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Boilerplate Tectonics

Bush and Kerry discuss their positions on science In the latest issue of the journal Nature, President Bush and John Kerry each respond to 15 questions about science and related topics. Because the responses are written, neither candidate sounds like himself -- there are no Bushian malapropisms or Kerryan layered qualifiers -- and for the most part they simply regurgitate campaign-trail boilerplate. However, there are revealing differences, particularly on global warming. When asked, Bush acknowledged that it is a "serious long-term issue," but then said the following: "In 2001, I asked the National Academy of Sciences to provide the most …

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All in the Family

Kerry draws on family and Clinton admin folks for environmental advice Check out MSNBC for a handy roster of John Kerry's top advisers on the environment. At the center of his advisory circle is family, namely wife Teresa and stepson Andre Heinz. Teresa -- who first met Kerry at an Earth Day rally -- serves on the boards of several enviro organizations and has used her inherited ketchup fortune to fund numerous environmental initiatives. Andre, as Grist readers will already know, has worked on environmental issues his whole adult life. Filling out the list are numerous Clinton policy hands, including …

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Saleem Ali sends dispatches from a sustainable peace and development gathering

Saleem Ali is assistant professor of environmental studies at the University of Vermont and on the adjunct faculty of the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. He is attending the Wilton Park Conference on Environment, Development, and Sustainable Peace. Thursday, 16 Sep 2004 STEYNING, U.K. A quiet English estate, renowned for its roster of conferences since 1946, is the venue for a meeting of 65 environmental professionals to discuss pathways toward sustainable development and peace-building. Sponsored by the British, Dutch, and German governments, as well as the United Nations Environment Program, the conference aims to shed light on …

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Environment serving as a measure of character in presidential race

At a time when the man commonly derided by greens as the worst environmental president in U.S. history is up for reelection, it's perplexing that the most publicly discussed environmental issue of the campaign right now is Yucca Mountain -- a molehill in the grand scheme of America's environmental problems. Yucca Mountain. Photo: WhiteHouse.gov Of course, dumping nuclear waste in this Nevadan outpost is a genuine concern -- particularly for, say, Nevadans. But nationally speaking, even many enviros are ambivalent on the issue; as a whole, the green community has put forward no clear alternative plan of action. Enviros have …

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Vanity Blair

Tony Blair calls for action on global warming, critics heap scorn U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair made a major speech yesterday that referred to global warming as the earth's "greatest environmental challenge," and though he never mentioned U.S. President Bush by name, he pointedly called on the world's wealthiest countries to take the lead in battling it. Saying that international cooperation was vital, he laid out three goals for 2005: to reach agreement among the G8 nations about the nature and causes of global warming; to agree about scientific and technological means to address it; and to persuade large non-G8 …

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Walking on Blair

Conservatives Accuse Blair of Being Weak on Climate Change In a depressing illustration of just how far global consensus on climate change has left the U.S. behind, this week British Prime Minister Tony Blair was criticized for doing too little on global warming by Michael Howard, the leader of the conservative Tory party. Howard attacked Blair for failing to use his close relationship with President Bush to push the U.S. to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. He accused Blair's Labor Party of putting all its eggs in the onshore wind-power basket, ignoring the potential of several other forms of renewable energy. …

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The Status D’oh!

Salon.com Delves into Global Warming A new trio of articles on Salon.com does a nice job of laying out the current state of play on global warming, though its conclusions will come as no surprise to regular Grist readers: President Bush has been playing what the National Wildlife Federation's Jeremy Symons calls "whack-a-mole" with federal scientists, trying to obscure their consensus opinion that human activity is driving climate change. He promotes technological miracle fixes like hydrogen cars while refusing to rein in the extractive industries that have given him record amounts of money. John Kerry is more forthright about the …

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Oh, So Nov. 15 Is After the Election? Who Knew?

Bush Administration Delays Roadless Ruling The Bush administration announced yesterday that it will delay a final decision on whether to repeal the enormously popular Clinton-era Roadless Rule in order to gather more public input -- two more months of public input, as it happens. Some enviros (oh, the cynicism!) noted that the delay would put the final decision off until after the election, and further pointed out that much of the pristine land that could be logged, mined, or otherwise developed if the rule is repealed is in Western swing states. Agriculture Undersecretary Mark Rey put such crass political speculation …

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Schwarzenegger at an environmental crossroads

Arnold Schwarzenegger's exuberant speech last Tuesday at the Republican National Convention suggested that the Governator may be less the moderate Republican than advertised. Hailed by some during the convention as the Obama of the right, the California governor came across as a devout, rock-ribbed Bush lover. Just days after Schwarzenegger's speech, more evidence emerged to indicate that this compassionate conservative may be borrowing not-so-compassionate tricks from the Bush-Cheney playbook: An Associated Press story last Friday revealed that a sweeping reform proposal for California state government commissioned by Schwarzenegger was "influenced significantly" by industry interests -- in particular, ChevronTexaco, the largest …

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Grist chats with Andre Heinz, environmental activist and stepson of John Kerry

Some may cry nepotism when they see Andre Heinz, the middle son of Teresa Heinz Kerry, take to the podium as one of the leading spokespeople on the environment for John Kerry's presidential campaign, but his ascent is hardly without merit. True, he has deliberately steered clear of a career inside the Beltway, so in some senses he is new to the political scene. But having grown up in Washington, D.C., the son of former senator John Heinz (R-Penn.) and now the stepson of Kerry, he is as conversant on the inner workings of Capitol Hill as he is on …

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