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Digging into the relationships between business and environmentalism

Admittedly, this is more of a link dump than a true blog post, but sometimes the green goodness is too good to pass up ... As Sarah and David have mentioned, the May edition of Vanity Fair is their third annual green issue. Featuring, ironically, the material girl on the cover, it's crammed with features that will enlighten, illuminate, and ... disturb. Pulitzer prize-winning journalists Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele investigate Monsanto. ("We've never written about a company where some of its own customers are scared of it," they said.) Donald Trump and Michael Forbes duke it out …

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Solving climate change can save billions, boost the economy, and create jobs

A new report from Architecture2030 shows that solving the climate change crisis can save billions of dollars, stimulate a deteriorating U.S. economy, and create high quality jobs (full report here). Complex problems sometimes require the simplest of solutions. One of the most important questions facing those attempting to solve the climate crisis is, "How do we reduce CO2 emissions dramatically and immediately?" The simplest answer is, "Turn off the coal plants." Although coal produces about half of the energy supplied by the electric power sector, it is responsible for 81% of the sector's CO2 emissions. According to recent paper by …

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Day two at The Dream Reborn conference

When I left the Dream Reborn conference on Friday, I had a few questions: Exactly what are green jobs? How do we create them? And why has it suddenly become so important to talk about them? Yesterday, I got some answers. And it's a good thing, too, since the conference wraps up today. Here's a quick rundown of some of the answers I found. (We'll have more in-depth coverage of the conference in a few days.) Pay close attention, because I'm gonna go through this stuff quickly -- and in reverse order. First up: Why green jobs now? Here's Van …

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Massey wins W. Va. Supreme Court case; not doing so well in public relations

A while back, a case against mountaintop-removal giant Massey Energy reached the West Virginia Supreme Court, which overturned a previous judgment fining the company. But then pictures turned up of Massey CEO Don Blankenship canoodling around the French Riviera with one of the court judges and two female "companions." Oops. The court decided to re-hear the case, minus the offending judge. Then another judge, who had said that "the pernicious effects of Mr. Blankenship's bestowal of his personal wealth, political tactics, and 'friendship' have created a cancer in the affairs of this court" -- got bullied off the case by …

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The implicit assumption in Pielke Jr.’s Nature commentary

Can we beat global warming with existing technology? I said here that "nobody believes" we have the technology available today to tackle global warming. Gar responded: yes, someone believes it, namely me. Lindsay Meisel from the Breakthrough Institute responded: yes, lots of enviros seem to believe it, and no, it's not true. Thinking more about this, it strikes me that that the question itself is deceptive. It's no wonder people seem to be talking past each other trying to answer it. As phrased, the question implicitly assumes that climate change is a technological problem. More honestly phrased, the question RPJr …

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Drudge hijacks headlines to sell global warming denial

From the Think Progress Wonk Room. Atop the Drudge Report right now: Do the stories behind these headlines tell the tale that global warming alarmists have "hijacked" the political debate despite a "lack of natural disasters" and no global warming "since 1998"? No. Let's review: DRUDGE HEADLINE #1: REPORT: GLOBAL TEMPS 'HAVE NOT RISEN SINCE 1998' This claim has been thoroughly debunked every time it's popped up. The oil-backed global warming denier Dennis Avery first made the claim -- which hinges on the fact that 1998 was an exceptionally warm year (but not the warmest ever) -- in 2006. A …

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Another big horticultural seed company bought by Monsanto

When Monsanto buys into a market, they buy in big. In 2005, Monsanto's seed/genetic trait holdings were primarily in corn, cotton, soybeans, and canola. That year, they purchased Seminis, the world's largest vegetable seed company (see And We Have the Seed) specializing in seed for vegetable field crops. Now their takeover of the vegetable seed sector continues, as they have announced the intent to purchase the Dutch breeding and seed company, De Ruiter Seeds. This purchase diversifies Monsanto's seed holdings in vegetable field crops (Seminis) to "protected culture" fruits and vegetables (primarily tomatoes and cucurbits produced greenhouse, hothouse, etc). Analysts …

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IMF report says economic costs of climate-change action negligible

The International Monetary Fund said in a report released today that sharply reducing the world's carbon emissions will cost relatively little economically if a carbon-pricing scheme is adopted soon that includes all the major-emitting countries. The report didn't endorse one specific pricing mechanism, but said that either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system could work if it gradually increased the price of carbon. "There are significant risks from climate change; damages could be severe," said IMF economist Natalia Tamirisa. "The costs of mitigation could be moderate provided that policies are well designed." Meanwhile, at the ongoing United Nations climate …

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King Coal’s year of rejection by banks, judges, and a lot of other folks

Earth Policy Institute just released this revelatory chronology of really sad, horrible, and depressing events in the life of the coal industry since February 2007. What's next -- will Santa be switching to lumps of dirt? Feb. 26, 2007: James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and a leading climate scientist, calls for a moratorium on the construction of coal-fired power plants that do not sequester carbon, saying that it makes no sense to build these plants when we will have to "bulldoze" them in a few years. Feb. 26, 2007: Under mounting pressure from environmental groups, …