Business & Technology

A modest proposal for Exxon Mobil

The oil companies should bail out the automakers

Cross-posted at the NDN blog —– As the U.S. auto companies frantically search for ways to stave off bankruptcy, an interesting bit of news surfaced yesterday: Exxon Mobil’s profit in the last quarter was the highest of any company ever in history: $14.83 billion. The company is on track to make $50 billion or so this year. To put this in perspective, GM is currently seeking about $10 billion from the government to enable it to merge with Chrysler, which GM says is vital to its survival. What used to be the world’s largest automaker is selling almost 1 million …

GM sugar beet: Trick or treat?

Sugar from GM sugar beets will soon be unlabeled and widespread

The scariest thing next Halloween might not be the monsters, zombies or witches trolling our streets — it might be the candy. Those colorful, tin-foil-wrapped Hershey’s kisses and dark chocolate pumpkins could contain sugar extracted and processed from the roots of genetically modified sugar beets. Sugar in Halloween candy comes from several sources, including sugar beets. But this year, farmers are planting Monsanto’s Roundup-Ready GM sugar beets for sale to food producers for the first time. This beet is genetically engineered to survive multiple, direct applications of the weed killer, Roundup, and its active ingredient, glyphosate. What’s particularly appalling about …

Exxon Mobil announces record quarterly profit, again

Exxon Mobil on Thursday announced that it raked in $14.83 billion in its third quarter, breaking its previous record for the highest quarterly profit ever for a U.S. company. John McCain, campaigning in Ohio, declared that “we’re not gonna let that happen” again if he’s president, neglecting to mention that his tax plan would afford Exxon $1.2 billion in savings.

Legal ivory sale raises $1.2 million

Some $1.2 million was raised at the world’s first legal ivory sale since 1999, held in Namibia on Tuesday. Backers of the approach point out that the money will be used to help out elephants; opponents say it will cause more people to buy ivory — which is akin, says one activist, to “signing an elephant’s death warrant.”

Wal-Mart scales back expansion plans due to poor economy

Wal-Mart announced this week that it will scale down its expansion plans in fiscal 2009 and 2010 due to concerns about a weaker economy. This year, Wal-Mart built 243 new stores, but in these relatively uncertain economic times, the retailer said it plans to construct just 212 new stores in 2009 and 177 in 2010. Before the economic crisis ramped up, one of the only things to successfully slow Wal-Mart’s sprawling juggernaut was threatening to unionize its stores.

Greenwashing: Actually not much fun or very inspiring

Corporate foot soldiers fired up to kick environmental butt

I’m at REFF-West — a clean tech conference in Seattle — today. These conferences are a dime a dozen these days, so I probably won’t bombard you with tons of posts. But as I was listening to Kostya L. Zolotusky of Boeing, I had a thought. Aviation is considered one of the top evil-doers by green campaigners. Not only do planes spew tons of greenhouse gases, but they spew them far up in the atmosphere where they do exponentially more damage. Greens worldwide (particularly in Europe) are basically trying to shut down or substantially curtail aviation. Meanwhile, Boeing is saying …

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