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Jess Zimmerman's Posts


Power Shift recap: ‘Stuck on stupid,’ money pollution, and Snuffleupagus

Are you rallying in D.C. right now for the Power Shift 2011? You're NOT? Well, lucky for you we've been posting highlights over the weekend. Here's what you missed, you poor sap: Former White House advisor Van Jones wants to hold both parties to high standards, but he's not sure they'll live up to it. Luckily, the kids are all right. "While they're stuck on stupid in D.C., your generation is rising," he told young activists in his address. Jones, derided by Tea Party asshats as some kind of terrifying liberal Black Panther commie, hit hard on the idea of …

Read more: Politics


Supreme Court set to weigh in on whether we can hold companies responsible for climate change

Tomorrow, the Supreme Court is set to rule on American Electric Power vs. Connecticut, a case where the state of Connecticut is suing a power company for contributing to global warming. Trying to research the legal details of this case is making me cry, so I hope you people appreciate the following bullet points, which will hopefully spare you having to do the same: At issue, big picture: Can states and private entities sue utilities for contributing to climate change? At issue, smaller pictures: Do states and private entities have a leg to stand on when complaining about climate change? …


What Google predicts for the future of life on earth

XKCD has collated Google's predictions for the next century, and it is dire, and also optimistic, and also weird. Another excerpt and some key findings below the fold, or see the whole thing here. Here's how the future is shaping up, according to Google: Jesus will return in 2018 and again in 2023, and will rule Earth by 2068. That same year, the entire world population will turn gay due to chemicals. Despite the Jesusocracy, religion will be marginalized by 2079. The world population will pass 9 billion in 2043, peak in 2070, then drop to 1 billion by 2082, …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living


The ultimate hippie mobile: An electric VW bus

Volkswagen has unveiled an electric concept vehicle based on the classic VW bus. The Bulli has a driving range of 184 miles, so if it goes into production, it could get you and your friends to Bonnaroo from as far away as Atlanta. It's smaller than the original bus, but it still seats five -- room for Shaggy, Velma, Fred, Daphne, and Scooby.


Nearly half of supermarket meat is tainted, says disgusting new study

Now would be a good time to go vegetarian, or demitarian, or just find a reputable butcher. A new study from the Translational Genomics Research Institute has found that 47 percent of tested samples of supermarket meat and poultry were infected with Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which causes a range of health problems including skin infections and food poisoning. Half of the bacteria found in the study were resistant to at least three antibiotics. So if you buy meat at the grocery store, you've got a one in four chance of bringing home a drug-resistant superbug. As long as you're cooking …


Feed your plants this photosynthetic gourmet meal

Artist Jonathon Keats has cooked up a light meal for plants. The full five-star affair will be showing at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, but here's the fast-food version, suitable for your houseplants or your urban garden: “My recipes are all based on the scientific study of plant physiology, applied to the fine art of cuisine,” Keats told “I’m publishing the recipe book so gardeners everywhere can prepare gourmet sunlight for their plants at home. For people who are lazier, or keep only a few plants indoors, I packaged my signature recipes for easy consumption by videotaping select …

Read more: Food, Urban Agriculture


How to explain climate change to Joe Sixpack

(click to embiggen) Look, not everyone's motivated by the threat of extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and threatened habitats. But nobody likes warm beer. Use this chart to put climate change in perspective for the beer guzzler in your life. (Note: Will not work in Britain.)


Top 10 greenest states — how does yours stack up?

Vermont New York Washington Oregon Minnesota California Nevada New Hampshire Massachusetts Maine Hmm ... based on this, we're going to go ahead and say that if you want a green state, the best possible location is the middle of the alphabet. Beyond that, any surprises here? Vermont has "green" right in the name (albeit in French), so that hardly seems fair. But Nevada? If you're going to have one city built on the concept of spectacular waste, I guess it really helps to have low population density outside of that. Check out the rest of the rankings at Greenopia -- …

Read more: Living


Half-naked college students protest coal

Oh, college students.They'll use just about anything as an excuse to take off their clothes. We'll give them this one, though, because this bunch of barely-legals is stripping down for a good cause: Raising awareness about the harm coal mining -- and coal-powered universities -- can do to the environment. The anti-coal undies were designed by organic-clothing designer PACT, and 10 percent of the proceeds goes to helping the Sierra Club find coal-free solutions. The boys and girls gone wild were provided by the Sierra Club Student Coalition. Hey, it works for PETA.

Read more: Climate & Energy, Coal


Lobster golf balls: Possibly the most bourgeois green solution ever

Finally, researchers have come up with a biodegradable golf ball for use on cruise ships! So when you knock your ball off your GIANT ENERGY HOG FLOATING CITY, it will only brain a dolphin, not collect on the bottom of the ocean. Earth: saved! The balls are made out of lobster shells, so that after you take off your linen bib and leave the captain’s table, you can put on your plus-fours and repair to the Lido Deck to hit the remains of your meal into the sea. Other upcoming recycling projects include an all-natural massage chair for your island …