I’ve been keeping kind of quiet on the Strategy for Sustainability site recently. I have been tweeting up a storm at @adamwerbach. You should also check out the new Saatchi & Saatchi S blog at http://www.saatchis.com/blog-2/
Thanks for visiting…
Upon returning they wanted to share some of the lessons they learned. The result is a new white paper titled: “An Elephant in the Room: Lessons for Corporate Responsibility from India.”
Check out the report here.
By Julian Borra, Executive Creative Director Saatchi & Saatchi S
One day little Charmin bear went into the woods to see what he could find
After a few hours of mischief-making, bee-chasing, the odd monster truck meeting and general bear type activity…
Little Bear needed to do what bears also do in the woods
So he sat down to attend to his business.
But all was not well in the woods that day… because…
When he reached for the loo-roll which should have been happily hanging on its dispenser on the side of the tree…SHOCK HORROR…
…no loo-roll…no dispenser…and no TREE for that matter.
In fact, stretched out in front of him was a forest of emptiness.
Who’d taken all the trees? And why hadn’t they put them back once they’d finished with them?
What was a small bear to do…?
I love the replenishing trees initiative of Velvet loo-roll.
I just wish Charmin had done it.
Velvet’s story – plant 3 trees for every one used – is a lovely example of positive action, alive and kicking in the world.
But wouldn’t it have been lovely if it had been more than just a paper and trees story. Wouldn’t it have been lovely if it had fallen out of a brand story about doing the right thing by bears who undertake all kinds of actions in the woods, bar eating and sleeping.
Charmin should be taking care of trees because bears shit in the woods…. a simple slightly base logic I know, but go with me on this for a moment! The simple point is that brands like Charmin could make the Social or Environmental aspect of their credentials feel like it was inextricably linked to the heart of the brand as opposed to hung on the outside of the business – creating a strategy built to elevate the brand story and add authenticity and substance. In that way, they could have made a far more persuasive and authentic claim to the tree replenishment initiative, because their brand persona makes it incumbent on them to do so.
I am not suggesting that mining brand stories for a truly authentic and differentiated sustainability strategy is always easy, appropriate or right for everyone. Some businesses feel that they struggle as it is to future-proof their supply and value chains on broad pillars of sustainability that are themselves sustainable.
We could also predict that once you’ve opened the door to brands using their brand stories or brand motifs as strategic ice breakers all kinds of madness might ensue – watching Ronald McDonald and 100 specially selected calorific-ally challenged, socially deprived children fight it out in an X Factor audition for Cirque Du Soleil with an eye on a life changing check for one million bucks and a share in the business just might catch on.
And who’s to say the world wouldn’t be a richer place for The Pillsbury Dough Boy hosting weekly webcast spin classes with 100,000 Weight Watchers ladies peddling to endorphin-fuelled feel good look good Nirvana.
Of course Brand Stories and Entities must be protected and not degraded in the pursuit of writing tenuous do-good strands into them: they cost a lot of money to build and maintain but:
Looking at Sustainability; its relevance, potency and ultimately its sharp-cornered commercial value, not only from the supply chain up but from the brand story down, may just liberate some businesses out of the inertia some seem to be trapped in.
A recent Harvard think piece cited that “a well run business that applies its vast resources expertise and management talent to problems that it understands, and in which it has a stake, can have a greater impact on social good than any other institution or philanthropic organization”.
I simply suggest that the problems that it understands, and in which it has a stake, should not always simply derive from supply and value chain sources and issues.
This would help some brands to actually differentiate their Sustainability strategy and positioning instead of feeling they have to scrap around for miniscule and statistically arcane increments of superiority, picked out of the usual suspects of Sustainability pillars; and in which their C-Suite see a value in investing.
Currently we have generic Water and Obesity campaigns that lack authenticity or differentiation. Or we have the social agenda ‘community’ face lift actions favored by so many ‘community’ brands. Or there’s the algebraic madness of carbon impact claims and gestures that most people struggle to make sense of at the best of times.
Am I glad they exist? Of course. They are the first steps to better.
But do I want more and more authentically framed? Yes.
If for example our ‘friends’ in the bottled water industry want to pick a real biggie as a feel-good better-living cause, I would suggest they ask a small tropical fish currently residing in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (135° W and 40° N) what they think about the health benefits of sustaining a source of pure clean water; salty or otherwise. The fish might venture that, before they make their next roller skating baby ad, they might spare a thought, and a ship or two, and perhaps consider how one might clean up the mess that they and their pretenders leave in the oceans of our world, the catastrophic impacts of which are only just beginning to reveal themselves.
Surely the sheer joy that you would bring to the collective inhabitants of the planet by exploring how to, perhaps, breakdown or remove the archipelagos of plastic currently suffocating our oceans might be a wonderful place to start; and far more ‘on brand’ than the usual reflex choices of fully functioning kidneys and good skin.
