Quick Green Reads For The Weekend Volume 149.

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Feels good to be home again. While I had a wonderful trip across the country and back, it’s always nice to get back to the “routine” and in your own place. Here is to a fantastic 2010!

Why is coal so popular? Easy: It’s cheap, it’s effective, and it can be used to create many things. Unfortunately, the way we get coal is not very earth-friendly. The easiest and cheapest way to mine it is to first get a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency, get a bunch of dynamite, and then blow the top off a mountain.

The other evening, I tweeted about H&M and Wal-Mart destroying usable garments before trashing them, presumably so folks wouldn’t dumpster dive for the free clothes. A friend responded that she had heard about a big food chain that pours bleach on perfectly edible baked goods that they’re tossing into the dumpster at the end of the day. What can we do about it?

2009 is over, and I’m thrilled to report that my new collected plastic for the year comes in at 3.7 pounds, roughly 4% of the U.S. per capita average. Geeks out there can check my calculations at the bottom of this post. (Beth continues to inspire me to reduce my waste stream – she’s amazing)

In a study released by the International Journal of Biological Sciences, analyzing the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health, researchers found that agricultural giant Monsanto’s GM corn is linked to organ damage in rats. And if it is damaging rats, I can almost guarantee it’s damaging us. And that crappy corn is in everything.

It was one of the biggest surprises in the run-up to the Copenhagen summit, and it may be one of the best reasons for hope now that the meeting has ended in disappointment. Rapidly industrializing developing countries are pressing ahead with their plans to reduce the growth in their carbon emissions, despite the failure to reach a substantial international agreement in the Danish capital.

Former New York Times science writer Andrew Revkin discusses advocating for reality, slow-drip problems and a looming murk in the media’s coverage of climate change with ecopolitology’s Dave Levitan. A must read.

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