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Can a beat-Bush effort yield a progressive coalition with staying power?

Is Bush digging his political grave with enviro rollbacks? Photo: White House. Who says George W. Bush never did anything for the great outdoors? His running for reelection could be the best thing to happen to the U.S. environmental movement in years. The threat of four more years of Bush has provoked a significant rethinking of the movement's tactics, according to interviews with movement leaders, their financial supporters, and political advisers. Not only has it energized activists like never before, it has also produced unprecedented expressions of unity within the movement and beyond -- specifically with labor unions, feminist organizations, …

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A Grist interview with Democratic presidential contender Joe Lieberman

Joe cool. Photo: Lieberman for President Search through the recent archive of Democratic presidential candidate and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman's press releases, and here's a sampling of what you'll see: "Lieberman Calls for [EPA Administrator Christie] Whitman to Resign in Protest." "Lieberman, McCain Offer Plan Harnessing Market Forces to Counter Global Warming." "Lieberman, Clinton Demand Answers From White House on Suppression of Public Health Information on Ground Zero Air Quality." Regularly since President Bush took office, Lieberman has been teaming up with senators on both sides of the aisle to issue direct challenges to the administration on its environmental rollbacks, …

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A Grist interview with Democratic presidential contender Dennis Kucinich

Kucinich: rhymes with spinach. Photo: Kucinich for President. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) has gone to great lengths to bill himself as the only true progressive among the Democratic presidential candidates -- vehemently opposed to war, NAFTA, and the World Trade Organization, and vehemently in support of universal health care, social security, and welfare. "I am running for president of the United States to enable the goddess of peace to encircle within her arms all the children of this country and all the children of the world," Kucinich said when he officially announced his candidacy on Oct. 13. So does he …

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Interviews with the 2004 Democratic presidential contenders

There are enough of them to field a baseball team or fill the Supreme Court bench. With nine candidates vying to win the Democratic nomination for president, sometimes it can be tough to remember which one drives the SUV and which one's the vegan. To help you get a leg up on the environmental platforms of President Bush's would-be challengers for the presidency, Grist is conducting interviews with the contenders. (Looking for a particular interview but don't see it? Check back soon -- and in the meantime, email the candidate and say you'd like to read more about his or …

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Don’t let the Democrats frighten you away from voting your conscience

It's that time of year again. Fall is in the air, kids are back in school, and frightened Democrats are warning the Green Party not to run a candidate for president next year. "The issues are too serious," we're told, "and the incumbent too awful. Just for this election, forget your progressive values, hold your nose, and vote for whichever conservative white male the Dems decide to run. After all, anyone's better than Bush." We've heard this before. The arguments Dems are making now are the same ones they made in 2000. "Rally around Al Gore," they said. In 1996, …

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Advice on channeling your eco-political anger

Dear Umbra, Now that this country has been lost to the Earth-ravaging Republicans, tell me: Which other country should I run to seeking environmentally aware salvation? MelAlbany, N.Y. Dearest Mel, America. Love it or leave it, pal. Are Republicans inherently Earth-ravaging? Do all Republicans believe the Clear Skies initiative is progress? Do they all buy the "without logging, forests are dangerous" bunkum? Well, no -- but in such a hyper-organized, well-oiled machine as today's Republican Party, dissenters might not make much of a difference. The party has made success -- their man on the marquee -- priority No. 1. All …

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Don’t gamble with your vote in 2004

Is Ralph ready to run? Photo: Nader 2000. Activists have plenty of good reasons to challenge the Democratic Party operatives who focus on election strategy while routinely betraying progressive ideals. Unfortunately, the national Green Party now shows appreciable signs of the reverse problem -- focusing on admirable ideals without plausible strategy. If Ralph Nader runs for president next year, as now appears quite likely, this recurring exercise would amount to a Green Party crutch that, ironically, could do more to hobble the party than help it. It's impossible to know whether the vote margin between Bush and his Democratic challenger …

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Fun facts on voters’ environmental values and more

73 -- percentage of Americans who think political candidates' positions on the environment are "very important" or "somewhat important"1 61 -- percentage who say they are either active participants in or sympathizers with the environmental movement2 30 -- percentage who list the environment as an "extremely important" factor in deciding for whom to vote3 49 -- percentage who list both the economy and terrorism as "extremely important" factors in deciding for whom to vote3 51 -- percentage who say the U.S. government is doing too little to protect the environment2 35 -- percentage who believe that the Bush administration is …

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A special edition on elections and the environment

"Information is the currency of democracy," said Thomas Jefferson, who, as the oft-cited father of democracy, presumably knew whereof he spoke. Alas, a couple of hundred years later, it seems more accurate to say that currency is the currency of democracy. Here at the height of the Information Age, information about the workings of our democracy is increasingly tough to come by (think of the Bush administration stonewalling about Vice President Dick Cheney's Energy Task Force) and increasingly hard to trust (think of the staggering consolidation and centralization of media control). To counter those trends and conduct a little Jefferson-style …

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Dump Struck

Bush Lets Mining Companies Dump on More Public Land The Bush administration announced yet another environmental rollback on Friday, following a pattern of releasing such news right before a holiday weekend, presumably in hopes that it will slip past the public's notice. This time the beneficiaries are mining companies, which, thanks to a reinterpretation of the 1872 Mining Law, will now be able to use as much public land as they want to develop operations for mining gold, silver, and other minerals. The 131-year-old mining act, long criticized as outdated by the environmental community, already allows mining companies to extract …

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