Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Grist staff's Posts

Comments

At the Head of the Class

Lawyers from top environmental groups in the U.S. are considering such new legal strategies as broad-based class-action lawsuits to force the U.S. and corporations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Whether in federal courts or international tribunals, the lawyers would sue on behalf of people or whole countries suffering from the effects of global warming. For example, the lawyers might represent the nine-island nation of Tuvalu, which is home to 10,000 people. Scientists say that Tuvalu could disappear within 50 years because of rising sea levels caused by warmer temperatures. Overall, the U.N. estimates the cost of global warming at more …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

The Ohio Player

Drawing unfavorable attention to President Bush's choice to head the U.S. EPA's enforcement program, a preliminary report released yesterday by the agency found that Ohio has done a poor job enforcing air-pollution rules. Bush's nominee, Donald Schregardus, led the Ohio EPA during most the 1990s. The report said that air inspections, investigations of complaints, and amounts of penalties collected have all declined in Ohio in recent years. In addition, the Ohio EPA employed fewer people than it had said would be necessary to enforce clean-air standards. The federal agency said it would move to take control of Ohio's environmental enforcement …

Read more: Politics

Comments

Jakarta Four: The Hearse

In a big victory for the Indonesian environmental group Walhi, an Indonesian court this week found that mining giant Freeport Indonesia had given false information to the country's parliament about a fatal mining accident last year and ordered the company to improve its toxic waste management. Four workers died in a landslide at the mine last year, but Freeport told legislators that no fatalities had occurred. Freeport yesterday denied that it didn't care about worker safety and that it was harming the environment; the company said it would appeal the ruling.

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

In the Drink

The gasoline additive MTBE, a known carcinogen, has already leaked into 48 public wells that provide water to hundreds of thousands of Californians, according to a San Francisco Chronicle analysis of state data. The additive is leaking from 1,189 underground storage tanks within 1,000 feet of public wells or drinking water aquifers, threatening the water supplies of millions in the state. That's not the full extent of the problem: No data exist on private wells, which may be more prone to contamination because they often draw water from shallow aquifers. MTBE is added to gasoline to make it burn more …

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Comments

Give Us Hybrids, or Give Us Death

  Re: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Do Good Dear Editor: I disagree with the action to dissuade Ford from making hybrid SUVs. I live in western Colorado and would very much like to own a hybrid car for environmental reasons; however, tiny two-door, lightweight cars that sit about six inches off the ground are useless during Rocky Mountain winters and in rural areas. Amy Hadden Marsh Glenwood Springs, Colo. Because SUVs are so popular, maybe a hybrid SUV would provide incentive for more people to buy an environmentally responsible vehicle.   Dear Editor: Although I currently reside in Texas, Colorado …

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Parris in the Summertime

As a last hurrah, Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening (D) says he will push for new restrictions on development along Maryland's coastal bays. He says he will introduce a bill to preserve the wetlands and protect water quality in the next legislative session --which will be his final one in office -- and he expects the fight over the restrictions to be one of his toughest yet. Driving the southern Maryland coast this weekend, Glendening pointed out a house under construction on what was once a wetland: "People look at that and say, isn't that progress? It's a million-dollar home. I …

Read more: Politics

Comments

Glow With the Flow

Artificial lakes containing 50 years of radioactive waste could leak into the rivers of the Ural Mountains within a few years, according to a letter sent by the governor of Russia's Chelyabinsk region to Russia's prime minister last month. The area near the Mayak nuclear reprocessing plant is known as one of the most radioactive places on the planet. Chelyabinsk's vice governor, Gennady Podtyosov, said on Friday that contaminated water might burst the lakes' dam in three to four years, sending waste flowing into the Arctic Ocean.

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Rice-a-Roni, the Global Warming Treat

U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice made sure yesterday that the rest of the world maintained its low expectation of the U.S. on climate change. On CNN's "Late Edition," Rice contradicted a statement by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and said the U.S. would probably not have a comprehensive plan to combat climate change ready by October, in time for the next international meeting on this issue. Ten days ago in Europe, Powell promised foreign nations that a plan would be prepared by then. Meanwhile, the World Wildlife Fund says the climate deal struck last week in Bonn is …

Comments

The Brown Lagoon

Lagoons of animal waste from large factory farms are threatening drinking water and recreational waters across the country, according to a report released Tuesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Clean Water Network. The groups want new lagoons to be banned and existing ones to be phased out within the next five years. The U.S. EPA this month is weighing whether to impose tougher pollution rules on hog, poultry, and dairy farms. But don't get your hopes up -- the agency under President Bush hasn't been supportive of tightening clean water rules. Industry representatives say more restrictions on …

Read more: Uncategorized