So we recently talked to musician Rufus Wainwright about his new big plan for the summer solstice, or, as he calls it, Blackout Sabbath. He wants everybody to turn off all their lights and unplug everything in their house for twelve hours, in order to better think about how you personally can save the environment for the next year. He's even been collecting magnets so that people can hang their ecoresolutions on the refrigerator. "In American culture, the fridge magnet and things that are on the fridge are really a strong indication of what is going on in one's life," he told us. "It has a certain status in the household. It's almost like a little biblical in terms of, like, you know, This is the decree! Stamp it on the fridge with the magnet!" Indeed. We told Rufus we were impressed with his efforts to save the world and asked him about his efforts to save Britney Spears. He has said he is "probably the one person who can really help her." That's two awfully big goals! "Britney Spears is basically an analogy for the world. Whereas Judy Garland was an analogy for the world in the fifties and sixties, Britney is now," he explained. "Save the whale! Oh, God, that's awful."
Related:Rufus Wants You to Do It in the Dark [NYM]
One of the things that we love about Mayor Bloomberg is that he always makes an effort during speeches. He always has a joke handy, he's personable, and crowds always eat him up (who doesn't want to eat up a munchkin?). So it was last night at the Global Green USA Awards. "When I first got elected mayor, [my mother] said to me, 'Now don’t try to be witty or clever; just be yourself,'" Hizzoner cracked, to much general amusement. Then he went straight into his eco-themed speech, which touched upon a lot of his PlaNYC initiatives. And then he threw down the gauntlet to PepsiCo, of all people. "Coca-Cola Enterprises has developed a hybrid delivery truck," he explained. "This new truck produces zero emissions when it’s going very slowly, which is the only thing it’s ever going to do in our city … If I can start to get people saying, 'Hey, Coca-Cola is a responsible company,' then it’s good for Coke. They will make more money, and they will have an increased interest in investing in our future. And other companies will hopefully follow suit. After all, if you were PepsiCo., what would you do?" Um, bring back that commercial where Britney Spears, Beyoncé, and Pink are gladiators? Is that the wrong answer? —Robert Fischer
• Two firefighters died Saturday in a blaze in the abandoned Deutsche Bank building adjacent to ground zero. The pair "walked into a horror show," as Spitzer put it, when they met a maze of protective polyurethane sheets that may have made the fire harder to fight. [amNY]
• With Bloomberg's congestion-pricing plan dead, the finger-pointing begins in earnest. Mayor Mike decries Albany's lack of "guts" while state officials accuse the mayor of springing a fully formed proposal on them at the last possible moment. [NYT]
One advantage of that flooding that's bound to overtake New York? Deeper waters will presumably make it all the more difficult for oil tankers to run aground off Coney Island, as this one, the White Sea, did this morning. (Reportedly no oil was spilled.) See, a benefit to global warming: It'll make it easier to import oil. Perfect!
Oil Tanker Runs Aground Off Coney Island [AP via Crain's]