What Is Your Community’s Climate Action Plan?

Washington (GGM) Analysis | November 29, 2022 by Noreen WiseFounder & CEO of Gallant Gold Mediaand authorImage Credit: AdobeStock

The following is the requested feedback to Fairfax County’s draft Resilient Fairfax Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan, put forth for public comment from May 16, 2022 through June 15, 2022.

With so many lives at stake, as well as the survivability of the human species, it’s vitally important for every single one of us to voice our positions, and our objections when something seems amiss with our local community/county’s climate action plans, including its timeline. Everything we do and don’t do in 2022-2024 will be hyper-analyzed in the future. The IPCC, the UN, many global leaders and thousands of scientists have repeatedly warned about the urgency to act immediately. Yet so few local governments are following through.

“Every tenth of a degree matters.”Peter Kalmus, NASA Climate Scientist

Dear Resilient Fairfax County, thank you for devoting so much time and energy to this herculean task. Although the plan is 90 pages, which made it challenging for the average busy Fairfax County resident to read, it’s very well written and expertly organized and presented.  

The most notable disappointment in this great work is that it appears to be the Swiss cheese plan to address the terrifying climate crisis, with big holes throughout, that results in the Fairfax County Plan not aligning with global climate targets, as well as Biden’s and the US army’s climate goals and plans, and many peer counties across the country. 

It’s unclear why you didn’t simply borrow one of the many existing complete climate action plans, plans that don’t have holes, that are being used in cities, states and countries all over the globe.

Targeted Years of 2050 and 2085, rather than 2025 and 2030

Right from the jump, and throughout the detailed draft plan, there is a repeated emphasis on the years 2050 and 2085, rather than 2025 and 2030. Why isn’t there any action planned for 2023, 2024 and 2025? Tragically, it doesn’t appear that Fairfax County will begin work on any of the climate mitigation and adaptation strategies before 2025.


The word “biodiversity” appeared only once in the entire 84 page content. Biodiversity was noted in a quote by the IUCN at the very end on page 84 just before the References begin: “Nature based solutions are ‘actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems, that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits.'” 

Additionally, the nature-based solutions section repeatedly mentioned “trees” rather than dense native biodiverse shrubs, perennials, ground cover and trees. Why not include “biodiversity” wherever you have “trees” listed? 

Was this omission intentional or have you not been following the many best-selling books about the importance of biodiversity in saving humanity from extinction, award-winning documentaries and podcasts, and the Kunming Biodiversity Conference and Proclamation? Why did you refuse to follow President Biden’s lead when he pledged his commitment to the aggressive 30×30 biodiversity conservation target a week after he was inaugurated? Why so many half-measures?

Everyone in climate circles KNOWS that boosting biodiversity (which includes diverse native trees) is now a top priority. The short-term goal is to scale-up biodiversity restoration quickly and effectively by planting native shrubs, perennials and groundcover, which includes grasses, under every native tree on every single landscape, and transforming a certain percent of back and side yards to meadows with tall grasses, with the vitally important deep roots, as well as native wildflowers. 

Biodiversity dramatically boosts soil health, helps purify the air, lowers the heat island effect, restores habitat for pollinators and birds and insects, and is a major climate mitigation solution based on how much more carbon drawdown it generates.

In New York state, the median down interstate 84 has been transformed into a dense, biodiverse no-mow median comprised of a wide variety of native flowering groundcover species. This simple project created a biodiversity corridor that stretches nearly 100 miles. Not only that, it’s absolutely beautiful, and again, significantly increases carbon drawdown. So many layers of life-saving benefits at one low cost. 

Many Fairfax County homeowners and neighborhoods are biodiversity superstars. Fairfax County residents clearly know the importance of creating biodiversity corridors in our community and the remarkable benefits. It’s shocking that Fairfax County committee seemed to intentionally exclude biodiversity. Is this because someone doesn’t want to manage the wildlife, such as deer, fox and coyotes? 

If other counties successfully manage restored wildlife, we can too. Los Angeles is building the largest wildlife crossing bridge (Annenburg Wildlife Crossing) that will stretch across 10 lanes of Hwy 101 in the Santa Monica mountains. Why is Fairfax County so reluctant to do what needs to be done? Why so much apathy? We need a wildlife crossing on Fairfax County Parkway which recently had a flock of geese stop traffic when it tried to waddle from lane to lane northbound, using their webbed feet rather than wings on a Sunday morning near the Monument Drive exit.

High Albedo Surfaces | Paint It White & Light Grey

There was not one single mention of white or light roofs, roads, sidewalks and parking lots to reflect the sun (which lowers the heat 10ºF inside the building, and 30º-50º on ground surfaces). 

Additionally, transforming surfaces to white, light grey or silver, will help save our icecaps. The albedo effect. We only have 2.5 years to save the Doomsday Glacier, which if completely melted, will result in a sea level rise of 2 – 10 feet. 

Fairfax County knows the importance of white surfaces. The school buses all have white roofs to lower the heat. Bridgewater Corporate Center, at end of Government Center Parkway in Fairfax, painted its parking lot light grey to cool the surface. 

Image Credit: Noreen Wise

Asphalt is 50ºF warmer than the air temperature. Car tires can become soft in the heat. For each 10ºF of warming on a summer day, the air pressure will increase one pound PSI. Tire range varies between 30-35. If it becomes too hot, the tires will pop when the temperature and pressure keep rising above the tire range. 

North Carolina has light cement roads / highways so the roadways won’t buckle in high heat. White and light also helps cars stop quickly on hot days. Car tires on sizzling black asphalt, don’t have the same traction when both the tires and asphalt become soft. Cars can slide when they have to stop fast at a changing light. There will be more car accidents during high heat because of this failure to transition to white and light grey high-albedo road colors. 

Raleigh, NC
Image Credit AdobeStock

Switching to light-coloured roofs and roadways would have the equivalent effect on greenhouse grass emissions to taking one billion cars of the road for 11 years. *2009Steven Chu, Nobel laureate, Physicist and Former Energy Secretary under President Obama

Fairfax City just replaced tan cement sidewalks on Lee Highway to white cement. There’s now a line in the middle of both the sidewalk and the median, where Fairfax City white cement meets Fairfax County dark tan cement. Sadly, Fairfax County has black asphalt sidewalks lining much of Lee Highway. 

