Katharine Wroth

Cities

Of soccer moms and sinister U.N. plots

When communities embrace sustainability, are they actually falling victim to the evil U.N. plot known as Agenda 21? A visit to a simple town meeting in New England reveals the surprising truth.

Bowling Alone

On Rand Paul, toilets, and getting pottymouthed in the New York Times

Coming soon to a senator’s house near you?When The New York Times wants really thoughtful, meaty commentary on issues like climate legislation, green technology, or local food systems, it turns to Grist writers David Roberts and Tom Philpott. When it wants toilet talk, it turns to … me. At least, that’s what happened this past week, when the editor of the Room for Debate forum approached and asked if I’d weigh in on Sen. Rand Paul’s bizarre outburst at a Senate hearing on energy efficiency — which David has since responded to with the generous offer of a new toilet. …

Sexy Retrofits

Vindication edition: Obama declares insulation “sexy”

Here at Sexy Retrofits, we’ve been pointing out for a while the absolute hotness of making buildings more energy efficient. Today, our President said this: “I know the idea [of investing in upgrades to inefficient buildings] may not be very glamorous, although I get really excited about it. Insulation is sexy stuff.” Know what else is sexy? Obama. Glorious day!

Two Legs Bad?

How about we stop claiming environmentalists are “anti-human”

Know what’s really depressing? Dragging out old saws about anti-human environmentalists.In the dark of night yesterday — OK, at 8:02 p.m. — Slate published a piece by Anne Applebaum that calls out the “anti-human prejudices of the climate change movement.” Specifically, she is worried that the news coming from Copenhagen is turning her nine-year-old son into a nihilist. Because her son used apocalyptic climate change as an excuse to not do his homework: “By the time I’m grown up, the polar ice caps will have melted and everyone will have drowned.” Seems to me her son is creative, clever, and …

Placemakers

Amy Bauman is greening the construction industry, one steel I-beam at a time

This interview is part of a series on people who are making their communities smarter, greener places to live. Got a nomination? Leave it in the comments section or send it along to us. Redoing a kitchen? Hosting a national convention? Demolishing a school? Things are bound to get trashy, and that’s where Amy Bauman comes in. A former financial analyst, Bauman founded a nonprofit called greenGoat in 2001 to help Boston-area architects and contractors green their projects and create less waste. From consulting on LEED plans to finding new uses for cast-off materials, the small greenGoat team has worked …

Boobs, Boobs, Nothing but boobs

PETA on one side, FOX on the other … now that’s a conundrum

In this corner, we have PETA, a shameless animal-rights organization that uses boobies to make its point at least — what, once or twice a minute? To wit: this latest, uh, holiday-themed ad featuring Polish Playboy model Joanna Krupa. In the other corner, we have FOX News and angry Christians: For a higher purpose?PETA.org “It’s totally inappropriate,” said Deal Hudson, publisher of InsideCatholic.com, an online magazine. “It’s another instance of disrespect toward Christianity and another example of the kind of abuse that would never occur with any other major religion, because the outcry would be so immediate and so loud …

Placemakers

A surprising sneak peek at the clothesline revolution

This interview is part of a series on people who are making their communities smarter, greener places to live. Got a nomination? Leave it in the comments section or send it along to us. Alexander Lee founded Project Laundry List as a Middlebury College undergrad in 1995, after hearing Dr. Helen Caldicott say we could shut down the nuclear industry if we all did things like hang out our clothes. He’s been true to the cause ever since, pushing for clotheslines across the land — even at the White House. Grist caught up with him to find out how hanging …

A Crawl to Arms

Seventh Generation launches anti-toxics campaign with wee gimmick

Seventh GenerationAt first blush, one’s enthusiasm for the Million Baby Crawl would seem to depend largely upon three things: 1) enthusiasm for babies, real and animated; 2) a penchant for baby-related puns (we’re going to rattle Congress!); and 3) interest in frittering away time on the interwebs. But that does a disservice to the intention behind this effort, which is to rally support for reform of the nation’s chemical policies. You don’t have to have babies — or even wuv them! — to want the feds to better regulate the toxics that find their way into our homes and bodies. …

It Could Be Verse

Climate-news poem: Protest edition

The International Day of Climate Action spearheaded by 350.org has already kicked off, and will involve more than 4,800 events in 171 countries. Find one near you — and then tell Grist about your big time! Sometimes it can be quite expedient To act all quiet and obedient. But now’s the time, across the land:Get off your butt and take a stand! On October 24, climate voices ring — from Mongolia to Maine.350.org

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