Tripling the Middle Class Sustainably: Hot off the Griddle

By Eric Roston

Good afternoon, and welcome back to the Griddle, a menu of fortified items for the busy person's media diet. The most commonly asked question about the word "sustainability" isn't, "What's the key trend driver here?" but rather "What exactly are you talking about?" The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates there are 1.8 billion middle-class consumers; by 2030, that number could reach 4.9 billion. That prospect is focusing minds and sharpening pencils in many executive suites. It represents the grandest of opportunities, but also raises the thorny questions: Do we have enough stuff for everyone, and if so, where should they throw it out when they're done with it? Corporate sustainability means working on those questions and divining the risks and rewards they represent. The questions are similar, but the answers are always unique.

And now the news:

Freight Rates Plummet With Least Baltic Ice Since 1720 (Bloomberg)
Texas Fracking Disclosures to Include Water Totals (Texas Tribune)
The "C Word" Vanishes (NY Times)
Tidal Turbines May Be Making Power in East River by 2013 (Bloomberg) 
Researchers Aim to Flick the High-Carbon Switch on Rice (Guardian)
Green Bond Bankers Beat U.S. to $7 Billion (Bloomberg)
As Climate Dries, Mexico's Milk Region Poisoned by Arsenic (Reuters)
Food Waste Denounced by Ministers as Almost 1 Billion Go Hungry (Bloomberg) 
Obama Speech to Embrace Manufacturing, New Energy Era (Bloomberg)
Sounding an Alarm on Birds and Mercury (NY Times) 
Building a Better Bulb: Lighting Revolution Advances (Yale e360)
U.S. Cuts Marcellus Shale Gas Estimates by 66% (Bloomberg)
Stunning Time-Lapse Video of Yosemite (Grist)

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-0- Jan/24/2012 17:44 GMT