Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Vale building wind farms?

I'm honestly intrigued. The Brazilian mining giant is teaming up with Australia's Pacific Hydro to build two wind farms with 140 MW of capacity as part of a 500 MW in capacity that Hydro is building throughout all of Brazil.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rio+20 and the struggle with hot air

I've been in dozens of meetings where a Fearless Leader (TM) stands up and says "We must do this." Which is followed by a Greek chorus of Timid Followers saying "Yes, we must do this," at which point nothing more is said about this Thing That Must Be Done.  Everyone present knows This Thing will not be done because no responsibilities are assigned, no evaluation mechanisms are created and no sanctions proposed for those who fail to do This Thing. 

There are going to be a lot of those Fearless Leaders in Rio this week, and I'm afraid Rio+20 is going to look like one of those oft-repeated meetings. A lot of hot air is not very convincing solution to the world's hot air problem.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

No styrafoam for Guyana?

The government of Donald Ramotar is considering restrictions in importing products that are packaged with styrofoam. Somehow, I think Guyana is a place this would actually work.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Google helps Amazon tribe get into carbon markets

Android to the Amazon's rescue. 

Smart phones running Google's operation system together with Google Earth satellite technology have helped the Surui tribe create a forest carbon inventory, says blog Mashable, and as a result have been approved to sell carbon credits.

PDVSA tries something mildly intelligent

Much as I love to take the piss out of PDVSA, they've got an interesting biofuels experiment I thought worth mentioning. 

Can Brazil’s plastic bag bans give a lift to Amazon jute growers?

For decades it was the main fiber used in making shopping bags and coffee sacks – jute, also known as burlap, a plant grown in various locations along the Solimoes River. Between the 1950s and the 1970s, demand for the product collapsed with rise of plastic bags that became an unfortunate symbol of prosperity throughout the developed world. Now the clock may be turning back as cities around Brazil join a growing global trend toward plastic bag bans or taxes.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rio+20 paints a target on its back

It’s always easy to take the piss out of climate conferences. Thousands of activists and diplomats flying across the planet to sign a milquetoast, watered-down, pre-negotiated statement (when they even manage to do that) are crying out to be lampooned by anyone who follows the issue (and of course, a plethora of indignant environmentalists angry they didn’t get invited).

In a rare display of maturity I’ve decided not to bang this particular drum when it comes to the Rio+20 meeting scheduled for June, a United Nations sponsored meeting on sustainable development that marks the 20th anniversary of a 1992 Rio environment summit. But when it comes to the venue for the event, I simply can’t keep my trap shut.