Tag: Economics

One tiny chip is choking up America’s largest automotive factories

They may be smaller than the size of a matchbox, but a global shortage of semiconductor chips — the electric circuits that are essential for vehicle manufacturing — has brought the automotive industry in the United States to a halt. Last week, General Motors announced it would shut down production at nearly all of its […]

Can you recycle a hard drive? Google is quietly trying to find out

At a laboratory inside a Google data center in Mayes County, Oklahoma, researchers spent the fall of 2019 disassembling old hard disk drives by hand in order to extract a 2-inch-long component known as the magnet assembly. Consisting of two powerful rare earth magnets, the magnet assembly is a critical muscle within the hard drive, […]

As wildfires worsen, more California farms are deemed too risky to insure

Stu Smith got an email from his insurance company last summer with some bad news: His premium was more than quadrupling. Smith is the co-owner of Smith Madrone, a wine operation in the mountains of California’s Sonoma Valley, and he had held a wildfire insurance policy with the company for more than 30 years. Now, […]

What’s the true cost of shipping all your junk across the ocean?

Take a look around your home and you’ll likely find plenty of goods that traveled by cargo ship to your doorstep. A set of IKEA plates made in China. A dresser full of pandemic-era loungewear, ordered on Target and made in Guatemala, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Tracing the impact on the environment from shipping any […]

Last chance to reverse the UK’s shameful international aid cuts | Letters

Desmond Whyms on the opportunity this weekend’s G7 meeting presents for global leaders to put pressure on the British government. Plus, Henrietta L Moore on what leaders must do to genuinely ‘Build Back Better’ World leaders are meeting this weekend a few miles from my home in Penzance, Cornwall, in what could be our best […]

How bankruptcy lets oil and gas companies evade cleanup rules

A battle over who is responsible for cleaning up hundreds of oil and gas rigs in the Gulf of Mexico is quietly playing out in a bankruptcy court in southern Texas. The contestants in this game of fossil fuel infrastructure hot potato: Fieldwood Energy, an offshore drilling company attempting to offload more than $7 billion […]

U.S. Southwest, already parched, sees ‘virtual water’ drain abroad

This story was originally published by Undark and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Driving into Southern California’s Palo Verde Valley from the Arizona border, fields of vibrant green appear out of the desert like a mirage. Near the town of Blythe, water from the Colorado River turns the dry earth […]

Biden’s latest executive order takes aim at climate change’s risk to the economy

Climate change could wreak havoc on nearly every aspect of life, and the U.S. financial system is no exception: Local housing market crashes and absurdly high insurance premiums are just two potential examples of the fallout. The federal government is beginning to act on these possibilities. On Thursday, President Joe Biden signed an executive order […]

Why electric cars are cheaper if you’re rich

Electric vehicles are getting a lot of press lately — but can people actually afford them? Reporter Shannon Osaka has the details on fuel savings, the perils of charging, and that pesky EV tax credit (which mostly helps people who have a lot of money already). Read Next Biden wants to build 500,000 EV charging […]

Why renewable electricity powers decarbonization — and pays off

This story is part of the series Getting to Zero: Decarbonizing Cascadia, which explores the path to low-carbon energy for British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. This project is produced in partnership with InvestigateWest and other media outlets and is supported in part by the Fund for Investigative Journalism. Amid the 1970s Arab oil embargo, a gasoline company’s TV […]