But of course there is a marked difference between the universally embraced sovereignty of consumption, and the particular and highly unattractive sovereignty of floating trash. Perhaps an ocean too far as a starter for ten. So perhaps we’ll turn back to those bears and those woods that we can’t see the trees for, and see if we can pick some easy wins to begin with. I’ll get my trowel.
Also we need to be careful what we say in the world.
As David Haylock recently pointed out in his blog…When Velvet say: ‘so if twice as many of you choose Velvet that will be six million trees …’ No, it won’t. They will get to six million trees with their existing customers in precisely how long it’s taken them ‘so far’ to get to three million trees. They don’t need any more people to choose their product, because the three million and six million numbers are aggregates. They just need a little more time.
Picky you might say. But to be fair your authenticity relies on the stats and claims being bullet proof. And less abstract.
What is the environmentally-degraded, resource-ripped, over-populated over-consuming world coming to? Blue blooded sustainability gurus and visionaries – the voices in the consumer wilderness, getting into bed with the evil and emollient mad men and women of Madison Avenue’s hidden persuaders. What on earth are the Savonarolas of the new sustainable world thinking, getting cosy with what some would have us believe are the architects of the monstrous and dreadful consumption that infects the lungs of our wheezing planet?
Surely that just feels wrong on so many levels?
There is a particular cabal of activists and believers who find something fundamentally ‘not right’ at the heart of the flourishing cohabitation of Sustainability Believers and Advertising Practitioners. It is understandable how some would see it simply as a cynical adoption of blue blooded perspectives by some very shifty types to polish the turd of what constitutes the communications industry – a desperate attempt to make it less venal and more credible.
Possibly: but to be fair, the businesses the advertising world serves and the brands they help build have already seized the nettle of Sustainability in an attempt to build flourishing businesses for the long haul that everyone might benefit from. There is, without a doubt, an enormous shade of self-interest in their actions. These are initiatives embraced primarily to create the kinds of efficiencies and economies that keep businesses smart, differentiated and growing – money making to you and me. And as servants to their success, the advertising industry has to evolve to remain viable as a partner in building and sustaining that success whether it likes it or not.
So it ignores the blue blooded perspectives at its peril.
Also, there is no selling into slavery here – this cohabitation is a happily two-sided affair.
For every bed and every Satan, there has to be a blue Faustian lamb that chooses to climb under the duvet with them (or goat perhaps – ‘lamb’ sounding far too ‘sacrificial’ given the consent).There are some resolute and unwavering sustainability visionaries who have willingly and gladly climbed into this bed.
Why? Are they corrupted; cop outs and cowards to the causes they once espoused? Or are they the innovators who realized that throwing bricks at the bastions of consumerism from the outside gets you nowhere. Perhaps they are the people who think that we should start the movement towards a more sustainable form of consumption from the inside out, using both self-interest and enlightenment with equal dexterity and agility, relentlessly recalibrating each against the other to positive net effect and benefit for everyone. Not everyone has the luxury of ‘uncivilization’ – and taking a sabbatical to walk the highways and byways of everywhere from the Danube to the South American jungle to revel in and re-commune with the great spirit nature and all that surrounds us, in search of enlightenment.
To be fair, this is simply an old dilemma reframed for the 21st century. One could posit that the blue activists and their agency sponsors of today are merely our equivalent of the artists of the renaissance and the rich benefactors who chose to ‘embrace’ those artists by ‘commissioning’ their gifts for posterity (ok, and a teensy weensy bit of vanity perhaps). The question now, as it was then, is this; are the purity and wonder of the visionary’s exceptional and rarified pursuit sullied (and therefore negated) by the vulgarity of the commercial transaction and the pawn-like submission of that pursuit to the self-aggrandizement of some exceptionally self-interested people?
You the jury will ultimately decide.
In the meantime I’m all for a solution that means something to someone struggling to live and make a decent life for their family through the banality of their everyday; and who just might start on the road to better by actively choosing a shampoo whose manufacturer was convinced to get involved in ‘this sustainability stuff’ by some stray Sustainability activist who wandered into their boardroom one day and made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. And to be fair, in their cohabitation with the greater evil of ad people some of these ‘fallen’ visionaries are managing to get one of the most egocentric self-interested consumption obsessed businesses to start to change the way they think and act.
