Business & Technology

GM 2.0

Call it ‘green mobility’

With an auto industry bailout careening down the pike, Climate Solutions policy director KC Golden has some vitally needed insights regarding what we need to demand from industry leader GM in return. —– We should not rescue General Motors as we know it. But Congress could use the proposed bailout as an opportunity to begin building a new prosperity that can last. As part of any public assistance, GM should be required to help America reduce its oil dependence and tackle the climate challenge by producing the cars of the future. Saving GM under any circumstances is a hard swallow. …

Ted Turner talks with Lou Dobbs

In this epic Meeting of Blowhards, some good stuff gets said about climate and energy and related matters:

Meat Wagon: Fowl play

Is Tyson trying to drive its biggest chicken competitor out of business?

In Meat Wagon, we round up the latest outrages from the meat and livestock industries. ——– Update [2008-11-18 12:4:19 by Tom Philpott]: The credit-rating agency Fitch has come out with a presentation claiming that a Pilgrim’s Pride bankruptcy is “pretty inevitable” and would benefit its rivals (including Tyson), Reuters reports. PP’s bonds are trading at a 10 cents on the dollar — meaning investors are assuming it will soon slide into bankruptcy. —— Something weird is happening in the meat industry, which is dominated [PDF] by a handful of large companies. The weirdness involves Tyson Foods, which is the largest …

Why the health of the auto industry matters to you

Automotive industry provides $13 million jobs, generates $10 billion in tax revenue

This post is a response to Joseph Romm’s post, “Mo’ money, mo’ problems,” on the future of the American automotive industry. —– Most Americans rely on their cars to drive to work or leisure but never realize the auto industry is important to their pocketbooks, too. When the economy sinks, consumers delay purchases … starting with a new car. Consumers who want to buy may not get credit, and 90 percent of new autos are financed. It’s a depression in the auto industry today. October auto sales were the lowest in two decades, down 32 percent from a year ago. …

Big-money investors urge global climate deal

In a letter timed to kick policymakers in the pants before an upcoming United Nations climate summit, more than 130 investors holding more than $6 trillion in assets urged world leaders to rassle up a binding agreement to reduce global greenhouse-gas emissions 50 to 80 percent by 2050. “The climate crisis is a multi-generational challenge that requires strong national and international policies immediately,” says Mindy Lubber of investment group Ceres. “World leaders must shun the excuse that it is too expensive to act to curb global warming. It is too expensive not to act.”

Meat Wagon: All the world's a CAFO

Don Tyson details plans to export the U.S. meat model to global south

In Meat Wagon, we round up the latest outrages from the meat and livestock industries. —– A handful of large companies [PDF] dominate the U.S. meat industry. The biggest of all (besides Cargill whose interests extend well beyond meat) is Tyson Foods, one of the two largest beef packers, the second-largest pork packer, and the second-largest chicken producer. Tyson has exerted tremendous influence over the recent U.S. food culture and economy. It innovated the “vertical-integration” strategy that now dominates meat production, wherein mega-packers breed, slaughter, and process farm animals — mostly leaving the risky job of raising them to farmers …

Florida scales down U.S. Sugar buyout in Everglades

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) is set to announce Tuesday that his state is modifying a deal struck this summer to buy out a massive sugar company in the Everglades and turn the company’s land back into wetlands. The retooled deal will likely cost the state about $400 million less than the original plan and would not include purchase of some of the company’s expensive assets like a sugar-processing plant and railroad lines.

Feed a company, starve a country

Monsanto purchased a Brazilian sugarcane ethanol company for $290 million

At a time when many people were questioning causes of the recent food crisis, many more were investigating how our food systems can move forward to sustainably feed the increasing world population. Recently, the U.N. Task Force on Trade, Environment and Development released a report touting the noteworthy yields and economic benefits of organic agriculture in Africa. Even recognizing that organic production offers significant hope for increasing food security. Another report released earlier this year by the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development noted that a “radical change” was needed for agriculture, and that agricultural biotechnology …

Mo' money, mo' problems

Pearlstein: ‘A Detroit bankruptcy beats a bailout’ — but what do you think?

I’m quite interested in hearing your thoughts on two questions: How much of your money, if any, should the government give to Detroit? What should we get in return ? That is, of course, beyond the $25 billion already promised the Big Three (Medium Two?) U.S. automakers to retool their factories (in theory) to make fuel-efficient cars. Worth noting at the start is that anyone, including the feds, could buy GM right now for about $2 billion, its current market capitalization, which is about one-third the market cap of the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. My biggest concern with giving them …

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