Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for April 8th, 2009


Posted by Charles II on April 8, 2009

Jenny Wiggins, FT:

Mars, which owns the Mars, Snickers and M&M candy brands, is to spend tens of millions of dollars annually certifying that the cocoa used in the $10bn of chocolate products it sells every year is sustainably sourced by 2020.

What makes this particularly amazing is that the Mars family is not known for its philanthropy but is known for its rabid Republicanism.

Posted in Good Things | 5 Comments »

The Silver Lining In The Economic Downturn Cloud

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 8, 2009

Coal-heavy China, whose rapid industrialization has made it one of the world’s most polluted nations, has breathable air once again thanks to the shuttering of its factories:

During boom times, demand for electricity was so high in Guangdong’s Pearl River Delta that companies often endured rotating blackouts. Some installed their own generators, which burned low-grade, dirty fuel.

But since last fall, blackouts have been few, and generators are seldom used.

Environmental advocates say the downturn presents an opportunity for the government to move more aggressively to shut the dirtiest plants and enact stricter emissions regulations.

“The fact that the economy has slowed down has made it easier to stick to their plans to consolidate and close plants,” said Deborah Seligsohn, director of the China climate program for the U.S-based World Resources Institute.

Seligsohn said she is encouraged by the fact that China’s $586 billion economic stimulus plan includes funding for better technology and infrastructure that could benefit the environment.

In Guangdong, the slowdown could spur long-held plans to transform the region from dirty, labor-intensive manufacturing to cleaner high-tech industries.


It’s advice that Xu, 59, has taken to heart as he seeks to reinvent Beijing Famed Machinery, his two-decade-old company.

With production down 75 percent this year, he has now decided to focus his energy on what had largely been a side project: making and selling machines that turn agricultural waste into what he calls “green coal” _ fuel pellets that burn more cleanly than coal.

“It’s up to us whether we can turn crisis into opportunity,” he said. “This is a good time for our biomass product.”

One good sign is that China is paying attention to putting solar installations in rural areas, working to bypass the coal stage altogether as they bring rural Chinese into the 21st century.

Posted in China, climate change, energy, environment, solar | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Keep It Classy, Rupert

Posted by MEC on April 8, 2009

The Fox entertainment cable channel is supposedly a separate entity from Fox News. This brilliant idea shows that the former’s notion of “entertainment” is in the same gutter with the latter’s notion of “news”.

An upcoming series titled, “Someone’s Gotta Go,” lets employees of a small business decide which one of their colleagues will be laid off.

At least people volunteer for Survivor. Who gets to decide that a company’s employees will have to throw their coworkers to the wolves? I doubt that it will be the employees making that decision.

What genius at Fox believes that inflicting real-life misfortune on somebody is “entertainment”?

And besides these moral objections, how viable can such a show be? Not many people will find it “entertaining” to be reminded that they could be unemployed themselves any day now.

Posted in Uncategorized, WTF? | 2 Comments »

Verbiage Dump

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 8, 2009

A few days ago, the possibility that a hero of the lefty part of the blogosphere may have been wrong if not actively engaged in deceit (namely, by falsely claiming that in failing to nationalize the banks, Obama was breaking the law) was discussed.

Said hero was asked to address this, and responded by providing lots and lots of verbiage. Unfortunately, the verbiage didn’t exactly address the central issue of his false claim:

What part of ‘or’ do you not understand? (4+ / 0-)

(i) appoint a receiver (or, with the concurrence of the Corporation, a conservator) for the institution; or

(ii) take such other action as the agency determines, with the concurrence of the Corporation, would better achieve the purpose of this section, after documenting why the action would better achieve that purpose.

‘Or’ is a pretty big two-letter word.

The fact that Mr. Black repeats his argument, bypassing any actual refutation of the major flaw within, actually supports the ‘liar’ attribution.  If he had only said it once, it might support a more general description.. ‘in error’, or ‘his opinion’.. to restate it again exactly as before trudges perilously close to the line of a ‘lie’.

Exactly. Horsepucky does not stop being horsepucky if it’s repeated. And a horsepucky mound does not stop being a horsepucky mound if you add more horsepucky to it.<

Posted in wrong way to go about it | 1 Comment »

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