Business & Technology

China’s rearview mirror

China is leaving the U.S. in the dust as it surges ahead on clean energy

Even as China overtakes the U.S. in the dubious category of “world’s leading greenhouse gas producer,” it is also well ahead of the U.S. in developing the technologies and policies to solve the problem — and selling those solutions to us at massive profits which could have been ours. On a recent trip, I saw entire Chinese towns powered by farm waste and enough windmills for jousts with ten thousand Don Quixotes. As you read this, China will have just surpassed the U.S. as the leading producer of wind turbines, many of which are exported at very high margins. And …

What you can do

A message from Van Jones

Van Jones sent this message out to friends and supporters on Tuesday, Sept. 15. Dear Friends: My family and I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support that we have received over the past week or so. I resigned from the White House on Sept. 6, and I have remained silent since then — in keeping with my promise not to be a distraction during a key moment in the Obama Presidency. Over the past several days, however, many people have been asking how they can help and what they can do. The main thing is …

Checks and balances

A private sector view of offsets under a cap-and-trade program

Medina co-authored this post with Toby Tiktinsky, Senior Client Manager, at EcoSecurities. Amid the fallout from the near collapse of the global financial system and revelations of significant fraud by financiers like Bernie Madoff and R. Allen Stanford, an intense debate has emerged over the role of business in society. The increased scrutiny of Wall Street — and by extension, corporate America — has focused on profits, bonuses, and how compensation schemes can encourage excessive risk-taking. The fact that institutions deemed “too big to fail” were bailed out by the government and are now earning incredible profits only serves to …

Meat wagon

If JBS-Pilgrim’s deal goes through, four mega-firms will dominate the meat landscape

In Meat Wagon, we round up the latest outrages from the meat and livestock industries. —— Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Brazilian firm JBS–the globe’s largest beef processor–was on the verge of buying U.S. chicken giant Pilgrim’s Pride. Although the companies have since remained mum on the tie-up, rumors of an imminent deal continue to swirl.   While we await and announcement, it’s worth considering what the U.S. meat industry would look like if JBS swallowed Pilgrim’s Pride. Essentially, it would look like this: four giants (JBS, Tyson, Cargill, and Smithfield) lumbering across the landscape, …

Pulling out the Jay Game

Celebs to race Ford’s electric cars on Jay Leno’s new show

Jay Leno’s electric slide began long before the “Green Car Challenge.”Photo: Alan Light via FlickrOn his new show, which launched Monday night, Jay Leno will flaunt to the world his crush on electric cars. Leno’s show will feature the “Green Car Challenge,” wherein celeb guests race against each other in specially built Ford electric cars for the best lap times on a specially built race track. The first guest in the hot seat will be Drew Barrymore (an obvious guest to kick things off, since we all know she likes riding in cars with boys), when she appears on the …

Paging Dr. Pepper

Pollan says health-care reform will fail unless we change the way we eat

Michael PollanNPR’s Guy Raz: What if health care is overhauled and it doesn’t change the American diet in any way? Michael Pollan: We’ll go broke. If we don’t get a handle on these health care costs, the new system or the old system, we’ll go broke. And that’s why I think that really food is the elephant in the room when we’re talking about health care. First in The New York Times last week and then on NPR this weekend, Michael Pollan made that point that if we want to fix our health-care system, we have to fix our food …

how now, green Dow

Is the Dow Jones Sustainability Index worth a damn?

Recently, the web has been abuzz with stories about (and press releases from) companies ranked highly by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index review. The vaunted stock ticker-picker turned its eyes to green a full ten years ago to track the financial performance of “sustainability-driven companies worldwide.” Each year it releases a review of the companies in the index, using their economic, environmental, and social performance to rank them (and sometimes remove them). And the companies, in turn, use it as an excuse to make eco-happy headlines. So what’s with all the hubbub? And is it important to us mere mortals, …

Sports section

Jackson goes for gold

EPA chief Lisa Jackson will be in the Windy City on Friday to deliver the keynote address to the Chicago Summit on Sport and Sustainability. A review of the summit’s agenda and list of speakers suggests the event will be narrowly tailored to efforts that city is undertaking in its bid for the 2016 Olympics. With that said, there also will be representatives from the National Football League (Philadelphia Eagles) who may speak to the efforts underway in professional sports on achieving sustainable practices. As I mentioned in my first article, the professional sports industry is just beginning to embrace …

Whip it? Go for it ... move ahead ...

Wheego joins the ranks of electric car startups

Wheego is an Atlanta-based startup that plans to enter the electric car market with its Whip.Photo: Todd WoodyA traffic jam is developing on the electric highway. A decade after General Motors killed the electric car, big automakers and startups are revving up to put battery-powered vehicles on the road over the next couple of years. One of the latest entrants is Wheego, an Atlanta company that is about to launch the Whip — a tiny low-speed “neighborhood electric vehicle” that will be upgraded in 2010 to a full-speed, highway-ready car. Wheego chief executive Mike McQuary brought a Whip to San …

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