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.            

If you can't stand the heat...

Simple summer salads for staying cool and well-nourished

It’s getting hot in here ….It’s happening again. It’s gotten so damn hot that I fear the heat of the stove. I want to be at the beach, tubing down a river, napping in a hammock under a big shade tree. The problem is I still get hungry. Convenience foods abound to solve that problem if I let my guard down. Luckily, we have other, tastier alternatives. This is the time of year when the produce at the farmer’s market is so perfect and so abundant, that with little more than a drizzle of vinaigrette you can create refreshing salads, …

Update: We're Still Screwed!

‘The Great Squeeze’ joins long list of doomsaying eco-films

Our planet’s supply of safe drinking water is rapidly diminishing. We have reached peak oil (according to some experts). The polar ice caps are melting, causing sea levels to rise and threatening coastal areas and island nations everywhere. The Great Squeeze, a documentary by director Christophe Fauchere (of 2007’s film Energy Crossroads), is full of such apocalyptic observations, none of which should surprise anyone even vaguely environmentally minded. The film is polished and put-together, chock-full of interviews with various professors and experts, and features powerful footage of displaced typhoon victims and third-world children picking through trash heaps. The problem with …

Mercy Mercy Me

Songs about climate change are not so hot

The green sliver to your right represents songs that express environmental concern and don’t suck. It is populated by “Big Yellow Taxi” from Joni Mitchell. Oh, and “Mercy Mercy Me” by Marvin Gaye. “Earth Song,” by Michael Jackson, if you’re into that kind of thing. A couple of Neil Young songs. They call it a sliver for a reason. With the recent explosion of “green” over the past few years, though, we’ve noticed a new wave of tunes that try to do better — to hip green so, you know, the kids can dance to it. Unfortunately, few of these …

All the world's a stage

Climate activism as performance art [SLIDESHOW]

Someone wise in the PR biz once said “any publicity is good publicity,” and climate activists certainly seem to take these words to heart. They’re not afraid to dress up as polar bears or penguins or CFL bulbs to get their message across. And they recognize the power of a good aerial shot, too, arranging themselves on beaches, open fields, and frozen ice to spell out what’s on their minds. We’re highlighting their work in our series because we recognize that it takes a lot of creativity — and some fancy stitching in some cases — to make this activist-powered …

Winter Warmer

Preview the Royal Academy of Arts exhibit ‘Earth: Art of a Changing World’ [SLIDESHOW]

More than 30 leading contemporary artists have contributed work on the theme of climate change for an upcoming exhibit at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Entitled “Earth: Art of a Changing World,” the exhibit runs from Dec. 3 through Jan. 31, 2010.

But Wait, There’s More!

Resources and links for the art-hungry

Most of the pieces in this series focus on individual artists or one-off works. But climate art is gaining an institutional foothold too. Check out our tour of green museums — and read on for more examples of groups taking a broader look at climate through art. Welcome to Cape Farewell. Population: earth. Founded in 2001 by artist David Buckland, Cape Farewell aims to “pioneer the cultural response to climate change.” The international charitable organization does this by bringing artists, scientists, and communicators together to inspire the creation of art that is rooted in scientific research.This piece made from steel, …

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