|Hidden environmental costs can be as much as 41% of earnings.||http://bit.ly/H8eocB|
|Collaborative consumption is a hot spot for angel investors this year.||http://econ.st/Hbj4RQ|
|Change the design of this real cafe full of people. Right now, via the web.||http://bit.ly/GSepXG|
|58 million pounds of chocolate and 200 million roses for Valentine’s Day.||http://bit.ly/H8elxo|
|Gen X most enthusiastic about sharing, boomers least.||http://bit.ly/H8pbYu|
|World’s largest wind farm opens off British coast.||http://bit.ly/GTeBTU|
|Brain stimulation could improve memory.||http://bit.ly/H8elxm|
|There are more Chinese smokers than there are Americans.||http://bit.ly/GWtndS|
|Congrats to Publicis Groupe on a strong 2011.||http://bit.ly/GSepXH|
|Zebra stripes are horsefly-proof.||http://bit.ly/H8elxp|
|160,000 glaciers in the world, but losing 150 billion tons of ice per year.||http://bit.ly/GT6Uwu|
|2012, the year of the Airbnb clone. #collcons||http://bit.ly/H8eocD|
|The psychology of ending on a positive note.||http://bit.ly/GVvbPQ|
|Nike is experimenting with new waterless dying technology.||http://bit.ly/H8pceI|
|Washing your clothes releases microplastic fibres into the ocean.||http://bit.ly/Hbj4RS|
|Google tops Greenpeace’s “Cool IT” list.||http://bit.ly/GQfYll|
|Bio-inspired innovations from this piranah-proof fish.||http://bit.ly/H8pceJ|
|UK aiming for 4 million homes on solar within 8 years.||http://bit.ly/H8elxr|
|Become a moth whisperer.||http://bit.ly/HaLUEt|
|Infographic showing AirBnb’s meteoric growth. #collcons||http://on.mash.to/H8elxn|
|Mistubishi tops the greenest car list for the first time.||http://bit.ly/H8pd2o|
|European car rental firms are going electric.||http://bit.ly/H99roW|
|California: 5% wind energy.||http://bit.ly/GQfXOi|
|Drew Barrymore saves the whales.||http://bit.ly/H8pd2m|
|The “Article of the Future Project” aims to reinvent the traditional academic paper.||http://bit.ly/H8pd2q|
|Students design a fridge that uses 40% less energy.||http://bit.ly/H8pd2u|
|Collaborative consumption – leapfrog opportunities for Africa. #collcons||http://bit.ly/H8pceL|
|More hope for therapeutic treatments for Alzheimers.||http://bit.ly/HaLWfy|
|South Korea to vote on cap and trade.||http://bit.ly/GT6Uww|
|Turbulent times at Vestas, but they’ll pull through.||http://bit.ly/HflPCb|
|UK ghgs up 3.1% in 2010.||http://bit.ly/Hbj2cG|
|Go electric with your delivery truck. The payback period is not bad.||http://bit.ly/Hbj4RP|
|Create an online course on any subject using Skilio.||http://bit.ly/wnY5MS|
|Massive cadmium spill in China’s Longjiang River.||http://nyti.ms/GQfXOk|
|Researchers about to open a twenty million year-old, subterranean Antarctic Lake.||http://n.pr/H8pbYv|
|Your lungs start healing almost immediately after you give up smoking. So does your breath.||http://bit.ly/Hbj4RT|
|Twice as many malaria deaths as previously estimated, but huge progress continues.||http://bit.ly/H8pd2s|
|This breakthrough on photosynthesis could continue the path to cheap, clean energy.||http://bit.ly/H8pd2n|
|Heat and cold are both bad for coral, but heat is worse.||http://nyti.ms/H8pbYr|
|Show and share your clothes on Facebook via wishi.||http://bit.ly/zR1TmH|
|India’s clean energy growth was world’s fastest in 2011.||http://bit.ly/GT6Uwv|
|US venture capital investment in cleantech down 4.5% from record 2010 spending.||http://bit.ly/z7xLdm|
|Collaborate with your favorite small businesses using Lucky Ant.||http://bit.ly/vZ8ri6|
|A closer look at Masdar City, UAE.||http://bit.ly/H8pd2p|
|Customers more likely to forgive trusted companies when they do annoying things.||http://bit.ly/wDEKNf|
|Five ways marketers influence you using numbers.||http://bit.ly/AfztAY|
|Walkers are being enlisted to help track the last remaining Tasmanian devils.||http://bit.ly/yW93zJ|
|Consumers opt for larger food portions to increase social status.||http://onforb.es/x7oWWU|
|NYC-sized glacier about to break off of Antarctica.||http://bit.ly/w1tPQ6|
|Meshing has the latest trends in collaborative consumption and the sharing economy.||http://bit.ly/A28Mfs|
|A bomb-proof recycling bin hits London’s streets.||http://bit.ly/yLNbxw|
|New super-Earth found in habitable zone of nearby star.||http://bit.ly/yY01xZ|
|Vancouver’s Tool Library. $30/year gets you access to over 600 hand tools and more than 100 power tools.||http://bit.ly/yNYp12|
|Towns with more locally owned small businesses have healthier, happier residents.||http://bit.ly/yAlMQB|
|Stanford’s wireless charging technology could eliminate range anxiety for electric vehicle owners.||http://cnet.co/yE8Oue|
|Road-side salamanders are evolving to survive in toxic environments.||http://bit.ly/wA18zq|
|NASA received 6300 applications for 15 new astronaut positions.||http://onforb.es/xZNFUt|
|Killer whales pass on hunting knowledge from one generation to the next.||http://bit.ly/AvHtWa|
|Samsung announces $158M investment in Scottish wind industry.||http://bit.ly/yxIHW9|
|Solar, wind, and biomass plants garnered more investment than natural gas, oil, and coal in 2011.||http://bit.ly/wMNVqC|
|46% of rural and 28% of urban Indians could qualify for assistance under India’s new Food Sercurity Bill.||http://bit.ly/wrVlp3|
|World subway paths visualized at scale.||http://bit.ly/xBtApi|
|One hour of video uploaded to Youtube every second, visualized.||http://bit.ly/y7290v|
|GM launching an ecolabel for cars.||http://bit.ly/w0EK0x|
|Is dirt the ultimate green building material?||http://bit.ly/wL0NGF|
|UNFCC launches climate adaptation guide for business.||http://bit.ly/AbbWLz|
|Obesity and pain are linked.||http://bit.ly/xwjCmK|
|Microbubble breakthrough improves efficiency of algae as biofuel.||http://bit.ly/GVvoSX|
|Gardening map of US shows plant zones moving North.||http://n.pr/HbjAiI|
|Which newspapar surpassed the NYT as world’s biggest online newspaper?||http://bit.ly/wr9t1V|
If you’re in the business of trying to bring sustainability alive in the branded world try this simple test…walk into a room full of your most excited and highly creative brand people while they’re cooking up mischief for some exceptional experience, wait for a pause in the mayhem, and then quietly ask how you might build sustainability into the brand’s DNA and watch what happens.
