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Lisa Hymas' Posts

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Bushies gut national forest rules

Three days before Christmas, the Bush administration announced that it's making the biggest overhaul to forest-management rules in some three decades. The news made the front page of today's New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, etc. -- but ya gotta know it'll slip by unnoticed by a great many folks stuck in whited-out airports in the Midwest and teeming malls everywhere else.   It's been a while since the Bushies pulled one of these announce-an-environmental-abomination-when-no-one's-looking stunts, but they returned to the tactic with a real doozy this time.   "A key wildlife protection that has governed federal forest …

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A clear eye from Britain

Leave it to the British Independent to cut to the chase and succinctly summarize the environment-ravaging agenda of a second Bush administration and its cronies in Congress. Even the title of its article succinctly summarizes it: "Bush sets out plan to dismantle 30 years of environmental laws." Reporter Geoffrey Lean notes that three laws in particular are in the admin's sights: the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act (as Amanda Griscom Little has reported), and the National Environmental Policy Act. He also reports that EPA chief Mike Leavitt wants to overhaul the agency to his liking (as previously reported …

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Brilliant bit of Bhopal activism

On this, the 20th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster, hats off to Andy Bichlbaum for a brilliant bit of activist theater.   Yesterday, the smooth-talking wag posed as a representative of Dow Chemical -- which in 2001 bought Union Carbide, the culprit in the deadly Bhopal catastrophe -- and got himself on BBC World TV news, where he announced that Dow was taking responsibility for the world's worst environmental accident and would pay $12 billion to victims to make amends. Of course, it was all a charade. Dow still denies any responsibility for the tragic pesticide-factory explosion and leak that …

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Dan Aykroyd rants about overconsumption

In an interview done to promote his (widely panned) new feel-good flick Christmas with the Kranks, Dan Aykroyd let loose his opinions on overwrought consumerism: "[T]he common enemy in North America is the Western consumer. The consumer has driven oil up to $50 a barrel so we have to have these wars," he said. Still, he called for supporting the troops fighting those wars: "we've got to support those young men and women who are out there protecting our big fat bloated lifestyle. ... But let's take that $110 billion we're putting into conflict and put it into hydrogen cell …

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Bush taps Nebraska gov to head USDA

Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns (R) will replace Ann Veneman as secretary of agriculture, if Bush's nomination slithers through the Senate as expected. For those not intimately familiar with Johanns' record (who, me?), Bush provided this helpful tidbit: "He's a strong proponent of alternative energy sources such as ethanol and bio-diesel." A corn-belt governor who digs ethanol?  Who woulda thunk it?   More on Johanns to come ...

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Calling Africa to action on climate

Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai and George W. Bush agree on one thing: developing nations need to do more to curb the threat of climate change. (Of course, they don't agree on the much more vexing question of whether overdeveloped nations -- one highly overdeveloped nation in particular -- should do anything to address the ballooning problem ...)Speaking last week at a UNEP climate workshop, Maathai, who presently serves as Kenya's deputy environment minister, told journalists, "There's no reason why our African governments can't control greenhouse emissions, but quite often we make excuses. ... "We say, for example, we're …

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Celebrate Buy Nothing Day at Wal-Mart

This Friday I'll join culture jammers and lazy-asses the world over in celebrating Buy Nothing Day (inspired by those jammers exemplar over at Adbusters). Stick it to The Man by sitting on your duff; dig it. More energetic rabble-rousers are encouraged to head to the nearest lair of Beelzebub (Wal-Mart, yo), not to feed the beast, but to congest the aisles as part of a Whirl-Mart Consumption Awareness Ritual. (See live action video of such!)

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Worldwatch kerfuffle

World Watch magazine's controversial article by Mac Chapin on how the Big Three conservation organizations are shafting indigenous peoples roiled the waters not just at those groups (World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and Conservation International) but at Worldwatch itself. The upshot: The magazine's editor is fleeing the coop.  Word is that Worldwatch President Christopher Flavin originally gave editor Ed Ayres the OK to run the piece, but Flavin got cold feet when he realized that WWF President Kathryn Fuller -- whose portrayal in the article is less than favorable -- chairs the board of the Ford Foundation, to which …

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Do you hate the word “enviros”?

Greg Artzner of Takoma Park, Md., does. He wrote in this week to reprimand us Gristers for frequent use of the abbreviated moniker: Boy, I wish you and all environmentalists would STOP using the term "enviros." Don't you all realize that our avowed adversaries use that term as a pejorative to describe us?  It's their ad hominem dismissal of us as wackos. I have heard it used in personal conversation by Mark Rey, undersecretary for natural resources and environment (known as "Darth Vader" of the forests to those of us working to save the trees). He and many others who …

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Whacked by The West Wing

OK, am I the only enviro ticked off that last night's West Wing episode, even while highlighting the need for tighter fuel-economy standards, portrayed renewable-energy advocates as querulous, petty, bickering twits pushing immature and drastically flawed technologies? Oh, and am I the only enviro who kinda likes the word enviro?

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