Business & Technology

Coal River Mountain Action

The story of our civil disobedience against mountaintop-removal coal mining

Several people asked for more information about the 23 June civil disobedience near Coal River Mountain. We need Dickens to describe the local situation, but you can glean something from a statement I was reading at the time we were arrested (reprinted below). Local pollution effects and regional environmental destruction should be enough to stop the practice of mountaintop removal. Vernon Haltom, head of Coal River Mountain Watch, provided the details therein. The group can make good use of any support. The bigger picture, including climate change, makes it clear that mountaintop removal, providing only 7 percent of United States …

And they call the other Buffett a parrothead

Warren Buffett repeats GOP talking points on energy plan

Courtesy trackrecord via FlickrOmaha zillionaire Warren Buffett repeated his criticism of cap-and-trade emissions regulation on Wednesday, telling CNBC the plan being pushed by Democrats amounts to “a huge tax” and a “fairly regressive tax” that’s going to burden poor consumers in particular. “If we buy permits, essentially, at our utilities, that goes right into the bills of the utility customers and an awful lot of people in Iowa, in Oregon, and Utah, and places where we are, very poor people are going to pay a lot more money for electricity,” said Buffett, who runs the holding company Berkshire Hathaway Inc. …

Survey Says!

Consumers no longer want to be kept in the dark about food

A new survey came out indicating that (surprise, surprise) only 20% of Americans trust food companies to “to develop and sell food products that are safe and healthy.” While the depth to which food companies’ reputations have sunk is impressive, the phrase from the survey question is both interesting and unfortunate. IBM(!), who performed the survey, put “safe and healthy” together. As a result, we can’t really know which aspect, safety or health, is driving that low number. If I had to bet, I’d say safety since survey results often track media coverage of an issue and there’s certainly been …

Mustache speaks; you listen

Tom Friedman chats with Grist about the green challenge and globalization

At a Grist gathering in Washington, D.C., earlier this month, we were pleased to host New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman for a chat on the state of green. Our intrepid video expert was on hand to tape the event. Friedman released Hot, Flat, and Crowded way back in October 2008 — before the worst of the economic crash, before Obama, before the GM bankruptcy, before Waxman-Markey … Lord it’s been a long year! He’s been updating the book for a paperback release in November, so I kicked things off by asking him how his thinking has evolved and how …

Your train is running late

Phoenix’s light rail project sparks journalism start-up

The following post was written by Michael Andersen of the Nieman Journalism Lab blog. When Adam Klawonn quit his job at a shrinking major metropolitan newspaper in 2006, he did what so many other journalists have: launched an online news operation that looked a lot like a newspaper’s web site, only with less stuff. On The Zonie Report (“A New Kind of News for Arizona”), he set out to cover growth, immigration, the environment. The big issues. “The traditional papers were going local, and they were pulling back their bureaus,” said Klawonn, now 30. “It seemed like it was just …

Frontpage Falsehoods

The New York Times sells its integrity to ExxonMobil

Please email the NYT at nytnews@nytimes.com about this egregious ad and/or email its public editor at public@nytimes.com to explain you are “concerned about the paper’s journalistic integrity.” Click image for full pic of the NYT’s June 16, 2009 front page. These are hard times for the newspaper business. The paper of record has taken to running ads on the front page. But if they’re going to give up that precious real estate, home to many Pulitzer Prize-winning stories, they simply can’t do it for this kind of disinformation, which is utterly misleading to the public. Fuel for thought Today’s car …

Worried about international competition? Another look at the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade proposal

The potential impacts of proposed U.S. climate policies on the competitiveness of U.S. industries is a major political issue, and it was one of the key issues in the Energy and Commerce Committee of the House of Representatives in the design of Henry Waxman and Edward Markey’s H.R. 2454 (the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009). In the floor debate that will soon take place as the full House considers the bill, it will be an important issue. It promises to be an equally important topic when the Senate takes up its own climate legislation, although the debate …

The House Doctors Are In

Symptom: High utility bills; Diagnosis: Full energy efficiency workup

Photo illustration by Tom Twigg / Grist The red Honda Fit from a local car-sharing service pulls into the driveway of a suburban San Francisco Bay-area home, and two clean-cut young guys in khaki jump out and start unloading a Ghostbusters array of gadgets — something resembling a giant black megaphone, a glowing tube attached to a video screen, and a handheld device that looks like it was pilfered from Dr. McCoy’s sick bay. Meet the “greenup” team from Sustainable Spaces, a four-year-old San Francisco firm that conducts residential energy audits and energy efficiency retrofits to shrink a home’s carbon …

Putting the economy in the green

New studies tout the economic benefits of green jobs

Investments in clean energy — such as those encouraged by the American Clean Energy and Security Act — would produce several times as many jobs as the same amount of money spent on traditional fossil fuels, according to new studies released Thursday by a coalition of environmental groups and research institutes. Lower-income Americans in particular would benefit, according to a report from the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, which was commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Green for All. Upgrading the U.S. economy to rely less on fossil fuels would create a surge …

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