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Enviro tees a major hit in Japan

Japanese buyers buy up Patagonia’s eco-themed t-shirts

Patagonia Japan introduced a line of organic cotton t-shirts in January that sported messages on the front and back addressing environmental problems in various regions of the country. They donated $5 from the price of each shirt to Japanese environmental groups. The t-shirt line was completely sold out by the end of March. I don't know a lot about the political climate in Japan with regard to environmental issues, so I can't tell if this is a great success story or not. Is this a triumph for environmental awareness or a triumph for the latest materialistic shopping fad? I guess …

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Let Down Your Giardia

Filtering water may not be the answer to most backcountry illnesses Went to the backwoods and ended up with a case of the runs? You probably blamed the water. But according to some medical and wilderness professionals, it is poor personal hygiene, not unsafe water, that usually bedevils the bowels of wilderness backpackers. Medical researcher and avid outdoorsnik Bob Derlet has tested water at 100 sites in California's Sierra Nevada mountains for giardia, cryptosporidium, and other microbes that can cause intestinal illness and diarrhea. Derlet's findings suggest that water in the High Sierra is actually quite safe to drink in …

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"In all likelihood, events are now set to run their course."

A really depressing paper about climate change.

A few days ago Roger Pielke Jr. pointed to a paper (PDF) by Tim Dyson of the London School of Economics called "On development, demography and climate change: The end of the world as we know it?" Pielke called it "refreshingly clear thinking on climate change." That's true, if by "refreshingly clear" he means "weep-silently-aplogize-to-your-children-and-throw-yourself-out-a-window depressing." Abandon hope, all ye who download PDF here. Dyson's argument unfolds in several stages, but the brutal conclusion is simple: "In all likelihood, events are now set to run their course." Here are the five main points made, quoted directly from the abstract: First, …

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Marketing clean energy

Here's a very brief but quite interesting interview with Elise Soukup from the clean-energy marketing nonprofit SmartPower.

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Theory in practice

I'm still pondering a reply to Jerry Taylor's thoughtful comment -- seems like it requires something substantive, and I never have time for substance. Sigh. But let me just throw out one quick observation. One reason why folks who push for cost-benefit analyses and libertarians alike drive me crazy is this: In the real world, their ideas are co-opted and used in service of corruption and cronyism, and they don't seem to notice. For instance: You think there was ever a cost-benefit analysis run on this fiasco? Of course not. When the powers-that-be get an idea like this in their …

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Chris Martin named sexiest male vegetarian by PETA

Even though, really, he’s not sexy

Even though, really, he's not sexy. So scrawny and white-bread. PETA adherents are even nuttier than I thought. They voted Coldplay singer/guitarist Chris Martin and American Idol country crooner Carrie Underwood as the hottest herbivores. I'm taking that as an insult to us foxy veggies everywhere. My picks from the list of celebs offered up as meat-eschewing hotties: Radha Mitchell, Angela Bassett, Fiona Apple, Esai Morales, and Samuel L. Jackson. Oh, and John Cleese. (Weirdest candidates: G. Gordon Liddy and Mary Tyler Moore.)

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Now that's good wood

Ad features naked men and phallic-shaped sustainable lumber

Imagine my delight at seeing this on the side of my bus: "Choose your wood responsibly," beckons the ad for Seattle's Environmental Home Center, a mecca for green home improvement. (See the full ad in PDF form here.)

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Caddy whore bucks

Car company makes bikes, lures the kids

So Cadillac introduces a bicycle. Is this good news or bad? On the one hand, you have a major car company endorsing the idea of human-powered transportation. On the other hand, they're doing it to -- you guessed it, brainiac -- sell more Cadillacs. The notion is to use this "unexpected brand contact" to reach younger buyers. Who, having just spent $500-$1900 on a Cadillac bike, will presumably think nothing of dropping another $40,000 on a luxury car. Disturbing, yes, but mostly it's just weird. Whatever happened to a good old-fashioned Schwinn?

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‘Toon In, Turn On, Drop Out

Do you draw funny stuff? Get in touch! Calling all doodlers, calling all doodlers. Grist is now accepting submissions for our soon-to-be-revamped cartoon section. We're looking for political cartoons with environmental themes. To get filled in on the technical details -- file formats, dpi, etc. -- write emailE=('cartoons@' + 'grist.org') document.write('' + emailE + '') . But the very most important detail is this: Make sure it's funny!

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The Right-Whale Stuff

Emergency steps needed to save right whale from extinction, experts say The North Atlantic right whale could face extinction within the next century, according to marine scientists writing in the journal Science. Only about 350 right whales are alive today, and the researchers estimate that their deaths may be underreported by up to 83 percent yearly. The scientists say at least eight right whales have died in the past 16 months, almost three times the average yearly rate observed over the past quarter-century. At least half of right-whale deaths are caused by humans, as the animals are struck by ships …

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