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Gore on The Daily Show

Here's the video:

Gave Proof Through the Night That Our Mag Was Still There

Grist takes a vacation to celebrate Independence Day We Gristers are proud, patriotic, exhausted Americans, and damn, we need a vacation. We’ll be sipping American …

A Lawn Time Coming

EPA may implement California small-motor standards across U.S. The U.S. EPA indicated yesterday that it was leaning toward approving California’s proposal to require catalytic converters …

A chat with freshwater experts Peter Gleick and William K. Reilly

The world’s freshwater systems are in crisis, beset by everything from global warming to population growth to corruption. Though it doesn’t get the media attention …

New initiatives from Whole Foods

I wrote a post a little while back about the exchange going on between food writer Michael Pollan and Whole Foods Market honcho John Mackey. The subject has been some claims about Whole Foods' relationship to "industrial organic" made in Pollan's book The Omnivore's Dilemma. Read that previous post for background. Mackey has written another detailed letter to Pollan. It's interesting throughout, but the big news comes at the end, when Mackey announces a series of new initiatives the company is undertaking. They will be attempting to build up a system of animal-compassionate small farms, buying more local food, setting up a loan program for small farmers, opening their parking lots for local farmers to sell directly to consumers (!), and increasing consumer education on the subject of local food. Pretty radical stuff. I haven't seen this picked up in the mainstream media yet, but I expect it will be. Here's the relevant part of the letter:

Lessons from Bogotá

Very worth reading: an article in British Columbia webzine The Tyee about the former mayor of Bogotá, Columbia, who catalyzed sweeping reforms in the capital city: Enrique Peñalosa presided over the transition of a city that the world--and many residents--had given up on. Bogota had lost itself in slums, chaos, violence, and traffic...He built more than a hundred nurseries for children. He built 50 new public schools and increased enrolment by 34 percent. He built a network of libraries. He created a highly-efficient, "bus highway" transit system. He built or reconstructed hundreds of kilometers of sidewalks, more than 300 kilometres of bicycle paths, pedestrian streets, and more than 1,200 parks. And much of the mayor's success stemmed from a decision to reclaim urban spaces from private cars, by restricting parking (no more cars on sidewalks!), raising gas taxes to pay for rapid transit, and reprogramming money for roads to other, more pressing concerns.

Gore on The Daily Show

I just got done watching last night's Al Gore interview on The Daily Show. (It's not online yet, unless you seek out the torrent.) He acquitted himself very well, much better than I expected. There was some nice repartee. Stewart asked if Gore took some satisfaction in seeing that slide where Florida gets flooded. Gore said, "hey, I think I won Florida." Also, Gore specifically dinged Bush's recent line that we need to get "beyond the debate," which of course I was happy to see. He said a doctor wouldn't look at your symptoms and say, well, let's not worry about what's causing them, let's just give you an aspirin and send you home. True dat. But mainly, Gore effectively got across the point that the evidence is overwhelming and that it's time to put politics aside and just solve the damn problem. The audience loved him. Update [2006-6-29 15:41:14 by David Roberts]: Here's the video.

Another Fine Mess

GAO says EPA is sloppy and plagued with management problems Well, here’s a shocker: the U.S. EPA is inconsistent in its environmental enforcement and keeps …

Let there be (more efficient) light

Big savings possible:A global switch to efficient lighting systems would trim the world's electricity bill by nearly one-tenth. That is the conclusion of a study from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which it says is the first global survey of lighting uses and costs. The carbon dioxide emissions saved by such a switch would, it concludes, dwarf cuts so far achieved by adopting wind and solar power.