In Feeding Ourselves Thirsty, Ceres takes a closer look at how the food sector is managing water risk. The report evaluates publicly available information on the water use, stewardship and policies of 37 major food sector companies in four industries: packaged food, beverage, meat and agricultural products. The report examines how water risks affect the profitability and competitive positioning of these companies using indicators and scoring drawn from the Ceres Aqua Gauge.
The report provides recommendations for how investment analysts can more effectively evaluate food sector companies on their water risk exposure and management practices. It also provides recommendations for how companies in the food sector can improve water efficiency and water quality across their operations and supply chains to reduce risks and protect water resources.
Read the full post in the Climate Law Blog.
In the newest variation of legal attacks on climate science, tandem lawsuits were filed against climate science blogger and computer scientist John Mashey, in retaliation for his work to uncover academic misconduct by several researchers who disputed widely-accepted findings on global warming. (There is a 97% scientific consensus that man-made climate change is happening.) Two of these researchers, Edward Wegman and Yasmin Said, served Mashey with complaints this spring, claiming that Mashey’s work connecting them with plagiarism, falsifications, errors, and funding misuse constituted “tortious interference with contract” and “conspiracy” — and claiming that because of this, he owed them millions of dollars in damages.
The Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology issued a draft guide to help communities plan for and act to keep windstorms, floods, earthquakes, sea-level rise, industrial mishaps and other hazards from inflicting disastrous consequences. Public feedback is requested on the draft Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure. The first version of the guide will be released this fall and updated periodically as new building standards and research results become available, and as communities gain experience using the guide and recommend improvements.
A Request for Information has been issued, seeking public input on steps for the next National Climate Assessment. Effectively managing the risks of climate change requires the best available scientific information, continually updated to address rapidly evolving national needs. Building on the momentum of the 2014 National Climate Assessment report, the U.S. Global Change Research Program is conducting a sustained assessment process that enhances the federal government’s ability to deliver timely, scientifically sound products in support of climate-related decisions across the country. This process also fosters collaboration among decision makers at the national, regional, tribal, and local levels. Through the process, scientists and stakeholders are working together to build the knowledge base and capacity needed to effectively integrate new scientific knowledge into on-the-ground responses.
Water availability and use are closely connected with energy development and use. Water cannot be delivered to homes, businesses, and industries without energy, and most forms of energy development require large amounts of water. The United States faces two significant and sometimes competing challenges: to provide sustainable supplies of freshwater for humans and ecosystems and to ensure adequate sources of energy for future generations. This report reviews the complex ways in which water and energy are interconnected and describes the earth science data collection and research that can help the Nation address these important challenges.
The earth sciences have been a cornerstone in developing our current understanding of the water-energy nexus. A full understanding of the nexus, however, is limited by uncertainty in our knowledge of fundamental issues, such as the quantity of freshwater that is available, the amount of water that is used in energy development, the effects that emerging energy development technologies have on water quality and quantity, and the amount of energy required to treat and deliver freshwater. Enhanced data collection and research can improve our understanding of these important issues and thereby lay the groundwork for informed resource management.
Relevant earth science issues analyzed and discussed herein include freshwater availability; water use; ecosystems health; assessment of saline water resources; assessment of fossil-fuel, uranium, and geothermal resources; subsurface injection of wastewater and carbon dioxide and related induced seismicity; climate change and its effect on water availability and energy production; byproducts and waste streams of energy development; emerging energy-development technologies; and energy for water treatment and delivery
Read the full story in The Hill.
More than 100 advocates representing dozens of industry groups, companies and environmental organizations are flocking to the White House in a last-ditch effort to influence controversial regulations that would redefine the reach of the federal government’s water pollution enforcement.
The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has in recent days disclosed 16 meetings about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal since early April, when the OMB started its final regulatory review of the plan.
Read the full story in The Guardian.
Most major companies have taken steps to improve their environmental profile, if only by becoming more efficient or cutting down on waste. Dow Chemical Co intends to go a lot further, declaring that it wants to change the very role of business in society.