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Greenlines – Climate Diplomacy is Dead, Go Rent a Xmas Tree!

Greetings, this post-blizzard, pre-holiday Monday! It almost feels like a Sunday since so many offices are closed and the roads are still snow clogged.  Let’s start things off with an informal readers’ poll: How many of you have had your street plowed by city crews? Here in Takoma DC, my little block has seen no plowing action but a few neighbors appear to have driven to work this morning anyway.  Encouraging news, for sure.

There is not a lot of DC sustainability news this morning though I did happen upon the website for Weatherize DC, which had a big meeting in Chevy Chase to talk about replacement windows and other “weatherization” options last week.

Beyond the Beltway, the fight to stop mountaintop removal coal mining is getting more volatile. The Associated Press reports: “Fear of violence grows in mountaintop mining fight.” Meanwhile, we’re coming up on a year since the huge coal ash spill at a Tenn. coal-burning power plant created huge damages and made headlines around the world. But ” the battle over potential new rules to protect coalfield communities and the environment from the dangers of toxic coal ash is just getting started,” according to the Charleston (WV) Gazette.

Another story worth checking out is the New York Times coverage about toxins in the nation’s water supply. Here’s a link to the Times coverage. The Washington City Paper also has a post on the story.

BP‘s green luster is finally starting too look gangrenous. The British petroleum company is often hailed for the most successful green advertising greenwashing campaign in history. But the treehugger rhetoric apparently didn’t wash with a federal jury that awarded more than $100 million to workers exposed to toxic fumes at its troubled BP Texas City, Texas refinery that was named by the EPA as the country’s most polluting plant a few years ago. BP officials were quoted saying they were “shocked and outraged” by the verdict but it’s hard to understand why when BP has already paid many millions of dollars in fines and other penalties for failing to meet federal environmental and other laws at the Texas City plant, on Alaska’s North Slope and elsewhere.
It’s official: Copenhagen Summit has been roundly hailed as big-time failure! Check out these cheery headlines:




On a lighter note, do you think this rent-a-christmas-tree concept will ever catch on in the District? One can only hope!