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Sustainability Quiz

Discussion Forum

Guiding Principles

Started by Kevin Carter May 7, 2010. 0 Replies

What are the best practices or codes that you subscribe to as a sustainability professional? Is your objective LEED Silver? Gold? Platnum? What has your organization decided to pursue?

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Comment by William F. Goetz, MD on April 3, 2014 at 8:30pm

Ungreen at any speed.

Much has been made about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution through the production and use of hybrid and/or electrical vehicles. Many companies and governmental jurisdictions are rushing to buy such vehicles, and/or to construct charging stations. However, if one considers the life-cycle of carbon emissions, it turns out that H/EVs are more damaging than conventional gas vehicles to the environment and to human health. Please review the chapter on Transportation in a study by the National Academy of Sciences, entitled "The Hidden Costs of Energy." Downloads are free after registering, which is also free. This site is an amazing source of comprehensive, unbiased, evidence-based analyses of multiple topics of interest to government.

Basically, this is the case because more electrical energy - all of it from fossil fuels - is used in the production of the cars, their special batteries, recharging, and disposal, than for conventional gas powered vehicles. The more use of electricity - almost all of it from fossil fuels - the more damage. The decrease in operating emissions is more than negated by the emissions created in their manufacture and disposal. It is predicted that this will not change until most of our electrical energy is derived from renewable energy sources, which will probably not occur until 2030 at the earliest.

Buyers trying to do right to the environment by purchasing these vehicles are scammed in three ways. First, the manufacture and disposal of the vehicles is more damaging to the environment and humans than gas power vehicles. Second, the electricity for recharging also comes from fossil fuel production. Utilities love the concept of recharging, since almost all of the electricity would come from their own fossil-fuel power plants. Both of these facts more than negates the decreased emissions from vehicle operations. Third, the retail cost of the vehicles is at a significant premium to conventional vehicles, making them not cost-effective for most purchasers, including municipalities, over most anticipated lifetimes of the cars. The shorter the lifetime, the less chance of recouping costs from not using gasoline.

It brings to mind the well known, ill-advised rush/fiasco to subsidize ethanol production from corn.

We would be better off at this time by putting our limited financial resources into evidenced-based, more cost-effective methods for reducing GHGs and pollution.

William F. Goetz, MD



Comment by Dennis Boyer on January 11, 2014 at 2:35pm

Henry, since I probably won't get to it, please share your impressions. Dennis Boyer

Comment by Henry Brown on January 11, 2014 at 8:24am

Have just read the 3 page introduction but believe I will be spending some considerable amount of time reading the 300 + page report

From Judicial Watch blog:

Buried deep in a State Department report that discloses the U.S. has spent billions to combat climate change in developing countries are surprisingly honest assessments of coal and fracking, both high on the Obama administration’s hit list.

Once Americans get through the shock of their government blowing $7.5 billion to fight global warming in foreign nations, it’s worth taking a look at another important bit of information clearly intended to get lost in the 310-page document titled 2014 Climate Action Report. The U.S. government prepared it for our United Nations overlords to list all the good work it’s done to protect mother earth from the ills of global warming.

“Climate change is one of the most urgent and profoundly complex challenges we face,” says Secretary of State John Kerry in an introduction letter attached to the report. He mentions all the great things the U.S. has done to reduce greenhouse emissions and reiterates the administration’s “commitment to leading the fight to confront climate change head-on for our children and generations to come.”

Download 310 page report (~23 MB file)

Comment by Dennis Boyer on April 29, 2013 at 12:35am

Thought there might be some interest here in a recently completed climate policy citizen discussion guide.

Comment by Henry Brown on December 15, 2012 at 7:15am

Have posted a discussion which could be of some interest/value to some

Title:Rethinking Sustainability

Comment by Henry Brown on December 7, 2012 at 7:13am

I invite everyone to join a new group which I Have created  which could have some interest to some!
Group Name: Climate Change

To provide a central point for discussion of the various issues surrounding Climate Change

Comment by Henry Brown on November 28, 2012 at 5:54am

Have posted a discussion which could have some interest/value to some:

Title: Green Data Centers

Comment by Andrew Krzmarzick on April 23, 2012 at 8:57am

Forest Service is leading the way in achieving both cost ($1 million) and energy savings with their successful virtual conference - here's the blueprint for other agencies:

Comment by Steve Cottle on April 5, 2012 at 12:10pm

Paul asks how your organization meets its triple bottom line:

Comment by Dennis Boyer on March 8, 2012 at 10:28am

As a discussion facilitator and deliberation and dialogue practitioner, I work to raise "sustainability issues" in every governance discussion I am involved in.


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