Jim Boyce of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst talks about the new report, Justice in the Air. It looks at EPA data showing that the toxins spewing from company smokestacks hit minorities and the poor hardest. And Leslie Lowe of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility talks about Chevron’s refusal to disclose the $27 billion liability it faces in a court case happening in the Amazonian rainforests of Ecuador. The company is accused of dumping toxic oil byproducts from years of drilling, damaging the environment and the health of residents.
Each January for the past several years, Bill has surveyed the top Corporate Social Responsibility news stories of the past year for CSRwire.com, where he is a contributing writer. Here’s this year’s edition:
A “green” recovery from economic and environmental meltdowns; the advent of Shareholder Activism 2.0 with binding resolutions at TARP banks; CSR adopts Web 2.0 strategies for sustainability reporting; is Wal-Mart really green?; and much more…
The economic meltdown of 2008 mirrors the simultaneous environmental meltdown fueled by the climate calamity – both share common roots, and many in the Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR) community believe they share a common salvation.Read the show transcript
The market meltdown is spurring an urgent response from Congress, with both houses debating and revising versions of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bill on an hourly basis. The bill revises the President’s proposed bailout of financial institutions, which some call “Cash for Trash.” CWR co-hosts Francesca Rheannon and Bill Baue interview US Representative (D-MA) Barney Frank, chair of the House Financial Services Committee that is now ushering the Troubled Asset Relief Program bill, or TARP, through Congress. While many question whether this bailout is the best path out of the market meltdown, others are proposing a road to recovery paved in green. Bob Pollin of the Political Economy Research Institute co-authored a report on the Green Recovery that was released last week with the Center for American Progress. Francesca and Bill interviewed him here at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst the day after he testified before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming at a hearing entitled “The Green Road to Economic Recovery.”
In this special preview edition of this week’s show, CWR co-hosts Francesca Rheannon and Bill Baue interview US Representative (D-MA) Barney Frank, chair of the House Financial Services Committee that is now ushering the Troubled Asset Relief Program bill, or TARP, through Congress. The bill revises the President’s proposed bailout of financial institutions to the tune of $1 trillion, which has been labeled “Cash for Trash.” The bill is changing practically by the hour, and we caught Rep Frank today as the bill makes its way toward debate in Congress.
Check back and tune in Wednesday for the full show, which will include this interview, as well as a conversation with Bob Pollin of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in his new Green Recovery report, and the CWR ViewPoint from futurist Hazel Henderson of Ethical Markets on the market meltdown.
The Democratic party has shied away from linking clean energy, the economy, and the environment since Jimmy Carter’s 1977 Energy Policy. But the political winds are changing. At Tuesday evening’s Democratic National Convention, almost all of the speakers hit on the theme of green collar jobs. Nancy Floyd of Nth Power noted that there are 2.4 million green collar jobs worldwide — but less than 10 percent are in US. Presumptive Democrat candidate Barack Obama’s platform calls for more than doubling that number to 5 million green collar jobs in the US alone. And he’s framing it as a win-win-win to get us off foreign oil, stop global warming, and create tons of green jobs in the US. This week, we feature the second part of our conversation with Bracken Hendricks, co-author with Congressman Jay Inslee of Apollo’s Fire, and co-founder of the Apollo Alliance. The discussion focuses on the political will required to build a green economy.
CWR co-host Bill Baue speaks Michael Conroy, author of Branded! How the “Certification Revolution” is Transforming Global Corporations. Conroy discusses how activist campaigning for improved corporate social and environmental practices has gotten companies to respond. The two sides moved from antagonism to tense collaboration in the creation of certification schemes that solved activist concerns while preserving–and often boosting–companies’ profitability. Conroy brings a hands-on view to the story as a program officer at the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Brothers Fund, where he helped fund the activists NGOs as well as the resulting certification processes. He also serves as chair of TransFair, the Fair Trade certifying body in the US, as well as serving on the board of Forest Stewardship Council, which certifies lumber and paper practices.
Michael Ash of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, provides this week’s commentary on the Toxic 100 list of the top corporate polluters that PERI produces.
The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed major changes to dilute the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), which makes information on the harmful pollution companies release into the air publicly available. Joining us in the studio is Jim Boyce, director of environmental programs at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) of the University of Massachusetts, which has just published its annual “Toxic 100” list ranking the corporations emitting the most toxic pollution.
Joining us on the phone is Julie Gorte, vice president and chief social investment strategist at Calvert, who is active in a campaign opposing the EPA’s proposed gutting of TRI.