Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Green index for all products?

Do you want a green index on everything you buy? Something that lets you comparison shop environmental impacts like you comparison shop on price? Good for you, and prepare to shop at Wal-mart to find your dream green index.

Wal-mart is developing an index, and the first details are starting to come out. Companies will have to reveal their practices in four key areas: energy and climate, natural resources, material efficiency, and people and community. From this information, a yet-to-be-developed ranking system will allow shoppers to compare the sustainability of two similar products.

Interesting that Planet Green couldn't give Wal-mart adequate credit for this earthshaking initiative. They offer plenty of doubt and only "reluctant kudos." Get over it, Planet Green, Wal-mart is leading and they have the clout to begin making their green index a reality. Even if it's not perfect, it'll be the first index and that's a great step forward for sustainability.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Carnival of the blue 29

The best of ocean blogging for September is now compiled and ready for your enjoyment at

This month's edition features the artistic touch of Jason as host, along with the stunning variety of ocean goings-on like Miriam's plastic-search expedition, Kevin and Karen doing science under sail, a pack of snails, pseudo-genitalia on the heads of fish, auks, sharks, and even using nuisance algae as fuel may fuel. Be there or be square.

That's right folks, you guessed it, Carnival of the blue is back. Worthy of note is the handoff of czar duties and privileges from me to Jason Robertshaw, the chief cephalopod. From now on, Jason will be coordinating the carnivals and I'll retire to czar emeritus status. Wonder if that comes with a pension? Hidden deep in the carnival post is some exciting news about my future that you might not find anywhere else, since I'm such a shy fellow.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Klamath River dam politics look good for a change

Good news for fish, thanks to heavy politics involving some strange bedfellows.

There is a deal and a plan to remove the 4 nasty Klamath River dams, the ones that harm water quality and salmon and irrigators and fishermen. Just so we don't forget what's at stake, the photo at right is from the bad old days of the 2003 fish kill. Ugh.

These dams block over 300 miles of prime salmon habitat, and some river advocates are calling this the biggest-ever river restoration project. If the money and politics are any guide, they're right.

The Klamath system could produce a lot of salmon if everything were right with the watershed. The dams are probably the biggest problem, so removal will be a helluva good start on renewing the river, salmon, watershed, and communities.

Hallelujah! There's more work to be done, to be sure, but each milestone of progress is worth celebrating.