Business & Technology

Paul Krugman Versus Matt Taibbi

I love reading Matt Taibbi. I mean, who else puts together a sentence like this?: The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. Funny and righteous at the same time. Good stuff. But in a piece he wrote for Rolling Stone this past July, he made some awfully curious — and curiously unsupported — allegations about carbon markets: …if the Democratic Party that [Goldman-Sachs] gave $4,452,585 to in the last election manages to push into existence a groundbreaking new commodities bubble, disguised …

Fashion for the Forests

Gucci Group commits to saving Indonesia’s rainforests

Photo: Shi! There’s a new fashion trend this fall: saving Indonesian rainforests. The Gucci Group, the prestigious conglomerate of fashion and luxury brands that owns Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, and Balenciaga, has decided to eliminate all paper made from Indonesian rainforests. That includes everything from its letterhead to the pretty paper bags with ribbon handles that they give to shoppers to hold their new couture. A paper policy, you say? That’s not really fashionable, is it? Turns out it is. Gucci Group’s policy puts it at the front of a list of major companies — including Tiffany …

weasel in sheep's clothing

If you can’t beat ‘em, cheat ‘em

Photo: Kat… via FlickrConsider the weasel: so unassuming, even sweet — on the outside. But put them near their prey and watch out! I’ve got weasels on my mind, of course, thanks to Ohio Issue 2, which goes before voters tomorrow. Issue 2 is the Ohio livestock industry’s attempt to head off restrictions on their worst practices, such as tail docking, battery cages and gestation crates, and, purely coincidentally I’m sure, to keep the Humane Society of the United States from doing in Ohio what they’ve done in California, Michigan, Florida and Colorado just to name a few — either …

Why Does Oklahoma Want To Drown New York?

As the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee began hearings on carbon regulation, debate ran along traditional battle lines, but with a new script. Democrats Barbara Boxer (CA) and John Kerry (MA) moved away from discussing the environmental impacts of climate change – – and the reason, therefore, to take action to reduce carbon emissions – – and focused instead on the economic benefits of a domestic clean energy economy. Meanwhile, Republicans James Inhofe (OK) and Lamar Alexander (TN) complained that energy bills would rise and Americans would lose jobs. It’s a good thing that Congress is finally looking at …

technically good ideas

Cleantech Open winners get it done quick and cheap

The annual California Cleantech Open startup competition is always a fun event to attend, because you just might be present for the debut of the Google of green energy or the General Motors of electric cars. Beyond that, the competition serves as a leading indicator of emerging green tech trends. And given that the Silicon Valley establishment judges the event, it’s an opportunity to gauge which way they see the wind blowing. This year the Open dropped California from its name as it expanded the competition to the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountain region. But at heart, it’s still …

Paterson’s Bold Carbon Gamble

California’s state budget gap was about $40 billion this year. New York’s some $50 billion. Every state in the Union is struggling with drastically lower revenues and higher costs for services of every kind, washing state capitals with red ink. At the polls next year, governors who are facing elections – – including Governor David Paterson of New York – – may find themselves politically drowned by such gargantuan deficits. So, faced with closing schools, hospitals, fire stations, and kicking struggling families off of welfare roles, governors are turning instead, like the famous bank robber Willy Sutton, to wherever the …

How the green economy can help low income women

This past week Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress released a seminal report on the emergence of women as primary wage earners for millions of families. The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything, marks a promising step forward in the evolution of a society that for too long has failed to adjust policies and practices to women’s growing presence in the workplace. Left in the shadows of this otherwise comprehensive report, however, were the unique obstacles faced by those struggling most to make ends meet-low-income single mothers trying to support their families on paltry wages in jobs …

Nothing like a good profit motive to accelerate public policy

Performance anxiety

It’s not just the ads showing a baby-boomer couple sitting in matching bathtubs on a beach at sunset where you can find performance anxiety these days. Try looking in the hardware aisle and at the gas station. Rather than ban inefficient incandescent light bulbs, for example, California lawmakers set an efficiency performance standard — which was adopted by the feds — so in 2012, you won’t be able to buy energy-wasting bulbs. That spurred Phillips to develop and market their “Halogena Energy Saver” incandescent bulb that is 30 percent more efficient than conventional versions. The performance standard approach — instead …

Mountain climbing for CEOs

Green-biz pioneer Ray Anderson says sustainability literally pays for itself

Ray Anderson set out to make his business sustainable long before green was the flavor of the month.  Reading Paul Hawken’s The Ecology of Commerce in 1994 literally changed his life, inspiring him to overhaul his carpet company, Interface, and aim for zero waste and zero environmental impact.  Now, with his new book Confessions of a Radical Industrialist, he wants to spur other business leaders to “climb Mount Sustainability.”  Anderson recently dropped by the Grist office and we asked him how his own ascent is going so far.  —– Q. You’ve been working for the last 15 years to make …

Got 2.7 seconds?

We've devised the world's shortest survey to find out what kind of actions our readers are taking. You know you want to.

×