Business & Technology

A defense of the GM bailout

Because small fixes make the biggest difference

Despite the excellent reasons to reject the GM bailout, consider this: a strings-attached investment that tweaked GM’s production model could reap huge climate benefits — perhaps bigger than anything else we do to autos in the near term. That’s because the biggest opportunities in fuel economy are at the low end of the fleet, not in FutureCars. Remember: you save more fuel switching from a 15 to 18 mpg car than switching from a 50 to 100 mpg car. (The explanation is here and here.) For a company like GM that’s based on building fuel-wasting behemoths this has huge implications. …

Utilities ponder big buy of electric cars

In a move to support flailing automakers — and potentially boost their own bottom line — several big U.S. utilities are considering putting in orders for thousands of electric cars.

A review of Joel Makower’s Strategies for the Green Economy

If there were an M.B.A. school for green executives, Joel Makower undoubtedly would be its dean, historian, and booster-in-chief. Joel Makower. During a 20-year career, Makower has chronicled the rise of the green movement in corporate America through books, hundreds of stories, and countless speeches. Along the way, he has carved out a mini green business empire for himself. He is executive editor and chairman of Greener World Media, which owns Greenbiz.com, a website that reports on the burgeoning industry. He also has marketing ties to green business groups and sits on the boards and advisory committees of various green …

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 …