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Anna Fahey's Posts


It’s time for climate policy.

American Public Wants Climate Policy

After reading earlier this week that only 24 percent of Americans know what cap and trade is (and in the same day, that 88 million votes were cast in last week's round of American Idol), I needed a little pick-me-up. Luckily, it arrived today in the form of new Pew survey numbers indicating strong public support for the essential ingredients of a national cap and trade program. Who cares if people can name the policy -- they know what they want. So, just the US House Energy and Commerce Committee was sharpening their pencils to begin marking up the American …


Connecting the economy-energy-environment dots

Seeing the light in the Pew poll on Americans' top priorities

At first glance, the latest poll numbers from Pew Research Center on Americans' top priorities for the new president might appear worrisome to climate policy advocates. Global warming is in last place in the top 20, and the environment in general slipped down in the list since last year. Andrew Revkin over at New York Times' Dot Earth blog goes so far as to say, "America and President Barack Obama are completely out of sync on human-caused global warming." (There are some startling new numbers from Rasmussen on that question ...) But I'm convinced that's not the point. The fact …

Read more: Politics


Step right up to the fossil fuel roller coaster!

Survey: Oil and gas industry leaders say the era of cheap gas is over.

The cost of oil has been a rollercoaster ride since the 1970s. Thankfully, we've hit a low in this season of recession, foreclosures, and a major Wall Street meltdown. But nobody expects the ride to be over -- and the only way to go now is up. Just ask oil industry insiders. A recent survey of senior oil and gas professionals by (auditing and consulting firm) Deloitte revealed growing concern among the top brass of the fossil fuel industry about the affordability and sustainability of oil and gas in the near future, along with a surprisingly strong belief in the …

Read more: Uncategorized


Moral obligation, patriotic duty

State poll shows Oregonians ready and willing to do what it takes to halt climate change

The National research firm Public Opinion Strategies recently conducted a survey of 500 likely Oregon voters to assess views on the issue of climate change and to gauge support for the basic principles of policy measures like the proposed cap-and-trade system in the Lieberman-Warner Act (a.k.a. the Climate Security Act -- legislation that was recently defeated last week in the U.S. Senate, but marked a step forward on national climate policy.) The survey, which presents arguments for and against cap-and-trade, clearly indicates that Oregon voters support this kind of climate legislation (72 percent). Beyond that, 73 percent deem it our …


High gas prices, healthy new habits

Gallup shows Americans making smart choices to break the gas habit.

It took soaring fuel prices for old habits to shift. But they're shifting alright. Just take a look at these poll results -- Gallup finds that big numbers of Americans are making changes in their daily lives to deal with higher gas prices. Here's a snapshot: Most telling, perhaps, is that 7 out of 10 poll respondents are considering a more fuel-efficient car. That's a change that'll help control energy costs for years to come, no matter what happens to the price of gasoline. Even though we can't control the price of gas, we control our consumption: we can drive …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living


Green pay day

Green-collar jobs are real

There's lots of buzz about green-collar jobs these days (sort of like blue-collar jobs, but with a sustainable edge) -- whether you're listening to Obama, McCain, or Clinton; Gregoire, Kulongoski, or Schwarzenegger. You hear this kind of thing a lot: A study conducted by the RAND Corporation and the University of Tennessee found that producing 25 percent of all American energy fuel and electricity from renewables by the year 2025 would produce the following: "$700 billion of new economic activity, carbon emission reduction by 1 billion tons, and 5 million new jobs." Fine and dandy, but, some might ask "where …


Survey says ... environment and economy not mutually exclusive!

Americans favor conservation and see economically sound opportunities in protection

Standard survey questions often uphold (or manufacture) false dichotomies. Case in point: the perpetual practice of pitting the environment against the economy. Nonetheless, these questions can reveal interesting trends over time. And every now and then, the numbers show that the public sees right through "either/or" questions that just don't add up -- like recent research that shows Americans link economic opportunity to environmental protection. First, recent trends on that pesky "environment vs. economy" question: According to a new Gallup poll conducted March 6-9, despite fears of a looming recession, Americans continue to favor protecting the environment even at the …


Shorter winters weaken forest carbon sinks

New study says trees are absorbing less CO2 than predicted

Forests have gained a lot of attention in the climate change conversation because of their ability to suck carbon out of the atmosphere. Individuals can buy "reforestation" offsets on the internet. There's talk of including credits for carbon stored in trees and wood products as part of many proposed cap-and-trade systems. Cities and businesses are even planting trees as part of their efforts to slow climate change. But forest ecosystems are, by their nature, unpredictable. And new research shows carbon sinks are weaker than predicted. There's no doubt that forests, and their tremendous ability to store carbon, can play a …

Read more: Climate & Energy


Roadblock at Bali Climate Conference? Not U.S.!

The U.S. sits on the sidelines rather than leading the charge in a war on climate change

Americans have a history of joining together in times of crisis. But the terminology of war is the most familiar rallying cry. So it's understandable that when he's talking about global warming, John Edwards often implores Americans to be "patriotic about something other than war." And when Al Gore accepted his Nobel Prize this week, he said, "We must quickly mobilize our civilization with the urgency and resolve that has previously been seen only when nations mobilized for war." So, where is America the strong, free, brave, visionary? Where is America, defender of the world's climate? The U.S. is not …


A green wave lifts all boats

Van Jones looks to sustainability for pathways out of poverty

Will the burgeoning "green" economy have a place in it for everyone? To a packed auditorium in Seattle last Wednesday, Van Jones said: It can. And to be successful, it has to. In the chorus of voices against climate change, his message rings true and clear: "We have a chance to connect the people who most need work with the work that most needs to be done." Van Jones is a civil-rights lawyer and founder and executive director of an innovative nonprofit working to ensure that low-income, working poor, and minority youth have access to the coming wave of "green-collar" …