Blog Archives

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 It’s a bit out of date, listing some events that already took place.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.

Green Lines: Shopping Green, Chemical Valley, Threatened Honeycreepers + Salmonella School Lunches

YUCK! USA TODAY reveals why USDA officials allowed meat they knew could be tainted with salmonella to make it into school lunch programs.

New Columbia Heights has footage of street musicians.

Miles Grant discusses how he shopped for a new desk and coffee table made from sustainable lumber.

WAMU 88.5 FM
reports that the Army Corps of Engineers has released a list of chemical warfare materials recovered from Spring Valley in northwest DC and now want resident feedback on the cleanup process.

Hawaiian honeycreepers, New England lynxes and Rocky mountain grizzly bears were among the critters named to America’s top 10 list of threatened species already suffering from global warming, according to a new report by the environmental groups.

Forest Advocates Float Greenwashing Claims

At the DC Energy Expo last weekend, it was rather disappointing to talk to a dealer of energy-efficient windows who had no idea where the wood that frames his windows comes from.

All he knows is that the manufacturers promise it is certified “environmentally friendly.”

“Green building” has become a big business.  By 2013, one in every five new homes will be an energy-efficient, eco-friendly abode, according to one estimate.

But what does “green” mean? There’s a huge battle underway over that question.  One of the bitterest fronts is being fought over sustainable forestry.

Last week, the environmentalists at ForestEthics engaged in a new skirmish against the country’s largest forest certification program, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, or SFI, a nonprofit that has grown rapidly in recent years. But, for many environmentalists, SFI is a front organization for Big Timber that threatens to hijack the burgeoning market for sustainable lumber.

ForestEthics did its best to publicize those concerns at the country’s leading green building convention in Phoenix last week; It floated a helium-filled banner over the SFI booth inside the convention center that read: “SFI=Greenwash.”

picked up on the controversy today. SFI has also responded. For more details on greenwashing and green building, here’s a story I wrote for ArchitectureWeek.

Today’s Sustainability News Roundup

Given the wave of bedbug sightings in DC and elsewhere recently, this new research is a relief. Environmental Health News is reporting that “good housekeeping” habits are more effective than fumigation in keeping the bedbug population at bay.

Californian regulators are considering a proposal for pay-by-the-mile auto insurance. If adopted, California would be the second state, after Texas, to give motorists a chance to insure themselves for only the miles they drive. Besides offering a new way of looking at auto insurance, the plan, called the MileMeter, drives home (so to speak) the connection between mileage and air pollution, not to mention global warming.

Spiegel Online International provides some insights on how climate change fighters could save the planet on the cheap.

Kmart, Target and Toys R Us will pay nearly half a million dollars to settle a California lawsuit over sale of toys containing excessive amounts of lead.

Nanoparticles found in many body lotions and cosmetics damage DNA, according to new research.

USA Today has a story on bad behavior by farmers growing genetically engineered corn.

Owens Corning is starting a shingle recycling program.

LEED, the country’s preeminent green building rating system, has seen rapid growth this year, even as the conventional environmentally evasive construction industry has faltered.

Traces of BPA, the controversial plastic often used to coat the insides of cans, can leach into the food inside those cans. Yuk!