World’s top three asset managers oversee $300bn fossil fuel investments | Environment | The Guardian

Data reveals crucial role of BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard in climate crisis

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“The world’s three largest money managers have built a combined $300bn fossil fuel investment portfolio using money from people’s private savings and pension contributions, the Guardian can reveal.

BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street, which together oversee assets worth more than China’s entire GDP, have continued to grow billion-dollar stakes in some of the most carbon-intensive companies since the Paris agreement, financial data shows.

The two largest asset managers, BlackRock and Vanguard, have also routinely opposed motions at fossil fuel companies that would have forced directors to take more action on climate change, the analysis reveals.”

Source: World’s top three asset managers oversee $300bn fossil fuel investments | Environment | The Guardian

The Most Detailed Map of Auto Emissions in America – The New York Times

Even as the United States has reduced carbon dioxide emissions from its electric grid, largely by switching from coal power to less-polluting natural gas, emissions from transportation have remained stubbornly high.The bulk of those emissions, nearly 60 percent, come from the country’s 250 million passenger cars, S.U.V.s and pickup trucks, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Freight trucks contribute an additional 23 percent.

The Cheeseburger Footprint – by Jamais Cascio – Openthefuture.com

The Cheeseburger Footprint

by Jamais Cascio

“We’re growing accustomed to thinking about the greenhouse gas impact of transportation and energy production, but nearly everything we do leaves a carbon footprint. If it requires energy to make or do, chances are, some carbon was emitted along the way. But these are the early days of the climate awareness era, and it’s not yet habit to consider the greenhouse implications of otherwise prosaic actions.

So as an exercise, let’s examine the carbon footprint of something commonplace — a cheeseburger. There’s a good chance you’ve eaten one this week, perhaps even today. What was its greenhouse gas impact? Do you have any idea? This is the kind of question we’ll be forced to ask more often as we pay greater attention to our individual greenhouse gas emissions.

Burgers are common food items for most people in the US — surprisingly common. Estimates for the average American diet range from an average of about one per week, or about 50/year (Fast Food Nation) to as many as three burgers per week, or roughly 150/year (the Economist, among other sources). So what’s the global warming impact of all those cheeseburgers? I don’t just mean cooking the burger; I mean the gamut of energy costs associated with a hamburger — including growing the feed for the cattle for beef and cheese, growing the produce, storing and transporting the components, as well as cooking.”

Source: The Cheeseburger Footprint

If Seeing the World Helps Ruin It- Should We Stay Home? – By Andy Newman – The New York Times

“The glaciers are melting, the coral reefs are dying, Miami Beach is slowly going under.

Quick, says a voice in your head, go see them before they disappear! You are evil, says another voice. For you are hastening their destruction.

To a lot of people who like to travel, these are morally bewildering times. Something that seemed like pure escape and adventure has become double-edged, harmful, the epitome of selfish consumption. Going someplace far away, we now know, is the biggest single action a private citizen can take to worsen climate change. One seat on a flight from New York to Los Angeles effectively adds months worth of human-generated carbon emissions to the atmosphere.

And yet we fly more and more.

The number of airline passengers worldwide has more than doubled since 2003, and unlike with some other pollution sources, there’s not a ton that can be done right now to make flying significantly greener — electrified jets are not coming to an airport near you anytime soon.

Still, we wonder: How much is that one vacation really hurting anyone, or anything?

It is hard to think about climate change in relation to our own behavior. We are small, our effects are microscopically incremental and we mean no harm. The effects of climate change are inconceivably enormous and awful — and for the most part still unrealized. You can’t see the face of the unnamed future person whose coastal village you will have helped submerge.”

David Lindsay:  Amazing article, thank you Andy Newman. I loved the link at the end to the Openthefuture.com website, and the article there about the carbon footprint of a single cheeseburger, or the 50 to 150 cheeseburgers most Americans eats every year.

I liked the comments, about getting involved in politics and personal changes. I have upped my contributions to climate change hawks running for office, and added 46 solar panels to the roof of my house. We have upgraded our two gasoline autos to one electric Nissan Leaf and one Toyota Prius plug in hybrid. We are now converting the gas systems in the house with electric ones.  We replaced the old gas fired hot water heater with a heat pump electric water heater, and have installed 4 ductless splits, electric condenser heat pump room heaters and air conditioners by LG.

I remain as guilty as the rest, with my use of occasional air travel, which I will have to examine.

Here is one of many comments I liked:

Tom

Yes we should, and that is what my wife and I have done for the last 8 – 10 years when we quit flying. I’m in my late 60’s and everyone I know bridles at the mention of limiting travel. They feel they worked most of their life and this is their time to travel and see the world. I felt that way too until I learned about habitat loss, ocean pollution and climate change. My wife and I greatly limit our consumption due to the impact producing those goods has on the environment. We live by Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle. Our friends consider us anomalies, and our lives completely unreasonable. We won’t limit climate change significantly any other way. Renewables and electric cars are not nearly enough.

4 Replies119 Recommended

9 Ways to Cut Down on Plastic – By Steven Kurutz – The New York Times

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By Steven Kurutz
Feb. 16, 2019

Drowning in plastic, but not sure how to set yourself free? Plastic purgers say you can drastically reduce, if not eliminate, your plastic consumption by changing a few daily habits. Here are nine steps to get you started.

1. Carry a reusable bag.
This is Plastic-Free-Living 101. Take a cloth bag to the grocery store, farmers’ market, drugstore and anywhere else you may be given a plastic bag.

2. Use plastic-free containers.
Glass or metal jars can be used to store grains, nuts, flour and other foods, as well as laundry detergent, dish soap and body creams. But don’t automatically purge all of your plastic containers; that creates unnecessary waste.


Plastic purgers can never have enough stainless-steel bottles.CreditAdam Amengual for The New York Times
3. Pack a travel kit.
Bamboo cutlery and a nonplastic food tray, straw and water bottle will eliminate the need for most single-use plastics while on-the-go. “Restaurants and vendors all over the world are getting much more used to people bringing their own containers,” said Jay Sinha, a founder of Life Without Plastic, an online store.

via 9 Ways to Cut Down on Plastic – The New York Times

How the Coal Industry Flattened the Mountains of Appalachia – The New York Times

“As the destructive coal mining process known as mountaintop removal ebbs in Appalachia, it is leaving behind what amounts to its own grim field of tombstones: A grossly disfigured landscape pocked with decapitated mountains standing flat as mesas and inhospitable to forest restoration.The blight is more than vertical, for millions of tons of slag waste have been bulldozed down into the surrounding countryside for more than 40 years. The rubble has clogged countless streams and waterways and devastated the Appalachian environment with pollutants, rerouting rain torrents through homes and hamlets below.”

Source: How the Coal Industry Flattened the Mountains of Appalachia – The New York Times