Category: Climate Action

Strategic Solutions During a Crisis | Some Countries Can Multitask

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by Noreen Wise

Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 21, 2020

When a country is unified during a crisis, the way we were following 9/11, as well as Hurricane Katrina, and the devastating Tsunami in 2004, then we can all work together to accomplish more. We do this everyday in our homes. We multitask during the pandemic, while maintaining everything we did before the stay home orders.

Beginning in January 2020, there was one huge headline after the next highlighting America’s largest corporations announcing their climate action agenda’s. Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon, pledged $10 Billion to help fight climate change. Microsoft vowed to be carbon neutral by July 1, 2020, carbon negative by 2030, and to eliminate all the carbon it has pushed into the atmosphere since it was founded by 2050.

Other American corporations soon began following their lead. But when covid suddenly struck, climate progress was quickly back-burnered. It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, it mustn’t be the outcome. If we can all multi-task, so can our corporations.

Effective leadership is strategic thinking, seeking effective opportunities to accomplish two important missions at the same time, especially when they align so perfectly. Corporations are having to rethink many internal processes. If US corporations took the time to weave climate initiatives into the covid planning framework, the United States would land much further ahead than where we are right now as we scan the horizon and process the massive looming climate crisis barreling toward us.

It was exciting to read in The Star, that Canadian President Justin Trudeau announced to Canadian companies, he would provide government covid loans, as soon as each company let the government know what they were “thinking about” climate. Huarray! That’s the way a leader gets climate action done. ✅

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Ottawa’s Climate Change Master Plan

Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 19, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

With so much division and chaos in the United States right now, and the worrisome feeling that we’re falling behind on the substantial climate action progress we made in 2019, it’s inspiring to learn of a North American city that is all in on climate action forward motion right now, even during covid. Hurray!

Ottawa, the Washington DC of Canada, ROCKS!

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Ottawa’s “Climate Action Master Plan” is impressive with it’s simple, straightforward mission statement, tangible targets, guiding principles and priority actions laid out in a concise one-pager. This is the ideal recipe for success. And success in carbon reduction was Ottawa’s prologue in creating their Master Plan: 14% cut in the city’s carbon emissions from 2012-2018, and a 36% reduction in carbon emissions by corporations during this time.

“The Climate Change Master Plan is the city’s overarching framework to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and respond to the current and future effects of climate.” ~City of Ottawa

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Ottawa’s Climate Action Master Plan Guiding Principles:

  • Responsibility – everyone in the community is responsible and needs to lower energy consumption and mitigate risks
  • Collaboration – all levels of government, all corporations, all citizens, utilities and stakeholders must work together to effect change and develop solutions
  • Municipal Leadership – the city will take the lead in fostering a joint partnership between corporations and the community
  • Coordination – the long term agenda must be strategic and harmonized
  • Equity and Inclusion – all decision-making processes must be equitable and inclusive

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Thank you, Ottawa! We’ll just follow your example.🌳

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Renewable Energy Continues to Surpass Coal in US

Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 15, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

It was a year ago, last spring, that we learned renewable energy usage exceeded coal usage during the month of April 2019 for the very first time ever. At one point that month, the gain was 9 straight days in a row, another first, and 38 days total for 2019 Newsweek recently reported.

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It’s therefore exhilarating to be one giant step further along the road to a complete renewable transition.  In 2020, every single day for the entire month of April, renewables exceeded coal, for a total run of 40 straight days of renewables crushing coal. The price of coal increased during this same time period, while the cost of renewables decreased, which appears to be a factor in the favorable outcome for renewable energy.

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Daily conversation focused on how to turn a negative into a positive and land on the bright side. A daily emotional 7 minute vitamin to boost your spirits. Podcast Host, Noreen Wise. Climate Friday! What is wet-bulb? Is it scary?

It’s a particularly significant success in light of the fact of how forcefully our president has been trying to sway public opinion to back coal, as one coal company after the next declares bankruptcy. It appears the American public is slowly adapting to the reality that the elimination of fossil fuels is inevitable, so they might as well transition sooner rather than later and take advantage of all the discounts and rebates before they disappear. 🌞

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No More Natural Gas| Berkeley, CA

Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 13, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

It’s always the small things that make the difference in big transitional changes. So too with our transformation into renewable energy. If every household committed to replacing gas stoves and gas grills with electric in 2020, we’d be well on our way to converting our homes to solar and wind. Bloomberg Green’s recent article about this new trend highlights the pros and cons.

Realistically though, it’s all about taking the first step. We need to eliminate all fossil fuel usage including appliances. If we know that the elimination of fossil fuels is inevitable, (does anyone doubt that it is), then we should all immediately begin to replace easy to replace appliances. This is how progress is made. One step at a time.

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Last summer, Berkeley, California  became the first city in the United States to ban natural gas in new homes. The law was passed unanimously and went into effect January 1, 2020. Interestingly, Berkeley was also the first city in the United States to ban smoking in restaurants and public places back in 1977. There’s a saying in California: As goes Berkley, so goes California. Let’s be on the look out for more California cities to continue with this trend, creating the much needed momentum.

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Daily conversation focused on how to turn a negative into a positive and land on the bright side. A daily emotional 7 minute vitamin to boost your spirits. Podcast Host, Noreen Wise. Today’s Episode: What to do when the devil walks into your life.

Berkley of the East, Takoma Park, Maryland just passed a climate agenda in which they plan to become the first city in the United States to ban all fossil fuels. According to the Washington Post, the town’s 2020 Climate Emergency Response Act, was written in an effort to guide local officials in policy making in the upcoming years.

