Eco-News Roundup: Wednesday, August 26

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A Wednesday morning question for gardeners and garden fans alike: Are heirloom tomatoes overrated? Novella Carpenter’s piece on the subject will help you decide whether to ditch your old seeds. After you’ve got that one figured out, peruse environment, health, and science news from our other blogs and around the web:

Starring Fiji water: Will Lindsay Lohan, Diddy, Paris Hilton, and President Obama still have a taste for Fiji Water after they see this video?

Does torture work? Dick Cheney said the documents released Monday would prove that enhanced interrogation techniques were effective. Here’s why he was wrong.

Cash for Clunkers, I hardly knew ye: Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

A farewell to phone books: The tomes of old are a waste of paper, energy, and space. And no one uses them. So why do we still get them?

Great creatures now small: Why polar bears are shrinking along with the ice they live on.

 A climate change Dow Jones: How an index could help us get climate under control.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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