I mentioned the importance of high albedo through chat during two public virtual meetings held by Resilient Fairfax. The county obviously knows how effective high albedo surfaces are, yet chose to ignore this solution, which makes me loose faith. 

Popular Science published an article back in September 2017 with news that Los Angeles was using CoolSeal to paint miles and miles of its roads white and light grey. 

In 2018, Insider gave a shout out to NYC for its exemplary initiative in painting 9.2 million square feet of skyscraper rooftops white. Schools in Massachusettes and NY are painting their roofs white to lower the heat inside the schools which cuts electric bills and reduces CO2 emissions by 29%. 

Fairfax County is stuck on ONLY planning for green roofs. “No” to white roofs. This is NOT accidental, it’s a sad choice.


•No mention of living walls to lower the heat island effect in urban areas. The Kennedy Center has a fabulous living wall on its new Reach building. Georgetown has living walls on buildings lining the canal. Philadelphia has living walls throughout the historic downtown as well as up and down Independence Mall. Downton London, England has city blocks filled with living walls.

Reach Building, Kennedy Center
Image credit Noreen Wise

•No mention of countywide, weekly compost collection pickup using green bins that would be placed curbside with the black and blue bins. Many cities across the globe added curbside compost collection years ago.

•No expectations of corporations mentioned, especially large corporations of which Fairfax County has many. Corporations are often the biggest carbon emitters and need to be regulated. 

•No mention of climate refugees from inside US. The UN warned that countries/states have to build refugee crisis into their Climate Plans. Again, that’s refugees from INSIDE our country. Dulles Airport is a major draw for people across the United States, especially those who can’t take the drought lifestyle anymore, or who have lost everything, again, in a wildfire. Millions of people from the Western states, as well as Southern coastal states, will potentially descend on Northern Virginia. Yet no mention of this likely occurrence is in the Fairfax Plan, despite UN’s insistence that it be included.

Again, thank you for everything you did so well. It’s a great accomplishment. As for all the issues you ignored and even rejected, these will create life-threatening circumstances for many innocent people who reside in the county. When extreme climate weather events occur, there will be some residents who point to this draft plan and ask why you ignored the UN, esteemed climatologistsns such as Michael E. Mann and Peter Kalmus, and global leaders like Al Gore, Bill Clinton and Nobel laureates like Stephen Chu.

NASA scientist and climate activist Peter Kalmus warned that every tenth of a degree matters. Dr. Michael Mannwarned that 1.5ºC is catastrophic warming. We’re already at 1.2ºC, just three-tenths away from catastrophic. Swiss cheese climate plans result in our community being many tenths of a degree off of where we need to be. There is not a single Fairfax County resident who wants to reach 1.6ºC or irreversible 1.7ºC. Yet, Resilient Fairfax Plan seems to be the action plan for doing just that.

© Copyright 2022. ALL Rights Reserved.

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Virginia Green Initiative, Inc. Is Making Positive Impact on Reducing Corporate CO2 Emissions

Washington (GGM) Analysis | November 29, 2022 by Noreen WiseFounder & CEO of Gallant Gold Mediaand authorImage Credit: AdobeStock

Following the most recent and alarming IPCC Report on climate change, released February 28, 2022, four days after Russia invaded Ukraine, it’s become essential that we drill down on what US companies are doing to curb their greenhouse gas emissions and boost their sustainability efforts.

The IPCC’s urgent warning to rush and act now on climate was drowned out by the horror and the bravery we witnessed in Ukraine over the past six weeks. This is understandable. The Russian invasion and atrocities have been traumatizing. Yet, we mustn’t let the IPCC Report slip from our consciousness. Businesses must take advantage of the many resources available and rush to implement their action plans now, in 2022, using the many tips and suggestions that are available.

“This report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction,” said Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC. “It shows that climate change is a grave and mounting threat to our wellbeing and a healthy planet. Our actions today will shape how people adapt and nature responds to increasing climate risks.”

Individuals, schools, nonprofits and various faith groups are very vocal about their specific climate actions and their transition away from fossil fuels. Yet, companies seem to be a lot more vague about what they’re actually doing while simultaneously lauding their climate pledges. The words we hear most corporations espousing are ones that claim they’ll achieve a 50% cut in emissions by 2030, but no substantial actions are required in 2022, and possibly not even 2023. Unbelievably, companies are envisioning a last minute sprint to the finish line.

News broke in late December 2021 about Antarctica’s ‘Doomsday Glacier’ that’s melting more rapidly than anticipated. Scientists took to social media to vent frustration about inaction, concerned that if global warming isn’t slowed immediately, the Thwaites Glacier could potentially collapse within 3 – 5 years. David Holland, an environmental scientist at New York University, told the Associated Press on January 31, 2022 that, “Ultimately over time it’s (the Thwaites Glacier) going to rewrite the global coastline.” 

Scientists project that a total collapse of the Thwaites Glacier would result in a sea level rise of 2 feet. This could potentially trigger a domino effect with the glaciers that Thwaites supports also collapsing, which would raise sea levels by 10 feet.

The red flag warning of the Doomsday Glacier’s pending collapse within 3-5 years, which may end up being before the majority of US businesses and corporations actually begin the heavy lifting to dramatically lower greenhouse gases, should be heeded. In an article published Monday April 6, 2022, Business Insider confirmed this urgent timeframe requirement for effective climate action if we are to stay below 1.5ºC, underscoring the UN‘s grave warning that we only have 3 years of intense collective action to stay below 1.5ºC.

Amidst the darkness and chaos, the state of Virginia has a bright beacon of light for businesses throughout the state that are searching for a sustainability and renewable energy action plan framework: The Virginia Green Initiative, Inc.

VGI, Inc. is a vital and effective business and corporate resource that can be used to guide corporate decision making on sustainability and greenhouse gas emission reduction. This valuable online tool is for businesses of all sizes to use to kick-off a much greener, net-zero future.

VGI has 6 main green areas of focus:

  • Education and Outreach
  • Products and Services
  • Energy
  • Water Conservation
  • Transportation 
  • Waste Management 

In an interview with the Chair of Virginia Green Initiative, Inc., Candice Guillaudeu, there were meaningful insights shared about the best ways for businesses to get their climate action started. Guillaudeu provided answers to key questions that Virginia businesses may have about how to successfully achieve a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, as well as expand their sustainability practices. 

