Living

cop a flight

Tips for flying to the Copenhagen climate conference

Cop a ride to COP-15…Photo illustration by Tom Twigg / GristSo you’re going to Copenhagen to help save the planet. Splendid! This December the city will host the United Nations Climate Change Conference, where international delegates will negotiate a post-Kyoto Protocol global climate plan. That’s the hope, anyway. Earlier we posted some tips and ideas for finding lodging the in Danish capital, but what about getting there? Jet travel emits a tremendous amount of carbon dioxide, of course. And for non-European attendees, it’s pretty much the only option. So what’s a delegate/activist/NGO rep/journalist/gadfly to do? Erik Nelson of environmental travel …

City Sickers?

Ask Umbra on urban foraging

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, In honor of spring finally coming to my frigid corner of the Midwest, I was thinking about trying my hand at making some dandelion wine. But I live in a major metropolitan area and the only dandelions available are in parks. There are hundreds of parks in Chicago and millions of dandelions, and I’m sure no one will care if I pick them. My concern is pesticides. Since dandelions are generally considered a noxious weed, I am worried they are probably being doused with the stuff, and I am not interested in …

Green Grillz

Taking a bite out of the environment

Phobias are powerful sh*t. Some people really hate bugs, for example. Even consider them torture. Why are these two Gristers smiling? Click here to find outGrist PhotoBut for me, bugs aren’t the worst. If I wind up in a secret detention center and get subjected to the ultimate third degree, here’s a little tip for the CIA: skip the bugs, bring on the dentist. I’d confess to anything — rat out every friend and family member I have — to avoid just one minute in the chair. But would that change if I knew my dentist was … wait for …

It Could Be Verse

A climate-news poem for the week of May 11

Check out last week’s lines. The climate news of this week started rolling fast and hot The papers said a memo showed the White House just was not On board with EPA now putting carbon in its pot. But it was just a spin, one on which you could not bank The sole objection really came from one Bush-era crank* So whew, glad that’s all cleared up — EPA, you go pull rank. Escape from Maldives.nattu via flickrIn other news, a plea came from the country of Maldives: “If climate chaos gets much worse, then each one of us leaves!” …

Wheels on fire

Put the book down and get on your bike

Manifesto: (n) a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives or views of its issuer. See the Communist Manifesto, avoid The Cyclist’s Manifesto. Courtesy Falcon PressOf all the cycling books to read in honor of National Bike Month, The Cyclist’s Manifesto is better left on the bike rack. Though the author believes he is making a powerful case for the bicycle as a tool for serious transportation, the manifesto ultimately disappoints, offering a rambling, poorly organized tour through cycling history and current transportation politics. The book begins with promise. Hurst slams David Brooks’ cutting aside about bicycling (a zinger tucked …

The grist list

From Waddle to Waffle

Snow-down New Zealand’s Penguathalon will see beak-to-beak battles in five events: soccer, Frisbee, surfing, swing ball, and waddle races. But sports analysts are saying the competition won’t really heat up until the penguathletes face climate change. After that, it could be bye, bye birdie. (Click below to see the next item in this week’s Grist List—or view them all on a single page.)  

Survey says

Americans ranked as world’s least green consumers — again

National Geographic GreendexWith NatGeo releasing the results of its annual Greendex survey today, I’d like to point out that polls like this are really an opportunity for America to shine. Take, for example, the question about public transit: Not only did we score the lowest percentage on public transit use every day, but we also scored the highest percentage of folks taking public transit never. Talk about kicking the competition’s ass at both ends of the spectrum. We’ve also got the lowest score on the green housing index (despite our best efforts to show up the neighbors with big green …

Class, president

Obama addresses sustainability grads and others at Arizona State

Not everyone had a close-up viewdr. coop via FlickrOn Wednesday night, President Barack Obama gave a commencement address to graduates of Arizona State University, the first school in the nation to offer degrees from a dedicated sustainability program. One student from the School of Sustainability graduated last fall, but the first real class of 13 graduated this week. Here’s what Obama had to say about the nation’s challenges: It is clear that we need to build a new foundation — a stronger foundation — for our economy and our prosperity, rethinking how we educate our children, and care for our …

Attention ladies and Ghents

Belgian city goes veg one day a week

The Belgian city of Ghent will be the first in the world to go meat-free one day a week in an effort to cut the city’s carbon footprint, battle obesity, and say “veggiedag” as many times as possible. They’re even passing out “veggie street maps” to help citizens find vegetarian eateries around town. But not to worry, there are plenty of Belgian waffles to go around.

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