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Ribbons & Rebukes

Rebuke for a slippery Sam Wal-Mart's plan to build a 130,000-square-foot Sam's Club in Madison, Wisconsin, ran into an unexpected snag -- city officials saw the blueprint and gagged. They wanted the boxy behemoth to be independently certified as a "green building" using rigorous standards, but Wal-Mart balked, saying it would set a bad precedent nationwide.

Ribbon for a telegenic tutor Just when you thought all TV weathermen were wannabe sitcom stars, along comes a guy like D.C.'s Bob Ryan. The NBC4 chief meteorologist teamed up with several enviro organizations to integrate educational information about the beleaguered Chesapeake watershed -- and ways viewers can help clean it up -- into his weathercasts.

Rebuke for fiscal mismanagement It took a lot of gall, but the Bush administration seemed to have no qualms about using money earmarked for renewable-energy research to print the 170-page fossil-fuel funfest that is the president's energy report. What's next, guys? EPA dollars for derricks?

Ribbon for 200 toques A couple hundred plus, really. That's how many chefs across the country -- including those at such high-toned hot spots as New York's Oceana, Chicago's Charlie Trotter's, and Berkeley's Chez Panisse -- have pledged to take Chilean sea bass off their menus. The seafood celebrity of the 1990s, the fish has suffered for its fame and threatens to perish at the hands (and forks) of a greedy public. — Jason Best

Illustration: Anthony Russo

OnEarth. Summer 2002
Copyright 2002 by the Natural Resources Defense Council