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1. What are top 5 priorities Virginia businesses should focus on in 2022?

In terms of five priorities, we think this should be left up to the business itself, as each business is different in terms of their services and products that they offer.  They would need to define where their impact on the climate is the most. Is it in water usage, is it in waste, is it in transportation, etc? Use that as their priority, to begin their environmental sustainability path.

A good reference is Project Drawdown, which has a list of approximately 75 solutions that can be sorted by ranking or by industry etc.  

With the above said, all economies run on energy. We can’t continue to pull fossil fuels out of the Earth. They are a finite resource and not a long-term solution. Energy conservation should be a priority and would be a concrete, visible cost savings to a businesses’ bottom line.

2Do you recommend deadlines to execute easy things like composting? IE “All Virginia businesses should sign up for compost collection by June 1, 2022.”

Again, it’s not our position to define these kinds of priorities, for each business.  

For home-based businesses, composting would be a huge plus in reducing waste and a great way to begin understanding the importance of local ecological systems, how the soil is important to the plants, planting native plants to support the local pollinators and other insects, the interdependence of the plants, animals, wildlife and ourselves. Using your own compost in your own garden could be a very fulfilling sense of accomplishment especially when you bring your own vegetables to your own table.  

For businesses that work out of a rented office space, where people bring their food to the office or even get take-out, the importance there would be one of Education and Outreach, buying from a business that provides sustainable packaging in their to-go boxes, not Styrofoam, or bringing their own food to the office and taking home the scraps.  Again, it’s up to each business to define their priorities, and how quickly they’re able to do it.  Obviously, the quicker the better.

One of our long-time participants, Little Tree Huggers, LLC, a pre-school daycare in Leesburg, VA that teaches about the environment, has their students actively participate in their on-site food composting program.  The kids will bring back food scraps from their home for composting at Little Tree Huggers.  And when the students collect the food at home, they’re teaching their own parents and family about how it works.  Following is a link where one of the preschoolers talks about their composting program. 

3. What sustainability transitions will take the longest to execute in your estimation?

All economies need energy to run on, and transitioning to renewable energy wherever possible is the immediate thing to do as well as seeming to take the longest amount of time to change.  

4. What’s the best way to Virginia businesses to get their supply chain reducing carbon?

The very first thing for a business is to assess its own products and services, can they be redesigned or reworked to use less of Earth’s resources?  Once they’ve assessed internally, then they can decide which of their supply chains has the most impact and research if there are other opportunities for redesign, other suppliers, etc.  Often, while assessing their own internal processes, this can lead the team to come up with other ideas for other products or services, such as a can they even fulfill a need that that wasn’t readily apparent before?

Through their conservation and sustainability efforts, I think businesses would be amazed at how much money they would start to save, increase their customer loyalty and in turn, their efforts and accomplishments would be a great resource for their own marketing.  Reassessing a business’s products and services in a different “light” if you will, can be fun and very challenging at the same time.  Employees, owners and other stakeholders can learn so much in terms of materials, new sources, as well as team building, etc.  It is a very difficult process, but is also a pragmatic one. 

5. Do you recommend Northern Virginia Fortune 500 companies like Mars and Nestle overhaul product packaging to incorporate carbon labeling?

I recommend they design their packaging so that they can take it back, not leave it up to the individual people and counties to deal with.  This would be a huge infrastructure undertaking, so I do not say this lightly.

In terms of carbon labeling, I think that would help consumers to decide what product to buy, and would be an opportunity to educate people about carbon footprints at the consumer end, but I’m not so sure that it will help in the long run.  Carbon labeling, carbon tax and trade, seems to me personally, to just offset accountability, pushing accountability to another entity, just kicking the can down the road so to speak.  

Each and every one of us, individuals and businesses alike, are all accountable for the harm we are doing to our Earth and thus to ourselves.  We’re all in this together and we all have a lot to learn and to do! 

6. Thank you, Candice!

The VGI, Inc. website is the first step. Click HERE to find the detailed questionnaire that is the gateway leading to the many simple steps that will drive the necessary change in your business culture . “All Virginia business are encouraged to participate in a friendly competition known as the Virginia Green Business Initiative. The ‘Challenge’ is designed to encourage and recognize specific environmental policies and practical actions that not only reduce carbon emissions, but can save businesses money.” 

We are all one, we all depend on the Earth’s ecological systems, the soil, the air, water, the trees, we are all interconnected.  Earth will continue to be, but humanity itself is at stake, and that is no joke.  Candice Guillaudeu, Chair of Virginia Green Initiative, Inc.

© Copyright 2022. ALL Rights Reserved.

Palm Oil Deforestation | The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Washington (GGM) Analysis | August 22, 2022 by Noreen WiseFounder & CEO of Gallant Gold Mediaand authorImage Credit: AdobeStock

Historically, the arctic and the antarctic are polar opposites and never experience the same weather conditions at the same time. That is until Friday, February 18, 2022, when this scientific fact melted and our new climate conditions became that much more apparent. The Arctic reached 50 degrees above normal, while temperatures in Antartica skyrocketed as high as 70 degrees, which was way beyond the pale. Again, the simultaneous heating of both poles at the same time has never happened before, which shocked scientists.

“They are opposite seasons. You don’t see the north and the south (poles) both melting at the same time,” ice scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, Walt Meier, told The Associated Press on Friday evening. “It’s pretty stunning.”

Alarming phenomenon like the Arctic and Antarctic syncing have global leaders trying to wrap their minds around how to address this type of mind-bending occurrence. Scientists are digging deeper to determine if this was a random one-time weather event or a new trend, and if so, how it will affect climate conditions around the world.

We as individuals have to draw our own conclusions and create individual climate action plans so we can become part of the solution. Hopefully, the majority of us will rush as quickly as scientists have been warning us to do. Buy an EV, install solar, begin kitchen scrap composting, alter our household food system, transition our pesticide-covered monoculture lawns to biodiverse no mow yards, and refuse plastic all will help in dramatically lowering our carbon footprints. These types of lifestyle-changing actions will also drawdown much more carbon, especially in our yards through biodiversity. But targeted consumer choices will be what ends up making the winning difference. We have to be willing to REFUSE products that are destroying the forests and peatlands which store the majority of carbon. In the end, it will be collective refusal through boycotts that will save us.

