It's the end of the world and we know it

Climate doomsday film ‘The Age of Stupid’ still hopeful, says director in video interview

We can’t believe what’s going on today either, Pete.Courtesy of The Age of Stupid “Why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?” asks the main character of Franny Armstrong’s new film, The Age of Stupid. Living in a world of climate catastrophe, this solitary character, played by Oscar-nominee Pete Postlethwaite, serves as humanity’s moral hindsight from the year 2055. He scans video archives of events unfolding between 2004 and 2008, shocked that the world at that time knew it was flushing its future down the drain. Humankind’s stubborn refusal to act on climate compels him to dub …

It Could Be Verse

Climate-news poem: Shush edition

As our throngs of loyal poetry readers no doubt noticed, the weekly climate poem took a bit of a breather after its last appearance. Apparently it has senatorial aspirations and was just “trying on the whole multi-week break thing for size.” But it’s now back in session. Like students overwhelmed by back to school, Our senators their heels are keeping cool. By which I mean they’re not in a great rush To float some sort of climate legis — HUSH! Not true, says Reid’s man Manley, it’ll pass. That’s right, says Gibbs: we’re gonna kick some ass! There’s so much …

The toxic assault on our children

Can we protect kids from the toxic trappings of modern life?

From Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring to current headlines in the news, there’s long been mounting evidence that we’re being poisoned by everyday items in our lives. I was crushed by the revelation that my trusty Nalgene bottle was leaching bisphenol A into my Brita-filtered water. The first time I had to purchase my own housecleaning supplies, I found myself torn between a well-marketed fear of germs and a wholly legitimate fear of toxic compounds. Like it or not, the unnatural creations of the chemical industry are everywhere. The facts of our chemical-laden reality are at once alarming and overwhelming. Philip …

Market rules in D.C.

White House hosts farmers market

Michelle Obama at White House Farmer’s MarketPhoto: Obama Foodorama Cross-posted from Obama Foodorama. Despite rain and cold temperatures, today’s opening of the new White House Farmers Market drew quite a crowd. “I’ve never seen so many people so excited about fruits and vegetables!” First Lady Michelle Obama told the crowd gathered a few blocks from the White House. Agriculture Secretary Secretary Tom Vilsack turned out for the Market’s debut, along with White House chefs Sam Kass and Bill Yosses. The White House Farmer’s Market will run through the fall. Mrs. Obama selected some fresh produce from The Farm at Sunnyside, …

It won’t stop burning, Doc

Burning Embers climate design contest has a winner [UPDATED]

Update! The people have spoken; we have have a winner. Presenting the nifty Tracing Emissions mobile (and a gallery of entries). Photo courtesy spike55151 via FlickStory: In June I wrote about Burning Embers, an art and design competition that invited students to create illustrations that reflected the causes and effects of climate change. The idea was that we need more compelling imagery than the sometimes-drab, sometimes-confusing graphics in policy reports. Well, four intriguing finalists have been selected—a video, a photo essay, a set of “animal cards,” and a mobile (the last is my favorite). Ji Lee, creative director of the …

Bag it!

Plastic bags are the enemy of the ocean

Courtesy Save the BayListen up all you Gristers who live along the California coast: This Saturday is Coastal Cleanup Day. Join your friends, neighbors, frenemies and complete strangers in a community-wide effort to get the plastic crap out of the ocean. Plastic isn’t just a problem way out in the Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch. For example, the folks at Save the Bay have put together a pretty neat interactive to show you just how bad plastic pollution is in the Bay area. Find out how you can join the Coastal Cleanup fun: S.F. Bay Area, San Diego, Los Angeles. And …


An interview with solar activist Anya Schoolman

This interview is part of a series on people who are making their communities smarter, greener places to live. Got a nomination? Leave it in the comments section or send it along to us. All signs point to solar for Schoolman and her neighbors.For a while, things were looking gloomy. The founders of Washington, D.C.’s Mount Pleasant Solar Cooperative had their hearts in the right place; they even had their paperwork in the right place. But they hit snag after snag as they tried to fulfill the dream of converting their neighborhood to solar power: Contractors who didn’t want to …


Ask Umbra on combating climate denial

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, This “year with no summer” and some alleged statistics I have seen quoted about earth-wide temperatures for the last ten years have resulted in claims that the earth is not heating — it may even be cooling. What about it? Arthur WaskowShalom Center, Philadelphia A. Dearest Arthur, The oceans are too getting warmer!That would be great. The planet needs some cooling, and humans certainly aren’t doing anything to help. But let us remember the difference between weather and climate. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration does confirm that summer 2009 in the …


With Patrick Swayze’s death, perhaps the year could take a rest

The past few months have taken a mind-boggling assortment of icons, pop and otherwise, from our midst. As a green media outlet, we face a challenge on these somber occasions: How to pay tribute to people whose departure is felt by so many, but who might not have strong environmental connections. We don’t want to be in the business of creating artificial “ecobits” in which we glom onto some one-off quote from five years ago and use it to claim that, say, Patrick Swayze was a conservationist. It also doesn’t feel quite right to fall back on our usual schtick, …

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