Fw: Daily Grist: The greening of Capitol Hill, and more
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Tuesday, 06 Mar 2007
Ready for Your Close-Up?
Get your 15 minutes of fame by sending a question to Lisa Day, instigator of social action around An Inconvenient Truth and other films.
The Hill Is Alive With the Sound of Musing
Pelosi and Boxer aim to green Capitol Hill
Tired of talking the energy-efficiency talk in an eco-unfriendly setting, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Barbara Boxer (both D-Calif.) are aiming to green Capitol Hill. On Friday, Pelosi wrote a letter directing the House chief administrative officer to look into implementing "the most up-to-date industry and government standards for green building and green operating procedures" in da House. Preliminary recommendations are due by the end of April, and may include thoughts on parking-lot materials, public transportation, and recycling. Boxer has set up a pilot program encouraging energy-efficient lighting in Senate offices, and is pushing legislation to similarly retrofit lighting in federal buildings nationwide. The 200-year-old Hill facilities are already heading in a sustainable direction -- energy consumption is down 6 percent since 2003. "The Capitol complex should lead the nation in preserving our planet for future generations," said Pelosi's letter. Who's the decider now?straight to the source: San Francisco Chronicle, Edward Epstein, 03 Mar 2007straight to the source: The Washington Times, Christina Bellantoni, 03 Mar 2007straight to the source: The Kansas City Star, McClatchy Newspapers, Margaret Talev, 02 Mar 2007
The Knights Who Say NIH
Health agency reviews bisphenol A safety as controversy swirls
Ignoring the news about bisphenol A? Time to pay attention, cuz the plastic resin is used in everyday products from baby bottles to canned goods and linked to a host of health problems. And with the National Institutes of Health reviewing the safety of BPA this week, a maelstrom is brewing: a major player in the NIH study, Sciences International, is a consultant that has counted BPA makers including Dow Chemical among its clients. The firm issued a report for NIH that some scientists say embraces the industry view that low doses of BPA have no health effects. Of course, that whole "low-dose" thing may be moot: a new study from the Environmental Working Group found levels of BPA in some canned foods as high as 200 times the acceptable level. "This is one of the highest-volume produced chemicals in the world," says Fredrick vom Saal, a Missouri biology professor and BPA researcher. "It's in everybody's bodies, and it's a very potent sex hormone. It's just nuts that it's being used the way it is."straight to the source: The Star-Ledger, Amy Ellis Nutt, 06 Mar 2007straight to the source: Los Angeles Times, Marla Cone, 04 Mar 2007straight to the source: Columbia Tribune, Jacob Luecke, 04 Mar 2007
What doGood Will Hunting, a slew of Quentin Tarantino movies, andAn Inconvenient Truth have in common? Two words: Lawrence Bender. WhilePulp Fiction was no small feat, Hollywood producer Bender claims that Al Gore's smash-hit climate-change documentary was "possibly the apex of my career." Chatting with Grist after winning his first Oscar, Bender gives the back story on the influentialTruth-telling flick -- and the straight scoop on its unlikely star.
NEW IN GRIST
On a Bender
A chat withInconvenient Truth co-producer Lawrence Bendernew in Main Dish: On a Bender
Evangelical policy director chastised for speaking out on climate change
Rev. Richard Cizik, policy director for the National Association of Evangelicals, says global warming is human-caused and the God-fearing should take it seriously. Science-based belief? Quelle horreur! Last week, a group of conservative Christian leaders unaffiliated with NAE wrote a letter urging the NAE board to shut Cizik up or fire him. "[W]hat is being done here," says signer Tony Perkins, "is a concerted effort to shift the focus of evangelical Christians to these issues that draw warm and fuzzies from liberal crusaders." In his "relentless campaign" against global warming, say the right-wingers, Cizik is not focusing enough on abortion-protesting and gay-bashing, and "cannot be trusted to articulate the views of American evangelicals." Mr. Warm'n'Fuzzy turned the other cheek -- kind of. "I speak with a voice that is authentically evangelical on all the issues, from religious freedom around the world to compassion for the poor," he said. "And yes, creation care is one of those issues."straight to the source: The New York Times, Laurie Goodstein, 03 Mar 2007straight to the source: The Washington Post, Alan Cooperman, 03 Mar 2007see also, in Grist: An interview with green evangelical leader Richard Ciziksee also, in Grist: A special series on God & the Environment
Cloudy, With a Chance of Powers
As Asian economies grow, increased pollution affecting world's weather
Scientists say smog from Asia is drifting east, seeding storm clouds, and intensifying weather in the Pacific. On a typical spring or summer day, they say, nearly a third of the air high above the U.S. West Coast comes from Asia. And according to a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, high-altitude storm clouds in the northern Pacific have increased as much as 50 percent in the last 20 years. "The pollution transported from Asia makes storms stronger and deeper and more energetic," said lead author Renyi Zhang of Texas A&M University. "It is a direct link from large-scale storm systems to [human-produced] pollution." The trend could affect climate change, with soot-filled warm air potentially making Arctic ice melt faster. With new stats from China indicating that the country will overtake the U.S. as the world's biggest greenhouse-gas emitter as soon as this year, things are looking bleak. But hey -- we're gonna be No. 2, and we didn't even have to lift a finger!straight to the source: Los Angeles Times, Robert Lee Hotz, 06 Mar 2007straight to the source: BBC News, 06 Mar 2007straight to the source: San Francisco Chronicle, Robert Collier, 05 Mar 2007
NOW IN GRIST
Cleaning House. Umbra advises on disposing of toxic chemicals.
The Write Stuff, by Bill McKibben in Dispatches. Wendell Berry and Terry Tempest Williams join the Step It Up campaign.
Bad Hair Daze. Readers write in about sexist hair-color remarks, microwaving tea, eco rock concerts, and more.
Check out the Weekly Grist podcast, one more fabulous way to enjoy the week's top environmental news! Listen or subscribe.
Up or down? Which way do you want emissions to go?
Ask a Brokeass: More hip, less hippie. On greening your roommates.
Coal-to-liquid fuels: Not 'clean coal', not economically viable, and just not cool. Coal is still the enemy of the human race.
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