If large global companies can immediately influence the outcome of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by pulling out of Russia (boycotting Russia), then we must apply the same tactic to consumer brands, banks, pension funds, mutual funds, and retirement accounts who are funding and participating in mass global deforestation and biodiversity loss, as well as the extinction of thousands of plants, animals, insects and microbes. Hundreds of global corporations exiting Russia underscored how effective mass boycotting is.

Palm oil is found in 50% of the goods sold in grocery stores, supermarkets, and big box stores like Target and Walmart. Consumer favorites such as ice cream, chocolate, packaged bread, margarine, cookies, frozen meals, as well as soap, detergent, cosmetics, etc are the ones most responsible. We must develop the excellent habit of reading every label in search of palm oil, no matter how fine the print, and refusing to buy the product if we find it. This will be difficult at first, but will become much easier with practice. 

A decrease in revenue and sinking stock prices are the only forces that companies respond to. 

The 2021 global production of palm oil reached a staggering 73 million tons and is projected to grow to 75.5 million tons in 2022. Production levels of this magnitude, require hefty financing from major international banks, who hold a blind eye to the deforestation required for these output levels. Globally, 27 million hectares have been deforested and converted to monoculture-biodiversity-loss palm oil plantations. There is a very long list of US Corporations that are guilty of boosting their profits through deforestation. Sadly, Amazon is at the very top of the list. 

The following are a few of the deforestation overachievers that we must boycott until they end their use of palm oil produced through deforestation:

  • Amazon.com
  • Archer-Daniels Midland
  • Clorox
  • Colgate-Palmolive
  • Conagra Brands
  • Costco Wholesale
  • CVS
  • Dollar General and Dollar Tree
  • Domino’s Pizza
  • Estee Lauder Cos
  • General Mills
  • Hershey
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Kellogg
  • Kimberly-Clark
  • Kraft Heinz
  • Kroger
  • McDonalds
  • Nestle
  • Nike
  • PepsiCo
  • Prada
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • Shell
  • Starbucks
  • Target
  • Tyson Foods
  • Unilver
  • Walmart
  • Wendy’s
  • Williams-Sonoma
  • Yum Brands!

handful of the most well-known US international banks and lenders funding willfully irresponsible deforestation are:

  • Bank of America
  • BlackRock
  • Citigroup
  • Credit Suisse
  • Deutsche Bank
  • HSBC Holdings 
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Morgan Stanley 

budding list of companies have begun moving away from palm oil in the production of consumer products, or at the very least they’ve switched to using palm oil from palm trees NOT grown on monoculture palm plantations that require deforestation. Other companies are using alternative types of oil. (Click here to find a list that will be helpful in finding new “palm oil free” brands.) 

REFUSING palm oil must to become our way of life asap. It’s simple and inexpensive. All that’s required is determination. Additionally, saying “NO” to products that are fueling climate change pays unexpected dividends. Happiness. Happiness derived from doing good and refusing to buy products that contain palm oil will not only be an individual mood-elevator, it will also improve our overall well-being. This is significant. Let’s make it happen.

© Copyright 2022. ALL Rights Reserved.

Ukraine’s Vast Wealth of Natural Resources | Russia’s Lone Fossil Fuel Industry

Washington (GGM) Analysis | Mary 10, 2022 by Noreen Wise, Founder & CEO of Gallant Gold Media, and author; Image Credit: AdobeStock

Ukraine is a vast and beautiful landscape of arable land, rich in soil nutrients. It is home to an abundance of natural resources buried deep beneath the surface. Ukraine is ranked 4th in the world for highest total dollar value of natural resources, and has 25% of the world’s black soil, which is considered the most fertile soil type. Not only does black soil generate high agricultural yields, it sequesters the most carbon. Russia, on the other hand, has one lone major industry. Fossil fuels. 

“Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country.” 
John McCain

Putin’s horrific slaughter of innocent civilians in this unjust and inhumane war against neighboring Ukraine is an apparent attempt to confiscate Ukraine’s wealth of natural resources, while nations across the globe are racing to transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy.


Ukraine feeds 600 million people each year, most of whom reside in Northern Africa, Southern Asia and China. Ukraine is the world’s largest exporter of sunflower seeds and sunflower oil. It is the number one producer of honey in Europe with approximately 700,000 employed in the honey industry. Ukraine is ranked number 2 in the world for the production of barley, and 3rd in the world for the farming of corn. Ukraine made the list for rye production as well, 5th largest producer in the world, 9th for chicken eggs, and 4th in the world for potatoes.

But Ukraine’s threatened wheat production and export is what is causing so much alarm through Tunisia, Yemen, and Lebanon, and a list of other countries, as the price of bread skyrockets, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Food insecurity creates conflicts between nations as hungry people fight to survive. At COP26, Vijay Prashad, an Indian historian and former professor, eviscerated the West, decrying our indifference to the 2.7 billion people across the globe who were already facing daily food insecurity due to climate change. In the US Army’s Climate Strategy (ACS), it acknowledged that armed conflicts will arise when communities have reduced access to basic necessities, and are undermined by economic and social instability.


The US Geological Survey (USGS) has deemed lithium a “critical mineral resource.” It is one of the key components used in the lithium-ion batteries needed to manufacture EVs. The demand for lithium is expected to leap 130% by 2025 from its 2020 level. Ukraine is sitting on a staggering 500,000 tons of untapped lithium reserves, which is considered one of largest stashes in the world.


Ukraine is home to 30 billion tons of commercial grade iron ore, the largest reserves in the world, and one-fifth of the global supply. Iron ore, along with manganese, is used to manufacture steel. Ukraine is ranked number 2 on the list of countries that have explored reserves of manganese ore. Ukraine is the 3rd largest exporter of iron ore and the 11thlargest exporter of steel.

