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Pick of the day: Can a scribe go carbon neutral?

I'm a sucker for a good first-person piece, so long as the story is about something more than just the writer. The writer has to be doing something interesting that connects the reader in an intimate way to an important subject. If the story is funny, then I'm really hooked -- and so are readers, who will follow a story to the end on even the most boring topic if the writer's voice is strong and witty.

Matt Labash practices this kind of journalism frequently at the Weekly Standard, and he had a terrific piece last week on going carbon neutral -- as in, he tried to go carbon neutral during so-called No Impact Week. Labash has a strong point of view in the piece. He tells the reader interesting facts about our carbon footprints while lampooning, somewhat gently, the No Impact crowd, including guru Colin Beavan. It makes for fun reading. Like this:

,DanaInfo=merlin.washpost.com+M1X00074_9.JPGColin Beavan with his daughter at a green grocer in New York. (Bloomberg)

"Still, as I catalog my refuse, it feels like evidence in support of Beavan's indictment. The average person carelessly produces 4.6 pounds of trash per day. Even when conscientious of the trash I was producing: Four lemons quartered for iced tea, plus the plastic bag in which they came. Two gallon-sized tea bags (I scrupulously buy fair trade tea. I go to Safeway. I have money. They have Lipton. I give them the money. They give me the tea. Fair trade)."

You can read the rest of the piece here.

By Michael S. Rosenwald  | December 2, 2009; 8:34 AM ET
Categories:  Story Picks  
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