Tag Archives: new york times

Tom Vanderbilt on Transit & Traffic

Has this ever happened to you: you’re sitting in your car, engine idling, watching the cars in front of you and behind you move only inches at a time, and you find yourself wishing you had opted for public transportation? So why didn’t you? Were you deterred by the time you imagined it would take? Did the transport system’s notorious unreliability make you nervous? Or perhaps the prospect of sitting on a dingy seat next to a smelly stranger kept you behind the wheel of your own car, where you know you’re in control? Then again, how “in control” can you be – you’ve only moved a foot in the last five minutes, haven’t you?

This week on Sea Change Radio our guest is Tom Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt is the author of Traffic, one of the New York Times’ Most Notable Books of 2008 and he recently wrote an article for Slate exploring the “Best Way To Get Users To Embrace Mass Transit.” Vanderbilt and host Alex Wise chat about the marvels and the miseries of both public transportation and driving, and muse over what it takes to get us out of our cars and onto the train.

Less Is More: On Population, More or Less

The United Nations forecasts that by 2050 the world’s population will exceed 9 billion. How will that affect life on the local level, on the global level, and in developing countries? And what impact will all these new humans have on the climate? Last week on Sea Change Radio we talked with Paul Ehrlich, iconic authority on the subject of population. This week on Sea Change Radio, we continue our exploration of the topic. First, host Alex Wise speaks with New York Times environmental reporter and Dot Earth blogger, Andrew Revkin, and then later with Stewart Brand, frequent guest, former student of Paul Ehrlich, and environmentalist icon in his own right. Both guests share their thoughts on how immigration, urbanization, religion, and the increasing global empowerment of women are affecting the population equation.

For more on the ongoing debates surrounding population, check out Mr. Revkin’s recent posts here and here via Dot Earth. Also, here’s an interesting piece by Adam Werbach in The Atlantic which offers a fresh perspective on the debate, and exhorts  us “to move away from the language of population control and towards an even more vibrant advocacy on behalf of women.”

ViewPoint: Covering Climate Change? Not!

karlfrischAs the climate heats up, the press treatment of climate change is cooling down. Karl Frisch of Media Matters says it used to be that the press treated climate change as a debate between 2 equal partners — on the one hand, the overwhelming majority of scientists who said climate change was happening–and on the other, the miniscule minority of climate change deniers. That’s gone by now, Frisch says — but the press is still dropping the ball on covering solutions to climate change.  Frisch discusses why. He also talks about a column by George Will in the Washington Post that sparked a storm of protest from environmentalists.  Andy Revkin of the the DotEarth blog at the New York Times — a reporter who usually gets climate change right — compared Will to Al Gore, embroiling him in controversy.

ViewPoint: Jim Motavalli on Cars and Carbon

Jim Motavalli
Jim Motavalli

Jim Motavalli blogs on green matters for The Daily Green and Mother Nature Network and he blogs about cars in the New York Times “Automobiles” section.  He was also a long-time editor for E–the Environmental Magazine, where he continues as a contributing writer. Motavalli combines his passion for autos and environment in his book, FORWARD DRIVE: The Race To Build Clean Cars for the Future. He thinks its time for the auto industry to wake up and smell the coffee. In his Sea Change ViewPoint commentary, he discusses the significance of President Barack Obama’s executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its refusal to grant California a waiver allowing it to regulate greenhouse gases from cars and trucks.

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Blog: Change we can’t believe in?

FrancescaRheannonBarack Obama has said time and again that change comes from the bottom up at least as much as from policy directives from on high. He’s right–and he seems to be giving signs that pressure from below is going to be needed to keep him true to his own campaign promises. Continue reading

David Cay Johnston on the Bank Bailout as Corporate Socialism

David Cay Johnston
David Cay Johnston

The meltdown on Wall Street has many people asking, how come the government can find hundreds of billions to bailout the guys who brought us this mess–but always claims there’s no money to save homeowners from foreclosure, provide health insurance to those who can’t afford it, or clean up the environment?

Today’s guest David Cay Johnston says it’s all part of an endemic pattern of “corporate welfare”, where government policy is rigged to benefit the richest Americans at the expense of the rest of us. Johnston’s latest book is Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill). Johnston was an investigative journalist for the New York Times before becoming an independent reporter. He won a Pulitzer Prize for exposing loopholes and inequities in the U.S. tax code.

CWR Headlines:

Millions of new green jobs could light up a gloomy economic horizon
The devil’s in the details on the bailout bill’s CEO pay provisions
Al Gore wants you to commit civil disobedienceto save us from climate collapse

The Billionaires’ Club — and the Rest of Us

Chuck Collins

In June, the Century Foundation and the The New York Times Foundation invited Corporate Watchdog Radio to a seminar for a select handful of journalists on “Billionaires and Their Impact.” There, CWR co-host Francesca Rheannon heard Chuck Collins speak on a panel about the “Billionaires’ Club” and the impact of extreme wealth on the rest of us. A co-founder of United for a Fair Economy and a senior fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, Collins wrote the lead article in a special issue of The Nation on “The New Inequality” that helped frame the seminar.

