Global environmental challenges
Google the phrase “I hate Al Gore” and 42,000 entries appear, including a Facebook page called “Telling Al Gore he’s full of crap” that has 17,000 fans.
Critics of the former vice president and Nobel laureate point to his multiple homes and use of a private jet as hard-fast hypocrisy, and his investments in clean technology as a conflict of interest. Add to that the specter of an old misquote from a CNN interview that won’t go away, about “inventing the Internet.”
“If you believe that the reason I have been working on this issue for 30 years is because of greed, you don’t know me,” he told a House Energy and Commerce subcomittee in April 2009. “Do you think there’s something wrong with being active in business in this country? I am proud of it.”
As the market for applications running on mobile devices like Apple’s iPad and iPhone grows, so do ways to save you money and cut your carbon emissions.
Among them is Avego, a ride-sharing app for the iPhone that lets you offer vacant seats in your car to others and search for free seats if you’re car-less, all in real time. You receive updates on how far away your ride is, so you don’t have to wait around. And it even calculates how much gas-money each passenger should pay. Users create a publicly viewable Avego profile and their reputation can be rated by other members. Paul Smith of Triple Pundit calls the service “brilliant” and an example of “what can be done to reduce traffic, right now, at no additional cost and disruption to our current transportation infrastructure”.
Here’s a round-up of some of the participants at Greenbuild 2010, which is filling eight football fields’ worth of exhibition space in Chicago:
– The folks at Zero Flush—a company in Kissimmee, Florida that builds no-water, non-flushing urinals—started with this premise: water is precious; urinal maintenance is a nightmare.
“Colin Powell is … an interesting choice for a convention on green building,” said George Baños, a project manager attending the industry’s largest annual gathering.
Baños was one of thousands of people who assembled in a hangar-sized auditorium at McCormick Place near downtown Chicago this morning to hear the former Secretary of State’s opening address to Greenbuild 2010, a showcase for the latest innovations in green building.
There’s a debate touring its way around the blogosphere these days: should the new green auto industry be based in Motor City Detroit or shiny, happy Silicon Valley?
The Valley in southern San Fransisco Bay area is already a hub for electronics expertise – certainly a cornerstone in the pursuit for innovative design and engineering. The world’s largest high-tech companies, including Apple, Google, Facebook, and Intel are headquartered there.
What a week for Syncrude.
Just three days after the oil sands producer was fined $2.9 million for the deaths of 1,600 waterbirds in 2008, more ducks landed in one of their toxic waste ponds and had to be euthanized.
Could the timing be worse?
During a freezing rain storm on Monday, hundreds of ducks landed on a toxic tailings pond owned by the company in the oil sands of northern Alberta, Canada, putting the birds in contact with tar-like bitumen floating on the surface.
Leading this week’s Green Gauge, a breakdown of companies in the news for behavior affecting the environment, are Kimberly-Clark and NCR who are being sued along with seven others for PCB pollution dating back more than 50 years.
Selections of headlines about publicly-traded companies were made by Christopher Greenwald, director of data content at ASSET4, a Thomson Reuters business that provides investment research on the environmental, social and governance performance of major global corporations. These ratings are not recommendations to buy or sell.
This month, Vedanta Resources and subsidiary Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd. made headlines for posing a public health risk to the surrounding community in southern India with pollution from a large copper smelter. They share the top spot in this issue of The Green Gauge, a breakdown of companies recently in the news for winning or losing credibility based on environment-related activity.
Selections of companies were made by Christopher Greenwald, director of data content at ASSET4, a Thomson Reuters business that provides investment research on the environmental, social and governance performance of major global corporations. These ratings are not recommendations to buy or sell.
Unless you’re in the habit of purchasing bulk orders when you shop online, you can ditch the notion you are helping the environment by skipping a trip to the mall, a recent study has found.
New research by The Institution of Engineering and Technology at Newcastle University in Britain shows online shoppers must order more than 25 items to have any less impact on the environment than traditional shopping due to resources required for shipping and handling.