Evidence of the increasing effects of climate change is building, as are the investing opportunities and changes in consumer habits linked to environmental concerns and resource use. Here are select dispatches about the companies responding to customer demands and climate risk, the ESG investors and their advisers, and the enterprising individuals and scientists preparing for tomorrow.
Mayor Pete: Curb refineries ‘abusing’ biofuel rule. Presidential hopeful and South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg climbed on the Iowa State Fair soapbox Tuesday. Ahead of the key stopover in the early caucus state for the 2020 race, the candidate released his ideas for helping rural Americans. The proposal focused on internet access and supporting satellite college campuses, and it had a climate component. Buttigieg addressed ethanol and other biofuels: “Pete will stop the abuse of ‘small refinery’ exemptions established by the current administration, which allows fossil fuel giants to skirt their obligations to blend biofuels,” the plan reads.
Buttigieg said he will commit $50 billion over a decade to support research and development in soil technology, plant and animal health, food safety and other natural resources; provide $5 billion annually for investments that would mitigate damage from natural disasters by strengthening areas before they hit; and pay farmers for conservation, biodiversity, productivity and soil health, including expansion of and easier filing for the existing Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Stewardship Program.
Don’t miss: Harry Reid wants more 2020 focus on climate change than health care
Bloom Energy bottom line hit by ‘renewables-only.’ The stock price for Bloom Energy Corp. BE, -42.50% , the rare clean-energy unicorn that went public in 2018, tumbled some 40% in Tuesday trading, after its earnings report. Executives said the move by some states to achieve 100% renewables-only power, including California, “are well-intentioned, but ill-informed,” as there is no credible way to achieve that goal without compromising safety, reliability and affordability. Bloom makes fuel cells used in stationary power-generation servers that convert natural gas or biogas into electricity, but its nat-gas reliance is losing favor. JPMorgan analyst Paul Coster said “the Green New Deal debate has caused commercial end-customers to hit the pause button on gas investments,” Barron’s noted.
Read: Coalition of 22 states sue Trump administration over new coal rules
And: Green investing is how to get ‘filthy f**king rich,’ according to Bill Nye the Science Guy
‘Fish tube’ is no folly. The “fish tube” featured this weekend in a viral video doing the upstream heavy-lifting for salmon is a bioengineering keeper, if not exactly risk-free for the fish, a Vox report argues. This salmon cannon, made by a company called, what else, Whooshh Innovations, isn’t even the first time U.S. scientists have flung fish from one home to another, the site reports, and John Oliver did a show on the feat as far back as 2014. Man-made dams are a primary culprit in compromising how fish commute and the tube is just one of several attempts (there have been ladders, too) to solve how humans might make amens by stabilizing the natural rhythms of the environment — specifically, fish migration.
20th-century arctic shipping logs help today. Precise measurements of arctic ice melt — beyond the limited history of satellite imaging — are hard to obtain and reveal little about the depth of sea ice. To fill in the blanks, researchers have turned to ships’ logs from the past, the Economist writes. Old Weather, a crowdsourcing project, has enlisted the help of thousands of volunteers to transcribe entries from 20th-century ship logbooks (some hand-written) to help scientists compile historical climate data to feed into their models. A clearer picture confirms: the region is losing ice at the fastest rate since 1900.
Read: Trump makes changes to Endangered Species Act — critics say changes will drive more creatures to extinction