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 It’s a bit out of date, listing some events that already took place.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


Today’s Greenlines – Toxic toys, Tainted Food, Bad Water, Rising Temperatures + New Literature on How Climate Change Can Literally Drive You Mad!

from The Guardian's Copenhagen Essay

The DCist: reports of the death of the H Street shuttle might have been greatly exaggerated.

It looks like the Advoc8te at Congress Heights on the Rise put in a late night to upload the results of her Freedom of Information Act Request regarding the investigation of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 8C‘s spending. Check it out.

DC MUD says a community boycott is brewing in Ward 7 against the Polin Memorial Community Development, a residential project set to break ground tomorrow. The fracas  is over community benefits that the developers, apparently, haven’t been too forthcoming about. Read more. Oddly, the WaPo piece makes no mention of the controversy, though it did merit some ink in today”s Washington City Paper Loose Lips column.

The Washington Post has a story on how, as the holiday gift-giving season arrives, toys are still not safe from harmful toxins. On a somehow related theme, the paper also has a piece on how our far flung global food supply system puts us at greater risk of eating tainted food.

While some would claim world temperatures have been cooling recently, the World Meteorological Organization announced today in Copenhagen that it’s just not true. “The period from 2000 through 2009 has been ‘warmer than the 1990s, which were warmer than the 1980s and so on,’ said Michel Jarraud, the secretary general of the international weather agency,” according to the New York Times story.

The Times also has this cheat sheet identifying the different players and what they want out of Copenhagen.

Mother Jones has a story on how climate change can drive you crazy – literally! “King’s College London psychiatrists recently published a metastudy of how the many charming side effects of rising temperatures—natural disasters, infectious diseases, mass migration—can really harsh your mental mellow, to say the least.” Read more.

WaPo reports that the Swine Flu outbreak could be the mildest pandemic since the advent of modern medicine.

WaPo also has a long story rehashing yesterday’s announcement by the US Environmental Protection Agency that it plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

I just discovered this new site: DC Food for All. It has posts about farmers’ markets, rants on the country’s food system and a passionate defense of keeping chickens in the city, among other things.

Missed this important story yesterday: More than 20 percent of the nation’s water treatment systems have violated key provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act over the last five years, according to a NY Times analysis of federal data. After you read that story, if you want to know more, check out the NY Times’ entire series on water pollution.

I leave you this morning with The Guardian‘s photo essay from Copenhagen.

Today’s Greenlines: DC’s 1st Swine Flu Fatality, Biking News, Commuter Taxes + Fetal Chemical Exposure

DC has its first Swine Flu fatality and drug-Resistant Swine Flu Now in Virginia & Maryland, DCist reports.

Prince of Petworth poses the Friday question of the day: Do You Support a Commuter Tax for DC?

Richard Layman’s blog has new bicyling and transportation statistics and some thoughts on park planning.

The Washington Post has a story today on how some Virginians are taking the smoking ban hard.

Our exposure to toxic chemicals begins in the womb, according to a new study covered by Yale’s e360.

Today’s Green Lines: The Dalai Lama, Bike Lanes, Gas Taxes, Wind Power + Smokey-Room Bans

The City Fix reports on more bike lanes contemplated for DC streets.

In a case of better late than never, Virginia bans smoking at bars and restaurants starting today. And, Miles Grant, AKA The Green Miles, invites you to a smoke-free party to celebrate.

While influenza outbreaks nationwide remain high, Swine Flu cases continue to decline, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For all the stats on the H1N1 virus click here.

Streetsblog Capitol Hill
posts on the possibilities of increasing the federal gas tax.

In DC, construction of office and other commercial buildings to set a record this year before coming to a resounding halt with no groundbeakings planed for 2010, notes the Washington Business Journal.

Maryland’s Constellation Energy adds wind power.

After hearing last week about how the human brain is ill-equipped to fight global warming (more on that later,) this New York Times story on how “babies are innately sociable and helpful to others” makes me feel a little better.

