David Roberts

David Roberts

Energy, politics, and more

David Roberts is a staff writer for Grist. You can subscribe to his RSS feed or follow him on Twitter or email him at droberts at grist dot org, if you're into that sort of thing.

Oil spill spotted

Looks like Katrina may have caused an oil spill after all.

BusinessWeek on Katrina

The America-hating commies at, uh, BusinessWeek have a must-read article on Katrina and the implications for U.S. policy. The major lesson policymakers should draw from the catastrophe is just how vulnerable the U.S. is becoming to natural disasters and energy disruptions. In fact, some experts say, Americans have been mistakenly lulled into thinking terrorism is the most pressing threat -- and they argue that the relentless focus on staving off suicide bombers has left crucial gaps elsewhere. Here are their policy recommendations: Restore natural buffer zones Limit development in the most vulnerable areas Get serious about climate change Make a Presidential appeal Increase energy diversity Boost energy efficiency Read the whole thing. (via David Corn)

Interview with mayor of New Orleans

Everyone, and I mean everyone, should listen to this interview with the mayor of New Orleans. Any hint of political tact is gone -- he's just angry and confused by the criminal indifference and incompetence that are consigning thousands of his constituents to disease and death. It's painful to hear, but utterly necessary.

Rebuilding New Orleans

As the immediate crises in New Orleans slowly resolve themselves over the next weeks and months, talk will inevitably turn to rebuilding. Over at Worldchanging, Alan AtKisson offers the first version of what he promises will be a developing, evolving piece of work about how to rebuild New Orleans in a bright green way. In a very grim time it's a nice ray of passion and optimism. Highly recommended. Update [2005-9-2 12:12:20 by Dave Roberts]: See also this optimistic take on rebuilding by Ari Kelman over on TPMCafe.

Interview with Alex Steffen, part three

On framing environmentalism

This is part three of a three-part interview. You can read part one here and part two here. In this section, Alex and I discuss the way environmentalism has been framed and what greens can do to change those frames.

Katrina and oil

Some folks might look at the economic reverberations of Hurricane Katrina, which has done untold damage to our oil infrastructure, and think, "hm, maybe depending so heavily on a single source of fuel concentrated in a few small areas puts us unwisely at risk." Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tx.) isn't one of those people: Barton said the hurricane aftermath should be a "wakeup call" to the American people and government to increase domestic oil production from areas like the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge and the coast of California and to build new refineries.

Good reads

Billmon on the environmental madness revealed by Katrina. Also Ari Kelman on New Orleans' grim environmental history.

Gays destroy New Orleans

Saying that global warming "caused" Hurricane Katrina is pretty stupid. No, clearly what caused Katrina is God's anger at homosexuals. Thanks a lot, gays! (via Think Progress)

How McIntyre got famous

One of the very few front-page stories The Wall Street Journal has ever run on global warming was about the work of an obscure semi-retired businessman named Stephen McIntyre. Said work criticized the infamous climate-change "hockey stick." The story catapulted McIntyre -- who was and is regarded as a bit of a kook among actual climate scientists -- to fame, and he's since been lauded by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tx) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla). Inquiring minds want to know: WTF? Paul Thacker has the back story. Update [2005-10-11 14:59:40 by David Roberts]: Antonio Regalado from the WSJ wrote to inform me that the above is inaccurate -- the WSJ has in fact printed several page one stories on climate change (his unscientific survey turned up 14). Consider me chastened and corrected.

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