Southeast Green - Business depends on the environment and the environment depends on business

What the Paris climate agreement means for Georgia

Regardless of the technical details and absence of sanctioned enforcement controls, the recently concluded Paris talks on global climate mark a noteworthy achievement — an historic milestone that deserves being understood, avidly supported, and celebrated.

First, according to all attending, the session gained unprecedented legitimacy among national representatives who agreed that the climate is a major problem and humanity must give high priority to getting it under control. The agreement for reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) was signed by nations producing over 99 percent of those heat-trapping emissions.


Misguided Dietary Guidelines?

The new Dietary Guidelines disappoint nutrition experts who had hoped for sustainability recommendations.

The new Dietary Guidelines disappoint nutrition experts who had hoped for sustainability recommendations.

The recently released dietary guidelines—which were put together by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—are creating a lot of controversy.


Pollution Prevention: Where Sustainability Begins

Benjamin Franklin famously wrote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It’s true—stopping something bad from happening is easier than fixing it later. This is the core concept behind the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) pollution prevention efforts. Reducing the amount of pollution produced means less waste to control, treat, or dispose of.


Solar can bring together political left, right

Solar can bring together political left, rightI’ve heard Duke Energy being referred to as the devil in the past – this was mostly among environmentalists who believe that the corporation’s bullying tactics and undying love for fossil fuels is not in the best interests of ordinary North Carolinians.

But their recent actions against a small church in Greensboro leaves one to wonder if the moniker isn’t true. Duke is pulling out the stops as it goes after this church and the nonprofit organization that helped them install solar on their roof because it infringes on their monopoly, asking for a $1,000 per day penalty. One could say that the company has finally gone over the line as this time they’re going after God.


Sustainable Economics for Savvy Business Leaders

Whether you’re running a business or a household, balancing capital costs with operating expenses is one of the most integral elements of your spending strategy. Yet too often, the product and service choices that we make overlook lifetime analysis for the seductive appeal of low upfront cost. Remember the time you purchased the discount coffeemaker for the office kitchen that didn’t last 6 months? We’ve all done it. The lowest cost choice can equate to lower quality – resulting in failures, insufficient performance, shorter lifetime, limited functionality and an array of other compromises to your overall experience. The fluorescent light shown in this video is a prime example of this.


Greenhouse Gases a Growing Factor in Coastal Flooding

The recent ‘king–tide’ (extreme high-tide) flooding was an eye-opening event to witness. According to official reports, these were the highest waters on our coast ever recorded in the absence of a hurricane.

In addition to heavy rains there were other factors, and one of particular significance. Besides moderate offshore winds that were blowing landward, as coastal development continues, there are increasing areas of pavement and other impervious surfaces that shed storm-water into low-lying areas.


Atlanta’s Commute is Driving Climate Change Home

Atlanta drivers face the worst commutes in the entire country. With both population and suburban sprawl on the rise, it’s not going to get better without active change.

The City of Atlanta and its transportation woes are synonymous. Almost three quarters of city residents responding to a recent Atlanta Regional Commission poll rated traffic as “the biggest problem facing residents in the metro Atlanta area.”

And the city isn’t simply time-crazed. Atlanta drivers spend more hours commuting than residents of any other U.S. city. This is partly due to poor city infrastructure. Georgia spends less dollars per resident on transportation than almost any other state.

And our cars are pumping carbon dioxide at an alarming rate. Dr. Jairo Garcia, City of Atlanta’s Sustainability Management Analyst, watches the numbers, such as vehicle miles travelled (VMTs), every day. It’s his job to take climate science and apply it to citywide policy.


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