Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why "Clean" Coal is Like Dragons and Leprechauns

For more on "clean" coal and its devastating impacts on Appalachia, check out this great op-ed from Jeff Biggers.

Get more details on Joe Biden's "clean" coal comments at

To see previous videos and subscribe to future ones, visit
The Green Miles on YouTube.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Corey Feldman Releases "Green is the Colour"

My friend Lindsay at Campaign for America's Wilderness just pointed me to this new song from Corey Feldman. reports, "According to the press release, the album was made with special 100% biodegradable materials including recyclable paper, soy ink, and even a corn plastic disc tray."

How can I put this nicely? I don't question Feldman's passion for preserving our planet. I do question his musical talent.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sarah Palin, Global Warming Denier Cover Girl

Don't believe any administration could be worse for wildlife and our climate than Bush-Cheney?

Check out the latest edition of "Environment & Climate News" from the Heartland Institute, a leading oil industry front group for global warming denial. There's a smiling Sarah Palin on the cover, superimposed over a pair of threatened polar bears.

With the backing of Big Oil and its allies, Palin has led Alaska's fight against protecting the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act. Remarkably, Palin thinks the Bush administration has been too liberal in recognizing the threat of global warming and acting to protect the bears.

As the Center for Biological Diversity's Kassie Siegel has said, "The amazing thing about this litigation is that the governor of Alaska is so anti-environmental that she is suing the Bush administration over a claimed overabundance of protections for the polar bear. It's just amazing."

The next time someone tries to tell you McCain and Obama are nearly the same on environmental issues, here's all the evidence you need to prove them wrong: Global warming deniers can't wait to have Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency. The people
at the Heartland Institute who've dedicated their lives to fighting science know their gal when they see her.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wednesday: Al Gore Webcast on

UPDATE: The webcast has been moved to 8:30pm

It's supposed to be freezing on Wednesday night, so you have no excuse not to stay inside and watch this:

Join Al Gore for a Live Webcast: 8:30pm Eastern, Oct 29

Get Out the (Power) Vote Oct 29 - Nov 4!

On October 29, Power Vote is kicking off 6 days of hard core Get Out the (Power) Vote events with a live webcast featuring Nobel Peace Laureate Al Gore!

Plan a Gore-Cast viewing party for the night of the 29th and then strategize with your friends about what other events your campus will do in the days that follow to Get Out the Vote.

Plan a dorm raid, a street canvassing, a phone banking ...anything that can rally the (Power) Votes near you!
Visit to find a watch party near you.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tonight: ACE's "Hallowgreen" 30th Anniversary Gala

The Green Miles will be heading to the Hilton Arlington in Ballston tonight for Hallowgreen! It's the 30th anniversary gala for Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Program highlighting ACE’s 30 years
  • Live music by The Walkaways
  • Costume contest with cash prizes for:
    • Best Environmental Costume
    • Best Costume from Reused Materials
    • Best Student Costume
  • Eco-Horror displays
  • Silent auction
  • Stewardship awards
  • Cash bar
  • Refreshments (highlighting local and organic produce) catered by the Hilton Arlington
I'll be entering the "best environmental costume" contest but expect to be beaten soundly by someone much more creative than me. And if you're thinking about outbidding me for the autographed copy of An Inconvenient Truth, you'd better bring your checkbook.

Tickets will be available at the door:

- Single: $75
- Couple: $140
- Students (under 21): $10
- VIP: Single: $175 / Couple: $300

A major shout out to the sponsors of Hallowgreen: The Nature Conservancy, The Hilton Arlington, Ecoprint, Arbour Realty, The Cadmus Group, and Wild Birds Unlimited.

As much credit as the sponsors deserve, it's kind of surprising to see some big green businesses missing from that list. Where's EnviroCAB (EDIT: Envirocab was not a major sponsor but donated lots of gift certificates)? Where are those Fresh AIRE business champions?

Arlington Celebrates Green Businesses

Arlington County has announced its Fresh AIRE champions and recycling award winners! Here are the Fresh AIRE champions:

  • Vornado/Charles E. Smith for earning the ENERGY STAR at:
  • 2231 Crystal Dr.
  • 2345 Crystal Dr.
  • 2451 Crystal Dr.
  • 2300 Clarendon Blvd.
  • 2200 Clarendon Blvd.
  • FAP Arlington Square LLC for earning the ENERGY STAR at 4401 North Fairfax Dr.
  • Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc. for
  • TIAA CREF for earning the ENERGY STAR at 4350 North Fairfax Dr.
  • Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, LLC for earning LEED for Existing Buildings Gold Certification at One Potomac Yard
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for earning LEED for Existing Buildings Gold Certification at One Potomac Yard
  • Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority for the provision of outstanding commuter benefits to employees at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Virginia's "Confederate States of America"-Era Energy System

A must-read post over at Gristmill from Chesapeake Climate Action Network Executive Director Mike Tidwell:
[A]s the election approaches, here's the surprising question for every Northern Virginia voter: Why is this high-tech region, so dedicated to a "knowledge-based" economy, utterly dependent on an energy system as old as the Confederate States of America? Northern Virginia gets the lion's share of its electric power not from wind turbines or solar farms, but from coal. A shocking 1,180,400 tons of raw coal each year, nearly half of the area's total load. And it's not "clean coal" or "high-tech" coal. Just black, sooty, rip-it-from-the-ground-and-set-it-on-fire coal.

