Category: environmentalism

Hey You all!
I just wanted to post this video that everyone should watch. The Story of Stuff is a 20 minute animated video on the process of production as well as the economics of things. I hope that you enjoy it!

Much Love,

The Link:

The Red List

“Mammals facing extinction threat”

At least 25% of the world’s mammal species are at risk of extinction, according to the first assessment of their status for a decade.

Message from Congressman Scott Petri:

The state can help make the purchase of a new fuel-efficient vehicle more affordable with a $500 rebate to owners of eligible hybrid vehicles.

What is a Hybrid Vehicle?

A hybrid is defined by state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as a motor vehicle that draws its propulsion energy from an onboard source of stored energy that is both:

  • An internal combustion engine using combustible fuel.
  • A rechargeable energy storage system.

While flexible fuel and diesel fuel vehicles are not eligible, DEP maintains a list of specific vehicles whose owners can collect the rebate. These vehicles must be classified as a hybrid, and must have a combined Environmental Protection Agency city and highway MPG (miles per gallon) rating of more than 55 MPG. Additionally, the vehicle cannot emit more than seven tons per year of carbon dioxide.

About the Rebate

Rebates are offered on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is no longer available. Applicants must have purchased or leased the vehicle new and include a completed rebate form, a copy of a valid Pennsylvania vehicle registration, a copy of the invoice and proof of purchase. Rebate checks typically take between 10 and 14 weeks to process.

More Information

For a full listing of eligible vehicles or for more information about the rebate application process, visit: and

We can solve it!

Dear Battenik,

Last week, Exxon Mobil announced record profits — at the same time that the rest of us were paying record high prices at the gas pump.

It doesn’t need to be this way. Our energy prices don’t need to be this high.

If we repower America and generate 100% of our electricity from clean sources within ten years, we can bring our energy costs down.

A lot of people are surprised when they find out how quickly we can make this transition. We’ve built a fun quiz to help show the way. How well do you know America’s energy? You might find the answers surprising:

We can start relying on fuels that are free and abundant right here at home. Fuels like the sun and wind. Once our electricity grid is based on clean sources, we can plug in our cars, use those free energy sources, and stop paying through the nose to the oil companies.

On the day Exxon announced its record profits, I testified before the U.S. Congress. I explained that there are no technical or material impediments to achieving the goal of 100% clean electricity within ten years. The only thing missing is political will. And that’s why the We Campaign exists — to build support for solutions that can revitalize our economy and solve the climate crisis.

The average score of people who’ve taken the quiz is 63%. Can you beat that? Find out:


Cathy Zoi

Nicholas Kristof wrote a thoughtful op-ed the other day about animal rights and an upcoming animal-rights related referendum on the presidential ballot in CA.  He says:

In a world in which animal rights are gaining ground, barbecue season should make me feel guilty. My hunch is that in a century or two, our descendants will look back on our factory farms with uncomprehending revulsion. But in the meantime, I love a good burger.

This comes up because the most important election this November that you’ve never heard of is a referendum on animal rights in California, the vanguard state for social movements. Proposition 2 would ban factory farms from raising chickens, calves or hogs in small pens or cages (full text).

I found the article interesting because although Kristof recognizes the intelligence, autonomy, and right to humane treatment of non-human animals, he simply can’t bring himself to stop eating them.  This made me skeptical of Kristof’s praise for Proposition 2, and after some research I realized that (surprise) it’s really just a proposal to make the cages bigger.

How could this possibly be a “victory” for animal rights?  Sigh…


Important article in the Times this morning about the ongoing effects of the industrial disaster in Bhopal, India:

Hundreds of tons of waste still languish inside a tin-roofed warehouse in a corner of the old grounds of the Union Carbide pesticide factory here, nearly a quarter-century after a poison gas leak killed thousands and turned this ancient city into a notorious symbol of industrial disaster.

Friends of Batten have visited and worked there — and, as the article points out, they still need help.  Post-Bryn Mawr relief-work stories, anyone?

Hi Batten! I’m working at an awesome organization this summer, the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, and I’m doing research on the effects of hormones in our drinking water on the reproductive system. And shit, I’ve found some pretty scary stuff, so I’m sharing.

Environmental Working Group has some great resources about chemicals in the water. Here is their executive summary of the unregulated chemicals in the water. You can also check the water in your state and see what chemicals are reported to be in it. If you want to see the shit going down on a national level, they have that too.

Women’s Health and the Environment is another great source of information. They have a pdf booklet you can look at (for free) that gives a detailed analysis of how environmental issues impact women’s health. I highly recommend it.

As I learn more, I’ll update more. Maybe we can do a Chattin at Batten about this topic?


How Green Is the College? Time the Showers.

David Maxwell for the New York Time

The New York Times has a great article about a new eco-house at Oberlin called SEED (Student Experiment in Ecological Design). There are some pretty interesting ideas mentioned, including shower timers (and water-saving competitions); re-using water in toilets; study parties; and thermostat monitoring. Check out the video on SEED here!

Here’s some pictures from the Batten Library!  About half of the house-owned material has been cataloged on-line ( with even more on the way!


I lovvve the blog  feministing, and read this on it today. I haven’t looked at the book yet, but I’m interested to hear what Batten vegans have to say.

“Now I have been known to call some of my best friends skinny bitches, but usually it is a term of endearment or as a total joke. I know, totally tacky. But I have never thought of “skinny bitch” as a term of empowerment or reflective of girl power. Sure we know all about the reclamation of the word “bitch,” but I have yet to see an effective reclaiming of “skinny.” Of course it is OK to be skinny, it is more the pressure women face to be skinny or stay skinny or even being told they are too skinny, that frankly makes all of us, go insane. In a culture where being skinny is something held over the heads of young women and used to determine their social and cultural value, I am wary of its use in the politics of food.

So this piece struck a cord with me from last week’s NYT. It is about the new book by the author of vegan best-seller, “Skinny Bitch,” called “Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.” It is a cookbook for politically conscious, weight conscious, vegans.

Despite its seemingly indigestible qualities, “Skinny Bitch” (Running Press) became one of the hottest-selling vegan books ever published. Now, the book’s peculiar combination of girl power, tough love and gross-out tales from the slaughterhouse has been translated to the kitchen. The authors’ new cookbook, “Skinny Bitch in the Kitch,” was published in December and reached No. 6 on the New York Times best-seller list in the paperback advice category last week.

Now it does not surprise me that this book is selling so much. There is a huge market for literature that calls women fucked up things and tells them they are stupid or fat and why they should buy this book and be svelte and will have men swooning after them. If they could just do this wonder thing that the book details. But similar to what Debbie Rasmussen from BITCH says in the article, I too am all for an assault on the food industry, but I have major issues with demanding that skinny is the end all goal for being a vegan. That is not “girl power” to me. It is tacky and a dated way of selling books.

Speaking personally, I used to be vegan and honestly, when done right and with support it can work really well. But then I started to realize one of the main reasons I was doing it was because it was keeping my weight down in a really extreme way (read: eating disorder) but I could cover it up in the guise of a political identity. So when young women tell me they are vegan, I am always inquisitive as to the method of their veganism. It is a very extreme diet that needs supplements to make sure you are not deficient in nutrients. It is frustrating, the lack of real nutritional information available to young women to teach us how to eat properly in a way that is healthy, maintains a healthy weight and keeps us happy. I certainly continue to struggle with it and I am almost 30!” -Samhita at feministing.