Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What can a single company do? or, "A whole lotta carbon"

I've been spending much of the past few days reviewing the CDP6 responses that include Scope 3 "indirect" emissions. As a brief backgrounder, the Scope 1, 2, and 3 terminology was adopted by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol's Corporate Standard, and revised as "direct" and "indirect" emissions in the ISO 14064 documents. The emissions caused by facilities owned and operated by a company are classified as Scope 1, purchased electricity and steam as Scope 2, and emissions related to a company's activities but not taking place at owned or operated facilities are Scope 3. You could therefore refer to the Scope 3 inventory as the emissions due to a company's supply chain, both upstream and downstream.

So since the GHG Protocol designated Scope 3 inventorization as optional, not all companies that report to the Carbon Disclosure Project provide those numbers - hence the reason for developing new Scope 3 guidelines. However, some companies have taken these matters into their own hands and ventured into the scary wilderness of value chain accounting. So while more than 1,700 companies worldwide are currently reporting to CDP, only about 200 are disclosing Scope 3 emissions other than the conventionals (i.e., business travel, employee commuting).

You'd expect oil & gas companies as well as vehicle manufacturers to post heavy Scope 3 figures since their products' downstream impacts fall within the Scope 3 zone. If you produce oil, and it is refined into gasoline and then combusted, all the emissions released by those processes would be included in your Scope 3. Now tell me what you think the magnitude of a single company's reach is?

How about 3.1% of total global fossil CO2 emissions? Don't overlook the word 'fossil,' because land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) emissions may amount to about 1/3 of non-LULUCF emissions, meaning 3.1 would drop with that inclusion. Since the absolute number they provide is 743 mega-tonnes of CO2, which is far under 3.1% of 28 GtCO2 (not CO2e), as per 2005, it seems as if they're doing themselves a disservice. To help put this in context, CAIT shows that South America's 2005 CO2 emissions were only about 3% of the global total - but this is all wrapped up in one company's supply chain.

So what comes next? Well, GHG management, reduction targets, and supply chain cooperation hopefully. The beauty of the Scope 3 inventory framework is in emphasizing a company's sphere of influence over its supply chain partners. While you'll have more sway with your immediate neighbors, those who directly supply to you or who directly distribute your goods, if you're large enough to make waves then all neighbors will follow. Such has been the strategy of Wal-Mart who's launched an aggressive supply chain examination to determine where the greatest GHG reduction opportunities exist. This is no simple task - imagine having to go through 65,000+ suppliers. Well, all in a day's work to "rollback the prices." I hope that their program is successful in "rolling back" the emissions as well.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Sacramento Bee Op-Ed by Phil Angelides

Count a victory for the Apollo Alliance. For several years now, this coalition of organizations advocating for "green growth" to spur job creation and the expansion of renewables has been hitting the pavement with insufficient media exposure. A recent edition of the Sacramento Bee features an op-ed piece from AA Chairman Phil Angelides on why the time is right for a green economic revival.


My View: New strategy to rally nation under green flag
By Phil Angelides
Special to The Bee
Published: Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008 | Page 11A

When it comes to America's financial crisis, there's plenty of blame to go around. You don't have to dig far into the toxic sludge of bad credit, soaring deficits, fiscal mismanagement and deregulation to see that all of it blends together to form a really big mess. And you don't need a Ph.D. in economics to know that the financial market meltdown is a warning sign that America's economy is in desperate need of an overhaul.

Leaders of nations, just like executives of financial institutions, are responsible for understanding and responding to new market signals. And when they don't, the economies of great nations – just like the creditworthiness of corporate giants – can crumble with frightening speed.

Which brings me to the biggest emerging market opportunity of our lifetime. That is the opportunity to galvanize American technology, workers, ingenuity and courage to do something truly great – building a clean-energy, good-jobs, made-in-America economy that will power our nation in the 21st century. [...]

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Climate Change Photography

I came across GHG Photos tonight, a site launched at the end of October that showcases the work of six photographers who are traveling the globe to visually document the effects of climate change. While many of these shots represent 'end results,' take a look at the winners of the UNFCCC CDM Photo Contest here where users submitted photos of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects. It's not clear to me how or why the First Place finish beat out the 2nd and 3rd. Maybe it had to do with failing to deliver CERs (snare drum please).

Saturday, November 08, 2008

stoking a nation's metabolism

In looking for the crevices of convenience, what is your magic number? It's a flavorful perfume that wards off the ghosts of chilling thoughts and stark realizations of lives left flat, chased down ammonia corridors. What is the rational ratio that instills sense to your cosmos? Put a point on it. Put a decimal place to it. While the path to accomplishment is tortuous and often yields few rewards, you still have a driver, an M.O., some catalyst whose pulse is electric enough to spark submission. In seeking balance between the pressures of your paycheck and restoring inner equilibrium, how much should you give of yourself? Will you strive for the quiet den or the strangeness of hands on your shoulder? And this will be divulged because private inventories have become public, so public - how will you recover from the loss of those crevices of convenience? In yesteryear, it was crawling towards a gravestone with never a glance from the mourners next door. Media fucked it up. It used to be so much less demanding.

You send change to the White House and expect everything save a bill of goods, but you give him no legroom by setting tropospheric expectations. Here's to 2009 and moving forward without crushing too many souls in the process. When I close my eyes and you all disappear, what we've done makes little difference because the crises are all fictive and the same. But you demand someone else to pay your bills - of course, you were never liable - of course. If the root cause is irrational decision-making, then no rational course of action would make a difference anyway.

