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Business & Technology


Biz to gov: no, you first

Despite all the hype about the greening of the private sector, the big businesses of the world largely don't rate climate change as a top priority: Nearly nine in 10 of them do not rate it as a priority, says the study, which canvassed more than 500 big businesses in Britain, the US, Germany, Japan, India and China. Nearly twice as many see climate change as imposing costs on their business as those who believe it presents an opportunity to make money. And the report's publishers believe that big business will concentrate even less on climate change as the world …


Remains of the Today

Grist’s Today show appearance falls through, fans mourn

To all our devoted fans who sat in front of the TV this morning waiting for a Grist-tacular appearance on NBC's Today show, we apologize. Due to Today's relatively tight schedule and an earlier interview that ran overtime, Grist's Katharine Wroth was pulled from the show before she made it on stage. Alas, the world is a much less-informed place than it could have been. As a consolation, you can read some of the tips Katharine would have offered, now conveniently expunged of all references to the show. Enjoy!


Massey watch

WV Supreme Court to get out of bed with Blankenship, reconsider his case

A while back, loathsome mountaintop-mining outfit Massey Energy was hit with a $50 million judgment in a West Virginia court, in a ruling that they had illegally driven other area mining companies out of business. They appealed to the W. Va. Supreme Court, which overturned the ruling in a vote of 3-2. Later, pictures turned up of loathsome Massey CEO Don Blankenship vacationing on the French Riviera with W. Va. Supreme Court justice Elliott "Spike" Maynard -- one of those three votes -- way back in 2006, as the case was being litigated. They were both in Monte Carlo by …


Al Gore’s cable TV network plans to sell shares

Want a piece of Al Gore? Here's your chance (kind of): The cable television network Gore cofounded, Current Media Inc., is planning to go public. Current TV is aimed at socially minded young folk and is largely composed of viewer-created content.


Intel replaces PepsiCo as biggest U.S. buyer of alternative energy

Tech giant Intel has announced that it will buy 1.3 billion kilowatt hours of renewable energy credits a year, making it the biggest U.S. buyer of alternative energy. Previous record-holder PepsiCo is bumped into second place with a purchase of 1.1 billion kilowatt hours annually -- but if Pepsi's advertising is to be believed, every sip gets them closer.


GMOs as environmental pollution

Schmeiser to play David to Monsanto’s Goliath again

Most of you will recall the high-profile battle fought by Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser when he was sued for growing their GM seed without tithing to the corporation for the privilege. Schmeiser insisted that Monsanto's patented DNA blew onto his land, but he lost an acrimonious fight in Canada's Supreme Court anyway. Now Percy's back for more. Schmeiser has filed suit against the agribusiness giant in his Bruno, Saskatchewan, small claims court for C$600, claiming damages when Monsanto's GM seed blew onto his land, which he had to pay to have removed so that he could plant mustard. His contention …


An ominous statement from Shell

Conventional oil will peak within seven years

The oil company with the best strategic planning says the day of reckoning is nigh: World demand for oil and gas will outstrip supply within seven years, according to Royal Dutch Shell. The oil multinational is predicting that conventional supplies will not keep pace with soaring population growth and the rapid pace of economic development. Jeroen van der Veer, Shell's chief executive, said in an e-mail to the company's staff this week that output of conventional oil and gas was close to peaking. He wrote: "Shell estimates that after 2015 supplies of easy-to-access oil and gas will no longer keep …


Bubbling up ...

Could alternative energy companies drive the next big market bubble?

In case you missed it, the Dow Jones Industrial Average experienced a violent and exhausting 1,000-point swing the past week, down 450 points on Tuesday before trimming its losses and then tumbling 330 points on Wednesday before rebounding with a 299-point gain. It's not the only financial freefall of late. The housing market bubble was punctured last fall and has been leaking like the Hindenburg ever since. (And long before that, the economy experienced the dual dot-com and technology implosions in the spring of 2000.) Photo: iStockphoto All of which is to say, it's probably safe to assume most Americans …


Stock analysts v. venture capitalists

Tom Konrad on cellulosic electricity

The following is a guest essay by Tom Konrad, a financial analyst specializing in renewable energy and energy efficiency companies, a freelance writer, and a contributor to ----- Romm v. Khosla In a persuasive series of articles entitled "Pragmatists vs. Environmentalists" (Parts I, II, and III), Vinod Khosla has provided the reasoning behind his "dissing" of plug-in hybrids, which drew the ire of Joseph Romm. Neither seems to think the argument is settled, and Romm returned fire here. To summarize, Khosla argues that cellulosic ethanol shows more promise for reducing carbon emissions than plug-in hybrids, because the barriers to …


Wal-Mart CEO outlines lofty green goals

Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott made a big ol' speech yesterday spelling out ambitious social, health, and environmental goals for the retail behemoth. Wal-Mart will work with other retailers to boost industry-wide green standards, said Scott, and, within five years, Wal-Mart suppliers will be required to meet stringent environmental standards -- and may even be paid more to do so. The company wants to double its sales of merchandise that help consumers improve home energy efficiency, is in talks with automakers about selling electric or hybrid cars, and could even set up windmills or solar panels in its parking lots to …