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Climate Cities

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  • Development runs wild in the upper Midwest

    In an arm-wrestling contest, you’d probably pick Paul Bunyan over John Lawlis. Bunyan, after all, wielded his mighty ax with mythic strength and endurance, leveling the great forests of the upper Midwest. John Lawlis merely works the phones, selling vacation lots in what’s left of these woods. “I think Paul would definitely win,” laughs Lawlis. […]

  • How Ballard is leading the charge to spread fuel cells far and wide

    "Our long-term goal is very simple," said California Gov. Gray Davis (D) outside the state capitol in Sacramento in April 1999. "Zero emissions in the air. Zero. Nada. Nothing. Zip." A crowd had gathered to hear Davis announce a major new state initiative, and to see the latest non-polluting automobiles to be unveiled by DaimlerChrysler and Ford. Running on electricity, the peppy performance of these cars dazzled the spectators. The two auto giants promised to have them in commercial production around 2003 or 2004. A new era of environmentally friendly transportation had begun.

  • It's Report-Card Time

    The timing is unbearable. Here on my desk in the middle of the blooming, buzzing month of May is the best report yet on the state of the world’s ecosystems. Best not because it contains good news — it doesn’t — but because it’s short and clear and blunt. The report evaluates the health of […]

  • Higher prices at the pumps are a good thing — really

    That whining sound you hear is American consumers (formerly known as American citizens) fretting over the rising cost of gasoline. Pump and circumstance. The current national average price of gas — $1.41 per gallon — is a full 25 cents higher than it was merely four months ago, and analysts predict that the price could […]

  • This Land Is My Land, This Land Is Your Land

    Last week the Vermont Environmental Board denied a permit to a developer for a project in Hartland. It was a typical interstate-exit gas-and-food stop — the kind of place no one likes to look at but we’re all glad to find when we’re on a long trip and running low on fuel. Hartland’s I-91 exit […]