Mainstream Green – More, More and More!

| Friday January 26th, 2007 | 1 Comment

logo_b2_137x20.gifI’ve been absolutely amazed at the amount of coverage “Green” is getting in business publications lately. The Wall Street Journal is chock full of articles on carbon emissions issues and this week Business 2.0 devoted basically the entire issue to the entrepreneurial potential of clean technology and other environmental strategies. Read the whole thing here or go out and grab a copy, it’s great weekend reading.
The challenge now, of course, is how do we keep the quality from the junk, the green washing from the reality, and the greedy from cutting corners and giving the cynics ammunition. To me it seems like goal number one – convincing business that going green makes business sense – is complete. The challenge now is – how to do it right! That’s where you, dear readers, come into play.

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

podium[Your News Here]

WSJ: Industry Cedes Ground? Really?

| Tuesday January 23rd, 2007 | 0 Comments

climate55.jpgI enjoy reading the Wall Street Journal on a daily basis, but sometimes it really seems like a stodgy old rag – today’s front page headline was a response to yesterday’s press conference by 10 leading companies urging a more proactive stance on climate change on behalf of both government and industry. The Wall Street Journal’s headline was: “In Climate Controversy, Industry Cedes Ground”. (Reprinted here)
Although the article does acknowledge that some companies “see a lucrative new market in clean-energy technologies” the vibe of the article, and the headline in particular, is that industry is somehow “losing” and that there remains a “controversy” over climate change. Indeed there does remain a certain controversy over precisely how to go about addressing climate change from the perspective of industry, but the verdict has long been in that most proactive steps to address climate change will be very good for both industry and economy in the long term. This is partly because the alternative may be collapse, but more so because addressing climate change means doing things more efficiently, and thus more profitably. The only missing ingredient is the right political and legislative climate to favor efficiency instead of a climate that subsidizes waste.

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

Is ExxonMobile Starting to Think?

| Monday January 22nd, 2007 | 1 Comment

I knew they’d be the last oil company to say anything remotely green and I have to admit a huge dose of skepticism that they really mean it just yet – but – on the front page of toady’s Wall Street Journal (I tried to scan it but technical difficulties) is a full color advert proclaiming ExxonMobil’s intention to “working to reduce emissions for cars, trucks, and buses”. The ad goes on to say that the companies efforts could improve fuel economy 30% across the nation.
It’s just an advertisement, but I’m actually quite blown away as it’s by far the most proactive statement I’ve ever seen the old curmudgeon of a company utter. Are they finally starting to feel embarrassed by their stubborn myopia? Did today’s awesome press conference by captains of industry rub off on them? Are the right people inside the company finally being listened too? Or are they just making a teeny tiny effort to test the waters?

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

AskPablo: The Dishwasher

| Monday January 22nd, 2007 | 16 Comments

Emma.jpg People in tie-dye everywhere will tell you that technology is the devil, but most of today’s “Cultural Creatives” will tell you that using a dishwasher is far more efficient than washing your dishes by hand. So which is it? Well, this week we will find out once and for all. I am joined by my friend Emma, a junior scientist in the third grade, who will help me conduct the necessary experiments to get you an answer.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Another “Greener” Wal Mart – Kansas City

| Thursday January 18th, 2007 | 3 Comments

walmart44.jpgReporting on the various “green” initiatives coming out of bentonville is getting to be a bit of a cliche, not to mention straying dangerously toward greenwashing, but I have to commend this particular piece of news coming out of Kansas City. A new “supercenter” will be built there paying particular mind to energy efficiency in both the operations of the store itself as well as the products it offers.
I have to take it with a grain of salt in that Wal Mart still does next to nothing to address the impact of their lack of employee health care coverage on a community, not to mention their encouragement of car dependent suburban sprawl that a super center inevitable produces (easily negating the societal benefits of a greener store). But still, this is still something worth praising – if for no other reason than the big time media attention it gets which has the benefit of not only giving wal mart good, pr, but also making energy efficiency palatable for mainstream American business who will likely seek to emulate wal mart’s efforts.

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

Could a Private Jet Be a Green Choice?

| Tuesday January 16th, 2007 | 5 Comments

jet3.jpgOne has to admit that fantasizing about private jet travel has its appeal, although perhaps that’s partly beacuse it’s so unrealistic for 99% of us. It’s also mostly an unneeded perk enjoyed by the super wealthy for largely frivelous reasons. But that doesn’t mean it’s going away.
So what can be done to make private jet ownership a greener choice? Anything at all? The answer may be fractional jet ownership. Since one hardly needs to use one’s jet on a daily basis, owning shares in a private jet club can give access to a jet when needed and let someone else use the jet when it’s not. Sort of like a car-share service. To top it off, sharing jet ownership is vastly cheaper than owning one yourself and therefore offers financial benefits as well as environmental ones. More info on the surprisingly green Helium Report.

