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NYC mayor says he’ll veto an electronics-recycling bill

The New York City Council overwhelmingly passed a bill last Wednesday that would require electronics manufacturers to take back products for recycling. But on Friday, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he'll veto it -- and that if his veto is overridden, he'll choose not to enforce the law. The council estimates that more than 25,000 tons of TVs, computers, cameras, and other products are thrown out by NYC residents each year. Bloomberg, generally a greenish kinda guy, admitted that e-waste is a concern, but likened requiring manufacturers to take back electronics to publishers being responsible for readers recycling newspapers. Councilman …

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Another day, another trillion dollars for the clean-tech industry

It seems that a day doesn't slip by without someone raising the stakes in the alternative-energy poker game. The most recent bombshell wager: Cambridge Energy Research Associates report that alternative energy investments will -- hold on to your hats! -- top $7 trillion by 2030. That's an audacious number by any measure, and normally it would be enough to suck the oxygen right out of a convention of wind-farm enthusiasts. But that's not the half of it. The most startling aspect of the report is that it barely raised a ripple in the investment community. And why should it? There's …

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Cadbury eggs will come with less packaging

Cadbury Schweppes, the maker of the Easter season's omnipresent sugar-yolk-in-a-chocolate-shell, has unveiled an alleged "eco-egg." No, the goopy white innards aren't organic; no, the chocolate isn't fair trade. The "eco" aspect comes merely from the eggs being sold unboxed, reducing packaging waste. So which came first, the greenwashing or the egg?

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Mattel, Toys “R” Us to phase out cadmium batteries, citing toxicity

Toy giants Mattel and Toys "R" Us have announced they will phase out cadmium batteries due to their toxicity and the associated health problems they can cause at the factories in China that produce them. Scores of factory workers have been sickened by cadmium, which can cause lung cancer, bone disease, and kidney failure, but cadmium batteries are still used in toys like remote-controlled cars because they're cheaper to produce than less-toxic nickel-metal-hydride batteries. The phase-outs are part of the toy industry's wave of reassurance in the face of last year's epic toy recalls. Mattel said it would phase out …

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Haagen-Dazs says CCD could interrupt your ice cream fix

As I and many others have pointed out, the loss of as much as 70-80 percent of the US honeybee population to Colony Collapse Disorder is a far greater concern than missing that spot of honey in your lavender soy chai. Premium ice cream maker Haagen-Dazs has joined in to sound the alarm about CCD and the impact it could have on our food supply Haagen-Dazs is warning that a creature as small as a honeybee could become a big problem for the premium ice cream maker's business. At issue is the disappearing bee colonies in the United States, a …

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MBA students do care about green issues, contrary to BusinessWeek article

Photo: iStockphoto Do today's MBA students care about the environment? You'd answer "no" if you took seriously a January BusinessWeek article by Derek Thompson, which was based on a recently released study by the communications consulting firm Hill & Knowlton. BusinessWeek is an authoritative publication, with the largest U.S. circulation of any business magazine. But even if you can't balance your checkbook and wouldn't recognize a cash flow statement if one bit you, there's no need to abandon common sense when reading the magazine. The headline of Thompson's piece reports the finding that "A good environmental reputation doesn't make the …

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Investors meet at U.N. to discuss how to stay wealthy amid climate change

Nearly 500 corporate leaders and institutional investors representing $20 trillion in capital met at the United Nations Thursday to discuss the risks and opportunities presented by climate change. The gathering called itself the largest ever meeting of investment types specifically convened to discuss climate change. Attendees mused about how they could continue to make money in a climate-changed future, set a price for carbon that wouldn't hurt them financially, pressure the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to endorse disclosing climate-related risks, and prompt the United States to adopt legislation slashing its greenhouse-gas emissions by up to 90 percent from 1990 …

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Plan to combat warming by seeding ocean with iron runs out of funds

Planktos, the company that proposed fending off global warming by seeding the ocean with iron dust, has failed to get enough funding to go forward with planned tests. Under the Planktos business plan, iron fertilization would encourage phytoplankton blooms, which would suck up extra CO2, allowing the company to sell carbon offsets. But it was not to be: According to the Planktos website, "A highly effective disinformation campaign waged by anti-offset crusaders has provoked widespread opposition to plankton restoration in the environmental world." We can just see 'em, shaking their iron fists at us.

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Engineer plans to sell compressed-air car in India within a year

Could folks in India be driving a car that runs on compressed air within a year? French engineer Guy Negre says it will be so. Tata Motors has backed his invention: a five-seater called the OneCAT, which would produce no emissions and cost around $5,000. "The first buyers [of the car] will be people who care about the environment," says Negre, who hopes that investors around the world will set up factories to build the car using local materials, cutting down on shipping emissions. "I really hope he succeeds," says Terry Spall from the U.K. Institution of Mechanical Engineers. "It …

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Congress needs to stop flirting with the renewable energy industry

This post is by ClimateProgress guest blogger Bill Becker, executive director of the Presidential Climate Action Project. ----- When it comes to relationships, Congress is a big tease. Or so it must seem to the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. Just when they think they're about to go to the altar with the federal government, Congress becomes the runaway bride. Everyone who's anyone acknowledges that energy efficiency and renewable energy are indispensable to America's future. They promise greater energy independence, clean air, steady prices, infinite supplies, a lower trade deficit, and a way to begin minimizing the suffering that …