Business & Technology

jet fools

British Airways plans to get wasted on future flights

Being a good stewardess of resources Next time the state of the planet has you down in the dumps, remember you’ve got a reason to look up. By 2014 British Airways will be filling up with 10% waste to keep landfilling down. Sure, they have airways to go in green, but it’s plane to see why one person’s trash should be another person’s travel. Top: Francois Roche Bottom: D’arcy Norman (Flickr)

the sensitive sovereign

King Corn airs complaints about USDA

Obama’s ag policy has come under justifiable criticism from the sustainable food movement–see here and here–for its aggressive pro-biotechnology and pro-trade policies. But it has also managed to enrage industrial-ag interests, too, with its “Know your Farmer” program and other gestures toward alternative food. King Corn, it turns out, is a sensitive sovereign. Check this out, from the farm journal Brownfield: The chairman of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board is expressing concern about the USDA’s shift in emphasis toward locally grown and organic foods. Oh, oh–a corn guy’s getting pissed. In addition to leading his state’s Corn Promotion board, Tim …

fuel sell

The economics of the Bloom Box

Bloom Energy at the eBay headquaters. Photo courtesy BloomEnergy via Flickr Cross-posted from WattHead. With all the hype today around the release of the “breakthrough” Bloom Energy fuel cell (which has become known as the “Bloom box” and is referred to by Bloom as an “Energy Server“), it’s good to find a couple of posts looking at some real details: Todd Woody, writing for the NYTimes GreenInc blog, has some details on the design of the Bloom Box solid oxide fuel cells from his look inside the Bloom Energy facilities this week. And Lux Research has this post looking at …

Rust in pieces

Hummer to hum along no more?

Crash course General Motors has decided to park the ultimate gas guzzler in that big garage in the sky. GM thought its plans to sell Hummer to a Chinese company had the green light, but got run off the road this week by the Chinese government, ironically, over fears of pollution. Enviros who say fuH2 may be cheering, but what will they make fun of now? UPDATE: The pearly garage doors may not have shut on Hummer quite yet, as two previously shunned suitors have come a-callin’ to GM. Photo: blmurch via Flickr

Abu Dhabi bailed out Dubai — is the world next?

Driving around Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, you can easily see the massive construction sites and melting pot of cultures. What is less evident is that a sustainability revolution is going on, from the most humble corner shop to the highest levels of government. Abu Dhabi may best be known in recent times for a financial bailout of its sister emirate, Dubai, but just as it preserved its oil wealth with a more practical approach than others, it has also quietly embraced a suite of measures to make its buildings, businesses, and homes more sustainable in …

Vancouver's Big O

Gold, silver, bronze, & green

What do the Vancouver Olympics have to do with Sir Richard Branson’s “Carbon War Room” and solar power? We hear from venture capitalist Jack Hidary on this Planet Forward webisode. Hidary and Branson aren’t just enjoying the sporting events at the Vancouver Olympics. They’ve started a “Carbon War Room” which is looking for market-driven solutions to climate change. And they met with over 50 mayors to discuss how entrepreneurs can help cities go green. Find more videos like this on Planet Forward Planet Forward is a online social network where creative and innovative ideas addressing global challenges are featured, discussed, …

To make poverty history, make clean energy cheap

Why Bill Gates is right

Bill Gates speaking at the TED conference.Photo: jurvetson via Flickr“If you gave me only one wish for the next 50 years,” declared the world’s wealthiest man during last week’s TED 2010 conference, “I can pick who is president, I can pick a vaccine … or I can pick that [an energy technology] at half the cost with no CO2 emissions gets invented, this is the wish I would pick. This is the one with the greatest impact.” Bill Gates is right. And he is not just talking about the impact on climate change, which does of course present a major …

The new, new urbanism

Cleveland, worker-owned co-ops, and new ideas for a flailing economy

Is the way forward for our ailing economy to be found along the banks of Lake Erie? Despite talk of a recovery, the national economy remains in shambles. In Sunday’s New York Times, reporter Peter Goodman brought devastating news: Economists fear that the nascent recovery will leave more people behind than in past recessions, failing to create jobs in sufficient numbers to absorb the record-setting ranks of the long-term unemployed. Call them the new poor: people long accustomed to the comforts of middle-class life who are now relying on public assistance for the first time in their lives–potentially for years …

Step 1: Cut a hole in a box

What the heck is a Bloom Box and will it solve the world’s energy problems?

The internet loves mysterious product unveilings, especially those promising to revolutionize the world and how we live in it. (Think Apple’s iPhone.) But few (except for maybe the iPhone) actually live up to the hype. (Or so I hear. Anyone wanna get me an iPhone?) CEO K.R. Sridhar is starting to peel back the layers of secrecy from his magic boxes like a Bloomin’ onion. Now, after nearly a decade of secrecy, Bloom Energy CEO K.R. Sridhar is coming out of the shadows to tell the world how his “Bloom Box” will do all of this and more as a …