Climate Change

Company News: Nike, Men's Wearhouse …

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FoxFibre Cotton Twill Slacks from Chi WearMen’s Wearhouse, a national leader in men’s clothing, and the largest seller of men’s suits in the U.S. will be offering a new environmental product line in partnership with Chi Wear. Pants, shirts, jackets, underwear and socks made from hemp/ cotton blends, organic cotton, and color-grown organic cotton (the cotton is grown in color, eliminating dyes), will be available on-line and in all 500 stores as early as Spring, 2002. [sorry this link is no longer available]Several activewear producers are switching to all organic materials. They are the largest purchasers of organic cotton, driving the increase in acreage worldwide. Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), Nike, Patagonia, and Gaiam/Ecosport are some of the manufacturers involved. Nike plans to use 1.2 million pounds of certified organic or transitional cotton this year. The company used 900,000 pounds last year, two thirds of which came from the U.S. Nike plans to incorporate three percent organic cotton into all its cotton apparel worldwide by 2010.Nike signed a landmark agreement committing the company to reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and to begin measuring emissions from contracted manufacturing and shipping operations. The company, which employs some 500,000 people at 750 factories worldwide, […]

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Halon Traders Meet Here

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Here’s an example of an e-commerce model put to good use. The United Nations has launched HalonTrader, the “world’s virtual marketplace for recycled halons.” Halon seekers or sellers can search the online database to buy or sell halons by country, type of halon, and halon quantity. Halons are chemicals that contribute to ozone depletion and climate change and are being phased out under the Montreal protocol. This service helps people trade remaining halons as a key strategy to phase them out. It facilitates transactions between people who need halons for essential uses and those that have recycled or banked halons. By promoting recycling, recovery and exchange of existing halons, this matchmaking service helps avoid demand for new halons.[sorry this link is no longer available]

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Can't Get Enough Global Warming

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The “Early Warning Signs Map” is a poster-sized map of the world that illustrates global climate change as it’s happening. It shows global warming Fingerprints (where you can see it happening now) and Harbingers (what it may well look like). Click on a continent to explore local indicators of global warming. The map was produced by seven major conservation organizations including the Union of Concerned Scientists and Natural Resources Defense Council. There is also a Curriculum Guide to use with the map. http://www.climatehotmap.orgIt might be interesting to see how this map matches the World Energy Council’s on-line database of worldwide voluntary greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Companies and organizations can publicly demonstrate what they are doing to reduce emissions by contributing to the database. It also enables financial institutions and groups seeking emissions offsets to identify promising projects that may merit financial support. The system allows emission reduction projects to be recorded and tracked as they proceed; reductions are totalled by country and by type of greenhouse gas emission. http://www.worldenergy.orgHow do you calculate greenhouse gases? The GHG Protocol Initiative shows you how. A multi-stakeholder collaboration convened by World Resource Institute and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development is testing a […]

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Advance Brazil or Undermine Brazil?

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In an article in the Jan. 19 issue of Science, a U.S.-Brazilian team of biologists reported that as much as 42 percent of the Amazon River basin of Brazil will be seriously damaged or lost altogether in the next two decades if the country’s infrastructure development projects go forward as planned. The projects they refer to are part of the “Avanca Brasil” (Advance Brazil) program, which is intended to boost the industrial agriculture, timber and mining sectors of the economy by investing $40 billion in infrastructure projects from 2000 to 2007. William Laurance, a scientist with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, led a research team to systematically assess the effects of development trends and projects on the region. They developed comprehensive computer models that integrate current data on deforestation, logging, fires, mining, roads, parks and reserves with information about a host of existing and planned infrastructure projects, including the construction of railroads, highways and hydroelectric dams; the installation of power lines and gas lines; and the channelization of rivers. The authors suggest that “Rather than punching many new roads and highways into the remote frontier” that they invest in existing roads, public services and financial incentives that favor sustainable forest […]

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Worldwatch Releases 2001 State of the World Report

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Worldwatch Institute released its annual report, State of the World 2001. It notes that signs of accelerated ecological decline and loss of political momentum on environmental issues are emerging simultaneously. Scientific evidence indicates that many global ecosystems are reaching dangerous thresholds. The Arctic ice cap is thinner by 42 percent and 27 percent of the world’s coral reefs have been lost, suggesting that some of the planet’s key ecological systems are in decline. Natural disasters associated with environmental degradation cost $608 billion over the last decade – as much as in the previous four decades combined. The encouraging signs of progress include the worldwide treaty signed in December to severely restrict 12 persistent organic pollutants. Organic farming now has a worldwide annual market of $22 billion. But fossil fuel use must slow dramatically to avoid acute water shortages, declining food production, and the proliferation of deadly diseases such as malaria. State of the World 2001 calls for stronger enforcement of international treaties, and for increased North-South cooperation. A collective commitment by the E9 (China, India, U.S., Indonesia, Brazil, Russia, Japan, South Africa, EU) to renewable energy systems, for example, could have a dramatic impact on energy markets and reduce the […]

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