Triple Pundit Acquires News Corporation

| Wednesday April 1st, 2009 | 3 Comments

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In a surprise but carefully planned move, Triple Pundit LLC has acquired News Corporation in a deal backed personally by Warren Buffett. News Corporation, one of the world’s largest media conglomerates, is comprised of Fox News, 20th Century Fox, MySpace, and the recently acquired Wall Street Journal.
According to 3p Founder, Nick Aster, who met the Oracle of Omaha during his most recent backpacking trip through Argentina, “3p got into the business to change everything in business and media. Yet, we hadn’t the slightest idea that we’d be doing it this literally.”
Sources within News Corporation state that the hostile takeover battle was effectively won when Triple Pundit writers and followers stormed the Avenue of the Americas New York Headquarters with Super Soakers, far outmatching the McCain-Palin 2008 stress balls possessed by News Corporation staffers. Triple Pundit engaged in a fierce bidding war for News Corp with the Onion, backed by actor Robin Williams, but Warren Buffett’s financial position and negotiation tactics (Buffett himself carefully planned the Super Soaker-armed takeover) proved insurmountable.
Triple Pundit plans to make drastic changes, detailed below, to the media empire built by Rupert Murdoch, the major shareholder and Chairman of News Corporation. Murdoch did not make himself available for comment, but is rumored to be planning a face-saving comeback on next season’s Dancing with the Stars.

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US Senator Inhofe Blames UFOs for Shrinking Ice Caps

| Wednesday April 1st, 2009 | 2 Comments

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L_Ron_Hubbard.jpgTriple Pundit News Brief Washington DC – Senator James Inhofe (R) of Oklahoma, a long time global warming skeptic, seems to have taken his polemic in a new direction. In 2003, Inhofe shot to the front of the line among global warming naysayers with his now infamous speech on the Senate floor when he claimed: “The threat of catastrophic global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”
But in his speech on the Senate floor today, April 1, Inhofe surprised many of his fellow Senators by claiming the disappearance of the polar ice caps could possibly be attributed to “ice pirates from another solar system.” Inhofe offered no further explanation of his comment during the speech. But in a press conference following the Senate session, he promised to provide “credible evidence” from “reputable scientific sources” that space ships are stealing our ice caps for reasons “not understood at this time.” He also emphasized that his claims are consistent with his belief that climate change cannot be blamed on human activity.

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Famous Greenies Flocking to LEED-Certified Idaho Hotel

Richard Levangie | Wednesday April 1st, 2009 | 0 Comments

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The good folks in Bugtussle, Idaho have a green accomplishment that is turning a few heads in trendy California – a certified LEED Double Platinum, carbon-negative luxury hotel that has become a home away from home for many celebrity greenies, including Richard Branson, Al Gore, Neil Young, and Gavin Newsom.
It’s an inspiring story. About one year ago, the flea-bitten Palace Motel was a 42-room roadside inn that catered to truck drivers swinging down from Alberta, and to locals looking for a quick howdy-do in the broom-closet sized rooms.

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Starbucks Ditches All Non-Recyclables

| Wednesday April 1st, 2009 | 4 Comments

Two years ago today…

No%20More%20Starbucks%20Cups.jpgGives Every Customer Free, Refillable Travel Mug (Will Now Charge $1.25 Per Disposable Cup)
In a nationwide effort to green their retail locations, Starbucks announced today that it would be doing away with all of its non-recyclable cups, and giving customers free, refillable travel mugs. Starbucks goes through roughly 2.3 billion cups per year and has taken heat from several environmental groups since the plastic coating keeps them from being recycled with other paper products, contributing to massive amounts of landfill waste. They’ve also been scrutinized over the fact that the cardboard sleeve for hot beverages touts “Help Us Help the Planet,” which ironically, is only 10% recyclable. But none of that matters now that Starbucks has made a clean sweep of all their stores, replacing the plastic-coated cups with green refillable mugs, proudly showcasing the Starbucks logo.

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Monsanto Denounces GMO Crops, Launches Permaculture Design Service

| Wednesday April 1st, 2009 | 3 Comments

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I’ve got to hand it to Monsanto. After years of alienating food-conscious consumers with genetically-engineered crops, destructive farming practices, and toxic waste, the agricultural company has performed a complete 180. As of today, Monsanto is ditching GMO crops completely. The company is also launching a permaculture design service to help its GMO-reliant farmers transition to organic practices.

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American Airlines Launches Zero Emissions Zeppelin Service

| Wednesday April 1st, 2009 | 26 Comments

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Starting next month, American Airlines will replace jet service on the transatlantic sector with solar powered LZ-2 airships – at zero emissions. The new 100% photovoltaic powered vessels will transport up to 500 people in the lap of luxury, featuring private suites, bars and restaurants, spectacular lounges, and an 18-hole frisbee golf course.

