Business & Technology

Business + Stealth Greening = Fail

If a business goes green in the forest and no one is around…did it happen? That’s what a climate action plan sounds like if you don’t market it, according to George Washington University business professor, Mark Starik. Failure in Washington to pass cap and trade legislation and failure in Copenhagen to come to an international agreement mean that businesses are stepping into leadership roles in reducing carbon, but only if it makes business sense. Marketing is certainly a part of that, according to Starik. Without a marketing plan, it’s just “stealth greening” and it doesn’t make much sense. “If you’re …

N'Everglades

Florida Everglades restoration now a bailout for U.S. Sugar

Cypress trees in the Everglades. Photo: National Park ServiceThe New York Times published a monster investigative piece Monday on the disaster that is the Everglades Restoration Project. In some ways, it distills much of what’s wrong with both corporate and government culture in this country. Fun fact: the key beneficiary of the restoration plan will not be the Everglades, any of your favorite charismatic mega-faunae that live therein, nor certainly Floridians. The big winner in the deal will be American oligopolist extraordinaire U.S. Sugar. The deal as originally proposed would have bought out U.S. Sugar’s land in the Everglades to …

hip to be square

Modern modular done right

Photo: Treehugger A lot of lessons have been learned over the last decade as architects and manufacturers try to make modern green prefab affordable and accessible to a wider audience. A new entry into the market is Challenger, a modern architect-designed line of houses from Manitoba, Canada’s Conquest Manufacturing. They recently displayed a new model, the Cube, at the National Home Show in Toronto.   Our friends at Treehugger have four reasons (and more photos) proving why the Challenger line does just about everything right.

frackin' busted

Tech startup’s pollution detector aids enviro justice group

If you had been driving through North Texas this week you might have seen a white Dodge Sprinter van circling some of the natural gas wells and compression stations that have sprung up around the Barnett Shale belt like boom-time subdivisions. Drillers tap natural gas by splitting shale through a process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, that injects fluids laced with chemicals into the rock formations. The proliferation of shale gas drilling northeast of Dallas has ignited an uproar among residents, some of whom fear that fracking could be poisoning ground water and polluting the air with carcinogens. But the …

Wally Green World?

Putting Wal-Mart’s green moves in context

What journalists and even environmentalists so often fail to do in reporting on Wal-Mart’s sustainability announcements is to provide some context. Context is everything. Consider Wal-Mart’s latest announcement: It will push some of the factories that supply its stores to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. That’s a good thing in and of itself, but what happens when we measure it against Wal-Mart’s overall impact on the production of goods? One of the significant consequences of Wal-Mart’s rise and radical reshaping of the global economy has been a steep decline in the life span of many products. We wear out clothing, …

Fecal matters

Peepoo bags help the developing world take off a load

A rotting Peepoo: what a load of crap.Photo: Sustainable sanitation via FlickrWhen poor people don’t have a loo, They pee and poo wherever it’s easy to, But it’s gross for them and the planet too. So Peepoople invented a biodegradable loo. It’s a little bag for doing numbers one and two, And after they planted it, they saw that it grew Tasty food for people to chaw and chew. Don’t sweat bad microbes on the doo-doo. This potty bag zaps them right off too. So if you can’t find a potty, get a clue, And pick up and plant the …

Bill & TED's excellent adventure

Bill Gates and our innovation addiction: A recipe for climate inaction

Bill Gates’ recent entry into the discussion about climate action and technology is welcome. Not only is Gates a very smart guy and one of the world’s leading philanthropists, but he also has at least the reputation of knowing what he is talking about when it comes to technology and innovation. That being said, his opening moves in this discussion — his speech at the TED conference and a post on his blog — are not beyond criticism. Though by no means his intention, Gates is encouraging a peculiar type of 21st century passivity by government officials, investors, and activists …

mississippi's burning

Trouble mounts for Entergy following radioactive leaks at Vermont nuclear plant

New Orleans-based power giant Entergy is in hot water following revelations that its Vermont Yankee nuclear plant has leaked radioactive contamination to the environment — and its trouble isn’t limited to Vermont. The Mississippi State Attorney General is also taking aim at the company, questioning Entergy’s recent transfer of more than $1 billion from its parent company that oversees its Mississippi operations to its troubled nuclear division. Some background: In January of this year, it was reported that groundwater monitoring wells at Entergy’s Vermont Yankee plant in Vernon, Vt. were contaminated with tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen routinely created …

Chemical burned

Dow trying to have it both ways on climate?

Does Dow Chemical support climate action? Or think it would destroy America? Depends on which Dow Chemical you’re listening to. Is it the Dow Chemical that’s a member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership? That Dow made a major investment in clean energy in Michigan last week. From MLive.com’s The Mudpuppy: Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm says it was a great week for Michigan and the Dow Chemical Co., with Dow announcing three clean-energy projects in the state that will create up to 6,900 new jobs. “Dow announced a combined investment of almost $1.3 billion in three clean-energy projects that’ll create …

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