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Together, we can laugh at the climate crisis

Billy Crystal and David Letterman spoof ‘we’ campaign

David Letterman and Billy Crystal spoof the "we" campaign:

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Making cities less dumb

Select Committee examines the benefits of smarter urban planning

The House Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming held a hearing on Thursday about the opportunities for better urban planning to reduce energy use and greenhouse-gas emissions. "Planning Communities for a Changing Climate" brought together a panel of experts on "smart growth," clean air policy, and transit. Witnesses included Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, who works in smart growth in Abu Dhabi; Steve Hewitt, administrator of Greensburg, Kan., the town that's rebuilding green after a tornado leveled it last year; Gregory Cohen, President and CEO of the American Highway Users Alliance; David Goldberg, director of communications for Smart Growth …

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D.C.'s newest baseball team: The Washington Exxons

Protestors object to a green baseball stadium sponsored by the world’s dirtiest corporation

Imagine a Major League Baseball stadium constructed to actually fight lung disease. Imagine engineers eschewing asbestos in every form, using only materials approved by the American Lung Association. Imagine emergency inhalers at every seat, with team officials aggressively marketing the "healthy-lung" park to conscientious fans. Then imagine your surprise, in visiting the park, to see a huge Marlboro cigarettes ad plastered across the left field fence. Imagine another Marlboro ad behind home plate so TV viewers can't look away. Imagine, finally, being asked to stand and sing Take Me Out To the Ball Game during the "Marlboro Cigarettes 7th Inning …

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Some clarity on the Clarity

Honda fuel-cell vehicle: Not marketable, practical, or environmental

Technology Review asked me to comment about the hype over the new Honda fuel-cell car, which the company optimistically calls "the world's first hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicle intended for mass production." The key word here is "intended." Here it is: ----- Would you buy a car that costs 10 times as much as a hybrid gasoline-electric, like the Prius? What if I told you it had half the range of the hybrid? What if I told you most cities didn't have a single hydrogen fueling station? Not interested yet? This should be the deal closer: what if I told you it …

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Gangsta goes green

How a Prius can improve your thug life

From Showtime's Weeds (third season, which I'm currently watching on dvd):

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Food Network star Alton Brown adds a pinch of sustainability to the pot

Alton Brown: Boy meets salmon. Photo: Studio Chambers The Portola Café and Restaurant, the fine-dining venue within the Monterey Bay Aquarium, is an airy, light-filled space surrounded by windows on three sides. The soothing, understated interior showcases a breathtaking view of Monterey Bay, where one can watch otters wrap themselves in kelp while cormorants swim and dive nearby. It is here that I have the chance to talk with Alton Brown, creator and star of Good Eats on the Food Network. Alton combines his background in film and video with his culinary training -- he attended the New England Culinary …

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Rotten tomatoes

Latest health scare exposes a frayed food-safety net

Salmonella-infected tomatoes have made headlines over the course of the last week, but there's nothing new about the problem that tainted tomatoes reveal.This outbreak has put more than 25 people in the hospital and sickened hundreds, but it is just the latest in a long line of sickness and recalls. Salmonella in tomatoes, spinach, and lettuce, eColi in peanut butter, beef from downer cows; all throw into question the legitimacy of agency claims that the U.S. has the best food safety apparatus in the world. The facts are clear: after years of budget and staffing cuts, America's food safety net …

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Corn utensils not helpful without widespread public composting

As an alternative to non-recyclable plastic and Styrofoam, some restaurants have begun offering corn-starch-based utensils and takeout containers. But does cornware really provide a guilt-free way to eat your vegesustainorganaturalocal meal? Though touted as compostable, corn-based utensils can't just be thrown into your garden; they don't biodegrade unless professionally composted at high temperatures. Thus, customers who take corn utensils away from restaurants usually end up contributing to landfills anyway, since they're unlikely to bring cornware back to the establishment to be dealt with properly. And trying to boil 'em down yourself doesn't work, as restaurant manager Casey Anderson can attest: …

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Umbra on the never-ending diaper ado

My Sweet Umbra, The diaper debate continues! I've read Grist's position, and I even saw the same answer posted in your FAQs, which means I'm not supposed to be asking you about it again (all change has been effected by those of us who challenge the system!). The thing is, I disagree vehemently with your assertion that cloth diapers are as evil as disposables, and here's why: We use organic cotton diapers on our daughter. Sustainably harvested, pesticide-free, unbleached cotton. I bought them from a local vendor to support my local businesses. I also use diaper covers made from wool, …

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Encore! On Gore!

Hear a Grist clip of the Inconvenient Truth opera

Re: the Inconvenient Truth opera that will open in 2011. Hilarious: NYT's John Tierney shares a letter from opera composer Giorgio Battistelli to Al Gore about creative differences. Listen Play An Inconvenient Opera Hilarious-er: Grist's own Tod(d) Hymas Samkara shares his vision for the opera (from the June 5 podcast). Huge thanks to Production Intern Jon Volkman who did all the sound editing.

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