Almost 7 years ago, while going through some personal issues, I made a terrible mistake and ended up being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in the State of California. It was a dark period in my life, but I have moved on and learned my lesson. This spring, however, my intoxicated driving conviction […]
Read time: 10 mins
By Kaitlin Sullivan, Climate Liability News. Crossposted from Climate Liability News.
A series of newly discovered documents clarify the extent to which the U.S. government, its advisory committees and the fossil fuel industry have understood for decades the impact carbon dioxide emissions would have on the planet.
The documents obtained by Climate Liability News show how much the National Petroleum Council (NPC), an oil and natural gas advisory committee to the Secretary of Energy, knew about climate change as far back as the 1970s. A series of reports illuminate the findings of government-contracted research that outlined the dangers associated with increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Read time: 6 mins
Two years into his presidency, Donald Trump has racked up some high-profile policy failures. There’s no wall spanning the length of our southern border, no denuclearization underway in North Korea, and ethics scandals have swamped his administration.
But when it comes to environmental policy changes, the administration’s record of success has been remarkable.
If you’re looking to increase your houseplant collection, this is the easiest way to do it! I’m going to show you How To Propagate Spider Plants! Spider plants are seeing a resurgence in popularity and I’m loving it. I grew up a kid in the 70’s and 80’s when spider plants were all the rage. My mom grew them and hung them from macrame plant hangers she made…oh man, if only I’d had the foresight to keep those treasures…who knew how popular macrame would become again! While I don’t think I’m going to be hanging plants from my ceilings any […]
A few weeks ago I noticed the Center for Science in the Public Interest giving kudos to Disney and to The Lego Movie for their licensing of their cartoon characters to sell pineapples and bananas.
I don’t share their enthusiasm.
In part that’s because neither Disney nor the Lego Movie have any qualms licensing their characters to sell crap to kids. McDonald’s recently announced that Disney’s happily taking many millions of dollars from them (actual dollar cost not announced, last was $100 million) to once again include Disney toys in their Happy Meals, while the Lego Movie, well they’re already in Happy Meals.
But my bigger objection is that we shouldn’t be targeting children with advertising in the first place because why should anything be advertised to a population that has been shown to not be able to discern truth from advertising? And so even if the advertisements happen to fit with your definition of what’s good for kids, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s plainly unethical to allow advertising to target children period.
It’s better in the basement. Give us the stained couches demoted from the family room. Give us those plastic walls full of pink insulation. Give us those cold floors and thin carpets. Give us that dark cave hidden from the outside world. Give us a group of friends hanging out. And give us a screwball […]
The post #545 Watching a movie on an old couch in the basement with a group of friends appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
Read time: 3 mins
Originally posted on Climate Investigations Center.
How much money have the fossil fuel industry’s powerful trade association allies spent to convince the American public that its products are beneficial and necessary — and to stymie progress on climate change that could harm its financial interests?
To find out, Climate Investigations Center researchers analyzed the public relations expenditures of these trade associations going back to 2008, using data from publicly-available federal Form 990 tax records. The expenditures provide unique insight into fossil fuel trade association priorities and the willingness of public relations firms to represent socially harmful industries.
Read time: 7 mins
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund — a state-owned investment fund worth approximately a trillion dollars — recently announced it was divesting from oil and gas exploration companies around the world. Not surprisingly, many oil and gas stocks declined following the announcement.
While this is good news for the climate, this was simply a smart business decision. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, known as the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), primarily exists due to Norwegian oil production. And the fund will continue to be a major investor in companies like Exxon.
It appears it’s just cutting its losses on money-losing endeavors like fracking in America, tar sands oil production in Canada, and frontier exploration by UK companies in Africa and South-East Asia.
