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Articles by Maywa Montenegro

Maywa Montenegro is an editor and writer at Seed magazine, focusing mainly on ecology, bidiversity, agriculture, and sustainable development.

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  • Dear Sir, you know about that global warming thing?

    U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) yesterday sent the following letter to President George W. Bush, asking him to commit to working with the new Congress to pass meaningful climate change legislation in 2007.

    The Senators are the incoming chairs of three important Senate committees on global warming: Boxer in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee; Bingaman in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee; and Lieberman in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

    The senators' letter to the President follows:

  • Italian smog gets eaten

    It sounds almost too good to be true, but an Italian cement manufacturer has managed to develop a pollution-degrading concrete. The technology, dubbed "TX Active," breaks down air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, benzene, and others through a natural chemical process called photocatalysis.

    In areas where streets have been repaved with the compound, nitric oxides have been measured at 45-60% below normal. And in addition to being good for the ambient air, TX Active building facades stay gleaming white longer -- since the compound breaks down pollutants, it also prevents grimy buildup.

  • Share your green awakening

    A good friend of mine has just turned green. But it wasn't The Great Warming or An Inconvenient Truth that did the trick, but Robert F. Kennedy's Crimes Against Nature.

    I bring it up because this friend is well-read, intelligent, and politically liberal; he has certainly been exposed to all the same evidence that won other people over long ago. And yet until now, the only time the word "environmentalist" issued from his mouth was when he was teasing me about being one. RFK's book -- with its contrast of political and corporate greed on one hand and democracy-driven environmental stewardship on the other -- spoke my friend's language ... and now he won't shut up about tragedies against the commons and government-subsidized pollution.

  • Trim those carbon love handles

    In a clever take-off on Biggest Loser (one of the saddest excuses for television programming I've seen yet), recently announced its Green Challenge, an 8-week carbon diet that provides a steady menu of simple "action items," urging participants to curb their energy-gobbling ways.

    As of 8am, November 3rd, the challenge has attracted 22,572 participants for a collective CO2 weight loss of 28,865,784 pounds.

    Here's hoping that carbon dieters view this as a lifestyle change and don't -- like many regular dieters -- quickly regain all the lost weight and then some.