Lisa Hymas

Lisa Hymas is senior editor at Grist. You can follow her on Twitter and Google+.

The GINK Chronicles

Debunking the “you’d be a great green parent” argument

A number of commenters on my “I’m childfree and I’m proud” post, both here and on Facebook, argued that I’m just the sort of smart, eco-groovy person who should be having kids, to ensure that there’s a new generation of thoughtful and active citizens to carry on the good fight.  Thanks for the compliment!  But I have to respectfully disagree.  For starters, I’ll turn again to wise words from Stephanie Mills, who heard similar arguments after she announced her intention to remain childfree in 1969: There were well-intentioned folks who told me that I was just the kind of person …

The GINK manifesto

Say it loud — I’m childfree and I’m proud

In 1969, graduating college senior Stephanie Mills made national headlines with a commencement address exclaiming that, in the face of impending ecological devastation, she was choosing to forgo parenthood.  “I am terribly saddened by the fact that the most humane thing for me to do is to have no children at all,” she told her classmates. I come here before you today to make the same proclamation—with a twist. I am thoroughly delighted by the fact that the most humane thing for me to do is to have no children at all. Making the green choice too often feels like …

Notable quotable

Democratic candidate in Colo. guv race questions climate science

“I get in trouble every time I say this, but I’m not 100 percent absolutely sure that climate change is occurring at the rate that some people fear it is and is going to be as catastrophic.” – Denver mayor and gubernatorial candidate John Hickenlooper, speaking at the Colorado Rural Electric Association’s annual meeting.  Hickenlooper had previously called for action to stave off climate change and even attended the Copenhagen climate summit in December.  Any wonder Republicans are accusing him of flip-flopping?  

The efficient life

What are your best ideas for saving energy at home?

Our friends at Slate have launched a new project that’s collecting practical suggestions for living a more energy-efficient life. Check out the ideas offered so far, vote on your favorites, and submit your own.  A panel of judges, including yours truly, will help choose the top ideas.  If you’re in the D.C. area, join Slate (and me) at live event on March 10:  A conversation about personal energy efficiency: What are the most useful ideas? And what are the best ways to persuade Americans to adopt them? Wednesday, March 10, 2010 House of Sweden, 2900 K St. NW, Washington, D.C. …

Get yourself free

Hop on the bus, texters

A French lad texting in an appropriate venue.Photo: TopheeNearly two-thirds of Millennials, aged 18 to 29, admit to texting while driving, according to a new Pew Research Center report [PDF]. Texting while driving is “insanely dangerous,” Clive Thompson reminds us in Wired. “Studies have found that each time you write or read a text message, you take your eyes off the road for almost five seconds and increase your risk of collision up to 23 times. The hazard is ‘off the charts,’ says David Strayer, a University of Utah professor who has studied the practice.” While government officials fret about …

Sow your wild votes

10 races to watch in 2010

  California House race, 19th Congressional District Richard Pombo is back!  He antagonized environmentalists as chair of the House Resources Committee (he even removed the word “Natural” from the committee’s name) until 2006, when he got beat by a renewable-energy booster. For his comeback attempt, he’s carpetbagging from the 11th Congressional District, site of his ignominious defeat, to the adjacent 19th, which is more rural and Republican. In the GOP primary, to be held on June 8, he’ll be up against state Sen. Jeff Denham, who has been endorsed by the retiring seat-holder, Republican George Radanovich. Enviros are aghast to …

Don't bet on it

What are the chances of a cap-and-trade system being established in the U.S. this year?

16.9 percent, according to Intrade.com, an online betting site — down from 59 percent last summer, but up from 12.7 percent late last month.  Odds on cap-and-trade getting through by the end of 2011 are now at 25 percent, an all-time low.

Tea Party tirade

Palin bashes ‘cap and tax’ and commends Obama on nuclear

Sarah Palin’s much-anticipated speech Saturday night at the first National Tea Party Convention in Nashville included a one-minute-and-20-second disquisition on energy policy.  She hit on her familiar talking points — drill here, drill now, “cap-and-tax” sucks. But she also commended Obama for highlighting nuclear power during his State of the Union address, a brief departure from her otherwise sneering tone toward the president. (“How’s that hopey-changey thing workin’ out for you?” was more typical.) Considering that Palin was paid $100,000 for the 40-minute speech, this excerpt represents $3,333 worth of her wisdom:  And to create jobs, Washington should jump-start energy …

No good speech goes unpunished

Will Google’s fight with China stymie climate negotiations?

If any progress is to be made in the global fight against climate change — whether via diplomatic negotiations or cleantech partnerships — it will only happen through cooperation between the U.S. and China.  But the potential for collaboration of any kind took a big blow this past week thanks to the Google fracas.  Reports The New York Times: Beijing and Washington both initially tried to treat the Google case as mainly a commercial dispute. But Mrs. Clinton’s speech on Internet freedom on Thursday, with its cold war undertones, has catapulted the dispute from the realm of technology and cybersecurity …

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