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Lisa Hymas' Posts

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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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Greens and big biz

"Green movement is big business," declares the headline of a Reuters article this week.   The concept recalls Mac Chapin's ruckus-causing article in World Watch on conflicts of interest at the three big conservation groups, as mentioned by Geoff last week. (A fascinating read, by the way -- I may never think of the Big Three the same way again.) The content of the Reuters piece, though, is far less enlightening.  It kicks off thusly:     Some environmentalists slam big business for its polluting or tree-cutting ways, but a growing number of "greens" resemble and even act like Wall …

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Green Bay Backers

The New York Times editorial page today waded into the mucky controversy over pollution of Indonesia's Buyat Bay by the Colorado-based Newmont Mining Corp., the world's biggest plunderer -- oops, I mean producer -- of gold. The Times' Jane Perlez has covered this saga -- which has involved, among other exciting bits, jail time for mining execs, high-stakes lawsuits, dueling scientific reports, and birth deformities -- more comprehensively than any other reporters, to my knowledge (see here and here).  The Times editorial, in part:   Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a former general, became Indonesia's first directly elected president last month partly …

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Hydrogen girlie man?

Schwarzenegger blusters on about building a Hydrogen Highway in "the great state of California," but little ol' D.C. has beat him to the punch on one key front. This week, the District of Columbia became host to the first hydrogen-dispensing pump at a public gas station in North America. Green-leaning folks may or may not think the hydrogen revolution is an admirable or even attainable goal, but it seems to be inching forward nonetheless.  Or, considering the fact that the new Shell-owned pump will be servicing a mere six demonstration minivans owned by GM, millimetering forward? D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams …

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For all those remaining undecideds …

Judd Legum and The Nation have pithily summarized nine of Bush's most egregious environmental offenses (as well as 91 non-environmental ones): The Bush Administration gutted clean-air standards for aging power plants, resulting in at least 20,000 premature deaths each year. The Bush Administration eliminated protections on more than 200 million acres of public lands. President Bush broke his promise to place limits on carbon dioxide emissions, an essential step in combating global warming. Days after 9/11, the Bush Administration told people living near Ground Zero that the air was safe -- even though they knew it wasn't -- subjecting hundreds …

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It’s gettin’ hot in herre

The New York Times editorial page took the Bushies to task yesterday for ignoring and distorting science on climate change, echoing accusations made by NASA's top-dog climatologist, Jim Hansen. Speaking in Iowa last week, Hansen castigated the Bush administration for its failure to face up to facts and act, and he "said that he had been instructed by Sean O'Keefe, administrator of [NASA], not to discuss publicly the human contribution to global warming," the Times writes. The editorial continues: [T]his administration has a depressing history of discouraging robust discourse on climate change. ... The net result is that while most …

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