From Der Spiegel:

Indeed, the statistics are impressive. It’s estimated that some 50,000 wind turbines have been exported from this mini-kingdom between the North and Baltic seas, nearly 50 percent of the wind-powered generators worldwide. But sales are declining now that large industrialized nations, such as India, China and the US, are emulating the Danes’ success.

In addition to the graceful, towering turbines made of fiberglass and steel, however, Denmark has also given the world a shining example of sustainability: The parliamentary monarchy is widely seen as a laboratory and model for how an entire country can make the transition away from coal, oil and gas and toward energy generated from renewable resources.

Today, already 24 percent of the electricity consumed in Denmark comes from wind power — a world record. There are plans to increase this to 50 percent by 2020, and the country intends to become entirely independent of fossil fuels by 2050.

Check out the rest of the article here.

(Photo source: Der Spiegel)

From The Hill’s E2 Wire:

Most undecided voters want more action from President Obama and Congress to fight global warming, and a substantial percentage say the topic will influence their ballot for president, a new poll shows.

The joint Yale University/George Mason University (GMU) survey found that undecided voters’ beliefs about the existence and causes of global warming are far closer to President Obama’s likely voters than GOP rival Mitt Romney’s.

Sixty-four percent of undecided voters believe Obama should be doing more to address climate change, and 72 percent say Congress should be doing more.

Check out the rest of the article here.


My plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet – because climate change is not a hoax. More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They’re a threat to our children’s future. And in this election, you can do something about it.

I usually stick to sustainability and city themed posts on this blog of mine, but this conversation between a gay Vietnam War veteran and U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney definitely deserves an exception. This vet is a hero. Full stop.

P.S. It’s worth watching all the way to the end too. 

(Source: ABC News via Upworthy)

Every time I walk past this Margaret Mead quote it leaves me with a smile. If you want to check it out for yourself it’s on the wall of ‘The Foundation’ restaurant at 7th and Main.

Every time I walk past this Margaret Mead quote it leaves me with a smile. If you want to check it out for yourself it’s on the wall of ‘The Foundation’ restaurant at 7th and Main.

From The Yale Project on Climate Change Communication:

… at the national level and among ten key swing states – taking a proclimate stand appears to benefit candidates more than hurt them with registered voters. Of course, the political dynamics in any given district may be an exception to this pattern, but it is important to note that the pattern is similar at both the national and swing-state scales.

A few highlights:

• A majority of all registered voters (55%) say they will consider candidates’ views on global warming when deciding how to vote.

• Among these climate change issue voters, large majorities believe global warming is happening and support action by the U.S. to reduce global warming, even if it has economic costs.

• Independents lean toward “climate action” and look more like Democrats than Republicans on the issue.

• A pro-climate action position wins votes among Democrats and Independents, and has little negative impact with Republican voters.

• Policies to reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels and promote renewable energy are favored by a majority of registered voters across party lines.

• These patterns are found nationally and among ten swing states.

Read the rest of the article here.


(Tom Toles editorial cartoon: Washington Post via Go Comics)

From Nature (subscription req’d):

We are scientists recently arrested in Canada for blockading a 125-car train carrying coal destined to release 26,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We joined 11 other Canadians in this act, despite the personal risks and potential negative impact on our careers.

Time is running short and our dialogues on climate change with Canada’s conservative government have been futile, which is why we undertook this extreme action. We were following the example of NASA climatologist James Hansen, who has been arrested three times in the past three years for civil disobedience in protesting against the mining of coal or development of the Canadian oil sands.

If the rate of carbon emissions does not decrease soon, the 2 °C threshold for serious consequences of climate change could be broken this century (M. New et al. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 369, 6–19; 2011). Yet many nations, including Canada and the United States, remain more concerned with building infrastructure to extract and transport fossil fuels than with seeking alternative energy solutions.

Civil disobedience has a long-standing tradition of inducing social change when those in power fail to act. Governments are neglecting their responsibility to future generations. Because science is built on professionalism and objective evidence, media coverage of our arrests will ensure that they, and the voting public, receive a forceful message.


Resilient cities: ‘Vancouver plans to face climate change head-on’ (Video)

From The Vancouver Sun:

The city of Vancouver has designed a climate change “adaptation” strategy to tackle a potential increase in street flooding, sewer backups, damaged forests and heat-related illnesses by 2050.

The strategy, scheduled to go to council for approval in principle Tuesday, suggests nine measures to address the potential impacts of climate change, which is expected to bring more intense rain and windstorms, hotter and drier summers and rising sea levels, affecting the city’s economic prosperity and livability.

The move is part of the Vancouver’s Greenest City plan that is aimed at reducing greenhouse gases by 2020. The specific measures include:

• Complete a coastal flood risk assessment;

• Amend flood-proofing policies;

• Develop and implement a citywide integrated stormwater management plan;

• Continue with sewer separation;

• Develop a backup power policy;

• Continue to implement water conservation actions;

• Support and expand extreme heat planning;

• Include climate change adaptation measures in the next Vancouver Building Bylaw update; and

• Develop and implement a comprehensive Urban Forest Management Plan.

Check out the rest of the article here. You can read the adaptation plan here.


(Video: Global BC)

(Photo: planted city)