The dirty Chesapeake and other Green Reads


Earthlings, it’s time for another Green Reads, and this episode will take us from the land of Alice Waters to the land of tricky waters (for married couples, that is). Hang on to your hats!

First up, we have a big old missed deadline in the case of the Chesapeake Bay. It was supposed to be clean by now—who knew? It ain’t. Officials are concentrating on setting new goals instead of belaboring the ones they already missed. If you’re in the mood to help, quit putting chemicals on your lawn and stop buying factory-farmed chicken.

I’m often one to bemoan all the invasive species at my place—we’ve got paradise trees and Chinese privet practically swallowing the house—but this piece on Slate makes me think I should reexamine my habit of hating all that non-native vegetation. The "What is invasive?" question reminds me of my other favorite conundrum: "What is natural?" Deep questions, people. Make friends with the starlings. 

Something I will never bemoan are gardening programs at schools. Buford Middle School is getting one. Grist’s Tom Philpott takes on an Atlantic piece that claims edible schoolyards are a waste of money. Just like art, theater, public speaking and every other "nonessential" class that actually makes life worth living when you’re chained to a public-school desk.

Real scientists, writing in the journal Science, have recommended scientifically that mountaintop-removal mining be ended. Indeed, the only arguments for continuing it have to do with money. Let us practice evidence-based sanity, shall we?

Speaking of sanity, a Greenpeace offshoot is working on getting access to the e-mails and other records of Pat Michaels, UVA’s own climate-change denier. It’s said to be a response to the East Anglia e-mail controversy. Fair play? Or, as Michaels has it, a danger to academic freedom? (The legal grounds would be that UVA is a public university and that Michaels was the state climatologist for a while.)

And finally, on a lighter note, lots of couples are apparently bickering about the recycling. Perhaps "irreconcilable footprints" will soon be legitimate grounds for divorce?

If you’ve got more links, you know where to post ’em.