Is a National Soda Tax On the Horizon?

President Obama said a soda tax is “an idea we should be exploring,” in an interview with Men’s Health. He added, “There’s no doubt that our kids drink way too much soda. And every study that’s been done about obesity shows that there is as high a correlation between increased soda consumption and obesity as … Continued

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PG&E Quits US Chamber, Protesting Its Climate Change Stance

Peter Darbee, chairman and CEO of California utility Pacific Gas & Electric, on Tuesday took a very public stand against the US Chamber of Commerce and what he calls its “disingenuous attempts to diminish or distort” the facts around global climate change. The utility quit the Chamber, a lobbying group that represents three million businesses … Continued

Are Financial Collapses Unavoidable?

I recently read the article Why Capitalism Fails by Stephen Mihm and was interested to learn about Hyman Minski, who, according to the article, was …a hitherto obscure macroeconomist who died over a decade ago. Many economists had never heard of him when the crisis struck… But lately he has begun emerging as perhaps the … Continued

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Who Will Lead the Electric Car Market?

The outlook for the electric car couldn’t have looked brighter when oil was priced at $140 a barrel, consumer confidence was high, and offers of credit were plentiful. Now that a variety of electric vehicles are nearly ready to hit the market in larger quantities, the world is a different place. The leading manufacturers of … Continued

Diplomatic Unease On The Menu At UN Climate Talks

It sounds like it may have been inspired by Oxfam’s Hunger Banquet, and it will be interesting to see how it works. Mandarins at the United Nations will be subjecting world leaders to a little diplomatic shock therapy at today’s UN climate negotiations in an effort to inject a greater sense of urgency into the … Continued

EPA Takes on the Coal Industry

Here’s a change to savor after the approach taken by the previous administration: the Environmental Protection Agency is actually taking major steps to protect the environment and might even smack-down the powerful coal industry and its well-heeled lobby. An almost startling case in point: The EPA is withholding action on 79 pending mountaintop coal-mining projects … Continued

Tony Blair: Collaborative Global Climate Action Will Benefit World Economies

This just in from the Office of Tony Blair: a bold, collaborative climate deal will create millions of jobs while bolstering all major economies. His recently-released report, entitled “Cutting the Cost: The Economic Benefits of Collaborative Climate Action”, details the difference it would make if countries worked together (versus individually) to fight climate change. In … Continued

EU Presses Obama on Curbing Climate Change and Capping Bank Bonuses

The upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December, and the G20 Summit this week, are on the front burner for the European Union, which issued a plea Thursday pressing Obama on some of the matters the conferences will cover. Specifically, the EU asked Obama to increase emissions standards in the upcoming climate change … Continued

House to Vote on Expanding Green Vehicle Research

The House of Representatives is considering expanding government-led research into fuel efficient vehicle technology while increasing research dollars for auto parts suppliers, the Star Tribune reports. The expansion would boost funding for the auto industry, helping the industry meet tougher fuel economy standards and potentially creating more green jobs.

New Vehicle Standards Make Huge Efficiency Improvements

The EPA and Department of Transportation (DOT) recently released new vehicle standards, which would make new vehicles’ fuel economy the highest seen in over 30 years. Sustainability groups, including the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), are urging the Obama administration to finalize the standards (and prevent loopholes), a UCS press release reports. If finalized, the … Continued

French President Nicolas Sarkozy: GDP Is Inadequate for Measuring Economic Health

On Monday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy addressed the French national statistics agency on the adequacy of GDP in measuring a country’s economic well-being. He requested that the agency give greater consideration to factors such as quality of life and the environment (versus solely relying on GDP’s reporting of goods and services produced) in determining the … Continued

EPA’s Green Power Leadership Awards – Rewarding Baby Steps or Greenwashing?

When the EPA recently announced the 2009 winners of its Green Power Leadership Awards, the list included a number of corporate heavyweights (including Wal-Mart, Deutsche Bank AG, and Intel Corporation) as well as several smaller companies. These companies aren’t typically the first to come to mind when I think of environmentalism. Are the awards a … Continued

Study Finds Family Planning Cheapest Way to Prevent Climate Change

The Brits have been obsessed with overpopulation since at least Thomas Malthus. Now comes a new report (PDF) commissioned by the Optimum Population Trust and conducted by the London School of Economics, which says expanded access to family planning and contraceptives is five times cheaper than low-carbon technology in reducing greenhouse gases. According to the … Continued

French President Nicolas Sarkozy Urges Carbon Tax

In a recent speech, French President Nicolas Sarkozy sought to convince compatriots of the need for a tax on carbon dioxide emissions by households and businesses. France’s imposition of a carbon tax would help the country reduce its greenhouse gas output in upcoming years, and it would make France the largest economy so far to … Continued