Lisa Hymas

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

Vacation tips for a climate-changed world

WSJ ranks island getaways by how they’ll hold during global warming

Power players in the U.S. are finally sitting up and taking note of climate change. But don't get hopeful just yet. They're not leaping to figure out how to retool our industrial system and stave off disaster. Rather, they're calculating which islands will make the best vacation getaways for the rich and famous in a globally warmed world. Yes, The Wall Street Journal has helpfully published "The Global Climate-Change Island Guide" [subscribers only, alas], informed by the new "Dow Jones Island Index" [PDF; should work even for non-subscribers], which analyzes "12 factors that reflect a range of environmental risks that islands and island tourists face." Of 40 islands examined, the top ranked for your continued vacation pleasure is Prince Edward Island off Canada's east coast. Of course, the average temperature in December is 24 degrees Fahrenheit, but maybe a little more warming will nudge that number up to a more comfortable range. Elites will be more happy to see that Martha's Vineyard ranks second on the list. Also scoring reasonably well: the Florida Keys, Grand Cayman Island, and Crete. Steer clear of Sri Lanka, though, which bottoms out the list. Other islands you might want to avoid: the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Fiji. Book those plane tickets and buy those third homes now, folks, before the plebs get ahold of this valuable data!

Mayor on a Vespa

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper has gone one better than those governors who've been feeling so smug about giving up their SUVs. He's tooling around town on a Vespa.

Whither New Orleans?

Speaking of rebuilding New Orleans, NPR's Living on Earth this week talks to a cross-section of city denizens -- including an artist, a bar owner, an environmental-justice activist, and a co-chair of Gov. Blanco's Louisiana Recovery Authority -- to get their opinions on what should come next for the Big Easy. Listen, or check out text and photos, on the LOE website.

Seattle Times on climate

Big front-page report says scientists agree: earth warming

Kudos to The Seattle Times and reporter Sandi Doughton for an extensive report on climate change that cuts through the bullshit. Dominating the front page of the Sunday paper, this headline and subhead: The truth about global warming Scientists overwhelmingly agree: The Earth is getting warmer at an alarming pace, and humans are the cause -- no matter what the skeptics say.

Calling all environmental journalists

Or at least you good ones. You might want to get your name in the running for a new annual prize for top-notch environmental reportage; the winner(s) of the Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment will take home $75,000. Info here.

Biking: good for the environment, sucky for your sex organs

Too much time on a bike can impair sexual performance, researchers say

Bummer news for cycling advocates. Word's long been around that spending too much time on a bike seat can impair your performance in the bedroom. Now, researchers in this arena are getting even more adamant in their admonitions. A New York Times article -- the No. 1 most-emailed on their site for the second day running -- highlights mounting evidence that frequent cycling by men can lead to a damaged perineum, loss of libido, "small calcified masses inside the scrotum," and/or impotence. Women, though less studied than men in this area, are also thought to be at risk. Dr. Steven Schrader, a reproductive health expert who studies cycling at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, said he believed that it was no longer a question of "whether or not bicycle riding on a saddle causes erectile dysfunction." Instead, he said in an interview, "The question is, What are we going to do about it?" ... The link between bicycle saddles and impotence first received public attention in 1997 when a Boston urologist, Dr. Irwin Goldstein, who had studied the problem, asserted that "there are only two kinds of male cyclists -- those who are impotent and those who will be impotent." The hope is that better-designed bicycle seats can save the day. Otherwise, all those new bike owners may soon lose their steel steeds, for fear of losing something they care about a whole lot more.

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