Business & Technology

GM sells Hummer to China — the second mistake by those clueless new owners?

China’s Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company has agreed to buy the Hummer brand from GM for less than $500 million, according to a source familiar with the transaction -- well off its peak value of a decade ago.

Nobelist Krugman slams Reaganite Feldstein on global warming economics

Nobel prize-winning NYT columnist Paul Krugman has been doing some terrific writing on the economics of climate action (see Climate action “now might actually help the economy recover from its current slump” by giving “businesses a reason to invest in new equipment and facilities” and Krugman strongly endorses Waxman-Markey). Now he has turned his attention to fellow economist Martin Feldstein, who recycled a lame WSJ piece into an uber-lame Washington Post piece. [Note to self: If Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt keeps recycling garbage, you're going to have to stop criticizing him for being anti-environmental.] At 5:02 am (!) …

Humm-dinger

Advice for the Chinese manufacturer who just bought Hummer

Tough enough to drive over the Great Wall?GM.comI can’t say as I know exactly what’s going through the minds of the top executives at Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company Ltd. who have reportedly just purchased the Hummer brand from GM. I’ll say one thing, though. I’m pretty sure they’re not Peak Oilers. Still, give them credit for some much-needed greenwashing: [Hummer spokesman Nick] Richards said the buyer planned to continue selling Hummer’s current lineup as it developed “more efficient” vehicles. The brand will eventually sell trucks fueled by diesel, ethanol and other alternative fuels, he said. That’s the spirit! …

Clapping louder

Offsets are still counterfeit carbon credits

The arguments in favor of counterfeit carbon credits still fail no matter how often they are repeated   Common talking points(TP)  and replies(R) TP) Cap-and-trade will be too expensive if we don’t do offsets. And then we need a higher cap! R) Counterfeit carbon credits are just a back door way to raise the cap. It is prioritizing the number printed in the law over actual emission reductions. TP) Offsets aren’t counterfeit credits. Offsets rock! R) Offsets are inherently counterfeit. An offset compares the results of a project against what a consultant guesses would have happened if it had not occurred. …

Has Obama saved Detroit from itself — or is that simply impossible?

You’re all gonna own a part of GM, so please, fellow owners, let me know what you think! Readers of Climate Progress understand two inescapable realities that the overwhelming majority of policymakers, the status quo media, and the car companies (with one exception) do not: Peak oil is inevitably going to drive up gasoline prices to record levels within a few years, driving an inevitable switch to much more fuel-efficient vehicles and non-oil-based alternative fuels, of which by far the cheapest per mile is electricity. Avoiding catastrophic global warming requires sharp increases in fuel economy and a switch to low …

John Muir, Green Building Consultant

With green home venture, Sierra Club mixes profits with passion

Photo illustration by Tom Twigg / GristIt’s not unusual these days for big green groups to get in bed with business, but one of the oldest and most-respected environmental organizations — the Sierra Club — is going them one better by getting into business itself. The San Francisco-based Sierra Club has launched a for-profit online venture called Sierra Club Green Home as a one-stop shop for information and services to green up your lifestyle and decarbonize your abode. Sierra Club Green Home is a joint venture between the 117-year-old institution and a group of individual investors — or “donors” as …

Like rats from a sinking Blankenship

University president quits Massey board after green group campaign

After a 14-week campaign by green groups, Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee stepped down from the board of directors of mountaintop-removal mining company Massey Energy today. Ohio Citizen Action, then Sierra Club, Greenpeace USA, Earthjustice, and Friends of the Earth, said that Gee’s relationship with Massey worked against his school’s efforts to develop clean energy solutions. More from Ohio Citizen Action. This effort to isolate Massey is the lord’s own work; longtime readers know my low opinion of Massey CEO Don Blankenship knows no bounds. (Blankenship bashing here, here, here, here, here, and here.) Watch the last half …

So how much would a $20/ton carbon price really cost?

First I said that we shouldn’t confuse wealth transfers with economic pain. Then I said that a $20/ton carbon price works out to a 1.4 cent/kWh rate increase. Astute readers may have noticed a disconnect. (Isn’t 1.4 cents/kWh economic pain?) Which brings me to the third and final part of this little series. Carbon prices v. use of carbon proceeds Let’s review the electric sector math. In 2006, the sector was responsible for some 2,784,805,000 tons of fossil fuel-derived CO2 emissions. If we had a carbon policy in place at that time charging $20/ton of emissions, electricity generators would have …

Concentrated solar power goes mainstream

Lockheed-Martin to build large CSP plant with thermal storage in Arizona

What is the best evidence that concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) aka solar baseload is indeed a core climate solution with big near-term — and very big medium-term — promise?  One of the country’s biggest companies, Lockheed-Martin, with 2008 sales of $42.7 billion, has jumped into the race to build the biggest CSP plant with thermal storage. The CSP market was already exploding (see “World’s largest solar plant with thermal storage to be built in Arizona — total of 8500 MW of this core climate solution planned for 2014 in U.S. alone“).  Now big players are getting on board, as …