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If dumping GM’s Wagoner is part of the deal, get rid of Bob Lutz, too

The WSJ reports "Outside Pressure Grows for GM to Oust Wagoner" as part of any bailout deal. Great idea. GM's Chair and CEO certainly shares of much of the blame for the company's collapse. But I agree with SolveClimate and DeSmogblog, that Bob Lutz should also go. He is GM's greenwasher and global warming denier (see "GM is full of crocks" and "GM's Lutz is nuts"). And, of course, he is Vice Chair of Global Product Development (and was chair of GM North America from 2001 to 2005) -- so he must have something to do with people not wanting …


Ted Turner chats about his outsized environmental hopes and ambitions

  Ted Turner has always been -- for better and for worse -- a head turner. He revolutionized media with the first cable news station, CNN. He gave a cool billion to the United Nations. He won the America's Cup. He married Jane Fonda. He bought the Atlanta Braves. He earned the moniker "Mouth of the South" for calling Ash Wednesday observers "Jesus freaks," pro-lifers "bozos," and Christianity "a religion for losers." Turner has been equally brazen when it comes to the environment. He bought up some 2 million acres of land in Western and Plains states, making him the …


Economics of recycling getting much worse

The world economic slowdown has hit recyclers hard as prices for everything from metals to plastics to paper have fallen dramatically in the last few months. While the downturn hasn't yet completely shut down many municipal recycling programs in the United States, in some areas the precipitous price drop has led recyclers to stop collecting certain items and/or hoard tons of recyclables in warehouses while they wait for prices to recover.


Big Three auto execs pledge to become greener, more profitable

In a desperate, collective plea for up to $38 billion in government aid, executives from Detroit's Big Three automakers told a Senate committee on Thursday they would start to crank out smaller, more fuel-efficient cars and streamline their businesses to stay afloat. "Now we are absolutely committed to exceeding our customers' expectations for quality, fuel-efficiency, safety, and affordability," said Ford's chief executive Alan Mulally. The execs made similar pleas to members of the House of Representatives on Friday.


Sales of popular hybrid vehicles plunged in November

Sales of popular hybrid vehicles like the Toyota Prius and hybrid Honda Civic fell significantly in November, due to a poor economy, higher upfront costs for hybrids, and significantly lower gas prices nationwide. Hybrid Honda Civic sales fell some 68 percent last month while figures for the Toyota Prius show that its sales plunged about 48 percent.


Shell's ironic vision of carbon capture

Shell greenwashes with a full-page WaPo ad

Shell's Mad Men win the 2008 award for the most unintentionally ironic greenwashing ad. On Monday (and again today), Shell ran a full-page ad in the Washington Post on carbon capture with this image: Yes, Shell is apparently trying to catch CO2 with a net! Let's hope they have better luck than either the Bush administration or the rest of the world. Here is the full text of the ad (online here), which has an unintentionally amusing headline: In the new energy future, we'll need to think the impossible is possible. The world needs to tackle CO2 emissions. Carbon capture …


Bank of America will stop funding mountaintop-removal mining

In a big win for environmentalists, Bank of America agreed Wednesday to "phase out financing" to coal companies "whose predominant method of extracting coal" is mountaintop-removal mining. Green groups recently persuaded several BoA execs to visit ravaged Appalachian mountains. Ironically, the U.S. EPA just this week approved a rule change that makes mountaintop removal easier.


BofA disses MTR

New policy would divest bank from mountain obliteration

In light of the crappy news from the EPA, which seems ready to make mountaintop removal coal mining easier by loosening restrictions on burying Appalachian streams with mining rubble (when's the "protection" part of this agency going to speak up?), there's this bit of hope in NRDC's blog about Bank of America, which just revised its "coal policy" [PDF] after some execs visited the region and did some flights over the affected areas. The policy says in part that it will "phase out financing of companies whose predominant method of extracting coal is through mountain top removal. While we acknowledge …


A little of the direct action Al Gore called for

Taking on corporate America’s faves

Activists occupy Environmental Defense's offices.


Tomato concentrate

Time to slice up the tomato industry?

What happens when a few large buyers dominate a market? Anyone who keeps up with my posts -- still there, mom? -- knows what's coming next: The buyers gain the power to dictate to dictate terms and conditions to sellers. For farmers, the results of concentrated markets are devastating. As a few giant companies like Smithfield and Tyson came to dominate meat packing, they managed to drive down the farmgate price of chickens, pigs, and beef cows. As a result, hundreds of thousands of farmers were driven out of business. Survivors took on debt and scaled up, in a desperate …