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Tyler Falk's Posts


clinching the european vote

BP, other European polluters, pump money into Senate campaigns

There's a high conversion rate for European-funded climate skeptics running for the Senate.Photo: Ben KlemmThe way things have been going in the U.S. Senate, you wouldn't think enemies of climate change legislation (and of the science itself) would need any extra help. However, an analysis [PDF] by Climate Action Network Europe found that big European polluters such as BP are helping fund climate zombies running for the Senate. The CANE report said the companies, including BP, BASF, Bayer and Solvay, which are some of Europe's biggest emitters, had collectively donated $240,200 to senators who blocked action on global warming – …


Double Down syndrome

Memo to KFC: Using butts to sell breasts isn't new — just a new low

KFC is at it again. First the fast-food chain used the tiring stereotype that eating lots of meat is manly, to promote its belligerent Double Down chicken sandwich -- two chicken breasts with cheese and bacon in the middle. Now, in a much more troubling display of female objectification, it is paying women from Indiana University $500 to wear sweatpants with "Double Down" printed across the butt and hand out $5 coupons promoting the sandwich, according to AP. A KFC spokesperson, Rick Maynard, makes a lame case for the campaign, telling AP, "The idea of branding T-shirts and sweat pants …


Out of commission

White House criticized for blocking oil spill numbers

Worst-case estimates of the oil spill were kept from the public, a presidential commission says.Reports are in, and the results aren't good for the Obama administration's response to the oil spill. A presidential commission criticized the government for blocking worst-case oil spill estimates from the public, for underestimating the size of the spill, and for not being prepared for the wide-spread use of dispersants. And those are just a few of the slaps to be found in the four reports released by the commission on Wednesday. The White House responded, with the Office of Management and Budget denying it blocked …


cooking up a reform

Stove pollution causes 2 million deaths annually

A Nepali woman cooking over a wood-fed stove.Photo courtesy ah zut via FlickrEverybody knows that if you play with fire you get burned. But who knew wood-burning stoves were so especially deadly? According to the United Nations, stoves kill nearly 2 million people each year -- mostly women and children. That's because the stoves powered by crop waste, wood, coal, and even dung that are most common in the developing world cause dangerous indoor air pollution. Now the U.S. is looking to do something about it. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to pledge $50 million to purchase and …

Read more: Climate & Energy


dead in the water

What's next for the Gulf, and other green news

The life of the Macondo oil well might be over, but life goes on for residents living with the effects of the well’s disaster.Photo courtesy Deepwater Horizon Response via FlickrThe Macondo oil well is dead, but the saga of the BP oil leak goes on. Residents of the Gulf coast and the seafloor continue to struggle with the lingering effects of so much crude. So what's in store for the Gulf? (Hopefully not another Deepwater Horizon.) The AP reminds us that there is still oil in the water and that it's washing onto the shore, causing problems for fishers in …


rig deal

Drilling moratorium caused minimal job loss, and other green news

The White House says the deepwater drilling moratorium will have little impact on unemployment.Photo courtesy BP America via FlickrA report released by the Obama administration on Thursday said that the Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium has had little impact on unemployment, despite concerns that the ban would cripple the Gulf economy. An Interior Department estimate put the number of jobs lost at 23,000. The White House now says that number is between 8,000 and 12,000, and that many of the unemployed will return to work. Louisiana senators think the report is a bunch of crap, AP reports: [Sen. Mary] Landrieu …


Grow vacancy

Seattle’s new urban-ag models are sprouting in friendly soil

Alleycat Acres breaks ground on one of its donated lots.Photo courtesy e_pants via Flickr To roost or roast: Chickens at the Esbhani residence in Seattle.Photo: Tyler FalkAsif and Adila Esbhani let four chickens out of their coop and watch them search for bugs down the long, narrow dirt path next to the couple's Seattle home. The sleek new structure represents no small feat for the Esbhanis. "We never owned a saw until we decided to build the coop. It was our first trip to the lumber store," Adila told me on a chicken coop tour hosted recently by Seattle Tilth, …

Read more: Cities, Food


the man your man would perform like

Dear Old Spice Man, will using your product make me, um, less manly?

Dear Old Spice Man, I see you a lot on TV lately, running around with your shirt off telling me that I won't be a man if I don't use Old Spice Body Wash. I hate commercials that blatantly play at gender stereotypes. But I'm not gonna lie, these ads (and your response videos) do make me chuckle. However, I'm worried that your "manly" line of products may actually make me less manly. According to the Environmental Working Group, all but one of the 92 Old Spice products pose a moderate or high health risk to consumers, or all those …


Grilled Cheese?! Now that's what I call a hamburger!

WTFood: Friendly’s Grilled Cheese Burger Melt

Since KFC introduced the Double Down earlier this year, fast food chains are tripping over themselves to slap together as many of their limited menu items as possible. In the process they're churning out some pretty disturbing food-like substances. You can add the Grilled Cheese Burger Melt from the Friendly's restaurant chain to the growing list of WTFood items. This monster packs 1,500 calories and 97 grams of fat, but I guess that's what happens when you sell three sandwiches as one (at least it's two-thirds vegetarian!). Photo: Friendly's Friendly's, KFC, and IHOP still have nothing on SNL's "Taco Town," …


the real gooooooooooooooooal

Who would win the 2010 Green World Cup?

The 2010 World Cup is underway! Brazil and Spain may be the favorites, but superstars Kaka and Fernando Torres won't help their countries score on clean air and low greenhouse-gas emissions as they compete with some of the world's environmental powerhouses in the bid for the 2010 Green Cup. To celebrate the World Cup soccer teams whose nations are also champions of the environment, I pitted these countries against each other in the World Cup draw. I ranked the teams based on Yale's 2010 Environmental Performance Index -- instead of soccer skills -- to find out which countries advance to …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living