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The environmental issue in the debates

In comments here, clark and da silva agree (more or less) on the following proposition:  It would be great if the environment mattered more to swing voters, but it doesn't, and the tactical goal of the debate is to move swing voters, so maybe a green rooting for Kerry should be happy the question didn't come up -- particularly given how Kerry botched it in the second debate. Well, yes and no.I would argue that Kerry could have knocked the environment question out of the park -- and was probably better prepared to do so in the third debate.   …

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Judicial rulings on environment split along party lines

An analysis of judicial rulings by the Environmental Law Institute shows that judges appointed by Democrats are markedly more likely than judges appointed by Republicans to rule in favor of plaintiffs who sue the feds for violating certain environmental regulations -- and the disparity is even more striking when the focus is on judges appointed by President Bush.Says Patti Goldman of Earthjustice, "It makes you realize that it really, really matters who appoints the judges." Read the court talk in Muckraker -- today on the Grist Magazine website. today in Grist: Bush-appointed judges rule against environmental regs more often -- …

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White House favoring Halliburton over clean water

OK, you might want to sit down, because we've got a real shocker here: The Bush administration, headed by two former oil executives, one of whom was the CEO of Halliburton, from which he still receives payments, may be pulling strings to help shield the company against environmental regulation. The issue in question is "hydraulic fracturing," a relatively new technique for extracting oil and gas that generates about a fifth of Halliburton's energy-related revenue -- $1.5 billion a year. Since a group of Alabamans sued in 1995, saying the practice fouled their drinking water and seeking to have hydraulic fracturing …

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Bush admin fights off environmental restraints on military

In the presidential campaign of 2000, Bush vowed to force the military to "comply with environmental laws by which all of us must live," but according to a comprehensive investigation by USA Today, he has done the opposite. Since assuming power, the Bush White House has worked closely with the Defense Department to deflect military responsibility for cleanup of polluted sites, ward off new regulations on contaminants like perchlorate and trichloroethylene, and reduce the U.S. EPA's power to investigate and enforce environmental violations at military sites. Though the $4 billion a year the Pentagon spends on environmental compliance represents less …

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Umbra explains ultraviolet ratings

Whatever are we to make of the UV ratings bandied about on some radio and TV stations? As excess ultraviolet exposure can lead to all sorts of unpleasant health effects, from severe erythema (red skin, dude) to cancer, one curious reader wants to know what exactly these ratings mean. Unfortunately, they have something to do with atmospheric ozone and Dobson units and the coefficient of ... well, we'll just let Umbra explain -- in Ask Umbra, today on the Grist Magazine website. today in Grist: Ultraviolet ratings really do mean something -- in Ask Umbra

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Enviro group launches campaign against Victoria’s Secret catalogs

An enviro group called ForestEthics has trained its sights on the Victoria's Secret catalog, urging the company to make the shift to more eco-friendly paper and avoid fiber that comes from endangered forests. The real target is Victoria's parent company, Limited Brands Inc. Limited Brands procures coated paper from an International Paper Co. plant near Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada, which ForestEthics charges has damaged surrounding forests and wildlife. "We're exposing Victoria's Dirty Secret, which is that the million catalogs that it mails a day are destroying some of the world's last remaining old-growth forests and threatening endangered species," …

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A visual guide to global pollution

New Scientist has a nifty piece running.  Eighteen months of satellite data was aggregated to show a pictorial representation of concentrations of nitrogen dioxide around the globe -- i.e., pollution.  Things aren't looking too good for the American Northeast, bits of Europe, or China.

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The flu?

Following up on Shalini's post below:  Where the $#%! was the environment last night?  I actually think Bob Schieffer did a decent job overall, but he found time to ask about gay marriage, strong women, and ... the flu?  Listen, I love marriage, and gay people, and strong women, and I don't like the flu, and I don't want strong married gay women in this country coughing and sniffling, but those are relatively peripheral issues, are they not, compared to mercury in our fish? Soot in our air? Shortages in our water supply?  Oil and gas execs swarming over our …

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Wince

As everyone likely knows by now, freshly-minted Nobel Prize Winner Wangari Maathai recently -- just a day after winning the prize -- claimed before a news conference that AIDS was "created by a scientist for biological warfare" to kill blacks. "Some say that AIDS came from the monkeys, and I doubt that because we have been living with monkeys (since) time immemorial; others say it was a curse from God, but I say it cannot be that," she proclaimed.Now, one hesitates to judge someone whose epistemological circumstances are so radically different from one's own.  And it's certainly not beyond understanding …

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Fact check yo’self before you wreck yo’self

Speaking of that question in the second debate, Environment2004 has got a withering piece up demolishing Bush's response, line by line. Half-way through you'll feel almost sorry for the guy, getting pounded like this.  But then you'll go back to feeling sorry for the environment.

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