Archive for November, 2008

Bush Administration Rushes to Entrench 8 Years of Bad Environmental Policy Long After Due Date Passes

The outgoing political appointees in the federal government are trying to pull a fast one on us.

The Bush Administration is rushing to put in place a set of 20 regulation changes – 4 of which slow environmental and worker protection and remove barriers for big companies to cut environmental corners.

image from – too bad there’s not one of the entire administration.

Mind you, this is so far past due date it’s not even funny – a May memo from the White House Chief of Staff wrote that proposals for regulations should be received no later than June 1. I don’t know about you, but if I tried to turn in a paper 6 months late, I would be s#*% out of luck.

According to the New York Times, these proposals include rules that would:

1. Require another step in regulating workplace chemicals (longitudinal studies of exposure over an employee’s working life), adding up to 2 years to a process that already takes 8.

2. Remove barriers to building power plants near national parks and wilderness areas

3. Reduce the role of federal wildlife scientists in declaring whether endangered species will be threatened by highway or dam construction

4. Allow coal companies to dump rock and dirt from mining into streams and valleys.

These proposals are to change the Code of Federal Regulations, a bundle of rules created by federal departments and agencies that have the force of law. While it would be easy for Obama to overturn any executive orders coming from Bush, it would require a public comment period and proof of a “reasoned analysis” to overturn these regulations – easy, of course, but time consuming.


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Downsview Park "Trail of Lights" (Toronto)

From November 28 until the end of 2008, Toronto’s Downsview Park will host Canada’s largest walk-through holiday light show. Stretching 2 kilometers, “Trail of Lights” is powered by LEDs – over 400,000 of them.

It runs from 5 – 10 p.m. and costs $10-12 (more on certain holidays).

Check out this cut from the brochure, or visit this daily dose of imagery picture taken by Sam Javanrouh.

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Best Green Blogs

Best Green Blogs is a fantastic directory of green-themed blogs. Many are stories and tips from ordinary people living greener, and some are location-specific (Hawaii, India, Chicago, Pacific Northwest, etc.). Some cover green travel, some cover green weddings, and some cover alternative energy. This directory is definitely worth a look.

It was on Best Green Blogs that I found The Greenest Dollar, a blog with information about how to save money by saving the environment.

The Greenest Dollar featured a post on Monday about Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program, for all those shoes that are “too nasty for Goodwill.”

The good news is, there are tons of drop off sites so you don’t have to mail your shoes to Oregon – my nearest one is at the Boys & Girls Club in Minneapolis.

Happy reading!

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In Weird News…

Check out this article about trash-art from the Wall Street Journal.

image from the Wall Street Journal

This used to be a turkey sternum. Now it is art!

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The Stars Weigh In

Two things:

1. A delightful quote from Carl Pope.

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“Efficiency is the steak,” said Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club. “Renewables are the sizzle.”

from “Efficiency, Not Just Alternatives, Is Promoted as an Energy Saver.” The New York Times. Matthew L. Wald, May 29, 2007.

2. The Gilmore Girls (Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel) weigh in on global warming.

image from

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Green Wii

image from

The National Resources Defense Council released a report yesterday finding that video game consoles use a significant amount of energy, costing up to $134 per year if not shut off when not in use.

The Wii is far and away the most energy efficient model, says this article from Yahoo!. The console uses between $3-$10 per year in energy (depending on habits of turning the console off if not in use).

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Green Honor Roll

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The Princeton Review has released its 2009 “Green Rating” Honor Roll, and 11 colleges received a perfect score:

Arizona State University at the Tempe campus
Bates College (Lewiston, ME)
College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor, ME)
Emory University (Atlanta, GA)
Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA)
Harvard College (Cambridge, MA)
State University of New York at Binghamton
University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH)
University of Oregon (Eugene, OR)
University of Washington (Seattle, WA)
Yale University (New Haven, CT)

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