Saturday, January 20, 2007

A bad news, good news day

An AP article on McDonald's opening a drive-in in China is headlined "New Partnership in China link Big Macs and big oil. " Apparently McDonald's has a deal that lets them open restaurants near gas stations. Not exactly forward progress. According to the article, China is now the world's second largest market for cars. That's the bad news. American companies failing to change to their business models to support even their own long-term health. Not new, but a behavior worth changing.

The Seattle Times also reprinted an article from the Wall Street Journal, "World demand for oil drops a bit," by Bhushan Bahree. I can't seem to get a link to it online to give you, but a key quote is "For the first time in years, the developed world is burning less of it (oil)." Nice. Now, global demand still grew, largely because of growth in China and the Middle East. But it's a good indicator. The article cites the following statistics: 2006 global oil demand increase .9 percent. 2005 global oil demand increase 1.5 percent. 2004 global oil demand 3.9 percent.

We used to boycott McDonalds over slash and burn forest destruction. Maybe it's time to boycott them for other ways of not being green enough. They don't seem to be learning their lessons very well.

I've also noticed a lot more advertising and more frequent articles about green building. In new housing, being green seems to be as attractive as almost everything except location. That's another good sign.

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