The rooftop dome of the PEARL Ridge Lab spectrometer. The dome houses the solar-tracker, which guides light into the input window through a hole in the roof. (Photo: Erik Lutsch)
When a wildfire rages through a forest in northern Canada, Alaska or Russia, prevailing winds blow its toxic emissions north to the Arctic. As climate change brings warmer, drier summers to the world’s boreal forests, fires are getting bigger and more frequent. What does this mean for the atmosphere at the top of the world — and for the rest of the planet? Erik Lutsch, a PhD student in the department of physics at the University of Toronto, is part of a team that’s looking for the answers.
Le dôme du spectromètre sur la toiture du Laboratoire Ridge de PEARL. Le dôme abrite le suiveur solaire, qui oriente la lumière à l’intérieur de la fenêtre d’entrée à travers un trou dans la toiture. (Photo : Erik Lutsch)
Lorsqu’un feu incontrôlé fait rage dans une forêt du nord du Canada, de l’Alaska ou de la Russie, les vents dominants poussent les émissions toxiques vers le nord et l’Arctique. À mesure que le changement climatique apporte des étés plus chauds et plus secs dans les forêts boréales du monde, les incendies gagnent en ampleur et en fréquence. Qu’est-ce que cela signifie pour l’atmosphère au sommet du monde – et pour le reste de la planète? Erik Lutsch, doctorant au département de physique de l’Université de Toronto, fait partie d’une équipe qui cherche des réponses à cette question.
After playing, playing, playing, you finally hear the car pull into the driveway, the boots clomp up the steps, and the key sliding into the front door. Time to drop what you’re doing and run full throttle down the hallway for a big welcome back celebration. AWESOME! Photo from: here — Follow me on Twitter […]
The post #546 Running to the front door when your mom or dad comes home from work appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
Read time: 6 mins
In what might be seen as an afternoon practical lesson in democracy, free speech, and civic engagement, students from cities and towns across the country and the world marched, chanted, and held placards aloft.
One of the biggest marches in Australia saw 25,000 students on the streets of Sydney, the home of the Rupert Murdoch-owned The Daily Telegraph.
But one student in particular caught eye of The Daily Telegraph — a 17-year-old, Year 12 pupil called Joanne Tran, who wrote an article for the newspaper explaining why she would not be marching.
Read time: 8 mins
President Trump’s claim that the Green New Deal would cost $100 trillion can be traced back to the Manhattan Institute, a think tank backed by fossil fuel investor Paul Singer and companies like ExxonMobil.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Edward Markey made waves at a press conference in February when they rolled out a Green New Deal resolution that called for the nation to transition to 100 percent clean energy in ten years.
Brian Riedl, a senior fellow at the New York-based Manhattan Institute, attempted to “cost out the Green New Deal” in a Twitter thread the next day. Riedl admitted he had “No idea” how much things like “Installing renewable energy everywhere” would cost.
Bobbie Ann Mason, in The New Yorker, on the burden of the feast.
Isaac Chotiner, in The New Yorker, with a not at all gentle interview of Holocaust historian Deborah E. Lipstadt on the oldest hatred.
Margaret McCartney, in the Globe and Mail, on not falling prey to the cult of wellness.
Read time: 4 mins
This is a guest post by Linda Schneider of the Heinrich Böll Foundation.
At the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, this week, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia blocked a push to gather information on potentially regulating climate geoengineering technologies. Switzerland, along with 11 other countries, including Micronesia, Senegal, and New Zealand, had submitted a draft resolution mandating a report on the state of research, risks, and possible governance options related to geoengineering efforts.
Read time: 8 mins
On March 15 droves of students around the world walked out of school to protest politicians’ inaction on climate change, with approximately one million people participating in the strikes, according to organizers. From Sydney to Stockholm, students had planned more than 1,600 school strikes in over 100 countries, inspired by the weekly Friday climate protests of Swedish student Greta Thunberg.
And in New Orleans, Louisiana, a small but resolute group of students and supporters gathered a few blocks from Lusher High School, on St. Charles Avenue, one of the city’s most famous thoroughfares, to confront their state’s heightened urgency to stop climate change or face losing the land they are standing on.
