Environment Forum

Underwater footage: capping the first leak

This video was released by BP to show a remote operating vehicle (ROV) closing one of the three leaks that are spewing at least 5,000 barrels of oil a day into the waters off Gulf coastal states about a mile underwater.

“…The oil gushing out is quite incredible – you can see it at about the 2 minute 15 second mark of the video,” writes Kevin Grandia on Energyboom.com.

On Friday, BP engineers were expected to lower a massive metal containment chamber onto a ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico in an effort to stem the widening slick before it reaches mainland. Video footage provided by BP via the United States Coast Guard.

BP CEO “incredibly proud” of oil spill effort

In this video interview from May 5, BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward says he is “incredibly proud” of the response effort to fight the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico from the incident command center in Mobile, Alabama.

BP on Thursday said engineers were preparing to lower a 98-ton metal chamber over a ruptured undersea oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We will be judged by our response,” Hayward says, as he defends BP’s reputation against criticism from politicians and environmentalists.

Deepwater offshore development remains a vital enterprise

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— Dr. Lee Hunt is president of the International Association of Drilling Contractors located in Houston, Texas. Any views expressed here are his own. –

The Gulf of Mexico rig explosion and subsequent oil spill are regrettable in the extreme.

But the fact remains that offshore drilling and production has for more than four decades provided safe and reliable sources of energy vitally needed by our nation.

Paging Hugh Bennett: The dust up over climate legislation

USA DROUGHT

–Asher Miller is executive director of think tank Post Carbon Institute. Any opinion expressed here is his own.–

In the convoluted world of U.S. politics, a debate broke out last weekend over climate change and immigration, but not for the reasons you might think.

No, the debate wasn’t about how much internal migration might occur because of droughts, floods, and rising sea levels (imagine the Hurricane Katrina diaspora multiplied one hundred fold) or how many hundreds of millions of people around the world might attempt to cross borders in the coming decades as a result of the same climatic events.

Map: Oil spill forecast

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Top 10 trends in sustainable business

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– Giselle Weybrect is author of The Sustainable MBA: The Manager’s Guide to Green Business. Any views expressed  are her own. –

Sustainability is taking the business world by storm. It seems that every day a new company is getting on board in an incredible range of different ways. While some are still only approaching it on a very superficial level, plenty of others are really taking sustainability seriously, exploring what it does and can mean to their business, their suppliers, their employees, their customers and the role that they can plan in strengthening society and the environment while also running an increasingly successful business.

Here are ten interesting trends happening right now around the world in sustainable business.

Introducing 100 innovations

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One man alone does not make a movement. But can he influence one?

There are no limits is the attitude espoused by PhD, MBA, entrepreneur, eco-designer, and visionary Gunter Pauli (above), who is now pouring his life’s work into a project to spark a new way of doing business, ergo a new economy.

He calls it the Blue Economy, because it’s not enough to be green and good to the environment. Blue creates a competitive and sustainable society and blue thrives on innovation. Blue is better than green, he asserts.

The 54-year-old founder and former CEO and president of Ecover is releasing the English and Korean editions of his book The Blue Economy at the Business for the Environment B4E Global Summit in Seoul today, Earth Day. It is to be published in 14 languages.

A better way to clean water?

CHINA WATER

Treating water for human consumption is costly and energy intensive. Is there a more efficient way to do it?

Gunter Pauli thinks so.

In the first innovation explored by PhD, entrepreneur and eco-designer Pauli in the ZERI Foundation’s two-year essay and video project The Blue Economy, 100 Innovations, 100 Million Jobs, the self cleansing mechanism found in natural water sources is identified as a possible solution to treating water without the huge cost in chemicals and energy.

Rivers clean their own water all the time, and for free, Pauli says in his essay. Their secret? A combination of gravity and a swirling motion called the vortex. If there were a way to replicate that function in water treatment facilities, it would mean energy savings and less cost for producers down to consumers.

This Earth Day, call for clean energy

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– Michael Brune is Executive Director of the Sierra Club, the largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States and author of Coming Clean: Breaking America’s Addiction to Oil and Coal. –

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and people are looking back at an amazing 40 years of environmental successes. Americans have come together in their neighborhoods, cities, states and nationally to demand cleaner air and water – and they have been successful.

This should serve as an inspiration for the current and future work to help our planet and the challenges we face along the way. While our rivers were at one time catching fire, it is now our rapidly warming planet we turn the focus to.

Skipping the risk mismanagement

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Felix Salmon is a Reuters Blogger. This piece was produced by the Climate Desk collaboration.

About a decade ago, Miguel Torres planted 104 hectares of pinot noir grapes in the Spanish Pyrenees, 3,300 feet above sea level. It’s cold up there and not much good for grapes—at least not these days. But Torres, the head of one of Spain’s foremost wine families, knows that the climate is changing.

His company’s scientists reckon that the Rioja wine region could be nonviable within 40 to 70 years, as temperatures increase and Europe’s wine belt moves north by up to 25 miles per decade. Other winemakers are talking about growing grapes as far north as Scandinavia and southern England.

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