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Earthquake

Our hearts go out to all those affected by the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunamis in South Asia. For more info, visit Wikipedia. For links to firsthand accounts, visit WorldChanging. For ways to help, visit this blog.

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Vacation: not just for Europeans any more

As alert readers know, every year around this time, Grist takes a two-week publishing break, while we staffers try to get used to being away from a keyboard for a while. The finger-twitching usually dies down right about the time we have to come back. The break starts Monday, and consequently posting will be very light, possibly (one can hope!) absent entirely. We'll be back on Jan. 3, with some exciting developments for Gristmill. Stay tuned.

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Green bytes

Some tips over at About.com on greening your high-tech purchases.

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Wangari Maathai’s Nobel Lecture

Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, in Oslo, Norway, on Dec. 10, 2004: Your Majesties; Your Royal Highnesses; Honorable Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee; Excellencies; Ladies and Gentlemen: I stand before you and the world humbled by this recognition and uplifted by the honor of being the 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate. As the first African woman to receive this prize, I accept it on behalf of the people of Kenya and Africa, and indeed the world. I am especially mindful of women and the girl child. I hope it will encourage them to raise their voices and take more …

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Stossel and Crichton, a match made in … uh …

Noted hack John Stossel has found a true brother-in-hackery.  On Dec. 10's 20/20, Stossel effusively praised Crichton's new book State of Fear (more on that here, and more to come), which purports to expose global warming as a media scare story perpetrated by Hollywood liberals and, oh, you know, all the usual winger suspects. He offered no countervailing view (from, say, a scientist), instead interviewing a woman ready to pee her pants in fear after seeing The Day After Tomorrow -- presumably representative of the hysteria on the issue. The rest of the segment was devoted to lionizing the "brave" …

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Evangelicals and the earth

Grist, of course, ran the definitive story on the Christian right's relationship to environmentalism, but it wouldn't hurt to go gather additional insights from this piece by Alexander Zaitchik.  He asks, "If a slowly expanding majority of evangelical Christians in this country supports the regulation of industry to protect the environment, and if there is no clear Biblical injunction against doing so, why are the most vehement anti-environmentalists in American politics consistently found among the Christian Right?" If you guessed "close ties between the movement's national leadership and industry," well, give yourself a gold star.

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Leapfrogging

"Leapfrogging" is the notion of developing countries adopting modern, sustainable technologies, without following the path the developed world took through the intervening (and highly polluting) steps of industrialization. It's a meme that's catching on, and WorldChanging has a kind of leapfrogging primer up to familiarize you with the basics.

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WTF?

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg reads this post by Dave Pollard and calls it "inspiring!"  I had a somewhat different reaction, more along the lines of, "Stalinesque lunacy!"

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Alternative giving

Via Joel Makower, check out the Alternative Gifts International (AGI) catalogue, for those of you who like giving holiday gifts but don't like filling up landfills.  Says Joel: In a world sated with gizmos, gadgets, and geegaws, AGI offers the opportunity to give simply, elegantly, and effectively. It works with reputable nonprofit agencies that aid established projects around the world. Its annual gift catalog is an education in itself. Each of the gift opportunities included features background information about the problem and how even a small contribution can make a big difference. Categories include child survival, development, disaster relief, education, …

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Chevron Texaco wins prestigious award

The Green Life, as part of their ongoing "take greenwash to the cleaners" series (countering corporate greenwashing efforts), has awarded Chevron Texaco their Greenwasher of the Month award. They have a fairly extensive piece comparing the company's eco-friendly advertising rhetoric with its actual behavior. Good reading.

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