How Sustain LA Greens Local Festivals and Restaurants

Thanks to detailed sustainability planning and multiple trash-sorting stations at last weekend’s Silver Lake Jubilee, the event successfully diverted 90 percent of trash produced at the event from landfills. According to Sustain LA, of the trash generated by dozens of vendors and more than 10,000 attendees, 3,600 pounds of waste was diverted to compost & recycling (over 2,000 pounds to compost alone) leaving 400 pounds of trash to landfill.

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The Human Toll of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Explosion

deepwater horizon fire photo by U.S. Coast Guard

CNN.com has an excellent photoessay documenting the experiences of the survivors and of some of the 11 killed in the April 20th explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which spawned the greatest environmental disaster in U.S. history. Sixty days later, oil continues gushing from the ultra-deep well up to 6 miles beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.

But what about the human toll? It’s not just the eleven lives lost in the tragedy and the many suffering as a result.

A huge portion of the Gulf Coast population is in some way connected to the oil industry as a way of life beyond the 20 percent working in the energy industry and those in the oyster and fishing industry affected by the spill. President Obama has called for an end to offshore oil exploration. But what are the alternatives? Many more jobs will be lost as a result of this disaster and the policies that result from it. It’s important that those distressed as a result receive adequate compensation. But it’s equally important that new jobs are created and that a culture that is very much rooted in the offshore oil industry is given the appropriate tools to transition into new ways of life. Where is the funding for clean energy plants and new, green construction in the Gulf? Where is the incentive for companies to establish themselves in the Gulf and commit to new projects that will lead to such employment?

As my dear friend Sloane reminded me yesterday: If you really want to know how the population is affected by the disaster, watch the local news.

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Essential Elements of a Copenhagen Agreement


Foundation for a Low Carbon Future: Essential Elements of a Copenhagen Agreement

In December 2009, twenty thousand people, including about 40 heads of state, will converge in Copenhagen to decide how the world responds to escalating climate change over the next half century.

If successful, the meeting of 192 member countries of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will send a clear signal to business and industry, governments and citizens around the world. Commitments made and mechanisms agreed will signal that the future belongs to a low-carbon economy and that tomorrow’s winners will be those that invest in clean energy solutions. It will also set in motion swift support for the most vulnerable in adapting to a warming world.

Copenhagen should serve as a foundation for and springboard to a new legally binding global climate agreement. Realistically, the summit is likely to result in a foundational outcome that encourages immediate action to reduce emissions and signals commitment to greater action in the near future. The negotiations are likely to conclude in a series of decisions that will lock in progress made so far, together with an overarching high-level political declaration that the final agreement will be legally binding. This new, comprehensive, and legally binding instrument will be the goal of negotiations in 2010, once the United States has passed the domestic legislation necessary to commit to a final target and timetable for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

via World Resources Institute.

Posted via web from Andy Sternberg’s posterous