World’s Top 3000 Firms cause US$2.2 Trillion in Environmental Damage

Capitalism is great. Apparently, one of the central tenets of the market economy: “there is no free lunch”, does not apply if you happen to be one of the top 3000 publicly-listed companies.

While you and me may get ourselves hauled to court for spitting chewing gum on the sidewalk in Singapore, 3000 of the world’s top companies that have caused a sum of US$2.2 trillion in environmental damage are not obligated to pay anything. The complete report which is due this northern hemisphere summer is being compiled by the London-based consultancy Trucost.

Among the most costly damages stated within the report are emissions of greenhouse gases (making up more than half of the total damage), air pollution, and damage to fresh water resources.

On average, the total damage would be 1/3 of the total profit generated. But nature be damned, money is more important.

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Audi 2010 Super Bowl Commercial

The Super Bowl commercials are known in the USA as the premier spot for creative marketing. That’s why you will find weird stuff like this. While I do not believe such extreme measures to be conducive, there is some truth that perhaps the world would be a better place if punitive laws that are already in place are enforced without prejudice.

METI Taps Miku for Handphone Recycling Programme

Japanator.com brings news about a new handphone recycling programme by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The difference is METI tapping the talents of various artists to create the music video above starring otaku pop-culture icon, Hatsune Miku – also widely regarded as better than most real singers, although her voice is artificially generated.

People recycling their old phones before buying a new one are eligible for a prize, with a further stipulation that phone to be recycled must be worth more than 2,500 yen. Participants also receive 1,000 yen for their efforts.

This is an admirable display of what governments should be doing to promote both an environmentally conscious lifestyle, and promote the works of local artists as well. That said, 2,500 yen is about RM95.00 at the time of writing. As Karen Gellender at Japanator pointed out: “I question how many cell phones even exist in Japan that cost less than that.”

Future Tech: Glitter Solar Cells, Home Batteries, and Thorium Reactors

We have some pretty cool green technology on the way. Panasonic has announced a new battery that could potentially power a home for one week on a single charge.

As the writer here says, solar and other forms of renewable energy for the home alone aren’t enough to offer us all a constant supply of electricity. That is why surplus energy needs to be stored. Enter the home battery.

Expect the Japanese to own them before us. Continue reading

Copenhagen Ends. Reading Assignment for All.

The document the world has been waiting for since the announcement of COP15 is now available for download. I am no legal expert on the matter, so it will be a while before i can post my analysis. The consensus amongst the scientists and NGOs however, points to the Copenhagen Accord being far too weak to be effective.

Read and discuss the Copenhagan Accord, if you are up to it.

Video: How to Repair the World

I follow Stephen Fry on Twitter, and his tweets range from the mundane, to the observant, to the funny. A few hours prior to this  post being published, Mr Fry posted a twit about the video above, produced by WeForest.com, which is to be presented at COP15.

Click for further details.

FD Using FSC Certified Paper

Het Financieele Dagblad (FD) is a Netherlands-based newspaper that was awarded  the Dutch FSC Award last month for their commitment to sustainable forest management.

The FSC is the most well-known body that provides independent evaluation of the sustainability of a forest management scheme for countries, organizations, or any other body that owns and manages a forest for commercial purposes. Forest managements that pass the FSC’s stringent evaluation criteria are awarded a certificate that affirms the responsible management of a forest.

FD is one of the first newspapers in the world to be printed on Forest Stewardship Council Certified paper. With 2.5 million kilos of paper used every year, and a history that stretches back to the 18th century, the move to print their newspapers using FSC certified paper is a strong statement of commitment towards sustainability.

Hopefully, others will follow their example.

News via the Forest Stewardship Council