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Chicago Food Deserts Down 40 Percent

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City sees increasing access to fresh food, but lots of work still needed

With First Lady Michelle Obama in Chicago to address the city's food desert problem, a report [PDF] released this week shows that the amount of people without easy access to fresh, healthy food is down 40 percent over the last five years. Still, an estimated 384,000 Chicagoans -- mostly African-Americans, 124,000 of which are children -- live in food desert neighbourhoods. There is no......read more

Michelle Peterson-Albandoz: Salvaged Wood Abstraction

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Rhythms and patterns created from discarded wood

For Michelle Peterson-Albandoz, dumpster diving is just part of her creative process. The Chicago artist trolls for discarded pieces of wood around her North Side neighborhood, then shapes them into abstract sculptures featuring patterns and textures inspired by nature.  The large, striking works reflect Peterson-Albandoz's environmentalist ideas. "I'm involved with a lot of......read more

Wild Nothing, "Paradise"

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Dreamy, airborne clip starring Michelle Williams

Known for playing complex roles in critically-acclaimed films, Michelle Williams is pretty much everyone's favorite actress. Here she brings her dramatic talents to the new music video for Wild Nothing's "Paradise." In the clip, her character takes an airborne journey from Los Angeles to Niagara Falls, bumping the moody pop song on her pink Walkman. Williams carries the moody vibe beautifully,......read more

The Domestic Effects of COP15

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As the U.N. negotiations near completion in Copenhagen, American commitments begin to take shape.

Despite the likelihood that the 193 countries at the climate summit will leave Copenhagen with an agreement to finish their work either at a June meeting or at the next annual U.N. conference slated for next November in Mexico City, time is of the essence for President Obama and his congressional leaders to pass a domestic global warming bill. The New York Times reports....read more

Obama Hot For Retrofitting

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President gets hot and bothered over improving energy efficiency in your home.

On a visit to Home Depot in Alexandria, VA yesterday, President Obama said retrofitting homes to improve energy efficiency is "sexy". What's sexy about it, he said, is "saving money". Ohhkayyy. We can think of a few sexier things than saving money - like, for example, grilled cheese sandwiches, or clipping our nails - but anyway. Whatever floats your boat, Mr. President.......read more

Obama Vents in Copenhagen

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US President pulls no punches in speech to COP15 delegates.

At a speech given in Copenhagen earlier today, US President Barack Obama made no secret of his frustration with the lack of consensus at the climate summit. "I think our ability to take collective action is in doubt," he said, adding that it is "in our mutual interest to achieve a global accord in which we agree to steps, and to hold each other accountable for certain......read more

Obama Hails Historic Deal

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Too little too late?

With all good intentions, the climate talks in Copenhagen illicited less than they might have. There's a non-binding deal to fight global warming, but there was no agreement on binding limits of greenhouse gases linked to climate change. The process is moving forward in long-term goals just enough to enable the president to characterize the talks as not a total loss. He admited it was......read more

Obama Awards $2.3 Billion for New Clean-Tech Manufacturing Jobs

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Recovery Act tax credits look to enable new clean manufacturing projects and create tens of thousands of jobs.

President Obama announced on Friday the award of $2.3 billion in tax credits for clean energy manufacturing — part of a broader push by his administration to stimulate job growth during the highest period of sustained unemployment in decades. “Building a robust clean energy sector is how we will create the jobs of the future,” said Mr. Obama, according to prepared remarks. The Labor......read more

State of the Union: Obama's Green Report Card

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Environmental leaders weigh in on Obama's first year in office.

A year ago, as President Obama prepared for his inauguration, environmentalists were optimistic. For eight years previous, the most hostile administration to environmental concerns in the nation’s history had flouted science and flogged nature. There was nowhere to go but up. My brilliant (and more succinct) predecessor, Peter Dykstra, pegged a column to the inauguration. He asked five very......read more

Obama Announces Government Emissions Targets

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The largest consumer of energy in the US aims for 28% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

President Obama announced yesterday that his administration will aim to reduce the federal government's greenhouse gas emissions 28% over the next decade. “As the largest energy consumer in the United States, we have a responsibility to American citizens to reduce our energy use and become more efficient,” said President Obama. “Our goal is to lower costs, reduce pollution, and shift......read more

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