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Power Corrupts; Renewable Power Corrupts Renewably

Guantanamo military base to be powered partly by wind We've got good news and bad news. Bad news first? OK: The U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba is the alleged site of government-sanctioned torture, practiced on suspects whose guilt is at best uncertain, likely to leave a permanent moral scar on the nation's soul. The good news? It's using renewable energy! Four large windmills -- two already completed -- will soon begin providing 25 to 30 percent of the base's power, marking a rare foray by the U.S. military into clean energy. Once the system, augmented by new, …

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Clear Skies and Present Danger

Clean Air Act more effective than proposed Clear Skies bill, panel says A new report by the National Academy of Sciences suggests that the Bush administration's proposed reform of current air-quality standards will effectively do less to reduce pollution than existing Clean Air Act regulations, much as critics, including John Kerry (remember him?), charged during the presidential campaign. The NAS assessment states that the 28-year-old new-source review rules requiring emissions-reducing upgrades in existing power plants is more stringent than the cap-and-trade program proposed in the Clear Skies legislation. Industry groups disagree, as does Will Hart, spokesflack for Senate Environment and …

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Christie Whitman’s forthcoming book assails GOP’s rightward lurch

When U.S. EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman left the agency in 2003, she said she wanted to "spend more time with her family." If you believed that, Bernard Kerik's got a tax-free nanny he'd like to sell you. Those skeptical of Whitman's resignation excuse may soon have their suspicions confirmed. It seems she quit because she was hoodwinked and hamstrung by her superiors. Unable to implement her agenda at EPA, she was effectively captaining a ship that was on permanent autopilot. Such is the implication of Whitman's new political memoir-cum-manifesto It's My Party Too: The Battle for the Heart of …

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A special series on the alleged “Death of Environmentalism”

Environmental leaders were rather dismayed late last year when upstarts began offering high-profile obituaries of their beloved movement. Is environmentalism dead? We are reminded of a scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail in which a wizened old man is offered to the collector of dead bodies in plague-ridden London. "I'm not dead," the geezer wheezes. "I'm getting better!" Replies the hulking young man trying to give him away, "You're not fooling anyone, you know. You'll be stone dead in a moment." Is environmentalism ready for interment? That's the none-too-subtle conclusion of "The Death of Environmentalism," an essay by …

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An interview with authors of the controversial essay “The Death of Environmentalism”

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus stirred up quite a fuss when they unveiled their essay "The Death of Environmentalism" last fall, declaring the environmental movement kaput and calling for a more visionary and inspiring progressive movement to take its place. In an interview with Grist, Shellenberger and Nordhaus talk about their ideas, the responses they've gotten (or haven't), and what comes next. Get the backstory here. What exactly do you mean by the death of environmentalism? Are you proposing that all existing environmental organizations should be shuttered, or that they should just nudge their strategies in a new direction? Michael …

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Green leaders say rumors of environmentalism’s death are greatly exaggerated

The leadership of the U.S. environmental movement took quite a beating in Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus's "The Death of Environmentalism." We invited four mainstream green leaders to respond: Carl Pope of the Sierra Club Phil Clapp of National Environmental Trust Frances Beinecke of the Natural Resources Defense Council Dan Carol of the Apollo Alliance Here they share their opinions on the essay and their thoughts on the future of environmentalism. (Get the backstory here.) Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club Before this paper came out, there was a debate going on in the environmental community about how …

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What we talk about when we talk about the future of environmentalism

This is the first in a series of editorials Grist will publish over the coming months to address the issues raised by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus's essay "The Death of Environmentalism" and Adam Werbach's speech "Is Environmentalism Dead?" Get the backstory here. Whatever the merits of their arguments, we think it all to the good that Michael Shellenberger, Ted Nordhaus, and Adam Werbach (henceforth known as "the reapers," to save on syllables and to amuse ourselves) are attempting to spark an open, public debate over the future of environmentalism -- if it has one, that is. It's not enough …

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Buy the Balls

Inauguration funded by industry; cynics jump to conclusions Yesterday we reported on an interview in which President Bush said that nuclear energy answers the "environmental issue" and the "dependency issue." Turns out it also partially answers the "incredibly expensive inauguration issue." The Nuclear Energy Institute, a lobbying group, is coughing up $100,000 for the lavish $40 million-plus affair, though that's small beans compared to the bucks being put up by a number of oil, gas, and mining companies. They join more than 100 interests (companies, trade associations, and individual executives), nearly all of which have benefited from the Bush administration's …

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The death of environmentalism: Global warming politics in a post-environmental world

This essay by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus was released at an October 2004 meeting of the Environmental Grantmakers Association, and it's been ruffling feathers ever since. Get the backstory here. Foreword By Peter Teague, Environment Program Director, Nathan Cummings Foundation As I write this, the fourth in a series of violent hurricanes has just bombarded the Caribbean and Florida. In Florida, more than 30 are dead and thousands are homeless. More than 2,000 Haitians are dead. And ninety percent of the homes in Grenada are destroyed. On the essay cover is the Chinese ideogram for “crisis,” which is comprised …

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An in-depth response to “The Death of Environmentalism”

In December 2004, Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope distributed this response to the essay "The Death of Environmentalism." Get the backstory here. There Is Something Different About Global Warming Dear Environmental Grant-Maker: You may have recently received a memorandum entitled "The Death of Environmentalism" by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus. Carl Pope. I was one of the twenty-five people interviewed for this piece. While I personally was treated fairly, I am still deeply disappointed and angered by it. I share the thesis that some fundamental changes are needed in the way environmentalists approach the challenge of global warming. But …