The carbon footprint of space tourism

For Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic tourists, the carbon footprint of the short flight is roughly equivalent to a 25-year carbon footprint for the average person. The money spent on a couple of minutes above the clouds could be used to save around 100 human lives.

Amazon ethics and social responsibility

Amazon ethics and social responsibility - detail from Amazon's 2020 sustainability report. The graphic shows a variety of Amazon's business activities, from package delivery to Alexa and cloud computing.

This is part 2 of my ethical review of Amazon, and it will broadly examine the topic of Amazon’s ethics and social responsibility. (Part 1 focused on the Amazon Dash program.) I think the best way to start is by looking at what Amazon has to say about itself in its latest sustainability report. Amazon’s … Continue reading Amazon ethics and social responsibility

Racial equality and ethical consumerism

A Black Lives Matter mural, painted on the road in large yellow letters in central Washington DC.

Hey Folks. I think we all have different ways of dealing with the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. The first thing for me was to start looking back – to Rodney King in LA, 1991, Oscar Grant in Fruitvale station in Oakland, 2009, Eric Garner in New York, 2014, and Michael … Continue reading Racial equality and ethical consumerism

Amazon’s Dash program tells you all you need to know about the company

It’s already three months since I asked you to vote in the poll: How Ethical is Amazon? In this post I’m going to show the poll results and also ask myself that same question. I came to realize that Amazon simply doesn’t value sustainability. I had a growing feeling of unhappiness with Amazon that spanned various topics but the last straw was the introduction of Amazon Dash buttons.

Risk-benefit analysis of Bayer’s imidacloprid

Bayer’s imidacloprid is one of the most widely used insecticides and belongs to a group of pesticides known as neonics (or neonicitinoids), which target insects’ nervous systems. Following extensive research I present a risk/benefit analysis for imidacloprid. Neonics are often used by default, for example as seed coatings, and yet offer no benefit in many cases. The risks, on the other hand, are sobering and demand immediate action.

Seresto flea collar & imidacloprid

Seresto flea collar and imidacloprid. A package containing a Seresto flea collar is shown, bearing the Bayer logo. The product is now sold by Elanco, which bought Bayer's animal health division in 2019.

Earlier in March, USA Today reported that bestselling Seresto flea collars have been linked to 1700 pet deaths in the US – and that’s just going by the number reported to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); the actual number is expected to be higher. The story originated from Johnathan Hettinger at the Midwest Center for … Continue reading Seresto flea collar & imidacloprid

How to help the Uyghurs

Canada and the US have recognized China’s treatment of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang as genocide. Up to 1.8 million Uyghurs have been detained in camps for “re-education” under brutal conditions. At least two investigations have found that Uyghurs are subjected to forced labor in companies that supply and manufacture electronics and textiles for major multinational companies. Three of them, Apple, Nike, and Coca-Cola, have been lobbying to water down the proposed Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.

Ethical Investing – Carbios recycles polyester clothing

Carbios, a small French company that specializes in green chemistry, announced yesterday the recycling of waste polyester clothing into clear water bottles. This is exciting news because options for recycling of polyester or mixed-fiber clothing are very limited – usually limited to down-cycling rather than true recycling. I’ll get to the technology in a moment, … Continue reading Ethical Investing – Carbios recycles polyester clothing

The top reason to vote against Trump

The top reason to vote against Trump - his character. The image shows Donald Trump defiantly taking off his mask after he returns from hospital after treatment for Covid-19. The words American Cringe are superimposed on the image, in the style of a TV show ad.

The top reason to vote against Donald Trump is his character. There, I've said it. And I mean character in the broad sense to include both his personality/temperament and character traits (here are two Psychology Today blog posts explaining the difference between personality and character and where temperament fits in). Voters: Consider this possibility, that … Continue reading The top reason to vote against Trump