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  • Two Mindsets, Two Visions of Sustainable Agriculture

    “I guess you must be in favor of pesticides,” concluded a Monsanto public relations guy, after I objected to his company’s genetically engineered potato. “I guess it’s okay with you if people starve,” said a botanist I deeply respect, with whom I have carried out a fervent argument about genetic engineering. Accusations like these astonish […]

  • What a Team!

    Environmentalists are increasingly teaming up with big business to help corporations produce environmentally sound products. Earlier this year, the Marine Stewardship Council sat down with Unilever, the corporate parent of Gorton and Birdseye frozen foods, and worked out a “sustainable fish” labeling system for grocery store packages of salmon, haddock, and other fish. European companies […]

  • An interview with Joseph Romm on becoming a cool company

    Joseph Romm is director of the nonprofit Center for Energy and Climate Solutions, which helps businesses reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. In 1997, he served as assistant secretary of energy efficiency and renewable energy at the Energy Department.

  • What's the President Worth? For Doing What?

    Driving home the other night, I heard a snatch of radio discussion about whether we’re paying the president enough. If I understood the argument while dodging traffic, it seems that corporate executive salaries have soared so high that the president’s salary is puny by comparison. Company CEOs earn millions. Michael Eisner of Disney earns in […]

  • Electric Cars Run Out of Gas

    Honda has pulled the plug on its production of electric vehicles, becoming the first major automaker to admit that the battery-powered cars aren’t making inroads with consumers. Honda plans to focus on other alternative-fuel technologies, such as fuel cells, and some industry watchers speculate that the company’s move may indicate that it has another zero-emissions […]

  • A review of 'Song of the Meadowlark' by James Eggert

    In this gentle and disjointed collection of essays, economist James Eggert pushes his quantitative impulses aside and puts his ecological consciousness front and center. A professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, he argues in Song of the Meadowlark: Exploring Values for a Sustainable Future that classical economic values should play second fiddle to what he terms "meadowlark values," or priorities that esteem the natural world over indiscriminate growth. Eggert propounds that along with environmental impact statements, we as a society conduct "grandchild impact statements" to evaluate how our actions will affect the quality of life for generations to come.

  • The Dow Passes 10,000 — Hooray?

    Wow! The Dow Jones average is over 10,000! And still, as of this writing, rising. Judging from the media celebration, here is proof positive that America is thriving. But who or what is actually thriving? There are two ways to answer that question. One is to travel around America — all of it, the inner […]