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Big business says addressing climate change ‘rates very low on agenda’

Tricia Holly Davis, Geoffrey Lean and Susie Mesure, The Independent
Global warming ranks far down the concerns of the world’s biggest companies, despite world leaders’ hopes that they will pioneer solutions to the impending climate crisis, a startling survey will reveal this week.

Nearly nine in 10 of them do not rate it as a priority, says the study, which canvassed more than 500 big businesses in Britain, the US, Germany, Japan, India and China. Nearly twice as many see climate change as imposing costs on their business as those who believe it presents an opportunity to make money. And the report’s publishers believe that big business will concentrate even less on climate change as the world economy deteriorates.

The survey demolishes George Bush’s insistence that global warming is best addressed through voluntary measures undertaken by business – and does so at the most embarrassing juncture for the embattled President. For this week he is convening a meeting of the world’s largest economies to try to persuade them to agree with him.
(27 January 2008)
Also at Common Dreams.

Suzuki Foundation outlines ways to make 2010 Winter Games carbon neutral

Press release, David Suzuki Foundation
The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games could be one of the most climate friendly Games in history if it follows the recommendations set out in a new David Suzuki Foundation report.

… The Suzuki Foundation report, which was partially funded by VANOC, recommends that VANOC measure and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the Games, and then balance the remaining emissions with “carbon offsets.” The result would be zero net greenhouse gas emissions.

Other recommendations include:
• Developing an implementation plan with targets and timelines
• Encouraging sponsors, suppliers, athletes, spectators and media to participate in the program
• Accounting for air travel to and from Vancouver related to the Games
• Creating a public outreach strategy that uses the Games to promote energy conservation and carbon neutrality
(24 January 2008)
Contributor and sports fan Bill Henderson writes:
I think DSF is making a big mistake – by games time in 2010 it will be only too obvious what a wasteful luxury such big media parties are and not even high-quality offsets will cover the smell of wasted resources. There never can be a green or sustainable Super Bowl. Offsetting player travel – while it could have been a real leadership move a decade ago – would be just silly. Like the Olympics, what you have in the Stupour Bowl is heavy weight branding of consumption.

Everything’s Cool: a real-life disaster movie

Film website
EVERYTHING’S COOL is a film about America finally “getting” global warming in the wake of the most dangerous chasm ever to emerge between scientific understanding and political action. While industry funded nay-sayers sing what just might be their swan song of pseudo- scientific deception, a group of global warming messengers are on a high stakes quest to find the iconic image, the magic language, the points of leverage that will finally create the political will to move the United States from its reliance on fossil fuels to the new clean energy economy – AND FAST.

We follow the country and our global warming messengers through an extraordinary three years of transformation, from 2003-to the eve of 2007:

Bill McKibben: “The Poet Laureate” of global warming literally wrote the book on this issue when he published The End of Nature in 1987. After 20 years of impassioned writing, speaking, blogging and advocacy, he finally takes to the streets. He realizes “The thing that has been missing from the movement is THE MOVEMENT!”, and he and others stage the largest global warming demonstration in U.S. history (to date). There might be hope for our democracy and our planet.

Ross Gelbspan: The “Columbo of Climate Change” has recently come to believe that his decade of writings, interviews, public readings and policy discussions have come to nothing and he is more than ready to retire. Yet, like a “firehouse dog,” every time the alarm bell rings he is back on the job.

Dr. Heidi Cullen: Heidi is the first on-air climatologist in America exclusively dedicated to covering the global warming beat. As a PhD from Columbia University and an expert in multi-decadal oscillation, can she distill her vast scientific knowledge into 30-second sound bites for The Weather Channel?

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus: Two thirty-something Berkeley, CA based “eco-messiahs”, otherwise known as the “Bad Boys of Environmentalism” rise to the top of the green charts for levying a radical critique of the movement, The Death of Environmentalism. The self-published essay challenged what has, until now, been the basis of almost all climate change messaging – the “I have a nightmare” speech of polar bears floating away on ice caps.

Rick Piltz: His job was to prepare scientific reports to congress on the latest research on climate change. Repressed and depressed by political censorship, Rick Piltz went from downtrodden public servant to front page news when he blew the lid off the White House’s scandalous manipulation of global warming science.

Bish Neuhouser: A frustrated snow groomer (who has less and less snow to groom) at the Canyons resort near Park City, determined to convert first his 1970s Mercedes, then all of the Canyons’ vehicles, to biodiesel.

As much about messaging as it is about the messengers, as much about human nature as it is about humans’ impact on nature, Everything’s Cool explores what it will take to move America from laggard nation to world leader on global warming.

The ultimate challenge is to show urgent this situation really is – and still leave people optimistic and willing to do something. That perhaps is the ultimate challenge to all global warming messengers. Hold on… this is bigger than changing your light bulbs.
(January 2008)
Apparently being shown now on Sundance channel. Also on DVD and in some theaters.