Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Living

Comments

Our culture of overcompensation

Mark Morford: Bottom line: You can hope for the big shifts. You can hope for some sort of grand awakening, some sort of removal of the tumor and a relief from the pain of excess waste and abuse and happy ignorance. But, of course, what you get instead is, well, a nice drive to the megamall in a shiny 2008 Escalade for a couple of aspirin and some compact fluorescent lightbulbs and a copy of "An Inconvenient Truth" on DVD. Ain't that America. More excerpts beneath the fold. No, this minor offering of joy is for the imminent and forthcoming …

Read more: Living

Comments

Big Applers breathe easy

Starting in 2008, every new yellow taxi purchased by the city of New York will be a hybrid vehicle, according to an announcement yesterday by Mayor Bloomberg. By 2012, the entire fleet -- some 13,000 cabs -- will have been replaced with a mixture of Toyota Priuses, Highlander Hybrids, Lexus RX 400h's, and Ford Escapes. Thirteen thousand may sound like a drop in the ocean, given that 232 million cars are currently registered in the U.S. alone. Still, cabs are a great target for greening, both because of their high public profile and because of their disproportionately large carbon expenditure. …

Comments

I had one

It's no Weather Channel ... but look, I'm famous!

Read more: Living

Comments

This Sounds Like a Job For … Nobody

Workaholics, especially American ones, are ruining the planet Now here's a theory we can get behind: workaholism is ruining the earth. "We are proudly breaking our backs to decrease the carrying capacity of the planet," says Conrad Schmidt, proponent of the 32-hour work week, who declares that overwork leads to overconsumption, pollution, and less fulfilling life experience. If there's anyone who needs to take the message to heart, it's Americans, who work more hours than anyone else in the industrialized world -- a full 500 hours more per year than Germans. Not coincidentally, the U.S. is also the world's largest …

Comments

Britney Was Ahead of Her Time

Some car seats leach toxic chemicals, says new report Car seats have joined baby bottles and bath toys on the ever-growing list of Evil Things You're Subjecting Your Child To. The Michigan-based Ecology Center tested 62 models of tot-toters, finding that about a third can leach chemicals such as chlorine, bromine, and lead. The center, which released a study on the toxicity of car interiors in March, obviously doesn't advocate that you bear your babes on your lap, Britney-style. "Car seats save lives. It's absolutely essential that parents put their children in them while driving," says the group's Jeff Gearhart, …

Read more: Living

Comments

The paper vs. plastic question must die

Ok, I'm whining. But the obsession with paper vs. plastic shopping bags just plain bugs me. As The Oregonian's Michael Milstein correctly points out: both paper and plastic have their pros and cons. Plastic has some surprising environmental advantages (more here), but also some unexpected drawbacks, including gumming up recycling equipment -- which makes it hard to figure out which option is actually worse in practice. But quite clearly, reusing bags you already have is better than asking for a new one. The thing is, we already know all this. What's more, we've known it for decades. And (heresy alert!) …

Read more: Living

Comments

Ed Del Grande, master plumber and how-to expert, answers questions

Ed Del Grande. What work do you do? I am a home-improvement TV host, master plumber, columnist, author, and how-to expert for Kohler Co. In my work for Kohler, I travel across the country to green building shows, consumer events, and industry trade shows to demonstrate new high-efficiency toilets that use less water without sacrificing quality or performance. My main title as of late -- though not official -- could be green builder and crusader for water-conserving toilets! How does it relate to the environment? When wearing any one of my many professional hats, I help spread the word about …

Read more: Living

Comments

And other tips from celebs

Happy Monday, y'all. If your weekend was as awesome as mine (read: not awesome), you'll need some entertaining celeb goss to get you going this week. So here goes: Leonardo DiCaprio announced this weekend during press for his documentary 11th Hour (which I've heard, ps, is not awesome, though I hope I misheard) that he arrived at Cannes via commercial jet and tries to fly commercially as much as possible. He also defended Gore's travel-y lifestyle: The way he travels and the way he lives his life should not be criticised. Don't shoot the messenger. I've listened to these attacks …

Read more: Living

Comments

Comments

His new book, about stupid media, is treated stupidly by the media

Al Gore has a new book coming out called The Assault on Reason. It's about the sickness of our democratic dialogue, the systemic features of our culture and media that lead us to ignore evidence, focus on trivialities, and accept deception after deception. Gore's going to be out promoting the book, and there's a certain bitter irony to the fact that the media is likely to interact with him in a way that proves his thesis better than anything in the book itself. Exhibit A: this interview with Diane Sawyer. They introduce Gore in pure horserace terms -- "the most …

Read more: Living, Politics