Bhopal — or RuPaul
Friday marks the 15th anniversary of a very unhappy occasion. On Dec. 3, 1984, a Union Carbide industrial plant in Bhopal, India, released a deadly cloud of the gas methyl isocyanate into the air, killing at least 6,500 people (and some say more) and injuring tens of thousands. Ever since, Union Carbide and Bhopal have […]
The Battle in Seattle
Last month The Economist ran a frustrated editorial wondering why environmental groups would picket the upcoming World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Seattle. The headline read “Why Greens Should Love Trade.” Actually greens see no particular reason either to love or hate trade. They don’t share the religious beliefs of economists, who love trade as […]
Giving Unfair Trade a Shake
Delegates to the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle will be met by as many as 50,000 protesters from all around the world. WTO advocates seek to dismiss the protestors as anti-trade extremists who want to turn back the clock on human progress. In truth, the vast majority of the protestors will be coming from […]
Industrious endeavors in the former Soviet empire
America’s market-based solutions to environmental problems tend to look a lot like something you might have seen in an old Soviet propaganda film. Real Soviet propaganda. Take emissions trading. Under this system, I, an evil capitalist, sell you, another evil capitalist, the right to spew tons of air pollution, which I can do because I’ve […]
Hal Brill, Jack A. Brill, and Cliff Feigenbaum on their new book Investing Your Values
Turn on any financial talk show and you will be deluged with advice about how to make more money. You'll learn which kind of IRA is best for you, and hear arguments rage about the pros and cons of no-load mutual funds. This is useful information, but it doesn't go far enough. Given the central, powerful role of money and business in both our society and our personal lives, it is astonishing that so little attention is given to the social, ethical, and spiritual dimensions of money. Even the most caring commentators seem oblivious to the enormous impact our financial decisions have on communities, the earth, and our own peace of mind. We've ignored the fact that our money carries our voice to the world.
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 […]