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

AskPablo: Brrr, it’s cold outside…

| Monday January 15th, 2007 | 1 Comment

penguin.jpg
This week’s AskPablo is inspired by the cold weather that we are experiencing here in California right now. Backyard pools have frozen over, the orange crop is seriously threatened, and the homeless population is at risk of hypothermia. All of this is occurring just over one week after I returned from Boston, where it was 71°F! Whether you are inside your house or venturing outside you might benefit from knowing about the different modes of heat loss and what you can do to stay warm and conserve energy.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Presidio School of Management Open House Next Thursday

| Friday January 12th, 2007 | 3 Comments

presmba.gifSpecial announcement from Presidio:
Please join us for a Sustainable MBA Open House on Thursday, January 18. Reception starts at 6pm, program at 6:30pm. Hear an inspiring faculty panel presentation, including Dr. Ron Nahser, Presidio Provost; and Hunter Lovins, Presidio MBA faculty member.
Learn about the Presidio MBA in Sustainable Management program integrating environmental and socially responsible values into every ourse. You’ll also meet students and graduates and get your questions answered during the 30-minute Q&A. With a Presidio MBA, you’ll gain the practical business skills you need to create a more sustainable world as well as further your career goals. Event
Location:
Fort Mason Center, Building A, Marina Room
Entrance is at the intersection of Marina Blvd. & Buchanan St.
San Francisco
RSVP by Tuesday, January 16: events@presidioMBA.org or (415) 561-6555

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

AskPablo: Microwave Efficiency

| Monday January 8th, 2007 | 15 Comments

micro1.jpg
This week I will be looking into the efficiency of my microwave oven. This is part of an ongoing series in AskPablo where I am trying to determine the most efficient means for heating water. I would like to thank some of my readers for submitting excellent questions this week and I look forward publishing my answers in the coming weeks.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

New Congress Holds Big Changes for Attitudes on Global Warming

| Tuesday January 2nd, 2007 | 0 Comments

capitol.jpgTake this with whatever political grain of salt you want to come up with, but suffice it to say that the incoming Democratic congress is likely to produce significant changes in the US Government’s attitude towards handling climate change. The following data are from an environmental defense poll of Democratic caucus voters and chairs in Iowa:
# 72% of Democratic caucus-goers say they consider global warming to be extremely (32%) or very (39%) serious. Only 11% dismiss it as just somewhat (9%) or not at all serious (2%). Among Democratic county chairs and vice chairs, 77% think global warming is extremely (37%) or very (40%) serious.
# 69% of caucus-goers and 80% of count chairs/vice chairs say they would be more likely “to support a presidential candidate who made cutting carbon pollution and global warming a big issue in their campaign.”
# Voters either don’t know the likely candidates or where they stand on global warming. In no case are a majority of caucus-goers able to offer an excellent or good rating of likely Democratic candidates’ performance on addressing the issue of global warming (ranging from 42% excellent/good for John Edwards to 28% for Tom Vilsack to 6% for Chris Dodd).

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

AskPablo: Phantom Power

| Monday January 1st, 2007 | 3 Comments

Happy New Year! I hope you are all ready to make some New Year’s Resolutions for sustainability. Will it be resolving to ride your bike to the store more often? Will it be to eat locally-grown food more often? Will it be to offset your vehicle’s carbon emissions? Well, how about adding one more to your list: getting rid of phantom power…

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Warren Karlenzig’s Top 10 Sustainability Stories

| Wednesday December 27th, 2006 | 0 Comments

top10.jpgI love top ten lists. Have a quick look at Warren Karlenzig’s top ten sustainability stories of 2006. It’s seen through the lens of what applies to local government and is the sort of thing that most people might overlook – despite the importance of their local governments. It’s a good quick read for your holiday week! Check it here.

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

TreeHugger 2.0 Launches

| Tuesday December 26th, 2006 | 1 Comment

In case you haven’t checked it out already, be sure to drop by TreeHugger and see the new design. If you know me personally, this is why I haven’t been seen by light of day in weeks. But it’s 95% done (ok, it’s a permanenet work in progress), but I have to say it looks pretty good!
www.treehugger.com
PS – if you use digg, be sure to digg Graham’s post about the site. Link Here.

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

More on the Genius of RecycleBank

| Tuesday December 26th, 2006 | 0 Comments

We introduced you to RecycleBank back in February, but there’s new coverage in a recent Forbes article that’s worth checking out. To sum up – RecycleBank is sheer genius in terms of capturing the idea of the win-win-win situation.
People get paid to recycle and are given rewards, not in cash, but it gift cards to various merchants such as Starbucks and Whole Foods. The RecycleBank company manages to make money by charging municipalities a small amount for the service, and the gift card giving companies look good because they’re encouraging the program. Oh, and the environment benefits too, so that’s a 4x winner.

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

Run for the Hills, The Hedgies are coming!

| Tuesday December 26th, 2006 | 4 Comments

hedge.jpgAccording to the latest issue of ClearProfit, a clean energy Hedge fund has been launched: The ALMA Clean Energy Hedge Fund, managed by Bozkurt Aydinoglu.
If anyone doesn’t know what a hedge fund is, don’t worry, plenty of hedge fund managers probably don’t either these days. It’s sort of a generic and often inappropriate term for any semi-private investment vehicle. The
original hedge funds were called partnerships, and run by living legends like Warren Buffet and George Soros, who would often hedge different investments or futures market positions so that they would make money no
matter which way the overall market went, or sometimes they wouldn’t. Nowadays, Hedge funds might specialize in different sectors of the financial markets, like commodities, energy, currency exchange, bankruptcies,
spin-offs, and of course, Clean energy.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »