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Glenn Hurowitz's Posts

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Environmental Defense has abandoned other green groups on Lieberman’s bill; how should they respond?

Over at OpenLeft.com, the always devastating Matt Stoller writes that "the green civil wars need to begin." He's urging other environmental groups to go after Environmental Defense for offering a ringing endorsement of the latest Warner-Lieberman climate bill. Environmental Defense is justifying a large corporate giveaway under the rubric of environmentalism, and the rest of the green community is letting ED get away with it. In terms of the policy, Environmental Defense is alone here. The green groups are remarkably polite to each other, as most of them started in the 1970s convinced that protecting the environment was a value …

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The green movement of the Rio Grande

Yesterday, Grist published my investigation of why the environmental movement has been relatively slow and cautious in fighting the U.S.-Mexico border wall, one of the greatest manmade disasters to ever strike the Western landscape and Western wildlife. Of course, these articles have to be readable, so I wasn't able to delve into all the details of the politics of the border wall. But I wanted to share with Gristmill readers the part of the investigation that didn't make it into the article -- about how stopping the border wall could represent a major opportunity for environmental groups to build alliances …

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Costa Rica and Guatemala deals could point to common ground on climate crisis

The Bush administration, Costa Rica, Conservation International, and The Nature Conservancy will today announce a "debt-for-nature" swap that could herald something bigger in the future. The United States will write off $12.6 million in debt owed it by Costa Rica. In exchange, Costa Rica will protect some of the most valuable rainforest wildlife habitat in the world. Photo: obooble This follows the Bush administration's support for an even bigger swap with Guatemala. Of course, the sums involved and the area conserved are relatively puny compared to the global forest destruction caused by the Bush administration, especially through its support for …

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Why environmental groups have been slow to fight the border wall

Defenders of WildlifeThe border fence under construction in Arizona. The bobcat turned, looked at me, and jumped into the mesquite brush. It was the first day of a three-day visit to South Texas, and I was exploring the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge along the Rio Grande River. Seeing the bobcat was a treat for me -- but the kind of treat that could become increasingly rare if the Bush administration and Congress go ahead with plans to build between 370 and 700 miles of double-layered concrete wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The efficacy of this plan to keep out …

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How should the environmental movement spend its money?

Tonight will witness the biggest social event of the D.C. environmental calendar: the Green Corps 15th anniversary bash. All the green glitterati will be there to honor Rep. Ed Markey and John Lewis with awards -- and more importantly, to raise money to support training organizers for the environmental movement. I've been helping out with the event for the last few months and I'm excited about it. It's made me reflect on how much the environmental movement has changed since I graduated from the year-long Green Corps organizing fellowship in 2002 -- and think anew about the relative importance of …

Read more: Politics

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Ted Glick enters Day 17 of climate fast

Yesterday I went through a day-long fast for Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, a day of atonement, and the climax of the Days of Awe. We Jews usually start to get hungry by the afternoon. So it's worthwhile to remember that Ted Glick was likely really hungry in Day 18 of his fast to solve the climate crisis, something probably even more important to God than the condition of our souls. Check out this video from Ted on Day 17:

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Thursday event in D.C. seeks carbon questions

Gear up your brains and flex those diatribe muscles, carbon offset nerds -- the offset debate is coming to the Capitol, and you're all invited to participate. Institute of Ecosystem Studies Dr. William Schlesinger is going to be speaking at 6:00 pm this Thursday on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., about his recent work on the interaction between forests and climate -- and its implications for how and whether carbon offsets should be allowed. I'm on the board of the American Lands Alliance, the organization sponsoring the event, and we'd like to get some hot questions to fire at Schlesinger …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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German Chancellor Merkel focuses on climate change

In Germany, when the going gets tough, the tough go green: Chancellor Angela Merkel seems to have realized that, contrary to the song lyrics, sometimes it's quite easy being green. Mrs. Merkel has shied away from the biggest fight at home: the deep economic restructuring she advocated during her campaign two years ago. And on the matter of the suspected terrorist plot in the heart of Germany, she has remained in the background, apparently happy to cede the limelight to her interior minister, Wolfgang Schäuble. But in the past month Mrs. Merkel could be found inspecting glaciers in Greenland and …

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Ex-heads of state tell current heads of state how to solve climate crisis

If you're into exclusive clubs, check this one out: the Club de Madrid, membership limited to former heads of state. (Actually, even heads of state can get blackballed.) Those former heads of state are trying to get their successors to do what they couldn't and tackle the climate crisis. In collaboration with the United Nations Foundation, the Club today released their recommendations for what the world should do on the next round of climate crisis. The ex-heads acknowledge the severity of the crisis and call for current leaders to facilitate rapid reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions, or face massive disaster: Avoiding …

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John Edwards links climate crisis and national security

In a major speech today on national security, presidential candidate John Edwards talked about how fighting the climate crisis is an integral part of battling terror (it also requires less duct tape): Finally, we must achieve energy independence. If we reduce our reliance on oil from instable parts of the world, Middle Eastern regimes will finally diversify their economies and modernize their societies. And fighting global climate change will reduce global disruptions that could lead to tends of millions of refugees and create massive new breeding grounds for desperation and radicalism.