The Prince and the Poper

Charles and Benedict chat about climate

Earlier today, Prince Charles and Pope Benedict XVI met to discuss their shared environmental concerns, with Camilla looking on. With press reports so far scant on details, we are left to imagine the proceedings. We couldn’t find a free photo of the prince shaking hands with His Holiness, so we’re settling for a Flickr shot of St. Peter’s Square. Got a better photo?Argenberg via FlickrHis Royal Highness the Prince of Wales: Good morning, Your Holiness. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI: Good morning, Your Royal Highness. May I call you … Chuck? HRHPW: Absolutely. May I call you Benny? HHPBXVI: Not …

I've Had the Time of My Light

Ask Umbra on light timers

Q. Dear Umbra, So I’ve gotten a lot better at turning out the lights when I’m not in the room. I’ve still got some work to do in terms of turning off power strips when I’m not using appliances though. I was thinking about this last night and I remembered this contraption at my grandparents’ house that is preset to turn lights on and off at particular hours during the day. I haven’t had much luck figuring out what these devices are called to determine where to get them, or if they are worth it. Could you look into this …

Not milk?

Navigating the non-dairy ‘milk’ aisle

In Checkout Line, Lou Bendrick cooks up answers to reader questions about how to green their food choices and other diet-related quandaries. Lettuce know what food worries keep you up at night. Dear Lou,I went to pick up some milk at our local mom-and-pop shop and noticed they had soy milk.  Since it seems a lot of our friends have switched to soy milk, I thought I would try some. Oh, the choices!  Not only were there three different organic soy milks, there were three rice milks and two hemp milks! Totally confused, I stuck with the organic milk from …

The Grist List

From JT to Jedi

Photo: edwardk662 via Flickr.Crying himself a riverJT’s concerns about the clean water crisis are justified. He knows that what goes around / comes around, so he’s gathered a boy band of hikers to bring sexyback to Mount Kilimanjaro. Who knew he was so ‘n sync with environmental issues?   (Click below to see the next item in this week’s Grist List — or view them all on a single page.)            

Go Green? Make Me

The psychology of eco-choices

Pay a lot, get a little?Hawaiian AirlinesYesterday I was on New Hampshire Public Radio’s Word of Mouth, and another segment near mine caught my eye. (Ear?) It was about the psychology of green decision-making, pivoting off a Richard Conniff piece on behavioral economics. (Which dropped at the same time as the related New York Times Magazine piece on decision science, but doesn’t seem to be directly connected.) Without getting all wonk-tastic, the idea is that we don’t do green stuff because it’s good for the planet. We do green stuff when we get rewarded, or when we think our peers …

Screw it

We screwed Earth Day — get over it

Another Earth Day has come and gone. In most cities, the green, biodegradable streamers have come down, and the free eco-swag already has been shoved under the bed. What now? Terry Hart via FlickrWell, if you’ve been hanging around Grist lately, you would know that that’s the question we’ve been asking all along. What now? What happens the day after Earth Day? How do we extend our green commitment all year long? For a few weeks now, we have been simultaneously celebrating and scrutinizing Earth Day. We launched a special series investigating the question: Does Earth Day still matter? We …

Guitar Hero?

Taking Neil Young’s latest album out for a spin

In 2006, Neil Young released a powerful political album, “Living With War” — an 11-track screed against the Iraq misadventure and the folly of sending young people off to die in faraway lands. It felt immediate, like Young had recorded it in a hurry, harkening back to CSNY’s rapid-fire release of “Ohio” within a few weeks of the shootings at Kent State. Its polemical lyrics, bashing everything from George W. Bush to the mind-dead consumerism of America, were great, but they were icing on the cake. It was the music — angry, raw, full of the powerful guitar that defines …

Are You Being Servered?

Umbra advises on web hosting

Q. Greetings Umbra, To save energy and limit greenhouse gas emissions, I’ve so far resisted establishing my own website. However, because I’m an author and these days almost all authors use websites to further their careers, I’m now thinking of setting one up. How much energy do websites actually consume? Are there ways to make them less energy consumptive? Do any web hosts use renewable power, and if so, which ones use the highest percentage? (BTW, a few years back after the release of my book Divorce Your Car! several people suggested my next book should be Divorce Your Computer!) …

Breaking through the gas ceiling

Eco driving tips for Earth Day

In advance of Earth Day, PR reps flooded Grist with "save the planet: green your driving" tips and press releases. In keeping with our "Screw Earth Day" theme, we just want to stress the need to drive like every day is Earth Day -- TAKE THE BUS! No, seriously, if you're going to drive, then you gotta know how to drive in an eco-friendly manner.