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Organic is becoming popular … the horror!

An article in CorpWatch adeptly summarizes what strikes me as a classic dilemma facing enviro(nmentalist)s: Organic food is becoming more popular and the organic food industry is growing.  As it grows, large corporations are taking an interest, buying small organic companies, and attempting to supersize organic farming operations. By some estimates the percentage of organic food sold by organic markets has fallen from over 60 percent to just over 30 percent -- the rest taken up by Wal-Marty type stores (and a miniscule percentage by farmers' markets, food-buying clubs, and the like). Organic is going corporate. Reactions, as you would …

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There he goes again

What is it with Gregg Easterbrook? Hope really springs eternal in this guy's breast. And by "hope" I mean "delusion." First he argues that a second-term Bush will aggressively act on global warming (no word on whether he's been reprimanded), which Michael Oppenheimer rightly mocked. Now he's back, in The New Republic, saying now, really, surely, Bush will budge on his energy policy: John Kerry ran on a platform that called for dramatic changes in United States energy policy, and George W. Bush ran on a platform that called for keeping the energy status quo. Bush won, yet my guess …

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In the annals of bad ideas …

... this has to be one of the worst I've ever seen. California's new DMV director is considering a plan whereby drivers would be taxed based on the miles they traveled rather than by the amount of gas they bought (the state currently has an 18-cent-per-gallon gas tax). Put aside for a moment the creepy fact that miles traveled would be measured by GPS tracking devices placed in cars, so that the government would know exactly where you are, where you'd been, and how far you'd gone at any given moment. Instead, consider this piece of insanity: The notion has …

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Good news!

Guess what!?  While 58 percent of all the world's coral reefs are endangered, a few of them are bouncing back, and "recovery should continue provided there are no major climate shifts in the next few decades"! Wheee!

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Starts with “e,” ends with “nment”?

Strangely, in this story about how the Dems are trying to learn lessons from their victories in Colorado, not a single environmental issue is mentioned -- not even the state's groundbreaking renewable energy initiative. For a slightly greener perspective, see this post.

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Green votes

Will Rogers has a hopeful editorial in the NYT today, pointing out that despite the relative silence of the mainstream media on the story, environmental initiatives won broad support on Nov. 2. Across the country, in red states and blue states, Americans voted decisively to spend more money for natural areas, neighborhood parks and conservation in their communities. Of 161 conservation ballot measures, 120 -- or 75 percent -- were approved by voters. Three-and-a-quarter billion dollars were dedicated to land conservation. Such measures won support in areas where Kerry won and areas where Bush won. Seems to show that there's …

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He made his bed …

... and now he's sleeping in it.  And boy, it doesn't look comfortable. Last week French President Jacques Chirac took a public swipe at Tony Blair, saying he'd gotten nothing in return for his unstinting support of George W. Bush.  "I am not sure," said the francophone dryly, "that it is in the nature of our American friends at the moment to return favors systematically." Meanwhile, Blair has been under immense pressure at home -- from his party, the opposition party, even the Queen -- to prod the intransigent Bush on the subject of global warming. Surely, the reasoning goes, …

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The last thing enviros need now is a bout of radicalism

Enviros made unprecedented efforts to sway the 2004 election with legitimate tools: advertising, fundraising, rallying, knocking on doors. It didn't work. Apparently that fact is not sitting well. The top response in a poll asking Grist readers where green-minded folks should direct their energy in the next four years was "armed resistance" -- by a 10-point margin. You might say armed resistance received a mandate. Enough is enough, you proclaimed. Time to shake off milquetoast pretensions of mainstream acceptance, pick up some tree spikes and Molotov cocktails, and fuck shit up. A Monkey Wrench Gang for the 21st century! But …

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The issue with issues

Freelance writer Christopher Hayes spent the last seven weeks of the campaign talking to undecided voters in Wisconsin. He recounts his experiences in The New Republic (requires registration), and it is simply fascinating. And a little depressing. Most conventional wisdom about undecided voters is wrong, he says.In the context of the ongoing discussion about how to make the environment resonate with voters as an issue, I found the following bit particularly eye-opening: Undecided voters don't think in terms of issues. Perhaps the greatest myth about undecided voters is that they are undecided because of the "issues." That is, while they …

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Because he said so

So, this month a panel of 300 scientists put out a report saying that global warming is most definitely underway, and that "human influences, resulting primarily from increased emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, have now become the dominant factor." But stop the presses! U.S. Senator Ted Stevens (R-Ala.) says the scientists are wrong. Not that he's read the report. Scientists who helped put together the report briefed members of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday. Stevens, who is to chair the committee starting in January, agreed that climate change is a serious problem and said he …

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