Welcome to another two weekly review of energy and environmental events and developments from both here in New Zealand and around the world. As always, we hope you find our collection of stories to be of interest in what continues to be a rapidly evolving area.

Company Strategies and the way media provide information to the general public around climate change are an area of concern, especially when the information provided can be misleading or wrong. How this may influence people is covered off in our next 3 articles.

‘Climate Deniers Strategy of Confusion’  covers how organisations such as Big Oil use lobby groups and likeminded organisations to push the message that is of benefit to them. The denial lobby uses pseudo-science and cherry picked data that can be modified to suit their own needs and presented as accurate information, when clearly it is not.

We next look at the BBC who have been criticised for favouring climate skeptics. In one case the BBC aired a program in July this year where the presenter cited supposed “scientific findings” that called global warming into question.

The presenter and BBC were accused by scientists of putting forward partial data and discredited arguments. Everyone should be allowed to put forward their views but a balance of any view is important. 97 percent of climate scientists state climate change is happening but they do not get their share of air time to allow people to make accurate and informed decisions.

Our neighbours in Australian are also experiencing mass media that appears to be giving high coverage to climate sceptics over proven scientific modeling and data. There was a study of 602 articles in 10 newspapers by the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism. The study found that 32% of the 602 articles dismissed or questioned human activity was causing climate to change.

Now articles relating to a positive change. “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking that created them” Albert Einstein and “with our thoughts we change the world” Buddha. These quotes are old but can be applied to society today, especially when looking at sustainability and reducing climate change. Radical changes need to be made and this starts with our own and others awareness to be able to fundamentally change the way end products are used. When we change our minds, the world changes too.

In previous issues of Snippets there have been articles on the need for corporate sustainability strategies but we never see the end result. Here is an example of a sustainability strategy from IKEA. Their sustainability strategy shows what can be achieved by a business sustainability plan from only selling LED light bulbs to looking at how the company freights to communicating with customers the benefits of being sustainable.

From interior design stores to supermarkets, climate change is affecting all businesses and the businesses are responding by altering the way they operate.

Fluorocarbon refrigerant greenhouse gases are up to 11,000 times more harmful then carbon dioxide and are prone to leaking, with this realisation they are being phased out.

Supermarkets globally are inserting innovative new ways of sustainable refrigerants that not only save the environment but also their budget.

Keeping with the theme of changing our own awareness to change others is an article about a hair salon on Cuba St, right here in Wellington. The Powder Room has won multiple awards this year for being the most green and eco-friendly place to get your haircut. While getting a haircut at the Powder Room you will have your hair washed by ethical shampoo, be served fair trade coffee and be taught how to use your own hair clippings in your compost. One person changing can change others.

A savings of $14 million per year sounds pretty good doesn’t it? With the installation of 250,000 streetlights to LED, New York with reap the benefits. The savings come from the LED lights having a longer life span than the high-pressure sodium lights, lower maintenance and up to 60 percent energy savings. There are other advantages than just cost and energy decreases, they make the streets brighter to detour crime and increase safety. Great changes are happening at a corporate, local and city wide level.

We next look at a series of articles around possible and positive climate change mitigation. We look at the recently created ‘Interagency Council and Task force on Climate’, a co-operation across a wide range of government agencies in America. The purpose is to promote a unified government approach instead of a fragmented approach to climate based issues.

The US Government will now not back any new coal fired power stations. This step is a very clear message on the direction the current administration is taking. Of course it’s not without its detractors; a law firm that represents energy companies said the announcement went against President Obama’s promise to help developing nations. Unless coal was the only option for poor countries backing would be provided, sounds like no promise has been gone back on.

Big changes to the way energy is produced is covered off in a recent report by Siemens on regions across the world. The report stated replacing coal with gas power would reduce emissions by as much as all the emissions of the 28 European Union countries combined by 2030. Coal certainly has had its place in the development of modern infrastructure but the time has come to look at alternatives that are better for everyone.

In our last article we look at how Oregon and Washington have agreed to put a price on emissions of CO2. This will align their policies with their neighbours; California and British Columbia (a cross border agreement). To put this agreement into perspective it represents an area where 53 million people reside and has the world’s 5th largest economy. These positive changes are happening at a regional level without federal government requirements.

Thank you for taking time to read our Snippets articles! The world is rapidly changing around us but with the new technology and business sustainability plans we are looking towards a bright, green future.

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