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Mo’ trash

Speaking of trash, Joel Makower has a nice round-up of developments in the turning-waste-into-energy field. Turns out there is such a field, and it's busy as a bee.

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Detroit in the rearview mirror

When Scott Kirsner visited General Motors, he found its executives dismissive of Japanese automakers' focus on hybrids.  GM vice chairman of product development Bob Lutz said the decision not to make a hybrid "was a mistake from one aspect, and that's public relations and catering to the environmental movement." GM believes that hybrids are but a temporary stepping stone on the road to a bright, shiny, World's Fair-esque future of hydrogen-powered cars. Meanwhile, Toyota and Honda get farther and farther ahead in the hybrid market. Kirsner thinks Detroit is making a mistake, and makes a good case in Salon.com.

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Talking trash

Interesting post from occasional Gristmill contributor Alan Durning over on Cascadia Scorecard, about who's responsible for trash. You probably assume "local government," but it turns out there are more eco-friendly alternatives, percolating in British Columbia.

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Hydrogen at what cost?

Hydrogen is a clean-burning fuel, but it's difficult to make in quantity. What if we could make "the equivalent of 200,000 gallons of gasoline each day" in hydrogen with a single processing plant? That would be great, eh? What if we had to do it with nuclear power? Tough call. Green Car Congress has a mind-bendingly technical write-up of the process, if you're interested in the nuts and bolts. Could enviros embrace nuclear to get this much clean energy? What do you think?

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Charismatic carnivores

Tom Engelhardt profiles and presents an essay by Chip Ward, author of Hope's Horizon: Three Visions for Healing the American Land. It's about "charismatic carnivores," the big animals that eat us and that we are slowly and haltingly coming to love -- or at least coexist with in a reasonably non-savage manner. It's good reading.

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Frankenforest

Interesting article in the Christian Science Monitor on genetically modified trees that absorb more carbon, grow faster, are pest-resistant, and other such quasi-miraculous qualities. I have mixed feelings about genetic modification, which I suppose makes me an apostate in the enviro movement, wherein one is supposed to be reflexively against any such tampering. But why? This story is a good example -- there's a lot of handwaving about the dangers, but very little empirical evidence, or even reasoned argument, about them.Like this: "We're looking at a very dramatic impact on the ground here in the U.S., and especially the South," …

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Industrial freecycling

In the tradition of freecycling, NYC-based WasteMatch offers companies the ability to post their waste to a website, in case some other company has a use for, say, hundreds of cardboard boxes.  The idea is to save on waste-disposal fees -- thus the slogan, "Out of your dumpster, onto your bottom line." Just one of many great environmentally friendly ideas that offer a genuine service, make a profit, and require no government intervention. (via Treehugger)

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Much more on framing

Speaking of WorldChanging (and speaking of framing), Alex Steffen has an absolutely stellar post over there on ways environmentalists can frame their issues more successfully. I highly, highly recommend that everyone read it. Seriously. Go now. It connects to what I was trying to say here, and what I was trying to say here, but does so more thoroughly and insightfully, and gives the concrete examples that I'm sure we're all hungry for. Bravo, Alex. UPDATE: Also worth checking out: some clarification on framing from Kevin Drum.

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Metabloggery

Mike Millikin's Green Car Congress is the best place to keep up with the action in sustainable personal transportation.  WorldChanging is the best place to keep up with futuristic sustainability issues of a dizzying variety. Every Sunday, Mike contributes a post to WorldChanging, summarizing the week's developments in green transport. It's always good. This week's is no exception. Make it a weekly read.

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Salmon, haiku, Grist

The scrappy B.C.-based alternative online journal The Tyee recently published an interesting pair of point-counterpoint sytle pieces on farmed salmon. The first claimed farmed B.C. salmon were escaping into the wild; the second claimed that the first was hokum. But enough about salmon. Let's talk about the contest Tyee is running in conjunction with the pieces. It asks readers to send in ... haiku ... hey, wait a minute!  That sounds familiar! If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, well, consider us flattered.

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