Blog Archives

Greenlines: Climate Talks on the Rocks, Monsanto Bad, DC School Lunches Better + 5 Fab Bikes

The Slow Cook asks: Does DC’s sweeping new  legislation on healthy school lunches go far enough?

The Washington Post reports that UN climate talks were temporarily suspended this morning after a block of developing countries walked out. But Miles Grant says the death of the Copenhagen talks have been greatly exaggerated. Here’s a link to his “brief note on bullshit,” which doesn’t directly relate to the Post story but provides some context to last weeks climate saga.

The Associated Press breaks a story of Monsanto’s business practices. “Confidential contracts detailing Monsanto Co.’s business practices reveal how the world’s biggest seed developer is squeezing competitors, controlling smaller seed companies and protecting its dominance over the multibillion-dollar market for genetically altered crops, an Associated Press investigation has found.” Read more.

Tree Hugger pixFinally, from Tree Hugger: “5 Fab Bike Solutions Seen On The Streets At COP-15”

Enjoy! And, don’t be spinning your wheels today!

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GreenLines: Trans-continental Climate Talks Edition!

Wikipedia photo

In Copenhagen, climate negotiations move closer to an accord as the talks head toward the half-way mark, the Washington Post reports.

In Washington, a delegation of area schoolchildren gave a presentation on climate change to youth delegates in Copenhagen via a live feed at a federal building downtown.

The director of one of the world’s biggest cycling events, the Giro d’Italia, met with Mayor Adrian M. Fenty yesterday to discuss plans for Washington to host the start of the 2012 race, the New York Times reports.

Meanwhile, Fenty‘s fraternity brothers – the ones who won the parks & recreation contracts – were called to defend themselves yesterday and insisted their ties to the city administration had nothing to do with their success. Sheesh!

The Park View blog posts on the city’s tree planting plans.

Greater Goods just put out its December newsletter. It’s a bit out of date, listing some events that already took place. But it’s in time to advertise a couple of workshops on “greening” your holiday season including one tomorrow on how to make eco-friendly decorations. Cost: $5. The class calendar hasn’t been updated either, but you can still RSVP by email.

DC Metrocentric went to EcoBuild 09 and has an enthusiastic post about the green building conference at the Washington Convention Center.

Pacific Coast fishermen Say Carbon Dioxide Having ‘Really Scary’ Ocean Effect.

New figures show 10,000 people have died of Swine Flu.

A new study in Sweden has found that high voltage power lines trap cancer-causing pollutants in their electric fields, potentially raising health risks for people who live beneath them.

The DCist has some weekend cultural offerings here and here.

GreenLines: The Holidays by Bike Edition

via We Love DC

The folks over at DC Department of Environment are advertising a “spring special.” OK, so they seem a little confused about the seasons. But it’s still a good deal: For $50 you not only get a new tree, but the city will arrange to have it planted on your property. For details, click here.

The District Department of Transportation, meanwhile, is calling for suggestions on how to improve the city for pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers and mass transit users. There is a public meeting tonight from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at the Franklin D. Reeves Center at 2000 14th Street, NW. Or you could call Ledesma Smith-Mathis at (202) 671-2317.

The neighborhood blogs have been abuzz about the news that DC may soon be allowed to set up a medical marijuana program. So you may have already heard the news that congressional negotiators greenlighted a budget bill this week that would sweep away ban established by Congress in 1998. Well, this Washington Times story does its best to stamp out the buzz.

DC’s Green Building Act is up for a revision. The Washington Business Journal says it’s no big overhaul. Is that true? Does anyone know if there were be more than minor word changes? Please share with the group.

Miles Grant takes on Sarah Palin.

See the holiday lights by bike, says We Love DC. (I guess it’s one way to cut down on the emissions.)

In the many weeks since “stolen emails-gate” began, you (like me) may have wondered what had happened to the 99.9 percent of climate scientists said to agree global warming is real and really human-made. Here’s some news on the subject from the Associated Press.

Check out this “best of YouTube” videos from the Copenhagen climate conference, courtesy of The Guardian.

Greenlines: Donuts Corrodes Pipes, MinuteClinics Open, Seattle Cuts Emissions + More

I wonder if this is another sign that the federal health care bill’s so-called public opinion is dead? Local CVS stores are getting MinuteClinics, the Washington Business Journal reports. The first has already opened in CVS’s Bladensburg Road store and is “staffed by nurse practitioners, who can diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for common illnesses like strep throat, infections and minor wounds.”

Krispy Kreme will pay Fairfax County $1.65 million for corroding sewer pipes with donut grease from its Lorton store. Given this news, you’ve gotta wonder what the sweets do to human pipes? Well, at least we now have the MinuteClinic for treatment!

Borderstan posts on how neighborhood residents rallied and saved trees along 17th Street NW that had slated for removal by city officials.

DC Metrocentric has proposed specs for redeveloping the Spring Road-Georgia Avenue NW area.

It’s official, the H Street shuttle has been saved, The Washington Post reports.


Richard Layman
checks in from New York City on how to make cities more cyclist-friendly.

Fresh AIRE is unveiling its sustainability toolkit for condos and apartments tonight at Arlington’s Central Library, The Green Miles has the details.

We Love DC is very happy to share that the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden ice skating rink opens tomorrow.

Seattle proves cutting emissions can be done! “The city of Seattle announced this afternoon that its greenhouse gas emissions in 2008 were 7 percent below what they were in 1990  a target the city had hoped to meet by 2012. But it’s not at all clear how or if the city will still meet the goal three years from now,” the Seattle Times reports.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says toxic chemical pollution from the nation’s industrial plants, mines and factories fell by 6 percent in 2008, declining for the second year in a row.