To get the role, your brain activity needs to play the part too
Our planet’s been hit with humongous solar storms in the past
A tasty butterfly has an unpalatable backup plan
The story of bones from a man obsessed with them
Inactive ingredients in medications could be a health concern
Dig deep, baby. When the weather warms up and the snow melts down, it’s time to pull out that thin dusty jacket from the back of the closet and toss it back on. Now, just make sure you stuff your hands deep in those pockets and see if you can’t score some buried treasure that’s […]
The post #547 Finding buried treasures in your Spring jacket pocket appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
Read time: 6 mins
Last year, Canada exported a record amount of tar sands oil to the U.S., despite low oil prices leading to major losses once again for the struggling tar sands industry. That achievement required a big bump in hauling oil by rail, with those daily volumes in late 2018 more than double the previous record in 2014 during the first oil-by-rail boom.
Canada’s oil industry essentially has reached its limit for exporting oil into the U.S. through pipelines. That’s why it’s turning to rail to export more and more oil, but as an ever-increasing number of oil trains hit the tracks of North America, expect more accidents and oil spills to follow.
Craving pie? I’ve got you covered with these 12+ Delicious Pie Recipes. If you love pie then you’re in for a treat today! I’m sharing so many delicious sweet and savory pie recipes. Everything from classics like pumpkin, blueberry, apple and pecan pie, to galettes, to chicken pot pie, mincemeat pie and more! SWEET PIE RECIPES Summer Peach Pie This Summer Peach Pie is a perfect dessert! The crust is tender and flaky, and the filling sweet and full of delicious peach flavour. Classic Blueberry Pie This Blueberry Pie is the perfect summer dessert…or really any time of year dessert! […]
It’s a bad scene. Alarm bells buzz when the clock clicks six and I become a barely blinking lump of groggy stretching noises that sound like Chewbacca after he’s been shot. Honestly, it’s a pathetic scene — me lying there with drool stains on my cheeks, deathbags under my eyes, and some bent and jagged […]
The post #548 That moment in the shower where you suddenly decide to make it a really long shower appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
Read time: 5 mins
A private contractor employed by the state of Massachusetts to conduct a statewide safety review of its gas distribution companies hired gas industry executives for the project, documents obtained by DeSmog show. They include two former executives of National Grid — one of the companies under review — and Enbridge, a main supplier of gas in the state.
Read time: 4 mins
When President Trump nominated long-time Koch network insider and renewable energy antagonist Daniel Simmons to lead the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the administration’s priorities for federal energy programs were made abundantly clear. Simmons had, after all, been serving at the time of his nomination as Vice President for Policy at a Koch-funded think tank that had, in 2015, called for the outright elimination of the very office he was tapped to lead.
The Trump administration budget proposal released this week, for fiscal year 2020, goes a long way toward delivering this wish to the Koch network, calling for a 70 percent reduction in funding for the EERE and scrapping entirely the Department of Energy’s loan programs. The EERE ultimately received $2.4 billion in the current 2019 budget, and the current Trump proposal would fund it at $696 million.
I should probably be putting “smoothie” in sneer quotes when discussing this new product.
The ingredients in this “smoothie” aren’t simply water, strawberries, and bananas but rather they’re strawberries, bananas, and apple, grape, and lemon juices.
Perhaps that’s why in an 11.5oz serving of it, there’s 44g of sugar (responsible for 85% of its 200 calories). For reference, drop for drop, actual Coca-Cola contains 15% less sugar and 33% fewer calories.
But of course no one confuses Coca-Cola for a healthy beverage.
But Coca-Cola (Simply’s parent company) sure hopes you confuse this “smoothie” with one given they’ve festooned it with front of package shout outs that explicitly suggest it’s good for you.
I’m also confused by its nutrition.
