Dell Inc. Plans to Become ‘Carbon Neutral’ by 2008

Wall Street Journal – September 27, 2007

This was a short article in the Wall Street Journal which is good because it has little news worthiness and, in my opinion, is more PR than good environmentalism.

First of all, CO2 waste is not a huge factor in the assembly  and marketing of computers which is what Dell does. It is relatively easy for these companies to reduce their CO2 use and even if they didn’t, they really aren’t affecting the carbon dioxide atmospheric content much.  So this is a big "so what" especially when you take into account the next few items.


The Soros Threat To Democracy

Investor’s Business Daily – September 24, 2007

This article is a commentary, so obviously we need to take all of the accusations with a bit of a grain of salt. While it did appear in a major daily newspaper, it doesn’t have to withstand the same levels of care that a news article needs.

The article covers George Soros, the wealthy benefactor to many political causes. The reason that I am writing about it is due to one of its claims: James Hansen received money from a Soros group. James Hansen, as you may remember, works for NASA and is one of the primary influencers in the discussion of global warming. His works and speeches are cited throughout the web and if you do a search in the Search box on this site, you will see him referenced often.


Climate shift is biggest security risk: Australia

Reuters – September 25, 2007

This is an interesting analysis and brings on many dark fears. The thought that changing climate will lead to reasons (excuses) for countries to declare war is quite concerning. There is no doubt that this is at least partially true. When a country has a disgruntled population there really are only two options: fail as a government or take significant steps to change the situation.

Of equal concern is that in the process of suffering, individuals will take it upon themselves to move to another area of the world where the suffering is not as tremendous. This will lead to other problems that can occur whenever there is a mass exodus.


Schwarzenegger urges U.N. to move on climate change

Reuters – September 24, 2007

There have been quite a few speeches to the United Nations this week. Must be their week to do some work.

Among others, Governor Schwarzenegger of California spoke on the topic of global warming. The "Terminator" appears to be trying to be a "Mediator" in that he wants countries to stop bickering and start working together.

I think this is a great idea but isn’t that what politicians do? Bicker?

Rich and poor nations must get over their disagreements about how to fight climate change and forge a new pact to replace the Kyoto Protocol, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will say on Monday.


Pope to make climate action a moral obligation

The Independent – September 23, 2007

It seems that all politicians want to get involved in climate control on one side or the other. The Pope (whom many will say is not a politician) is not immune to this effort.

On one side of the equation, I think this is appropriate but on the other, I have some concerns. If the Pope restricts his comments to saying that humanity is obligated to care for the world then I think this is appropriate. I am not a theologian but even I can find several references in the Bible to support this argument.


Inside the Beltway – Cold yet?

The Washington Times – September 19, 2007

Well, I guess everyone has the right to change his or her mind. It seems that the chief evangelist for the global warming crusade, Dr. James E. Hansen of NASA, wrote a paper a long time ago saying that Earth was headed into a new ice age.

Many people have tried to remind the world that it wasn’t that long ago that pre-eminent scientists believed that we were not getting warmer but rather we were getting colder. What has recently come out is that Dr. Hansen was part of this crowd.


Global Warming, Tailpipes And Where to Tackle Them

Wall Street Journal – September 18, 2007

Many people have been following the case in California where the state was suing a group of automobile manufacturers for damages that were tied to global warming. The contention of the state was that auto manufacturers were creating a product that was causing global warming and since global warming had caused damage to certain regions of the state, the auto guys should have to pay up.

This case has been dismissed by Judge Martin Jenkins.

In my opinion, this is a good thing. Not so much for reasons of global warming but for precedence in the court system.  This is a policy related issue and not a judicial issue. The courts should not get into declaring what industry has partially caused what part of global warming. This slippery slope could have resulted in thousands of tort lawsuits and eventually the consumer would bear this cost.


Will SEC make utilities like American Electric Power (AEP) disclose climate risks? – September 18, 2007 discusses the recent Washington Post article that cites efforts by some environmental groups and investors to force companies to disclose the impact of climate change to their company. This is an interesting discussion but it begs the broader discussion regarding how much a company should discuss on hypothetical or future issues that may affect its health.

The Washington Post reports that pension fund managers representing $1 trillion have petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to required public companies to disclose the impact of global warming on their business prospects. If the SEC agrees, the change could threaten investors in utility stocks — which are among the biggest private sources of carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming.


How green is General Electric’s (GE) green business?

BloggingStocks – September 14, 2007

No one should be surprised at this. Evidently GE is getting push-back from its customers and its shareholders on the company’s "green" efforts. GE is one of the oldest corporations around and has a wide assortment of businesses. Some of these businesses thrive off the use and production of electricity, so some customers are not too keen on GE condemning the way electricity is used and produced.

In addition, this ecological effort undoubtedly has extra costs or lower margins than a more traditional approach. This then reduces the profitability of GE which impacts its shareholders. In this current business environment, companies need to be very concerned about upsetting their shareholders!


Windmills and Economics

The Dilbert Blog – September 12, 2007

So now Dilbert is getting into the global warming discussion! Actually, Scott Adams, the creative force behind Dilbert has commented on global warming before on his blog as well as mentioning it in the famous strip.

His blog entry on this subject actually makes a lot of sense though and I commend him on writing this. I found the entry because he comments on the “burning saltwater” story that I also commented on. His point is that it will take energy to create hydrogen from saltwater and that energy may be created by windmills. While he doesn’t go into details as to the economics of this effort, it at least deserves thought.