Green Efforts

March 27, 2007


The Dissent from Within

March 26, 2007

Are corporate-types finally waking up to the need for enviromental responsibility?

Here is an extract from a Wall Street Journal article (behind a pay wall)

NONDALTON, Alaska — Soaring in his private plane above the pristine tundra here two years ago, Robert B. Gillam experienced a conversion: The money manager and pro-business Republican became an impassioned conservationist.
He took the flight after reading reports that a Canadian company planned to build North America’s largest open-pit gold and copper mine in Southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay region. The proposed Pebble Mine would stretch two miles across and be deep enough to swallow the Empire State Building. And it would be scraped from the headwaters of rivers that feed the world’s largest wild-salmon fishery.
So Mr. Gillam — whose Alaska investment firm holds more than $1 billion in mining stocks for clients — launched a second career. He has become the unlikely front man for a band of Native Alaskans, fishermen, hunters, environmentalists and business leaders opposing the project. Mr. Gillam, 60 years old, has helped pay for ads, lobbyists and polls to convince Alaskans that Pebble Mine could be an environmental disaster.
“Mining is no longer the ideal of a prospector with a pick-ax and pan,” he says, “but a dirty, industrial business.”

The Heavenly ski resort at Lake Tahoe is planning to cut-down hundreds of trees to make way for a chair lift. Here is an extract from an article in the Wall Street Journal (behind a pay wall).

…ski resorts, which cut down forests to create ski slopes and build condos, still haven’t completely won over environmentalists. A group called the Sierra Nevada Alliance recently condemned a proposal by officials at the Heavenly Mountain Resort at Lake Tahoe to chop down hundreds of ancient fir trees to make way for a new chairlift, even as it praised the participation of Heavenly and its parent, Vail Resorts Inc., in the global-warming campaign. “While some of the resorts are thinking globally, they aren’t thinking locally,” says Autumn Bernstein, land-use coordinator for the alliance.
Officials at Heavenly say they plan to mitigate the loss of the trees by working to protect old trees in other parts of the forest. “What environmentalists need to understand is that we are excellent stewards of the environment,” says Heavenly spokesman Russ Pecoraro.

Potato Burial

September 27, 2006

A WSJ article (subscription req) talks about how a growing co-op of farmers is trying to boost potato prices by controlling supply. In the process, farmers are destroying part of their crop to avoid oversuppy. The article gives an example of one farmer who buried $10,000 worth of perfectly fine potatoes.
Hello! Are we losing perspective here?? There are millions in the developing world without food to eat. And here we are trying to influence demand-supply by intentionally destroying food. It seems to me that our perspective is being heavily skewed by economic gain, at the cost of being blind to the broader Human context.