Grab bag

Bike and look cooler than this dude.

Bike and look cooler than this dude.

UC Davis Quad

1 Shields Ave.
Davis, CA 95616

(530) 754-2787

Yer Auntie has her antennae up and out, aggregating buzz from hither, thither and Davis. May 7 through 9, for instance, marks the 41st Whole Earth Festival, surely the grandmama of green gatherings in these parts. It draws lots of people: The vibe is peace, the music is hippie (and not—as any self-respecting hippie would insist), the food meat-free and the carbon footprint is dinky. With the professed goal of making the festival a “zero waste event,” WEF implores vendors to “use reusable dishes as well as maintaining [your] own smart environmental standards!”

Zero waste, you say: Nice talk, but who walks the walk? According to WEF’s website, “Just last year, over 11,000 lbs. of festival [waste was] diverted from local landfills and taken to more appropriate places for reuse. To put things in perspective, that was 98.1 percent of all 2007 festival ‘waste’!” That’s not easy to do, and if you think it is, try it at home. Bravo to WEF; Aunt Ruth will see you there.

The city of Denver just launched the largest bicycle-sharing program in the nation, with 500 bikes distributed to 50 sites around town. Annually, the cost is $65, which irked The Denver Post as being a little high, and Auntie Ruth agrees. The hope is that commuters leave the cars at home and zip around the city on two wheels. The network has a GPS system that tracks where bikes have been and where they are near you.

Doesn’t Denver have, like, mountains? Wouldn’t an Earth-is-flat place like Sacramento be a logical place for such a thing?

On the subject of sustainability, here’s the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s five good fish: catfish (U.S. farmed), Pacific cod (Alaska long line), Pacific halibut, Alaska wild salmon, tilapia (U.S. farmed). Five fish to avoid: imported wild sturgeon caviar, imported mahi mahi, orange roughy, farmed/Atlantic salmon, sharks. If you are eating caviar and shark and reading this column, send Aunt Ruth an e-mail, cause she’ll find you confusing and will want to chat.

Five things to watch in the upcoming Senate climate bill: the role of oil drilling (especially given what’s happening), the future of existing environmental legislation (Clean Air Act, anyone?), gas tax—yes or no, special allowances for energy-heavy industries (like steel), and the distribution of carbon-pollution permits. On this final point, Mother Jones noted, “If you think the deal-cutting that went on in health care was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet.”