Bee Vectoring of Organic Pesticides

On August 28, the EPA approved the first-ever bee-distributed organic pesticide for the US market—a fungus-fighting powder called Vectorite that contains the spores of a naturally occurring fungus called Clonostachys rosea (CR-7). CR-7 is completely harmless to its host plant and acts as a hostile competitor to other, less innocuous fungi. It has been approved for commercial growers of flowering crops like blueberries, strawberries, almonds, and tomatoes.

The beauty of Vectorite is that it mimics a “locally appropriate natural system,” said Vicki Wojcik, director of Pollinator Partnership Canada. “It’s an interesting twist… where care for the health of the pollinator is actually vital because it is your actual vector.”

Thus… bee vectoring.

More: A new pesticide is all the buzz: The EPA has approved the first-ever bee-distributed pesticide for the US market

Carbon Bubble


Are the world’s capital markets carrying a carbon bubble? This question related to the fact that there is unburnable carbon, and some of that is owned by listed companies. In terms of carbon there is a clear overhang of fossil fuels beyond what can be burned in a 2°C scenario; there is a lively debate about the financial implications. Some of the issues that have arisen include:

  • Are there assets which are being valued in a manner inconsistent with the expected future scenario?
  • Does the short-term bias of valuation models mean that the impact of lower-than-expected future demand is largely discounted out at present?
  • Is the market capable of pricing in the complex set of factors which could affect demand and price?
  • Do large diversified companies (eg mining stocks or oil majors) dilute the impact of a reduction in coal or oil revenues?
  • Do current accounting rules capture the value and any potential impairment of assets in a consistent and useful manner, (eg compare mining vs oil; contrast IFRS and US GAAP)?
  • If capital expenditure continues to be used to replace reserves could this lead to the inflation of a carbon bubble which would have to be corrected in a scenario of sudden drastic action to prevent dangerous climate change?

More: Carbon Tracker and Wikipedia entry on Carbon Bubble

Hedonistic Sustainability

…In Copenhagen, there’s a new power plant “embodying the notion of hedonistic sustainability.”

Known both as Amager Bakke and Copenhill, the site is a waste to energy plant designed to convert enough tons of waste to provide clean energy for 150,000 homes. The giant chimney was intended to blow giant smoke rings, but that plan was abandoned.

…The exterior features enough facilities to host the X-Games, including a ski slope, freestyle park, climbing wall, and running trail.

Source: Power plant looks like it’s holding a giant cigarette (and features its own year-round ski slope)

More information: Bjarke Ingels On The Future Of Architecture

Conspicuous Consumption: £335 flip-flops

Source: The Guardian, The £335 flip-flops: what the super-rich wear to look like everyone else

The headline is a bit misleading; one does not want to “look like everyone else” in these flip-flops; yes they are flip flops, but they are really expensive flip-flops.

In reference to the concept of conspicuous consumption:

Conspicuous consumption is the spending of money on and the acquiring of luxury goods and services to publicly display economic power—of the income or of the accumulated wealth of the buyer. Wikipedia

Conspicuous sustainability: the spending of money on and the acquiring of luxury sustainability goods, infrastructure and services to publicly display environmental piety and power—and the income or of the accumulated wealth of the buyer.

Or something like that…