The Arizona House is about to vote on a totally insane bill that could prevent that state from doing even the tiniest smidgen of environmentally friendly work. Solar and wind projects that used a dollar of government funding would be made illegal. State universities could have to stop all sustainability-related research. State buildings wouldn't even be able to use CFL lightbulbs.
The bill, SB 1507, has already passed the Senate, and the House has given it initial approval. The final House vote is coming on Monday. The bill would make it "illegal for any government entity in the state to abide by any tenet or principle" of the Rio Declaration, the Arizona Capitol Times reports. These are incredibly broad principles like, for instance, "enact effective environmental legislation."
Think about that one for a second. If this bill passes, it will be illegal in Arizona to pass effective environmental legislation. (Ineffective? Hey, go for it!)
The fuel is made by a British company using Fischer–Tropsch synthesis--a process of making synthetic fuel that dates back to before WWII. Pag says the fuel is worth highlighting because it produces limited CO2, and reduces the volume of plastics that otherwise would go to landfills.
Ok, this is gross. The shrimp coming out of the Gulf of Mexico two years after the BP spill have some seriously nasty stuff wrong with them. They are lacking in eyes. Their gills are full of junked up black stuff. (Not normal!) They have lesions. And yet they are making their way into grocery stores! The picture above is of a shrimp that was being sold to be eaten for dinner.
Now, I don't personally spend a lot of time looking at the insides of raw shrimp and fish and crabs. But Al Jazeera did an in-depth report on the situation, in which a slew of people who've worked in the fishing business for years say that they've never seen anything like these deformed creatures:
What are you supporting when you leave your money in the oily hands of Bank of America? Among other evils, investment in coal-fired power plants and the bankrolling of climate change. Normally you don't think about that. You just get your money and scoot away. But Power Shift activists forced ATM users to think twice about what they were really doing by mindlessly punching buttons when they turned a bunch of Bank of America ATMs into "automated truth machines."
Watch one episode ofMad Men and you'll see just how shady the advertising biz can be. But apparently the red-headed stepchildren of the advertising industry -- outdoor billboard companies -- are taking douchebaggery to new lows. An investigative report from Fair Warning details how billboard agencies illegally chop down trees to ensure that potential viewers get unobstructed looks at their signage. Don Draper's womanizing and debauchery isn't looking so bad now, eh?
Take Robert J. Barnhart, a former employee of Lamar Advertising Company, the largest outdoor billboard company in America. When trees got in the way of the company's Tallahassee, Fla., signs, Barnhart says his boss instructed him to kill them off using a mega-lethal herbicide. When Barnhart said he'd no longer act as a tree hit-man, Lamar gave him the axe. Barnhart's allegations are backed up by his former supervisor, and they're part of an ongoing criminal investigation.
And apparently Barnhart's tale is just one in an industry that's rife with illicit tree removal.
Walmart spent much of last week burnishing its green image and touting its progress "toward becoming a more sustainable, responsible company." All the while, those at the very top of the company, including CEO Mike Duke, knew that The New York Times was about to publish an explosive story that would lay to waste the notion that Walmart cares about anything other than its own growth.
The Times story presents credible evidence that Walmart's Mexican subsidiary spent millions of dollars bribing local officials in order to speed up permits for new stores, get "zoning maps changed," and make "environmental objections vanish." When top executives, including Duke, learned of the bribes in 2005, they declined to notify U.S. and Mexican law enforcement, shut down Walmart's own internal investigation, and continued to lavish promotions on the alleged ringleader, Eduardo Castro-Wright, who currently serves as Walmart's vice chair.
In the days since the Times story broke, attention has turned to the potential punishment Walmart might face. A criminal investigation is underway at the U.S. Department of Justice, which, under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, could pursue prosecutions that might lead to substantial fines and even jail time for Duke and others implicated. The Mexican government, meanwhile, has initiated its own inquiry.
If justice is to be served in this case, though, Walmart must not only face fines and prison terms, but also be forced to sell off a sizeable number of its ill-gotten Mexican stores. By bribing officials, Walmart was able to crush its competitors, opening new stores so fast they had no time to react. In just a few years, Walmart came out of nowhere to dominate the Mexican economy.
But, as any athlete or other competitor knows, if you're caught cheating your way to a win, then you most certainly do not get to keep the prize.
If meat eating is a race, China is so far ahead of us we can't even see what color shorts it's wearing. Americans still eat about twice as much of the stuff on a per-person basis, but, well, China has a lot more people.
If you like geeking out about who eats what where and how it impacts the environment, you might enjoy spending some time with this very data-rich post about the recent doubling of China’s meat consumption from the Earth Policy Institute (EPI). But, for those who want a cheat sheet, I've collected what I think are some of the most memorable bits below.
First, take a look at this very telling chart, which shows plain and clear how fast things have been changing:
News flash: World leaders will gather in two short months at the 2012 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro to discuss the future of the planet. You may have caught the news stories last week about President Obama’s failure to RSVP. You’re forgiven if you missed them. You’re not the only one who just said, “Earth Summit, what?”
But this is for real. And there are a few things that you, good Jedi knights, ought to know about it.
Here’s a sampling of the love and good wishes that have poured in from all corners as the 10th anniversary of my column drew nigh. You all are sweet! But I must say I am still waiting for the chocolate.