Exactly. Sometimes the response is pure WTF. Or perhaps a begrudging flicker of ‘so what’. Often: panic, confusion. And very often: a barely disguised spiritual belch of disgust.
You discover that it is, in fact, surprisingly easy to offend supposedly liberal, creative, groovy, open-minded people. Especially if they think you are about to rip all the joy out of their hash-tagged, socially delicious, film-cum-installation-art meets football-crowd creative piece. Do good doesn’t always feel good to brand people. Often it represents the satanic polar opposite, which in itself constitutes a smallish challenge for the future.
But it would not be the first time that do-good has been accused of being the murderer of exceptional creativity. Music has fallen foul of this particular tension on many occasions. For example, some still argue (regardless of Band On The Run being one of the most successful albums ever and Lennon’s Give Peace a Chance coming from one of the seminal albums of the last 30 years) that Helter Skelter, I am the Walrus, Eleanor Rigby and the White Album were infinitely purer, more rarified musical creations. The toxic ingredients that soiled the former? Do-good, be-nice: world peace, vegetarianism, and the dark cowl of optimism, damn them.
But given that sustainability is something that every brand we’ve ever loved and will love has to embrace, to ensure that it and we still happily exist in a hundred years time, this is something that needs to and is beginning to change. In fact, sustainability should provide one of the biggest most exciting playgrounds possible for creative people. Also, if creativity and sustainability were harnessed in such a way as to drive real, long-term value into the brand and business, perhaps the spectre of shrinking revenue and shrinking influence might be put to rest for while. Which is not only good for the brands, but also for their agents in the world. And Sustainability needs all the exceptional creativity it can get to turn it from a niche conversation amongst activists and experts into a human living wonderful thing – to elevate and illuminate the topics in such a way as to make them mean something to the average person in the street, supermarket, travel shop, boutique, chemist and fashion store for all our sakes.
So how do we get those creative brand people not only to stay in the same room but truly engage and more often? It’s not as if do-good or societally orientated stuff doesn’t elicit some amazing creative results. There are, in fact, many exceptional examples where something rooted in a cause or the pursuit of societal improvement has delivered amazing creative materials – in both standard ad world thinking as well as in the socially connected, highly networked world beyond the fringes of the TV poster and print execution.
Blood Relations by Saatchi & Saatchi is an amazing idea, with the sole objective of diffusing the internecine hatred of the Middle East at its boiling point between Israeli and Palestine.
Fiat Twin Air’s Twin Acts of Friendliness also by Saatchi & Saatchi, takes the promotion of their eco-friendly petrol car into a social experiment, crowd-sourcing ideas for a road-trip around the Netherlands.
So, the next time you choose to do the equivalent of breaking wind in the halls of the mighty and bring up sustainability in a room full of creative brand people, consider this…do-good in brand strategic and communications terms is only boring when it is unenlightened and handled with po-faced rectitude. Handled with humanity, humour perhaps, and with panache, it can supply creative people with the kind of meat in the brief we’ve spent the last 3O years having to make up half the time.]]>
Acronym madness, gobble-de-gook and the death of the everyday climate conversation
The recent COP 17 shin-dig in Durban may eventually come to be recognized by historians not only as the moment when some small yet profound steps forwards were made but also as the moment when the world of specialist and expert advisors and their climate debate finally collapsed into acronym madness.
That the very people endeavoring not only to move the scientific, legislative, governmental and global debate forward, but also to inspire a shared and open conversation around the climate challenges that face our planet, should have finally managed to sound like they are from another one in the process of doing so doesn’t bode well.
It offers a simple insight into why the interest and engagement of your average person in the climate change debate is disappearing faster than a polar bear’s habitat. Sustainability Players and Climate Activists must take some responsibility for why the debate has become as insular and un-engaging as it has for everyday people.
