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Mission statements

I promise I won't point to everything Mark Schmitt writes (though that would be no small public service), but I do want to draw attention to this follow-up to the issues covered in this post. It seems both Yglesias and I misunderstood Schmitt in a subtle but telling way.He summarizes thusly: The call for "an ideology" to me is like saying, "we need a mission statement." It's been my experience that you can appoint a committee and spend a lot of time writing your organization's mission statement and debating the relative priority of "community" or "tolerance," or you can get …

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A no-nukes argument with no waste

OMFG. This essay from Tom Paine's Patrick C. Doherty just made my day. It's a concise, effective argument against nuclear power that isn't based on nuclear waste. Don't get me wrong -- nuclear waste is nasty. Nasty and more-or-less permanent. It's a compelling reason to be leery of nuclear power. But I'm not sure it's enough. The argument of the industry, taken up by some prominent enviros recently, is that we need a non-CO2-producing energy source, a big one, now, and nuclear is the large-scale source that's available. If you're convinced that nuclear power is viable, that it's a large …

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The week in sustainable _________

Oops, it wouldn't be a Monday unless I linked to Sustainability Sundays over on WorldChanging, which this week included the week in sustainable vehicles from Mike Millikin and a guest shot from Joel Makower. The essay from Makower is a reprint from his own blog. It's a business primer on Kyoto, and I highly recommend it. It covers many of the issues touched on in Emily Gertz's third dispatch from Verdopolis -- including the business case for action on climate, greenhouse gas reporting, carbon trading, carbon offsets, and carbon neutrality -- in a somewhat more systematic way, with plentiful links …

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Editorials

A couple of big papers weigh in on Bush admin. environmental malfeasance. First, the Washington Post calls the zombie-esque, won't-stay-dead "Clear [cough] Skies" bill, in gentle editorialese, "flawed." They point out that a compromise bill would be easy to hash out, and they blame both parties equally for not doing so. This is fashionable in Beltway media parlance, this "pox on both their houses" high-mindedness, though it makes one wonder if D.C. scribblers have been paying attention for the last four years. The L.A. Times bashes the Bushies for ignoring the mercury problem. They are, as is their wont, less …

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A valentine

In keeping with the holiday, let me send a valentine out to my one true media love, Knight Ridder environmental correspondent Seth Borenstein, whose lucid, straightforward, BS-free prose -- a virtual miracle in the world of environmental reporting -- are on display in this story on the uncertain effects of Kyoto.

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Just plain “green” for me, thanks

Thomas Friedman is doing a public service by pushing his "geo-green" shtick. Any time someone outside the mainstream environmental community, particularly someone as high-profile as Friedman, pushes sensible energy policy, it becomes harder for its industry and administration opponents to dismiss. Frankly, if Paris Hilton wanted to come out and argue that alternative energy improves your sex life, I would praise her to the rafters. Whatever gets the job done. It is worth, however, keeping our expectations realistic.In Sunday's NYT, Friedman hits the theme again, arguing, as he did last time, that we are in effect funding our opponents in …

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Even more Verdopolis

The very bestest Verdopolis coverage in the whole galaxy is, of course, ours. However, should you want to sample what else the web has to offer, there's more over on Treehugger, covering a speech (delivered via DVD!?) by the justly legendary Bill McDonough.

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Death commentary

Mark Schmitt, a brainy progressive policy analyst whose Decembrist blog is one of the best on the web, has a pair of posts up on the Death Stuff. The first is a fairly extensive analysis that ends by enthusiastically agreeing with the central point. That's where I find the best argument for blowing up the whole "movement," along with the others. We can't possibly find ways to move society forward as long as everything is put neatly into boxes labeled "environment," "health care," "campaign finance reform," "low-income programs," "pro-choice," etc., and the coalitions that exist are made up of representatives …

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Shrinkage

A couple weeks ago, Chip worried about worries about shrinking populations. Specifically, he worried that countries with shrinking populations -- or in China's case, shrinking proportions of males to females -- will try to stimulate procreation (hey, get your mind out of the gutter), which makes an enviro's spidey-sense tingle. He wished that someone would make the argument that a declining population is not necessarily a bad thing, economically speaking. Today in the Christian Science Monitor, David R. Francis gives it a brief shot. Some random thoughts on population below the break.I do not share the obsession with population that …

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More Verdopolis

More Verdopolis coverage over at Treehugger. We'll have some of our own up later today. Update [2005-2-10 16:45:41 by Dave Roberts]: Still more, from Will Duggan, who was excited that businesses are finding good reasons to go green, but ends with this: Inspiring two hours, yes, but corrosively depressing that there was no American business leader to match the vision, passion, and humanity on display.

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