Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Glenn Hurowitz's Posts

Comments

How Waxman-Markey tackles climate change by saving forests

One of the little-known ingredients of the deal that allowed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, H.R. 2454, to pass the Energy and Commerce committee was a breakthrough on protections for the world's vanishing tropical forests. The bill's authors, Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA), used this agreement to achieve the bill's environmental aims while keeping it affordable enough to maintain the political support it needed to pass. As such, the bill's tropical forest provisions are essential not only to strong climate policy, but also to overall hopes for climate legislation as it works its way through …

Comments

Understanding offsets

As the struggle to pass the Waxman-Markey climate-energy bill showed, there is a certain price any political system is willing to bear for climate action. In China, that price is low. In the United States, it is medium. And in Europe, it is relatively high. But in every system, there exist two primary ways to reduce the costs of climate legislation to align it with that politically-determined price. One is by weakening the pollution reduction targets – something which provides zero benefit to the climate. The other is by including offsets – making it possible for emitters to get credit …

Comments

Industry spin on climate is still working on media

Andrew Revkin New York Times reporter Andy Revkin has a blockbuster story showing that the Global Climate Coalition, the main industry group that spent much of the 1990s seeking to sow doubt in journalists' and politicians' minds about the reality of climate change, knew all along that it was real and dangerous: "The role of greenhouse gases in climate change is not well understood," the coalition said in a scientific "backgrounder" provided to lawmakers and journalists through the early 1990s, adding that "scientists differ" on the issue. But a document filed in a federal lawsuit demonstrates that even as the …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Environmental Organizing as Solution to Family Discord

This weekend, The New York Times Magazine ran as its cover story an article entitled "Why Isn't the Brain Green?" (i.e. why humans don't generally make environmental choices automatically, even though it's good for us in the long term). And a front page Monday story in The Washington Post, chronicled how "going green" could lead to discord in families as, for example, one spouse wanted the heat on and another wanted to shiver for the planet. "You're kind of in a perpetual state of feeling like you're not measuring up," said Janet Tupper, 50, of Cheverly, who is still happily …

Read more: Living

Comments

The Fishery That's Too Big to Fail

This is a guest post by John Hocevar and Jeremy Jackson. Jeremy Jackson is the William E. and Mary B. Ritter Professor of Oceanography at the Scripps Institution. John Hocevar is a marine biologist and the director of Greenpeace’s oceans campaign. If you like seafood, you’ve probably eaten Alaska pollock, the tender white fish used in most frozen fish sticks, McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwiches, and the imitation crab meat found in California rolls. But the pollock – the world’s largest food fishery – is on the verge of collapse. The most recent data from the National Marine Fisheries Service show the …

Read more: Food

Comments

Republicans as defenders of the poor

Last week, the House GOP leadership proposed a budget outline that provides an alternative to President Obama's. Here's Citizens for Tax Justice's [PDF] analysis of how it compares to President Obama's plan: Over a fourth of taxpayers, mostly low-income families, would pay more in taxes under the House GOP plan than they would under the President's plan. The richest one percent of taxpayers would pay $100,000 less, on average, under the House GOP plan than they would under the President's plan. The income tax proposals in the House GOP plan, which is presented as a fiscally responsible alternative to the …

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

video

U.S. corporation poisoning Africa’s lions

60 Minutes had an extraordinary piece by Bob Simon this weekend on how U.S. poison manufacturer FMC is exporting Furadan (banned in Europe and strictly controlled in the United States) to Kenya, where it's being used to poison lions, leading to an 85 percent drop in their population: Call FMC at 215-299-6000 to let the company know what you think about how it continues to manufacture such a dangerous poison, or email them here.

Comments

Authors of economic collapse advise us to stick with coal

The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a right-wing think tank, has announced it is holding a counter-protest to the Capitol Climate Action, the biggest civil disobedience on climate issues in U.S. history. They're calling it the "Celebrate Coal! and Keep Energy Affordable" rally. A better name might be the "Celebrate 24,000 Dead Americans!" rally, because that's how many people toxic pollution from coal-fired power plants kills every year, costing Americans $167 billion in additional health care costs. Other titles CEI could have chosen: Celebrate Unemployment! Coal kills jobs. Investments in energy efficiency create more than twice the number of jobs as investments …

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Life advice from the Oscars

"All my life, I've had the choice between love and hate. I chose love. And now I'm here." -- A.R. Rahman, winner of two Academy Awards for his music in Slumdog Millionaire

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Big Coal's new campaign: choose us, not jobs and health

It was not so long ago that the coal industry could just issue propaganda without reference to coal's problems. Coal was "reliable, affordable, and increasingly clean" and it powered green, useful things like Washington, D.C.'s Metro system. So imagine my glee when I woke up this morning and pulled the latest Southern Company insert from my morning newspaper. Here it is: I think the androgynous yuppie happily contemplating the radioactive turd is supposed to convince us that said turd is actually a piece of coal that has been magically "greened." I was smiling, of course, not because this insert represented …

Read more: Uncategorized