Grist staff

The Ghost of Climate Change Future

Defeat on Climate Change Bill Masks Subtle Victory, Supporters Say As expected, a proposal to establish mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions was rejected yesterday by the U.S. Senate in a 55-43 vote. Still, supporters of the bill, which was sponsored by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz) and Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), were generally pleased with the outcome: Crossing party lines, six Republicans backed the bill, as did several Democrats from major industrial and coal-producing states, who typically oppose such caps. The vote represented the first time that members of Congress have been called upon to take a position on global warming …

A new consumer revolution could change the way we label food

There’s a tongue-in-cheek ad campaign going on in New York City right now regarding smoking in public places. The ads feature slogans like, “If they ban smoking in airports, people will never fly again,” and “If they ban smoking in bathrooms, people will never gossip again.” I thought of this campaign when I stumbled across a Reuters article on Tuesday describing opposition to a new law requiring that meat, seafood, produce, and peanuts be labeled with their countries of origin. Critics of the law quoted in the article foresaw disasters of nigh-biblical proportions: U.S. exports plunging, thousands of farmers pitched …

Fighting Fire With Hot Air

California Wildfires Put Pressure on Senate to Pass Bush’s Forest Plan The wildfires raging through Southern California are turning up the heat on senators to pass President Bush’s “Healthy Forests” plan, which would limit environmental and judicial reviews of many logging projects in national forests with the stated aim of reducing the risk of fire. But enviros say the legislation would open up remote old-growth areas to logging while doing far too little to eliminate fire risks near communities; they argue the bill would do little or nothing to stymie fires like the ones now burning in Southern California, which …

The Whole Shebang

Fix Whole Ecosystem, Not Bits and Pieces, Klamath Water Report Says Both environmentalists and farmers were vindicated by a report released yesterday by the National Research Council on the contested waters of Oregon’s Klamath Basin. The report, the final and most comprehensive one in an ongoing battle over the region’s water sources, recommended sweeping repairs to a damaged landscape, including removing dams that inhibit fish migration, restoring wetlands, and returning water to rivers and lakes. “If there’s one central theme, it’s that the failures of the past are the result of not taking an ecosystem approach,” said Jeffrey Mount, a …

Kerry the Day

Kerry Bashes Bush on Environment and Outlines Eco-Plan Senator and presidential contender John Kerry (D-Mass.) came out swinging on the environment yesterday, urging the public to rise up against President Bush’s policies on water, land, air, and energy. “George Bush is the kind of politician who would cut down a tree and then climb on the stump that remains and give a speech about conservation,” Kerry said. Speaking at the University of New Hampshire, he outlined a six-point environmental plan that includes reducing reliance on foreign oil, playing a leadership role in international climate change negotiations, cleaning up air and …

Links and info on candidates, voting, and other election intrigue

  Register to Vote Meet the Candidates What the Polls Say Additional Resources Register to Vote Get off your duff and register to vote! Think you’ve got this one in the bag? Better check twice. Have you moved since the last time you sallied poll-ward? Changed your name? Switched your party of choice? Are you darn near positive that all of your friends, family members, colleagues, and bowling partners are registered — er, well, at least the Earth-lovin’ ones? Take care of it all at YourVoteMatters.org, where you can register to vote in any of the 50 states or D.C., …

A look at state and local races and rumblings around the U.S.

Click on the map to read about each region. All politics are local, as the saying goes — and so in this section of Grist’s special edition on elections and the environment, we turn our attention away from the federal government to describe some of the ways the environment has made it onto the ballot at the state and local levels in 2003, and ways it’s likely to crop up in 2004. From the effort to reelect Salt Lake City’s Ross “Rocky” Anderson — one of the nation’s greenest mayors — to the standoff between a Native American tribe and …

Interviews with the 2004 Democratic presidential contenders

There are enough of them to field a baseball team or fill the Supreme Court bench. With nine candidates vying to win the Democratic nomination for president, sometimes it can be tough to remember which one drives the SUV and which one’s the vegan. To help you get a leg up on the environmental platforms of President Bush’s would-be challengers for the presidency, Grist is conducting interviews with the contenders. (Looking for a particular interview but don’t see it? Check back soon — and in the meantime, email the candidate and say you’d like to read more about his or …

A special edition on elections and the environment

“Information is the currency of democracy,” said Thomas Jefferson, who, as the oft-cited father of democracy, presumably knew whereof he spoke. Alas, a couple of hundred years later, it seems more accurate to say that currency is the currency of democracy. Here at the height of the Information Age, information about the workings of our democracy is increasingly tough to come by (think of the Bush administration stonewalling about Vice President Dick Cheney’s Energy Task Force) and increasingly hard to trust (think of the staggering consolidation and centralization of media control). To counter those trends and conduct a little Jefferson-style …

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