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Letters From The Earth

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July 7, 2009
I was on an "anti black liquor tax credit" kick in my last column. While I want to bring you up to date on a new green "leachate" treatment process, I am compelled first to get in one more shot at this tax credit funding scam. International Paper…  Read More »
May 8, 2009
Jeffrey Sax once said, "The US is out of melody." I happen to think harmony is a better word, but he's right, now more than ever. I see it in our industry. I see it in government policy, and I see it in private initiatives. We are out of harmony.…  Read More »
March 31, 2009
Signs. Signs and covenants. Messages that we hear and read. Promises that we make. Do we listen? Do we respond? Do we fulfill the commitment? I listened to a sermon recently about signs and covenants. Don't tell the rector but my mind wasn't entir…  Read More »
March 6, 2009
So today we dumped another 70 million tons of global warming pollution into the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding our planet, as if it were an open sewer. And tomorrow we will dump a slightly larger amount, with the cumulative concentrations now t…  Read More »
January 14, 2009
In a recent editorial, Cooks Illustrated Editor Christopher Kimball introduced me to a wonderfully humorous book, The Specialist, written by Charles Sale in 1929. The timing and content of Sale's book is more than appropriate. The Specialist is Lem P…  Read More »
November 13, 2008
What do sunlight, desalination, ethanol, sustainability, and clean energy have in common? The answer, of course, is great cost. Technically we have the ability to convert sunlight into energy, salt water into fresh water, solid waste and methane gas…  Read More »
October 8, 2008
Over the last several years, every printing and packaging trade publication has had countless columns, articles, and editorials on the "greening" of our industry. Not to be outdone, Labelexpo, American version, had the same plethora of green product…  Read More »
August 21, 2008
In June I attended Finat's 50th anniversary congress in Paris. To be sure, if you go to enough of these events you realize that many of the presentations are repetitious. However, one presenter that we hear from regularly, Mike Fairley, added a t…  Read More »
July 22, 2008
Several weeks ago, I was so frustrated with the "I'm gonna do it" group. These are the people and companies that are forever proud of their future changes and achievements. The problem is that they never do it, they never make the changes. I was so f…  Read More »
May 13, 2008
The president called me and asked, "Are we green?" "Heavens no," I responded. There was a pause and he asked, "Can you help us get green?" I replied, "Sure, I can help you. But at the end of the day it's up to you, you and your team. You have to driv…  Read More »
April 8, 2008
There was a great editorial in one of the trade publications that I read that wondered if "concerns for the earth is a passing fad." It caused me to speculate about the pending transfer of the world champion polluter title. Part of my thought was: Wh…  Read More »
March 14, 2008
To build a future of energy security, we must trust in the creative genius of American researchers and entrepreneurs and empower them to pioneer a new generation of clean energy technology." Or, " Such a product fulfills the manufacturer's desires…  Read More »
January 15, 2008
Most of you are aware of the Bali Climate Change Conference that occurred in early December. Hundreds attended, including government officials, industry lobbyists, environmental campaigners, observers, and yes, even the United States sent representat…  Read More »
November 2, 2007
Do you recall the reference in my last column to the battle with British Petroleum's (BP) wish to send increased quantities of effluent from its refinery in Indiana into Lake Michigan? Well, we won the battle. BP is retreating, at least temporarily,…  Read More »
August 31, 2007
As I start this column, those of us who live in the Chicago area of the United States have just learned that the State of Indiana, right nearby, and federal regulators have approved the expansion of a BP refinery in Whiting that will lead to increase…  Read More »

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