You'd think it would be different. You'd think Northern Virginia would be a leader in developing clean, sustainable energy at a level equal to its high-tech, high-education status.

You'd think. But two roadblocks stand in the way: Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) and mega-utility Dominion Power.
Tidwell concludes with a call for investments in efficiency to cut power bills, saying Virginians "use more electricity every day than 75 percent of the rest of America. Surely we could do much, much better." But Virginia's current system allows Dominion to reap the most profits by selling us the most power.

Of course, while Kaine and Dominion are the biggest roadlocks, General Assembly Republicans have shown no interest in cutting consumers' power bills or easing our dependence on dirty, expensive energy sources. And many General Assembly Democrats are, at best, speed bumps, reluctant to challenge Richmond's status quo.

Cross-posted from RK

Monday, October 20, 2008

TGM Hits 50K

Considering that when I started this blog in June 2006, I was thrilled to get 20 hits in a day, it's pretty amazing to be getting 20 hits an hour now:

If you enjoy the blog, you can subscribe to my feed or add me on Digg and I'll shout you the best of the best. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Video: Local/Organic Grocery Store Coming to Columbia Heights

Ellwood Thompson's plans to open a new location in Columbia Heights in late 2009. I'm jealous they're not coming to Arlington, but I know DC has a much greater need for grocery stores than we do. Are any neighborhoods in Arlington in need of an Ellwood Thompson's? Maybe Columbia Pike? Courthouse?

Ellwood Thompsons // At A Glance from Ellwood Thompson's on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Thelma Drake on Global Warming: Ignorant or Lying?

At what point do we accuse global warming deniers of deliberately lying to mislead the public about the reality of climate change? I mean, it's been nearly two years since the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declared definitively that the climate is warming and that man-made emissions are to blame. Is ignorance still an acceptable excuse?

Which brings us to this voter guide for Virginia's 2nd Congressional district:
Where do you stand on global warming and climate change?

: There is tremendous disagreement about whether climate change is caused by human behavior or other natural forces. What I support are clean air and clean water laws for a healthy environment. We must lead the world in good environmental policy and encourage other nations to follow suit.

: I believe that global warming is an issue of dire consequence to our nation and world. I support moving America towards a position of global leadership on alternative energy solutions that will help combat global warming and build good jobs in America.
This is all you need to know about about the broad, deep scientific agreement on climate change: Even the Bush administration agrees global warming his happening and we're to blame. To Thelma Drake, apparently President Bush is too liberal on this issue.

If you have any doubts or questions on climate, please check out Grist's How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic guide. After reviewing the dozens of scientific organizations and agencies from around the world that agree on the cause of global warming, Grist concludes, "If this is not scientific consensus, what in the world would a consensus look like?"

Let's elect candidates who have a solid grip on science and reality. I just gave $20 each on ActBlue to Glenn Nye, Tom Perriello, and Judy Feder. Will you do the same for three Virginia House candidates of your choice right now?

Cross-posted from RK

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Monday: Van Jones Book Signing in DC

Van Jones is speaking on his book, The Green Collar Economy, on Monday, October 20th, at 6:30 PM at the 5th & K Busboys and Poets location:
Few people have been able to inspire the kind of critical thinking and political action considered a necessary component of success in the modern environmental movement. But if you were to make a list of those few, Van Jones would definitely be on it. Van Jones will discuss and sign his new book, The Green Collar Economy—published by Harper One.

This event is free and open to the public.
I'm reading The Green Collar Economy now. Fascinating and a quick read so far. Hopefully I'll have a review up next week!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Kaine & Allen to Debate Energy & Enviroment

UPDATE 8:57am: You can see the live blog here.

The Green Miles is awake early and getting hopped up on Starbucks Organic Sumatra-Peru coffee, preparing to live blog
Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) and former governor and senator George Allen (R) will represent the two presidential candidates in a debate about energy and the environment [Wednesday] morning in Northern Virginia. [...]

The debate, sponsored by the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce, will be held at the Washington Dulles Airport Marriott. The debate begins at 8 a.m. and will be moderated by Norah O'Donnell, MSNBC chief Washington correspondent.

