Politics

Talkin'

Latest round of UN climate talks focuses on energy investment

Just how excited can one get by the latest round of international talks on climate change? This one is focused on business, specifically energy investment: A new report by the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate …

Theories of eco-impotence

Why is green so low on the political agenda?

Why, with green so ubiquitous in media and culture, is it not higher up on the political agenda? Emily Gertz says it’s because the green grassroots aren’t involved in party politics. Matthew Yglesias points to …

How much wind and solar could we have gotten for the cost of the Iraq War?

Paul Gipe does the math.

Green movements or green paint

China’s central government faces a choice between democracy and eco-collapse

"Choking on Growth" is the apt title of the new New York Times series on the "human toll, global impact and political challenge of China's epic pollution crisis." Epic, indeed. The first installment shows how "As China Roars, Pollution Reaches Deadly Extremes." The statistics are daunting:

Sustainable math in East Asia

East Asian countries could save money shifting to renewables, but aren’t gonna

According to Greenpeace International, East Asian countries can save about $2 trillion in fuel costs over the next 23 years by shifting to renewable energy (abandoning plans for both coal and nuclear plants). Said dazzlingly …

Nothing to fear ...

Fear of death leads to authoritarianism, not sustainability

It’s tempting to think that if you scare the shit out of people — really convince them, down to their bones, that hurricanes, diseases, and starving refugees are hiding just around the corner — that …

Put It in Park

Donations roll in for national parks’ centennial projects The 100th anniversary of the National Park Service is a mere nine years away, and donations are rolling in to spruce up parks for the occasion. In …

Ignoring science: Not just for Republicans anymore!

Michigan gov. follows Gingrich’s example, kills science advisory board

Newt Gingrich, claiming a mandate to make government smaller, actually managed to abolish only two offices: the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). The OTA was a widely praised, nonpartisan board that helped Congress understand and deal with technical issues -- exactly the kind of office you don't need if you get your understanding of biology from Genesis, your thoughts on telecommunications from K Street, and your opinions on energy from Exxon. The OTA was probably one of the least-known but best performing offices in all of D.C. Oddly, Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan just killed the Michigan Environmental Science Board, which was composed of volunteer scientists appointed by the Governor. The only cost to the state was for member travel when on assignment, and for preparation and distribution of reports. Here are the reports prepared by the MESB over the years:

Killing you legally

The Bush administration proposes to make illegal MTR mining legal

I suppose I should have something to say about the Bush administration’s latest effort to encourage mountaintop removal mining. But what? It’s not like there’s any particular analytical insight required. The Bushies are choosing profit …