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  • Q&A: Lomborg on Al Gore and Climate Change

    Bjorn Lomborg earned the wrath of many scientists by calling into question the direness of global warming.  Now, in this wide-ranging interview, find out why he claims that Al Gore is 'wildly exaggerating' about climate change and its effects.
  • Q&A: Xianglu Founder on Environmental Protests

    When China's central government approved construction of a chemical factory, residents took to the streets in protest. In this exclusive interview, the businessman behind the stalled project describes what the reversal means for foreign investors in China.
  • A Car For The Future

    Honda has unveiled the future of personal transportation: the FCX Clarity, a hydrogen-powered fuel-cell car that emits only water from its tailpipe and can get the equivalent of 119 kilometers per gallon. The first Claritys were delivered to southern California on June 16, and Hollywood crowds are already lining up to lease it for $600 a month. "This is a must-have technology for the future of the earth," said Honda president Takeo Fukui at the rollout. "Honda will work hard to mainstream fuel-cell cars."Sounds great, but sadly the mainstreaming of fuel-cell cars will come much farther out. Honda, for all its good intentions and buzz-worthy PR, is heavily subsidizing the Clarity, which actually costs several hundred thousand dollars to produce per model. Fukui says it will take 10 years to get the price of the car below $100,000, and it plans to lease only 200 models over the next three years. But the biggest roadblock is beyond Honda's control: a dearth of hydrogen-filling stations...
  • Sex, Lies and Pillow Talk

    William Butler Yeats once said that sex and death are the only things that can interest a serious mind. If that's the case, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Olen Butler is as serious as they come. His last book, "Severance," was told through the voices of recently severed heads. His latest, "Intercourse," is about, well, sex—but it's not erotica. Instead, it's the uninhibited inner thoughts of partners throughout history, all (well, most) based on serious historical research. ...
  • Cleanest Tour Yet?

    The countdown is on for the 2008 Tour de France and the scandals keep on coming. In June, green-jersey champion Tom Boonen was banned for a positive cocaine test, making him the latest in a string of expulsions that include defending champion Alberto Contador, whose Astana Team was barred in February for past doping problems. With such a rocky pre-race, fans are wondering: Can there ever be a clean Tour de France?The paradox is that the Tour has to uphold its anti-doping image while still attracting edgy riders whom fans (and sponsors) adore, says cycling commentator Matt Rendell, whose recent book "Blazing Saddles" notes that cheating has been around since the Tour's early days, when turn-of-the-century riders secretly took the train and downed arsenic to boost performance. "There will always be doubt. But I think that's part of the charm of the Tour," Rendell says. "Is this guy superhuman or is he just so smart that no one's been able to catch him? And sponsors want that."But...
  • The First 100 Days of Fighting

    As France takes over the rotating presidency of the European Union in July, French President Nicolas Sarkozy looks a little like the bull asked to clean up a china shop. He might kick some of the mess out the door or under the rug, but he just keeps breaking things.Sarkozy had grand dreams for his six-month term, from pushing forward his pet project of a Mediterranean Union to leading the way to a more perfect EU as laid out in the Lisbon Treaty. When the Irish shot down those hopes in their "no" vote in the June 11 referendum, Sarkozy blamed European Commissioner Peter Mandelson for scaring the Fenians with free-trade talk. After the Germans squelched Sarkozy's plans to cap a fuel tax, Sarkozy vowed, "I will not give way; I will fight on this issue." He's also been sparring with ex-Portuguese prime minister José Manuel Barroso, now president of the European Commission, by painting Barroso as a puppet for anti-protectionist, anti-agricultural, pro-free-trade Anglo-Saxon interests....
  • Big, But Not Very Bad

    Sovereign wealth funds aren't so scary. That's the finding of a new study of SWFs, the booming investment arms of petro states like Saudi Arabia and emerging giants like China. The recent SWF investments into groups like Citibank and Merrill Lynch raised concerns that these state funds are now rich enough to buy into strategic Western assets. But the Monitor Group study of 785 public SWF investments since 2000 found that only 14 involved sensitive industries (like technology or financial services) in developed countries. Eleven of those were made by Singaporean SWF Temasek, widely considered to be a mature and professionally run fund. Overall, two thirds of the deals done since 2000 were in emerging markets, meaning SWFs are targeting their own countries, not the West.
  • The Other Global Warming