Ukraine’s additional vital resources:

  • Uranium
  • Titanium
  • Mercury
  • Coal
  • Shale gas

The updated IPCC Report was released on February 28, 2022, four days after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. The report sounded another dire warning, that we must act immediately to reduce carbon emissions by transitioning to a green global economy. Billions of people around the world are already feeling the pain of a warmer planet. Eliminating fossil fuels from our lives and our culture is a daily call to action. Russia is aware that cities and towns around the world are rushing to cut fossil fuels by transitioning to clean energy. From Russia’s perspective, it seems that every social media post, every news headline, every IPCC Report negatively impacts the strength and stability of Russia’s economic health and wealth.

“This report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction,” said Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC, appearing in the IPCC Report. “It shows that climate change is a grave and mounting threat to our wellbeing and a healthy planet. Our actions today will shape how people adapt and nature responds to increasing climate risks.”

© Copyright 2022. ALL Rights Reserved.

Deforestation in Amazon Is Driven by Consumption | Will this Lead to Our Demise?

Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 8, 2022 by Noreen WiseFounder & CEO of Gallant Gold Mediaand authorImage Credit: AdobeStock

Deforestation numbers for January 2022 have just been released and reveal that a staggering number of trees were felled in the Amazon rainforest this winter. This, despite it being the rainy season when loggers usually stay away, and despite the fact that 141 world leaders, including Bolsonaro of Brazil, signed the Declaration On Forests and Land Use at COP26 in Glasgow to end and reverse deforestation by 2030. 

This record high 166 square miles of leveled rainforest, is significant in size. It’s a little larger than the land mass of Philadelphia. A shocking swath of biodiversity that has been cut out of the Amazon’s dense wilderness in defiance of existing protections. This has set-off alarm bells for environmentalists and NGOs who are enraged that such a tragedy could occur on protected land, especially sections of the pristine, Indigenous areas of Brazil.

Bolsonaro is no friend of the environment. Since becoming President in 2019, he immediately loosened environmental protections, eyeing Brazil’s rich natural resources as a way to boost the Brazilian economy. Bolsonaro’s world view is that nature should be exploited to reduce poverty. 

Bolsonaro is not alone in this Anthropocene perspective. American biologist and naturalist E. O. Wilson, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author, wrote about the warped Anthropocene perspective in his book Half-Earth. Wilson cited the work of Peter M. Karieva, former Chief Scientist and Vice President of the Nature Conservancy, who advocates that nature preserves should be opened up for profit. That our remaining wilderness should become “working landscapes.” Karieva never entertained the idea that there would be consequences, despite the immense scientific proof warning of the dire and deadly consequences of destroying biodiversity. 

“Biodiversity holds the world steady.”

E. O. Wilson 

According to NOAA, the Amazon rainforest stores an astonishing 123 billion tons of carbon. Amazon deforestation has brought this massive carbon reservoir to a tipping point, where the large treeless areas of the Amazon are now emitting more carbon than they once absorbed. The imbalance of global carbon emissions rising, and the smaller area of the Amazon storing carbon, is partly what’s fueling the climate crisis.

The force driving the record deforestation of the Amazon wilderness is unchecked global consumption. The forest is primarily cleared to grow cash crops, and raise cattle, as well as harvest timber. According to Stacker, the following are the top 20 consumer products from the Amazon rainforest:

  1. Soybeans
  2. Beef
  3. Chocolate
  4. Vanilla
  5. Rubber
  6. Gold
  7. Golf balls
  8. Food coloring
  9. Medicine
  10. Diamonds
  11. Black pepper
  12. Coffee
  13. Wood
  14. Brazil nuts
  15. Corn
  16. Sugar
  17. Palm oil
  18. Rice
  19. Bananas
  20. Pineapples 

Deforestation in the Amazon has skyrocketed in the past twenty years. The leveled 75 million hectares in the Amazon have now destabilized climate across the globe. Several of the products on the list of 20— bananas, cacao/chocolate, Brazil nuts — generally aren’t harvested on deforested land turned into farms. Soy beans and cattle ranching are the primary drivers of deforestation. But much depends on how the farmers grow their crops. Consumers have to demand information about the farming practices. Are they regenerative, organic, all natural? Do the farmers plow and release all the stored carbon in the soil? Do they use pesticides, have cover crops? All these details matter in determining if the land is storing carbon, like it did when it was forested, or if it’s now emitting carbon and destabilizing the world. 

Consumer consumption for these common products must be tempered. We have to become experts at refusing the products that weren’t grown following soil health and biodiversity principles and practices. With climate change bearing down on us, several countries have begun to rethink their destructive path to profit, and have discovered a new solution. Eco-tourism. Restoring their wilderness and sharing the wonder of nature with visitors from all over the world.

In one episode of Sir David Attenborough’s Netflix documentary streaming series, Our Planet, the episode entitled Forests, Attenborough explains the heartbreaking tragedy of deforestation. “Worldwide we have destroyed over half of the forests that once flourished on our planet.” He brought viewers through each of the massive iconic forests so we could see all the life and biodiversity and experience the wonder. “Not only are we losing the animals that once lived in them, we’re changing the climate on the entire globe.”

Attenborough highlighted how resilient forests are, and how quickly they can be restored, showcasing the deserted land surrounding Chernobyl within the Exclusion Zone that has been deemed uninhabitable for 20,000 years. And yet, despite this grim fact, a forest has grown on this extensive hazardous waste sight, and biodiversity has flourished despite the radioactive contamination, proof of nature’s resilience. 

We can restore what we have destroyed. All that it takes is the political will. The goal is 30×30 as outlined by the UN. Nations have to act now to protect and restore 30% of our terrestrial land, and 30% of our oceans. It all begins with us. Our vote matters. Our shopping choices matter. We each have to commit to doing our part to make a difference.

“A future with more forests is key to the resilience of our planet.”

Sir David Attenbough, Our Planet

© Copyright 2022. ALL Rights Reserved.

2022 Mustang Mach-E and Ford Promise Plan

Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 8, 2022 by Sarah J. Kings

Many eco-conscious consumers are looking to electric vehicles, EVs, to help combat the climate crisis. EV’s are responsible for much lower emissions than their gas-powered counterparts, and they cost less overall to maintain and drive. Still, with starting prices ranging from $29,000 to upwards of $100,000- depending on the make and model- some people may be hesitant to switch to electric as economic concerns grow.

