Society

Oil prices and the recession

Economist James Hamilton crunched some numbers and found that the current recession can largely be explained by sub-prime mortgages financial derivatives imploding credit markets insolvent banks winged monkeys the surge in oil prices in 2007 and 2008. It's a result so unexpected that even Hamilton claims not to believe it entirely, but perhaps we shouldn't be so surprised. Previous oil… read more →

Speak up, over the applause, please

The annual Ceres conference always fills me with a combination of worry and hope. Last week's event marked the 20th anniversary gathering for this group of environmentalists and investors to call for the integration of sustainability into capital markets. This is, in part, a cause for concern: two decades and still no cap on emissions or mandates for improved social… read more →

Urban herb gardening season begins

I've been led to understand that gardening is a popular pastime in the United States, one to which people devote considerable time, care, labor, and craft. If you are such a person, then this post is not for you. This post is for people like me: lazy, brown-thumbed, a serial murderer of plant life, with no special talent or aptitude… read more →

Fantastic Earth Hour pics

On Saturday, over 1,000 cities participated in Earth Hour, a mass movement in which people turn off their lights for an hour to call attention to climate change. Get thee to the The Big Picture straightaway, and play with their before-and-after interactive pictures of Earth Hour events around the globe. I've reproduced a few of the images below, but we… read more →

Friday video fun

Some folks have written a song about home energy efficiency to the tune of M.I.A.'s Paper Planes. It takes a little while to get started -- my favorite bit is at the 2:30 mark -- but it's hard not to like a song that incorporates Kill-A-Watt energy monitors, caulking guns, and negawatts. Well, hard if you're me: David Roberts says… read more →

Join Earth Hour next Saturday, March 28 at 8:30pm local time

**Update:** headline typo has been fixed. Earth Hour falls on **Saturday**, March 28 at 8:30 PM local time. For the past few years, World Wildlife Fund has sponsored a worldwide effort to raise awareness of energy use by asking us to stop using energy for an hour. Earth Hour started in Sydney, Australia but has spread quickly to the United… read more →

Washington Post publishes rebuttal of George Will’s lies

The Washington Post gave over their op-ed page to science journalist Chris Mooney, who took apart George Will's recent lie-filled column on climate change. The Post also published a letter from the World Meteorological Organization, rebutting Will's distortion of their own data. Will claimed that the WMO's temperature record shows "there has been no recorded global warming for more than… read more →

High of 50? Dust off your bike

Today marked the first day of my roughly seven-month biking season here in New York. The thermometer registered about 38° F when I left my house, which is a fine temperature for biking. A hat and some thin gloves keep the chill off, and the cool air keeps the tourist hordes away from the Brooklyn Bridge. Later in the summer… read more →

Mother Earth takes on a whole new meaning

As I get ready to welcome our first child this summer, I started to wonder about her carbon footprint. There are plenty of overwhelming statistics out there about how many diapers I'll be going through (2,800 in the first year!) and how much it will cost to raise this child for the next 18 years ($250,000+), but less apparent is… read more →

Top 10 sustainability myths

I winced when I saw the headline "Top 10 Myths about Sustainability." These articles are almost always an excuse for lame contrarianism. Did you know that a Prius is worse than a Hummer!?!?!! Did you know that farmer's markets kill panda bears!?!? But hey, guess what, the article is really good, providing food for thought on a number of contentious… read more →
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