    Global warming tops the agenda of the July G8 summit of leading industrial nations in Hokkaido, but warming of a more beneficial sort is coming to Japan, too. Asia's two great powerhouses, China and Japan, are trying to calm their long and bitter rivalry, in ways that could transform the region.The animosity dates to Japan's imperial aggression during World War II, and has been fueled by modern politicians. Former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, whose term ended in 2006, persisted in visiting a Tokyo shrine to war dead, including men the Chinese consider war criminals. This unleashed violent protests in China. Now current Prime Minister Yasuko Fukuda is sending conciliatory signals by avoiding shrine visits in favor of uplifting talk about what unites China and Japan. He's also accepted an invitation to the opening ceremonies of Beijing's Olympics and has pointedly declined to criticize Chinese human-rights violations.These efforts appear to be paying off. In late June,...
  • Fashion: Holes In The Sides Of Her Shoes

    From the catwalk to the red carpet, the hot footwear trend this season is cutout sandals. Evolved from their trendy ankle-boot ancestors, they offer a sexy spin on booties for warm weather. Oscar de la Renta has snipped straight to the point with the befittingly named Cut-Out Bootie, which maintains the classic ankle-boot shape but exposes a triangle of skin just behind the toes (€489; neimanmarcus .com). Jimmy Choo has created the rebellious Anise Biker Leather Sandal, embellished with bold gems that will be sure to sparkle the next time you take your Ducati motorcycle out for a spin (€866; www.jimmychoo.com). For a softer look, the Manolo Blahnik Hande sandals come in black, gray or turquoise leather and feature triple straps and button closures (€632), while the whimsical red Bu sandals, with a provocative black-and-white striped heel, might have been Dorothy's shoe of choice (€626; manolo blahnik.com). But stealing the spotlight is the metallic Christian Dior Extreme Cutout...
  • Grooming: Razors To Relish

    Shaving doesn't have to be a chore. Luxury razors feel sleek and substantial in the hand as they combat stubble in style. Established in 1805 by the Duke of Edinburgh, Truefitt & Hill offers ebony, faux horn or imitation ivory Wellington handles ($110; truefitt andhill.co.uk). Caswell-Massey, America's first perfumery, is older than the country but belies its age with a futuristic-looking chrome razor ($125; caswellmassey.com). The Art of Shaving has designed a classic razor, stand and badger-hairbrush set out of sterling silver ($3,400; theartofshaving.com). But nothing tops the platinum-handled damascene razor by Hommage, which resembles the tool used by Sweeney Todd, and features 4,500 layers of handcrafted steel ($30,000; hommage.com). Now that's cutting-edge.
  • The Maximalist

    Talk about a luxurious soak in the tub. The Amaltea bathtub, designed by Baldi of Florence, Italy, is made entirely of the precious purple gem amethyst, and adorned with 24-karat gold-plated legs. Matching lotion dispenser, soap dish and tumbler are also available. Now there's no reason for a bather ever to get out (€95,000; baldi.biz).
  • 4 Hours In Atlanta

    Mainly steel and concrete, Georgia's capital doesn't look like much from the highway. But rewards await for those willing to probe a little deeper. ...
  • Hot Spot: Figueira Rubaiyat, São Paulo

    This Jardins outpost of the Rubaiyat family's restaurants—famous for serving meat and poultry from their farm and ranch —is probably the most picturesque eatery in all of São Paulo. ...
  • Beijing's Luxury Hotels

    Luxury hotels are redrawing Beijing's skyline as the city prepares to welcome the world to the 2008 Olympic Games. By the start of the opening ceremony Aug. 8, China's capital will have an estimated 130,000 hotel rooms. While top-tier chains like Raffles, the Peninsula and the St. Regis have been busy renovating their Beijing branches, plenty of other brands—including the Ritz-Carlton, Marriott and InterContinental—have moved in. Just in time for the Games, the elegant Park Hyatt Beijing (beijing.park.hyatt.com) and the minimalist, avant-garde Opposite House (theopposite house.com) are due to open in July.Conveniently located next to the Forbidden City, the 55-room Emperor Hotel may feature a classical Chinese brick façade and roof, but the interior is decidedly contemporary, with sleek, fluid room furnishings ($773 for the suite; theemperor.com.cn).The 14-room Hotel Côté Cour, housed in a former courtyard mansion, channels imperial China with stunning antiques, yet keeps an updated...
  • Do Americans Have Green Fatigue?

    One recent poll showed that American consumers are increasingly unlikely to spend money on energy-efficient goods and services.
  • Wasting Water In Dubai

    Dubai's ecology may be a work of genius or insanity, but it's nothing if not artificial.