Anna:

Who’s got the competitive edge in the growing clean energy economy? Not us! Pew shows that China is the world’s clean energy superpower, and Europe’s pouring it on too. Over at GOOD the Director of Pew’s Clean Energy Program, Phyllis Cuttino, offers her opinion on why there’s less private investment in clean energy here at home.

Is Obama losing his base of young, climate-concerned voters with his failures at energy reform and lukewarm rhetoric? Ten thousand young people who believed in the dream and worked on the campaign are storming DC to tell him to “dream bigger.”

Dr. David Suzuki celebrated his 75th birthday on March 24. Here’s a birthday interview he gave, with his thoughts on everything from science to family to our obsession with a soulless economy.

Alan:

In the everything-is-connected department, I found this Science News article fascinating. Intestinal parasites—worms—and our immune system may have co-evolved to help us escape auto-immune conditions such as asthma, Crohn’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. It’s an article that can make your skin crawl even while you wonder at the miraculous interdependence of human host and creepy parasite. The we-killed-off-the-parasites thesis is also the most plausible explanation I’ve heard to date for the enormous upsurge in allergies that’s been unfolding across the industrial countries.

I also highly recommend Knute Berger’s brief history of Seattle’s freeway politics. Portland’s urban revival story is routinely told as starting with an uprising against a neighborhood-killing highway. As Knute makes clear, Seattle’s story is actually quite similar. I grew up swimming near the “ghost exits” Berger tells of.

Eric H:

  • A look at the future of solar power in the America west, and how it could compare to the way railroads shaped the region, courtesy of The Atlantic.

    We often think manufacturing is dead in the US, but over at the New York Times, Alison Arieff shows how it could be shifting to an urban focus–and what that means for sustainability and our culture of disposability.

    Eric dP:

    In addition to Bill Ruckelshaus’ wry letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal, I have only one other recommendation and it’s also humorous: “Just In Time for Spring” by Ellis Weiner in the New Yorker (sub req’d). I’m not generally a fan of the NYer’s humor pieces, but this one hit me where I live:

    Introducing GOING OUTSIDE, the astounding multipurpose activity platform that will revolutionize the way you spend your time. GOING OUTSIDE is not a game or a program, not a device or an app, not a protocol or an operating system. Instead, it’s a comprehensive experiential mode that lets you perceive and do things firsthand… Provides instantaneous feedback for physical movement in all three dimensions. Motion through 3-D environments is immediate, on-demand, and entirely convincing… To transit from location to location, merely walk, run, or otherwise travel toward your destination. Or take advantage of a wide variety of available supported transport devices.