Will a skinny President send his nation's treadmills trundling, or do the citizens respond with Jevonsian disregard? Can laziness, physical and intellectual, be overcome by example? Will people get the measure of existence right this time?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fecal Talk

This amazing article coming from Slate, though comical and uncouth, offers excellent insight into why potty business is not just personal. Helping champion the cause of access by the rural poor to improved sanitation is Jack Sim, founder of the World Toilet Organization (WTO), and a Time Hero of the Environment for 2008. Hopefully this will give you pause before you flush and remember, if it's yellow, let it mellow - if it's brown, flush it down.

Monday, March 31, 2008

auto-tidal wave relaxed (e)motion

she stares down at her shoes. (...)

she stares down at her shoelaces and watches the cracks in the sidewalk pass by. (...)

she stares down at her shoelaces and watches the cracks in the sidewalk pass by and failed to look up and see the oncoming bus. (...)

she stares down at her untied shoelaces and watches the stone cracks in the sidewalk pass by and failed to look up in time to see the oncoming bus swerve off the BKE and her shopping bag of apples and Cheerios was flung to the side as she threw out her arms in SHOCK.

OH MY GOD. You know I really should stop staring at my feet when I walk!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Deaths Come in Twos

Mama always said that people die in threes.
When she watchin' some deaths on the news she says,
"I know there gonna' be another" and for awhile
I was sho she was right.

See, Mama is a God-fearing woman and if the Devil
tell ya that deaths come in twos, well then he plain wrong.
At least that what I was taught.
But I only think that twos are bettah than threes
Cuz when a man and his wife depart this life togethah,
Well, that bettah than a man, his wife, and some other man's wife.

Make sense, naw?
I feel like this, when a man dies
He takes his two feet and his two good hands
And if he ain too old, then maybe e'en two seeing eyes
So I swear this death coming in twos ain't no work a' da Devil
Cuz I think the good Lord... well He like things in pairs.

So I'za reckon to myself that when my dead soul
Ain gonna look up and see those shovels
Pouring dat dirt on toppah ma head, I hope I ain't alone
Cuz I just hope that death comes in twos and I ain the only one.
Devil or no Devil...

Re: (Week 6): Voluntary organisations should take over many functions currently performed by governments.

Hello. Hello Hello....

You can't start a blog entry by tapping on the microphone and expecting the audience to wait while you find the switch. There's this ocean of pain which is swimming through my skull and it's louder than an avalanche crashing on a mezzo-soprano (FA_LA_LA_LAAAAA) and more toxic than DNT detonations in proximity. There was the Readiness and Range Preservation Initiative (RRPI) which was to juggle the act of shutting down and keeping open and I sense some parallels with the 7-11 whose midnight clerk has been shot in the conundrum - but all the cash was left to remain while PARABLES oozed from his glands (it flows slower and slower as the 6 o'clock shift nears) And wouldn't you know, it's the pork rinds which were stolen? There are crimes that come in the heat of the moment, some are of the heart, some are of the intestinal tract.

Friends, regardless, was the 7-11 open or closed? And if it was open, who would be the one to serve the next customer? Hah! Not open. If it was closed, who was the one who locked the door? Hah! Not closed. Likewise, there's this psycho-babble-ish half-state where poles don't meet and Poles don't meat and ... I forgot about that purchase of neodymium magnets I was so excited about back in 3rd Watts... Adam, what about our magnets? Did they get the address wrong again and send the marked goods to another evil-PHYGISIST?- - ---

Such an irrational act, so I was looking up high [and mighty] for clarification and the only sense I got that anyone was listening appeared to descend. [doop] the giant rain clouds opened up for the 3237437th day in a row. I don't know how to cope. Honestly! My umbrella is 7' long and it's like political fanfare everytime the showers come down and the maroon circle goes up. No demonstration, no remonstration, no counteraction, nothing but bombastic bloggery with no follow-through.

I'm tired. Hello hello hello! it's the sound of every lecturer who throws pint-sized textbooks (are they dialect-ICAL dictionaries, LAH?) --- yes, who throws pint-ZISED TECKSTBUX. yes, they throw them and they throw them and I can't seem to wake up from this horrible, horrible 12,000 mile nightmare and I'm sitting on the bus, but the bus isn't moving and the conductor keeps saying ALL ABOARD! ALL ABOARD! and if anyone else hops on the floorboards will bust right through and then I'll have to Wilma Rubble my way over to North America. yabba dabba -

I'm tired of the security guards with the long-drawn faces and their walkie-talkies set to channel 4. I've got a proposal - it's gain-sharing at it's best when the computer labs are silent and dead and the hallways are silent and dead and the 7-11 when the clerk was shot and his parables spilled everywhere --- well, then that (wo)man was also silent and dead. These guards - they bear the world's weight in curled fists that land squarely on spouses chins. 1000 POINTS FOR THAT ONE CHAMP!

It's the women who abuse their men, doncha know, doncha doncha? This paradigm of global this-way that-way, this-way that-way gender violence has been all wrong. We are the generation of female-perpetrated violence and mass emasculation. So sad, he attaches patches on his back everyday just to calibrate testosterone levels. Women - this is what you have subjected the lesser sex to.

So - what have you accomplished today? I saved a powerpoint from near-collapse by pumping its gills and expecting its prongs to open up. PLEASE, PLEASE, CALL 911 --- my powerpoint is DYING!

At the end of the day all you have is an inkless pen with no readers. They left you because you make no fucking sense.