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Lisa Hymas' Posts

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RFK Jr. eyeing NY attorney general spot

Crusading environmental lawyer and Bush-basher Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is considering a run for state attorney general of New York, insiders say. He'd be a fitting successor to Eliot Spitzer, who's gone after pollution-spewing utilities with as much as gusto as he's gone after corporate malefactors on Wall Street.

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Veneman to head UNICEF

Outgoing U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman (never beloved by enviros) has been tapped to head UNICEF. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced her nomination yesterday; she was reportedly the Bush admin's top pick for the post. Here's hoping she does a better job of protecting the world's children than she did of protecting America's forests!

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Try a little togetherness

Speaking of how and to what extent progressives should band together (a key theme in our ongoing "Is environmentalism dead" discussion), anti-tax zealot and right-wing power broker Grover Norquist provides yet another example of how the right is kicking the left's ass on the unity thing.  A New York Times Magazine article on Bush's plans to trash the tax code starts off like this: One afternoon late last month, I paid a visit to the offices of Americans for Tax Reform, the conservative lobbying outfit headed by Grover Norquist. ... Each Wednesday morning, more than a hundred leading conservative activists, …

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How toxic is your breast milk?

A nice treatment of this topic in today's New York Times Magazine, from Florence Williams. When we nurse our babies, we feed them not only the fats, sugars and proteins that fire their immune systems, metabolisms and cerebral synapses. We also feed them, albeit in minuscule amounts, paint thinners, dry-cleaning fluids, wood preservatives, toilet deodorizers, cosmetic additives, gasoline byproducts, rocket fuel, termite poisons, fungicides and flame retardants. If, as Cicero said, your face tells the story of your mind, your breast milk tells the decades-old story of your diet, your neighborhood and, increasingly, your household decor. Your old shag-carpet padding? …

Read more: Food, Living

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Free Winona! (From enviro prejudice!)

It's not like the woman hasn't paid her dues. Winona Ryder did 480 hours of community service to atone for that little shoplifting mishap (the $7,600 worth of Saks duds she lifted in 2001 -- oopsy!), and still the actress endures discrimination -- now from enviros, of all people. Ryder says she wanted to sign a petition calling on Bush to get behind the Kyoto Protocol but was turned away because of her criminal record. No word on which green group did the spurning -- last we heard, enviros weren't rebuffing any would-be signers from their go-nowhere petitions, let alone …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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NYT bashes new forest-management rules

The New York Times editorial page has a lucid take on the Bush admin's new forest-management rules. Daily Grist summarized the basic news here, but the NYT digs a little deeper into the likely ramifications of the policy overhaul -- and the Gray Lady doesn't like what she sees: The ostensible purpose of the change is to streamline a cumbersome management process and give individual forest managers more flexibility to respond to threats like wildfires and the increasing use of the forests by off-road vehicles. But the new rules would also eliminate vital environmental reviews, as mandated by the National …

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BINGOs talk back about World Watch article

The debate rages on. World Watch magazine's new issue contains a whopping 16 pages of letters [PDF] in response to Mac Chapin's controversial article "A Challenge to Conservationists" [PDF], which accused big international conservation NGOs of trampling indigenous people's rights as the groups work to put ever-larger chunks of land under protection.  World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, and The Nature Conservancy -- the three big international NGOs targeted in the article (BINGOs for those acronym fanciers) -- wrote in, of course, but their letters are actually surprisingly dull and dry. More juice from two of the three can be found …

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“Climate variability”

Global warming, climate change, global climate change -- so 2004. The hipsters are now calling it "climate variability." Or, well, at least a few Bush admin spinmeisters are hoping they will be 'ere long. In Buenos Aires earlier this month, when they weren't busy stymieing progress on Kyoto, U.S. reps were trying to get folks jazzed about the fresh coinage "climate variability." So much more pleasing to the ear than those stilted, passe climate phrases of yore. After all, variety is the spice of life! Look forward to a lot of spicy weather ahead.

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Is “Clear Skies” really so ghastly?

David Whitman, in a compelling article in the Washington Monthly, argues that Bush's Clear Skies initiative is getting a bum rap from enviros. (He also argues that the much-vilified Jeff Holmstead, the Bush appointee who heads the EPA's Office for Air and Radiation, doesn't wholly deserve his anti-green rep.) Whitman asserts that the bill would do some real good, and debunks the widely repeated claim that the proposal would permit more pollution than the Clean Air Act. (Turns out there was more than met the eye to that bit about a secret EPA PowerPoint slide asserting that Clear Skies would …

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In case you weren’t convinced about the horrors of dioxin …

just look at the face of Ukranian presidential candidate Victor Yushchenko (before and after photos here).  Yikes. The bizarre case of his poisoning has brought renewed attention to this frightening substance, a byproduct of herbicide manufacturing, paper milling, waste incineration, and other nasty industrial processes.   As BushGreenwatch points out, the Bushies are dragging their feet on curbing dioxin pollution, both domestically and internationally. "They've done nothing in regulations, and I don't see anything on dioxin moving on the federal level in the next four years," said Lois Gibbs, executive director of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice and …

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