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  • 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 […]

  • We Be Culture Jammin'

    Maybe you’ve seen Adbusters magazine or the Adbusters website, with their takeoffs on common ads. “Joe Chemo,” the popular Joe Camel, sits sad, sick, and bald in a hospital bed. A sports utility vehicle surges through the wilderness under the slogan: NATURE — IT’LL GROW BACK. A slumped over vodka bottle proclaims ABSOLUTE IMPOTENCE. It […]

  • Zen and the Art of Fuel Efficiency

    This column is not a Honda ad, though it will start off sounding like one. This is an ad for feedback. I’ve had a Honda Insight, a gas-electric hybrid car, for less than a month. It has taught me a whole new way of driving, thanks to feedback from its instrument panel. An Insight instrument […]

  • A conservative argument for Clinton's forest initiative

    Ed Marston, publisher of High Country News, proclaims in his paper’s April 10, 2000 issue: “The war between extractive interests and the environmental movement for control of the Interior West’s public lands is drawing to a close. The timber era, the cattle era, the mainstem big-dam era, the wise-use era are ending. An immense landscape […]

  • Should campaign finance reform become the next big green issue?

    "Politics," said Will Rogers, "has got so expensive that it takes lots of money to even get beat with." And that was in the 1930s.

  • Stay Funky, Chunky Monkey

    So Unilever has gobbled up Ben & Jerry’s. The $45 billion mega-company that rose from the British and Dutch colonial empires (turning palm and coconut oil into soap and margarine) has acquired Vermont’s outrageous little ice cream maker for $326 million. The American dream at work. A couple of hippies invent wild new ice cream […]

  • A Flash of Insight

    Well, there she is. Sleek and silver, dealer plates still on, got her two days ago. Seventy miles per gallon, 700 miles a fill-up. So they say. Last time I bought a new car — a 1987 Honda Civic wagon that got 35 mpg at its best — I swore I’d keep it until I […]

  • An excerpt from Natural Capitalism by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins

    Imagine for a moment a world where cities have become peaceful and serene because cars and buses are whisper quiet, vehicles exhaust only water vapor, and parks and greenways have replaced unneeded urban freeways. OPEC has ceased to function because the price of oil has fallen to five dollars a barrel, but there are few buyers for it because cheaper and better ways now exist to get the services people once turned to oil to provide. Living standards for all people have dramatically improved, particularly for the poor and those in developing countries. Involuntary unemployment no longer exists, and income taxes have largely been eliminated. Houses, even low-income housing units, can pay part of their mortgage costs by the energy they produce; there are few if any active landfills; worldwide forest cover is increasing; dams are being dismantled; atmospheric C02 levels are decreasing for the first time in two hundred years; and effluent water leaving factories is cleaner than the water coming into them. Industrialized countries have reduced resource use by 80 percent while improving the quality of life.

  • Can We Measure Sustainability?

    Every year at the peak of the Alpine ski season, the world’s movers and shakers, the heads of the largest corporations and wealthiest governments, head for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. This year an event occurred there that was largely unreported but possibly historic. The attendees were presented with a ranking of the […]