The Wishful Environmentalism of Cars 2

Cars 2 opened to lukewarm reviews and a smash box office, taking in $66 million domestically and another $42 million internationally during its opening weekend. The film’s ability to transcend unusually tepid reviews is clearly a testament to the power of the Pixar brand (another gift of Steve Jobs), which has generated a remarkable series of animated hits stemming from the Toy Story franchise that began in 1995 and continuing through gems like Wall-E and The Incredibles, as well as the first Cars. But this film also carries a loud and unmistakable message about alternative energy, automobiles and their shared future.

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Oil Price Increases Are Irrelevant to the Recovery

With gas prices approaching $4 at the pump and turmoil roiling Libya and other parts of the oil-rich Middle East, the past week has seen multiple warnings that rising oil prices imperil the American economy. David Rolley, a money manager who helps oversee $150 billion for the firm Loomis Sayles, is typical of the breed, declaring that higher prices at the pump

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Much Ado About Dubai

Global markets sank sharply at the end of last week on fears that Dubai World, a subsidiary of the government of Dubai, was on the verge of defaulting on approximately $60 billion of the emirate's $80 billion in total debt held by creditors world-wide. The rush of news stories added to the wildfire of panicky speculation, with headlines ranging from "Dubai Default Risk May be Big US Bank Problem," to "Dubai Shows Limits of Government Rescues."

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COMPANIES ARE GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY

Environmental concern is suddenly all the rage, all around the world. Unless you've been buried in a coal mine for the past year, you've been inundated with articles about this hot new trend. In early July, China lifted gasoline subsidies, in part to force consumers and businesses to confront the costs of using more of that ever-more costly resource.

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