Floridians Fight for Polar Bears, and More

The average American causes about 600 square feet of Arctic sea ice to vanish each year, according to a study released November 3rd by the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The study used computer models, observations, and statistics to link massive snow storms along the East Coast, as well as drought in California, to the average 20 tons of carbon dioxide emitted per person, each year. The study predicts that summer Arctic sea ice will be gone in 30 years, causing drastically volatile weather patterns, unless carbon emissions are rapidly reduced. Polar bears are at serious risk under this scenario. In previous posts, we’ve shared the good news about the Paris Agreement (to reduce CO2 emissions), and the recent Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol (to reduce hydrofluorocarbons). But being global starts local, so we were happy to learn of this initiative right here in our hometown of Orlando, Florida, according to the November 2016 issue of Florida Trend: Launched in 2007, the Green Works Orlando initiative seeks to ensure that people who travel to the area’s theme parks and nearby beaches from all over the world will find Orlando to be a progressive, environmentally-friendly city. Chris Castro, director of sustainability for the City of Orlando, touts the use of a $17.5 million “green” bond being used to modernize and retrofit more than 55 city buildings to save the city up to $2.5 million per year in energy costs. And its new police headquarters is being built to LEED Gold status standards. Orlando’s One Person One Tree program provides residents with free trees, and its Fleet Farming initiative assists residents with converting their lawns to micro-farms. The city’s food waste collection program diverts food waste from restaurants and hotels that would be headed to the landfills for use feeding the hungry. At Clean Energy Advisors, we’re doing our part to measure the environmental impact of our investments in renewable energy portfolios by the amount of carbon offset by creating electricity from renewable energy sources. We use real-time tracking to monitor the impact of each project, and report that to our investors. After all, the polar bears are counting on us.

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