"Energy and the environment are going to be huge issues facing the next president," said Peter Ryus, chairman of the chamber's environmental committee. "Virginia is an important setting for this debate because of its swing electoral votes, its demographics and its strategic proximity to Washington."
And of course the event is sponsored by ... wait for it ...
Sponsors: Platinum: Dominion
Almost time to hit the road, but live blogging should begin over at RK just before 8am.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Snap Back to Reality from Indian Summer

It's been so warm the last few days, it's felt like June. But even on a 78-degree day, a sudden change of colors can remind you it's still October:

Most of the trees are still green, but these two near the corner of Wilson and Piedmont decided to flip early.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Zero Carbon Coffee?

We may have a new heavyweight champion for most tree-huggiest company of all time.

Grounds for Change already sells organic, fair-trade, shade-grown coffee roasted using 100 percent renewable electricity. They also donate one percent of sales to environmental organizations.

And now they're offsetting 100 percent of their emissions with I mean, I don't think it could be any greener if each bean was hand-raised by Al Gore.

Check out their "comprehensive 'crop to cup' analysis" of their carbon footprint:
  1. Organic cultivation of coffee plant
  2. Non-mechanized harvest of coffee cherries
  3. Pulping and washing of cherries (to extract beans)
  4. Sun drying of coffee beans
  5. Transport of beans to dry mill for hulling
  6. Burlap bags used to contain finished green coffee
  7. Transport to port city in country of origin
  8. Ocean transport from origin to US west coast ports
  9. Warehousing in US port cities
  10. Transport to Grounds for Change roastery
  11. All energy used in roasting processes
  12. All energy used in operations and business travel
  13. Coffee packaging materials, labels and shipping boxes
  14. Transport of finished coffee to customer
  15. Customer disposal of empty coffee bag
What, they're not offsetting my half and half too? Greenwashers! (I kid.)

Grounds for Change also offers blends from Cafe Femenino Mexico, which "is a new origin for this special project that empowers women coffee farmers by involving them in every step of the coffee production process."

The Green Miles ordered a pound of the Sumatran and a pound of the El Salvador. The shipping is a bit steep, starting at $6.20. But the pound bags are $1.50 off right now, so that makes up for it nicely.

My current favorite coffees are the Starbucks Organic Sumatra-Peru Blend and the Sulawesi from Central Coffee Roasters. I'll let you know how the Grounds for Change coffees stack up!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Green Miles Analyzes the Presidential Debate on CleanSkies.TV

The Green Miles was on CleanSkies.TV this morning talking about energy issues in last night's presidential debate. To watch, go to CleanSkies.TV, click on "Energy News Center" and click on "10/8/08 - The Morning Report." I'll write up more thoughts on the debate a little later.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008

Reminder: Last Day to Register to Vote in Virginia!

Just a quick reminder that if you want to vote in Virginia in November's election, your application needs to be dropped off or postmarked today! All the details are at the State Board of Elections website.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Colbert Report: Prescott Oil Loves the Earth

Request for Green Costume Ideas

The Green Miles is going to the Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment Hallowgreen 30th anniversary gala on October 23rd. They're having an environmental costume contest. What should I go as? Only constraints - must cost less than $100 total, must not require buying lots of junk I'd never use again, must take one hour or less of work to put together. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Carbon Emissions Soar. Will Bush Take Responsibility Again?

Take a few days off and the whole world goes to hell. In this case, literally. No, I don't mean the financial crisis, though I have no interest in looking at my 401(k) balance right now.

I'm talking about the new global carbon emissions figures released last week, which show a shockingly steep rise:
The new numbers, called "scary" by some, were a surprise because scientists thought an economic downturn would slow energy use. Instead, carbon dioxide output jumped 3 percent from 2006 to 2007. That's an amount that exceeds the most dire outlook for emissions from burning coal and oil and related activities as projected by a Nobel Prize-winning group of international scientists in 2007.

Meanwhile, forests and oceans, which suck up carbon dioxide, are doing so at lower rates than in the 20th century, scientists said. If those trends continue, it puts the world on track for the highest predicted rises in temperature and sea level.

The pollution leader was China, followed by the United States,
which past data show is the leader in emissions per person in carbon dioxide output. And while several developed countries slightly cut their CO2 output in 2007, the United States churned out more. [...]

Emissions in the United States rose nearly 2 percent in 2007, after declining the previous year. The U.S. produced 1.75 billion tons of carbon (1.58 billion metric tons).
As soon as we learned US emissions fell slightly last year, President Bush immediately held a news conference and issued a gloating statement taking credit for the fall. I'm still waiting for the news conference and statement admitting he was wrong.

Scientists say we need to be cutting carbon emissions two percent a year. Instead, they rose three percent globally and two percent here in the US.

The richest country in the world that should be taking the lead on energy-efficient technology. Instead, we're leading the way in race to the bottom, and the Bush administration and its Republican allies are leading the way.