It Could Be Verse

Climate-news poem: George Will edition

Photo: Chalky LivesGeez, I gotta shout!Every time I read aboutOp-ed columns in the PoRife with Willful mis-info.George is at it once again:Every time he dips his penWe are treated to a rantIntellectually scant.Luckily there do aboundLots of people who have foundInteresting ways to takeSwipes at comments that are fake.As they pointed out last time,Data truly show our climeOpposite from being wellUtterly is shot to hell.Climate change is not a faction.Here at last we’re taking action.Even if we have to chooseBellbottoms and platform shoes!As you know, disco is back –George should check his facts, that hack. Read previous climate poems.  

The Grist List: From Diving to Dancing

Hipsters give dumpster diving new meaning, and more

Getting trashedDumpster diving, as defined by a hippie: dinner. Dumpster diving, as defined by a hipster: exclusive urban swimming hole. Photo: diegofuego via Flickr  

Bag it

Better ways to spend $1 million on plastics

The American Chemistry Council will spend more than $1 million to fight a 20-cent fee on plastic shopping bags in Seattle, hoping voters reject the proposal in August. Or send the Bag Monster and all his friends to Copenhagen this December!Photo by Bag Monster via FlickrIf it seems absurd to spend a cool mill defending something as ubiquitous, hard to love, and (very often) wasteful as disposable bags … consider that this trade group for the plastics industry sponsored a program to pay parents to expose their children to pesticides and allow researchers to study the effects. Before the ACC’s …

Same as the Old Toss

Ask Umbra on (gasp) throwing stuff out

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, About a year ago I made the whole body switch to organic and all-natural shampoos, body lotions, makeup, etc. In an attempt to stop my packrat-like habits, I want to know, what do I do with all of my old chemical-laden bottles and tubes? I can’t bare to just throw them in the garbage knowing that I could have recycled the plastic bottles, but if I recycle the bottles, that means I will have to pour the contents down the drain which flows into our lake affecting the wildlife–the reason why I …

Corporate press release of the century. Not a hoax.

Company denies its robots feed on the dead

via Wired: “We completely understand the public’s concern about futuristic robots feeding on the human population, but that is not our mission,” stated Harry Schoell, Cyclone’s CEO. The basic idea is that this is (among other things) a battlefield robot that runs on biomass it harvests on the battlefield.  I can’t imagine why anyone thought this thing might turn to corpse eating. I guess, in a way, robot cannibals are a green technology. Maybe Cyclone can merge with Skynet.

After Life

Ask Umbra on green burial

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, At bedtime last night, my significant other remarked that when her time comes she would like to be disposed of in an earth-friendly way, rejoining the soil and not mummified forever in chemical preservatives. Is this even possible and legal? And how about the fiery alternative (no, not the afterlife)?  It seems the carbon footprint could be substantial. JayWashington, D.C. A. Dearest Jay, Grist was at the head of the green funeral journalistic procession and has amply covered the “green burial” trend, so you can find much information about the ecological options …

The Grist List: From Baywatch to Bridge

Pamela Anderson grows her eco-assets, and more

Build me up, double-D cupPamela Anderson sure has grown her assets over the years. She’s transformed from Baywatch babe to eco-entrepreneur — erecting projects in Canada, Abu Dhabi, and now Montenegro. Just one question: will these green buildings have “twin towers”?  

The Age of Resin

Ask Umbra on turpentine disposal

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where recently our city made a splash when our newly minted sewage system — which had been roundly celebrated for making the harbour swimmable for the first time in years — failed. Now we’re back to flushing it all into the ocean. So when it came time to clean my brushes the other day after painting our front door, I hesitated at the thought of using turpentine, knowing it would end up in the harbour. Is there a greener alternative? CeebieHalifax, N.S. A. Dearest Ceebie, Oh …

The Root of the Matter

A tasting of nine “natural” root beers yields surprising results

Nothing hits the spot on a hot day like an icy glass of all-American root beer. (Okay, if you want to split hairs: Nothing hits the spot on a hot day like an icy glass of all-American root beer when you must stay sober.) The problem is that when you take your wilting self to the cool respite of the beverage aisle, you discover that nothing in this life is simple. Perhaps, like me, you go with the simple criterion of avoiding anything produced by Big Soda and loaded with high-fructose corn syrup. Ha! If only it were this straightforward. …

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