Blog Archives

Today’s Greenlines – Shoveling, Snowmen + Subprime Mortgages

Pix from Park View

The Prince of Petworth has a post on “Sidewalks of Shame,” where nobody has bothered to shovel. When I lived in Boston, the city would fine property owners who failed to clear the snow away from the fronts of their properties. It was a hassle for the owners but made the city much more walkable this time of year. Why doesn’t the District have a similar ordinance?

It turns out, the Prince and I aren’t the only one peeved about impassible sidewalks. The Hill is Home‘s Claudia Holwill rants on the subject today too. And, those ever-unflappable folks at We Love DC have also found something with which they are not so enamored: Here’s a post with photos of a snow bank blocking a crosswalk in Arlington. Sometimes tough love is the only option.

The Prince also has a nice collection of reader-submitted snowmen shots.

The Washington Business Journal says fewer Washingtonians will be driving long distance to see the relatives this year. High gas prices are the culprit, according to this story that sources the AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

Here’s more confirmation that man’s BFF is a carbon hound.

Living near busy roads may affect brain health and could contribute to cognitive decline as women age, according to a new study by German scientists.

The Guardian has the most “bizarre wildlife stories of 2009

The Guardian pix

The UN has agreed to revamp the “beaurocratic and unwieldy” climate talks process in the wake of last week’s much maligned negotiations in Copenhagen, which critics have now dubbed: “Flogenhagen.”

USA Today has a story on environmentally friendly ways to get rid of snow and ice.

The Park View blog also has a nice collection of snowmen pix. Hey, what’s not to like? Snowmen are a low-carbon way of decorating for the holidays!

Finaly, please check out my story today in the Huffington Post. The tale is one one man’s subprime mortgage – not exactly an environmental issue but it does fall in the broader sustainablity catagory. And, hopefully, it’s a good and informative read. There’s also a video documentary and another story by David Heath on the topic that ran yesterday.

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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: 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.

Today’s Green Lines: Women More Ecological, The Big Dig Comes to The Hill, More People Taking the Bus + Lawnmower Needed

Women act more ecologically, but climate change is taking a harsher toll them than on men, according to a new UN report.

Public transportation usage is growing in unexpected places. While Boston, New York City, the District and other East Coast cities already have high ridership numbers, more people are climbing aboard trains and buses in Detroit, San Antonio, Phoenix, Charlotte, N.C. and other unexpected spots around the country.  Officials speculate that gas prices and economic uncertainty is getting more people aboard. Read the whole story.

Barry Farm (Re)mixed is getting lots of support for a neighborhood cleanup this weekend. But I think they are still in need of someone with a lawnmower. If you have one, consider joining the crew.

Park View has a photo essay questioning whether those neighborhood welcome to … signs add or detract from the loveliness of historic districts.

Go read DC Mud today on how the expansion of the Panama Canal may mean Capitol Hill is “about to get its own Big Dig – a $174 million capital improvement project that will unearth the long-buried tunnel south of the Capitol Building to widen and deepen the antiquated freight line.

Ahead of next month’s Copenhagen climate summit, countries are unveiling plans and pledges to cut emission. One notable exception to the trend – the United States.

Morning Coffee: Smart Appliances, Unisex Fish

The New York Times’ Green, Inc. blog says “smart appliances” designed to save on energy usage are arriving in stores around the country. The catch: the “smart” grid that would allow these appliances to put their energy-busting technology to work is still a dream on Washington policymakers drawing board.

The toxic stew of chemicals in the Potomac River is killing fish and altering their sexual development, according to the Potomac Conservancy‘s annual “State of the Nation’s Rivers” report, covered today in The Washington Post. The report, reportedly, makes no conclusions on the human health impacts. What goes unstated, however, is that our drinking water here in DC comes from the Potomac!

Ryan Avent laments the lack of car sharing in DC, while The Heights Life picks up on the rejoicing on city listservs now that parking-space hogging street cleaning is suspended until the spring.

Washington Business Journal says Montgomery County may opt for a more permanent but costly light rail instead of a bus for the planned 14-mile Clarksburg to Shady Grove line. The vote is set for Nov. 17.

Greater Greater Washington posts on a new report grappling with what the metropolitan DC area will look like in 2050. The take away: Revamping aging suburbs into denser, more pedestrian friendly communities of the future will be no easy task, David Alpert notes.  The Coalition for Smarter Growth is holding a forum tomorrow night.

Park View DC has the goods on last night’s ANC1A meeting in which developers discussed plans for the former Central Union Mission property at the southwest corner of Newton and Georgia Ave.

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.