Posts by: mark

Why we love trees

The first Arbor Day, the tree planters' holiday, was held in Nebraska in 1872, where a member of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture proposed that a day be set aside annually for tree planting. It was a huge success -- over one million trees were planted in a single day. Shortly after this first observance, other states passed legislation… read more →

Farm of the future

The Native American tribes that hunted the plains between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains for most of the last millennium are often held up as models of wastelessness (a word I just invented) for, among other things, their innovation in using virtually every part of the animal. Those of us who saw Dances with Wolves will recall how… read more →

Fox News goes “carbon neutral”

Occasionally we see examples of how it should be done - the prototype of a corporate sustainability program that makes good business sense, articulates long-term goals (and sticks with them), and acknowledges the importance of environmental issues for companies across multiple industries. The fact that one such example is News Corporation, the parent company of Fox News and the Wall… read more →

Climate action rebound

Like many discoveries, it was accidental. But it nonetheless confirmed a market trend that we’ve been seeing over the past few months: carbon offsetting is on the rise. It started with a technical glitch in our email renewal system (for which we apologized and are still sincerely sorry). A string of renewal emails erroneously went out to a large segment… read more →

Capitalism to the rescue

Capitalism has gotten a pretty bad rap over the past couple years, and even the most bloodthirsty plutocrat might begrudgingly admit that some of the knocks are deserved. The avarice of recent years underscores one of the main shortcomings of capitalism in America -- too much focus on short-term profits at the expense of the longer-term future. The popular response… read more →

Is population a problem?

I feel as though I cannot enjoy anything anymore. Every action seems tainted by nagging questions about environmental impact or sustainability. For example, I really like hamburgers but the carbon footprint of cattle production is so high that my beef consumption has dwindled to near-zero. I love sushi, but continually hear reports of how the world's oceans are overfished. Travel… read more →

Why Mom loved the green card

I have to be honest: I have never understood my mother’s infatuation with cards. Every year on or around my birthday they appear without fail through the mail slot. I say "they" because there are usually two -- the one from the serious and dignified mother, with gilt cursive lettering and pictures of a budding tree, and the other "jokey"… read more →

A greener free market

With the recent financial market meltdown and related bailout, the term "free market" is not particularly in vogue at the moment. Instead, everyone seems to be looking for government intervention to force companies to do not only what's right, but what in many cases is in the best interest of those companies. Much of such regulation is probably necessary. Corporate… read more →

Climate change: a passing fad?

The draft climate bill released earlier this month by House Representatives John Dingell (D-MI) and Rick Boucher (D-VA) comes up dangerously short. Not only does the bill include emissions reduction targets bordering on the absurd (example: for the next 10 years or so, the bill actually provides for an increase in emissions), but it also preempts much of the hard… read more →