This Times piece on the struggles of indigenous people against poachers, loggers, illicit gold miners and other outsiders in a remote Venezuela rainforest is also worth a read.

The Dalai Lama has joined the growing number of spiritual leaders calling for global action to address climate change. He talks about his personal conservation efforts and says protecting the environment should be part of everyone’s lives now.

CDC Ups Estimates of H1N1 Cases

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just issued a new set of estimates for the numbers of people infected with Swine Flu, AKA the H1N1 virus, between April and mid-October. According to the CDC, these revised figures are meant to correct big-time underreporting of the illness that hampered early efforts to gage the spreading pandemic.

CDC Estimates of 2009 H1N1 Cases and Related Hospitalizationsand Deaths from April-October 17, 2009, By Age Group

2009 H1N1 Mid-Level Range* Estimated Range *
0-17 years ~8 million ~5 million to ~13 million
18-64 years ~12 million ~7 million to ~18 million
65 years and older ~2 million ~1 million to ~3 million
Cases Total ~22 million ~14 million to ~34 million
0-17 years ~36,000 ~23,000 to ~57,000
18-64 years ~53,000 ~34,000 to ~83,000
65 years and older ~9,000 ~6,000 to ~14,000
Hospitalizations Total ~98,000 ~63,000 to ~153,000
0-17 years ~540 ~300 to ~800
18-64 years ~2,920 ~1,900 to ~4,600
65 years and older ~440 ~300 to ~700
Deaths Total ~3,900 ~2,500 to ~6,100

* Deaths have been rounded to the nearest ten. Hospitalizations have been rounded to the nearest thousand and cases have been rounded to the nearest million.

Click here for the full report.

Morning Coffee: Fenty-gate, Congestion Pricing + Swine Flu – the Pet Connection!

The Montgomery County Council has voted to back construction of taller buildings and other ways to encourage denser growth in areas around Metro stations and other transportation hubs, WTOP reports.

WTOP also has a new installment in its Fenty-gate reporting – the radio station says that the mayor has used federal Homeland Security SUVs to shuttle him to more than a dozen bike races in the last two years. Beyond whether this is an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars, think of the carbon footprint: those SUVs are tremendous gas guzzlers. It just doesn’t look good for the mayor.

WAMU radio has a story suggesting you could get Swine Flu from your pet, only to couch that declaration by adding that it’s much more common to get the H1N1 virus from another person. The story goes on to quote a veterinarian urging people to hug their dogs regularly, only to point out such close contact is not necessarily a good idea if the pet is coming down with the flu. The upshot: should we be afraid of our germ-carrying mascots?  It’s hard to say from this story!

DC Streets blog has a piece on the Brookings Institution’s Alice Rivlin, who served as budget director for the Clinton Administration. Rivlin supports moving the country to “congestion pricing,” a twist on road tolls in which drivers are charged more during rush hour to get into urban areas with the most traffic gridlock. Experiments are underway in several cities around the globe, most notably London. New York City, however, is among the metropolises that have dissed the idea.

Meanwhile, Greater Greater Washington has a post on a new iPhone app that promises to do a better job than the folks at Metro of estimating when the Circulator bus will arrive at your stop.

WaPo reports that the Arts Place and another large NE development received preliminary approval at Monday night’s DC Zoning Board meeting. The Arts Place project, located near the Fort Totten Metro station, could pay environmental dividends by encouraging more Metro usage and less driving.

Morning Green – Local Edition

DC public health officials have cut back on Swine Flu vaccine clinics so they can divert more vaccine doses to local doctors’ offices and community health  clinics, WaPo reports.

On the DC Streets Blog, Sarah Goodyear has a post on a new study that asserts living on cul-de-sacs are dangerous.

I like this image from, ahem … Fuck Yeah DC. Not really news, not really ecological, but, hey! It’s Friday! This guy has some other beauty shots of our fair city, which kinda calls into question entire theme of his blog. But anyway, on with the day. Have a good one!