The Daily Grist Headline Battle Royale: Match 3

First, last week's winner ... d'oh! "Nobody Undoes It Like Sara Lee" with 40% of the vote. And I thought it was going to be "Bring in Da Illinois, Bring in Da Hunk" for sure! Now, here are this week's nominees: It's Hard Out Here for a Chinook: Fishing ban considered for Klamath chinook along West Coast Fools Russia In: Russia to build oil pipeline within half-mile of world's deepest lake Tray's Anatomy: Hospital menus getting green overhaul Can We Sue Them for Label?: House passes industry-beloved food-labeling bill The Leak Shall Inhibit the Earth: Northern Alaska pipeline leak may rank as one of region's largest Vote!

SWOP and Go

Tomasita González, environmental-justice organizer, answers readers’ questions

Tomasita González is pushing to bring clean, running water and electricity to low-income communities of color in the Albuquerque area -- including her own. In answering reader questions, González -- an organizer with the SouthWest Organizing Project and this week's InterActivist -- chats about her favorite bilingual kids' book, New Mexico's status as a "nuclear colony," the rights of a toothpaste tube, and more. new in InterActivist: SWOP and Go

Media Shower: Environmental film

If you watched the Oscars on Sunday night and were paying close attention, you may have noticed that climate change made a small appearance. Missed it? It was right there in the middle of the "issues" montage. If you don't believe me, head on over to and take a look at item number ten. See it? Day After Tomorrow. (For those of you not familiar with the movie, IMDb can help. May I also suggest this and this.) As I mentioned last week, this year's Academy Awards presented a variety of green tinted films, including Syriana and March of the Penguins, which both won Oscars. But you don't need to depend on Hollywood for great environmental filmmaking. A whole host of green films are being created by independent filmmakers everywhere, and are featured at environmental film festivals around the U.S. Two of the most prominent are taking place this month.

Eden Come, Eden Go

Climate change threatens newly discovered tropical paradise One short month ago, the world thrilled to the news that researchers had discovered an untouched jungle in the Foja Mountains of New Guinea in Indonesia, full of unknown or rare plants and critters. Now — you saw this coming, right? — a U.S. climate scientist has warned that global warming may wipe out many of the forest’s species before they’re identified. Climatologist Michael Prentice reports in New Scientist that temperatures in the newly discovered paradise have risen precipitously since the 1970s: about 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit every decade. “This is five times the …

Don’t Let the Door Hit You …

Interior Secretary Gale Norton resigns Gale Norton, secretary of the Department of Interior, announced today that she will resign her position, effective at the end of the month. “Now I feel it is time for me to leave this mountain you gave me to climb,” she wrote in her resignation letter to President Bush, “catch my breath, then set my sights on new goals to achieve in the private sector.” The private sector should welcome her with open arms: In her tendentious career at Interior, Norton stripped protection from wilderness areas, pushed for more logging, advocated increased oil and gas …

Gale Norton resigns

The Denver Post, Associated Press, and other news services are reporting that Gale Norton is stepping down after five years at the helm of the Department of the Interior. Norton's taking her leave to "catch my breath, then set my sights on new goals to achieve in the private sector," according her letter to President Bush. While primly notes that her "name came up" in connection with the Jack Abramoff inquiry, ThinkProgress is more assertive. Under the headline "Another Abramoff Casualty?" TP notes that Norton received $50,000 from the defrocked lobbyist, who also channeled half a million dollars to her former aide Italia Federici to gain access to Norton and another Interior top official. Whatever the reason or not-reason, Norton is leaving the Bush cabinet without having achieved her goal of opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. Update [2006-3-10 12:7:8 by Emily Gertz]: The folks at ThinkProgress elided the specifics slightly in the post I linked to above (although they're clearer about them elsewhere on the site). According to, this $50K from the Meskwakis Tribe of Iowa actually went to a Norton-founded group, the greenwashy Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy ... as did many thousands more from other tribes that employed Abramoff. CREA's president? Italia Federici.

Will you change your life to save the planet?

EcoBrits have begun a "Click for the Climate" campaign, asking the U.K. public to make a small lifestyle change in honor of National Science Week (March 10-19). Apparently, "Prime Minister Tony Blair will be turning down his thermostat, world record holder Colin Jackson will be taking the train, and Sir David Attenborough will be unplugging his mobile charger." Wo0t! The BBC has set up a "Have Your Say" forum on the campaign, asking readers to leave comments on how they plan to change their lifestyle -- and the results are pretty amusing: "How about increasing death, take away all medication, and get rid of all people over the age of 60?" Ha! I'm more interested, though, to find out what all you Gristmill readers think. What will you do to reduce carbon dioxide emissions? Will you make a change to your lifestyle? Do you already try to limit your personal effect on the environment? What can you personally do to limit climate change? Or do you think you can't make any difference anyway? Leave your thoughts in comments.

TV for treehuggers

Treehugger TV has arrived

We've all encountered comments like "television rots your brain." Generally speaking, I don't believe technology is inherently bad. What we should evaluate is its application and use, not technology itself. Which is why I advocate that enviros utilize traditional and emerging media to their advantage instead of abandoning it altogether. With television, I think most of us would agree that environmental issues and innovative green products and ideas do not get the coverage they deserve. Which is why I'm very interested in projects like Current TV, where you can help make television by creating your own news and/or helping to decide what gets aired. So, I'm excited to see that our friends over at Treehugger have launched Treehugger TV, which plans to feature a new video each week. So far, they have two: 01: Trike TaxiThe men from Trike Taxi take us through their plans for a eco-friendly electric powered pedicab. 02: SwaporamaramaSwaporamarama developer Wendy Tremayne discusses the community event she has been organizing since 2002. An alternative to knee jerk consumerism, 'The Swap' is a creative happening that bonds people, fashion and ideas. Good luck guys -- I look forward to future episodes.

Kelley Stoltz and renewable energy

The first ever Official Gristmill Music Recommendation

I downloaded an album several weeks ago and it's been growing on me ever since: Below the Branches, by Kelley Stoltz (Sub Pop). Randomly, a few days ago, I received a press release (one of dozens I get each day), and what should it say, but: The Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), together with the Green-e program of the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) announced today that recording artist Kelley Stoltz's newest album, titled Below the Branches, is the first album to incorporate the Green-e label on its product packaging. The logo explains to consumers that the album was recorded using 100-percent renewable energy. Well I'll be damned! I wouldn't do this if it were merely a good album, or if it were merely created with renewable energy, but the combination adds up to the very first Official Gristmill Music Recommendation: Below the Branches, by Kelley Stoltz. Buy it. And tell 'em Gristmill sent you.

Got 2.7 seconds?

We've devised the world's shortest survey to find out what kind of actions our readers are taking. You know you want to.