Chuck Collins

ExtremeInequality.org

“The Rich and the Rest of Us” by John Cavanagh and Chuck Collins in the June 30 edition of The Nation

The Century Foundation and New York Times Foundation Seminar: Billionaires and Their Impact

Chuck Collins’ Century Founation Presentation — The Billionaires’ Club: Taxation of Accumulated Wealth

CWR Headlines:

California Bails on Bisphenol-A Ban
Companies Calculating Carbon Toe-Prints
CEO Pay Continues to Soar — at Taxpayer Expense

CWR ViewPoint:  read.

The ViewPoint from BEN — the Business Ethics Network — comes from Bjorn Claeson of Sweatfree Communities about its recent report, Subsidizing Sweatshops: How our tax dollars fund the race to the bottom, and what cities and states can do.

Sweatfree Communities

Chuck Collins

Greg Palast Links Spitzer Bust with Bernanke Bailout of Banks Behind Subprime Meltdown

Greg Palast
Greg Palast
CWR co-hosts Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon speak with investigative journalist Greg Palast, who notes the coincidental timing of revelations of Eliot Spitzer’s hiring of a prostitute on the eve of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s $200 billion bailout of banks implicated in the subprime meltdown. The former New York Governor was set to unveil plans to pursue prosecution of the banks for predatory lending that is illegal under New York State law, where most of the banks are headquartered, according to Palast. So instead of being busted by Spitzer, the banks behind the subprime mess were rewarded with a fifth of a trillion dollars, printed by the US government.

14 March 2008, GregPalast.com: “Eliot’s Mess”

14 February 2008 Washington Post article by Eliot Spitzer: “Predatory Lenders’ Partner in Crime: How the Bush Administration Stopped the States From Stepping In to Help Consumers”

CWR HEADLINES

17 March 2008, BusinessGreen: “Experts warn Bear Stearns crisis could curb cleantech growth”

13 March 2008, The Economist: The Green Exchange, the first US-based carbon emissions market, opened on March 17 (“The greening of Wall Street: Tackling the carbon crisis amid the credit crisis.”)

16 March 2008, New York Times: “Hydrogen Fuel Station Opens in White Plains”

11 March 2008, New York Times: “Long Ocean Voyage Set for Vessel That Runs on Wave Power”

16 March 2008, New York Times: X-Prize Foundation announces contest for affordable, consumer-friendly car getting 100 miles a gallon

The Past, Present, and Future of Shareowner Activism

Laura Berry
Laura Berry
Corporate Watchdog Radio co-hosts Francesca Rheannon and Bill Baue speak with Laura Berry, executive director of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. Founded in 1971, ICCR pioneered the modern practice of shareowner activism by reviving an obscure rule allowing shareowners to file resolutions addressing social and environmental issues at company annual meetings and on their proxies. Now, over three-and-a-half decades later, ICCR is a coalition of about 275 faith-based institutional investors with over $100 billion in assets who filed over 300 resolutions this proxy season.

Berry clarifies common misconceptions about how the ins and outs of shareowner activism. For example, media accounts often report a less-than-majority vote as a “defeat,” when in fact, companies often implement what resolutions request when they receive 20 percent or more support. She also discusses transformations she sees taking place in the corporate social responsibility landscape.

CWR also debuts a new segment with headlines on corporate sustainability developments from the past week, the first in a series of exciting changes to enhance the show.

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

Edited transcript of this interview on SocialFunds.com

CWR HEADLINES:

February 27, 2008 Geophysical Research Letters abstract: “Stabilizing climate requires near-zero emissions”

February 29, 2008 Reuters article: “Weyerhaeuser, Chevron Form Biofuels Joint Venture”

February 28, 2008 Gristmill blog on “Stabilizing climate requires near-zero emissions”

February 27, 2008 New York Times article: “Flooded Village Files Suit, Citing Corporate Link to Climate Change”

Green Drinks and Disposable Americans

Every month all over the globe, people interested in the environment and sustainability get together for “Green Drinks” to schmooze and network. Today on CWR, hosts Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon go to their local Green Drinks gathering at the Northampton Brewery in Northampton, Massachusetts. There, they talk with John Meyercak of the Center for Ecological Technology, based in Northampton, about CET projects like ReStore, which sells second-hand building materials.

Chris Landry
Chris Landry
Then Chris Landry of the Sustainability Institute in Hartland, Vermont talks about balancing the need to support small farmers in developing nations with fair trade while also fostering living local economies in developed nations. We also hear about the Sustainability Institute’s “Climate Bathtub”.

Also, Francesca Rheannon talks with award-winning business journalist for the New York Times, Louis Uchitelle about his book The Disposable American: Layoffs and Their Consequences. It was published in 2006, but with the US facing what could be a long recession, followed by what some experts think might be a “jobless recovery”, The Disposable American is as relevant today as it was when it was published. We talk about how layoffs devastate workers and communities — and also how they hurt businesses.

Green Drinks

Center for Ecological Technology

ReStore

Sustainability Institute

Climate Bathtub Simulator

The Disposable American