Global environmental challenges
–Andrew Leckey is President of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Communication at Arizona State University in Phoenix. Any views expressed here are his own.-
Having spent the past two weeks in record high temperatures in Beijing and Shanghai, with global warming being noted publicly by Chinese officials as the primary cause of severe weather, I find the situation faced by U.S. companies somewhat ironic.
The now-grounded U.S. climate legislation, rather than clearing a general or modest environmental path for U.S. companies and emerging nations, underscored the significant differences of opinion over the environment and the economic impact of regulation.
Other countries may be first to take direct steps, since so many do not require the consensus that the U.S. does and aren’t facing recessionary pressure.
-- The following profile is an abbreviated version of Venture Capital Journal contributor Deborah Gage's piece for the the VCJ's series on "Hot Prospects" within the venture capital industry. --
At age 33, Alex Kinnier was rising quickly through the ranks at Google, but he didn’t feel fulfilled. The chemical engineer wanted to help the world with clean technologies. A phone call with popular venture capitalist Vinod Khosla that lasted several hours put him on the path to happiness.
from Commodity Corner:
A U.N. concession to delegates at this week's climate talks in Bonn to take off jackets and ties due to recent high temperatures may be going to some participants' heads.
Breaking the back of negotiations for a new climate pact after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012 is proving hard work even though the talks' chair hopes to have a new negotiating text on the table by the end of the week.
Ever wondered what kinds of wildlife dominate the world’s seas and oceans? Now there’s an answer, at least in terms of the number of species in different categories. It’s not fish. It’s not mammals. It’s crustaceans!
A mammoth Census of Marine Life has revealed that nearly one-fifth, or 19 percent, of all the marine species known to humans are crustaceans — crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill, barnacles and others far too numerous to mention here. The census didn’t count the actual numbers of animals beneath the waves — that would have been impossible — but it did count up the number of species in 25 marine areas. The aim is to set down a biodiversity baseline for future use.
The Chinese government this week announced the oil spill is all cleaned up in Dalian harbor, off the north coast of Liaoning province in China.
That was fast.
Not even two weeks ago, on July 17, a blast hit two oil pipelines and spread an estimated 1,500 metric tons of crude oil (462,000 gallons) into the Yellow Sea. (Update: Greenpeace on July 30 said as many as 60,000 metric tons could have been spilled.)
Do you know how much of your beloved BlackBerry can be absorbed back into nature? Have you envisioned the end-of-life plan for your precious new iPad? Considered cradle-to-cradle care for your webcam?
High-tech entrepreneurs Marc Aelbrecht, Jean-Pierre D’Haese and Xavier Petre are betting that if you haven’t factored these questions into your purchasing choices yet, you soon will — and you’ll go looking for companies like theirs.
from Tales from the Trail:
You've probably seen the disturbing images of pelicans so badly mired in leaking oil in the Gulf of Mexico that they can barely be distinguished as birds at all -- they look like part of the muck.
But nearly three months after the blowout at BP's Deepwater Horizon rig, there are other pelicans touched by the oil where the impact is far less apparent, though still real.
Indonesia’s Sinar Mas came under heavy fire last week from non-government organization Greenpeace as a report named and shamed some of its biggest clients for their role in the destruction of rainforest and peatlands.
Following is a breakdown of the companies that made headlines July 3 to 16 for winning or losing credibility based on environment-related activity, led by Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas.
Forget the BP oil spill for a moment. An international PR war is heating up this week between environmentalists and the oil industry over an entirely different sore spot: The Alberta oil sands in northern Canada.
Billboards targeting the region with the largest crude reserves outside the Middle East sprang up in four major U.S. cities this week in the launch of a multi-million dollar, multi-year campaign led by NGO Corporate Ethics International.
Avoid mopping your floor, laundry and washing your dishes during the day and save energy in the process – that’s what power utilities in the U.S. are telling customers this summer.
Heard this before?
The difference is this year, heat waves have already caused blackouts and power-grid strain across the country, and it’s only mid-July. This begs the question: Do power utilities want less of your business?