Global environmental challenges
from Photographers Blog:
The world turned off its lights on March 26 for an hour from 8.30 p.m. local time as a show of support for tougher action to confront climate change.
I was given the assignment to not only photograph the event from Taipei, Taiwan, but to produce a multimedia video that showcased the world's landmarks without lights as part of the fifth annual Earth Hour.
The Reuters online team in Toronto and I had decided to produce a video to illustrate the event with pictures by our photographers around the world. The idea was to fade before pictures with the lights turned on into the exact same image without the lights on.
The most challenging part of this was coordinating with the chief photographers around the world to advise their staff photographers of exactly what I needed in the pictures to make the transitions in the video seamless.
from Reuters Investigates:
Sarah McBride reports on brewing battles between environmentalists in her special report: "With solar power, it's Green vs. Green."
It turns out the perfect place to build a big solar plant is often also the perfect place for a tortoise or a fox to live. This means developers of large-scale solar plants are running into legal challenges from people who one would expect to be natural allies of alternative energy providers.
from Tales from the Trail:
You sort of have to like a U.S. cabinet secretary and Nobel Prize winner who knows how to have a little fun while getting out a message.
That would be Steven Chu, who posted a picture of himself as a green-faced, blood-dripping zombie on his Facebook page. Just in time for Washington's scrupulously-observed Halloween weekend, Chu used his own zombification as a platform to point out power-sucking appliances -- energy vampires, he called them.
James Cameron did not meet expectations with his high-profile visit to Alberta’s oil sands, and that’s probably to the Canadian-born filmmaker’s credit.
An earlier contention by the director of “Titanic” and “Avatar” that development of the massive energy resource was a black eye for Canada had industry supporters in a tizzy.
Development of shale gas has attracted myriad fans and enemies in recent months: those who cheer a source of natural gas on the home turf of the U.S. and environmentalists who warn the process to release the gas underground risks contaminating drinking water.
This month, Chesapeake Energy, Denbury Resources and Southwest Energy Co. each made headlines for environmental mishaps, and share the top spot in this issue of The Green Gauge, a breakdown of companies that made headlines Sept. 6 to Sept 19 for winning or losing credibility based on environment-related activity.
With half a million signatures backing it up, Greenpeace fired off a letter to Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg today calling for the world’s largest social network to cut ties to coal-fired power at its new data center in Oregon.
“Other cloud-based companies face similar choices and challenges as you do in building data centers, yet many are making smarter and cleaner investments,” executive director of Greenpeace, Kumi Naidoo, writes. He points to Google and its a recent agreement to buy wind power from NextEra Energy for the next 20 years to power its data centers.
Scientists in Scotland have unveiled a new biofuel made from whisky byproducts that they say can power ordinary cars more efficiently than ethanol.
A research team from Edinburgh’s Napier University spent two years creating the biofuel butanol that can be used in gas tanks either as a stand-alone fuel or blended with petrol or diesel, they announced Tuesday. It is derived from distillation byproducts pot ale (liquid from copper stills) and draff (the spent grains).
– Valerie Volcovici is a Washington, DC-based journalist for Point Carbon, a Thomson Reuters company that provides news and intelligence on environmental and energy markets. Any views expressed here are her own. —
–Andrew Leckey is President of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Communication at Arizona State University in Phoenix. Any views expressed here are his own.-
Having spent the past two weeks in record high temperatures in Beijing and Shanghai, with global warming being noted publicly by Chinese officials as the primary cause of severe weather, I find the situation faced by U.S. companies somewhat ironic.