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Priorities for a Healthy … zzz …

Via Jon Stahl I saw the launch of Priorities for a Healthy Washington, a coalition of Washington state enviro organizations. I looked over the site quickly and went on about my day -- it didn't make much of an impression. Now Alex Steffen asks: Hold on, why can't enviros make a damn impression? The PHW site is business as usual, he says, "a great example of environmentalists once again describing the steak rather than selling the sizzle." Check out the site, read Steffen's diagnosis and suggestions, and let us know what you think.

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Politics after disasters

Here's a fascinating piece by Peter Ford in Christian Science Monitor on the political effects of natural disasters throughout history, with some discussion of the possible political ramifications of the tsunami. Good to see someone going a little deeper than the "man clings to tree for two weeks" level.

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Paper or pla… oh, fer chrissake!

Can you ever have enough answers to the paper-or-plastic question? Of course not! Here's another, from Treehugger.

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Global warming consensus

A couple of things I missed over the holiday break: Via this interesting piece on climate change consensus on RealClimate I found this interesting piece on climate change consensus in the Washington Post. Read 'em -- we'll be talking about this more soon.

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Green quid pro quo for Liberia

William Powers has an intriguing editorial in the New York Times today arguing that Bush should help Liberia institute a sort of "Peace for Nature swap, based on the Debt for Nature model in which third world countries receive debt relief for conserving their natural heritage." The idea is that Liberia has something lots of folks want -- intact rain forest -- and they desperately need something we can help provide: stability. In exchange for setting its rain forest aside as a United Nations biosphere reserve, Liberia would receive U.N. peacekeeping, electricity and water, and training in new jobs based …

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Deconstructing Inhofe

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Ok.) is the chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. He thinks global warming is "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people." He recently gave a speech on the floor of the Senate summarizing new science that he says supports his position. Chris Mooney utterly dismantles it. UPDATE: Ah, yet another dismantling, more technical in nature, from the folks at RealClimate.

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2004 climate change and energy wrap-up

An interesting summary of climate change and energy news from 2004 over on EDIE. (See also their contaminated land news round-up.) UPDATE: A similar round-up of clean energy news from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

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Happy Monday!

A Somalian mother has to choose which of her children to save. Meanwhile, Americans knowingly and deliberately poison their children.

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More shadowboxing

Oh lordy, here's another one. Writing in the Seattle Times today, Collin Levey lobs the by-now-familiar accusation that enviros are pinning the tsunamis on climate change. Similar talk has been heard from other eco groups, though they always clarify that they don't mean the earthquake in the Indian Ocean was caused by global warming, er, exactly. Note that all the rhetorical work here is done by the "er, exactly," which is packed with insinuation that Levey does not unpack, because she can't, because of course "eco groups" really don't mean that the earthquake was cause by global warming. After the …

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New metrics

I meant to link to this a few days ago: Over on Renewable Energy Access, Scott Sklar argues for the development of new economic metrics by which to assess the viability of renewable energy. By accepting the traditional measures of viability (cents per kWh, for instance) PV and other renewables always come out poorly. Another economic "metric" needs to be crafted and effort initiated to build support for it (such as dollars per immediate used, levelized cost, non-interruptable energy). When you take these modifiers in account, biomass, free-flow hydropower, geothermal, photovoltaics, solar thermal, wind, and waste heat/cogeneration along with other …

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