmer Brown.

After they had strolled about a mile away, the first cow asked, “Do you think the boss heard us leave?

“With all the burping by the other ladies, the boss couldn’t hear a tractor with a busted muffler go by him,” the second cow said.

The US Environmental Protection Agency said burps from large ruminant animals, such as cows, pigs and sheep, were the largest source of methane emissions in 2012, beating out the natural gas industry. Contrary to popular opinion, these animals emit methane from their mouths, not their anuses.

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Looming EU vote draws first battle lines in renewed biofuel debate

Since the European Commission first proposed a number of changes to the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED) last October, both sides of the biofuel debate in Europe have battled their corners ahead of what are likely to be key changes to legislation for the regional and indeed global biofuel landscapes, up to the year 2020 and beyond.

A plenary vote, scheduled for September 11, will see the European Parliament agree on its position on several key components of renewables laws, before heading into three-way negotiations with the Council of Ministers and the EC.

Ahead of the vote, industry bodies, non-governmental organizations and other interested parties have pushed hard to air their points of view on a subject that has wide-reaching economic, environmental and social implications.

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Why did Obama’s climate speech land with a dull thud?

Swallowed up by the Edward Snowden story, a landmark Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, immigration reform and even the start of the George Zimmerman trial, President Barack Obama’s long-awaited plan to combat climate change failed to capture America’s hearts and minds last week.

Sure, the plan drew some acclaim from environmentalists, a wave of criticism from fossil fuel interests and a sharp rebuke from congressional Republicans, and even some coal-state Democrats, that Obama was continuing his “war on coal.” But the responses were little more than press release bluster and widely expected.

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After months of hints, is re-elected Obama poised to take on climate change?

After this summer’s record drought, a devastating superstorm and the end of the most expensive election in history, President Obama brought up climate change this week.

“We want our kids to grow up in a world…that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of the warming planet,” said Obama in his victory speech.

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Caltex Australia shows its feminine side

In what is traditionally a male-dominated industry, one of Australia’s oil refiners is showing its feminine side, recently unveiling what is believed to be the nation’s most generous workplace support package for new parents.

Caltex Australia, which is chaired by a woman, says the move is “ground-breaking” because it goes beyond corporate Australia’s traditional focus on giving employees paid leave just before and after the birth of a baby, to focus on providing cash for parents to make their own childcare choices after they are back at work. Read the rest of this entry »

Talk of tattoos, and other things, from “The Big Dog” Bill Clinton

I had the opportunity August 8 at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, to hear “the Big Dog” speak, which is what one of my editors in Washington calls former President Bill Clinton.

Clinton, at 26, and his then-girlfriend Hilary Rodham, spent time in Dallas and in Austin running George McGovern’s Texas campaign for president in 1972 when I was at the University of Texas.

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Selling coals to Newcastle: How the Europeans conquered the US diesel market

Sales people the world over have their own idioms, in-jokes or phrases to describe that ultimate sale. In Victorian Britain, so the story goes, a US businessman once succeeded in selling coal to Newcastle, one of the UK’s more mineral-rich regions. The incident has passed into the language as the definition of just such a situation.

Flash forward to the 21st century, and a press release from Finland’s oil company Neste, published Thursday, seems to provide the modern equivalent of achieving that impossible sale.

Neste has sold renewable diesel to the United States.

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Those who observed it talk about the trends at CERAWeek

Eight different Platts journalists have been at the CERAWeek meeeting since Monday, some the entire time, others in and out. We’ve all been running from press room to briefing room to panel to the food table. There’s been a lot of information to digest; here is our attempt to report on some of the most significant trends we heard about. 

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