Coal mining company, Consol Energy Inc., lashes out at environmentalists who have sought to hold the company to compliance with federal clean water and other laws. After a judge pulled the company’s permits, the company decided to idle two mines employing about 500 workers and publicly blamed the shutdown on environmental activists, Reuters reports.

This might be entirely too much information for all but true climate politics junkies, but I happened across the official site for the UN climate talks. Here, you can download webcasts of every single official event and even some of the side shows.

Or you could just follow breaking news from climate talks on SEJ’s CopenBlog.

District Green: UMD Plans to Pave Paradise, Tweedy Bikers, Chemicals “Feminizing” Baby Boys + More

The Washington Post rightly takes University of Maryland officials to task for wanting to bulldozed nine acres of forested hillock to put up a parking lot and an equipment shed. Anybody else hearing the stylings of Joni Mitchell here?

We Love DC has fun photos of all the handlebars – as in bikes – and handlebar mustaches – as in Victorian Era – worn by cyclists in full regalia during yesterday’s Tweed Ride to benefit Art for the Aging.

Responding to news that Obama administration plans to put subway oversight in federal hands, Urban Places and Spaces argues for national standards.

New Columbia Heights advertises the Northwest Columbia Heights Citizens Association meeting tonight, where neighborhood safety and quality of life are on the agenda in the wake of the fatal shooting of a nine-year-old boy Saturday night.

WUSA has a USA Today story on how more US job seekers are looking overseas – to places such as Brazil and China – where they hope to find more opportunity.

Anacostia Now and DC Metrocentric write about development plans on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue within walking distance of the Anacostia Metro.

YIKES! Chemicals in plastics alter the brains of baby boys making them “more feminine,” researchers say. Would this have any connection to the Inter-sex fish in the Potomac?

Copenhagen climate talks are looking increasingly lame: World leaders have already bailed on negotiating a deal to combat global warming. Here’s a New York Times story on why nothing is expected to get done at the International climate summit.  And, here’s a “news analysis” of the situation.

While world leaders continue mucking up the fight against global warming, here’s a little something we can do to improve the indoor air quality at home. To wrap up this morning’s roundup, I leave you with a post from Mother Jones on house plants that naturally clean the air in your house or apartment.

That’s all for now, but come back later when I report a few interesting finds from last Saturday’s Energy Expo at the Washington Convention Center. Free software that can help businesses lower their light bills and carbon footprints, homes made of straw – straw bale, that is – water purification systems and more.

Morning Coffee – Local Edition

The New Columbia Heights blog is advertising the free bike light giveaway by the Washington Area Bicyclists Association tomorrow at the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza and in Adams Morgan.

Why I hate DC complains about complaints from Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) that he and other residents were broadsided on this week’s 15th St. bike lane construction.  It posts the contents of a letter from Graham taking city officials to task for the lack of notice about the temporary loss of parking spaces on 15th street.

Over in my old neighborhood, the Park View blog urges residents to demand new green space as part of the planned redevelopment of the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH). The retirement home’s lush rolling landscape is some of the only greenery in the neighborhood – too bad it’s not open to the public. The author, who has clearly perused many tedious DC planning documents, concludes things are likely to stay that way without a community outcry.

The Durable Human blogger Jenifer Joy Madden alerted me to her post on how locavores can save the world. You can find it here.

This Sunday, there’s going to be a conference on climate change at the Grand Hyatt Washington hotel. The subtitle: “Humanity’s Leap in the Golden Age.” The keynote speaker is Supreme Master Ching Hai, who is described as “a world-renowned spiritual teacher, artist, and humanitarian,” who “campaigns to promote a benevolent lifestyle without animal products.” A load of very esteemed academics are also slated to speak. I don’t know much else but it’s free – you gotta like that! Here’s the website.

Morning Edition: Loads of Bike News & Sad Developments atop of Mt. Kilimanjaro

First up: local bike news today:

The New Columbia Heights blog has a post about the debate raging on the Columbia Heights listserve about bikes after a pedestrian was nearly mowed down by a cyclist, who reported shouted “get out of my way,” as opposed to breaking or getting out the pedestrian’s way. Here’s a link to the blog post and here is the listserve site.

Borderstan reports that a new bike lane on 15th St. NW is expected to open by the weekend. The site also has an interesting post on how the District’s unemployment rate varies by wards.

The Washington Business Journal has a sobering article on the growing shortage of affordable housing in the D.C.-area even though the real estate has yet to recover from its crash two years ago.

Mount Kilimanjaro has lost more than a quarter of its ice cap since 2000, the New York Times reports.

The Times also covers the continuing saga of the senate climate bill.

The New Republic says Warren Buffett‘s just announced plans to buy Burlington Northern Santa Fe signals he’s “betting big on coal.” Coal has started to look decidedly “last century” given the greenhouse gas implications and the serious doubts about whether “clean coal” technology will ever be commercially viable. TNR, however, sees Buffett’s move to buy a railroad that runs right through Western states with large coal reserves as a sign that the business guru does not expect coal’s hold to loosen anytime soon on the country’s economy and electric grid (more than half of the country’s electricity is coal-powered.)

Mother Jones is among the news outlets that has rifled through the White House visitors log and reports on the oil moguls who have been chumming around with Larry Summers and other Obama administration officials.