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Richard Graves' Posts

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70 arrested on first day of tar-sands-pipeline protest

Bill McKibben gets arrested in front of the White House.Photo: Shadia Fayne Wood/Tar Sands ActionCross-posted from It's Getting Hot in Here. Seventy people from across the U.S. and Canada were arrested in front of the White House Saturday morning on the first day of a two-week sit-in aimed at pressuring President Obama to deny the permit for a massive new oil pipeline. More than 2,000 additional people are expected to join the daily civil disobedience over the coming days. At stake is what has quickly become the largest environmental test for Obama before the 2012 election: The president must choose …

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Disasters and Resilience: Why Clean Energy Can Save Us

Kaifukuryoku (回 復力) is the Japanese word for resilience. For many in Japan, resilience has become a a way of life, a goal that has driven one of the most advanced efforts at planning for disasters in the world. The word tsunami is also Japanese, originating in their long familiarity of living on the knife edge of disaster, wedged between volcanoes, faultlines, typhoons, and the vastness of the Pacific ocean. Yet, the three disasters Japan is grappling with today are showing the limits of resilience and industrial societies. Buildings in Japan are subject to incredible standards for flexibility and strength, …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Why environmentalists should love universal voter registration

Election season is upon us! This year has been distinguished by the sheer number of crackpots running for office, as well as the number of people with yachts trying to 'self-finance a campaign' or 'purchase' a political post. One of the few upsides of races so far has been skepticism of political candidates who were failed CEOs, which has been surprising in the era of golden parachutes and consequence-free decisions by executives. Turns out that if you want to run government like a business, people don't want government's value to tank like the stock price of HP, which lost 60% …

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Medicine for a feverish planet

Climate advocates should build ties with the public-health community

They can be climate activists too."Green jobs now" has become the rallying cry for environmental activists over the last few years as they have worked to build political support for climate action by tying it to economic growth -- a powerful message in a world rocked by the worst recession in decades. Politicians have responded to this message, making sure to underline the jobs message. The climate bill passed in June by the House was officially titled the "American Clean Energy and Security Act." Its Senate counterpart is the "Clean Energy Jobs and America's Power Act." But the jobs-and-security argument …

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ClimateGate is Watergate redux

Some environmental leaders have been working to minimize the scandal of ClimateGate, by focusing on the fact the hacked email archive of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit has nothing, besides a few cherry picked quotes taken out of context, that casts a shadow of a doubt upon validity of modern climate science. They are wrong. ClimateGate is a huge scandal, probably bigger than they even imagine. The real scandal is not the email archive, or even how it was acquired, sorted, and uploaded to a Russian server, but rather the emerging evidence of a coordinated international campaign to target and …

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Is Civil society too polite to rise to the climate challenge?

Global civil society starts to take up the climate challenge

Environmentalists have been looking forward to the Copenhagen climate talks this December with a mixture of dread and expectation, as it may be the last opportunity to craft a global climate treaty as we barrel towards dangerous tipping points pointed out by leading scientists. Yet, as environmental organizations started to prepare to mobilize their members, send out their lobbyists, and make their arguments for climate action, there is new momentum from both ordinary citizens and unusual partners. Global civil society organizations, representing hundreds of millions of people, the leaders of religions, humanitarian organizations, business groups, and many more, have embraced …

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Clean (energy) bill of health

Health-care reform through green-colored glasses

President Barack Obama addresses a joint session of Congress Wednesday nightWhitehouse.gov With a summer of incendiary rhetoric and fabricated charges by the right-wing dominating the media headlines, President Obama took to the bully pulpit to sell his plan for what is now being called “Health Insurance Reform” rather than health care reform. President Obama and congressional leaders have made health-care reform and tackling global warming their top priorities this year, yet little to no analysis has been made on what a climate policy that shuts down carbon-spewing smokestacks and tailpipes would mean to the health-care sector. Yet, the health impacts …

Read more: Politics

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Heat in August

Hotter summers will pose public health challenges

In the dog days of August, you can be forgiven for not wanting to think about how it could get hotter, much hotter, in summers to come. Nevertheless, Climate Central, a nonprofit focused on communicating climate science, released a study today forecasting what summers might look like in 21 American cities in 2050. Climate Central's analysis predicts hotter Augusts for many of America's largest cities by mid-century. More >>The findings are startling, as the study found that even a modest amount of global warming would have a large effect on weather extremes, including extreme heat events. In a sobering set …

Read more: Climate & Energy