Lisa Hymas

Lisa Hymas is senior editor at Grist. You can follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Tea Party tirade

Palin bashes ‘cap and tax’ and commends Obama on nuclear

Sarah Palin’s much-anticipated speech Saturday night at the first National Tea Party Convention in Nashville included a one-minute-and-20-second disquisition on energy policy.  She hit on her familiar talking points — drill here, drill now, “cap-and-tax” sucks. But she also commended Obama for highlighting nuclear power during his State of the Union address, a brief departure from her otherwise sneering tone toward the president. (“How’s that hopey-changey thing workin’ out for you?” was more typical.) Considering that Palin was paid $100,000 for the 40-minute speech, this excerpt represents $3,333 worth of her wisdom:  And to create jobs, Washington should jump-start energy …

No good speech goes unpunished

Will Google’s fight with China stymie climate negotiations?

If any progress is to be made in the global fight against climate change — whether via diplomatic negotiations or cleantech partnerships — it will only happen through cooperation between the U.S. and China.  But the potential for collaboration of any kind took a big blow this past week thanks to the Google fracas.  Reports The New York Times: Beijing and Washington both initially tried to treat the Google case as mainly a commercial dispute. But Mrs. Clinton’s speech on Internet freedom on Thursday, with its cold war undertones, has catapulted the dispute from the realm of technology and cybersecurity …

He's back!

Richard “Dick” Pombo running for Congress again in California

Pombo and an old pal.Enviros were thrilled when Richard Pombo, a Republican who represented California’s 11th congressional district for seven terms, was ousted from his seat by a renewable-energy geek in 2006.  Pombo had been deemed Public Enemy No. 1 by the environmental community, which invested big bucks in the effort to beat him. Amanda Little reported at the time: As chair of the House Resources Committee, Pombo has enjoyed tremendous influence over environmental policy making in recent years. He spearheaded an effort to weaken the Endangered Species Act (which passed the House last year but got nowhere in the …

Mountain climbing for CEOs

Green-biz pioneer Ray Anderson says sustainability literally pays for itself

Ray Anderson set out to make his business sustainable long before green was the flavor of the month.  Reading Paul Hawken’s The Ecology of Commerce in 1994 literally changed his life, inspiring him to overhaul his carpet company, Interface, and aim for zero waste and zero environmental impact.  Now, with his new book Confessions of a Radical Industrialist, he wants to spur other business leaders to “climb Mount Sustainability.”  Anderson recently dropped by the Grist office and we asked him how his own ascent is going so far.  —– Q. You’ve been working for the last 15 years to make …

Myth congeniality

Pollan shoots down organic myths at Grist event

Michael Pollan (left) and Tom Philpott talk food.Celebrated food and ag author Michael Pollan debunked some myths about organic agriculture Tuesday night at a Grist event in San Francisco, in a conversation with Grist food writer Tom Philpott and the audience. In response to a question about whether we can really feed the world without industrialized ag (ah yes, a perennial), Pollan pointed out that we’re not feeding the world with it now.  He said we wouldn’t be doing developing nations a favor by exporting a fossil fuel–dependent ag system to them when it’s clear that fossil fuels are only …

Mainstream greens applaud Sotomayor confirmation

Justice Sonia SotomayorPhoto: White HouseEnviros are cheering for brand-new Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday on a 68-31 vote.  Well, make that many enviros, not all. “We congratulate Justice Sotomayor on her historic confirmation to the high court, where her extensive experience will serve her well,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope. “With many of our nation’s bedrock environmental laws under constant attack, Supreme Court decisions in coming years will continue to have far-reaching environmental implications.” Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen also praised her confirmation, while acknowledging that she doesn’t have much …

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.  …

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 …

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 …