Grist staff

And other words from readers

  Re: Point. Click. Ignore. Dear Editor: I was appalled that the U.S. Department of Interior is ignoring email appeals now. However, email filtering can be defeated: If the criteria for tossing an email were that it looks just like 80,000 other emails with the exception of the signature, then one can write software to produce email appeals that are relatively unique. The trick is finding out which criteria different filters are using. Ultimately, the fact that filtering is used at all would seem to me to be against the rights of citizens to voice their opinions and gain access …

Milling for the Grist

Green-leaning former Vice President Al Gore has decided against running for president in 2004 — but never fear, Grist Magazine is keeping its hat in the ring. No, we’re not running Umbra Fisk as a write-in candidate for ’04; we do plan, however, to be around to tell it like it is on the environment through the next presidential election and far beyond. You can help make that happen by sending us a tax-deductible donation of any size as an end-of-the-year thank you (come on, we must’ve made you laugh at least once on a boring Monday this year) and …

Share the Magic

If you have a little money squirreled away somewhere, maybe it’s time to take out stock in … an auto company. Thanks to a dedicated coalition of environmentalists who did just that, both General Motors and Ford Motors will be voting on global warming resolutions at their next shareholders meetings. Shareholder resolutions like the ones that will be considered by the car companies have been promoted by the Center for Environmentally Responsible Economies. CERES seeks to foster environmental accountability in U.S. businesses and believes that the failure to develop responsible global warming policies creates a huge potential for financial liability …

Texan’s Chainsaw Massacre

Disregarding opposition in both houses of Congress, President Bush announced a plan yesterday to expedite the cutting of trees and brush in national forests by streamlining environmental reviews and judicial oversight. Bush says the plan will help reduce fire danger, but critics say last summer’s wildfires merely provided the pretext for permitting more logging on public lands, including commercially valuable old-growth trees. The proposed plan would reduce the ability of opponents to delay logging projects and would decrease the amount of environmental impact information needed to approve clear-cutting projects — in some cases, from 200 pages to as little as …

You’re Out of the Club?

A Utah chapter of the Sierra Club has been threatened with disbandment because of its decision to speak out against the possibility of a U.S. war against Iraq. The development may bring to a head a discussion that has been going on within the club throughout the fall. In October, 13 former national board members called on the organization to pass a resolution urging the Bush administration to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict. But some current members feel the issue is outside the scope of the Sierra Club’s mission, while others say not all club members are in …

Can’t See the Forest for the Stumps

Here’s something you probably weren’t feeling very thankful for on Thursday: The Bush administration issued a proposal last week that would allow managers of the country’s 155 national forests to approve logging and other commercial activities without thoroughly assessing the potential environmental damage that could result. The proposal would radically alter Clinton-era rules that required the government to protect fish and wildlife in national forests and to evaluate likely environmental implications when revising forest management plans. The Bush plan would leave it up to forest managers to decide whether to prepare environmental impact statements, and would suggest but not require …

The Shipping News

Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn has announced an agreement in which several of the largest shipping companies in Asia will work with L.A. to clean up air quality in the city’s port. Last year, the port received 2,200 cargo ship visits, each burning about 14 tons of heavy bunker fuel. Under the new plan, the ships will shut off their engines while docked and plug into the city’s power system, helping to reduce a significant source of pollution in the region. The program would be the largest of its kind in the world. Some local activists predicted, however, that the …

Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down

The Bush administration and environmentalists are at loggerheads over what should happen to national forests burned in last summer’s wildfire season. The administration is pushing for aggressive logging of scorched forests, including older and larger trees; next month, it will propose new rules meant to reduce delays in timber sales due to environmental appeals. Enviros, meanwhile, argue that it would be best to leave the burned slopes alone, and that the administration is using the issue of salvage logging to try to expand cutting willy-nilly, ignoring ecological consequences.

And other words from readers

  Re: Hitting the Bottle Dear Editor: We would like to thank you for the article by Keith Schneider. Many of the people of Michigan have never heard of Mecosta County. They have no idea that this is their fight also. My husband and I are members of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation; we believe our water is worth protecting. For the new public awareness this article will generate, we thank you, Marlene and Edward Klatt Stanwood, Mich.   Re: This Solar House Dear Editor: I’m glad college students are waking up to the idea of sustainable architecture. Even George …

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