For change to happen, masses of people must be engaged on a global scale: full stop.
For that to happen, we need them to be interested. We need to move the conversation from the big scary, irrelevant and unreachable Planet We framing of old to the more intimate self-interested ‘my life my everyday framing’ of Planet Me – and to do that we need to change the language for good.
That a formal Lexicon of terms was needed to allow COP attendees to navigate any conversation meaningfully should be of great concern, especially to communicators working in the pro-people pro-sustainability space. (The lexicon of collected acronyms and official bodies associated with COP published by the UN’s FCCC ran to 203)
The only thing this language sustains is complexity.
We need simple and compelling language to win the day in every corner of the debate – and we need the conversation to be based on insights about what really counts to people struggling through their every day.
Whichever way we look – to the scary language of Oil Addiction, or the tyranny of positivity peddled by some do-good brands; or at its worst, the scratching, scrawling swaggadaccio and point scoring of some blue and green blogs and forums – the language around these issues makes them almost impenetrable to anyone other than the most avid expert or interested party.
This is not to advocate a dumbing down of the kind of robust scientific regulatory, governmental and societal thinking that sits behind the debate. Nor is it meant to belittle strategic and logistical road maps that need to be engineered and created to move the debate forward.
This is not about developing an environmental thought leadership approach championed by SpongeBob SquarePants, Yogi Bear, Lassie and the cast of Happy Feet (though some would argue that you could add 6 noughts to our global captive audience if we did).
This is about clearly recognizing that the language of sustainability and the narrative of climate change have got to evolve and (yes, it’s ugly time) become more populist. We need the Average Joe and Jane to get engaged, and needing a PHD in eco-climate speak is going to get in the way of that ever happening.
So before we finally shut the door for good on any normal human being’s ability to engage in the debate or even understand what on earth anyone was talking about in the first place, a moratorium on the language of Global Do Good is crucial – and let’s have a good hard look at its tone-of-voice while we’re there – because on closer inspection large parts of the conversation smack of a rather unpleasant smuggery – riddled and stitched as so much of it is with an undercurrent of a proving intellectual snobbery.
We just have to dig deep and find the insights and the language through which it becomes relevant, appropriate and meaningful for them to think and act differently – for better – embrace the human truth of them and what really drives their thoughts and actions – mining insights and giving them the kind of compelling creative expression that is usually reserved for TXTS & minutes providers, snack foods, cars and the boutique world of international health & beauty amongst others.
We know that, whether we like it or not, self interest is a primary driver especially where people are managing their pennies, dollars and cents in crunched times.
How do you tell someone who thinks their shopping is heavy enough, thank you very much, without some do-gooder placing the weight of the world’s future squarely on her shoulders that kind consumption is the way forwards? – especially on a rainy Tuesday morning with a grumpy 4 year old and depleted purse in tow.
How do you convince someone to choose a more sustainable and environmentally friendly holiday over one powered and supported by unsustainable social, environmental or cultural practices?
They’re going on a holiday not a crusade.
And there is an element of catch up here.
The businesses who create the products these people consume have already started to change the language from the inside out – putting non-environmental people in Sustainability jobs.
An absence of all the baggage (of language, attitude and set-apartness) that comes with the more traditional blue-green brigade.
How can we help to reshape the language in such way as to speak to Planet Me as a way of improving Planet We? Changing it forever?
So not a small challenge then: but the good ones never are.]]>
|Which newspaper surpassed the NYT as world’s biggest online?||http://bit.ly/wr9t1V|
|US wind installations grew by 31% in 2011.||http://bit.ly/y1cSkn|
|GE forsees a “facebook of things,” as more machines interconnect.||http://bit.ly/whDWZR|
|The world’s biggest trees – in pictures.||http://bit.ly/wZZe35|
|Overgrazed grasslands tied to locust outbreaks.||http://bit.ly/A0ssXJ|
|The complex geometry of pasta, visualized.||http://bit.ly/ylyiqj|
|US EIA forecasts a decline in coal’s share of energy mix by 2030.||http://bit.ly/wNLBSu|
|LED could capture half of demand for new lighting in the next decade.||http://onforb.es/zywP3d|
|Ford still profitable, three years on.||http://nyti.ms/x2a9cU|
