Emily Gertz

Emily Gertz is a New York City-based freelance journalist and editor who has written on business, design, health, and other facets of the environment for Grist, Dwell, Plenty, Worldchanging, and other publications.

Keep on Trucking

Nouvelle food trucks make fast food with slow values

Can local, sustainably grown, organic ingredients make street food actually good for us -- and the planet?

Revealing the mysteries of Pittsburgh

Pa. Rep. Doyle on getting blue-collar support for a climate bill

Rep. Mike Doyle chats with Grist.Photo: G20VoiceDuring last week’s G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.) was out and about networking with climate-action advocates and talking up the city’s green cred.  A southwestern Pennsylvania native, Doyle comes from a steelworking family and has been a friend to the industry during his nine years in Congress.  But he’s also an outspoken proponent of the greening of Pittsburgh, where environmental cleanup, green jobs growth, energy-efficient building, and cleantech R&D have transformed a dying steel town into a lively pioneer of 21st century urban revitalization. Doyle, a senior member of the House …

G20, your resolution sounds terrific

G20 cans fossil-fuel subsidies, but fails to make other climate-conserving moves

Let man tear asunder.On Friday afternoon, President Barack Obama formally announced that the world’s 20 major developed and developing nations had agreed to gradually eliminate fossil-fuel subsidies.  It was the only climate-specific policy directive to come out of the Group of 20 (G20) Summit in Pittsburgh, and it fell far short in the view of climate activists, who were hoping for a firm proposal on “climate finance” — G20 aid to poor nations for help in adapting to and mitigating climate change. “Removing fossil-fuel subsidies could be an important step towards cutting CO2 emissions,” said Oxfam climate advisor David Waskow …

G20 climate fail?

Climate protesters hit the streets in Pittsburgh during G20 meeting

Young activists from the Avaaz Action Factory joined the mass “People’s March” into downtown Pittsburgh on Friday afternoon, not far from the site of the G20 Summit, after holding their own climate-focused march in the morning.  Their Twitter-friendly slogan is “G20 Climate FAIL,” criticizing what they say has been a lack of action toward a global climate treaty.  In particular, they believe President Obama is failing to show leadership on setting firm timelines and targets for cutting greenhouse-gas emissions.    Still, the Avaazians remain hopeful that a significant agreement will emerge from December’s international climate treaty negotiations in Copenhagen, and …

I will SurvivaBall!

SurvivaBall: Your individual climate-change adaptation strategy

Halliburton’s custom-designed SurvivaBall.The world’s most upstanding corporate citizens, like Halliburton, Monsanto, and ExxonMobil, take climate change seriously.  It’s a serious opportunity for profit.  That’s why, in addition to spending millions to perpetuate the energy, environmental, and subsidy policies that sustain their ongoing operations, they’ve created this “gated community for one” — the SurvivaBall. Specially designed to enable its wearer to withstand months of drought, fierce hurricanes, and catastrophic floods (it floats on water!), the SurvivaBall makes it unnecessary to transition to a low-carbon economy or finance adaptation for the world’s poor. You can even dance in it!  As for procreation …

A Djimon in the rough

Actor Djimon Hounsou wants to show the human costs of climate change

Djimon Hounsou at the U.N. Climate SummitPhoto: United NationsActor Djimon Hounsou is just as snacky in real life as he was on the big screen in Blood Diamond, The Island, and Gladiator.  Better yet, he’s also a climate activist and humanitarian. As a global ambassador for the aid and development group Oxfam, Hounsou has traveled in sub-Saharan Africa and seen the direct links between climate change and human suffering.  “I’ve witnessed firsthand devastation with drought,” the Benin-born actor told reporters after he helped to kick off the U.N. Summit on Climate Change.  “Year after year, [local farmers are] still expecting …


Boxer, Kerry will introduce Senate climate bill next week

Cross-posted from Change.org. Sens. Boxer and Kerry at a climate rally in June.Photo: David Pierpont, NWF via FlickrLast night at Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum, Teresa Heinz read a message from her husband, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), that set the gala crowd to cheering:  He and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) will introduce a climate bill in the Senate next Wednesday. The bill will be backed by a strong and broad coalition, according to Kerry’s message, which Heinz delivered at a pre-G20 party sponsored by the U.S. Climate Action Network, and “will take a more comprehensive approach to dwindling oil reserves than …

China steals Cimate Week spotlight, but U.S. still in the hot seat

U.N. headquarters: Site of all the inaction.Photo: United NationsThe U.S. was given a starring role at the United Nations Climate Summit on Tuesday, but China stole the show. President Barack Obama had pride of place on the agenda, as the first head of state to speak to the gathered world leaders, ministers, and climate negotiators.  His speech, which was warmly received, offered rhetorically forceful yet wholly general commentary about the huge risks posed by climate change and the need for action.  Obama said nothing specific about what his nation was prepared to commit to in order to slash its emissions …

Power from the people

People pressure is key to action on climate change, say two climate movement leaders

Kumi NaidooKumi Naidoo and Lord Nicholas Stern couldn’t be more different when it comes to climate action. One is chair of a worldwide citizen activist coalition; the other an economist and academic. But each is a cautious optimist when it comes to international action on climate change: While it may not be probable that world leaders will forge a strong international climate treaty this year, it’s still possible. And citizen pressure is the key. One day before the United Nations’ day-long Climate Summit on Sept. 22–which features President Obama’s hotly anticipated first address to the U.N.–Naidoo sat down to talk …

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