Mountaintop removal defenders disrupt July 4th music festival in West Virginia

The Mountain Keepers Music Festival took place this place this July 4th weekend at a park on Kayford Mountain in West Virginia, an event organized by the Keeper of the Mountains Foundation in solidarity against mountaintop removal mining. But Saturday’s fun was disrupted when some 20 supporters of Massey Energy, a coal company with mountaintop removal mining operations in the area, crashed the festival and threatened attendees verbally and with obscene  gestures. People who were there report that some of the pro-mining protesters were wearing Massey Energy-issued blue and orange shirts. “You get off our goddamn mountain!” yelled one heavyset …

Picked a peck of pickled Twitters

Top Twitterers the Grist staff can’t live without

Sure, we could compile a list of the “Top 1,000 Greens to Follow on Twitter” — because there are at least that many worthy of the title. But is it just us, or are you curious about who we, the writers and editors at Grist, actually follow and favor on Twitter ourselves? You are? We thought so. For all the environmental news you need via Twitter — from the instantaneous and important to the inane — please follow and recommend our top green Twitter picks below (and don’t forget us @grist). For more worthy green Twitter recommendations, check out …

The Last Step

Ask Umbra on green moving companies

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, Hi. I love your column. I just wanted to see if you were aware of the company Mean Green Trucking and Transport … We run our fleet of moving trucks on recycled veggie oil and biodiesel. Our NYC warehouse is solar powered. And we plant a tree with every move. Chris K. Tarzana, Calif. A. Dearest Chris, My fingers are exhausted from waving tiny flags all weekend, and I can barely click through my email for questions about green moving companies. So we round out our moving revue with your letter. The …

App-ily ever after

Grist’s guide to green iPhone apps

Wondering what brand of toothpaste is the most eco-friendly? There’s an app for that. Need to know which species of fish on the menu were caught sustainably? There’s an app for that. Long to plant a tree with every swish of your PhoneSaber? There’s not an app for that … yet. But check out the apps that plant trees — digital and otherwise — that are already available. Contrary to the rest of the going-green retail world, iTunes doesn’t have a “green” category in its app store (For better? For worse? Can’t decide….). And search for “green” in the iTunes …

Coal Country film premiere

Big Coal does not want you to see this film

As a groundbreaking clean energy counterpart to this summer’s extraordinary Food, Inc. documentary on the agribusiness, the long-awaited “Coal Country” film on the cradle-to-grave process of generating our coal-fired electricity will be hitting the theaters next week with the big bang of an ammonium nitrate/fuel oil explosive. And Big Coal ain’t happy. Here’s the trailer: After a year-long campaign of threats and intimidation, the Big Coal lobby plans to have its Friends of Coal sycophants out in force to picket the premiere of the film on July 11, 7pm, at La Belle Theater in the South Charleston Museum in Charleston, …

It Could Be Verse

Climate-news poem: Breath-catching edition

They’re not just poems, they’re vaguely educational poems! Check ‘em out. After the fence-jump frenzy, this week is sweet relief.Bill passed! And all react to that with gasps of disbelief. Just breathe.Yet as it was each time the bill got closer to the floor,We must remember that it’s in for hurdles, many more. The good news is the Democrats could soon be pulling rank inClimate votes, thanks to the win of Senator Al Franken. But back to now: assaults are spat at all the House “defectors” Malkin and Beck berate, while Rush randomly hectors. They hardly even cared that California …

Contain Your Excitement

Ask Umbra on moving boxes

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, I will be moving soon, and a friend suggested buying cheap but durable plastic storage bins with lids as an alternative to traditional moving boxes (or whatever empty boxes I can find from local stores). The idea is appealing, especially for a lot of stuff that I typically keep stored in closets or my basement, because I wouldn’t have to unpack when I get to my new home. But I’m sure there has to be an alternative to plastic when it comes to storage bins. What are the alternatives for lidded storage …

Size does matter

Starbucks brews global green-building plan, renovates Seattle shop

Photo: Sarah van SchagenStroll into the newly renovated Starbucks coffeehouse in Seattle’s University Village and the décor may feel more familiar than you’d expect. The menu boards are made from the chalkboards you may have scribbled on at nearby Garfield High School; the shelving is from old bleachers you may have sat upon; the leather accents near the bar are from your old shoes and car seats; and the ash-wood community table that stretches the length of the store and patio (one-third of it is outside) is salvaged from a tree that fell in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. It’s part of …

How about... "prosumer"?

Stop calling Americans “consumers”

I was at a small meeting on peak oil Friday – Executive Summary:  We’re peaking now! James Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency, was there.  He is in the Mad Max/Lovelock/Wall-E school of dystopia, and so I have a number of disagreements with him (see “Why I don’t agree with James Kunstler about peak oil and the “end of suburbia“). He did, however, say one thing that really strike a chord.  He said we should stop calling Americans “consumers.”  It pigeonholes all Americans and also becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. That seems to me a reasonable point, and I will endeavor …

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