The ingredients report that 11.5oz of banana strawberry “smoothie” provides 1g of fiber, yet that’s less than what would be found in just a 5th of a small banana, and yet to eat 44g of sugar from small bananas, you’d have to consume 18x that amount. And the 35% Vitamin C? You’d get that from just 2 strawberries.
Unless it’s you doing your own blending (and even then, remember it’s not likely to be as filling and you’ll be able to consume a great deal more) eat your fruit, don’t drink it.
Read time: 6 mins
What does it take to become a legitimate spokesperson on climate change science and energy policy in the eyes of President Donald Trump and partisan conservative media like Fox News and Breitbart?
If the current worshipping of non-expert and climate science denier Patrick Moore is anything to go by, the only qualification you need is the ability to call a first term Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a “pompous little twit” on Twitter.
It all starts with the permission slip. Yes, when teachers send them home before the bell rings so parents can rubber stamp the bumpy yellow bus trip to the museum, then it’s on, my friends, it’s on. Soon the days count down and the buzz builds up as the class gets ready for the day […]
Read time: 8 mins
Two years ago, the U.S. fracking industry was trying to recover from the crash in the price of oil. Shale companies were promoting the idea that fracking was viable even at low oil prices (despite losing money when oil prices were high). At the time, no one was making money fracking with the business-as-usual approach, but then the Wall Street Journal published a story claiming all of this was about to change because the industry had a trump card — and that was technology.
Today, frackers are again relying on technology as a financial savior, but this time, they are looking to Microsoft.
Read time: 3 mins
There are at least 12 car companies currently selling an all-electric vehicle in the United States, and Toyota isn’t one of them. Despite admitting recently that the Tesla Model 3 alone is responsible for half of Toyota’s customer defections in North America — as Prius drivers transition to all-electric — the company has been an outspoken laggard in the race to electrification.
Now, the company is using questionable logic to attempt to justify its inaction on electrification, claiming that its limited battery capacity better serves the planet by producing gasoline-electric hybrids.
Decorate for Spring in the Living Room! Simple ways to add some seasonal spring cheer to your home. Hello friends! This week I’ve joined 37 blogger friends as we come together to share our homes all decorated for spring! These tours are part of the Seasonal Simplicity Spring Series hosted by Krista of The Happy Housie. In case you missed my first two posts in this spring series, you can read find them here –> How to Grow Plants from Cuttings, and my Simple Spring Vignette. Be sure to visit all the spring home tours in the links at the bottom of […]
Read time: 5 mins
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, squashed a letter by her own state health agency, which raised serious concerns about a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in a densely populated Providence neighborhood. Documents obtained by DeSmog show that last summer Raimondo nixed a letter by the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) critical of National Grid’s Fields Point Liquefaction project right before it was to be submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
FERC approved the project three months later.
This is the Most Chocolatey German Chocolate Cake! A rich, chocolatey chocolate cake smothered in a gooey coconut, pecan caramel frosting. A showstopper dessert! Oh my, this cake. It’s a dream. German Chocolate Cake has to be one of my most favourite cakes of all time. I have such nice memories of when my mom would sometimes make this cake for my birthday as a kid. That delicious coconut pecan caramel frosting with chocolate cake…it’s stuck with me forever. You may remember a while back that I shared a recipe for a more subtle German Chocolate Cake, as part of […]
I’m honestly not trying to be mean, but that was the thought that went through my mind when I read the recently published study, Log Often, Lose More: Electronic Dietary Self‐Monitoring for Weight Loss which purports to explore the relationship between food diary use and weight loss.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge proponent of using a food diary. Whether it’s tracking calories, carbohydrates, macros, or whatever, there’s ample evidence to suggest that tracking helps to maintain new behaviours, but is that what this study showed?
Well it did show that those keeping a food diary and using it more often had greater weight loss during a 24 week behavioural weight loss intervention.
So what’s my problem?
I have two (well, two related to this study, clearly many overall).
