Cities across the country once competed to see who could build the tallest high rises. Now they're scrapping over who's the greenest. The mayors of Austin, TX, Chicago, and Los Angeles have each declared their city will be the most environmentally friendly. San Francisco and Columbus, OH, both claim to be working on the nation's largest green building. Even Charlotte, NC, a fast-growing, pro-business, new South city, has gotten into the mix, with pedestrian-friendly development, a city fleet of hybrid cars, and an ambitious plan to clean up and refurbish old industrial sites.
See Sierra magazine's "Green Streets" to learn more about the "Top Five Green Cities." Is your city not on the list? You can help. Check out our Cool Cities campaign and see how you can nudge your city into the top five.
Shortly after dawn, in the calm Au'au Channel between Maui and Lanai, wildlife biologist Douglas Chadwick watched a colleague lower a hydrophone over the side of the boat so they could listen to a humpback singing, and then followed his guide into the Pacific, where he found himself treading water less than a yard from the nose of a curious and garrulous forty-ton leviathan. So began his first "interview with a whale."
The just-published book that resulted, The Grandest of Lives: Eye to Eye with Whales, includes detailed portraits of five whale species that represent a cross-section of the forms and lifestyles of cetaceans worldwide -- the humpback, northern bottlenose, blue whale, minke whale, and orca. You can hear Chadwick read from his book and discuss why he chose to write about whales (and how little we still know about them) in this free audio excerpt.
An Insider Deal
The Grandest of Lives: Eye to Eye with Whales has a regular retail price of $24.95, but Insider subscribers can buy it for a special price of $19.96 by using the special offer code "INSIDER" when ordering online.
Almost 35 years ago, Congress passed the Clean Water Act to protect our lakes, rivers, tributaries, and wetlands from pollution. But now the landmark legislation responsible for cleaning up our water is in jeopardy.
A recent Supreme Court ruling threatens the federal government's power to enforce the Clean Water Act and puts more than half of America's river miles at risk by making it harder for agencies to determine what bodies of water qualify for protection.
This ruling puts enforcement of the Clean Water Act on a case-by-case basis that works in favor of polluters. Additionally, this ruling will undoubtedly slow protective action and lead to endless administrative proceedings and multiple legal challenges in the courts.
We need your help to safeguard vital clean water protections from the anti-environmental direction of the Supreme Court.
That's why we are asking you to support our efforts to ensure that Congress passes the Clean Water Authority Restoration Act (HR. 1356 & S. 912), and help us reaffirm the broadest possible protections for our nation's waters.
We can protect our nation's lakes, rivers and wetlands -- but only with your help.
It's hard to imagine a world where $5 could completely fill a car up, where driving could cause no harm to air and lungs, where an addiction to fossil fuels could be cured... For six years, thousands of electric vehicle drivers in California lived in such a world. Now, virtually all of those cars are gone. What happened?
This summer, you'll be able to find out by going to see Who Killed the Electric Car?, a documentary feature from filmmaker Chris Paine.
"As we put the whole chain of events together, I realized our tale was a lot more than just a car story," says Paine. "It demonstrated why America is having such a tough time getting out of the 20th century and breaking its addiction to gasoline."
For theater listings and to view the trailer and more, go to:
Maybe It Was These Guys?
Perhaps General Motors killed the electric car as part of a master business plan that would enable it ultimately to end up paying part of the fuel bill for some of its customers? What other crazy plans might automakers have for keeping gas guzzler sales up? Cartoonist Ted Rall has some ideas.
From the same people who brought you Treehugger comes a new eco-blog called Hugg. Hugg taps into the power of user-generated content by inviting readers not only to comment on but also to post environmental stories, which get queued up for review by other registered readers. Those readers may in turn choose to "hugg" a story, and the stories with the most "huggs" eventually become front page news. Hugg is still in beta, so not all the kinks are worked out yet; that said, it's off to a promising start.
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