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Lisa Hymas' Posts

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Notable quotable

Michael Pollan on the affordability of good, local, organic food

I don't think our goal should be to make all food in America as cheap as cheap food is now.  ... If the goal is cheap food, we're going to hurt our farmers, we're going to hurt the environment, we're going to hurt the public health.  The goal should be to give people the money so they can afford to buy good food.  We're in this kind of reverse Fordism situation.  You know, Fordism was this idea that Henry Ford said, "I'm going to pay my workers enough so they can afford to buy my cars."  It raised everybody's boats.  …

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A love supreme?

Enviros back Sotomayor for Supreme Court

Sonia SotomayorGreen groups are throwing their weight behind Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, even though she doesn't have much of a record on environmental decisions and hasn't always ruled in favor of enviros.  More than 60 environmental and Native American groups -- including the Sierra Club, Earthjustice, Greenpeace USA, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Center for Biological Diversity -- have sent a letter [PDF] to leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee offering unqualified support for her nomination.  The Senate Judiciary Committee will be holding confirmation hearings on Sotomayor this week. "Despite her long tenure …

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Trope-a-dope

Replace the “Saudi Arabia of wind/solar/etc power” trope

How many times have you heard that Place X is the "Saudi Arabia of solar power" or "Saudi Arabia of wind power" or "Saudi Arabia of geothermal"?  Kate Galbraith of The New York Times' Green Inc. blog has heard it one too many times, so she's launched a contest for a new phrase to describe renewable energy potential. The point of all these comparisons, of course, is to suggest that this place or that possesses giant reserves of a potential resource. But given that the planet’s oil supplies, including those in Saudi Arabia, are finite by their very nature, it …

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Angela in America

Germany’s Merkel praises U.S. House climate bill as a ‘sea change’

Angela MerkelPhoto: Bertelsmann StiftungThe climate bill being debated today in the U.S. House represents a "sea change" and "points to the fact that the United States [is] very serious on climate," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a visit to the White House this morning. "I wish you every success. ... I would not have thought [it] possible a year ago," she continued. Speaking at a joint press conference after private talks with Obama, Merkel said the president's work on climate change is laying the groundwork for successful climate-treaty negotiations later this year in Denmark: "I'm very gratified to note …

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Green service

Obama’s green team to kick off summer of community service

President Obama wants you -- yes, you -- to participate in a summer service campaign that he's calling United We Serve. "From June 22 to September 11, United We Serve will begin to engage Americans from coast to coast in addressing community needs in education, health, energy and the environment, and community renewal," reads the Serve.gov website. Cabinet members and admin officials will kick the program off on Monday with service-related events around the country, many of which have a green tinge: Department of LaborSecretary Solis will work with the Los Angeles Communities Advocating for Unity Social Justice and Action …

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Heavyweight championship

Gore vs. Hansen: Enviros take sides in debate over House climate bill

Photo illustration by Tom Twigg / Grist[Updated: June 1, 2009] The Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill, now moving through the House, is polarizing the environmental community. Longtime climate crusader Al Gore says we should do all we can to get the legislation passed; top climate scientist James Hansen says we should demand a different, better bill. Activists and environmental groups are picking sides or staking out positions in the middle.   In this corner, Al Gore! “I think they’ve maintained the integrity of the bill. In its current form as I understand it, I have no doubt that it will …

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Your Crist is on my list

Crist, a green-leaning moderate Republican, is running for U.S. Senate

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist declared his candidacy for U.S. Senate on Tuesday, aiming to help recover an increasingly endangered species -- the moderate Republican -- in increasingly hostile habitat -- Washington, D.C. Crist is running for the seat now held by fellow Republican Mel Martinez, who intends to leave the Senate when his first term ends in 2010. Crist has been proactive on climate change, in the mold of Arnold Schwarzenegger. In October 2008, his administration unveiled an ambitious climate plan. Grist's Amanda Griscom Little interviewed Crist last year and asked about his commitment to the climate cause: Q: Was …

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Notable quotable

Olympia Snowe on GOP losing enviros, everyone else

"We're excluding the young, minorities, environmentalists, pro-choice -- the list goes on. ... To the average American who’s struggling, we’re in some other stratosphere. We’re the party of Big Business and Big Oil and the rich.” -- Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, on the Republican Party

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So Long, Farewell

Justice Souter has been a dependable green vote

What might the retirement of Supreme Court Justice David Souter mean for the environment? Probably not a lot. Though he was appointed by President George H. W. Bush, Souter has proven a reliable member of the court's liberal wing, so if Obama appoints another liberal, don't expect much change. Souter voted with the majority in the landmark 2007 climate-change case Massachusetts v. EPA, in which the court found that greenhouse gases are "air pollutants" under the Clean Air Act and therefore the EPA has the authority to regulate them. That decision laid the groundwork for the EPA's finding in April …

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The green issue

The New York Times Magazine’s take on environmentalism is more interesting than most

It's Earth Week, so the MSM is trotting out its obligatory parade of environmental coverage. The New York Times Magazine's green issue is better than most. Check it out: The cover story by Jon Gerter asks, Why isn't the brain green? "Scientists are trying to figure out why it’s so hard for us to get into a green mind-set. Their answers may be more crucial than any technological advance in combating environmental challenges." Deborah Solomon interviews Energy Secretary Steven Chu (and she's less abrasive and irritating than usual). Jon Mooallem profiles Sandpoint, Idaho, which is trying to see the bright …

Read more: Living