|Brazil businessmen are the 3rd most optimistic, after Georgia, Peru.||http://onforb.es/wSvzrv|
|11 new planetary systems and 26 new planets.||http://bit.ly/zkee2s|
|Fossil fuel subsidies – a tour of the data.||http://bit.ly/w8pmOG|
|UK born students dropped 7.6% in 2012, as tuition costs soar.||http://bit.ly/zR6iwL|
|South Korea using swipe cards to charge for food waste, by weight.||http://bit.ly/AlvKcG|
|2012 will be a big year for M&A in the ad industry.||http://bit.ly/y9JKYO|
|Ecologists capture deep sea fish music.||http://bit.ly/AqUR1Y|
|Apple overtakes Samsung as world’s largest smartphone vendor.||http://tcrn.ch/yLFQCs|
|Palm biodiesel is as dirty as tar sands.||http://bit.ly/wq0Qbg|
|Apple joins Fair Labor Association.||http://bit.ly/AfODdO|
|UK’s new airport in the Thames estuary.||http://bit.ly/wIF8bv|
|@WEForum report argues for “green shift” that could save trillions.||http://bit.ly/zrYY8h|
|Fruit flies use polarization pattern of skylight to keep their bearings.||http://bit.ly/zvWI4K|
|Poachers have already killed 11 African rhinos in 2012.||http://bit.ly/yPK7k|
|Scientists recreate earliest stages of evolution in the lab.||http://bit.ly/x7dA0q|
|Meterorite chunks from Mars fell in Morocco last summer.||http://bit.ly/wIasbJ|
|US bans import of exotic snakes.||http://bit.ly/yHmxrd|
|Japan reached 85% recycling rates through continuous improvement.||http://bit.ly/wK4fe7|
|Increased supply chain scrutiny means increased need for data.||http://bit.ly/yaZpEa|
|China’s huge reforestation schemes are being challenged.||http://bit.ly/xLEI07|
|Pakistan’s forests are becoming a victim of regional conflict.||http://bit.ly/x0dLmB|
|Beijing now releasing real-time information on air pollution.||http://bit.ly/yqX9Qg|
|Chevron oil rig catches fire off the coast of Nigeria.||http://bit.ly/zAEL9y|
|Scotland aiming for 100% renewables by 2020.||http://bit.ly/Aj5WDc|
|Forced relocations in Ethiopia in the name of commercial agriculture.||http://bit.ly/Abz5ZC|
|Headphones linked to pedestrian deaths and injuries.||http://bit.ly/wUhzMi|
|Will savings from smart meter installations be passed to consumers?||http://bit.ly/y8XxLX|
|Plant biodiversity is crucial in preventing desertification.||http://bit.ly/wxqt9J|
|The UK still showing unflagging support for Canada’s tar sands.||http://bit.ly/zUbhbC|
|Medicinal demand for gill rakers of manta and mobula rays are pushing them to extinction.||http://nyti.ms/zlt5Gi|
|Mandatory green roofs as solution to increased flooding in Singapore.||http://bit.ly/wuuHCH|
|CA’s new battery standard will save consumers $300M annually.||http://bit.ly/zIjnnL|
|UK carbon offset prices at record lows.||http://bit.ly/wpDLn0|
|Siemens putting its Middle East HQ at Masdar City.||http://bit.ly/AohA2O|
|EPA’s carbon emissions database is live.||http://bit.ly/xy2ugM|
|RyanAir passing on EU aviation carbon tax to passengers.||http://bit.ly/zq6ZXk|
|Mera Gao Power provides ultra low cost electricity to Indian villages.||http://bit.ly/xouwdt|
|Agroforestry experts argue for inclusion of trees in climate modeling.||http://bit.ly/wKp9mM|
|Six new species of glow-in-the-dark mushrooms discovered in Brazil.||http://bit.ly/ywTLCQ|
|Symbolically overpriced bluefin tuna sends wrong signal to poachers.||http://n.pr/wAqSwi|
|Urban environmentalism is helping connect kids to nature in China.||http://bit.ly/ysbYfP|
|Children delivered by c-section have increased risk of asthma.||http://bit.ly/xLDRCr|
|Food production at record highs, deforestation at record lows in Brazil.||http://bit.ly/ypNe8c|
|Germany installed more new solar in December than the US in 2011.||http://bit.ly/xKnOkv|
|We could lose alpine meadows to climate change.||http://bit.ly/xckJLJ|
|Genetic traces of giant tortoise suggest it may not be extinct afterall.||http://bit.ly/xS3Wm9|
|Dubai unveils giant $3Bn solar power park.||http://bit.ly/w1FKKi|
|Craftivists want to “expose the scandal of global poverty” through art.||http://bit.ly/zcUJEz|
|Recycled wastewater to augment drinking water supply?||http://bit.ly/ABrk9S|
|Climate change proving devastating to songbirds.|
|US Dept of Interior puts 20 year mining moratorium on Grand Canyon.||http://n.pr/w6FcaG|
|Doomsday clock ticks one minute closer to midnight.||http://bit.ly/wWygkF|
|Animal rights activists targeting Chinese bear-bile extraction industry.||http://bit.ly/wNXXPd|
|Stars are born in turbulent cosmic environments.||http://bit.ly/AcxRvB|
|New lemur found in Madagascar.||http://nyti.ms/xIVHu3|
|Mexico City’s biggest waste dump has closed, with no replacement.||http://bit.ly/zThRvu|
|Stephen Hawking calls for interplanetary colonization.||http://bit.ly/Amm7jm|
|Indonesian activists in conflict with palm and rubber industries.||http://bit.ly/ykOtQ6|
|Cutting Nigerian fuel subsidy alienates ordinary people from revenue||http://bit.ly/xzn4vD|
|Climate deniers sinking to new lows.||http://bit.ly/xLVW41|
|Buy this e-book: Love Your Monsters — new book from Shellenberger and Nordhaus.||http://amzn.to/vZVgRh|
|Some top clean energy trends from 2011.||http://bit.ly/yZqhHA|
Climate-related ocean acidification rates vary, but are up almost everywhere.
