Christopher Mims

Christopher Mims's dystopian non-fiction is sought after by an ever-growing roster of publications.

'climate hawks' in the other sense

Oil-fattened Congress well on way to preventing EPA from regulating greenhouse gases

Congress is now moving to make it illegal for the government to regulate greenhouse gases, under any circumstances. Apparently killing off possibly the last chance the U.S. had to act on climate change in time to avoid its worst impacts wasn’t enough to sate their appetite for destruction? On Friday, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce — whose leaders are backed by ag, chemical, and fossil fuel industries — voted to strip the EPA of its existing powers to regulate carbon dioxide, methane, and other agents of global warming. That sucks. What sucks worse: Their efforts might just survive …

dateline: holy crap

Does climate change mean more tsunamis?

March 11 tsunami leads to an explosion at Chiba Works, an industrial (chemical, steel, etc.) facility in Ichihara, Japan.Photo: @odyssey Update: The intent of this piece isn’t to attribute today’s tragedy to climate change. Apologies to those whom I misled with the headline. It was meant literally, as in: Tsunamis are inundations of shorelines and therefore have impacts that resemble storm surges, which are one of the most immediate threats of a warmer planet. In addition, climate change may cause tsunamis directly, so it’s possible we’ll someday see more images like this as a result. Update 2: Changed the headline (it …

With a Little Help From My Friends

Thanks to Ringo Starr, Chevron won’t be forking over $18B to Ecuadoran Indians

Photo: Rainforest Action Network At least for now, Chevron doesn’t owe Ecuadoran villagers $18 billion for completely ruining their jungle with oil, a U.S. district court judge has ruled. That’s a reversal of a decision made last month by a court in Ecuador — but Judge Lewis Kaplan figures he has just as much say in Ecuador’s business as Ecuador does. To bolster his complex claim that he has jurisdiction over this case, Kaplan cites a past case in which Ringo Starr, of all people, was held accountable in a U.S. court. Ringo lost that case and wound up owing …

so long and thanks for all the asthma

Pacific Northwest sends coal a Dear John letter

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 15.0px Arial} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 15.0px Arial; color: #1f0199} span.s1 {text-decoration: underline ; color: #1f0199} span.s2 {text-decoration: underline} span.s3 {color: #000000} Dear Coal, We’ve been together a long, long time, but I’m sorry, I’m leaving you for another. Don’t try to argue: like it or not, I need you to move out by 2025. My friends at the Sierra Club have been pushing hard for this for a while, what with the lobbying and their Beyond Coal campaign, and I finally have to concede they’re right. You might as well know there’s …

I have just one word for you: China

Why climate change is now irrelevant to clean energy

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 15.0px Arial} Read more: The 2nd ARPA-E Summit: Same As It Ever Was? GigaOm Are we in a ‘clean energy race’ with China? Grist   

BOOM BOOM POW

Climate change satellite goes out in blaze of ‘Glory’

Photo: NASANASA’s Glory satellite was supposed to measure both solar radiation and the Earth’s capacity to retain it in the course of global warming. Instead, it died trying. The satellite’s launch platform, a “Taurus XL” rocket that is every bit as janky as its namesake automobile (3 duds out of 9 launches, so far), failed to separate from the satellite, thus dooming them both to an ignominious splashdown somewhere in the Arctic ocean. It’s a major blow to NASA’s efforts to observe earth’s changing climate: Glory was intended to “help scientists tackle one of the major uncertainties in climate change …

Got 99 Problems but jobs ain't one

Unemployment down; now we get to care about the environment again

The department of labor’s February jobs report is out, and unemployment dropped 1 percent in just three months, to 8.9 percent. It’s the biggest drop in 28 years. The inverse relationship between unemployment and public concern about the environment means Grist readers have even more reason to celebrate. Now that people don’t have to worry about whether they’ll still have a home next month, they can start worrying about whether they’ll still have a planet in 50 years. Image: Pew Pretty much every study on the subject ever says that when the economy recovers, Americans turn their attention back to …

Riot Grill

World’s dollar menu will now cost $1.50

Image: Bloomberg TV USFood is more expensive than ever, says the U.N. We’re talking revolutions in the Middle East, food riots on The Glenn Beck Show-level expensive. Globally, food prices are up by a third since December 2010, putting them well above their last record high, in 2008, when there were food riots from Bangladesh to Egypt. If you’re in the U.S., you probably haven’t noticed: The average American spends less than 10 percent of their income on food. Ben Bernanke, head of the U.S. Federal Reserve, wants you to know that exploding commodities prices are expressly not his fault. …

it was on fire when boehner lay down on it

All I need to know about Congress’ phony deficit reduction debate I learned from this comment

House speaker John Boehner telling the press he plans to cut $100 billion in discretionary spending from the Federal budgetPhoto: Speaker John Boehner The spending bill wending its way through congress would gut the Environmental Protection Agency, and also cuts a whole bunch of other things you might be a fan of. (The efforts of one brave little unborn fetus notwithstanding.) Luckily, a commenter on Gawker with a degree in economics has written the For Dummies guide to the current phony ‘deficit reduction’ debate: james_from_cambridge 03/02/11  Seriously, everybody needs to stop panicking over this ridiculous Republican bullsh*t about the deficit. …

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