A day late and a dollar short

U.S. joins the ‘I call the Arctic’ bandwagon

In the last few weeks, the U.S. has been kicking itself for not thinking to place a flag on the sea floor at the North Pole. But Russia is not the only country to have laid claim to the oil-rich area; other competitors include Canada, Denmark, and a pack of Siberian huskies that have been peeing there for ages. However, all of them are certainly in for a disappointment, because on Friday the U.S. struck back, by sending out a team of scientists to map the area. Just as Lewis and Clark did before, the U.S. hopes to use the survey data as a foundation for political and economic expansion into the explored regions. Rock beats scissors, map beats flag. Of course, the U.S. Senate has not ratified the UN Law of the Sea Convention treaty, which took force in 1994 (despite years of urging from Presidents Clinton and Bush). So technically the U.S. doesn't have a seat at the table as critical decisions are made on how to divvy up the ocean bottom. As Grist reported, U.S. State Department spokesperson Tom Casey scoffed, "I'm not sure of whether they've put a metal flag, a rubber flag, or a bed sheet on the ocean floor. Either way, it doesn't have any legal standing or effect on this claim." Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay went on to add, "You can't go around the world these days dropping a flag somewhere -- this isn't the 14th or 15th century." No kidding. When was the last time that happened?

A review of <em>Sicko</em>

Along with a rambling social commentary

Sicko is Michael Moore's best film yet. It brought tears to my eyes and infuriated me at the same time. I saw it last night with my youngest daughter. Ah, let me think here, how am I going to give this an environmental twist? How about using our pathetic health care system as another example of how dysfunctional our political system has become, the same one we are counting on to protect our biosphere and us from peak oil and global warming? The film documents how Hillary Clinton was beaten into submission when she tried to reform the system and how even she is now beholden to the industry. And who is to blame for this? Would it be the politicians, the lobbyists, or the ignorant, self-deluded American citizens who allow the lobbyists to buy the politicians because they are terrified of losing their jobs, everything they are paying off, and their health care to boot? All of which is covered in the film, by the way.

APEC's weak brew on climate

Pacific Rim countries vow to do … very little

Throughout the year, members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation group (APEC) — including the U.S., Japan, and Australia, among others — have had a series of meetings. In early September, they will announce their grand …

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Keep It Pretty Much the Same

U.S. Forest Service re-revises forest-management rules In March, a federal judge put the kibosh on the U.S. Forest Service’s revision of forest-management rules that had directed local managers to give economic concerns as high a …

Dems and hippie green companies stealing your money and wives

Except not really

The NYT had an article this weekend that might as well have been titled "Dems Corrupt, Green Companies Gorging on Bonanza of Earmarked Pork and Wasting Your Money." Really? Let's look at the evidence they present. Exhibit A is Sunpower Corp, which received a $20 million grant from the DOE. Where did those funds come from? The President's Solar America Initiative, announced in his February 2006 State of the Union address -- which, as I pointed out at the time, merely returned funding for solar research to the levels enjoyed under the Carter administration (a modest $148 million). Hardly a bonanza. So, here we have a competitively bid project, out of a ridiculously small program that was contained in the president's budget and passed by the Republican-controlled Congress, used as proof that Dems are giving away the house to green companies. Dems? No. Earmarked? No. Pork? No. And all of this about a bill that Republicans are fighting and the president has threatened to veto specifically because ... wait for it ... it has the temerity to reduce tax incentives and subsidies to fossil fuel industries! Your liberal media at work.

Coal myths

They’re still common, but they make no sense

A little while back I praised Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for opposing new coal plants in his home state. Now he’s clarified his position: he opposes new coal plants anywhere in the world. …

The next McNerney

State Senator Andrew Rice gears up to run for Inhofe’s seat

David. Joe Namath. The 1980 U.S. Men's Olympic Hockey Team. Where am I going with this, you might be asking yourself? Here's a better clue: Jerry McNerney. And now, Andrew Rice. Yup, the climate's least favorite Senator, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, now has a challenger. And Andrew is getting great reviews from the eco-community: Smart as as whip. Has a masters degree from Harvard Divinity School. Articulate and charismatic. A committed environmentalist, and a man of deep conscience. When his brother was killed in 9/11, he dedicated himself to social justice and political reform. Especially for the latter, what better place to start from than Oklahoma's Senate seat? This is going to be entertaining.

McCain says climate is one of his top three issues

‘The fact is climate change is real,’ he says

John McCain says global warming would be one of three key issues in his presidency, The Aspen Times reports. That’s sure to endear him to the GOP base as much as his stance on immigration.

Policies to reduce and increase driving at the same time

Subsidizing drivers needs to end

This article in the NYT highlights the absurdity of current transportation policy. While New York City is trying to get federal funding to help it pay for a congestion pricing and traffic congestion policy, the federal government is, at the same time, handing out large tax breaks to help people reduce the costs of driving to work. It's yet another example of government policy gone awry, badly. The solution isn't sexy, won't get you on TV, and doesn't make for great headlines that will earn prestige: eliminate all government subsidies, and either cap pollution or tax it. It's not rocket science.

Got 2.7 seconds?

We've devised the world's shortest survey to find out what kind of actions our readers are taking. You know you want to.