|Up to 80% of Canadian seal pups born in 2011 died due to thinning ice.||http://bit.ly/zHStZs|
|Of 12 extreme weather events costing over $1Bn, Texas had eight in 2011.||http://bit.ly/zglhwI|
|UK wind farms broke record, met 12.2% of demand this past Dec 28th.||http://bit.ly/yAZu5T|
|Climate models could be underestimating extinctions.||http://bit.ly/wzUTld|
|100 freelance photgraphers documented the state of the environment in 1972.||http://nyti.ms/y28MLg|
|Chevron loses again in Ecuador, won’t back down.||http://bit.ly/AocSNL|
|Zombie parasite fly could be partly responsible for the bee die-off.||http://n.pr/zIalmo|
|Attention Disney animators. 12 pandas leave mom, live together on their own.||http://bit.ly/w16HUq|
|Blogging can be psychologically beneficial to teens. Teens can be psychologically problematic for adults.||http://bit.ly/zOazEw|
|Ten emerging sustainable cities.||http://bit.ly/yRTopF|
Record shareholder activism in 2011.
|Journaling can help you lose weight.||http://bit.ly/zYx7Vr|
|Panda caught on video eating meat. Scandalous.||http://bit.ly/AaH8I1|
|China refuses to pay EU aviation carbon fees.||http://bit.ly/A4n0YJ|
|Inexpensive polymeric materials as potential carbon scrubbers.||http://bit.ly/y48cWX|
|Renewables brought around $3B in investment to the UK in 2011.||http://bit.ly/zECoQ4|
|Texas wildfires considered an “extinction level event” for up to 20 species.||http://nyti.ms/A85VQ0|
|Micro-organisms that feed on C02.||http://bit.ly/wEvBQC|
|More cities are dredging their ports to accomodate super sized cargo ships.||http://n.pr/ye2TPr|
|EPA links fracking with water pollution for the first time.||http://bit.ly/A9lDL7|
|FDA to limit use of cephalosporin in livestock, to prevent superbugs.||http://bit.ly/zecUlP|
|Network map of flavors. Mushrooms and liver are lonely.||http://bit.ly/yjSsSz|
|The best bio-inspired innovations of 2011.||http://bit.ly/xVfb6c|
|New device finds cancer cells before they become tumors.||http://bit.ly/yyb9XL|
|European animals forced to walk up to two days as “live exports”||http://bit.ly/wZZUfV|
|100 million new smart meters to be installed in Europe by 2016.||http://bit.ly/wlFj2n|
|This is what scarcity looks like. Bluefin tuna sells for almost a million dollars at Tokyo auction.||http://bit.ly/w3pCSm|
|Return of wolves to yellowstone is causing ecosystem recovery.||http://bit.ly/ywxjog|
|Scientists erase time for a zillionth of a second.||http://bit.ly/wk8xJo|
|China planning to impose a very small carbon tax by 2015.||http://bit.ly/Ak6Qmr|
|Lester and Hart call for a decentralized strategy for US energy innovation.||http://bit.ly/zsxPbP|
|Luxury retailers proving recession-proof. Hmm.||http://on.ft.com/yinj7d|
|Many US millionaires paying lower tax rate than middle class.||http://cnnmon.ie/zrCVmm|
|Voyager 1 has reached the outer limits of our solar system.||http://bit.ly/Ah9vO9|
|Many US millionaires paying lower tax rate than middle class.||http://cnnmon.ie/wEKgyH|
|Call Samuel Jackson. Snakes in a tax office.||http://onforb.es/z1o19o|
|Branson predicts aviation could be among “cleanest industries” in ten years.||http://bit.ly/wVlg7d|
Recently the California Public Utilities Commission gave consumers the chance to “opt-out” of getting a smart meter from their energy utility. Some consumers have concerns that smart meters will allow utilities to improperly manipulate billings, other consumers are concerned about the electro-magnetic releases of the new meters.
