Our picks for the week of June 27-July 3: 

• It's almost Independence Day, so MNN had to ask: Are fireworks bad for the environment? 

• Tesla Motor's IPO snagged a fair amount of press this week. Our auto blogger says this company will succeed. Why? Because it sells a really sexy product.

• The behind-the-scenes wrangling to create a passable energy bill was also big news this week. President Obama focused on seven Republicans to get the job done. Here's why their votes really count.

• Planet Pundit columnist Ken Edelstein looks to ancient Egypt for a modern-day lesson. Here's why environmental shortsightedness doesn't work out well in any era.

• While were on the topic ... check out a gallery of seven surprising global warming deniers.

• This week's destination is Abu Dhabi, an oil-rich emirate with an impressive green vision.

• It's way too easy to diss a minivan. But thanks to the support of some fanatical soccer moms, there's a new wave of vehicles coming soon ... and they've got some swagger.
• Temperatures this summer seem to be falling into two camps: hot and stinking hot. With that in mind, here are eight ways to beat the heat this summer — even without an air conditioner.
• Is there such a thing as an effective, natural mosquito repellant? 

• Hurricanes aren't funny, but the weather guys who cover them sure are. Check out this infographic pitting Mother Nature vs. the media.

Plus: Who needs stained glass when there's a dragonfly around? Learn more about the photo (above) and don't miss the bionic cat in the week in photos.