Glamour: Global Warming Activism for Women

     You won’t find a debate over global warming in the pages of Glamour magazine, but you will find “the woman’s guide to saving the planet” in its latest issue.

     Glamour’s April issue has an 11-page Earth Day section with more than 50 suggestions to help women “overwhelmed” by the news that global warming is going to destroy the planet.

     “Yes, the news is bad: Everyone’s been guzzling gas and consuming increasing amounts of energy – meaning that more carbon dioxide, one of the main culprits behind global warming, ends up in the air,” wrote Glamour’s Lori Bongiorno, sounding more like a writer for the young audience of Highlights magazine. The super-simplistic section also suggested readers buy “energy-saving things” and explained that producing plastics spews “Bad Things into the air.”

     The lengthy Earth Day feature also had “There are no dumb questions!” Q and A scattered throughout the pages. One not-dumb question, according to Glamour: “If solar energy is so great, why don’t more homes have it?” The magazine’s answer was that solar panels are still “pricey” but “costs are decreasing.”

      Bongiorno compiled a top 10 list of things readers could do to combat global warming. Among them were common green solutions: switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, drive a hybrid, use public transportation or bike, recycle, and eat local or organic foods.

     The women’s magazine consulted eight eco-advisers for the issue, calling them “the greatest brains in the field” and the people who “made sure our info was correct.”

     Glamour’s advisers were a who’s who of liberal activists:

     Predictably, the top 10 list included a call to action with the help of NRDC: “Send an e-postcard to your congressional rep at asking him or her to back legislation on global warming.”

     Another section “So, is it really bad to…” dissed dry cleaning.

     “Probably not good for you, definitely bad for the environment,” wrote Virginia Sole-Smith. “Fact: 85 percent of cleaners use a chemical called Perc that may be linked to cancer and reproductive damage, though there isn’t conclusive research. But it does pollute the air.”

     But according to the Association for Professional Dry Cleaners’ International Fabricare Institute, perc is in the same toxicity category as household ammonia, bleach, gasoline and nail polish remover and is safe with normal use.

     “Three studies of perc’s carcinogenic potential produced contradictory results … Additional testing showed that perc does not cause the genetic damage that carcinogens normally cause, further indicating that perc is unlikely to pose a human cancer risk,” said IFI’s website.

     On another page, Glamour offered five things to know about hybrids, including this glowing assessment of fuel-economy: Hybrids “can get 40 to 80 percent more miles to the gallon and typically don’t cost any more to maintain.”

     Listing the Toyota Prius’ fuel economy at 55 mpg, the magazine excluded 2008 fuel-economy revisions that are poised to knock the Prius down to 48 mpg city/45 mpg highway.

     At least Glamour admitted that hybrids have a higher initial cost.