Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Living

Comments

New climate campaign aimed at U.S. consumers

A European campaign to raise consumer awareness of climate change has made its U.S. debut. The Together campaign -- not to be confused with the similarly named-and-agendaed "we" campaign -- was initiated by the nonprofit Climate Group and kicked off in the U.S. by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. Various nonprofits, companies, and politicians are involved; Together, they'll seek to guide consumers to greener products and practices (aggregating the CO2 and dollars saved in an aptly named "Togetherizer"). "I extend my best wishes for every success in saying 'Hasta …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

Comments

A primer on organic wines, and a sweet way to bring them to the table

Psst! Organic wine doesn't suck. About 15 years ago, a friend brought an organic wine to a dinner party I was giving. He explained to me that in addition to being made from grapes that are grown organically, organic wines don't contain any added sulfites (some sulfites occur naturally as a result of the fermentation process). Since I try hard to use organic products as much as I can afford to, I began to look for organic wines when I went shopping. The choices were few and far between. Wine-industry people I knew seemed to hate the organic wine. They'd …

Read more: Food, Living

Comments

Ian McEwan writing a novel about climate change — with funniness!

Ian McEwan. Photo: Eamon McCabe Booker Prize-winning British novelist Ian McEwan, now best known for Atonement, is at work on a new novel about climate change that will include "extended comic stretches," The Guardian reports. The unnamed work isn't due out for another two years, but McEwan read an excerpt to an audience in Wales on Sunday. The protagonist of the forthcoming novel is Nobel Prize-winning physicist Michael Beard, who aspires to save the planet, and also fights a more mundane battle against his food cravings. Reports The Guardian's Judith Soal: [McEwan] said he had wanted to tackle climate change …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

Comments

Umbra on carbon calculators

Dearest Umbra, I recently heard an interesting interview on NPR, and the speaker was talking about how, to stop global warming, all humans would have to limit their carbon emissions to just one ton of carbon per person, per year. I've never weighed my carbon emissions, but I'm going to guess that I throw a lot more weight around than one ton. What would I have to do to slim my ton to one? I'm approaching my carbon tonnage like a diet -- I need to know how many "calories" I'm bringing in through what I consume, drive, and engage …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

Comments

Discovery’s new green network launches tomorrow

Do not adjust your television set. What you are seeing -- the rebranding of Discovery Home Channel as Planet Green -- is perfectly normal. Actually, it's better than normal; it's making "green" normal. Beginning at 6 p.m. EDT tomorrow, some 50 million homes will be introduced to 250 hours of original green lifestyle programming as the 24/7 Planet Green network launches. Here's a look at the lineup: Premiering in June Alter EcoThe Show Formerly Known As The Green Life is billed as a makeover series wherein Adrian Grenier and "his entourage" help everyday folk go green. And yes, I've already …

Read more: Living

Comments

Are we medicating and educating our solutions away?

Best talk on education ever, from Sir Ken Robinson:

Read more: Living

Comments

An Inconvenient Musical plays on

Think the idea of An Inconvenient Opera is a bit off-key? You might be singing a different tune after reading this: Apparently, An Inconvenient Musical opened to sold-out crowds in Toronto last summer. Says Kurt Firla, co-director/writer of the production: It's a satirical look at the climate crisis, corporate greed, and the general public's reluctance to do anything about the problem. It features some of Toronto's top improvisers/comedians, and we're giving $1 from each ticket to the David Suzuki Foundation. The theater will also be powered by renewable energy. The show will run again in Toronto beginning mid-June, and they're …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

Comments

Your sporting roundup for the month

Apparently, people are still playing sports. Who knew? Beijing Olympics 2008: The Games will be "basically" carbon neutral, according to one official. Technology Minister Wan Gang predicts that the Olympics will emit 1.3 million tons of carbon dioxide -- thanks in large part to athletes' travel -- but that keeping cars off the road and planting trees will "ensure that emissions will be balanced." China's Environmental Protection Minister expressed cautious optimism: "At the current level of progress and intensity, we can meet national standards and our government's Olympic pledge under ordinary weather conditions. But we must be clear-headed that the …

Read more: Living

Comments

Ozone-depleting asthma inhalers being phased out

Asthma inhalers containing ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons will be phased out by the end of 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Friday. The phaseout of CFCs is required under the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty that the United States actually deigned to sign on to. Alternatives to CFC inhalers use hydrofluoroalkanem as a propellant; HFA inhalers may taste different, feel different, require more regular cleaning, and cost about $20 more. Some 52 million inhalers are prescribed in the U.S. each year, and the FDA estimates that some 65 percent of inhaler users have already switched to HFA.

Read more: Living

Comments

More hybrid electric bikes hit the streets

I have received hundreds of emails from people wanting to build a hybrid electric bike. I have a standard response that attempts to dissuade them, which seems to work pretty well: You will have to spend about $1,400 on parts, excluding the bicycle. When it breaks -- and it will break -- you will be on your own to fix it. If you are not a reasonably fit cyclist and expect this bike to perform like a scooter, you are going to be disappointed. This generally takes care of the technically challenged chain smokers looking for a cheap scooter. I …

Read more: Living