Maybe we should just file this one from the continuing fracking saga under the “just do as I say, not as I do” file.
But it’s still pretty delicious: According to various news reports, including the Wall Street Journal, Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil’s chairman and CEO, is part of a lawsuit seeking to block construction of a 160-foot water tower adjacent to his and his wife’s Bartonville, Texas home. The tower will supply water to a nearby hydraulic fracturing site.
The 62.5-megawatt peak power wave energy generation project will be built off the coast of Victoria, Australia, using the PowerBuoy wave energy converter technology of Ocean Power Technologies (OPT).
Project construction will occur in three stages, with the first stage producing approximately 2.5-megawatt peak power. Once completed, the project is expected to produce enough electricity to power 10,000 homes. Because it also contributes to Australia’s goal of 20 percent renewable energy by 2020, the project is getting “significant grant support” from ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency).
It’s usually a bad thing to “gum up the works,” but in the case of the safety issues confronting lithium ion batteries, maybe gum is the solution.
Washington State University researchers have developed a chewing gum-like battery material that could dramatically improve the safety of lithium ion batteries.
A WSU group led by Katie Zhong, Westinghouse Distinguished Professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, recently reported on their work in the journal, Advanced Energy Materials. And they have filed a patent on the substance.
The conventional wisdom these days is that solar is a very hot play indeed. A list of cleantech stock picks for 2014 has First Solar (a solar manufacturer) and SolarCity (a solar installer) at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, and further down the list are a solar holding company, Renewable Energy Trade Board, and a solar equipment company, Meyer Burger.
There are many reports that the solar market is heading for a “second gold rush” this year; there’s little to dispute the fact that solar is definitely in, especially for investors.
It could be that the gold rush is already on.
ExxonMobil is not the kind of company that throws money away. There’s always a plan behind its largesse.
When the oil giant stepped into a small Brooklyn library’s crowd-funding campaign in a big way, suspicions immediately arose about the motives of both sides—including whether Mellow Pages should accept the donation, and even whether it was real—and a somewhat complicated view of life in 2014 ensued.
Mellow Pages is an independently-run library and reading room located in Brooklyn, NY; it focuses on providing limited-print fiction and poetry to the neighborhoods of Bushwick, East Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuyvesant.
The story of how this unlikely pair found each other was told in a recent article in The Awl.
They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it just might be that beauty is also in the eye of the shareholder.
Joseph Halford and Hung-Chia Hsu, two economists at the University of Wisconsin, say that one way to increase a company’s stock price is to hire a hot or hunky CEO.
Yes, just when you thought that our society could not get more superficial, it does.
Scrooge is alive and bah-humbugging better than ever this Holiday Season in much of corporate America and the Republican Party—especially when it comes to the minimum wage wars. But, unlike the conclusion of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, no redemptive change of heart is at hand.
An HBR Blog item last week by Peter Cappelli notes it was not all that long ago that companies worried about whether their employee practices were fair. “One of the functions of human resource departments was to advocate for the interests of employees.”
Times have certainly changed. Shareholder activism as well as court cases sympathetic to shareholder interests have meant that the vast majority of companies pay more attention to maximizing stock prices, often at the expense of their employees.
Here’s a refreshing idea that reaches beyond emergency preparedness for the most precious of commodities – water.
Blue Can Pure Water comes in recyclable single serve aluminum cans with a 50-year, shelf-life.
“Our philosophy is to reduce the use of plastic bottles with a sustainable product rather than legislative bans. Our vision is to scale our technology globally, taking on mounting consumer waste by putting a dent in the 63 billion plastic bottles entering oceans and landfills annually,” says Angela Morente Cheng, a co-founder of Blue Can.
Ratepayers in Washington State could save a cool $1.7 billion over 17 years if the Columbia Generating Station (CGS) nuclear power plant at Hanford is closed.
A 212-page economic analysis released last week by McCullough Research of Portland, OR notes that the CGS on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is the only nuclear facility that was actually completed out of the five plants begun there during the long and tangled history of Hanford. In addition, it contains a General Electric boiling water reactor that’s similar to those that were destroyed during the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan.
