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Jess Zimmerman's Posts

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a nuke hope

Instead of putting the brakes on nuclear plants, should we be building safer ones?

In the wake of a massive quake and a tragic, deadly tsunami, Japan is also dealing with a nuclear catastrophe. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) has said that this should inspire us to "put the brakes on" nuclear development until further notice, and China and Germany are shutting down development and existing reactors. But what about safer options? Do they exist, and would they make a difference? The core of a molten salt reactor, some of which use thorium fuel.Thorium fuel. The radioactive element thorium has been floated as a safer alternative to uranium for nuclear power. Thorium waste doesn't stay …

Read more: Uncategorized

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what ho

How to deck your bike out like a Victorian gentleman

Photo: Walnut StudioloYou may not rock a velocipede, but that's no reason why you shouldn't be tooling around town looking like Sherlock Holmes. Step one: handsome vintagey leather bike accessories. Step 2: tweed helmet hat. Grow, purchase, or rent a handlebar mustache and get ready to pretend the last 200 years never happened. Photo: bitchcakesny Read more: "Beautiful Leather Bike Accessories from Walnut Studiolo," Core77  

Read more: Biking, Living

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one word: plastics

How plastic could help save the environment

Plastic isn't the problem, you are, says science writer Susan Freinkel. Freinkel argues that plastic could actually help save the environment -- it takes less energy to produce than many other materials, it makes a lot of green tech possible, and it replaces materials that are "sustainable" only because they come from destroying animals or trees. We just have to start appreciating it and stop throwing it away. The problem is our disposable culture, not what we're disposing, says Freinkel. It's not plastic's fault that we compulsively toss out bags and bottles after a single use. That's dumb, wasteful behavior …

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solar, so good

Is your area solar-ready? Check out this gorgeous map

Chart: National Renewable Energy Laboratory The places you would go to get some sun aren't necessarily the places with the most potential for solar energy. The Southwest is a giant hotspot; Florida and Hawaii are only okay. Check out this map to find the solar potential where you live. Read more: "Good Sun," Xcel Energy

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pr disaster

Representative warns against ‘overreacting’ to tsunami by saving lives or whatever

Shorter Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.): "If the GOP cuts tsunami monitoring, people will die." If you cut on detection of tidal waves, volcanic eruptions, severe weather events, weather buoys, satellite observation and weather patterns, those sorts of things, people will die. Shorter Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa): "Come on, let's not overreact to a few thousand people dying by trying to prevent more deaths." The tsunami warning centers, it's really -- the timing of that really puts attention on the subject matter ... I think we often over-react to emergencies, especially natural disasters. Read more: "Rep. Peter DeFazio: People Will Die From GOP …

Read more: Politics

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meals to go

Here’s why you can’t afford food anymore

Food prices jumped 3.9 percent in February, the largest one-month increase since November 1974. It's turtles all the way down: Grocery prices are up, wholesale food prices are up, prices for staples like corn and grain are up. Here's a few things you won't be affording in the future: Bacon. The retail price for bacon went up 17 percent. Will this make Etsy sellers shut up about it? Maybe we can engineer a drastic price increase for mustaches. Bananas: Is that a banana in your pocket, or is it NOTHING? Before bananas go extinct they're going to make us go …

Read more: Food, Sustainable Food

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milk milk lemonade

Japanese video explains nuke disaster with poo

"If he poops and it leaks from his diaper, it still won't be as bad as Chernobyl."

Read more: Climate & Energy

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foxing it up

Majority of Americans still understand global warming, despite best efforts of Fox

A new Gallup poll shows that 52 percent of Americans understand that global warming is due more to human activities than natural variation, and only 43 percent believe the opposite. That's marginally better than last year -- 50 to 46, barely holding on to a "believe in science" majority" -- but way down from 2007, when 61 percent knew that basic fact. There have also been slight improvements in how many people think global warming is "exaggerated" -- 43 percent of those polled, down from 48 -- but in 2007 it was 35 percent. It's good that people's knowledge is …

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trips up homes down

Wanna green your ride? Ditch the Prius, hop on a train

Chart: EPA Here's one to piss off the yuppies: Driving your hybrid car from your Energy Star home to the food co-op is not as green as hopping on the subway from your apartment. A new EPA study says that moving from a car-oriented to a transit-oriented community has the biggest impact on your energy usage -- more than green buildings or green cars. Of course, doing something is better than nothing. Not everyone can move to multi-family building in a transit-oriented city, which the study found is the greenest way to go (besides, of course, moving to a multi-family …

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a little koch bump

Romney may be the Koch mule of Campaign 2012

Meet the new boss, whose boss is the same as the old boss's boss. Looks like David Koch has already hosted a fundraiser for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign. Romney has in the past acknowledged the existence of global warming, which is pretty good considering, but now we're waiting for him to cut and paste the Koch-group-drafted denialism into his 2012 statements. Read more: "Tea Party Billionaire David Koch Hosted One Of Mitt Romney's First Fundraisers For 2012 Campaign," ThinkProgress

Read more: Politics