Business & Technology

Feedlot meat production: nothing if not profitable

Tyson Foods chief nets $10 million — oops, no, $24 million

Update [2007-12-28 10:14:4 by Tom Philpott]:According to AP, Tyson CEO Richard Bond made total compensation of $24 million in 2007, not $9.88 million, as reported by Bloomberg. Here’s how industrial meat production works: you stuff …

Chicago will levy bottled-water tax, Big Bottle plans to sue

Beginning Jan. 1, Chicago will levy a 5-cent tax on bottled water; shortly after it goes into effect, an alliance of food and beverage retailer associations plans to sue.

Cyanide Cynthia, world's biggest Scrooge

Mining CEO loves gold, hates fish

Having trouble finding a Grinch this Christmas season? Try Cynthia Carroll, CEO of Anglo-American Mining Company. Carroll's company has teamed up with Northern Dynasty (like the television show Dynasty, only eviler) to build the world's biggest dam in Alaska so she can mine piles of gold, which will have the unfortunate impact of destroying the world's largest salmon fishery. Not only will the dam prevent the salmon from reaching their spawning grounds, the cyanide Carroll uses to extract gold from rock will likely seep into the river, ruining the salmon's sense of smell, which is vital to them finding their way, if it doesn't just kill them outright. In fairness, Carroll apparently needs something with which to re-gild her toilet. Unfortunately, Carroll's need for a soft, shiny, yellow resting area for her derriere has a price: the elimination of the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery might keep rappers rolling in bling and allow central bankers to keep using words like "bullion," but it's also going to imperil grizzly bears, bald eagles and the many other creatures that rely on the salmon, not to mention the Native people who traditionally rely on the salmon fishery for food. Oh, and it will threaten to put many of Alaska's commercial salmon fishermen out of business, which will mean the end of the world's only major supplier of sustainably caught, non-toxic wild salmon. On the other hand, Carroll would look totally powerful with that sceptered orb she's been craving.

What I want for 2008

A plead for utility leadership on climate change

What I want most for 2008 is serious action on climate change -- not just in terms of policy, but in terms of action. Mathematically, this mandates serious and constructive engagement from the electric sector, which has thus far been not only absent, but hostile to any serious discussion of GHG reduction. Given their relevance (42% of US GHG emissions) and tremendous inefficiency, they are a source of much of my personal quixotic quest. But ultimately, they must engage -- and so far, they have not even come close. So in case we have any utility executives in the Gristiverse, here is the speech I'd like to hear from one of you in 2008:

Plan to regulate airline emissions moves forward in E.U.

A proposed law that would regulate emissions from airlines taking off from or landing in the European Union has been approved by environment ministers. The bill to include airlines in the E.U.’s carbon-trading scheme was …

Franken-broccoli?

The GM seed giants lumber into the veggie patch

In 2005, Monsanto bought Seminis, the world’s largest vegetable-seed company. At the time, Monsanto — which enjoys a dominant position in the global market for GM soy, corn, and cotton traits — claimed it had …

Proof that 'beyond petroleum' was greenwashing

BP joins ‘biggest global warming crime ever seen’

The tar sands are rightly called one of the world's greatest environmental crimes, as I've written. No company that invests in the Canadian tar sands can legitimately call itself green. Yet BP, the oil company that lavished millions on advertising its move "Beyond Petroleum," announced this month it's putting $3 billion into this dirtiest of dirty fuels! BP is buying a half-share of the ironically named Sunrise field:

Utility PG&E agrees to buy electricity from future wave-power farm

The utility Pacific Gas & Electric this week became the first power company in the United States to sign a deal agreeing to purchase electricity generated by wave power. The wave-power farm that would generate …

Hybrid Technologies converts gas-powered cars to electric

Obsessed with MINI Coopers but also like the idea of zero-emission electric vehicles? Have your car and drive it too: a company called Hybrid Technologies guts cars such as the MINI, smart fortwo, and PT …

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