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Don’t Lick Your Lips

Is lead in lipstick okay?

In October 2007, The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics caused a stir with its release of test results for 33 brands of lipstick that revealed that 61 percent of all those tested contained measurable levels of lead and that about a third of…
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by: Elizabeth Grossman – June 3, 2009

Shrinking Bigfoot

The Carbon Calculus – What Counts?

“Eliminate Newspapers, Save the Planet?” ran the headline on The New York Times “Green, Inc.” blog reporting on the Marriott hotel group’s decision to discontinue automatic newspaper delivery to hotel guests – a move that, according to Marriott, will cut out some…
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by: Elizabeth Grossman – April 22, 2009

Paltry Predictions

Why Have Some of the World’s Best and Brightest Minds Underestimated How Quickly We’re Scorching the Atmosphere?

In its most recent official report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) significantly underestimated the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that would occur during the last seven years, a miscalculation that has put the planet beyond the “range of possibilities” considered by some of the world’s top climatologists. The overly optimistic predictions in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment, released in 2007, appear to have been driven, in part, by the political dynamics…
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by: Elizabeth Grossman – Spring 2009

Living Fossils

Climate Change Threatens to Dissolve the Ocean’s Deep-Water Corals

Courtesy Marine Conservation Biology Institute “Black corals are one of the oldest continuously living organisms on earth,” J. Murray Roberts, a marine biologist with the Scottish Association for Marine Science, tells me eagerly. “Some are 4,000 years old.” They are but one of a family of corals, some of which, Roberts explains, may be 1.5 to 2 million years old. These ancient, fantastically branched, intricately sculptural sea creatures live not in balmy,…
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by: Elizabeth Grossman – Spring 2009

Fear Factor

Can We Learn to Live with Predators Among Us?

John Harrison On a bright July day about 10 years ago, I set out for a hike on the steep and forested Pacific Crest Trail above the McKenzie River in the foothills of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains. Rounding a switchback, I stopped at a gap in the trees to admire the distant snow-covered peaks. As I was gazing at the view, I heard a loud thwock! – the sound of something heavy moving.…
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by: Elizabeth Grossman – Winter 2009

The Big Melt

Notes from the Front Lines of Climate Change

There is no sunrise or sunset. It is December, nearly 350 miles north of the Arctic Circle. What light there is comes as a deep cobalt blue that begins shortly before noon and heightens to a liquid lilac before sinking back to darkness above a prism-edged horizon by 3 p.m. Temperatures have been hovering around 0°F, with windchill down to almost -30°F. We are surrounded by ice in every direction as far…
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by: Elizabeth Grossman – Summer 2008

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