Glenn Scherer

Glenn Scherer is an author and freelance journalist whose stories have recently appeared in,, and other publications. He is former editor of Blue Ridge Press, a syndicated environmental commentary service in the Southeast.

In a warmed world, even food won’t be as good for you

Humanity is on the threshold of a century of extraordinary bounty, courtesy of global climate change. That’s the opinion of Robert Balling, former scientific adviser to the Greening Earth Society, a lobbying arm of the power industry founded by the Western Fuels Association. In a world where atmospheric carbon dioxide levels soar from the burning of fossil fuels, he says, “crops will grow faster, larger, more water-use efficient, and more resistant to stress.” Quoting study after study, he invokes visions of massive melon yields, heftier potatoes, and “pumped-up pastureland.” Bumper crops of wheat and rice, he says, will benefit the …

Bush judicial nominees could shake the foundations of environmental law

William G. Myers III is George W. Bush’s choice for a lifetime position on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. That court’s jurisdiction covers three-quarters of all federal lands, in nine Western states where contentious battles rage over energy, mining, timber, and grazing. Which way will the scales of justice tip? Unlike most judicial nominees, Myers has never been a judge. Instead, his qualifications include decades as a paid lobbyist and lawyer to the coal and cattle industries. In his recent position as the Bush Interior Department’s chief attorney, Myers tried to give away valuable federal lands to a …

A green financial expert dishes up election-related investment tips

Matt Patsky knows his green. As the election looms, green-investing guru Matt Patsky has joined the political fray, making the radio talk show rounds to tell investors and voters why another Bush presidency will not only be bad news for the environment but also a disaster for the market. Patsky is the portfolio manager for the Winslow Management Co., a pioneer in environmentally responsible investing. Winslow was founded in 1984 by Jackson Robinson, who believed — in opposition to much of the investment world — that companies which benefit the environment also benefit shareholders. In this exclusive interview, Patsky dishes …

Christian-right views are swaying politicians and threatening the environment

A kind of secular apocalyptic sensibility pervades much contemporary writing about our current world. Many books about environmental dangers, whether it be the ozone layer, or global warming or pollution of the air or water, or population explosion, are cast in an apocalyptic mold. – Historian Paul Boyer When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale; the …

The story the Times did cover, and that I missed

Glenn Scherer

Okay, a special thanks to Gristmill readers for keeping this blog accurate and honest. I stand corrected, and with blog on my face. An excellent AP story written by Charles Hanley did indeed run starting on March 20, 2004, in many U.S. papers and worldwide, reporting a disturbingly large increase in atmospheric CO2 for 2003.

The story The New York Times didn’t cover

A look at U.S. mainstream media vs. foreign environmental coverage increasingly shows that Europe, Australia, and even India do a better job than we do. A perfect example of the underreporting by the US press of extraordinarily important climate change news came on October 10th when The Guardian UK announced that, "An unexplained and unprecedented rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere two years running has raised fears that the world may be on the brink of runaway global warming."

New Jersey’s Democratic governor takes tricks from Bush’s book

Gov. James McGreevey (left) and DEP chief Bradley Campbell. In the run-up to the 2004 election, those who have high hopes that a change in administration will automatically mean the curbing of environmental abuses by government should look to recent events in New Jersey for a cautionary tale. In the Garden State, Democratic Gov. James McGreevey, who has historically been a friend to the environment, has perplexed and outraged environmentalists by taking several pages from the Bush administration playbook. McGreevey last month signed sweeping legislation giving developers fast-track access to 1.5 million acres of the state. The act radically streamlines …

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