On July 29, 2020 Ford announced the start of the Ford Promise plan. Under this new initiative, any new financed Ford can be returned without penalty to the buyer, if the buyer loses their job within one year of purchase.  Ford is the only major automotive company making this type of commitment to its customers. With this added safety net, getting an EV is more in reach for the average consumer than ever.

Instagram – @wasatchfrontford

Ford offers eight hybrid models on its lineup, but the car to look at is the Mustang Mach-E which Consumer Report‘s 2022 top EV pick, replacing Tesla’s Model 3. The Mustang Mach-E is an all-electric vehicle that has 314 miles of range and can get up to 61 miles of range in 10 minutes when charging with a 150kW DC Fast Charger. Ford boasts the inclusion of FordPass for purchasers—  this gives owners of Ford EVs, or Hybrids, access to over 13,500 charging stations nationwide. 

Instagram – @ford

This all-electric mustang launched in late 2020. The stylish and sexy design, topped with exciting new tech features, has people lining up to pre-order their own. With substantial federal rebates and the Ford Promise’s added security, owning a 2022 Mustang Mach-E is a viable option for those searching for a new EV. Help combat the climate crisis purchase of this cutting-edge car!


  • EV’s are responsible for much lower emissions than their gas-powered cars
  • July 29, 2020 Ford announced new initiatives under the Ford Promise plan
  • Any new financed Ford can be returned without penalty to the buyer, if the buyer loses their job within one year of purchase
  • Ford offers eight hybrid models on its current lineup
  • The 2022 Mustang Mach-E is all-electric and has 314 miles of range
  • The Mach-E gets up to 61 miles of range in 10 minutes when charging with a 150kW DC Fast Charger
  • With the FordPass Ford owners have access to over 13,500 charging stations nationwide

© Copyright 2020-2022. ALL Rights Reserved.

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San Francisco’s Goal to Become Our First Zero-Waste City

Washington (GGM) Analysis | February 28, 2022 by Noreen WiseFounder & CEO of Gallant Gold Mediaand authorImage Credit: AdobeStock

In 2002, San Francisco set its sights on becoming the first waste-free city in the United States. Since then, the Golden City has proven itself to be a national waste management role model. Phase 1 of the city’s masterplan was to divert 75% of its waste by 2010, which it artfully achieved two years early. The speed of San Francisco’s success was likely tied to California’s Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 which mandated that each local jurisdiction in California divert 50% of its waste materials. California fined cities $10,000 per day if they fell below 50% which led to strong compliance. 

Once 75% was reached, San Francisco soon had its eye set on 100% diversion, a true circular economy. The city’s rapid positive results were achieved through a series of strong legislative measures:

Three-stream Collection Program

The three-stream collection program (green bin for kitchen and yard scraps, blue bin for recyclables, and black bin for everything else which should be very little) is mainstream in most communities in Canada as well as many EU countries. If it’s not mainstream where you live, it means we have to work that much harder as individuals to create a three-stream program in our homes since composting is required if we are to stay below 1.5ºC and cut CO2e emissions 50% by 2030. 

San Francisco began its journey to become waste free in 2002, 20 years ago. Despite their early start, they still rushed. We have to hurry that much faster since most US communities are very far behind. 

For example, Fairfax County, Virginia, has no plan to mandate composting anytime soon, 2024 or 2025 at the earliest. But there are thousands of residents who are very green and want curbside compost pickup. Most of the schools in Fairfax County compost. The county set-up drop-off locations that are full to capacity at the end of each week, which shows how dedicated so many county residents are to green bins. Legislation would speed things up. Since those of us in Fairfax County know the county plans to wait years, and San Francisco has proven that the only thing that works is legislation that mandates composting with very steep fines, we’ll have to lobby to get the board of supervisors to move more quickly. In the meantime, we’ll have to signup for compost collection on our own.

Compost collection services are popping up in most metro areas across the country. If our towns and cities don’t have drop-off locations, and we don’t have a yard to create our own outdoor bins, we can easily signup for compost collection. Composting is an absolute necessity in saving the human species. Not only does composting cut methane, compost added to our soil boosts carbon drawdown. Putting a banana peel in a paper bag and dropping it at a compost drop-off location is not difficult. Composting is very low hanging fruit.


One third of all the food produced becomes waste, much of which in dumped into landfills. As mentioned, this rich organic material turns into methane. Landfills emit 2 billion tons of methane each year. Methane is 80 times stronger than carbon dioxide. Cutting methane from landfills is the quickest and easiest greenhouse gas to eliminate. If you’re not already composting, you can begin today. Just place all kitchen scraps in a brown paper bag and drop-off at town site each weekend. The bags can be stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to drop-off.

Plastic Packaging

Most community waste comes from unrecyclable plastic. The vast majority of plastic is manufactured from petroleum and is toxic. The global plastic crisis that has killed millions of ocean species, and according to Sir David Attenboroughis responsible for up to one million early deaths per year, generates mountains of microplastics that are now in our food supply (we eat 100 bits of microplastics per meal, which amounts to one credit card a week, 52 credit cards per year). Recent news about nanoplastics found in the air that we breath, especially those who live and work in our cities, is that much more alarming and should motivate us to refuse plastic. Green sustainability companies have spent years inventing plastic-free alternatives for nearly every plastic-packaged product. Bar shampoo is a great example, laundry detergent sheets is another. 


We have to be strong and refuse to buy products if there are no non-plastic alternative. Initially, this wasn’t easy for me. But, I soon found that it becomes easier with practice. Three years ago I took my first step at refusing when I refused to buy ketchup because I couldn’t find an alternative brand packaged in glass. Heinz sells ketchup in glass bottles in Canada, but not the US. So, I switched to barbecue sauce, and haven’t looked back. I also refuse to buy organic margarine because it’s only packaged in plastic. Just this past weekend, I added refusing to buy my absolute favorite salad dressing when the manufacturer switched from a glass bottle to plastic. I had to find a new favorite brand.

Reusable containers or bags instead of single-use plastic is another way to reduce waste. Upcycling is fun and creative and is an excellent way to reduce waste as well. Children love upcycling projects where they can create something new from old scraps, especially gifts for family and friends. The goal is to create a circular economy where nothing is ever thrown away.


