Archive for June 30, 2014

Risky Business Report

RiskyBusinessClimate change poses a serious threat to U.S. businesses and economy, according to a recent report written by former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, ex-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and hedge-fund billionaire Tom Steyer. Their report, , argues that climate change should be treated like any other business threat and calls for immediate bipartisan action.

The report estimates between $66 billion and $106 billion in coastal property will likely be below sea level by 2050; labor productivity of outdoor workers could be reduced by 3 percent because extremely hot days will be far more frequent; and demand for electricity to power air conditioners will require the construction of more power plants that will cost electricity customers up to $12 billion per year.

In an op-ed piece to The New York Times, Henry Paulson outlines similarities between the economic crash of 2008 to the coming climate crash.

“We are building up excesses (debt in 2008, greenhouse gas emissions that are trapping heat now). Our government policies are flawed (incentivizing us to borrow too much to finance homes then, and encouraging the overuse of carbon-based fuels now). Our experts (financial experts then, climate scientists now) try to understand what they see and to model possible futures. And the outsize risks have the potential to be tremendously damaging (to a globalized economy then, and the global climate now).

“Back then, we narrowly avoided an economic catastrophe at the last minute by rescuing a collapsing financial system through government action. But climate change is a more intractable problem. The carbon dioxide we’re sending into the atmosphere remains there for centuries, heating up the planet. … There is virtually no debate among [climate scientists] that the planet is warming and that the burning of fossil fuels is largely responsible.”

The findings of the Risky Business report solidify the relationship of climate change to our economic and social well-being. Learn more by visiting  and read .

Support Solar Power

The newest Don’t Just Sit There – Do Something! video highlights the power of the sun as a renewable resource and uses humor to inspire action.

SolarFestActions from this episode include using solar power (especially for drying laundry) and supporting the EPA’s Clean Power Plan to promote clean energy and reduce carbon pollution. Follow this link to support the EPA’s new policy through The Climate Reality Project http://l.djst.tv/CleanPowerPlan.

To find out how much solar energy will cost where you live, visit solar-estimate.org. To learn about community-based solar financing, go to communitypowernetwork.com. In addition, you can attend the Allegheny Solar Fest on Saturday, June 21st from noon to 7 PM at Millvale Riverfront Park to learn more about solar energy through educational workshops and fun activities. The entire festival will be powered by solar energy!

PCI Hosting Green Drinks

greendrinks

Want to meet representatives from the PCI partner organizations and connect with other sustainability-minded professionals? Join us for Green Drinks on Thursday, June 19th from 5:30 – 8 pm at Uptown! Located directly across from Consol Energy Center at 1014 Fifth Avenue, Uptown’s rooftop lounge offers an exceptional view of Downtown Pittsburgh. Complimentary appetizers and drink specials provided by Uptown.
Uptown logo

PCI Partners will be on hand to talk about the recently released progress report of the plan, as well as sector-specific emissions reductions activities, like the Green Workplace Challenge, the 2030 District, and local government sustainability initiatives.

Green Drinks Pittsburgh is a sustainability network platform designed to inspire new ideas and spread awareness of what is happening in Pittsburgh. As always, this event is free and open to the public. Learn more and sign up for the email list by visiting the Green Drinks Pittsburgh website. Also, visit the Green Drinks Facebook event page.

Hearing on Carbon Pollution Standards

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a standard to limit carbon pollution from fossil fuel-fired power plants, which would reduce carbon emissions by up to 30 percent by 2030. Power plants are the nation’s largest source of carbon pollution and contribute to climate change, which is why this proposed regulation is so crucial to protect human health and our communities.

Speak out in favor of these proposed standards at a public hearing in Pittsburgh on Thursday, July 31. Click here to register for the hearing. Make your voice heard by supporting the EPA’s decision to control dangerous air pollution and take action on climate change!