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Bush’s budget

In the Daily Grist today, we cover a story about the farm subsidy cuts in Bush's new budget. Due to the nature of that venue -- just the fact, ma'am! -- we don't express any skepticism about the news. So let me do it here: It's bullshit. Nobody in their right friggin' mind thinks agricultural subsidies -- which Bush raised in his first term -- are going to get cut in his second. This is a circus sideshow, meant to distract attention from the grossly regressive cuts elsewhere in the budget. The most dastardly way of reading the much-ballyhooed cuts …

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Evangelicals

Glenn Scherer's much-cited piece "The Godly Must Be Crazy," which argued that far-right Christian evangelicals are hostile to environmental protection, is apparently not the end of the story. The Washington Post's Blaine Harden finds evidence that evangelicals are going green. Joel Makower discusses the issue, as does the Progressive Blog Alliance. Sustainablog also points us to more info at Harvard's Forum on Religion and the Environment and Rev. Larry Rice's essay "As the Giant Sleeps ... Creation Suffers." This strikes me as a subject in dire need of some empirical -- as opposed to anecdotal -- research. Just how many …

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Whitman on the environment

Ex-EPA administrator (and N.J. governor) Christie Todd Whitman is somewhat of a mystery to progressives. She talks like a moderate, and even dares criticize the Bush junta, but she was complicit in the very hard right policies she now disavows -- and, conspicuously, didn't disavow them at the time. The question in the mind of many pundits is, "naive dupe or dishonest hack?" After reading Whitman's op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle today arguing that we need "a new debate on the environment," I'm leaning toward hack.I can't argue with this: America needs a new paradigm for the environment, one …

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Show Al Gore your stuff

INdTV -- the new independent cable TV network being started by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt -- is seeking submissions. Are any Gristmill readers out there aspiring (and/or experienced) TV producers? Got a video camera? Think it might be nice to see some real environmental coverage on television for once? Send them something. (Via Treehugger.)

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Week in review

As always, Worldchanging's week in sustainable vehicles from Mike Millikin and week in sustainable business from Gil Friend are worth reading.

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Exeter

The big Exeter, U.K., conference on global warming ended last week. You can read a slightly hysterical wrap-up in The Independent and a slightly wonkier, link-filled wrap-up on Worldchanging. Update [2005-2-7 20:53:35 by Dave Roberts]:Ah, how could I forget the Indispensible RealClimate?

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NYT on DoE

Many of you have probably already seen this, but the New York Times covered the "Death of Environmentalism" controversy on Sunday. Grist's coverage and online "forum" were mentioned prominently in the story, appearing on the front page of the national edition. No real point to this post, other than to preen a little. Don't hate us because we're beautiful.

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An interview with Michael Pollan

The always interesting TomDispatch is reprinting an interview with Michael Pollan, author of the widely hailed Botany of Desire. It's good reading.

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Benign biotech

The environmental movement's opposition to genetically modified foods has always struck me as rather sloppy and knee jerk. While there are certainly evil corporations involved and real harmful effects possible, the issue seems to call for pragmatic approach, concerned with technique rather than good and evil. Perhaps the problem with GMO crops is not inherent in the very notion of genetic manipulation, but rather in the way they are developed, who owns the results, and who profits. (The same might be said of any number of technologies that enviros have typically recoiled from.) For instance, I'm a big fan of …

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Enron

One often hears from opponents of renewable energy that wind, solar, biodiesel, etc. are not ready to compete in the market. Let us never forget, then, that the energy market is woefully rigged in a thousand different ways. What renewables lack is not economic potential but political patronage. For a particularly galling vignette from that rigged market, read this NYT story on Enron.

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