Living

Infrared, Schminfrared

4.5 things I learned at my energy audit

As my family and co-workers will readily attest, I looked forward to my energy audit with disturbing anticipation after I made the appointment about a month ago. I was nearly giddy at the thought of having all my energy-efficiency questions answered: Should I replace my windows? Insulate? Wrap my water heater? Were there huge drafts in my basement that I didn’t know about? It was a bit like waiting for a first date with someone who came highly recommended. Only with the promise of lower utility bills instead of … well. Other things. I was sure this guy would have …

Investors and companies should pay attention to the service industry that’s emerging to meet these massive new demands for information.

You can only manage what you measure

A decade ago, health-conscious consumers forced manufacturers to list nutritional information on food packages. We’ll soon be able to make buying decisions based on carbon content too - - taming our waistlines and “waste lines” at the same time.

Beware of 'BAD' puns

Bloggers of all stripes grab a piece of the climate pie for Blog Action Day 2009

Maybe you’re a medical student in Hungary who finds release by detailing your daily life online. Or you’re an avid chronicler of the latest baby-name trends. Whatever your background or topic of choice, you’re a blogger — and you probably have an audience of at least one. Now multiply your blog times 9,000 others across the world. Now imagine all of these blogs agreeing to post about the same important topic on the same day, in order to raise awareness and create a dialogue for change with their millions of readers. Bingo: you’ve got Blog Action Day. The theme for …

Knock Me Over With a Paradigm Shift

The best part about climate change

On a recent work day at the JP Green House, volunteers came out of the woodwork.Leise JonesOne of the early effects of climate change was the demise of my marriage. I was living a comfortable, middle-class life that was all wrong for my politics, and my essential devotion to simplicity. At some point in my mid-twenties I had gotten nervous, and opted for the safety of a life much like my parents’. It worked until I encountered the work of James Hansen and Bill McKibben in the late 1990s, and the part of me that longed to live and work …

We Will All Go Down Together

Ask Umbra on climate weapons

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, What does a carbon offset do today for the planet? It seems to me like these vehicles are more for our guilty conscience than for real change. What do you think? Ingrid G.Chicago, Ill. A. Dearest Ingrid, Get involved in the climate fight — become a Climate Citizen today.I am about to leave carbon offsets behind, but I want to use your letter to do two things: clarify a comment I made in Monday’s column, then step up on my cap-and-trade soapbox. First: I got a little too extreme on Monday what …

I Gave at the Office

Ask Umbra on offsetting work trips

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, Lately I have been traveling a lot for work. This has made me seriously consider buying offsets for these trips. I know that it is better to not travel at all, but outside of quitting my job I can’t get around it. I have considered spending money on projects around the house to lessen my footprint, but using a carbon offset seems to give you more bang for the buck. My question is, are these offsets really helping or should I save my money for a bigger ticket item like a solar …

Road hogs

NASCAR and the high-octane American dream

The action at the Talladega Superspeedway.At dawn on a hazy autumn morning, the rising sun spilled over the steel grandstands of the Talladega Superspeedway like foam from a cracked can of Bud. This image likely came to mind because I was lying beneath a tarp in a scrubby Alabama meadow carpeted with empty beer cans — an area known as Talladega’s Family Parking Field C. The 2.66-mile Talladega racetrack, located about 50 miles east of Birmingham, is the world’s second-largest car-racing venue, with a mile-long grandstand built to accommodate more than 140,000 fans. Around my L.L. Bean tent were some …

A BRILLIANT PROPOSAL

Entourage season finale delivers surprises and sustainability

Warning: If the season finale of Entourage is waiting on your TiVO and you haven’t watched it yet, come back and read this post later as it contains spoilers. On the season finale of HBO’s Entourage, Matt Damon stole the show with a guest appearance as a well-meaning yet overbearing version of himself. But another dazzling cameo slipped under the radar. Damon pressures Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) to contribute time and money to OneXOne, a charity for which Damon is a real-life ambassador. Damon won’t take no for an answer, enlisting Bono and LeBron James to help pressure the vacuous …

is it too late?

A video interview with Bill Moyers

Renowned journalist Bill Moyers has seen a thing or two during his career, including the incredible social change wrought during the LBJ administration. He talks with Grist about what it takes to change direction in America, whether it’s too late to act on climate, and what he thinks of climate skeptics.

Welcome to the new Grist. Tell us what you think, or if it's your first time learn about us. Grist is celebrating 15 years. ×