One recent report from Nature Geoscience will have ethanol advocates convinced that Big Oil's political influence goes far beyond the reach of US borders. That publication, according to Nebraska's Grand Island Independent, says that greater use of ethanol as a light-duty vehicle fuel actually boosts smog levels. That runs counter to many other reports on the subject, though ethanol's environmental prospects have, like everything else related to the subject, been a subject of debate.
While Brazil still gets its share of ethanol-friendly auto debuts (see: Sand'up, Renault), not every green-leaning vehicle introduced there needs to suck down the sugarcane. Daimler's smart fortwo, for example, gets solid MPG numbers and low CO2 emissions when running on gasoline and, starting in April 2009, Brazilian buyers can choose the little city runner. Mercedes-Benz announced that Brazil will be the latest country to get the fortwo, which is now available in 37 markets around the world. N
It's no secret that Sao Paulo can be a dangerous place. Business travelers who frequent the city will be able to tell you about the precautions companies recommend they take to protect themselves. Don't leave the hotel. If you do, don't walk alone. Don't carry a laptop (it makes you an instant target for robbery). Wait for taxis inside the lobby. (Example: Criminals will case the hotels, looking for obvious business travelers waiting outside. This lets them see exactly what car they get into so