Wal-Mart and farmers: Best green reads

Just ’cause I know you’ve got nothing to read today, here’s your latest roundup of environmental news from around the web!

From the Washington Post, a piece by University of Maryland architecture prof Roger K. Lewis on how the economic downturn might actually save us from more suburban sprawl. I’m not sure I share his optimism, but I’d like to: Strip malls have caused a ton of pollution and have forced all of us to live with ugliness.

In related news, from the website Grist, Wal-Mart is upping the green ante with suppliers.

I feel cautiously glad, but still skeptical, about enviro-moves by corporations like Wal-Mart and McDonald’s—these “reduce energy use 30 percent by 2010” goals always sound kind of flat, next to stories like this one, about Arctic ice not only receding but thinning.

In the "local interest" category, a rather searing story from Fast Company on Charlottesville’s William McDonough (thanks, Waldo). The guy has definitely created a critical mass of green-minded architects here in town, which is great, but this piece questions his commitment to the cause in a pretty sobering way.

Here’s a piece from a blog on Plenty, making a connection between the environment and other, seemingly unrelated issues (cocaine, for one). I’m glad it mentions Iraq, because I think the war there is a far-too-seldom-discussed example of environmental destruction.

From the Fauquier Times-Democrat, a heads-up on what sounds to me like a really excellent idea, a program to get would-be small farmers up to speed on the realities of the job. If you read C-VILLE’s food issue a few weeks ago and noticed the piece on the economics of starting a small farm, you know that it’s shockingly expensive. New farmers need all the help and info they can get.

Any others links y’all want to throw up?

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