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Articles by Corey McKrill

Corey is a freelance web designer and Grist alumnus.

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  • Net Neutrality: Why you should care

    Congress is expected to vote this week on the "Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act of 2006," which, in all its Orwellian glory, is written to allow internet companies to compartmentalize the web, restricting access to domains that can't or won't pay a fee to be able to load at full speed. It undermines the concept of net neutrality, whereby internet users have equal access to any and every website, be it a corporate media node or a personal blog.

    According to Vint Cerf, one of the "founding fathers" of the internet, this is bad:

  • Champagne vineyards threatened by radioactive contamination

    Global warming isn't the only thing threatening wine. In France, groundwater less than 10 km from the famous Champagne vineyards has tested positive for radioactive contamination, caused by a nearby leaking nuclear waste dump:

    "We have been told for decades that nuclear dumpsites will not leak and that the best standards are being applied. In reality the dumpsite in Normandy is a disaster, and radioactivity is already leaking from the dumpsite in Champagne," said Shaun Burnie nuclear campaigner at Greenpeace International. "The authorities know they have a problem in Champagne already, with mistakes in the design. This is only the beginning of the problem, the bigger picture is that France has a nuclear waste crisis out of control that is threatening not only the environment and public health but also the economy of the Champagne region."

    Clearly, there are some promises that just can't be kept. I wonder if Champagne is iconic enough to influence public opinion about nuclear power. In the meantime, bringing a Geiger counter to the next New Year's bash would be a cool party trick ...

  • Greenwashing coal with platitudes

    In the same vein as the half-pint shill with a skateboard who's "stoked" about how clean coal is, this greenwash site for Peabody Coal tries to appeal to the bumpersticker platitude crowd in its latest ad:

    ENERGY FOR THE 21st CENTURY
    Flip a switch.
    Play a tune.
    Warm your home.
    Fuel your car.
    Yeah ... coal can do that.

  • In which I stumble upon one of the most happenin’ environmental conferences in the country

    Last weekend I abandoned my cot in the supply closet at the Grist office to get out of Seattle for a spell and see the world. Specifically, I went to help celebrate a friend's birthday down in Eugene, Oregon, and go to a Clumsy Lovers show in Corvallis.  Sadly, the band's bass player had strep, but I did discover that Corvallis' Sunnyside Up bakery makes a tasty and cleverly-named treat called the "you're doin' a heckuva job brownie (with raspberries)." Hopefully a portion of its hefty $2.25 price tag goes towards ameliorating the heckuva disaster response that continues in New Orleans today ...

    The even more exciting part of last weekend's adventure, though, was the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference going on at the University of Oregon campus in Eugene.  Though my emergence from the dark grey raincloud known as Seattle had me sporting the classic President-Bush-squinting-into-the-sun look all weekend, I somehow managed to spot a flyer for the conference and showed up just in time to see excellent keynote addresses by two figures that Grist readers are familiar with: