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Detroit-friendly energy bill sent for overhaul


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If you’ve been waiting for the Democratic Congress to take the obvious step toward tougher automobile emissions standards, you can wait a little longer. No they have not been vetoed by the Bush administration they have been slowed by a fellow Democrat – old-school Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich), who represents everything that’s wrong with provincial, old-school, pork-barrel politics.

Congressman Dingell, the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, first took a seat in Congress way back in 1955 and has been faithfully defending his Detroit auto industry constituency ever since. Recently Dingell’s committee created a draft of an energy bill designed to limit states such as California from instituting tougher emissions guidelines than the Feds while cloaking the restriction in mpg standards that called for 36 miles per gallon for passenger cars after 2021 and 30 mpg for trucks after 2024. Not exactly a rush to change.

Dingell is quoted as saying that “vast gridlock” would ensue if automakers have to comply with differing state and federal emissions guidelines. Tough! The gridlock we are experiencing now is choking our environment and handing innovative foreign automakers, like Honda, our proverbial lunch. Fortunately Speaker Nancy Pelosi drop-kicked the bill back to the committee for revisions. The real question is why Pelosi gave a Rep from that black-hole of emissions and incompetance, Detroit, the committee chair in the first place. Seniority, politics as usual and government by compromise are are not the mandate the Democratic party should be following.

By dragging their feet on emissions standards Congress is endangering our national security, ignoring the obvious environmental threats and protecting an American auto industry that is fast-tracking its own extinction by fighting the transition to more fuel efficient technologies.

The Senate has their own plan which is tougher viewed even more negatively bythe auto industry which will fight it tooth and nail.

Go to Congress.org and let your reps know how you feel, that’s supposed to be how democracy works.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Detox Cleansing Diet: Detoxification Program


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This is the third installment of our Wenesday post-swap with that great, green site, NaturalPath.

If your cells don’t function well, then you don’t function well; and if these building blocks of your body are tired and stressed, then you, the sum of these tiny parts, will feel the same way. Many people interested in being healthier and feeling better choose a periodic dietary and lifestyle detox to power their cells with nutrients and rid them of the heft of burdensome toxins. Some report that a good detox helps them feel better, have more energy, sleep better, and even lose weight.

These toxins can originate from stress, hormones, sleeplessness, or difficulty in digestion. They can also sprout from external pollutants, such as the air we breathe, the water we drink, and even what touches our skin. But the greatest assault of daily toxins often comes from the food that we eat, particularly our ingestion of sugar, nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and chemicals – what nutritionist and detox specialist Dr. Elson Haas calls “SNACCs”.

A carefully-planned detoxification program is a chance to take a break and relieve your body of many of these stresses. The goals of the program are to remove SNACCs from the diet entirely (or to the best of your ability), and to replace them with nutrients that help the body function and repair at optimal levels, either through supplements or highly nutritious foods.

Choosing a Cleansing

There are as many detoxification programs as there are practitioners, but here are a few of the most common. Note that these can be undertaken independently or combined. (more…)

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Solar Cookers and Ovens


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You may have seen Ed Begley cooking with his solar oven on HGTV’s “Living With Ed”, or maybe your eccentric uncle Dwayne has shown you his latest solar oven design out behind his yurt in Santa Fe, regardless — solar cooking is actually a reality.

solarboxsml.jpgWikipedia gives a pretty good description of some of the different designs (solar cookers and solar box cookers) and sites like solarovens.net sell cookers and ovens while solarcooking.org provides faqs, forums and a broad overview of all things solar-cooking-related, as well as instructions for building your own.

Frankly, I’m a little surprised that there isn’t a sexier marketing push behind the solar cooking movement. Sure it takes a little longer, but the energy and emissions saved, (not to mention the novelty) in cooking this way add a lot of sizzle to the concept.

Pricing varies from $99.95 for the HotPot Solar Cooker (my favorite – which donates a portion of each sale to subsidize distribution of the cooker to Latin American and Africa) to the catch-ily-named, top-of-the-line, SolarHybrid w/4 Pots for $219.95. Inexpensive, portable and supremely earth-friendly. Maybe the time has come for you to relax, slow down and do some all-natural cooking.

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wednesday’s mixed bag of green news


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Pet Botanica – eco friendly pet pampering


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As we endeavor to be more eco conscious, we can’t forget our favorite four-legged little creatures. doggroup.jpgPet Botanica has introduced a line of “natural organic pet products” for dogs, cats, horses, kittens and pups. The comprehensive
line is packed with a lot of good eco attributes:

  • non-toxic, free of chemicals, parabens and sulfates
  • hypo-allergenic, containing only natural plant & soy-based ingredients
  • featuring organic essences

the whole scoop @ petbotanica.com

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