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Tim DeChristopher found guilty, shows power of nonviolent civil disobedience

Tim DeChristopher.Photo: (C) 2011 Daphne HougardClimate activist Tim DeChristopher, who was put on trial in Salt Lake City, Utah, this week for his interference with an oil and gas auction held at the end of the Bush administration, on Thursday was found guilty by a jury. He faces a sentence of up to 10 years, to be determined by a judge. After finding out the jury's decision, DeChristopher spoke to supporters outside of the courthouse. "We now know I'll have to go to prison. That's the job I have to do," he said. In a recent interview with Grist, DeChristopher …

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As climate crime continues, who are we sending to jail? Tim DeChristopher?

They've got the wrong guy.Photo by Cliff LyonLet's consider for a moment the targets the federal government chooses to make an example of. So far, no bankers have been charged, despite the unmitigated greed that nearly brought the world economy down. No coal or oil execs have been charged, despite fouling the entire atmosphere and putting civilization as we know it at risk.  But engage in creative protest that mildly disrupts the efficient sell-off of our landscape to oil and gas barons? As Tim DeChristopher found out on Thursday, that'll get you not just a week in court, but potentially …

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The Climate Post: Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, including Fox News, goes carbon neutral

"Maybe climate change is a hoax, but my company is going to reduce its footprint anyway."Photo: World Economic ForumAn email has linked Fox News to deliberately casting doubt on climate change, but their parent company -- Rupert Murdoch's News Corp -- seems to take climate change very seriously. News Corp announced it is now carbon neutral, claiming it is no longer contributing to global warming. It's no small feat for the huge company, which also owns the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones. On the site for the company's Global Energy Initiative, Murdoch never utters the words "climate change" or "global warming," but he says: …

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Is climate denialism postmodern?

Jack Handey has nothing on his deep thoughts.Photo: Satyakam KhadikarA few months ago, in a post about the larger significance of the right's climate denialism, I said this: "Here we are hip-deep in postmodernism and it came from the right, not the left academics they hate." In a New York Times Magazine piece last weekend, Judith Warner argued something similar: that the right's denialism is a dangerous extension of the left's academic postmodernism of the '80s and '90s. Science journalist Chris Mooney disagrees. He argues that "climate change deniers do not look, behave, or sound postmodern in any meaningful sense …

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Climate challenge hinges on fueling China with clean and cheap energy

Originally published at the Breakthrough Institute. I've said it before and I'll say it again: When it comes to the global climate challenge, as goes China, so goes the world. Soaring CO2 emissions from energy use in China drive global greenhouse-gas trends. (Click for a larger version).Graph: CO2 ScorecardDriving that aphorism home, CO2 Scorecard, a not-for-profit project that closely tracks global greenhouse-gas emissions, now reports that China's CO2 emissions increased by 906 million tons in 2009 -- the second largest annual increase for any country in recorded history. China's soaring emissions were enough to completely offset the drop in emissions …

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Climate change and the Southwest water crisis: making a bad situation worse

Drought denial's tougher to pull off than climate denial.Photo: Luke RobinsonWhere and how will climate change first affect large numbers of American voters? Answering that question may be crucial to the global efforts to protect the Earth's climate. The tsunami of stupidity and science denial that has washed over Washington, D.C., won't be held back by earnest calculations of long-run risks, or by the potential inundation of remote island nations, or by the news that polar bears and other iconic species are endangered. While climate change may seem remote, the water crisis in the Southwest is all too immediate. Recent …

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Glenn Beck says 350.org is part of a communist plot

Say this for Glenn Beck: He works fast. Less than 48 hours after we at 350.org launched our campaign to let businesses say that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce doesn't represent them, Beck hit back. A true friend of Chamber (here's a picture of him broadcasting from the group's roof -- certainly worth the $10,000 he donated from his $32 million annual earnings), he put little old 350.org up on his notorious board Friday night next to a hammer and sickle. We were part of a communistic conspiracy that also included the Apollo Alliance and the Service Employees International Union. In some …

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Climate activist Tim DeChristopher goes to trial in Salt Lake City [VIDEO]

Climate activist Tim DeChristopher’s trial began Monday in Salt Lake City, Utah. He spoke with Grist recently about facing jail time, his fears, and how to make a difference through nonviolent direct action. Here's the exclusive video interview: Monday morning, Terry Tempest Williams, Daryl Hannah, and other allies rallied to show their support. Peter Yarrow is scheduled to be at the courthouse singing protest songs in support of DeChristopher’s climate activism. You can read more about DeChristopher’s case here.

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What we have and haven’t learned from ‘Climategate’

I wrote about the "Climategate" controversy (over emails stolen from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit) once, which is about what it warranted. My silent protest had no effect whatsoever, of course, and the story followed a depressingly familiar trajectory: hyped relentlessly by right-wing media, bullied into the mainstream press as he-said she-said, and later, long after the damage is done, revealed as utterly bereft of substance. It's a familiar script for climate faux controversies, though this one played out on a slightly grander scale. Investigations galore Consider that there have now been five, count 'em five, inquiries …

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Why space travel should remain a spectator sport

Space shuttle Discovery at its final launch, looking awesome and polluting like crazyPhoto: NASA Yesterday's final launch of the space shuttle Discovery provided some amazing images, and probably made a few of us look wistfully at the sky and think of space panoramas (or in my case space poop and space laundry, because I just read Packing for Mars). But even though astronauts report that gazing down at Earth makes them feel more tender and caring about their fragile planet, it's probably best for everyone if the rest of us remain on the ground. Even if space tourism becomes affordable …