Living

'stache into me

Our favorite green mustaches

For years, scientists have pondered the mysterious but persistent connection between ecological wisdom and the follicular phenomenon that is the mustache. Is it the ‘stache that produces the wisdom? Or does the wisdom push its bearer toward the ‘stache? Early research focused on Amory Lovins, the efficiency guru who pioneered the green ‘stache in the ’70s; while those studies proved inconclusive, recent years have brought an avalanche of evidence: green biz wiz Joel Makower, newly converted “geogreen” Tom Friedman, deft dealmaker Henry Waxman … the list goes on. Global ‘staching skeptic? Check it out.

The not-so-trivial carbon impact of pet ownership

Should Kuba have a puppy?

Who could say no to this face?Ken WardKuba, 10, has waged a brilliant campaign. Unfortunately, I’m the target. Who can say no to a puppy? It’s … Grinch-like. My parents managed the trick, but that’s because my Dad was raised on a farm and Grandpa Ken, on my Mom’s side, trained hunting dogs — so when my folks said dogs didn’t belong in a city, who was going to argue? I don’t have the background, or perhaps backbone, to peremptorily dismiss the matter, so I’ve fallen back on penny-ante arguments, the sort of weaselly excuses grasped by legislators who don’t …

Define 'clunker'

Cash for … other things!

So Congress approved and President Obama signed an extension of the hugely popular (and not-really-so-green) cash-for-clunkers program. Woohoo! We can think of some better “Cash for …” programs the government should be funding … Cash for computers—Think of the power savings. Not to mention the peace of a Twitter-free life. Cash for cookies—Your sweet tooth is fueling a corn overload that will topple American agriculture. Oh, and it’s making you fat. Cash for shutting up climate change deniers—Eliminate noxious hot-air emissions. Just kidding! Mostly. Cash for your ‘stache—Stop shaving. Razors and shaving cream must have some carbon impact, right? Cash …

Liquid Lunch

Ask Umbra on livestock and water

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, Why is it eating less beef can save water? In addition, if we skip meat to save water, will that affect our health? Besides beef, what other food or drinks use a lot of water to produce and process? Thanks!Jocey A. Dearest Jocey, Wow, you meat-eaters sure are hungry for information — check out my colleague Lou Bendrick’s recent exploration of beef and methane. Drink to me only with thine tasty thighs.USDA.govAs for your question: It takes a lot of water to grow and feed a large mammal, and yet more water …

It Could Be Verse

Climate-news poem: Blank(enship) verse edition

Here at Grist, we occasionally visit Twitter and see pure poetry — and we’re far from alone in that. Earlier this week, colleagues suggested that the lyrical, insightful tweets of Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship might in fact be better read as haikus. Let’s give it a shot, paraphrasing ever-so-slightly where we must. Cash 4 Clunkers is Enviro hypocrisy It makes toxic smoke The world’s polluted Because we cannot build plants …In America The greatest source ofPollution is not indus-try. It’s ignorance. The cap and trade bill Should be the “High ElectricBill” bill. Who’d want that? Which worries you mostControlling …

Hop on the ban wagon

Disposable-bag restrictions around the U.S. and the world

Seattle voters will decide on Aug. 18 whether to impose a 20-cent fee on all paper and plastic bags from grocery, drug, and convenience stores. But it’s not the first U.S. city to restrict disposable bags — nor even the first in Washington state. In Edmonds, Wash., north of Seattle, the city council voted in late July to ban disposable plastic bags at retail outlets (excluding those used for produce and bulk foods). The ban will go into effect next year. Even green-leaning western Washington is behind the times in comparison with San Francisco, which enacted the nation’s first ban …

sack attack

Controversy heats up over Seattle’s proposed disposable bag fee

Image: Tom Twigg/Grist UPDATED: 11 Aug 2009 When the Seattle City Council voted last summer to impose a 20-cent fee on paper and plastic bags, the Progressive Bag Affiliates (PBA) of the American Chemistry Council immediately sprang to action to block the move. The fee would have taken effect January 1, 2009, but the Coalition to Stop the Seattle Bag Tax (funded by PBA, the Washington Food Industry, and 7-Eleven) collected enough voter signatures to put the measure on the August primary ballot. Referendum 1, as it’s now known, would require consumers to pay 20 cents for every disposable bag …

Summer of solutions

Youth find new ways to fight climate change from the ground up

Timothy DenHerder-Thomas (left) and fellow “solutionaries.”Photo: Summer of Solutions blogFossils like Washington Post columnist George Will may think that “the Mall does not reverberate with youthful clamors about carbon.” But that’s because a growing number of young people are engaged in less-visible efforts at the grassroots level. It’s not their parents’ activism — with all the marching, chanting, and sign-waving that entails — but by focusing on the work on the ground, some young activists are achieving the kind of change that can’t come from political rallies alone. Timothy DenHerder-Thomas, just a few months shy of graduating from Macalester College …

The Grist List: From Heath to Health

Heath Ledger harpoons whaling, and more

Photo: Howie Berlin via FlickrNo jokerOscar-worthy performances and a waltzing Matilda definitely make the list of 10 things we love about you, Heath Ledger. Now we’re adding your grimm music video and devotion to animal rights.            

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