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Maple Leaf Drag

Canada slacking off on environmental protection Canada is not doing enough to protect the environment, concluded a harsh report released yesterday by the nation's commissioner of the environment, Johanne Gelinas. "Why is progress so slow?" she asked. Mandates are in place and commitments have been made, so the culprit must be "lack of leadership, lack of priority, and lack of will," she said. The report outlines several areas where talk is not matched by action or clear measurement. Canada ratified the Kyoto Protocol, but has yet to produce a plan to meet its targets. A 1990 cabinet directive requires all …

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What’s Bad for the Goose Is Good for the Pander

Presidential candidates woo outdoor enthusiasts Ah, to be a member of a voting bloc in a swing state. It must make you feel so special. One such group being assiduously wooed by campaigning presidential hopefuls is the hook-and-bullet crowd, a.k.a. the hunters and anglers. Traditionally conservative sportsfolks are concentrated in states crucial to the candidates' electoral fortunes, and unlike many conservatives, they take conservation seriously -- so Kerry thinks he can snag a few, and Bush is in full pander mode. The president gave his only full interview in recent months to Field and Stream magazine, backed away from some …

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Christian-right views are swaying politicians and threatening the environment

A kind of secular apocalyptic sensibility pervades much contemporary writing about our current world. Many books about environmental dangers, whether it be the ozone layer, or global warming or pollution of the air or water, or population explosion, are cast in an apocalyptic mold. - Historian Paul Boyer When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale; the …

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Once upon a time you dressed so fine

In a Rolling Stone interview with magazine founder and media bigwig Jann Wenner, John Kerry says that global warming would be his No. 1 environmental priority.  Asked whether he agrees with Al Gore that the time of the internal-combustion engine is ending, Kerry, ever the audacious fella, says, "I wouldn't make that kind of a bold pronouncement." Much as Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) does in Grist's interview with her, Kerry endeavors to sell his environmental plan as a jobs plan. I want American workers working; I want American cars made in America; I want American cars to be able …

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Oh Mighty Crisis, Crisis, Crisis

Candidates and country in denial about looming energy crisis The San Francisco Chronicle is running a three-part series on the looming energy crisis and the peculiar refusal of the presidential candidates -- and the country -- to deal with it realistically. Global oil demand is rising, prices are rising, and production is relatively static. Despite the campaign rhetoric, neither candidate's energy plan would dent this problem. Bush pushes for increased domestic production, hoping to pepper the American West with oil and natural-gas drills that would despoil open spaces without solving the long-term problem. Kerry has softened his support for strict …

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Environment could prove decisive in Senate races

In the midst of one of the most pivotal presidential campaigns in decades, it's easy to forget that we are on the brink of what could be a momentous election in the Senate as well: 34 senatorial seats are up for grabs this year, 19 of them currently held by Democrats, 15 by Republicans. Several of those seats could change parties on Nov. 2, and in a Senate where the GOP holds a narrow majority -- 51 to 49 -- over the Dems and one allied independent, merely a few such changeovers could tip the balance of power. Many observers …

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An interview with Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm

Jennifer Granholm. If John Kerry becomes president, he'll owe an awful lot to Jennifer M. Granholm, Michigan's environmentally minded first-term Democratic governor. For all but a few shaky days in early September when some polls indicated that Michigan may have been leaning President Bush's way, the state and its 17 critical electoral votes have stayed all year as alpine blue as a northern Lake Michigan bay. Granholm has actively accompanied the senator on swings through Michigan, and her husband, Daniel Mulhern, is co-chair of the Kerry-Edwards state campaign. Apart from the war and terrorism, the issues motivating voters in the …

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Enviro issues play big in the race for Florida’s electoral votes

The brutal hurricanes have passed, but now Florida is in the eye of the swirling swing-state storm -- and environmental issues are being swept into the fray by high-ranking politicians and hot-ticket celebrities alike. The Everglades are now faced with a campaign hurricane. Photo: USGS. © Martin Miller. With its 27 electoral votes -- more than any of the other swing states -- Florida could once again prove to be the big campaign prize. In early October, some pundits were predicting that Bush had the state sewn up -- he was leading Kerry among Floridians by 7 percentage points according …

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Cross Purposes

Prominent Brit bishop booted from enviro group for advocating nuclear England's Reverend Hugh Montefiore -- member of the Church of England, former Bishop of Birmingham, and long-time champion of the environment -- has been forced to resign from the board of Friends of the Earth for arguing that nuclear power is the only viable way to avoid the oncoming catastrophe of global warming. Montefiore's argument appeared in an article in The Tablet, a Catholic weekly. He is the second prominent environmentalist to spark controversy recently with the same argument, the first being James Lovelock, independent scientist and father of the …