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Lisa Hymas' Posts

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Well, at least she’s a feminist

Interior Secretary Gale Norton is reviled by many enviro activists for pushing energy development at the expense of environmental protection. But as Elizabeth R. Washburn argues in an op-ed in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, she's to be commended for "helping women break through the glass ceiling in a federal bureaucracy known for its good old boy leanings." In her four years at the helm of the Interior Deparment, Norton has filled key management positions with women, including Lynn Scarlett, Rebecca Watson, Kathleen Clarke, Johnnie Burton, Fran Mainella, Sue Ellen Wooldridge, and Teresa Chambers (though things went a bit awry in Chambers' …

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If not dead, then illin’

Michael Milstein of the Portland Oregonian delves into the sickly state of the environmental movement, focusing in on the Beaver State. It's the Death of Environmentalism quandary distilled down to the state level -- and it's a bummer. "The environmental community seems to be at a new low for the amount of influence it has," said Noah Greenwald, a biologist based in Portland for the Center for Biological Diversity. Not only is the strategy and messaging a mess ... [Environmental leaders] sense that some citizens who believe in environmental protection have come to see the groups advocating it as increasingly …

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New low for global birth rate

Our friends who like to butt heads over population might be interested to know that the global birth rate has fallen to its lowest point. The average woman in a developing country now gives birth 3.9 times over the course of her lifetime, compared with 5.9 in the 1970s, according to the U.N. That's not down to the replacement level of 2.1, of course, but consider it in conjunction with the far-below-replacement levels in some (over)developed countries like Spain (1.15), Italy (1.19), a handful of other European nations, and Japan, and it marks progress.   Still, in total we're at …

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Renewable, my ass

So say nearly 50 enviro, business, anti-nuclear, sustainable-energy, and energy-policy groups in response to Bush's recent claim that nuclear power is "a renewable source of energy." Here, a letter these groups sent today to the Nuke Lobbyist in Chief: January 26, 2005 President George W. Bush The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500 Dear Mr. President: In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, you were quoted as saying that nuclear power "is a renewable source of energy." Please be advised that nuclear power is not a renewable source of energy. For that matter, oil, coal, …

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British science adviser harassed by industry lobbyists

Sir David King, the U.K.'s chief scientific adviser, says American fossil-fuel lobbyists are pestering and hectoring him as he goes around the world talking about the impending dangers of global warming. King ticked off some powerful folks last year when he said climate change poses more of a global threat than terrorism and blasted the U.S. for not taking the lead in addressing the problem. Reports The Independent: Since then, he has given many lectures to international audiences but found individuals among them who are there solely to create the impression that he is presenting biased information. "They'll be in …

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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? …

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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