Politics

George Bush fetes Al Gore in Oval Office

Yesterday, George W. Bush fulfilled the U.S. president’s traditional obligation to fete the winners of the Nobel Prize in the Oval Office — including, of …

The GOP and climate

One small step for Republicans on climate, but giant leaps still needed

I've noticed recently that some conservatives -- particularly Andrew Sullivan -- have offered kind words to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for being the only presidential candidate in the Republican field to take the climate change issue seriously. It's difficult to know what to make of this. On the one hand, the country would be in a much better position to seriously address the crisis if John McCain's environmental views fell in the mainstream of his party, instead of where they actually fall -- radically at odds with the views of his party's leaders, virtually all conservative thinkers, and almost every last pundit on the right. If that's ever going to change, it will probably require more people like Andrew Sullivan to highlight -- and praise -- the fact that McCain isn't a typical right-wing denialist or industry shill. At the same time, though, this really brings to light just how far behind the issue green conservatives are, and, as a corollary to that, the fact that the party of the filibuster is light years away from accepting the sort of legislation that will be necessary very, very soon if the problem is to be addressed adequately.

Our defining moment

The next president needs to move with speed and clear vision on mitigating climate change

This post is by ClimateProgress guest blogger Bill Becker, Executive Director of the Presidential Climate Action Project. Rajendra Pachuari. As I mentioned in a previous post, many of my colleagues in climate-action circles are delighted at the detailed commitments the presidential candidates in the Democratic field are making around global warming. It seems ungrateful to ask them for more. But ask we must. We need to know what they'll do to act quickly. And we need to hear their unifying vision for the post-carbon world. On speed: We've all read Jim Hansen's warning that the international community must take significant action within a decade if we wish to avoid the most dangerous consequences of global warming. Now the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has moved up the deadline. In announcing the IPCC's final report on Nov. 16, Rajendra Pachuari warned, "If there's no action before 2012, that's too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment."

Notable quotable

“I know that this president does not harbor any resentments. Never has.” — White House press secretary Dana Perino, on President Bush’s private meeting with …

Australia elects prime minister who wants to ratify Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol climate treaty may soon welcome a new industrialized country to the fold. Australia’s newly elected prime minister, Kevin Rudd, has announced he …

Kucinich, Clinton, and Edwards on climate and energy

Grist presidential climate forum: full transcript and video

Last week, I offered my impressions of the candidates at our presidential forum on climate. Now the complete transcript (PDF) and full video are available. …

How egregious are farm subsidies?

So egregious that they make the Bush administration look reasonable. I repeat my contention that completely eliminating this boondoggle that trashes the environment, increases incentives for obesity, and distorts the entire global agricultural trade should be a high priority for environmentalists. Step #1: call it what it is -- corporate welfare.

Just because you're paranoid ...

A critical issue wrapped in a dose of black helicopters

This 47 minute video on the essence of debt currency briefly touches on perhaps the critical environmental issue of the time: can anything be done about our deficits in the real world (in carbon sinks, fisheries, clean water, etc.) if we have no way to think about public policy except through the language of "what it will do to the economy"? Despite the paranoid tone, the fundamental question asked in this video is the right one: is a sustainable world even plausible if we continue to accept a monetary system that must grow without end?

Denier bites the dust

Australian prime minister goes down to decisive defeat

Global warming takes down its first major political victim: Conservative Prime Minister John Howard suffered a humiliating defeat Saturday at the hands of the left-leaning opposition, whose leader has promised to immediately sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. Why the stunning loss? A key reason was Howard's "head in the sand dust" response to the country's brutal once-in-a-thousand year drought. As the UK's Independent reported in April: ... few scientists dispute the part played by climate change, which is making Australia hotter and drier ... Until a few months ago, Mr Howard and his ministers pooh-poohed the climate-change doomsayers. You can read about Howard's lame attempt to change his position rhetoric on global warming here.