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  • Consumers have the power to fight factory farms

    According to the rules of the World Trade Organization, governments cannot block the import of a product on the basis of how it is produced. So what if a rainforest has been cut down or a stream polluted or an animal tortured or workers paid pitiful wages? That’s the concern of the producing country, not […]

  • Industry is talking about climate change. Why aren't the presidential candidates?

    Like the nine-foot-deep blanket of ice at the top of the world, America’s denial of the climate crisis is melting. In hot water in the Antarctic. Photo: Michael Van Woert, NOAA. And like the North Pole, it is melting from the top down. Over the last year, in the wake of steady alarms from leaders […]

  • Let the Rivalry Begin!

    Bitter rivals Toyota and Honda are racing against each other to create affordable eco-friendly cars. Toyota announced this week that it plans to offer a full range of hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles, everything from ultra-compacts to luxury sedans, SUVs, and commercial trucks, though the company didn’t specify when they would hit showrooms. Enviros have praised Toyota […]

  • Why do we compete even though we know it hurts us?

    Not beary funny. Photo: Art Wolfe, Inc. I’ve heard the joke about the bear before, and so, probably, have you. Two guys are sitting outside their tent in a forest campsite when they see a huge angry bear charging toward them. One starts lacing up his running shoes. The other says, “Are you crazy? You’ll […]

  • Polluting Wisconsin paper companies choose an odd mascot

    No doubt you’re annoyed by the calendar-quality images of nature being used to pedal everything from SUVs to shampoo to batteries. Now a coalition of paper companies in the Fox River Valley, near Green Bay, Wis., has taken this advertising tactic to a new low, bringing a little dark comedy to a community engaged in […]

  • Flush With Success

    Canadian plumbing supply stores near the U.S. border are doing a bustling business thanks to Americans who want old-fashioned 3.5-gallon-capacity toilets instead of the 1.6-gallon low-flush models required in the U.S. since 1994. Some political conservatives have been driving the trend, arguing that 1.6 gallons often aren’t enough to do the job and that the […]

  • How we could save both forests and jobs

    The “roadless” road show swept the nation last week as U.S. Forest Service officials collected public comment on President Clinton’s initiative to prohibit road building in national forests where no roads now exist. What’s missing from this picture? Photo: U.S. Forest Service. The policy would affect 43 million acres across the country, including about 5.8 […]

  • Third Time's the Charm?

    Three stories have hit the news lately concerning three corporations that have done — or may have done — serious environmental harm. They are coping with the situation in very different ways. Taken together, the stories suggest an odd combination of hope and cynicism. There are signs of honesty, good will, real learning. But the […]

  • The Catbox Guide to Running a Multinational Corporation

    Half awake, with an early morning NPR broadcast in the background, I think I heard, though I hope I did not, the author of the latest business book telling CEOs the great lessons to be learned from kids playing in a sandbox. Is that frightening or what? Am I the only one who’s both amused […]