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Quoting some scripture

It seems appropriate that we consider the death of Jerry Falwell in the spirit by which he lived -- on a "higher level ... the Biblical perspective" -- and take a peek into what the Bible has to say about climate change as well. Reverend Falwell retained an unshakable faith in Biblical inerrancy, while demonstrating a remarkably supple ability to revise his own interpretation of presumably self-evident, literal truths. Falwell applied the theology of Biblical one-liners to buttress a view of the world and Christianity wholly uncontemplated and incomprehensible to Biblical authors and redactors -- whether or not one believes …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

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Umbra on fighting pests with pests

Dear Umbra, I have a pest problem in my backyard -- specifically, some tiny (but apparently hungry) insect is making lace out of my basil leaves. I do not want to use pesticides for many reasons, not the least of which is that I cook with the herbs I grow. I think I have found a "natural" solution, but I wanted to consult you first. My garden-supply store sells praying-mantis egg cases ("The natural pest control solution! Over 200 insects inside! Hang on a tree and eggs will hatch when temperatures stay above 70 degrees for three weeks!") The store …

Read more: Food, Living

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What would you like to ask him?

Tomorrow, I'm sitting down for a chat with Paul Hawken, author, entrepreneur, and environmental legend. We'll be discussing, among other things, his new book Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming. (If you're in Seattle tomorrow, you can see Hawken at a Grist-sponsored event at Town Hall.) If you've got questions you'd like me to ask Hawken, let me know in comments. In the meantime, here's the introduction from Blessed Unrest: Over the past fifteen years I have given nearly one thousand talks about the environment, and every …

Read more: Living, Politics

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Friday music blogging comes to Grist

I've decided that green or no green, I'm going to start getting some music up on this blog. Every blog needs some music, right? I've been digging on the new Modest Mouse album We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. Here's "Parting of the Sensory," from which this post's title comes. And in other music news: Hey look, MTV interviewed Cloud Cult!

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Making public transit work

Greater Vancouver leads the Northwest in transit ridership, with somewhere between two and three times as many annual bus and train rides per person as Portland and Seattle. So the obvious question: How come? Why does Vancouver do so much better in transit statistics than its southern neighbors? If you're from Seattle, the "obvious" answer might seem to be Vancouver's SkyTrain light rail system, which carries about 66 million passengers each year. Seattle is working hard to expand its measly train system -- which currently consists of a lightly used commuter rail service and a 1.6 mile light rail line …

Read more: Cities, Living

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How best to pitch the climate change message?

Mike Hulme of the UK's Tyndall Centre says -- yet again -- that the language of "catastrophe" and "disaster" used by climate-change scientists and advocates is having the opposite of its intended effect: it's making people numb and apathetic. I more or less buy this -- I did, after all, write a five-part series arguing that fear is no friend of greens. But the conclusion Tim Haab draws from it is so spectacularly, diametrically wrong I can only shake my head: In other words, report the facts without the embellishment. ... Factual representation of the science is more likely to …

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Live Aid guy disses Gore’s Live Earth concerts

Here's what Live Aid and Live 8 organizer Bob Geldoff had to say about Gore's Live Earth concerts: "I hope they're a success," De Volkskrant newspaper quoted Geldof as saying in an interview. "But why is (Gore) actually organizing them? To make us aware of the greenhouse effect? Everybody's known about that problem for years. We are all (expletive) conscious of global warming," he said. ... "I would only organize (Live Earth) if I could go on stage and announce concrete environmental measures from the American presidential candidates, Congress or major corporations," he told the newspaper. "They haven't got those …

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Green the Pope way

That's the Vatican's green vision.

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Who says scientists aren’t funny?

RealClimate has an extended satire against climate denier use of false correlation=causation logic to argue for solar cycles as the main cause of global warming. As humor with extended charts and co-efficients of correlation go, it is quite funny. However, I must admit that an exchange between two commenters on the post was much funnier: James: CO2 has an insulating effect -- we know this because people have measured it. Humans have been putting more CO2 in the atmosphere -- we know this too, because we've measured it. Putting those two facts together, we deduce that the Earth should get …

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We shed a tear

Fundamentalist Christian minister Jerry Falwell is dead at 73. It's probably churlish to use the occasion of someone's death to point out that said person was a paranoid, avaricious, hate-spewing enabler of America's basest lizard-brain impulses, so I won't go there. I will, however, note that one of the proudest moments of my young career was being cited by name in the course of a rambling, delusional Falwell sermon on global warming, which apparently is "Satan's Attempt to Re-direct the Church's Primary Focus." Clever, Satan! Very clever. Update [2007-5-15 15:0:8 by David Roberts]: Carpetbagger brings us Falwell's "greatest" hits.

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living