From my perspective the benefits of smart meters far outweigh the negatives. From a personal economy perspective, smart meters allow you to save money by understanding when you’re wasting energy. From a societal standpoint, smart meters are a critical link in the effort to reduce our energy use and carbon emissions.]]>
|Luxury retailers proving recession-proof. Hmm.||http://on.ft.com/yinj7d|
|Many US millionaires paying lower tax rate than middle class.||http://cnnmon.ie/wEKgyH|
|Call Samuel Jackson. Snakes in a tax office.||http://onforb.es/z1o19o|
|Branson predicts aviation could be among “cleanest industries” in ten years.||http://bit.ly/wVlg7d|
|Voyager 1 has reached the outer limits of our solar system.||http://bit.ly/xRiIWP|
|Geoengineering entering mainstream climate discourse.||http://bit.ly/zXlYBN|
|2010 emissions increase is the biggest yet recorded.||http://bit.ly/Ac2aCY|
|The 2nd annual Gigaton Awards for biz emissions cutting at Durban.||http://bit.ly/yOK51W|
|IEA says solar could be competitive in 20 years.||http://bit.ly/zVU6Iz|
|Herbicide Atrazine linked to animal reproductive issues.||http://bit.ly/xNpLqZ|
|2011 was the 11th warmest year on record.||http://bit.ly/zuVFW2|
|DRC is the second most densely forested nation on earth.||http://bit.ly/yhmYFy|
|Your immune system has protective memory cells.||http://bit.ly/xRzaRp|
|Phillips wants to light your home using waste energy and bacteria.||http://cnet.co/wBXUof|
|Fuel efficiency = 30% drop in ghgs across all products at Honda.||http://bit.ly/yrFhnK|
|How to fix a broken butterfly wing.||http://bit.ly/wG2sJF|
|Texas’ super-drought is unearthing lake-bottom artifacts.||http://nyti.ms/Ap0p7r|
|The 138 year-old Nuttall Ornithological Club has an impressive library of species data.||http://nyti.ms/ywa54t|
|China criticizes Canada for “setting a bad example” on climate.||http://bit.ly/wDlwaO|
|A quarter of farmland is highly degraded worldwide.||http://bit.ly/xPAQcU|
|Crowdsourcing the decoding of whale songs.||http://bit.ly/yc2djt|
|Farmers must produce 70% more food to feed world by 2050.||http://bit.ly/xPAQcU|
|EU estimates bee pollination activity at EUR 22 billion.||http://bit.ly/x3Ev8Y|
|Canadians value polar bears at $420,000 per bear.||http://bit.ly/wG8T99|
|BP’s credit rating fell from AA to BBB after gulf spill.||http://bit.ly/xkAd3y|
|Ravens gesture with their beaks to point out objects to each other.||http://bit.ly/yk3GOL|
|Poaching is decimating red coral off Northern Spain.||http://bit.ly/z21aVB|
|More research on vitellogenin in honeybees could provide clues to decline.||http://bit.ly/x3Ev8Y|
|DENCITY shows world population densities post-seven-billion.||http://bit.ly/zkVfyV|
|Good news. Record number of monarch butterflies in California this year.||http://bit.ly/xtLebt|
|Fragmented forests can retain their eco-functionality.||http://bit.ly/xzkTPE|
|By 2015, SAB Miller wants to make 1L of beer with 3.5L of water, not counting embedded water.||http://bit.ly/xXpQPz|
|New York fracking companies have spent $3.2 million on state lobbying.||http://nyti.ms/z6dt2x|
|Mongolia’s Bogd Khan at risk. The world’s oldest protected area.||http://bit.ly/AijAS3|
|Panasonic building a $500 million solar cell factory in Malaysia.||http://nyti.ms/yMOlz9|
|The Indonesian orangutan is being hunted to extinction.||http://bit.ly/zwmEmB|
|Walnut trees may not survive climate change.||http://bit.ly/zr90jX|
|Marine energy could power 15% of the UK by 2050.||http://bit.ly/xfK9zx|
|Heat people, not homes.||http://bit.ly/AtYDqH|
|WindMade — first consumer label for embedded wind energy.||http://bit.ly/x4zAch|
|Charlotte, NC — the world’s first airport worm composting program.||http://bit.ly/Ae8B6K|
|The nine-spotted ladybug came back, 29 years later….||http://nyti.ms/zaqCrw|
|Carbon markets at record lows. EU Allowances (EUAs) selling for €7.80||http://bit.ly/xV8bEs|
|New network proxy technolgy can cut energy consumption of 3G smart phones by 74%.||http://bit.ly/yKJvyg|
|The world’s biggest marine park — the size of France and Germany combined.||http://bit.ly/w4aJgo|
|Sad to see it go. Google retires their “renewable energy cheaper than coal” project.||http://bit.ly/wohQE4|
|Check out the Brinicle…the icy finger of death in the ocean||http://bbc.in/xzrcHA|
|Save the UK solar feed-in tarrifs..||http://bit.ly/A9FZvc|
|Save the UK solar feed-in tarrifs..||http://bit.ly/A9FZvc|
|Arctic sea-ice decline greatest in at least 1450 years.||http://bit.ly/wrQfEn|
|More money for UK’s Green Deal.||http://bit.ly/ys4Hiu|
|Hong Kong handles between 50% and 80% of the global trade in shark fins||http://bbc.in/xzrcHA|
|How big really? Visualizing disasters.||http://bit.ly/ycp4ng|
|Could 20% of global energy demand could be met by biomass?||http://bit.ly/A14oaM|
|UK industrial pollution costs almost $30 billion per year.||http://bit.ly/zOaGJg|