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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

New Weapons From NewScientist To Fight Against Skeptics

If you have questions about some of the "controversy" about climate change or you are having trouble rebutting the assertions of a Global Warming Skeptic, then the NewScientist website has a new tool for you.

They write: "With so much at stake, it is right that climate science is subjected to the most intense scrutiny. What does not help is for the real issues to be muddied by discredited arguments or wild theories... So for those who are not sure what to believe, here is our round-up of the 26 most common climate myths and misconceptions."

My favorites:
Overall, it is a good resource.. Click here to read it from the New Scientist website.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Climate Counts Holds Companies Accountable

Gary Hirshberg of Stoneyfield Farm has teamed up with the folks at Clean Air-Cool Planet "to bring consumers and companies together in the fight against global climate change." With their Climate Counts effort, their goal is "to motivate deeper awareness among consumers-not only that the issue of climate change demands their attention, but also that they have the power to support companies that take climate change seriously - and avoid those that don't."

It sounds so simple... Support companies who prove that they care about the future of humankind by taking concrete efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. But, getting that information is not very easy. That is where Climate Counts comes in.

This partnership has created a scorecard to "see how serious companies are about stopping climate change - and how they compare to their sector competitors." With this type of scorecard, consumers can make informed decisions to "vote with their wallets" to support companies who take a progressive stand about climate change.

The sectors scored are Apparel/Accessories, Beverages-Beer, Electronics, Food Products, Food Services, Household Products, Internet/Software, and Media. To rate companies, a total of 22 questions are asked like: Is a Green House Gas emissions inventory completed?; Has the company achieved emissions reductions?; and Is the company publicly reporting emissions? Click here to see a complete list of report questions.

As an example, here are the scores for the Apparel/Accessories category:

Company Score Company Score
Nike 73 Gap Inc. 39
Liz Claiborne 15 Limited Brands 05
VF Corporation 02 Levi Strauss 01
Jones Apparel Group 00

With all of the bad press that Nike gets about sweatshops making Air Jordan's, it is nice to see that they are leading the way on climate change. Levi Strauss... not so much. Guess what brand I won't be buying the next time I shop for jeans. Click here to see all of the categories - and to print out a handy pocket-sized version to keep in your wallet.

As consumers, we have an amazing amount of power over the corporations who are responsible for so much of the carbon footprint of our society. To be effective, though, we need more information like what has been gathered by the Climate Counts people. Let's hope that this is just the beginning of the public accountability of corporations. In the meantime, use whatever information is available to make informed choices when you buy! Your purchases make a difference.