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Opportunity Lost

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Don't let dirty oil interfere with California's plans for a green economy. Vote NO on Prop 23.

Passed four years ago, California's landmark clean air law (AB 32) is designed to reduce air pollution that threatens human health and contributes to climate change. The law has launched California to the forefront of the clean-tech industry, sparking innovation and clean energy businesses that are creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. Now, a coalition of out-of-state oil refiners are......read more

No on Prop. 23

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Stop dirty energy interests from interfering with California's plans for a green economy. Vote NO on Prop. 23.

Four years ago, California passed a clean air law (AB 32) that holds polluters accountable and requires them to reduce air pollution that threatens human health and contributes to climate change. AB 23 has launched California to the forefront of the clean-tech industry, sparking innovation and clean energy businesses that are creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. Now, a coalition of......read more

Sustainability, Politics, and Consumerism

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Steven Cohen on the shift to a clean economy

As 2011 ends and we find some time for reflection, I am thinking a lot about the issue of material consumption and sustainability. Many of my students believe that a key answer to the crisis of planetary sustainability is for individuals to reduce their material consumption. When they say this, they are not thinking of the planet's poorest people, but the planet's richest people. There is a case......read more

Can the 'Democratization Of Energy' Change Everything?

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Economist Jeremy Rifkin makes the case for a decentralized clean energy economy

Our economy is at a crossroads. Unemployment is rampant, consumer and government debt is spiralling out of control, and food prices are going through the roof. According to Jeremy Rifkin, the American economist and president of the Foundation on Economic Trends, these are signals that the fossil fuel economy has reached the end of the line. In its place, decentralized systems of clean......read more

Sustainable Meat Is Good for the Environment -- and the Economy

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New doc, American Meat, aims to ignite conversation about meat production

A new documentary about the U.S. food system hit its first round of theatres this month. American Meat, directed by Graham Merriwether, documents the lives of dozens of American farmers producing both industrially and sustainably raised meat. The film's main subject is Joel Salatin, a pasture-based pork rancher featured in Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma". Salatin has started producing......read more

Clean Economy Jobs: 2.7 Million and Growing

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New report finds more jobs in the clean economy than in fossil fuels

Green jobs are as aspirational as they are enigmatic. We know we want them, we know they hold the key to the clean economy of the future, but no one can agree on what they are.  A new report from Brookings Institute attempts to offer a standard definition of clean jobs ("establishments that directly produce goods and services with environmental benefits, or produce uniquely tailored goods......read more

Cars to Receive Environmental Grades

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Showroom stickers would rank cars based on fuel economy and emissions.

Under a proposal from the EPA and Transportation Department, cars could get environmental grades visible to consumers on showroom floors starting in 2012. The grades will account for the vehicles' overall fuel economy as well as its level of greenhouse gas emissions. According to the plan, the average vehicle would receive a B-. On the high-scoring end would be electric vehicles (A+) and......read more

Farmers Markets Exploding

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In spite of exponential growth, farmers markets still only account for a tiny proportion of U.S. food economy.

Over at Grist, Bonnie Azab Powell reports that farmers markets are growing like weeds all over the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are 6,132 farmers markets in the United States, a 16% increase from last year and a 214% increase from 2000. California leads the charge with 580 markets, followed by New York, Illinois, and Michigan. However, only one sixth of......read more

The Case for Cap and Trade

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How to tackle climate change — and what it means for the economy.

The cover story of this week's New York Times Magazine is a piece by Paul Krugman on the economics of climate change. In it, the Nobel Prize-winning economist makes a compelling case for the use of market-based tools to limit greenhouse emissions. Crucially, Krugman addresses the economic effects of installing a cap and trade model, presenting a persuasive argument against the idea that......read more

The New Christmas Tree Economy

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A green shift is underway this holiday season. Sustainable evergreens are changing the way we buy Christmas trees.

Great piece in Design Observer from a couple months ago exploring the new economy of the Christmas tree, which is being redefined by growing environmental consciousness and recession frugality. Highlighting some of the tensions that exist in the Christmas ritual - pagan vs. Christian, natural vs. artifical - the essay goes on to underline some of the welcome trends in Christmas tree production......read more

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