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Go veg ... Hollywood

PETA wants Hollywood hills ad space

Remember when I said the land just west of the iconic "Hollywood" sign was for sale? And then joked about interesting advertising opportunities? Yeah, I wasn't too far off ... PETA officials said they want to erect a large sign of their own to the west of the famed landmark that would spell out "Go Veg" in 45-foot-high letters. Heh. They said "erect."

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Zipcar merges with Flexcar, effs it all up

Has the east coast car-sharing company screwed up the west coast car-sharing company?

Late last year, the country's two major car-sharing companies, west-coast Flexcar and its larger east-coast cousin Zipcar, merged and became, um, Zipcar. Flexcar fans were concerned about the effects of the merger. Sadly, Flexcar fangirl Erica Barnett reports that they were decidedly negative: more expensive, fewer cars, less friendly service, etc. Zipcar, what hath thou wrought? Any Gristians have car-sharing experiences to share?

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Greenpeace and others protest Heathrow Airport expansion

Greenpeace and other eco-activists have been protesting mightily against a planned third runway for London's Heathrow Airport, which would demolish the nearby town of Sipson and, say activists, be completely counter to Britain's ambitious carbon-cutting goals. The airport-expansion plan has brought significant opposition from both politicians and residents; the British government has yet to make a final decision, but opponents fear it's a foregone conclusion.

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Progressive energy policy in Bayou City?

Carl Pope talks market failures with energy execs at Houston energy conference

Today's second panel -- Carl's, on "conservation and the environment" -- opened with remarks from Houston Mayor Bill White. Despite my earlier comments about the road-crazy Bayou City, Mayor White laid out some items from what appears to be a truly progressive energy agenda for Houston, including making it an international leader in green buildings. Some of his more interesting comments came when White told the story of being one of the staffers that helped write the Energy Policy & Conservation Act of 1975, the original fuel economy law. He spoke of the doubling in fuel economy occasioned by the …

Read more: Cities, Climate & Energy

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The greenest neighborhood?

Sustainable, carbon-neutral community built in Oregon

Last week the Center for American Progress began a series called "It's Easy Being Green," meant to recognize the steps communities, individuals, and organizations are taking to transform our country's energy use. Last week's column featured a new kind of neighborhood: Pringle Creek Community in Salem, Ore., named the 2007 Green Land Development of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders, may be the greenest neighborhood in the country. It uses 35 sustainable goals to guide planning and construction, including building an entire neighborhood of carbon neutral homes, encouraging contractors to use biodiesel, and creating a community garden. …

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Governors drink the Kool-Aid

State govs embrace the range of ‘alternative fuels,’ from nukes to clean coal to biofuels

The National Governors Association has linked up with "a team of Wal-Mart energy experts" to "green the capitols." That's fantastic -- and I'm sure it will draw well-deserved huzzahs in certain green circles. (It's touching to see Wal-Mart giving back some of what it has been siphoning off in state taxes!) But read a little deeper into the press release, and you see what the National Governors Association means by "green." Turns out that when it comes to energy, the govs love some pretty dubious stuff. I'll let Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell take it from here: [I]t's clear that charting …

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No country for thirsty men

In North Carolina’s Triangle, a severe drought has leaders stumped

North Carolina's Triangle -- Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh -- counts as the state's economic, educational, and political engine. It's also very quickly running out of water, parched by a severe drought. Are the area's leaders doing anything constructive to respond to the situation? So far, the signs aren't encouraging. I've been following the story in the excellent daily Raleigh News & Observer. On Monday, the N&O reported that Raleigh has exactly one agreement with another local entity to buy water in case of an emergency. The agreement is with Durham -- and there's a problem: Durham's is perhaps the …

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Percentage of 16-year-olds licensed to drive has dropped

The percentage of 16-year-olds with a U.S. driver's license has decreased sharply in the last decade, from 43.8 percent in 1998 to 29.8 percent in 2006. Rising insurance costs, expensive driver education, and an increase in indoor pastimes are more likely to be driving the trend than environmental awareness -- and sure, most yoots still get around in four-wheeled transportation, chaffeured by parents and friends. But at the very least, we suspect that fewer kids with a license means fewer cars idling for hours while teens grope in the back.

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Public investment: the counterargument

Geek humor

Volker Weber provides a strong counterargument to my posts favoring public investment (very funny, if you are a certain kind of geek):

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