Green Elephant Show
Green Elephant Show
Trouble in Texas, Climate Towers, Underground protests, BCorp month - Sustainability News 24th February

The latest sustainability news, fun, facts and reviews from the Green Elephant for 24th February 2021.

01:05 Top story – Texas energy outages

Glimpse of America’s Future: Climate Change Means Trouble for Power Grids
Texas largely relies on natural gas for power. It wasn’t ready for the extreme cold.
US conservatives falsely blame renewables for Texas storm outages
Mexico Cries Foul at Natural Gas Cutoff Ordered by Texas Governor
The Energy 202: Democrats eye climate in big infrastructure push
Texas, the go-it-alone state, is rattled by the failure to keep the lights on
Texas is making the case for the Green New Deal
Winter Storms Bring Deadly Risks for the Homeless
Water and heat failures persist amid extreme cold in Texas
Texas Republicans ran a 20-year experiment. The results are in.
After Texas power grid collapse, lawmakers wade into U.S. energy and climate policy
Abbott appointees made ‘astonishing’ cuts to power reliability team before deadly Texas storm
The Texas blackout is an environmental justice disaster
Texas Blackouts Point to Coast-to-Coast Crises Waiting to Happen
Texas freeze shows a chilling truth – how the rich use climate change to divide us
I’m Tired of Living Through Extraordinary Times in Texas
Here is why wind turbines keep working in cold climate while the ones in Texas don’t
Texas and California built different power grids, but neither stood up to climate change


13:14 Challenge update

Education’s what you need!

Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol was adopted on 11 December 1997. It entered into force on 16 February 2005. Currently, there are 192 Parties to the Kyoto Protocol.

The Protocol commits industrialized countries, and economies in transition, to limit and reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions in accordance with agreed individual targets. The Convention itself only asks those countries to adopt policies and measures on mitigation and to report periodically.

Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 4 November 2016.

Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
To achieve this long-term temperature goal, countries aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to achieve a climate neutral world by mid-century.

Carbon Credit

Carbon Credits are an aspect of environmental economics being a tradable certificate or permit giving the bearer the right to emit 1 tonne of CO2e

There are Carbon Markets, similar to financial markets, which deal in these credits and are one way of encouraging commercial and industrial processes to reduce emissions.

Carbon Offset

The idea behind carbon offsetting is that the CO2e generated through activities, such as flying or using a building, can be calculated and then the equivalent amount “paid off” via a scheme which removes carbon from the atmosphere (such as tree planting).

The “carbon removal” scheme, or project, must be in addition to existing schemes

Interesting extra: A study for the European Commission  into United Nations-sanctioned offset projects found that three quarters of projects were unlikely to have resulted in additional emissions reductions.

Company News:

18:21 – Amazon unveils spiraling, tree-covered skyscraper for Arlington HQ2
19:36 – Foster + Partners designs climate-responsive Lusail Towers in Qatar
21:13 – Oil firms should disclose carbon output, says BlackRock

Government News:

22:02 – Au revoir to Paris’ airport expansion
22:47 – Germany concerned about Poland’s nuclear energy plans
24:40 – Israel Closes Mediterranean Beaches After Worst Oil Spill in Its History
26:18 – “It’s in our DNA”: tiny Costa Rica wants the world to take giant climate step
27:35 – European public roundly rejects Brazil trade deal unless Amazon protected

Sustainable Technology News:

29:12 – This cream cheese doesn’t have any milk – just lots of “Fusarium strain flavolapis”
30:32 – Sony Partners with LF Energy to Automate Peer-to-Peer Distribution of Renewable Energy9
31:38 – A Maine Startup Wants To Pull Carbon Out Of The Atmosphere Using Kelp

Other Sustainability News:

32:53  – UN offers science-based blueprint to tackle climate crisis, biodiversity loss and pollution
34:30 – Call to tax international flights to raise climate funds for poor countries
35:34 РOur plastics are loaded with rare-earth materials, and scientists don’t know why
37:21 – This ‘super plant’ can actually absorb air pollution
38:21 – Endangered black-footed ferret is successfully cloned

39:30 Action

We’ve discuss SDGs a lot on the show in the past. There is now a new tool to help organisations assess which SDGs apply to them and to take action:

Online Tool Shows Impact on the SDGs

41:12 Behind the Scenes

Next month is BCorp month and we have a superb range of BCorp guests lined up for the show. Every day in March we’ll be bringing you an interview with some very well known and not so well known names from the BCorp community. Are you a BCorp and want to get involved? Get in touch and be on the show.

43:30 Recommendation


44:29  Fact or Fake?

Texas themed:

  1. Climate change came early to Texas . . . the deadliest natural disaster in US history, The Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 took between 6,000 and 12,000 lives
  2. Texas is the second largest producer of oil, natural gas and sulfur in the United States.
  3. Texas has the worlds single largest wind farm
  4. There are more than 16 million cows in Texas
  5. There are a quarter of a million oil wells in Texas

And finally:

49:00 – Why UK climate activists are locked in a ‘dangerous’ self-dug tunnel under a London station

If you have any stories we should be discussing get in touch @greenelepod or