Jonathan Hiskes

Jonathan Hiskes is a writer in Seattle and a former Grist staff reporter. Find him at and on Twitter.

Kids these days

Young greens, old greens, and cities

San Francisco Chronicle columnist John King has a smart piece on the "generation gap" between old-school environmentalists suspicious of urban development and younger greens who see density as essential.

me and my shadow

9 things I learned by shadowing a home-energy inspector

Everyone knows that weatherization is the super-duper-est economic policy ever. But forget policy for a moment. Let's look at how it works out in the real world.

fools' fuels

A brief (stylish, animated) history of fossil fuels [VIDEO]

The conclusion: "Our best goal is resilience: The ability to absorb shocks and keep going." I've long argued that our best goal is laser-guided hovercars (no friction, therefore optimum fuel efficiency), but resiliency's a pretty good goal too.

the green berets

Veterans Day, the new Earth Day?

It's a provocative argument that a clean-energy revolution depends on the military signing up. The good news is that it already has.

strange geometry

Ruin porn, exurban sprawl edition

A while back, Sarah noted the proliferation of Detroit "ruin porn" -- images and films that depict abandoned houses, crumbling factories, and desperately unemployed masses without showing that intelligent life does, in fact, remain in the city. There's something of a parallel trend for sprawl: illustrations of the overbuilt, over-mortgaged empty subdivisions littering exurban America. The implied message is quite often that these places were built carelessly and are unaffordable, unsustainable, and damn near unlovable.

gotta deny to get by

Christie finds the Right’s kingmakers demand orthodoxy on climate change

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie brings the latest evidence that there's no room in the Right's top ranks for anything but suspicion of climate science.


Home Energy Score could be a much-needed MPG for houses

The score gives a simple 1-10 rating of a home's energy performance and then -- this is the exciting part! -- a higher score owners might achieve if they take recommended steps like adding insulation, installing a programmable thermostat, shutting down the steel refinery in their basement, etc. So a home might achieve a 6 and have an expected upgraded score of 8.


Webcast: What is livability anyway?

On Thursday the electronics giant Philips offers a webcast on that aims to sketch out more of what livability means. It's got some interesting guests, including former London Mayor Ken Livingstone and Creative Class theorist Richard Florida.

Bellwether regions

The post-election outlook for regional cap-and-trade

It's a toxic phrase in pundit-land, but cap-and-trade is humming along in the Northeast and preparing to launch in California (and maybe other Western states). A Midwestern program is probably dead after victories by clean-energy-hostile Republicans.

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