Lisa Hymas

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

Janice Rogers Brown living up to her surname

Controversial judge sides against enviros on mercury regs

Janice Rogers Brown is already proving her worth on the federal bench. Last week, she and her colleague David Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia blocked an effort by environmental groups to halt implementation of the Bush administration's much-maligned mercury rules.

ExxonMobil CEO resigns

Lee Raymond stepping down as head of most eco-unfriendly oil co.

Pollutocrat nonpareil Lee Raymond, CEO and chair of ExxonMobil, today announced his resignation, effective at the end of the year. As chair and CEO of the world's largest publicly traded oil company -- and the most recalcitrant on climate issues -- he consistently appalled green observers with his steadfast denial of any need to curb greenhouse-gas emissions or work toward the goal of U.S. energy independence. From a 2002 interview with Raymond: Q: Isn't it time to join the scientific mainstream in countering the greenhouse effect? A: The mainstream of some so-called environmentalists or politically correct Europeans isn't the mainstream of all scientists or the White House. The world has been a lot warmer than it is now and it didn't have anything to do with carbon dioxide. We'll have a hard time replacing this most iconic of eco-villains. Even Bush admits that climate change is happening.

Big papers (finally) taking note of hormone-disrupting chemicals

WSJ, USA Today highlight dangers

The Wall Street Journal astounded many in the green community last week when it launched a series on toxic chemicals with an in-depth page A1 story on endocrine disruptors, which, even in teeny-tiny amounts, muck up the functioning of human bodies, according to an ever-growing body of scientific studies. Now USA Today is getting in on the game with "Are our products our enemy?" Here, reporter Elizabeth Weise's delightfully melodramatic lead: Like the glint of a knife in the dark, a laboratory accident in 1998 helped scientists realize that some chemicals commonly used to make life more convenient can be health hazards. Since what they still call "the disaster" in geneticist Pat Hunt's lab, more scientists have come to suspect that, even in tiny amounts, some of the chemicals that keep our food fresh, our hair stylish, our floors shiny and our fabrics stain-free might be confusing our hormone systems and derailing fetal development. From what I can discern, there's not much real, breaking news in these stories; rather, the real, breaking news is these stories. Which news outlet will jump on board next?

Domenici coming around on climate

Powerful N.M. senator wants to start curbing emissions

Pete Domenici -- Republican senator from New Mexico and chair of the powerful Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee -- met with Cheney on Friday to talk climate. As Alex Flint, the senator's top energy staffer, said, "Sen. Domenici is now convinced that climate change is occurring and that we need to do something about it."

Tippy-tippy-topple ...

GOP starting to face up to climate challenge

More signs that the tipping point on climate has arrived: In a Christian Science Monitor article today: "The ground is shifting on the politics of climate change faster than I would have thought," said Alex Flint, GOP staff director of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, at a press breakfast sponsored by The Energy Daily and BP America on Friday. And as The Boston Globe reports: "The chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, Pete V. Domenici, is considering whether to team up with a fellow New Mexican, Senator Jeff Bingaman, a Democrat, on [a] proposal that would cap [greenhouse-gas] emissions but allow companies to buy their way out if the cost of reducing emissions proves to be prohibitively high." (More on Bingaman's plan here.) "We're thrilled at the interest being shown by Republicans at doing something that's achievable and doable," said Bill Wicker, a Bingaman spokesman.

A win for Kyoto cities plan

U.S. mayors unanimously endorse climate-protection resolution

The nation's mayors have thrown their weight behind Kyoto (and thereby thumbed their noses at Dubyah). At the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Chicago yesterday, municipal leaders unanimously endorsed a resolution calling on U.S. cities to meet or beat the protocol's emissions-reduction targets. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels spearheaded the resolution, as well as a more specific campaign that's gotten 164 cities (so far) to commit to taking steps to protect the climate. Grist's Amanda Griscom Little tracked Nickels down amidst all the hubbub this morning for an interview, which we'll publish later this week. Stay tuned. As Eric pointed out yesterday, we're at a tipping point on climate change (finally, jeez). Can Bush possibly hold out for another 3.5 years doing nothing on this issue? I'm betting he cannot. Update [2005-6-20 10:34:49 by Lisa Hymas]: Check out Amanda's interview with Nickels.

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