What we can learn from anti-smoking advocates

Jamais Cascio -- late of Worldchanging, now ensconced in a snug new blog home -- has an intriguing post up arguing that there are parallels between the climate-crisis debate and the smoking debate of yore, and furthermore that those pushing the climate-crisis issue have much to learn from anti-smoking advocates. I think he's right on both counts. But I also think he's being rather optimistic about both the parallels and the lessons. Consider this:

Climate crisis and the 2008 election

Wesley Clark is talking about global warming the climate crisis. I'm really curious to see how the issue plays out as candidates start jockeying, looking ahead to 2008. Everyone on the Dem side will need to acknowledge it, of course, but I wonder which ones will really grab it and try to make it a signature issue. Most of all I want to see what Hillary Clinton, the front-runner [weeps silently], will say about it. I predict a tepid brew. And of course the calculus on the Republican side is more complex. There's still enormous skepticism about it in the base, and there's the omni-present corporate lobby to please. But public pressure is building and it's becoming increasingly embarrassing to be an outright denier. So candidates on the R side will be probing and experimenting, looking for just the right balance of pander, misdirection, and earnest expression of concern. Should be fun to watch. (via EnergyBulletin)

Have Some Class: Curbing global warming

UCLA student wins Larry David’s hybrid in surprise giveaway

UCLA students in Prof. Sherman's "ENVIRON 188: Effective Methods of Social Change" class got quite a surprise yesterday when Larry and Laurie David showed up to lecture about the climate crisis. One student in particular, Erick Tarula (pictured at left with Larry David; photo: Getty Images, courtesy mtvU), was even more surprised when he was handed the keys to the Prius Larry drives on Curb Your Enthusiasm. The lucky med student is the winner of the Curb Global Warming sweepstakes; he was one of tens of thousands who registered for the Stop Global Warming Virtual March on Washington (Laurie's pet project) at The couple's surprise visit and lecture was caught on film as part of mtvU's (Emmy nominated!) series "Stand In," which has featured other unexpected profs including Sting, Madonna, Bill Gates, Cameron Diaz, Marilyn Manson (!), and Snoop Dogg (!!). In a press release from our friends at MTV, a staffer said they were honored to have the couple lecture on such a critical issue; Laurie said it was great to talk to students about making an impact; and Larry, well, he claims his wife offered up his car without asking him and had this to say: "This was a great day except for the part when I gave away the car." Oh, Larry, I heart you. The episode of "Stand In" with Larry and Laurie David will premiere Tuesday on mtvU and mtvU's broadband channel, Über.

The price is right

I suppose it was bound to happen sometime: the Olympia, Washington Olympian is reporting that biodiesel is now cheaper than regular diesel. Until now, biodiesel consumers have had to pay a premium at the pump; making highway fuel from vegetable oil was more costly than pumping it out of the ground. But thanks to rapidly rising crude prices, that's no longer true.

Against hope

Derrick Jensen weighs in on the ongoing proper-level-of-hope debate with a bold anti-hope argument.

Free as a jailbird

When I spoke to Jeff Luers by phone from Oregon State Prison, our wide-ranging talk covered more than just his political views. Having never spent time in prison -- and hoping never to do so -- I was curious about what his day-to-day life is like there. Here's part of that discussion ...

Kempthorne’s contributors

The confirmation hearings of Bush Interior Secretary nominee Dirk Kempthorne start today. To get yourself in the mood, check out this story in the Idaho Statesman. It takes a look at where Kempthorne's gotten the bulk of his contributions over his career -- nothing that will surprise you -- but does so in a more measured and sophisticated way than most articles of this nature.

Can You Fear Me Now?

Scientists plot to warn future generations about dangers of nuclear site A thousand or so years from now, a huge underground salt mine in Carlsbad, N.M., will collapse and bury the tons of radioactive, plutonium-covered …

A Patch Made in Heaven

Ozone layer is recovering, a little Remember the ozone layer? It’s doing better, thanks for asking. A report in Nature indicates that our layer of protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays has stabilized or increased …

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