Twenty five years of cooperation between Boeing and the Poof Slinky company reduced even the manufacturing process of the LZ-2 to a zero emissions, zero waste process based on recycled material gathered in the North Pacific Gyre and re-purposed to aircraft specifications.

On a maiden test flight between New York and Helsinki last week, American Airlines CEO Gerard J. Arpey shared champagne with company spokesman Robert Plant remarking:

American Airlines is proud to usher in a new age of travel where humanity can once again relax – free from leg cramps, nonexistent overhead bins, and inedible snak paks.

To which Plant replied, “I believe I’ve lost my frisbee.”

To save additional resources, passengers may disembark over any landmass by ejecting in parachute bound pods.

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Obama Administration Taps Former President Bush as Lead Negotiator for Climate Talks in Copenhagen

| Wednesday April 1st, 2009 | 2 Comments

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Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Carol M. Browner announced on April 1st that former president George W. Bush will lead the U.S. negotiating team this December at the UN COP15 climate talks in Copenhagen

Some journalists fainted upon hearing the announcement, one reporter was rushed to the hospital, suffering what hospital officials termed “acute disbelief shock syndrome,” and others could only gasp an astonished what the…?”

The venerable and unflappable Helen Thomas, who has served in the White House press corps since the Kennedy administration, was the only reporter with the mitts to ask Browner how the Obama administration had come to such a decision:
“Did someone drink the kool-aid?” asked Thomas. “Isn’t it a bit… counterintuitive to choose someone that has championed… well, I’m not quite sure what Bush has championed exactly… but what gives? Aren’t we concerned about climate change anymore?”

“Now more than ever,” replied Browner, “And that is exactly why the choice of Bush as lead negotiator in Copenhagen makes perfect sense.”

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Roche Launches into Sustainability Sphere with Release of Breakthrough Drug

| Wednesday April 1st, 2009 | 0 Comments

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Responding to a downturn in the once multi-billion dollar industry, Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche announced yesterday the release of a breakthrough medication that is rumored to revolutionize the fledgling drug industry. STAINAX, the new miracle drug–as its being touted by some industry insiders–is an attempt by one of the largest players in the drug industry to ride the now ever-popular green wave by incorporating sustainability ethics into its business practices.
Roche CEO Franz Humer said during a press release yesterday: “A lot of people talk about how they can change their practices – recycling, driving hybrid cars, eating organic food – but I feel like no one is focusing on the core of the problem: people. We realized as one of the world’s leading healthcare companies, we had the power to make a difference in the world, not only for ourselves, but for our children’s generation, and their children’s generation after them.”
A report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007 stated that human emissions of CO2 were estimated to be 26.4 Gt per year, up from 23.5 Gt in the 1990s. “Our breakthrough new medication will allow the human body to process its own waste, self-sequestering harmful carbon gases we emit on a daily basis by neutralizing them in the body’s various organs,” Humer added.

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T. Boone Pickens No Longer in it Just for the Money

Mary Catherine O'Connor | Wednesday April 1st, 2009 | 1 Comment

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pickens.jpgT. Boone Pickens, one-time oil tycoon, has realized that the movement toward clean technology and sustainable business practices holds more than financial promise. The Texan says he has discovered a new appreciation for wind and other alternative energy sources – an appreciation that goes well beyond his conviction that he’ll make Prius-loads of money by promoting the Pickens Plan to establishing massive energy systems independent of foreign oil.
In addition to solar panels and wind turbine, he is using a small generator mounted on a stationary bicycle to power his off-the-grid Texas home. As part of his daily exercise routine, Pickens spins away on the bike each morning, powering up his orange juicer enough to fill two glasses of OJ – one for him and one for his fourth wife Madeleine Pickens.

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Congress Votes to Legalize Marijuana, Economy Will Benefit

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Wednesday April 1st, 2009 | 8 Comments

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Yesterday, Congress voted to legalize marijuana. President Obama said he will sign the bill into law, which creates a federal agency, the Cannabis Agency, to oversee the production and sale of marijuana. By legalizing marijuana after being in office a little over two months, Obama is following in the footsteps of Franklin Roosevelt who legalized beer after being in office a few months.
The legalization of marijuana is not only good news for the legions of its smokers in the U.S., but the depressed economy. A September 2007 study by Jon Gettman, senior research fellow at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy estimated the cost to local, state, and federal governments of marijuana being illegal to be $41.8 billion.

