Weird: A DNA test has confirmed what zoologists, big-game hunters and aboriginal trackers in the far northern reaches of Canada have imagined for years: the first documented case of a hybrid grizzly-polar bear in the wild. That's right, folks, a polar bear and a grizzly bear have mated and produced offspring -- a bear mutt of sorts. As the polar bear's habitat disappears (thanks, global warming!) and the range for both bears continues to overlap, will we see more hybrids? I certainly hope so! But only if I get to be on the naming committee. Check out these proposed monikers (emphasis mine): [Big game hunter Jim] Martell told the newspaper he has dubbed the hybrid creature a "polargrizz." [Polar bear biologist Ian] Stirling said others in his office have been tossing around in jest possible names for the hybrid: a "pizzly" or a "grolar bear." One colleague said they ought to call it "nanulak," combining the Inuit names for polar bear -- "nanuk" -- and grizzly bear, which is "aklak." Can we call it a "pizzly"? Pretty please?!
My favorite economist, Dean Baker (I want his rookie card!), has just put out a free PDF of his latest book, The Conservative Nanny State. (PDF link here.) I would urge everyone to read this book -- it's not all directly related to environmental causes, but some of it is. More broadly, there's an obvious moral: The system we live in is, to an enormous extent, determined by government policies. Understanding that, and understanding how the apparatus of the state is tilted towards the already-wealthy, is crucial to any progressive cause. Some specific examples below the fold.
Pollutants cause tiny genetic mutations in humans You know when your brother called you a genetic mutant, and you said “am not,” and he said “are too”? Well, he was right. Sorry. According to new …
Scientists discover new genus of primate, and it’s already in trouble Scientists have discovered a new monkey in Africa, the first new genus of primate found in 83 years. Called kipunji by native villagers, scientists …
On Thursday, May 18, the Big Three automakers have scheduled a trip to the White House to discuss their "needs" with President Bush. CalCars wants to bring a 100-MPG plug-in hybrid to Washington to meet them. I think that's a really good idea. If you do too, join me in helping out.
Somebody's probably posted about this already, but if not: The trailer for Who Killed the Electric Car? is available here. We've written previously about the movie here, here, here and here.
Over at RealClimate, where actual scientists hang out, Eric Steig offers a brief review of An Inconvenient Truth, focusing mainly on the science. The verdict: Aside from a few small and largely inconsequential errors, the science is right on. The folks in the lively comment section seem woefully, nay, tragically unaware of my interview with Gore, in which he answers many of their questions.
The editors of The New Republic endorse what they call a “Hummer tax.” Wonks, in their pithiest mode, refer to the Hummer Tax as a “feebate” system. Under such a system, the government would either …
Part two of Tom Engelhardt's interview with Mike Davis is up. Davis is the author of City of Quartz and, most recently, Planet of Slums. More great stuff. I particularly like this:
We've devised the world's shortest survey to find out what kind of actions our readers are taking. You know you want to.