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TriplePundit is a tripod of resources surrounding the Environment, Society and Business. You can't have a successful economy without a healthy environment and a healthy society, and vice versa. That concept is called the triple bottom line, which is where the triple part of the name comes from. It's a new and broader way of looking at business and the world.
The model of the site is to be a digest. Triple Pundit is not offering heaps of editorial commentary, just talking about things they've found valuable and interesting.
The True Cost of Gasoline
March 16, 2015 08:31 AM - RP Siegel, Triple Pundit
Financial markets notwithstanding, most of us were happy to see gas prices fall. It has certainly helped to put a little extra breathing room in our household budgets, even though we suspect it could lead to increased use of fossil fuels. On the other hand, it could open the door for some new initiatives to help control emissions, such as a carbon tax, or a fee and rebate plan that would tax the production of fossil fuels and give the proceeds out to all Americans.
Perhaps this would be a good time to take a closer look at what that gallon of gasoline actually costs us, when all the impacts are considered.
Solar Impulse going around the world on sunshine
March 10, 2015 07:48 AM - RP Siegel, Triple Pundit
After 13 years of planning, the Solar Impulse SI2 took off last night from Al-Bateen Executive Airport in Abu Dhabi at 7:12 a.m. local time. This initiated the first leg of its historic attempt to be the first solar-powered airplane to fly around the world. If all goes well, the plane will return to Al-Bateen in June or July. As reported here in January, the first leg was a short 12-hour “shakedown cruise” to Muscat, Oman, piloted by Andre Borschberg. The plane landed safely in Muscat, more or less on schedule, at 12:14 p.m. Eastern time.
Of the two pilots who will take turns behind the wheel, Borschberg is the engineer and former fighter pilot who is intimately familiar with every detail of the plane’s design and construction.
Good news! We're eating healthier!
March 9, 2015 08:55 AM - Bill Roth, Triple Pundit
The big news from the 2015 Natural Products Expo West was that the American consumer is buying healthy foods at volumes never seen before. Health and wellness products are achieving three times the sales growth as conventional food products.
A survey conducted by SuperMarket News found that 80 percent of surveyed food-industry wholesalers and retailers had sales growth in health and wellness products. A third of survey respondents reported an astounding 20 percent increase in annual sales!
Gluten- and allergen-free is now top wellness trend
An Organic Future
March 2, 2015 07:52 AM - Tim Sparke, Triple Pundit
The words ‘organic’ and ‘sustainability’ are bandied around quite a bit. While some won’t eat anything but organic, others deny that there’s any future in organic farming. After all, with a population that’s seven billion-strong and growing, how can we possibly expect organics to feed the world? Or so the critics ask. In their view, feeding the masses simply can’t be done without strong chemicals and genetic modification.
Michigan utility on the wrong track increasing rates for LED municipal lighting
February 26, 2015 07:00 AM - Andrea Newell, Triple Pundit
Earlier this month, DTE Energy announced a rate hike for LED lights. The decision sparked anger in Michigan city officials involved in municipal streetlight conversions, who would see their financial incentives for energy conservation diminish. At the same time, DTE plans to lower its rates on sodium lighting, which can use up to three times more electricity than LED.
In 2014 Ypsilanti, best known as the home of Eastern Michigan University, converted all 1,100 of its streetlights to LED — making it the first Michigan municipality to do so. City leaders worked with DTE Energy on the project and expected to see substantial annual energy savings. In the first year, the municipality’s DTE energy bill was 29 percent lower, saving $176,000. Now, with DTE’s proposed rate increase, Ypsilanti’s city leaders are seeing their expected savings disappear.
Plant turns cow manure to ethanol
February 11, 2015 07:53 AM - Leon Kaye , Triple Pundit
Tulare County, California, recently surpassed nearby Fresno County as the top agriculture-producing county in terms of economic value within the U.S. It’s also the country’s top dairy producing county. The result has been more investment and economic growth in a rapidly booming area already home to 450,000 people.
But there is also a downside to the local dairy industry’s continued surge: The San Joaquin Valley suffers from some of worst air pollution in the U.S., and cow effluent is a threat to the region’s already troubled watersheds.
Pollution Blamed as Leading Cause of Death in Developing World
January 28, 2015 08:51 AM - Alexis Petru, Triple Pundit
In 2012, pollution – in the form of contaminated soil, water, and both indoor and outdoor air – was responsible for 8.4 million deaths in developing countries, finds Pollution: The Silent Killer of Millions in Poor Countries. That’s almost three times more deaths than those caused by malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis combined: Malaria claimed 600,000 lives in 2012, HIV/AIDS caused 1.5 million deaths and tuberculosis killed 900,000 individuals.
Electric range-extended trucks can double fuel economy
January 26, 2015 04:54 AM - Phil Covington , Triple Pundit
When it comes to electric vehicles, we hear plenty about electric cars being launched into the consumer market but not too much about commercial vehicles. Maybe that’s because not too many people have to concern themselves with what type of delivery or garbage truck they are going to buy next. Nevertheless, such considerations matter, since the electrification of commercial fleets promises considerably larger efficiency gains than cars.
Four-year-old California company Wrightspeed, started by Tesla co-founder Ian Wright, has developed a technology that zeros in on a specific niche of the commercial fleet market, bringing both fuel savings and emissions mitigation for commercial fleet operators.
Bolt EV concept car from GM could help mainstream electric cars
January 15, 2015 06:57 AM - Leon Kaye , Triple Pundit
Concept cars at automobile shows generally offer the following: great opps for selfies, dreams over driving a vehicle that will never exist and, of course, the occasional eye roll. But this week at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, one concept car dazzled because of its design and its potential to transform the automobile industry: General Motors’ (GM) Chevrolet Bolt EV, which could hit the market as soon as 2017.
The Bolt is a huge step closer toward the holy grail of electric vehicles (EVs): affordability and sustainability — the latter of which in this case is defined by range, the current bugaboo of most EVs. Sure, we love Tesla for its phenomenal design and range of 265 miles between charges. Unfortunately, the sticker price, which ranges between $70,000 and $90,000, is out of range of most of our budgets. GM’s Chevy Spark EV could be a car for the rest of us, with a price of about $20,000 after federal rebates. But with a range of about 82 miles, it fails to snag interest from most consumers due to that massive hurdle: “range anxiety.”
Is meaningful action to address climate change possible given our economic systems?
January 12, 2015 06:19 AM - , Triple Pundit
It’s increasingly obvious that the global economic system, and particularly the current brand of U.S. capitalism, are not really compatible with the actions needed to combat climate change.
Naomi Klein makes this point clear in “This Changes Everything,” which is both a passionate and controversial polemic and a reasoned discussion of the issues and forces stalling, and indeed preventing, a comprehensive response to climate change.
The problem is not the political and ideological divisions or scientific “debate,” which are hard enough to deal with — it’s mainly about money, according to Klein. The book’s subtitle is compelling: Capitalism vs. The Climate. Simply put: “Our economic system and our planetary system are now at war.”