Climate crisis worsens, but wait, there is hope! A look at sustainability leadership in transport and energy

If bizarre and tragic weather reports aren’t enough for you, how about another one? Check out this detailed look at the state of plastics accumulating in the ocean and what that means for various forms of life.

Yes, it’s a dark time to hear about climate change, which would be more accurately called climate crises these days. And there’s more bad news. When will COVID-19 be over and economic disruption continuing with more inflation and the global supply chain being clogged up (make sure you add extra days/weeks to any of your Amazon, UPS, and FedEx orders)? There are no easy, clear solutions for all of it in Washington, D.C., and Glasgow, Scotland.

But there may be a glimmer of hope out there. Here’s a look at the state of things………….

What’s coming at COP26: The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is the 26th conference of its type and got underway yesterday. Today was filled with ominous warnings about where it all stands. It will be running through Nov. 12 in Glasgow, Scotland at the Scottish Event Campus. There’s a good deal of concern over global temperatures rising and that it could be a fighting ground between the US and China over accountability ands realistic solutions; but there’s also a good deal of gratitude that it can even take place. It had been postponed from November 2020 due to COVID-19.

President Joe Biden wants to make the case to the world at COP26 that the U.S. is clearly back in the fight against climate change. His $1.85 trillion social spending and climate bill initially had managed to apparently get through the senate, and it does include the most ambitious climate change goals adopted by the U.S. Biden hopes it will help America’s position at COP26. The challenge looked like it would be getting it through the House. There are still key congressional holdouts. The scaled-back bill still needs more support from Democrats in Congress. But then Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) shook things up today by criticizing Democrats’ $1.85 trillion bill supporting healthcare, education and climate-change; and withheld his support for a legislative framework that the White House had cast as a consensus acceptable to all members of the Senate Democratic caucus. The struggle continues.

China vs. the U.S.: While there may be great debate at COP26 over which country will be taking the best approach to reversing climate change, the numbers need a good look. These two countries lead the way as largest greenhouse gas emitters, but China is the clear winner. Rhodium Group, a research and analytics firm, studied pre-COVID 2019 data to determine that China’s greenhouse gas emissions were nearly 2.5 times that of the US’, and more than all the world’s developed countries combined. China emitted 14.1 billion metric tons in 2019, more than a quarter of the world’s total emissions. America had emitted 5.7 billion tons, 11% of total emissions, followed by India (6.6%) and the European Union (6.4%). But the U.S. is the clear global winner historically. Cumulatively, the US has emitted almost twice as much CO2 as China since 1850, and no other country has come close to beating the U.S.

Infrastructure support in CA with feds: California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) just announced a strategic partnership to help facilitate innovative projects and financing opportunities for multi-billion infrastructure improvements in the state. It follows on the heels of Newsom’s executive order to help tackle supply chain issues, and as part of the ongoing efforts of the Biden-Harris Task Force on Supply Chain Disruptions. This partnership can help kick-start construction to deliver benefits to the transportation supply chain and U.S. consumers in the future. Projects that could receive support through this agreement include: expanding capacity for freight rail; railyard and truck electrification; and highway upgrades to improve truck travel times.

The State of Sustainable Fleets report, produced by Gladstein Neandross & Associates, gathers real-world data directly from early-adopter fleets across the U.S. to provide deep insights into the adoption of clean fuel fleet vehicles and practices. The analysis includes public, private, and for-hire fleets, including school, municipal/shuttle, urban delivery, refuse, utility, transit, short-haul, and long-haul sectors. Along with insights into vehicle sale trends, real-world infrastructure and fuel costs, and the growing adoption of renewable fuels, here are a few more of the gems you can find………..

Fleet Technology Miniguides
Propane, natural gas, battery electric, and fuel cell electric vehicle miniguides

Market and Trends Brief
The 2021 State of Sustainable Fleets Market and Trends Brief is a technology-neutral analysis of key insights and critical trends for today’s leading on-road clean vehicle technologies. It studies the adoption of these four leading clean vehicle technologies against a baseline of diesel and gasoline technology. The assessment’s comprehensive findings represent government, private, and for-hire fleets and are gathered across nine sectors including school, municipal, shuttle, urban delivery, refuse, public utility, transit, regional-haul, and long-haul.

What to know about NGVs and RNG
Who is adopting natural gas vehicles and why.

Just Announced: A Potentially Industry-Changing Natural Gas Engine
More on Cummins announcing its plans to bring a 15-liter natural gas engine to the North American heavy-duty market, now bringing full range of natural gas powertrains to the market.

Fact Finder: What’s behind the numbers on violence during COVID, Quitting Vs. Fired, and even some good news Here’s Fact Finder, a new column I’m starting in Time Capsule 21st Century that’s tied into my upcoming online course, Real Research Methods, on Along with looking at the crisis of the pandemic, news items and analysis look into the dark side of social media, and some very positive and constructive education and training opportunities for students wanting to strengthen their research skills and overcome an unofficial diagnosis I’m calling “information trauma.”

Industry Leaders Rally around Pathways for Decarbonization
The Mission Possible Partnership (MPP) is an alliance that aims to unite industrial leaders, customers, financiers, and more behind aggressive decarbonization strategies. Its leaders will be attending COP26 to speak the organization’s voice. Aviation, steel, and shipping are three of the seven “hardest to abate” industries that together account for some 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. And MPP, which developed the decarbonization strategies, is now working on the other four high-emitting, hard-to-abate industries: cement, aluminum, trucking, and chemicals. All these industries tend to rely on high-heat processes or energy-dense fuels for which fossil-free alternatives are either immature or expensive.

And, finally, read all about the latest from the inspirational XPRIZE — on the ground at the ANA Avatar XPRIZE finals.

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