Politics

Idle oughts

We still heart Rocky Anderson

Rocky Anderson is in the news again, reminding us why we all love him. Now he’s taking on idling autos, calling for city-owned vehicles and personal vehicles on city business to limit their idling to five minutes, except in emergency situations. Fifty percent of air pollution in Utah comes from cars and trucks, and Rocky wants the city to do their part in cutting down on the smog-creating emissions. His environmental adviser, Jordan Gates, says this latest executive order is part of the mayor’s comprehensive plan to improve air quality, encourage alternative fuels, reduce driving, bolster alternative transportation, and reduce …

Farm Bill: The 'delicate balance' the House left intact

But key Senators are making noise about rocking the boat

When Mark Udall (D-Colo.) proposed shaving two-thirds of a cent from just one of the subsidies that go to cotton farmers, Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.) said, "it is absolutely unfair, once we have reached this very delicate balance within the bill, to reach in and single out one commodity." That amendment -- to cut less than a penny from cotton subsidies and use the savings to protect more than 200,000 acres from sprawl and development -- failed by a vote of 175-251. So what was that very delicate balance that the House of Representatives preserved?

Feds fund Bloomberg's congestion plan

But still no actual decision on whether it will happen

The federal government has agreed to allot $354 million to New York City to help it launch its congestion pricing plan. Yeah, that one where state legislators were first like “Hmmm, I dunno,” and then they were all like “no way,” and then some enviros were like, “Eh, maybe it’s not that great anyway.” Not that federal funding guarantees that the state will approve the plan, so stay tuned.

New consensus?

At the New York Sun, Gary Shapiro notices that there’s broad bipartisan consensus on the need for "energy independence" but very little agreement about how to achieve it. Uh, hasn’t that been the prevailing situation for almost a half century now?

Climate change and conflict: a 'myth'?

Not really

I get the point Idean Salehyan is trying to make in "The New Myth About Climate Change,” but — the headline should tip you off — the whole piece has been unnecessarily tarted up to generate controversy. It administers a stern beating to a series of strawmen. The "myth" in question is that global warming increases the probability of conflict, or as Salehyan puts it, "international and civil wars, a rise in the number of failed states, terrorism, crime, and a stampede of migration toward developed countries." What the piece demonstrates, however, is that the claim is a myth only …

The World Bank and global warming

An attempt at censorship by Wolfowitz

Sad, but perhaps not surprising. "Wolfowitz attempted to censor World Bank report on global warming," from Greenwire ($ub req'd):

What should Congress do on climate?

Go big or play it safe

I’ve had the Lieberman-Warner climate bill proposal (PDF) printed out for a couple weeks now, but still haven’t gotten around to reading it. Bad blogger! The general assessment from other quarters seems to be: eh. Medium. The big flaw is that it gives around 25% 75% of its permits away. Bad, bad, bad, but maybe necessary to get coal-state legislators on board. On the positive side, it’s got a cost-containment mechanism that, unlike Bingaman’s escape hatch, would hold fast to long-term environmental targets. Bill Scher has a good rundown and comes out in about the same place. The $6 million …

Tee hee

A funny for word nerds

This is, I suppose, vaguely environmental, but I’m only blogging it because it’s hilarious. At least if you’re a word nerd like me.

World Government Blvd.

Turns out that NAFTA superhighway is superfictitious

Last year I caught wind of concern on the far right about a "NAFTA Superhighway," an (alleged) gargantuan new road, four football fields wide, that would plow straight up through the country from the Mexican border, through Texas, through Minnesota, all the way up into Canada. Foreigners would own parts of it! The World Bank would settle disputes about its use! The last one out, take down the flag! Today in The Nation, the inimitable Chris Hayes takes a long, close look at the highway project, and finds that — you’ll never believe this — it’s collective ‘winger hallucination: … …

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