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Claire Thompson's Posts


How we can eat our way out of the seafood crisis

Barton Seaver Barton Seaver knows how to work magic with seafood. As executive chef at the Washington, D.C., restaurant Hook, he has won acclaim for his focus on sustainable seafood. His efforts have earned him a National Geographic fellowship and recognition from the Seafood Choices Alliance and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Seaver believes that ensuring the survival of the oceans means changing our relationship with seafood, not severing it completely, and that chefs can use their influence to lead this change. His first cookbook, For Cod and Country, offers simple, seasonal, and scrumptious recipes as alternatives to the obvious seafood …

Read more: Food


Duck hunters vs. 'Big Wind' [VIDEO]

Daily Show, you've done it again: Last night's episode shed light on a growing controversy surrounding wind energy in Florida. You may be unaware, but a wind turbine project faces opposition from a group of "tree-hugging hippie conservationists" called the United Waterfowlers Association, aka hunters, who are upset because the turbines could kill birds ... before their shotguns get the chance. Watch the video below to learn how the "hunters became the hunted" (obligatory screencaps of NES Duck Hunt included).


Smart ALEC: How corporations screw you over behind closed doors

The Nation and the Center for Media and Democracy recently blew the lid off a creepy corporate-backed group called the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, which has been feeding biz-friendly legislation to conservative state legislators for decades. Since 1973, corporations like ExxonMobil, Kraft, Walmart, and the infamous Koch Industries have been using ALEC as a VIP shortcut to state legislative processes. The "exchange" consists of corporate reps working with legislators to draft paint-by-number bills that serve their interests and are then made available for download by state lawmakers, who can fill in the blanks with appropriate local language and …

Read more: Politics


Ice crisis: How disappearing glaciers devastate communities [VIDEO]

As the glaciers disappear, so too will traditional ways of life that depend on them.Photo: Ana Carolina von EschWhen we describe something as moving at a glacial pace, we usually mean it progresses so slowly it's imperceptible. Glaciers appear as permanent and unchanging as the mountains they cling to, so glacial recession brought on by rising global temperatures feels abstract, distant. But the people of the Andes feel glacial movement each season, and it already affects their lives in swift and devastating ways -- depleting local water supplies, sending people packing for the big city, and damaging cultural traditions that …


Packing heat: Why violence boils over on a warming planet

Christian ParentiA Kenyan pastoralist killed in a cattle raid; an Afghan farmer trusting the Taliban to protect his poppy crop; more crackdowns along the U.S.-Mexico border; the Arab Spring -- are these isolated incidents of region-specific violence and turmoil? Or can they all claim a common root cause: climate change? Journalist Christian Parenti, author of the new book Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence, makes the case that climate change has contributed to all of these upheavals. Parenti lays out how climate change works as a catalyst for unrest in what he defines as the …


Minor threat: Our lame response to climate change

The U.S. military recognizes climate change as a serious threat to national security. The CIA has established a Center for the Study of Climate Change. The scientific community is in widespread agreement that climate change is happening, that it's caused by human activity, and that its catastrophic effects -- such as a sea-level rise of at least a meter -- will be felt within our lifetimes (hell -- look out the window). But compared to other security threats with less clear-cut causes and solutions, the U.S. government has expended relatively far fewer resources to address the risks of climate change. …


Michigan’s gangsta gardener gets off [VIDEO]

Good news for the outlaw urban farmers everywhere: Charges have been dropped against Julie Bass, the Michigan woman facing jail time for growing a garden in her front yard. According to her blog, the case was quietly dimissed by a mysterious judge she'd never heard of. Good news, kind of, except that Bass still has to appear in court for supposedly not licensing her dogs, and the threat of gardener persecution (and prosecution) lives on elsewhere. Demand justice on Facebook, and then watch this local news report for comic relief: City planner Kevin Rulkowski's douchey quote about Webster's definition of …

Read more: Food, Urban Agriculture


Mark Ruffalo on fracking: ‘Gas is a bridge to nowhere’ [VIDEO]

Actor Mark Ruffalo appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann last night to speak out about the fracked-upness of of hydraulic fracturing. Ruffalo (not your average greenwashed celebrity) lives in the Catskills with his family, and jumped on top of this cause early on, going beyond the T-shirt-wearing and tweeting that often defines the limits of famous-person activism-lite. He recently produced a video educating New Yorkers about the damage fracking poses to their water quality, and heads to Albany today to lobby against the practice, as he's done many times before. Check out his interview with Olbermann, in which he declares …


Who's down with (more) MPG?

When it comes to sweeping carbon regulation, America often seems like a house divided. But there's one area where we agree by a wide margin: 78 percent of Americans support efforts by the auto industry to reduce vehicle carbon dioxide emissions, according to this survey [PDF] by the Mellman Group. Their data also finds almost three-quarters of voters strongly in favor of higher fuel efficiency standards -- and we could get them on September 30, when the EPA and Department of Transportation are expected to release a joint ruling raising fuel economy requirements to between 47 and 62 miles per …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Oil


Bringin' crazy Bach

Photo: DonkeyHoteyIt's official: Michele Bachmann just kicked off her campaign to win the 2012 Republican presidential nomination by comparing herself to a clown-suit-wearing serial killer. In case anyone still needed a reminder of just how batsh*t crazy she is, we've collected more choice quotes highlighting both her intellectual acumen and her position on the environment (which basically amounts to her personal leprechaun telling her to "burn it all"). Gather round the caribou coffee klatch -- and start the countdown till Mad Michele tops these howlers. On the moral dangers of high-speed rail: "It is a brand new, billion-dollar high speed …

Read more: Election 2012