As always, the changing of the tides comes when one person, one town is willing to step boldly in the right direction. Thank you, Berkeley, California. May your small step with climate action be as successful as the revolution you kicked off when you banned smoking in 1977. Think of how many lives Berkeley saved. Cheers to the Butterfly Effect.🦋

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What’s the Wet-Bulb Temperature | Survivability Threshold

Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 12, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

According to a recent report published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the official wet-bulb temperature of 35˚C (95˚F)  is the maximum temperature the human body can successfully cool itself on its own to keep from overheating. Once we cross the survivability threshold into the danger zone, the combination of heat and humidity results in the skin’s inability to sweat fast enough to cool the body, and we can succumb to heatstroke within a few hours of being outside, which is potentially fatal.

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Bloomberg Green reports that there are several cities along the Gulf Coast that have already experienced this type of extreme condition, maximum heat combined with maximum humidity, and have repeatedly crossed into the danger zone. New Orleans is one such city. The concept of there being a survivability threshold that has already been reached in some parts of America, is almost unfathomable. Large populations live in these areas. If the conditions are unsurvivable, they’ll be forced to move. The injustice is maddening.

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Daily conversation focused on how to turn a negative into a positive and land on the bright side. A daily emotional 7 minute vitamin to boost your spirits. Podcast Host, Noreen Wise. Today’s Episode: When the walls close in, how to keep a level head and proceed through to the other side.

It always seems to be the same routine. A certain percent of the population disregards the warnings and recommended guidelines, and selfishly pursues material gain at the exclusion of everything else. This causes a negative ripple effect that impacts those of lesser means, with limited resources, resulting in a downward spiral for large segments of the population that involves further financial strain. The rich get richer, everyone else becomes more financially challenged, and climate change extremes increase, impacting that many more vulnerable communities and  cities.

If we can’t immediately recognize that this is one of the most significant wake-up calls yet, there’s no hope. Everyone has to be all in on climate to save planet earth. If individuals aren’t self-motivated to make the necessary changes, then local, state and federal governments will have to force them. Period. 🌎

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Redesign of Products & Packaging for Zero Waste

Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 11, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

With an aggressive goal of zero waste in many personal products and detergents, new sustainability companies are blossoming, offering everyday essentials sold as solids instead of liquids, which can be packaged in paper or even more simply, without any packaging at all. One company in particular has an expansive zero waste product lineup, the Zero Waste Store.

Personal staples like shampoo and conditioner, and even laundry detergent, have begun capturing  consumer attention. Recycling has been a challenge during the stay home orders, resulting in stronger consumer awareness of just how much plastic packaging households toss out daily, and how quickly it accumulates in garages, closets and cars.

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I’m very particular in my preferences for personal products like shampoo and conditioner, and have been using one particular brand for many years. In fact, I have a huge crate of empty plastic shampoo and conditioner containers that I have to wash as soon as I have time. The problem is, I’ve become so busy that I never actually do have time. So, the pile keeps growing larger, creating a more daunting task, with no end in sight.

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Daily conversation focused on how to turn a negative into a positive and land on the bright side. A daily emotional 7 minute vitamin to boost your spirits. Podcast Host, Noreen Wise. Today’s Episode: How developed are your survival instincts? Two key essential traits.

The Zero Waste Store is an online presence with exceptional shipping procedures from a waste perspective:

  • everything shipped using plastic-free materials
  • 100% water activated paper tape
  • compostable shipping labels
  • recycled padded mailers
  • corn starch packing peanuts
  • everything 100% biodegradable

There’s no time to waste in confronting plastic waste. Covid has highlighted how imperative it is to be prepared and get out in front of life-impacting crises as quickly as possible. Switching to no waste products during covid, while we’re making so many other changes to our daily routines, is the ideal way to build strong habits during one crisis, that will help alleviate the impact of another crisis.

I can’t wait for my shampoo and conditioner to arrive so I can check it out. ♻️

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The Wind Tree |Bringing Innovative Power to Cities and Suburban Neighborhoods

Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 9, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

I get jazzed by brilliant new ideas on the climate front and wind tree energy, for cities and suburban neighborhoods, is one of them. Such an innovative game-changer. The small tree wind turbine looks more like an art exhibit at the Hirshhorn Museum in DC, than an innovative renewable energy solution that can light parks, streets and homes. It’s cleverness is in it’s ability to harness small wind currents that most of us aren’t even aware of.

The three main negatives of the massive wind turbines we’ve grown used to are:

  • size
  • noise
  • the amount of wind needed to generate energy

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The Wind Tree has numerous benefits that may be the ideal solution in cities where not all roofs may direct access to the sun, or homes surrounded by trees that block sun. Additionally, riverwalks and upscale outdoor locations that aren’t conducive to solar panels. Basically,  The Wind Tree and Wind Bush fill in the blanks and provide another potent renewable option.

According to Forbes magazine, The Wind Tree is:

  • quiet
  • optimized for low wind speed
  • only 32 feet tall
  • 36 Aeroleafs
  • each Aeroleaf is 3 feet tall
  • 5,400 watts that can provide 83% of
  • made of steel
  • can also recharge a car

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Daily conversation focused on how we can turn a negative into a positive and land on the bright side. A daily emotional vitamin that will boost your spirit. PodcastHost, Noreen Wise. Today’s podcast: On tough days, do you look for omens or signs to let you know everything is going to be okay?

This wonder was invented by Jerome Michaud-Lariviere of France, co-founder of New World Wind that produces The Wind Tree, a well as the The Wind Bush. It’s expected to arrive in the US sometime in 2020, but that was before covid, so stay tuned.

The Wind Tree is currently being installed in Paris.🌳

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