Many communities in multiple states are beginning to charge households for the amount of black bin trash they have each month. Blue recycle bins are free. But black bin is pay by quantity. “Pay-as-you-thow” (PAYT) is the common nickname cities give their black bin programs, although it’s typically a purple bag that can be purchased in stores, either a 15 gallon size or 30 gallon. Across the country, cities are finding that once households have to pay for the quantity of landfill trash they have, they drastically cut the amount without any hesitation.


San Francisco is a member of various zero waste and climate action coalitions whose members share ideas and brainstorm solutions:

Being part of a coalition of like-mined, green-action individuals and/or organizations is a very effective way to build momentum within a community to transition to a green lifestyle. Churches are often an effective driver of climate action, especially when they connect with the other faiths in town and form a united force.

The vast majority of initiatives that drove quick change in San Francisco were mandatory with painful consequences for anyone who failed to comply. Voting for climate candidates who truly believe that the best time to act on climate was yesterday will be what makes the difference in getting legislation passed. 

Today, the IPCC held a press conference when it released its 2022 findings on the climate crisis. The UN Secretary General, António Guterres spoke first, and very passionately stressed the urgency of action. “Now is the time to turn rage into action. Every fraction of a degree matters. Every voice can make a difference. And every second counts.”

All of us who care must be the voices in our communities that drive our leaders to act immediately and pass the much needed green legislation. If San Francisco can do it, we can all do it.

© Copyright 2022. ALL Rights Reserved.

Leonardo DiCaprio Pours His Money into His Passion, the Environment

Washington (GGM) Analysis | February 24, 2022 by Noreen Wise, Founder & CEO of Gallant Gold Media, and author; Image Credit: AdobeStock

Leonardo DiCaprio announced on Twitter that he was proud to be a new investor in Champagne Telmont. Telmont’s commitment to biodiversity on its land, use of 100% renewable energy, and determination to “radically lower its environmental footprint” were key factors in DiCaprio’s decision to join the 100 year old Champagne House. 

Au Nom de la Terre, “In the Name of Mother Nature,” is the essence of Champagne Telmont. Founded in 1912, this fourth-generation house is located in Damery, near Épernay, France, the center of France’s champagne district Northeast of Paris. Telmont has taken a “pioneering, multi-pronged approach” to addressing the harsh climate change realities. Its objectives read like a combination biodiversity restoration strategy and climate action agenda. With less than 4% of vineyards being certified organic, Telmont has an ambitious goal to become 100% organic by 2025, and to assist its partner vineyards to reach a complete transition to organic by 2031.

But that’s not all. Telmont is already using 100% clean energy. It will forgo air freight for its distribution as well as its supply. It will choose transporters based on their CSR score (Corporate Social Responsibility). No more clear glass bottles made from 0% recycled glass. Instead only classic green champagne bottles which are manufactured using 85%recycled glass. Product labeling has become a very big deal on the climate front. Telmont’s bottles will each be numbered individually and will feature “the detailed composition and production methods of the wine inside.”

“Leonardo DiCaprio’s decision to become a shareholder sends Telmont a strong message of support that will encourage us as we carry out our ambitious plans. We share the same convictions and the same commitment to protecting the environment. The House has one foot in tradition and the other in modernity, but both firmly rooted in the terroir! We aim to act in the name of Mother Nature in everything we do,” said Ludovic du PlessisChairman & Shareholder of Champagne Telmont.

DeCipario’s track record as an environmentalist is heavy in action. Additionally, his deep knowledge about how to conserve and restore biodiversity, improve soil health to maintain strong yields while eliminating all pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers, as well as executing a noble and ambitious agenda during challenging climate conditions, will make DiCaprio a valuable addition to the Telmont board of directors. 

One of the pages of the Leonardo DeCaprio Foundation reads: “Farming for carbon: why farmers are key to fighting climate change.” The 2020 award-winning documentary Kiss the Ground highlighted how the linchpin to carbon drawdown through farmers and agriculture is tied to improving soil health through regenerative ag practices. 

DiCaprio is a founding board member of Re:Wild. He’s also on the boards of Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), International Fund for Animal Welfare, and Co-Chair for the Earth Alliance

In September 2014, DiCaprio was named a United Nations Messenger for Peace for his environmental activism. He was presented the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum in 2016 for using his global platform to call attention to the urgent need to address climate change. DiCaprio is a personal friend of Michael E. Mann, a distinguished climatologist and one of the lead authors of the 2021 IPCC Report, referred to as a Code Red for Humanity.

Dicaprio’s significant investment in Telmont’s mission will help create a path for other vineyards and businesses to follow, which will enable swifter climate action in these critical next eight years. DiCaprio joining Telmont is about a lot more than his Great Gatsby champagne meme on Twitter. LOL. 

According to People Magazine, The Telmont House first reached out for discussions with DiCaprio in 2019. Covid slowed things down. A Fobes article went on to explain that at the end of 2020, Rémy Cointreau, a spirit portfolio, became majority owner of Telmont. Ludovic du Plessis was the one who shepherded the acquisition and was appointed Chairman and CEO of Telmont. Ludovic du Plessis and Leonardo DiCaprio have known each other for 15 years.

Interestingly, back in the 1600s, King Louis the XIV’s doctor prescribed a daily dose of champagne. Louis went on to drink a glass with every meal for the rest of his life. But, it was actually Marie Antoinette who elevated champagne to be the beverage of choice for celebrations. She threw wild parties in her rustic Versailles hamlet where they frolicked while they drank champagne. It’s been said that he Coupe champagne glass was molded from Marie Antoinette’s left breast. Coincidentally, the Coupe champagne glass is now referred to as the Gatsby glass which is the one in the DiCaprio meme.

Mark your calendars and be sure to place your orders for Au Nom de la Terre early. An organic bottle of Telmont Réserve Brut will start at $90, which is $20 more than the current $70. The higher price is considered a green premiumand should be something we’re eager to pay to support vital carbon-cutting, sustainable practices. 

Champagne Day is October 23. And National Champagne Day is December 31. The 2024 summer Olympics will be held in Paris. Let there be lots of Telmont corks popping! Paris has placed planting rich biodiversity in dense urban areas of Paris as one of the pillars of the ecological legacy to celebrate the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

© Copyright 2020-2022. ALL Rights Reserved.