The first is that the food tracker utilized was web based, and not a smartphone app. It’s a minor quibble, but nonetheless, app based food diaries are the norm, why not use them? Given we have our phones wherever we go, but not our desktops and laptops, that might make a real difference to the percentage of people using them (and yes, I realize there are web browsers on phones, but that’s just not the same).
I’m guessing the reason a smartphone app wasn’t used is that using one would not have provided the researchers with the minutes users spent tracking, which brings me to my second, and more significant, concern.
Apparently, in the first month, successful users (those who ultimately lost more than 5% of their presenting weights) were shown to be using that web based food diary 23-24 minutes daily. And though some of that is likely consequent to learning curve, by month 6 it was still taking them 15-16 minutes of effort to record their daily meals and snacks.
Those are extremely high numbers. Having once done a stretch of 3 years of not missing a single day’s use of, first a web based, and then an app based food diary, I can tell you that in short order, it really shouldn’t take longer than 2-3 minutes daily to track. The learning curve is at most 2-3 weeks, and once beyond that, useful food diaries keep track of your entered meals and snacks such that re-entering them is a simple as a click.
Or at least that’s how it should be.
Which means that the users in this study were either taught the world’s least efficient means of keeping a food diary, or the web interface utilized was just awful (or both).
Either way, I’m not sure how the results of this study help much. Because while I’m definitely a believer when it comes to the benefits of food diary use, it would seem to me that what this study actually measured are the outcomes of people so incredibly dedicated to their behaviour change efforts, that they bothered putting up with an awful and time consuming food diary for 6 months.
[for some expanded thoughts from me on keeping a food diary, here’s a piece I wrote for Greatist a number of years ago, and for full disclosure, I’m currently closing in on beta-testing our office’s own food diary and behaviour change smartphone app]
Read time: 6 mins
Support for the ambitious Green New Deal proposal has uncovered widening rifts within the Democratic Party as presidential candidates begin fleshing out their 2020 platforms. To date, the Green New Deal (GND) resolution introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) has attracted 68 co-sponsors from Democratic congressmembers.
However, according to a recent report from Public Accountability Initiative (PAI), centrist Democrats and party leadership are part of what it calls an “anti-Green New Deal coalition” that could seriously impede the GND’s goal to transition the country to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Here’s the breakdown of how the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls fall in their less-than-full-throated support for the GND.
Read time: 5 mins
The record-breaking, El Niño-driven global temperatures of 2016 have given climate change deniers a new trope. Why, they ask, hasn’t it since got even hotter?
In response to a recent US government report on the impact of climate change, a spokesperson for the science-denying American Enterprise Institute think-tank claimed that “we just had […] the biggest drop in global temperatures that we have had since the 1980s, the biggest in the last 100 years.”
These claims are blatantly false: the past two years were two of the three hottest on record, and the drop in temperature from 2016 to 2018 was less than, say, the drop from 1998 (a previous record hot year) to 2000. But, more importantly, these claims use the same kind of misdirection as was used a few years ago about a supposed “pause” in warming lasting from roughly 1998 to 2013.
Andrew Anthony, in The Guardian, on the casual and banal antisemitism that has overtaken England.
Helen Branswell, in STAT, on the retirement of Ebola warrior Pierre Rolin.
Caitlin Flanagan, in The Atlantic, on “jackbooted tots” vs. Senator Dianne Feinstein.
Read time: 9 mins
By Karen Savage, Climate Liability News. Crossposted from Climate Liability News.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), a 123-year-old trade group that has worked diligently to defend Big Oil in the burgeoning climate liability battles, has also taken on another opponent to the status quo: investors.
In addition to filing briefs in defense of the fossil fuel industry, launching campaigns to discredit the communities filing suits and intervening on the side of the federal government in a landmark constitutional climate lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, NAM has rallied behind efforts to keep corporate shareholders from influencing how oil companies conduct business.