Business & Technology

How 'bout them Apples?

Apple’s new iPad is deep green, but a planet saver? Nope.

The iPad.Photo: Apple This post is reprinted courtesy of The day that gadget-lovers have been waiting for with bated breath for months if not years has finally arrived. On Wednesday, just after 10 a.m., Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad — something along the lines of a blown-up version of the iPhone. Weighing 1.5 pounds, just half an inch thick, and 11 inches tall, the iPad aims to be the Next Huge Thing for technology, making it possible to play music, watch movies, read books, and run all the other tens of thousands of apps available in the Apple’s application …

Hell no, CEO!

The future of farming and food at the Eco Farm Conference

Last week I went to California for the 2010 Eco Farm Conference — a three-day organic farming extravaganza featuring big names (and big influences of the organic agriculture movement) such as Wes Jackson, Frances Moore Lappé, Deputy Security of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan, and a ton of folks who are part of an ever-growing and expanding movement for healthy food and a sustainable planet. But make no mistake about it — this wasn’t no utopian hippy fest (at least not all of it.) I came to Eco Farm looking for some inspiration, but also as a skeptic. As both an editor …

Keep up the PACE

How innovative financing is changing energy in America

Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, has taken off like wildfire since the concept was first introduced in Berkeley, Calif. in October ’07. PACE allows private property owners to pay for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects through an addition to their property tax bill, overcoming the high upfront costs that prevent most property owners from investing in such retrofits. PACE financing has the capacity to be transformative: property owners realize immediate savings on their utility bills with minimal money down; local green jobs are created through increased demand for retrofitting goods and services; and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are …


SmartPlanet is not going green

SmartPlanet is a newish venture from CBS Interactive. It promises to cover many of the topics that Grist readers (and staffers) care about. But there’s no mention of “green” on its About page, and barely a mention of “eco.” That would not have been true just a year or two ago. Finding ways to talk about these things–without relying on played-out buzzwords–is going to be a key task for drawing folks into the Great Big Project That Needs a New Name. And a fun challenge for creative wordmonkeys, Photoshop wizards, marketers, etc. Welcome to CBS Interactive has unveiled a …

Made in America

Is there anything left for America to manufacture?

Growing up in the 1950s, “Made in Japan” was synonymous with “cheap junk.” Responding to the needs of a world that hungered for more labor-saving devices, Japanese manufacturers shifted to higher-value products and quality improved. Today, “Land of the Rising Sun” companies like Honda boast the hydrogen-powered Clarity automobile and Toto makes high-tech toilets that do everything from chemically analyze your urine to heat water that massages your backside. American manufacturing: Can it be Born Again?Photo: scorzonera via FlickrIn those same decades, American manufacturing has gone from the global leader in innovation and quality to a laggard in producing almost …

A grow-your-own jobs program

[UPDATED] While the big cats cower, time to build robust food economies

Here, kitty, kitty, kitty! While the Democrats hide, time to grow our own jobs program.Photo: Kevin Collins via Flickr[UPDATE at bottom of article.] I have a big, strapping cat who’s infamous for darting under a couch and cowering when a dog, even the tiniest, enters a room. Well, a yipping toy poodle has entered the Senate from the state of Massachusetts. Never a bold bunch, the Democrats have gone into full-on retreat, spooked by the loss of Teddy Kennedy’s Senate seat. While the economy continues to unravel, Obama responds by declaring a freeze on “non-discretionary”–i.e., non-military–spending. That’s not a bold …

No good speech goes unpunished

Will Google’s fight with China stymie climate negotiations?

If any progress is to be made in the global fight against climate change — whether via diplomatic negotiations or cleantech partnerships — it will only happen through cooperation between the U.S. and China.  But the potential for collaboration of any kind took a big blow this past week thanks to the Google fracas.  Reports The New York Times: Beijing and Washington both initially tried to treat the Google case as mainly a commercial dispute. But Mrs. Clinton’s speech on Internet freedom on Thursday, with its cold war undertones, has catapulted the dispute from the realm of technology and cybersecurity …

Big bright green cleantech machine

Did China block Copenhagen progress to pave way for its own dominance in cleantech?

You hear it all the time, one of the most frequently voiced excuses for Western countries failing to radically cut carbon dioxide emissions: Taking any such action would hand a massive competitive advantage to fast-industrializing China. Yet evidence is piling up that the very opposite is the case. The main challenge from the world’s new industrial superpower is not that it will continue to use the dirty, old technologies of the past, but that it will come to dominate the new, clean, green ones of the future. As developed nations fail to put an adequate price on carbon, and thus …

Thar she blows

A gust of energy

Photo courtesy obrien26382 via Flickr The great hope for powering a sustainable world is renewable energy. The great barrier to powering a sustainable world is the cost and complexity of building a new national transmission grid that will transmit the carbon-free electricity generated by remote wind farms and solar power plants to population centers. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy released a report that concluded the United States could obtain 20 percent of its electricity from wind power by 2030. This week the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory issued a study that shows how the eastern half of …

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