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Philip Radford's Posts

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21st Century Activism: Why big business doesn’t always have to be the bad guy

Today is a great day for the future of the IT sector.   Over the past few years, we've campaigned hard against Facebook to get them to commit to clean energy - specifically, we wanted them to change their siting policy-the decisions that they make about how to power their massive football-stadium-sized data centers. When you go onto Facebook or Twitter or iTunes, your stuff -photos and music, status updates and party invitations- has to be stored somewhere.  It's not something we all spend a lot of time thinking about, but that's how we use computers, and how we're going …

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Hasbro Turns Over a New Leaf, Steps Up For Rainforests

One of the world’s biggest toy makers is no longer playing around when it comes to deforestation. In June, Greenpeace research showed that many popular toys -- like Barbie dolls and Transformers -- were being wrapped in paper packaging linked to rainforest destruction. Our investigations showed paper from Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), a notorious forest-destroyer in Indonesia, was ending up in the supply chains of top toy makers. Based on this evidence, Mattel and Lego have already severed contracts with APP, which is notorious for driving the destruction of rainforests in Indonesia. Now, Hasbro is joining the mix with …

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Obama's Job: Protect Us from Pollution [video]

While Obama's jobs speech is being framed as a turning point for his tenure as President, there is another job I would respectively suggest he concentrate on: his own. Here's a quick video ad that I think gets right to point: Late last week the President blocked reforms to the Environmental Protection Agency's plans to improve pollution measures to protect Americans against the harmful effects of toxic ozone smog. The President chose to side with big corporate polluters instead of with the 12,000 Americans that, according to the EPA, would have been saved by these proposed updates to pollution controls. …

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Corporate Polluters Need Not Worry, Obama's Doing their Dirty Work

Corporate polluters don't have to worry about dismantling the<a href="http://www.epa.gov/air/caa/"> <em>Clean Air Act</em>,</a> it appears that President Obama is doing it for them. <p>As Americans prepare for the holiday weekend, President Obama has announced that he doesn&rsquo;t plan on enforcing a law that would have prevented 12,000 deaths every year by protecting Americans from ozone pollution.</p> <p>The President, along with Big Oil and the other corporate polluters whose interest he is serving with this decision, are hoping you won&rsquo;t notice.</p> <p>Too bad. We&rsquo;re paying attention and the President needs to know that putting thousands of American lives needlessly at risk …

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Shining light on Obama’s tar sands pipeline decision

This week, President Obama will find hundreds more people in front of the White House – us included – willing to go to jail for peacefully protesting the President’s short-sighted decision to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. President Obama’s decision on this enormous fossil fuel project will not be a quiet deal with oil industry lobbyists; it will be witnessed by millions of voters who had hoped that President Obama would have the vision to get America off of oil with a moonshot program for oil-free cars by the next decade. Instead, oil profits have been pitted against the world …

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Koch Industries lobbying puts over 100 million Americans in danger

Recent Greenpeace analysis of lobbying disclosure records reveals that since 2005, Koch Industries has hired more lobbyists than Dow and Dupont to fight legislation that could protect over 100 million Americans from what national security experts say is a catastrophic risk from the bulk storage of poison gasses at dangerous chemical facilities such as oil refineries, chemical manufacturing facilities, and water treatment plants. Koch lobbyists even outnumber those at trade associations including the Chamber of Commerce and American Petroleum Institute. Only the American Chemistry Council deployed more. In 2010 Koch Industries and the billionaire brothers who run it were first …

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Germany Sets the Bar for a Green Energy Future

Today is a historic day in Germany and for green energy world wide. The German Parliament has made a precedent setting move - not only have they set a plan to phase out all nuclear by 2022, but the Parliament has committed to renewable energy like wind and solar as the replacement. The decision will help Germany with its objective to reduce carbon pollution 40% by 2020, which will include a significant shift away from coal fueled power plants. Germany is sending a very important signal to the world: They are convinced and committed that renewable energies and efficiency technologies …

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'Natural' gas fails the sniff test

Top decisionmakers in Washington seem to have forgotten that "natural" gas is a fossil fuel, with some of the same damning negatives as coal and oil. For instance, unlike renewables, "natural" gas is an energy source we will exhaust -- possibly sooner than previously thought. Let's not forget that the recent rise of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) couldn't have happened if we hadn't nearly exhausted easily extracted gas supplies already. And now it turns out that this fracking boon may be partly a matter of industry hype. The extraction of natural gas -- especially via fracking -- is incredibly harmful to …

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Companies like Mattel are still pushing Sumatran tigers to the brink

Mattel's paper purchasing polices are weaker than Ken’s plastic handshake. Poor Barbie. She’s survived fifty years of bad outfits, sudden beheadings at the hands of younger brothers and the wrath of feminists everywhere. Underneath that fixed smile is a steely determination that has pushed this character to the front of American popular culture and kept her there for generations. It’s one hell of a fairytale, but right now she’s caught in a scandal that threatens to shake the Dream House to its foundations. On Tuesday Greenpeace released a dossier of new evidence showing how Mattel is wrapping the world’s most …

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Barbie's fairytale interrupted by the roar of a thousand chainsaws

A long time ago, in a land far, far away, Greenpeace sent Mattel a letter. Our researchers had discovered Barbie’s not so magical secret: her packaging is linked to the destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests. For some reason, it took America’s biggest toy company two months to send any kind of substantial reply. Perhaps they were busy perfecting Ken’s summer wardrobe.  When it eventually arrived at our San Francisco office we tore it open with interest.  “As the leading innovator in the toy industry,” the letter opens breathlessly, “Mattel approaches business with a forward-looking commitment to the world in which we …

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