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Playlist: The Economy and the Environment

Compiled By: PRX Editors

Pieces at the intersection of business and sustainability...

Greener Holiday Travels

From Catalina Island Conservancy | Part of the December 2009 - Isla Earth Radio Series series | 01:30

Next time you travel, forget about renting that gas-guzzler. A few rental car companies are offering hybrids and cars that run on biodiesel. Thanks to consumer demand and rising prices at the pump, the green-car rental business is starting to take off in cities across the country.

Inlay2_small Next time you travel, forget renting that gas-guzzler. A few rental car companies are offering hybrids and cars that run on biodiesel. Thanks to consumer demand and rising prices at the pump, the green-car rental business is starting to take off in cities across the country...

E-Waste

From Catalina Island Conservancy | Part of the July 2009 - Isla Earth Radio Series series | 01:30

What happens to our consumer electronics after they've served their useful life? Unfortunately, discarded computer monitors often get shipped to Asia or Africa, where the world's poorest workers strip them down by hand, exposing themselves and their surroundings to toxins like chromium, mercury and lead. It's illegal, but it happens. Now, a coalition of watchdog groups are launching a certification program to verify that recycling programs safely recycle electronics.

Inlay2_small What happens to our consumer electronics after they've served their useful life? Unfortunately, discarded computer monitors often get shipped to Asia or Africa, where the world's poorest workers strip them down by hand, exposing themselves and their surroundings to toxins like chromium, mercury and lead. It's all illegal, but it happens...

Dirty Plastic Bags

From Conrad Wilson | 04:14

Ditching disposable plastic bags for longer lasting, reusable alternatives is a growing trend throughout America's retail stores. But as many environmental groups are quickly discovering, reusable plastic bags can actually be more damaging to the environment than their flimsy prototypes.

Default-piece-image-0 Ditching disposable plastic bags for longer lasting, reusable alternatives is a growing trend throughout America's retail stores. But as many environmental groups are quickly discovering, reusable plastic bags, while intended for good, can actually be more damaging to the environment than their flimsy prototypes. Made to be durable, these bag have an even longer lasting impact on the environment. The controversy over plastic bag use has raged globally for at least five years, as both corporations and city government try to be more environmentally conscious. Last year, San Francisco was the first U.S. city to ban the use of throwaway plastic bags. Since then Boston; Phoenix, Portland, Oregon; Austin, Texas; and a handful of other cities are weighing similar ordinances. Earlier this month, U.S. based Ikea stores stopped offering 'use and toss' plastic bags at the register. Whole Foods Stores did the same back in April. One nuanced approach is unfolding in Seattle, where customers could end up paying a 20 cent fee for every bag they take from the check out line; similar to the approach used by some retail stores. In 2003, a bag fee dropped Ireland's disposable plastic bag rate 90 percent. When consumers reuse the more durable bags as intended, they keep hundreds of disposable ones out of landfills. Each consumer uses between three and five hundred disposable plastic bags every year amounting to an estimated 100 billion in United States. Part of the solution to reducing 'use and toss' bag use, lies in changing consumer behavior and mentality.

The only paid climate skeptic who ever flipped

From Stephanie Lepp | Part of the Reckonings series | 41:51

For over 20 years, Jerry Taylor was a leading spokesperson for climate skepticism. He waged TV battles against climate activists on the likes of CNN, NBC, and Fox. As the only paid climate skeptic who’s ever switched sides, why did he flip?

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'I can say to climate skeptics on the right, I used to believe what you believe. Hell, I wrote your talking points, and for 20 years, I was there! But let me tell you why I'm not there anymore.' As the head of the Cato Institute’s climate and environmental policy shop, Jerry Taylor was a leading spokesperson for climate skepticism. He waged TV battles against climate activists on the likes of CNN, NBC, and Fox, and says he won all of them. And yet, he's the only paid climate skeptic who's ever flipped. Why did he shift not just his views on climate change, but his relationship with his views more broadly?