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More green musicians

We've gotten tons of emails from people who are all like "Why didn't my fav band make your '15 Green Musicians and Bands' list, yo?" Most of them are just sorta self-righteous and annoying. But today we got one from the good folks over on Spinner.com that pointed to their own list on the subject, which had some overlap with ours, as well as a few cool additions. Their No. 1 gets extra cool points: The Ditty Bops. As they describe them: To promote their 2006 album 'Moon Over the Freeway,' the female folk duo went beyond using eco-friendly biodiesel …

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NYC puts training wheels on new program

New York City is putting training wheels on a new bicycle-sharing program to demonstrate to city-dwellers that two-wheelers can be a viable form of alternative transportation. Sponsored by the Forum for Urban Design, a group of architects, designers, and planners, the five-day trial run has made 20 bikes available for free from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. for 30 minutes at a time. Bicycle-sharing programs are already thriving in European cities like Barcelona, Spain, and Lyon, France. A program in Paris will soon make 10,000 bicyclettes available for public use. "A ride-share program would reduce the dependency on automobiles," says David Haskell …

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A few random observations before getting back to work

Well, here I am, back from a nine-day vacation in the South, sunburned, mosquito-bitten, jet lagged, and generally dazed. Rather than wading through the 300 or so emails demanding my attention, how about a few vacation observations? I split my time between big-city Atlanta and the sort of not-quite-rural, not-quite-city, not-quite-suburb nether regions that, it seems to me, don't get enough attention in the kind of lay sociological analysis we enviros are prone to. Anyway, everywhere I went looked almost exactly the same: big highways, endless, indistinguishable strip malls, and isolated residential areas separated from any retail or services by …

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While planet burns, Boeing scores a PR victory

At the gym, in between hearing an EMT talk about the heat stroke issues he expects tomorrow, I marveled at how awful news programs were today, devoting huge chunks of time to talking up Boeing's new "Dreamliner" jet, which the blow-drieds say will consume 20 percent less fuel per mile. I even heard one blow say "eventually reducing the cost of air travel." Man, talk about delusional. (Oh, and I know I'm not supposed to connect things like our craze for jet travel and high temperatures, as if to suggest a connection between another spate of record breaking temperatures in …

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Catchy, catchy!

Someone -- possibly Bart A., who frequents these haunts -- came up with a magnificent line that ought to be widely repeated and put on T-shirts, bike stickers, etc: "The Future Has Pedals." Love it!

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What next? Socialized medicine?

A new report (PDF) claims that more Americans are likely to opt for diesel vehicles over hybrids in the near future in the quest for fuel economy: total sales of hybrids and diesels will hit 2.7 million annually by 2012, and diesels will account for more than half (1.5 million) of those sales. "A new diesel's cost burden is lower than hybrid's for similar fuel economy -- even with the 'clean' technologies needed to meet tough U.S. emissions regulations (including California)," the report claims. Good or bad, there's little doubt that more diesel vehicles are on the horizon.

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Can text messaging solve some of our cities’ climate & traffic challenges?

A story in the new Plenty magazine gives details on a cab company that's giving the late-night clubbing crowd of Liverpool great green service with the magic of text messages: It's a solution any 14-year-old would love: The challenges of foreign oil dependency, global warming, and gridlock are not so big that you can't text-message your way out of them. The Texxi text-dispatchers arrange carpool cab rides based on who's texting from where and their desired destinations. Besides the other benefits, it also saves its riders money, which is proving popular. The company is planning to leap the pond and …

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Just what India needs!

Really cheap cars. And so, hope continues to recede into the distance. Vroom vroom!

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Do parents lose or gain by taking kids outdoors?

I'm a little bitter about not playing soccer. Or softball. Or piano. I did take dance lessons, but the name "Klutzy Chrissy" didn't happen by accident. My parents preferred to send me outside. Even in our Detroit neighborhood, which developed a reputation during the last 30 years of offering a wide assortment of crack houses, my friends and I explored the alleys while making sure to wear shoes as protection from broken bottles. Ah, nature. My parents certainly didn't view themselves as the last of a dying breed. But as the National Forum on Children and Nature works to get …

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Hastings Makes Less Waste?

Central Nebraska town wins greenest city in America contest We say "greenest city in America," and you say -- Portland? Seattle? Savannah? Try Hastings, Nebraska. The town of 25,000 beat out some 350 other cities to win a contest sponsored by Yahoo! as part of the portal's "Be a Better Planet" initiative. Yes, we're pretty sure we just got suckered into giving Yahoo! a free plug, and we're not entirely sure that Hastings -- birthplace of Kool-Aid -- is ultra-green so much as ultra-good at organizing its residents to use Yahoo!. But we're still going to celebrate the fact that …

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