Carrot & Stick


WHO WALKS THE WALK, WHO'S NOTHING BUT TALK

CARROTS TO

The California Air Resources Board for requiring that all heavy-duty diesel trucks sold in the state beginning in 2008 must come with devices that automatically turn off engines after they've idled for five minutes. Truckers often let engines idle all night as they sleep (to power air-conditioning and heating). This burns more than 100 million gallons of diesel fuel annually. The new device is expected to prevent more than 700,000 tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted per year. As for driver comfort, truckers can use auxiliary systems to power AC and heat, such as plugging into electrification at truck stops.

The New England Journal of Medicine for advocating a boycott of research paid for by pharmaceutical companies that won't fully disclose information about the drug being tested. Many drug companies fund studies without informing participants about all potential risks; Merck's exaggeration of the safety of Vioxx is the most notorious example. In a December 29, 2005 editorial, the medical journal called on researchers to participate only in studies whose sponsors provide complete information through public registries such as ClinicalTrials.gov.

Greasecar.com, which manufactures kits that allow people who own diesel-fueled cars to convert the engines to run on nontoxic vegetable oil. Not only does the eco-friendly fuel offer comparable gas mileage at a lower cost, but there's a double benefit, reports the Florence, Massachusetts, company: People who convert their cars often collect used vegetable oil from local eateries, saving drivers the cost of diesel fuel and saving restaurateurs the cost of disposal fees. The kits are $800 to $1,200 each. …

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