U.S. Chamber of Commerce Seeks Global Warming Trial

A recent Los Angeles Times headline could easily appear in the News of the Weird: “U.S. Chamber of Commerce Seeks Trial on Global Warming.” Absurd? Yes. A business-environment intersection we’d rather not see? Yes. True? Yes: in hopes of preventing potentially sweeping limits on emissions, the Chamber is pushing the EPA to try the scientific … Continued

Mexico City Bans Non-Biodegradable Plastic Shopping Bags

Last week non-biodegradable plastic shopping bags were officially banned in Mexico City, making it the second largest metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere to ban plastic bags. In March, Mexico City’s local assembly passed a law requiring stores in the world’s 11th largest city to provide biodegradable bags. There is a one-year grace period before … Continued

UN Scientist Claims 350 PPM Is New Magic Number

Prolific writer and environmentalist Bill McKibben is heading a group of advocates that are rallying around an aggressive goal of capping the amount of carbon in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million–based on findings of (civilly disobedient) climatologist James Hansen. The group, 350.org, is gearing up for an international “Day of Climate Action” on … Continued

Labor Market Dynamics: Recession Impacts Men More Than Women

Many of the industries that have been hardest hit by the economic crisis are male dominated.  Construction and manufacturing are two prime examples. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 247,000 jobs were lost in the US during July, including 76,000 construction and 52,000 manufacturing jobs. The male unemployment rate is now 9.8%, while … Continued


Coke and Pepsi on Damage Control – Cleaning up Their Water Image in China

Coca-Cola and Pepsi recently vowed to clean up their water use practices in China. Thing is, the vows weren’t exactly voluntary. Only after a Beijing economic council released a scathing report on the firms’ water practices did the soft drink firms swear to change. Moving forward, Beijing will monitor the firms, and 25 other companies, … Continued

Australia Breaks its Own Record in Renewable Energy Goals

Australia’s Parliament passed a law Thursday that set the country’s renewable energy goals for the next 11 years: the country must draw 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources (for example, sun and wind) by 2020. Reaching the 20 percent goal would allow Australia to provide enough clean energy to power all 21 million … Continued


American Petroleum Institute’s “Energy Citizens” Website Is Not a Pretty Picture

When it comes to combating climate change legislation, the American Petroleum Institute (API) plays dirty (pun intended). In its efforts to prevent the climate bill from passing, the API recently launched a website – “Energy Citizens” – which allows site visitors to e-petition legislators and speak out against the bill. (API’s launching of the site … Continued

Congress Seems to Prefer Close-to-Home Energy Research Centers

Apparently, home really is where the heart is – even when it comes to Congress’ distribution of energy research funds. When Energy Secretary Steven Chu proposed a plan for creating eight “innovation hubs” (i.e. clean technology research centers), Congressmen overwhelmingly favored earmarking funds for research schools in their home regions. The earmarking has many critics … Continued


Seattle To Vote On Plastic Bag Tax

Seattle residents will vote on a 20 cent plastic bag tax on August 18. The tax would affect grocery, drug, and convenience stores. Small businesses, those with revenue under $1 million, would keep the entire 20 cent fee. Bigger businesses would keep five cents, with 15 cents going to Seattle Public Utilities to pay for … Continued

Chinese and North Carolinian Energy Companies to Pick Each Others’ Brains

North Carolina is on the move, from a renewable energy perspective. In the past several days, it has worked toward signing a technology-exchange agreement with China (and toward limiting the construction of industrial-sized windmills – a renewable energy quagmire, it seems). The Duke-China pact has gained significant international attention, as it is the first such … Continued

Slow Food USA Organizes Eat-Ins For Nutritious School Lunches

You have heard of a sit-in. On Labor Day, September 7, there will be 100 Eat-Ins in communities across the U.S. Organized by Slow Food USA’s Time For Lunch program, the Eat-Ins are designed to bring together people in a community who want more nutritious food in schools. The Child Nutrition Act, first enacted in … Continued

Senators Introduce ‘Efficient Vehicle Leadership Act of 2009′

Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) introduced a new bill Wednesday as a follow-up to the short-lived-by-design Cash for Clunker program. The bill, called The Efficient Vehicle Leadership Act of 2009 (S. 1620), would, the Senators claim, spur auto sales for the long haul by rationalizing incentives to buy fuel efficient vehicles. The … Continued