Business & Technology

A Prescription for Leadership?

Big Pharma: The case for corporate climate responsibility

Today, Climate Counts is releasing our review of the pharmaceutical industry, and they’ve made for an interesting case: they are both extraordinarily profitable and have received the highest scores yet of any of the 14 industries on our Climate Counts Company Scorecard. But in spite of good scores on measurement and reporting, they’ve been weak on reducing their emissions and have, for the most part, failed to use their formidable collective lobbying muscle to help pass strong climate legislation. That’s quite a mixed bag–what does it all mean? Profits and climate action are (of course) compatible Fourteen of 16 pharmaceutical …

A walk through the week's climate news

The Climate Post: Waxman-Markey, Bonn, and carbon counting

The U.S. Congress fast-tracks climate legislation, international negotiators hash through the first “negotiating text” for year-end global talks in Germany, and big businesses start counting their carbon. The pile of climate stories this week climbed faster than predicted New England sea levels. The American Clean Energy and Security Act — aka Waxman-Markey, aka ACES, aka H.R. 2454 — may reach the House floor by the July 4th recess, if Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s new legislative push proceeds as she intends. She has charged the eight committees evaluating the legislation to complete their work by June 19, which may be a particular …

The California Coda

Our peak oil future? Electric vehicle startup unveils Chinese-made, $45K ‘economy’ car

Open one of those minimalist black boxes that contain a shiny new iPod and you’re greeted by five words — “Designed by Apple in California.” In much smaller print would be the phrase “Made in China.” Will Americans warm to a Chinese-built car when they can buy a domestic EV like the Chevy Volt for a similar price?Courtesy Coda AutomotiveThat, in a nutshell, describes the strategy of the latest entrant in the electric car sweepstakes: Santa Monica-based Coda Automotive. At a defunct Wilshire Boulevard Jaguar dealership on Wednesday, the startup emerged from stealth mode and CEO Kevin Czinger literally pulled …

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 …

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