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Mountaintop revival

Bank of America to stop financing mountaintop removal

The energy and climate news is coming way too fast and furious for me to comment at length on every story. So here is everyone's favorite W.Va. reporter, Ken Ward Jr. on the story: CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- One of the world's largest financial institutions said this week it will phase out lending money to coal operators that use mountaintop removal mining. Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp. said it will stop financing companies that produce more than half of their coal from mountaintop removal. "We feel the practice has a significant impact on the environment and on communities," said company spokesman …

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Autoimmunity?

GM’s Lutz: Wagoner is one of ‘the innocents,’ just ‘the mayor of a city hit by an earthquake’

GM Vice Chair Bob Lutz would be a hard man to like, even if he weren't a global warming denier (see "GM is full of crocks"). He presumably thinks he and GM Chair Wagoner deserve the credit and the large salaries whenever GM is doing well. But when the company crashes -- that is God's handiwork. The Washington Post reports: Singling out Wagoner "is like blaming the mayor of a city hit by an earthquake," GM Vice Chairman Robert A. Lutz said in an interview on business cable network CNBC this morning. Noting the global collapse of demand for new …

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Coal hard cash

Amid climate talks, World Bank considers $5 billion loan for most carbon-intensive project ever

The race for Most Hypocritical Actor at the climate talks in Poznan, Poland is a crowded one, to be sure, but the World Bank, in one swift move, has taken a commanding lead. Late last week, as World Bankers in Poland were lobbying delegates over pierogies and pate, word leaked out of South Africa that the Bank's International Finance Corporation has agreed "in principle" to provide up to $5 billion of our tax dollars to support as many as six additional coal plants. If approved, this would be both the largest World Bank Group loan on record and the single …

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‘Eco-flation’ could hurt sales of consumer goods

The rising cost of doing business in a climate-changed world -- aka, "eco-flation" -- could hit some companies quite hard in the next decade if they don't change their business practices to become more sustainable, according to an analysis by green group World Resources Institute. Companies that make consumer goods could see their earnings plummet up to 48 percent by 2018 if they don't jump on the sustainability bandwagon soon, the study found.

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Autoantibodies

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 …

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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 …

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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.

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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.

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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.