Grist staff

Readers sound off on Bushisms, organic weed control, and more

  Re: Vehicular Geocide Dear Editor: The Bush administration declared that the EPA would not be regulating carbon dioxide emissions because he decided that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. How could his genius have escaped me for so long? What a masterstroke! In one sentence, he solved the problem of carbon dioxide pollution. I only wonder why he didn’t also declare that arsenic and mercury and agricultural runoff and sulfur dioxide and oil spills and all the rest of those nasties are also all not pollutants. Then we’d have nothing left to worry about! Margaret Eisenberger Chesterfield, Mo.   …

Conan the Eco-friendly Barbarian

Schwarzenegger Tries to Green His Image Arnold Schwarzenegger is trying to paint himself with a green brush as he revs up his campaign for the California governorship. Though he’s running as a Republican, he’s carving out positions at odds with the Bush administration on a number of issues, from logging in the Sierra Nevada to regulating carbon-dioxide emissions from vehicles to pushing energy conservation and solar power. Schwarzenegger is even talking about converting his gas-guzzling Hummer to run on clean-burning hydrogen. His campaign released an eight-page position paper on environmental issues last week, put together with help from Robert F. …

Deserters

Conference on Desertification Gains Little Ground The sixth international conference on desertification ended yesterday in Cuba with few results, save for a decision on how to finance efforts to slow the encroachment of arid regions and the loss of fertile lands. Leaders of 10 African and Caribbean nations attending the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification agreed to use the Global Environment Facility as their main funding source by applying for some of the $500 million in related grants the GEF will make available over the next three years. Desertification is caused by deforestation, overgrazing, drought, and climate change; it affects …

Andy Holdsworth, conservation biologist

Andy Holdsworth is a PhD candidate in conservation biology at the University of Minnesota. He studies the ecological effects and conservation implications of nonnative earthworms in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Tuesday, 2 Sep 2003 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. There is a blurry line between work and play in my life. My wife, Hillary, learned this lesson for the Nth time this Labor Day weekend. She agreed to help me with one day of field research in exchange for a day of unscheduled canoeing and a day visiting a friend at a cabin in northern Wisconsin. As agreed, after six hours (less than a …

Readers sound off on Kucinich, Roundup, speciesism, and more

  Re: Pigs in Open Space Dear Editor: There is nothing in this article about pigs and your use of the word as an insult to greedy, gluttonous developers is offensively speciesist. I expect Grist to be more sensitive and sensible. Mary Finelli Silver Spring, Md.   Re: ACT Up Dear Editor: Overall the article about the PAC set up to defeat Bush is to the point, but the stuff about Democratic complacency vis-a-vis African Americans is crap, as was the original New York Times article that made the same point. Unlike the Republican Party, the Democratic Party has to …

Skeptic Tanked

Scientific Panel Dismisses Reports from Danish Environmental Skeptic Recent environmental reports produced by Bjorn Lomborg, a Danish environmental skeptic, were found to be unscientific and of dubious value yesterday by a panel of independent Scandinavian scientists. Lomborg created a stir with his controversial book The Skeptical Environmentalist, in which he dismissed a wide range of environmental concerns as overblown. Last year, Denmark’s conservative government appointed Lomborg to head a new environmental think tank, the Institute for Environmental Valuation. Earlier this year, a prestigious Danish scientific committee charged Lomborg with scientific dishonesty, and the government then asked the independent panel to …

The Three Amigos

Three Major Companies Join Fight to Protect Tongass Office supply giant Staples and building companies KB Home and Hayward Lumber have joined with environmentalists in opposing a Bush administration proposal that would allow roads and development in southeast Alaska’s pristine Tongass National Forest. The three companies, all big users of wood products, have been working with enviro groups to reduce their consumption of old-growth wood and have sent letters to the U.S. Forest Service calling for roadless protections to be maintained in the Tongass as well as Alaska’s Chugach National Forest. “The homebuilding industry and similar industries do not need …

Friday in the Park With George

Bush Calls For More National Parks Funding; Critics Remain Skeptical Speaking at the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area on Friday, President Bush asked Congress to commit billions more dollars to the national park system, a move his supporters saw as evidence of his environmental commitment and critics called a pointless PR op. The president boasted that he’d already dedicated almost $2.9 billion to improving national parks and requested an addition $5 billion over the next five years. The National Parks Conservation Association contested those numbers, saying the $2.9 billion includes existing spending, not the new money that Bush pledged …

Food for Thought: At Yale Dining Hall, A New Food Ethic Emerges

The word “cafeteria” does not exactly bring to mind healthful, organic, and delicious dining — but Yale University is setting out to change all that. The ivy league institution has teamed up with Alice Waters (the chef who changed the face of American cuisine through Chez Panisse, her California restaurant) to create the Sustainable Food Project. When students return to Yale this fall, those who eat at Berkeley College, one of the university’s 12 dining halls, will be greeted with locally grown produce carefully crafted into “Real Food” — nutritious, simple, healthful meals. The project is designed not only to …