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Green Onion

The Onion's green issue is out, and it's a doozy -- from eco-junkies recycling ("If you come across an old needle lying around, by all means, use it"), to crediting Working Assets' long-distance with the planet's survival, to an opinion piece by a smokestack ("Soon, my tummy starts to feel full. And when I feel like I can't hold any more, out pop the wonderful clouds!"). They even get in a poke at Steven Johnson! Priceless.

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15 green books you can actually read at the beach

Green books that are fun to read? What a novel idea. So maybe you'll finally have a chance to catch up on some reading this summer. But so many of those books about the environment seem kind of ... well, homework-y. What's a vacationing enviro to do? Turn to Grist for advice, of course! Here are 15 recent page-turners just perfect for stuffing in your hemp beach tote. Got sunny-day suggestions of your own? Let us know in the comments section below. The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring Richard Preston, Random House, 2007 Think nature writing is …

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An interview with author James Howard Kunstler

Author and social critic James Howard Kunstler, known for predicting our post-peak-oil future in nonfiction works such as The Long Emergency, has also brought his forecasts to life through fiction. His newest novel, World Made By Hand, describes the near future in a small town in upstate New York -- not unlike the place Kunstler himself lives today -- where a chain of global crises has forced the community to fend for itself. Despite the tragedy and violence that surround his characters, Kunstler says his vision of the future isn't nearly as grim as it might seem. "I resent the …

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An absorbing news story

A nice bit of engineering problem solving! Anything that discourages people from switching from incandescents (5 percent useful light, 95 percent wasted energy) to compact fluorescent bulbs while we wait for the prices on good LED bulbs to come down is a bad thing. One thing you hear from the nutjobs is how terrible the mercury in CFL bulbs is, and what an EPA nightmare you will have on your hands if you break one of these in your house. A clever solution is pending: Providing a small bit of mercury absorbing treated cloth with the bulbs so that, in …

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A new way of thinking

Manufactured Landscapes is as good as they say

Obviously I need to watch movies faster. Almost a year ago today I posted about wanting to watch Manufactured Landscapes, featuring the work of photographer Edward Burtynsky, mainly shot in China. I finally got around to it. Not only is the movie visually arresting, but it is very, very disturbing. Surprisingly to me, the sparse narration includes a pretty good description of peak oil. The filmmaker, Jennifer Baichwal, shows some incredible aerial shots of a ginormous highway octopus interchange and Burtynsky talks about what he calls his "oil epiphany" while he was driving one day, when he realized that nearly …

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Oh lord, won't you clean up my Mercedes-Benz?

Mercedes to offer a petroleum-free lineup by 2015

In the next seven years, Mercedes-Benz wants to eliminate petroleum-powered vehicles from its lineup. According to AutoblogGreen, "The German giant is working on a variety of technologies that will help provide crude oil free transport such as battery electrics, fuel cells and highly efficient internal combustion engines that can operate on biofuels." The automaker already has two new powertrains in either the concept or trial stages of development. The concept F700, which debuted in Frankfurt in fall 2007, is powered by a DiesOtto engine that combines Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition with spark ignition to get nearly the same efficiency as …

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From Yellin’ to Melon

Are you yella? Kids driving you crazy? Steer 'em onto this trike: the louder they scream, the farther away they'll go. The shitty by the bay San Franciscans will flush with pride when they honor the nation's Number One with a building that filters their number two. The soon-to-be George W. Bush Sewage Plant is adjacent to the S.F. Zoo -- perhaps a Dick Cheney Duck Pond is in order? Photo: Jamison via Flickr Upwardly mobile For sale: Beautiful rotating home in premium Dubai location. Eighty-story shape-shifting skyscraper feeds turbine power back to the grid. Constantly changing view! Yours for …

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Massholes in hybrids, video

Five Boston Globe reporters compete in ‘Mileage-athon’

Highest mpg wins: (Thank you, Ann!)

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Tell Costco to stop selling climate crack

Compressed air cans are contributing to ozone destruction

Photo: Jeff Mo There was an interesting post a while ago about the havoc created by compressed air cans -- you know, the ones you use to dust off your keyboard. Who knew that they were full of intensely powerful greenhouse gases? I sure didn't, but thanks to Eric de Place, now I do -- so I make myself insufferable whenever I see someone with one, and I point out how easy it is to just turn the keyboard over and knock the crumbs out. But whenever I see a pallet of those cans sitting in Costco or one of …

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Climate change ideas for On Day One

Day four of the UN Dispatch-Grist collaboration

The UN Dispatch-Grist collaboration rolls on today with a discussion prompt submitted by On Day One user teiki: A key to the massive use of fossil fuels in the U.S. is gross overconsumption. We use way more than necessary, through a combined dependence on the automobile and an infatuation with big, gas-hungry cars, trucks and SUVs., through wasted energy consumption in our homes and offices in everything from their construction to "phantom loads" and light bulbs, and through the amount of green house gas emitted by livestock supplying an overconsumption of food. We must learn to use less. David Roberts, …

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