But the study is not about the risks of nuclear generation; it focuses on the economics of the CGS and its possible replacement with other energy suppliers.
Companies are realizing that there is both an internal price and an opportunity when it comes to carbon pollution.
An odd juxtaposition, perhaps, but a white paper from CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) North America makes the point that once a company establishes an “internal carbon price,” it can be used as an incentive and a core strategic planning tool.
This might be the father and mother of all contests from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: a challenge to come up with the “next generation” of condom.
That’s right, wrap your head around this, according to a foundation press release: “Quite simply, condoms save lives but new thinking is needed to ensure that men and women around the world are using them consistently and correctly to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.”
So earlier this year, the philanthropic organization delved into the prophylactic world when it launched the next generation condom contest. People were encouraged to erect a better condom, with an emphasis on new models that “preserve or enhance sensation.” Now that would be sensational, because it’s estimated that just five percent of men use condoms, mainly because they say this type of birth control/safe sex method is a downer when it comes to pleasure.
One could argue that salt and the human obsession with it aligns with the fabric of world history and civilization itself—in trade, production and culinary habits—points that Mark Kurlansky make in Salt: A World History.
We take things with a grain of salt, we work—some of us anyway—in the salt mines, tell salty salacious stories during Happy Hour and what would that potato chip or French fry be without salt? Pretty bland, and even the “salt substitutes” out there don’t quite fill the bill—or at least this Bill. And, fun factoid: did you know that salt is the only rock we eat?
Generally speaking, food tastes better with salt and the food industry, especially the processed food industry, knows this very well.
So when Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage maker, pledges to accelerate the reduction of salt across all of its food brands, that’s a pretty spicy development. Nestlé said this month that its planned reduction supports a World Health Organization salt target of no more than 5g of salt per person, per day, by 2025.
Look for Portland State University students climbing on the Walmart roof, the green roof, that is. Under a two-year research partnership between the Oregon school and the retail giant, PSU is building a green roof research site on Walmart’s new North Portland store.
Designing green roofs is not just about slapping huge solar panels on large rooftops. It’s also about using the space to filter storm water, enable energy efficiency, mitigate heat islands and provide habitat. The partnership will enable the collection of in-depth, real-time data on the largest green installation in Portland.
PSU’s Green Building Research Laboratory will deploy scores of sensors and a weather station on Walmart’s new Hayden Meadows store. It will feature 40,000 square feet of vegetative roof installed in three separate sections—each devoted to testing different aspects of green roof design, such as materials and soil depth. The remaining 52,000 square feet of white membrane rooftop will also be monitored by sensors, providing an opportunity to deliver side-by-side comparisons on factors including surface temperature, water flow and building operations.
Americans have displayed many emotions regarding the recent halt of government services, including anger. But The Atlantic may have put its finger on the mood of the American people during and after the shutdown: betrayal.
In her article, Molly Ball writes that “even before the recent government shutdown, congressional approval hovered around 10 percent, a minority thought the country was on the right track, and a ‘throw the bums out’ mentality was rampant.”
Railing against the “mess” in D.C. is a time-honored tradition for both parties. That’s pretty much business as usual, but the Republicans raised the ante to unprecedented levels by threatening and then using an extortive, hissy-fit strategy to shut down the government if they did not get their demands, mainly to defund Obamacare.
Dell’s ambitiously named 2020 Legacy of Good Plan is actually quite ambitious, and even more important, realistic and philosophically consistent as it attempts to forge a long-term culture of sustainability.
The computer and electronics maker calls it the “next step” in its Powering the Possible commitment and it outlines “our goals for the future of sustainability and corporate responsibility at Dell.” The 69-page plan, according to Dell, is a long-term and collaborative “framework designed to aggregate and accelerate the ways that Dell and its IT solutions help customers, Dell team members and communities make lasting contributions to the planet and society.”