Public support for renewables

Both Jeff and Navin bring word of a survey commissioned by 25x25, a coalition aiming to have 25% of America's energy come from renewable sources by 2025. Poaching from Navin, here's what the survey found: * Americans don't believe that there is an energy crisis, but they do believe we have a serious problem; it's just not the level of a crisis in the public's mind. * 98% of Americans believe the overall goal of getting 25% of our energy from renewables is important (74% very important) * 90% believe the goal is achievable * 88% support federal incentives to achieve the goal and 92% favor government mandates. * Energy ranked at the top of Americans concerns along with health care, security and education * the public believes that special-interests, such as the oil and gas industry, are the primary obstacle to achieving the goal * national security is the best way of selling the goal. These are pretty amazing numbers. Just as we saw with last week's gas-tax poll, the public sentiment is there. It's just waiting for the right public figure to come along and crystallize and direct it. Navin also has more details on the recent 25x25 conference.

Crowley on Crichton

Michael Crowly has a rollicking good piece on Michael Crichton today in The New Republic (not sure whether it's behind a sub wall). It starts like this ... She took a sip of red wine, then set the glass down on the bedside table. Unceremoniously, she pulled her top over her head and dropped her skirt. She was wearing nothing beneath. Still in her high heels, she walked toward him. ... She was so passionate she seemed almost angry, and her beauty, the physical perfection of her dark body, intimidated him, but not for long. --State of Fear by Michael Crichton It may be hard to fathom that someone capable of writing the above passage is also capable of discovering the hidden truth about global warming that has eluded the world's leading scientists. ... and just gets better. It goes badly wrong, of course, in failing to cite my review of Crichton's book, but otherwise it perfectly captures the anti-elitism that has, ironically, vaulted both Crichton and Bush into the elite.

Wolf millennium

New wolf numbers released this afternoon from U.S. Fish and Wildlife: Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming now host an estimated 1,020 wolves, a stunning 21 percent increase in just a single year. Since reintroduction in the mid-1990s, gray wolf numbers have grown at an astonishing pace, faster even than the most optimistic prognostications. Idaho continues to shelter more wolves than any other state in the West, with about half the total. The rest are split almost evenly between Montana and Wyoming.

The Wheel Deal: Smaller is better ... kind of

Smaller cars make a comeback … kind of.

Great news! According to at least one analyst, sales of subcompact cars in the U.S. are supposed to double in the next five years! If this gives you visions of nation-wide FUH2 dancing in your head, you may also be one of those folks who believed your friends when they said the word "gullible" wasn't in the dictionary. (Hint: it is.) A doubling of the U.S. subcompact car market would bring small cars' share of the new-vehicle market to a whopping 3 percent. Actually less than 3 percent. Sigh. Why, why would this be? Says another analyst: I don't think [the subcompact is] a car for the U.S. market ... Those cars look great in Europe, but put them on road here next to a big SUV and they don't look so good anymore. I'm assuming by "good" he means "pridefully wasteful to compensate for small-manhood syndrome." That being the case, I suppose he has a point.

One-stop data shop

Given that states take the lead on most things electrical, perhaps you are wondering how to find out which state is doing what when it comes to ameliorative policies. Wonder no more. The good folks at the Interstate Renewable Energy Council have now added energy-efficiency programs to their popular and invaluable database of state renewable-energy incentives. Check it here.

We Knew They Were Price Gouging, But This Is Ridiculous

Lawsuit against Exxon over torture in Indonesia can proceed, judge says A U.S. federal judge declared last week that a lawsuit brought against ExxonMobil on behalf of Indonesian villagers can proceed. In 2001, the D.C.-based International Labor Rights Fund sued the company in a U.S. court on behalf of 11 Indonesians from Aceh province, claiming that Indonesian security forces paid by Exxon had used company facilities to commit torture, rape, and murder. According to previous statements from Exxon executives, Indonesian military forces were deployed during a conflict at a natural-gas field and pipeline operated by the oil giant in Aceh. …

The Meatrix II: Revolting official launch date and premiere

It is official, The Meatrix II: Revolting will be released on March 30th. And all you New York area Moopheus fans can attend the premiere at the Bowery Poetry Club in the East Village on March 29th. If you're one of the few people who haven't watched the original, I direct you here.

Asking and listening

I started talking on NYC subway cars, thanking people for using public transportation. It was kind of a lame move, but I wanted people to remember that public transport helps keep the city moving without putting a whole lot more cars on the street. It was definitely an act of desperation and has gotten pretty much no support. In rethinking this, I came to a better idea. I am now interviewing people about the environment. I don't ask loaded questions if I can help it, just open-ended things like what images do you associate with the environment, and what sort of connection do you see between your social and religious/spiritual upbringing and the environment. Stuff like that.

Kickstarting social change

The most pressing question for the environmental community today is how to motivate rapid and substantial social change in order to mitigate the effects of global warming (and, relatedly, peak oil). Despite the enormous danger, there is frustratingly little public outcry. As James Speth put it: Climate change is the biggest thing to happen here on earth in thousands of years, with incalculable environmental, social and economic costs. But there is no march on Washington; students are not in the streets; consumers are not rejecting destructive lifestyles; Congress is not passing far-reaching legislation; the president is not on television explaining the threat to the country; Exxon is not quaking in its boots; and entire segments of evening news pass without mention of the climate emergency. What will work to motivate the public? It seems everyone has an opinion about what the green movement is doing wrong, how it ought to tweak its message, and what can finally light a fire under the public's butt.

Got 2.7 seconds?

We've devised the world's shortest survey to find out what kind of actions our readers are taking. You know you want to.