Friday, April 13, 2007

Newsweek: Leadership & the Environment

I was glad that Newsweek had a special section in their latest issue on "Leadership and the Environment" special issue, but was disappointed that none of the articles in that section suggested that transitioning to a plant-based diet represents an easy and effective, not to mention healthy, strategy to reduce global warming. Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin, researchers from the University of Chicago, found that the typical American diet (28% of which comes from animal-based sources) generates 1.5 tons more carbon dioxide than a vegan diet (New Scientist, 12/17/2005). In her article, "Vegetarian is the New Prius," Kathy Freston (Huffington Post, 1/20/2007), reports that "animal agriculture accounts for most of the water consumed in this country, emits two-thirds of the world's acid-rain-causing ammonia, and it the world's largest source of water pollution--killing entire river and marine ecosystems, destroying coral reefs, and of course, making people sick." Reducing meat from our diet is one of the most concrete—and gratifying—acts we can do to help solve our climate crisis.

Even if you can't go vegan, you can eat less meat in general or vow to go meat-free for a day a week. You can also buy organic and choose locally grown produce that has not had to be shipped long distances to reach the grocery store.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Brandi Carlile Show

We went to Tucson over the weekend to see Brandi Carlile perform at the Rialto. It was an amazing show, and I didn't even mind that we were standing the entire time. She and her band were so awesome, and it was clear that she was happy to be there, singing, not just singing, but singing for us. The audience returned the love with rapt attention (and not just a few marriage proposals). The energy was phenomenal. In addition to singing from her self-titled CD and the recently released "The Story," Carlile closed with her versions of Folsom Prison and the amazingly well-done rendition of Hallelujah. Wow! I was extremely happy to see that "The Story" is today's NPR's Song of the Day.

So that we didn't have to drive back to Phoenix late at night, we stayed at the Historic Hotel Congress, the site of John Dillinger's capture. The hotel rooms are about the size of a matchbox, but very charming because they maintain the original feel of the hotel. (And come with signs reminding guests to "respect our historical plumbing".) In the morning, we had to leave fairly early so that we could pick up the dogs from their no-cage boarding and daycare facility, but we ate a quick meal at "The Cup," the Congress' cafe. They had vegan french toast, so I splurged! Yum!
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