Jerry Brown Kicks Off Campaign with Visit to Solar Company Solaria

Following an easy victory in Tuesday’s primary race, Jerry Brown, Democratic candidate for California Governor, officially kicked off his campaign today, in a contest that promises to have the environment as a centerpiece issue. Solaria Corporation, a Silicon Valley solar panel manufacturer, hosted the event. In opening remarks, Dan Shugar, Solaria’s chief executive, praised Brown’s … Continued


Calculating Our Natural Deficit

As the country begins to emerge from the economic downturn, we are hearing more and more discussion about our soaring national debt, which currently stands at more than $13 trillion. This kind of number is almost too high to comprehend, but we can safely assume that future generations will be impacted. Now think for a … Continued


Lawsuits Start to Surface From Unclear Green Labeling

My conscious weighs on me as I stare at the selection of colorful shampoos in aisle five of Whole Foods.  Should I pay the extra $1.49 for the one made from organic lavender or save some cash and opt for the one containing the ever-so healthy sodium lauryl sulfite?  According to a recent Wall Street … Continued

Exxon’s “Frack Attack” and What Shareholders May Do About It

By Michael Passoff, Senior Program Director at As You Sow ExxonMobil believes in public disclosure regarding its use of toxic chemicals. Either that, or it is funding lobbying groups to oppose regulations for disclosure. Former VP Dick Cheney was concerned about your health. Either that or he gave a big handout to his gas and … Continued


Does Africa Need Sustainable Investment?

By David Abraham The IFC and EMPEA recently hosted the Global Private Equity Conference in Washington, DC.  The annual event draws in hundreds of professionals from both the institutional and investment sides of the private equity world and I was fortunate enough to attend.  Everyone was focused on how how fund managers can best attract capital for … Continued


Businesses to Benefit from Calif. Bag Ban; We’d All Benefit from National Ban

San Francisco’s ban on plastic shopping bags has been in place since early 2008, but you wouldn’t know it by walking down my Mission District street. Granted, I live on the trashy side of the street–prevalent wind patterns deposit the neighborhood litter on the west side of every block in my hood. But on a … Continued

Did Minerals Management Service Director Resign Or Get Fired?

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the resignation of Minerals Management Service (MMS) Director Elizabeth Birnbaum on Thursday  at the congressional hearing where she was scheduled to testify. Birnbaum did not show up to the hearing. Birnbaum served as the MMS director since July 2009. Neither Salazar’s remarks or Birnbaum’s indicate she was fired. “Elizabeth Birnbaum … Continued


Samasource and the Business of Alleviating Poverty

We’ve covered the inspiring work of Samasource before. But we felt we’d be remiss for wrapping up our series on the social side of sustainability without including another look at this innovative effort.  Though it is a non-profit, Samasource works as a bridge between profit-based, socially-responsible companies, and marginalized people in countries such as Africa and throughout … Continued

global warming fraud

Brits Following Americans in Attitudes about Global Warming

Uh-oh. Fewer citizens of the UK now believe global warming is an urgent problem than at any time in the last four years, according to a survey out this week by pollster YouGov (PDF). The percentage of British who believe that global warming is either “scare-mongering and we should ignore it” or that “it’s not … Continued

Record Number of Businesses Support Climate Change Legislation

A tally by American Businesses for Clean Energy (ABCE) shows more than 6,000 American businesses support clean energy and climate legislation, including nearly a quarter of the Fortune 100. The analysis, released last week in collaboration with the We Can Lead campaign, found that those businesses employed 3.5 million Americans and had $3.5 trillion in … Continued


Microfinance in America…Is The Paradigm Changing?

By Bryan Stubbs While not perfect, microfinance and Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) have been shown to be an effective tool in aiding mircoenterprises throughout third world communities. The positive impact they have on alleviating poverty and empowering entrepreneurs have been well publicized (Grameen Bank or BRAC). And while challenges remain (high interest rates/impact of the entrance … Continued

The Best Suggestions So Far for Gulf Oil Cleanup

As Bill Nye, the Science Guy debunks a number of recommendations on how to respond to the oil spill, sent in by ordinary citizens on CNN, there are a few viable solutions rising to the top, even as the oil continues to rise from the depths. The biggest buzz is about the actor Kevin Costner, … Continued

Exclusive: Green Patent Program Widened Under New Rule Change

The United States Patent and Trademark Office published an important change to its Green Patent program this morning which should expand the number of patent applications that qualify for the program. The revision, which comes after industry complaints, removes a requirement that applications fall into certain technological classifications, such as solar cells or electric vehicles, … Continued


Sustainable Conservation: Pushing the Envelope on Ecosystem Services

At the Bay Area Open Space Council’s 11th Annual Regional Conference yesterday, Ashley Boren, executive director of Sustainable Conservation, presented to a sold out conference about one of its new program areas:  ecosystem services. I actually worked for Sustainable Conservation in its early days. It has grown from a start-up to an effective organization that … Continued