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Plant Fruit Trees in Public Spaces to Fight Climate & Hunger

Washington (GGM) Analysis | February 22, 2022 by Noreen Wise, Founder & CEO of Gallant Gold Media, and author; Image Credit: AdobeStock

The Trillion Tree Campaign was announced in January 2020 at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos 2020. This bold initiative grew from the Billion Tree Campaign launched in 2006 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This valiant vision, which will hopefully motivate all nations around the world to participate, has already inspired 193 countries into action, planting 13.6 billion trees. Amazing results, but we’re still a long way off target.

“It’s the little things citizens do. That’s what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees,” said Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, founder of the Green Belt Movement. With 2.7 billion people who are food insecure across the globe in 2022, choosing native fruit trees to plant in public spaces, will not only store more carbon but also curb hunger through healthy, nutritional means, feeding hungry families, birds and animals. Thinking smarter with our limited time and resources will save many lives. Recommended locations for native fruits trees and berry bushes:

  • parks
  • school yards
  • playgrounds
  • library grounds
  • university campuses
  • churchyards
  • corporate campuses

Different types of fruit trees thrive in different regions of the country. It’s wonderful to see families stop and pick wild raspberries on the trails in my county. Here are a few that grow well in the East Coast, South & West Coast Regions:

  • apple
  • pear
  • peach
  • avocado
  • grapes
  • black berries
  • raspberries

According to the World Economic Forum video above, there are a number of cities who have jumped in with the dual purpose fruit tree initiative. Not only do these trees cut carbon, they also curb hunger through healthy, nutritional means. When one solution can address two of the world’s most dire circumstances, you know this is money and action well spent.

With hundreds of thousands of American youth actively participating in plant-a-tree programs, as well as large corporations joining the effort, it’s time to promote the multiple benefits of scaling up the planting of fruit trees in communities around the country.

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Breakthrough Tech Start-up Antora Energy to Receive $50M | Thermal Battery

Washington (GGM) Analysis | February 21, 2022, by Noreen Wise, Founder & CEO of Gallant Gold Media, and author; Image Credit: AdobeStock

Decarbonizing American industry in order to reach our Paris Agreement targets and save humanity has seemed like an impossible mission thus far. The high heat necessary to produce materials like steel, cement, paper, aluminum, plastics, chemicals, etc, which require temperatures above 1000ºC, (steel melts at 1500ºC), haven’t been achievable at a scalable cost. This is an alarming reality considering American industry must eliminate 8 gigatons of carbon (GtC) per year. That’s 8 billion tons of carbon per year by 2050, and 4 GtC by 2030. The steel industry on its own must cut 3 of the 8 GtC, and the cement industry, 2 of the 8 GtC.

Some of the most brilliant minds in the world have been stymied by the endless, insurmountable obstacles that have confronted those in search for a solution to this predicament. Research, testing and more testing, more research, more testing. In 2020, global fossil fuel subsidies were a staggering $5.9 trillion, which has kept the cost of oil, coal and gas artificially low. Meanwhile, the slow adoption of clean energy, and meager subsidies, have kept the prices of renewables artificially high. This bizarre incongruity has made clean energy 5x more expensive than dirty fossil fuel energy at industrial sites.

News broke on February 16, 2022 that Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) along with Chris Sacca’s Lowcarbon Capital and Shell’s venture capital arm committed to invest a total of $50 million in Antora Energy’s innovative tech solution for low cost clean energy storage in thermal batteries, to replace low cost high carbon emitting natural gas boilers that are currently used to produce industry materials that require extreme high heat. Antora’s thermal batteries are zero-carbon. 

Antora Energy’s CEO Andrew Ponec shared his exciting vision for the future in a Medium article that outlined Antora’s discovery and purpose. “For the first time in history, zero-carbon power from solar and wind is now cheaper than fossil fuels in many parts of the world and the trend is now accelerating on every continent.” Ponec explained that the transition to renewables has begun accelerating at an astonishing rate. 

Such a hope-inspiring statement. Climate scientists must be heaving a collective sigh of relief. But will investors and portfolio managers be able to respond at the same rapid pace?

Antora Energy’s Solution

Antora Energy has “developed a thermal energy storage system capable of turning sunshine and wind into reliable heat and power for heavy industry — cheaper than fossil fuels,” stated Ponec. “Just like fossil fuels, we can create the extreme temperatures needed to generate electricity and supply high-temperature heat to manufacturing processes, and we can do it for cheap. But there’s one key difference: We do it with zero emissions.”

Antora had to overcome two significant barriers:

1. Material. What material was Antora able to find that could meet the requirements of durability, cost, performance, and scalability to store thermal energy.

2. Heat Recovery. How was Antora able to turn the stored heat back into useful energy for its customers.

The winning material proved to be carbon itself. Ponec exuded his enthusiasm in his explanation. “Carbon is an extraordinary material. It is available at extremely low cost, it’s virtually unlimited on earth, it has a massive existing supply chain and a long history of widespread industrial use, and it has superlative physical properties. The more we understood about carbon, the more it blew our minds.” 

The Gist of It

  • Solid carbon blocks for storage are “derived from a solid carbon feedstock that is a waste byproduct of other industrial processes and one of the cheapest materials on earth.”
  • 30 million tons of carbon blocks are produced each year in the metal industry, which is more than enough to generate terawatt-hours per year of energy storage capacity.
  • Solid carbon has no toxins, nor does it create environmental justice conflicts, and it has no supply chain limitations. 

Antora Energy’s CEO, Andrew Ponec inspires enthusiasm and hope that we will succeed at staying below 1.5ºC. His views are not the ones we usually see on social media. He explained that when he and the co-founders (Justin Briggs and David Bierman) began this journey, they were looking to find a way to create a solution that would generate massive greenhouse gas reduction in an area that not many people were working on. They landed on heavy industries that use significant power and heat. “There is a rising movement of engineers, business leaders, policy makers, financiers, and others dedicated to stopping climate change for the future of humanity. In just the past year we’ve seen a marked shift in the momentum behind climate solutions. People are coming together with new hope and new passion for the teams and technologies that will decarbonize our energy system while expanding its benefits to everyone.”

© Copyright 2022. ALL Rights Reserved.


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