A catch all category for government, politics and initiatives to influence either.

Photo Credit: Flicker Ben Schueddekopf

Businesses Denounce Austerity, Urge Congress to Invest in Sustainable Economy

The Capitol Hill standoff between President Obama and House Republicans may be over (for now), but more than 165,000 businesses say the budget deal reached by Congress last week does not go far enough to address the underlying economic problems afflicting the nation. The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) has called for policymakers to stop imposing austerity and begin making strategic investments to foster a sustainable economy.

Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE

Sustainable Business Leaders Call on Obama to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline

Last week over 150 American companies signed a letter calling President Obama to approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. In addition to the usual suspects (aka oil and gas companies), you can find there companies like GE, AT&T, PwC, Siemens, KPMG and Waste Management, which are among the leaders in the business community when it comes to sustainability, and frankly you would expect them to make the case against the pipeline, not lobby for its approval.

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Report: Taxpayers Pick Up $7 Billion Tab for Underpaid Fast Food Workers

A report just out by the UC Berkeley Labor Center says that low-paying fast food jobs cost taxpayers $7 billion a year in benefit programs designed to support low-income families. Programs like Medicaid, SSI and food stamps are lifelines for workers who aren’t being paid enough to feed and clothe their families.

Credit: Greenpeace

Asian Energy Expansion Means We’re Probably Too Late to Avert Climate Change Disruption

Home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies and populations, an energy forecast for Southeast Asia bode ill for efforts to curtail fossil fuel emissions. Coal-fired power generation is projected to account from nearly 60% of new power generation among ASEAN countries while dependence on imported oil will double as the regional economy triples and population grows 25% to 2035, according to an IEA rep.

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All Bets are Off for Brazil’s Future

Social unrest and greater scrutiny of former President Lula’s legacy mean all bets are off as far as the future of Brazil in concerned, says Jonathon Porritt, Founder-Director of Forum for the Future.

Photo Credit: Flickr eGuide Travel

Top Execs Receive $24 Billion From Federal Contracts Each Year

New research from think tank Demos has found that the current contracting practices from the federal government pays top corporate executives nearly $24 billion per year. The organization postulates that if these contracting policies were reformed to limit the taxpayer contribution to executive pay at the salary of the U.S. Vice President ($230,700), then full-time workers could potentially receive an annual pay increase of nearly $14,000, with no additional cost to taxpayers.

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Do Rooftop Solar Panels Really Hinder Firefighters?

The recent Delanco, NJ fire in which a deli company’s warehouse burned to the ground because firefighters said that its rooftop solar panels prevented them from accessing the roof and saving the building has raised a lot of questions about the safety of solar panels on roofs.