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Terracycle Quits Worm Poop Business, Merges with Miracle Gro

| Wednesday April 1st, 2009 | 16 Comments

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Tom%20Szaky%20Terracycle.jpegTerracycle, the company made famous for its gardening products made from “worm poop” and packaged in previously used soda bottles, has decided to take a radical shift in their business model, merging with Scotts Miracle-Gro, and will be producing a mostly synthetic line of plant food made from a petroleum based formulation, citing the under utilization of it in automobiles leading to a plentiful “waste” stream of unused source.
Asked why they chose to do this, the characteristically loquacious CEO, Tom Szaky, initially had no comment. But with some prodding, he had this to say:

In line with our focus on being distributed in big box stores, we were tired of fighting off the multiple lawsuits from Scotts, and thought, why not make money from working with them rather than spending it against them?

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Emerging Solar Technologies Flex Their Market Strength

| Tuesday March 31st, 2009 | 0 Comments

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By Paul Detering
Technology development in the solar industry continues to accelerate at an unprecedented rate. Over $3 billion was invested in new companies and technologies in 2008 alone, and investments in solar have doubled every year for the last five years.
Manufacturers of traditional photovoltaic (PV) panels continue to drive improved efficiencies, inverter manufacturers boast higher reliability, and as in the case of micro-inverters even offer a different take on older technology– producing AC current at the panel or string level. A variety of innovative new thin film technologies and material systems are also emerging with the potential to offer unprecedented new and lower cost structures. Entrepreneurs are addressing the balance of system as well–looking for ways to reduce costs and accelerate the deployment of PV systems while also increasing quality and reliability.
All of this investment is aimed at reaching renewable energy’s holy grail– grid party, the point at which solar power becomes less expensive than traditional polluting sources of energy. The Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) for solar is rapidly closing in on traditional power due to increasing fuel costs for carbon-based energy sources joined with the introduction of new technologies reducing total solar system costs.

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Empowering (and Recruiting) Future Leaders

Scott Cooney | Tuesday March 31st, 2009 | 0 Comments

FLI2_1.jpgA month ago, I attended a Pitch-A-Thon the Future Leaders Institute (FLI) hosted in which students pitched their ideas for building a better tomorrow and received feedback from community leaders (respondents) in the sustainability and social change fields. FLI challenges students to research and identify societal problems, and come up with a plan for how to address them through efforts in their classroom and their community.

I sat, somewhat stupefied, as student after student 20 years my junior took the stage and gave a powerpoint presentation about problems as diverse as Darfur and melting polar ice caps, and tangible solutions they could help enact in their own community. I couldn’t help but think that my own career in the green business community would have started 10 years earlier had I only had a FLI of my own where I grew up. Each respondent was matched with four students for purposes of giving them feedback, and I honestly felt that despite a pretty substantial resume as a green business author, a sustainability consultant, and serial ecopreneur, I should be the one taking feedback–from Eve Cowen, Executive Director of FLI, for what she’s been able to accomplish.

Van Jones recently recommended Cowen for the prestigious Harold J. McGraw (of McGraw-Hill fame) Prize in Education. I’ve learned to listen to Jones, and when he says that the FLI “can no longer be education reform’s best kept secret”, and that we need to create far more evangelists so the promotion can be done by and from many angles, I make a mental note to help FLI spread its mission (and later, write a blog post about it).

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Sustainability and Value Creation: Investors Are Paying Attention

Bill DiBenedetto | Tuesday March 31st, 2009 | 1 Comment

Sustainability%20Investing.jpg These days, it’s not just about following the money. More importantly, it’s also about finding the best way to find the money that’s out there while making the process more visible and transparent. That’s a tall order for companies trying to do the right thing on the sustainability front while delving into the murky world of finance and investment for funding, which by its very nature is prone to opaqueness, complexity, and secrecy. Simply put it’s tough to reach investors even in a solid financial and economic environment. So dotting the i’s on sustainability is becoming a crucial piece of the funding puzzle.
That’s where the Global Reporting Initiative, an Amsterdam non-profit, enters the picture. It has developed a framework for disclosure on environmental, social, and governance data – also known as ESG disclosures or sustainability reporting – and in a report this week says that companies that fail to link their sustainability reporting and activities to an overall corporate strategy likely will fail to connect with investors.

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FedEx Blogging: Starting the Conversation

| Tuesday March 31st, 2009 | 1 Comment

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Markets are conversations. So explains the famous Cluetrain Manifesto which continues:

…learning to speak in a human voice is not some trick, nor will corporations convince us they are human with lip service about “listening to customers.” They will only sound human when they empower real human beings to speak on their behalf.

A corporate blog, if done properly, can bring back the kind of real human voice that companies have forgotten about over the last generation. If a CEO can blog casually and uninhibitedly (as Jeffrey Hollender does so well for Seventh Generation), or if employees are empowered and encouraged to participate as themselves in blogging and discussions (as the Zappos team does so well) then the result will likely be more honest, more productive dialogue between all stakeholders.
Generally, the larger the company the more inertia, so I’m impressed to see FedEx has a corporate blog. I’m even more impressed at the quality of voice and the variety of subjects and authors featured.

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