Business & Technology

Birminghamburgers

How food micro-entrepreneurs nourish cities

In her book The Economy of Cities, the great urban theorist Jane Jacobs praised what she called the “valuable inefficiencies and impracticalities of cities.” To explain her point, she invited readers to consider two examples from 19th century England: Manchester and Birmingham — or as she put it, “Efficient Manchester” and “Inefficient Birmingham.” As I have written before, efficient Manchester specialized in textiles, building a world-beating industry dominated by a few large, streamlined companies. Inefficient Birmingham, by contrast, housed dozens of different trades. And in place of a few big companies, most of Birmingham’s manufacturing was performed by small organizations …

Fuelish behavior

The little black box that could save both lives and fuel

I recently took the Chevrolet Volt for a spin near San Francisco’s ballpark, checking another item off my electric-car life list. (Getting to drive pre-production EVs is one fringe benefit of covering green tech.) Then the other week, I took a drive in another car that promised to help cut greenhouse gas emissions. The car itself was unremarkable — a Lexus RX hybrid that anyone with a spare $42,000 can buy. What was potentially revolutionary was the little black box sitting on the dashboard to the left of the steering wheel. The box had three lights and when the car’s …

48% of Americans Think BP Knowingly Violated Oil Drilling Regulations

The new Economist/YouGov poll is out (previous polls here), and it includes several questions on the disaster in the Gulf and offshore drilling. Of particular interest, 48% of those who are familiar with the spill think BP knowingly violated oil drilling regulations in advance of the disaster. Just 20% disagreed and 32% were not sure. As the DOJ’s investigation unfolds, we can expect a good portion of those who were not sure to move over to the ‘knowingly violated regulations’ camp. Coupled with the company’s dismal favorability ratings among Americans, this does not bode well for the future of BP …

Shoot'em down

Junk-food advertising moves online

One of several games for kids on the Trix websiteHere’s more compelling evidence that food companies, putative key “partners” in the battle against obesity, aren’t exactly acting in good faith. They may talk about calorie-cutting partnerships and donate money to healthy-living initiatives — but they don’t put their real money where their collective mouth is. I’m referring, of course, to the billions of dollars in advertising that Big Food directs at children every year. Even as pressure continues to grow for government restrictions, Big Food has already moved on. A study out of UC Davis (via Science Daily) shows that …

Slick move, BP

BP oil heading toward Atlantic? Looks that way

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo: This nightmarish model comes from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which predicts that BP oil “might soon extend along thousands of miles of the Atlantic coast and open ocean as early as this summer.” “I’ve had a lot of people ask me, ‘Will the oil reach Florida?'” NCAR scientist Synte Peacock said in a statement today. “Actually, our best knowledge says the scope of this environmental disaster is likely to reach far beyond Florida, with impacts that have yet to be understood.” NCAR’s statement also addresses whether the slick could reach Europe and concludes that it will have …

Driving us gaga

BP’s bad romance with the Gulf [VIDEO]

If Obama were Lady Gaga and BP were … a sketchy love interest, then the Prez would be singing all about their bad romance: Via Derek Markham. ——————————————————————————————————————————————– Like what you see? Sign up to receive The Grist List, our email roundup of pun-usual green news just like this, sent out every Friday.

Brainstorming Blue Not Green

Entering a green event run by Fortune Magazine in Orange County sets the stage for a few things – an audience of senior executives and government policymakers as well as a myriad of engaging debates and panels that spark ideas.  After three days at Fortune Brainstorm Green last month in Laguna Niguel, I noticed that not only was there a megatrend happening – less companies are talking about green and more are pushing to put their money where their mouth is.  Bamboo fill not landfillWhile many of the Brainstorm Green speakers brought up points about getting legislation changed, I started …

spillin' like a villain

Why BP is a textbook psychopath

It’s good to know that a full six-plus weeks after the BP rig explosion killed 11 workers and initiated the slow painful murder of the Gulf Coast economy and ecology, our ever-watchful federal government has decided to launch an investigation into whether BP actually did something criminal. Thanks for jumping on this, Uncle Sam. Of course, regardless of how the investigation pans out, it seems that “criminal” may not end up being the right word to describe BP. That term doesn’t fully or accurately encapsulate the truly frightening nature of this corporation and its behavior. Turning to criminology for a …

Hint: They are Similar to Tea Party Demographics

Who are the 22% of Americans who view BP favorably?

Citing a Rasmussen poll Greg Sargent took note of yesterday, which indicated that 22 percent of Americans currently have a favorable view of BP, Barbara Morrill at Daily Kos asks who these 22 percent of Americans are. Using the crosstabs from the poll (premium account required), I put together this chart to answer Morrill’s question: Those most likely to view BP favorably are, respectively: Republicans, conservatives, Americans over age 65, whites, and males. Those least likely to view BP favorably are, respectively: liberals, blacks, Democrats, Americans between the ages of 18-29, and females. Interestingly, the demographics of those most likely …

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