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More mort!

Speaking of the alleged death of environmentalism, ONE/Northwest has a few discussions thereof, introduced here, including some righteous umbrage from Tim Greyhavens, Executive Director of Wilburforce Foundation and Aron Thompson, ONE/Northwest board member. ONE'er Jon Stahl also links to this piece in the Tyee, which discusses the stuff from a Canadian perspective. For various reasons, I find all the responses unsatisfying. A lot of it just amounts to, "No we're not!" and "We must redouble our efforts!" There's talk about a more positive, inclusive vision, but what is it? It so happens I'm hard at work on an editorial on …

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Some people get rice and need water; some people get water and need rice

Enviros should pay a lot more attention to stories like this one about the role of grassroots techies in disaster relief in Indonesia. A group of people that met in an online chat room formed the Aceh Media Center, with coordination and funding help from the Indonesian Information Technology Federation, a coalition of nine local business groups. It's an absolutely remarkable tale: As aid organizations around the world made plans to gather food, tents, and medical supplies, members of the Aceh Media Center sent out pleas via e-mail for the tools that would help them to set up emergency Internet …

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An energy-secure state

There are very few details in the story, but it's intriguing nonetheless: Chhattisgarh, a reasonably undeveloped and biodiverse state in the heart of India, aims to plant some 2.5 million acres of jatropha, a source of bio-fuel, in a bid to become "energy secure." Chief Minister Raman Singh said the plantations would cover only one million of the state's eight million hectares of wasteland and would provide energy security to the country by saving at least Rs.100 billion ($2.2 billion) on fuel imports every year. "Besides import savings, jatropha cultivation would give the state Rs.40 billion from the sale of …

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An elevator pitch for environmentalism

Update [2005-3-14 9:31:34 by Dave Roberts]: The Elevator Pitch contest is over! (You can continue suggesting ideas, but they won't be entered in the contest.) The American Prospect is running a contest: develop an "elevator pitch" for liberalism. An elevator pitch -- familiar to folks desperate to raise money (hi) -- refers to a short, pithy summary of the benefits of one's project. Conservatives, the Prospectors say, have a familiar elevator pitch (strong defense, lower taxes, fewer gay people, etc.), but people are constantly baffled as to what liberalism "stands for." (You can read a few Prospect readers' attempts here.) …

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Landsea

Enviros are in a fairly massive worldwide fight right now, trying to convince governments and average citizens alike that global warming is real and that its effects could be devastating. Vested interests of various sorts are trying to paint this as alarmism and hype. That picture is flattering to enviros, but of course there's more to it than thatIt is also the case that billions and billions of dollars are being funneled into climate change research. This same money could be spent to save millions of lives if directed to curing AIDS or ending poverty, with a much higher degree …

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The answer, my friend, is basking in the sun

Joel Makower does a quick review of the growing momentum of solar power on the world market, with high-profile moves being made by Sanyo, Sharp, Kyocera, and Mitsubishi. Then he turns to the U.S. solar market, which is lagging: Reclaiming leadership in the global solar marketplace will be no mean feat. As recently as 1997, U.S. solar companies controlled 100% of the U.S. market and 40% of the global market, according to SEIA. Today, U.S. firms control only 73% and 14%, respectively. In 2003, following several years of growth, shipments from U.S. solar manufacturers actually decreased by 10%, while shipments …

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45th

The U.S. is the world's 45th greenest country. Finland, Norway, and Uruguay are the top three. Details below the fold.The 2005 Environmental Sustainability Index will be officially released on Wednesday. A joint project of the World Economic Forum, the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University, and the Yale Environmental Performance Measurement initiative, the ESI is "a composite index tracking a diverse set of socioeconomic, environmental, and institutional indicators that characterize and influence environmental sustainability at the national scale." The New York Times has a preview of the results.

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Sustainability sunday

If you're not already, I highly recommend stopping by WorldChanging every week for Sustainability Sundays, where the finest minds of our generation blogosphere convene to review the week's developments. Check out the week in sustainable transportation from Mike Millikin of Green Car Congress, the week in green building from Gil Friend of Natural Logic, and the week in green design from Justin Thomas of Metaefficient.

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The Daily Show barometer

I finally got around to watching Thursday's edition of the Daily Show. The inauguration coverage was predictably funny, but something else jumped out at me. Joe Lieberman was the guest (pretty funny guy, as it happens). Jon Stewart asked him, among other things, what his top three priorities would be at the beginning of Bush's second term. First, Lieberman said, he would stop Bush from messing with Social Security. The crowd roared their approval. Second, he said, he would work with John McCain to persuade Congress and the president to do something about global warming. The crowd's reaction? Dead silence. …

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Recapturing the red flag

Ed Kilgore of NewDonkey has a thoughtful post up on how the Dems might regain ground in the South. One tidbit jumped out at me. When listing the tactics used by successful Dems in the South -- "Mark Warner of Virginia (elected in 2001), Phil Bredesen of Tennessee (elected in 2002), and Mike Easley of North Carolina (elected in 2000 and re-elected easily in 2004)" -- he finishes with this: ...and most important, (d) convinced conservative rural voters that public sector activism and new technologies could create economic opportunity in regions left for dead by conventional Republican economic development strategies. …

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