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Why can't Detroit take the same approach?

Boeing’s new Dreamliner plane boasts increased fuel efficiency

A few years ago, Boeing was struggling. Sales were slipping, financial forecasts grim. Meanwhile Airbus, a foreign competitor, passed the former champ in total sales. Now the tables are turned. There are several reasons for the stellar advance sales of Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner, but I can't help but point out one: After years of research into lightweight carbon-fiber, which now replaces heavier aluminum for the jet's fuselage and wings, the Dreamliner can sail with an estimated 20-30 percent less fuel per passenger. What's the company's reasoning behind increasing fuel efficiency? It's better for business, of course.

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Post-vacation links

Stuff I missed

There are a gazillion things I missed over vacation, or meant to post about before vacation, that I'll never have time to return to. Thus: a link post! I missed the MoveOn town hall on climate and energy. You can watch the candidate presentations here. Bill Scher has a pretty good rundown of who said what, here. Our guide to the candidates on these issues is here. FYI, MoveOn members voted John Edwards the winner. I doubt I'll have a chance to read Chris Mooney's new book Storm World any time soon (and -- sssshhh -- I must confess that …

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Summer property rights update

A smorgasbord of campaigns in various states

There's something energizing about midsummer. If it's not the camping trips, or the afternoon concerts in the park, it must be the flurry of property rights campaigns gearing up for the fall election. Here's the latest: In Oregon, the "Yes on 49" campaign kicked off yesterday. (Measure 49 is the state legislature's referendum that will trim back some portions of Measure 37.) I can't find a website for the "No on 49" campaign, so no link today. But if you want the low-down on Oregon's property rights politics, check out landusewatch, where Peter Bray dishes the dirt with a keen …

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More rules of the road for offsets: Common sense is good

Measure, monitor, reduce, offset

Haven't had enough on offsets yet? Good. Romm's zeroth rule of carbon offsets is that you should "do everything reasonably possible to reduce your own emissions" before buying offsets. At first blush, this reads like a memo from Obviousland, a staunch statement in favor of apple pie. Pretty much every marketer of carbon offsets heavily stresses that offset purchases should go hand-in-hand with serious attempts at conservation, and I certainly agree. So far, so good. But the rest of the post serves as a lesson in what can happen when common sense hardens into ideology. After making a bunch of …

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The future of socially responsible investing

SRI pioneer Joan Bavaria looks ahead

To celebrate its 15th anniversary, the GreenMoney Journal asked leaders in the realms of green business and socially responsible investing to forecast 15 years into the future. How green will our economy be in 2022? GreenMoney's anniversary issue features responses from Amy Domini of Domini Social Investments, Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farm, futurist Hazel Henderson, and others. Here, reprinted with permission, is a view from Joan Bavaria, president of Trillium Asset Management Company. (Also read a perspective from Mindy Lubber of Ceres.) Joan Bavaria. What will socially responsible investing (SRI) look like in 15 years? I believe we are in …

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Mackey's wacky stock tips

Whole Foods CEO secretly hearts Wal-Mart

In January 2005, a poster on a Yahoo message board made a bold prediction on how Whole Foods stock would fare. "13 years from now Whole Foods will be a $800+ stock," he insisted, adding that "the company is going to keep on strongly growing for another 10+ years." Looking at the company's stock chart (and adjusting for splits), we can see he was calling for ninefold increase by 2018. So far, the prediction looks shaky. Today, Whole Foods stock trades at a lower price than it did in January 2005. There's nothing unusual about a message-board enthusiast making wild …

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Britain's new McFleet

McDonald’s trucks to use french fry grease as fuel

On July 2, McDonald's announced plans to convert its entire British fleet of 155 delivery trucks, which consume about 6 million liters (a little less than 1.6 million gallons) of diesel per year, to run on cooking oil from Britain's 1,200 McDonald's restaurants. The company pledged to make the switch within the next twelve months. In an apparently unintentionally ironic statement, VP John Howe said the fuel wouldn't smell like french fries -- though, he remarked, the Pavlovian effect that would have been "one of the best marketing campaigns we've ever had." Two steps forward, too many back.

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Sustainability gets a warmer embrace from U.S. companies

Mindy S. Lubber of CERES looks at how far we’ve come and what the future might hold

To celebrate its 15th anniversary, the GreenMoney Journal asked leaders in the realms of green business and socially responsible investing to forecast 15 years into the future. How green will our economy be in 2022? GreenMoney's anniversary issue features responses from Amy Domini of Domini Social Investments, Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farm, futurist Hazel Henderson, and others. Mindy Lubber. Here, reprinted with permission, is a view from Mindy S. Lubber, president of Ceres, a leading coalition of investors, environmental groups, and other public-interest organizations working with companies to address sustainability challenges such as global climate change. Ceres also directs the …

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If I Could Escape

Ford, Southern California Edison partner to test plug-in hybrids Two No. 2 businesses have unveiled a first-of-its-kind alliance: Ford Motor Co., the No. 2 automaker in the U.S., and Southern California Edison, the country's second-largest utility, will partner for "real-world" testing of plug-in hybrid vehicles. Starting late this year, Ford will begin sending 20 plug-in Escape SUVs to Edison, which will deliver them to a teeny handful of its 13 million customers. The utility will measure data on the vehicle's range, durability, and impact on the power grid. Ford CEO Alan Mulally says he expects plug-ins -- which can be …

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PG&E's 'ClimateSmart' offsets are anything but

Breaking all the offset rules

[Important update to this post here.] One reason I began posting my Rules of Carbon Offsets is a dubious program by the California utility PG&E called ClimateSmart, which is supposed to allow PG&E customers to become "climate neutral." This program actually manages to violate rules zero, 1, and 2 all at once! It really makes clear why offsets are bastardized emissions reductions -- and why trees are an especially dubious offset. This picture graces the "Our Projects" page of the ClimateSmart website. The caption reads : "Photo of van Eck Forest, courtesy of Pacific Forest Trust." Well, that burns rule …