Read the full post at Dot Earth.
Steven Davis of the University of California, Irvine, and Robert Socolow of Princeton (best known for his work dividing the climate challenge into carbon “wedges”) have written “Commitment accounting of CO2 emissions,” a valuable new paper in Environmental Research Letters showing the value of shifting from tracking annual emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants to weighing the full amount of carbon dioxide that such plants, burning coal or gas, could emit during their time in service.
Read the full post at Green Car Congress.
The staff of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS) has released the final version of the policy assessment (PA) for the review of the ozone (O3) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).
Among the staff recommendations are to further reduce the primary ozone standard from the current 75 ppb (parts per billion) to a revised level within the range of 70 ppb to 60 ppb—and preferably below 70 ppb.
Due: Friday, October 31, 2014
The Illinois Water Resources Center (IWRC) requests proposals to fund promising graduate and undergraduate student research projects addressing Illinois water resources. We are particularly interested in projects that seek solutions for or provide novel identification of pressing water concerns in Illinois. PI’s can request up to $10,000. Project duration is March 1, 2015–February 28, 2016.
For more information visit: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/iwrc/pdf/2015%20RFP.pdf
Thursday, September 25, 2014 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM CDT
Register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/896801960
This webinar will describe community-based social marketing as a behavior-based approach for developing energy-efficiency programs. The webinar will begin with an overview of the five steps involved in developing and delivering a community-based social marketing program including methods for prioritizing and selecting target behaviors, identifying barriers and benefits, leveraging behavior change tools, pilot testing, and evaluation. Each presentation will also cover case studies of scalable programs that have successfully applied the community-based social marketing model or its components to promote energy-efficiency and conservation behaviors.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM CDT
Register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/956101832.
In this webinar, leading experts will explain the importance of measure cost studies, review the current “state of the science” of measure cost development and estimation, and explore opportunities for future collaboration and advancement of measure cost research. Presenters will provide an overview of the regulatory and program planning applications of measure cost data, explain the limitations of ad hoc sources of such data, and provide examples of successful development of ex ante measure costs from recent work in California and the Northeast. Panelists will also provide lessons learned and recommendations for increasing the value of measure cost studies moving forward.
Read the full story in GreenBiz.
Could Big Data offer the most fertile solution for countering systemic food waste and frightening future scarcity scenarios?
Last month Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Coca-Cola, Nestlé and dozens of other companies started sowing the seeds for a crop of powerful applications and information resources enabled by the convergence of sensors, sophisticated imagery and powerful analytics — and inspired by the federal Climate Data Initiative.
Their focus: “food resilience” innovations that help agricultural businesses, farmers and food distributors more quickly understand the potential impacts of floods, rising sea levels, heat waves and droughts, downpours and other extreme weather on crop yields, transportation systems, storage and other supply-chain processes.
Read the full story in GreenBiz.
Today, Net Impact publishes its ninth annual survey of social and environmental graduate school programs, called “Business As UNusual” (download). The title notwithstanding, it reveals that such programs have become woven into the fabric of many college and university curricula — that teaching sustainability is, indeed, business as usual on campuses these days.
That doesn’t necessarily mean these programs are equipping today’s students for tomorrow’s challenges.
Download the document. Requires free registration.
Across the country, communities are experiencing more extreme hydrology. In some places, this takes the form of deepening drought that necessitates stronger commitments to conservation. In others, it takes the form of more frequent flooding that overwhelms water infrastructure, sending raw sewage into urban rivers or even into city streets. Some places are experiencing both intensifying drought and flood.
As a growing number of water planners across the country are recognizing, these challenges cannot be solved solely by building new reservoirs, pipelines and treatment plants. Given current financial and ecological constraints, utilities will have to embrace a new form of infrastructure if they intend to provide reliable, reasonably priced water services.
Download the document. Requires registration to download.
As water utilities across North America undertake capital campaigns to finance the replacement and expansion of their systems, the need for confident revenue projections grows. Yet many water utilities are subject to factors that can affect revenue variability, including volatile weather patterns and a growing imperative to conserve scarce water resources. As a result, it is more important than ever to anticipate how changing water use patterns and rates drive revenue risk.
Despite being essential service providers, water utilities experience unavoidable variability in their revenue stream. This revenue variability is driven by many factors: changing population, varying customer demands, unpredictable weather patterns, and even rate structures. While it is unrealistic to expect utilities to eradicate revenue variability, utilities can understand its root causes and incorporate it into their overall resource and finance planning.
This report examines real financial and water use data from three North American water utilities to demonstrate how rate structures can mitigate or intensify revenue variability. It also introduces alternative financial and pricing strategies that can assist water utilities in stabilizing revenue without compromising the commitment to water conservation.