Politics

Speaking of stupidity, the ultimate renewable resource

Remember when stupidity was something to be ashamed of rather than a point of pride?

The saying goes that during one of his bids for the White House, a woman told Adlai Stevenson "Not to worry, Senator, all thinking people are with you," to which he replied: "But I need a majority!" Not only was Stevenson smart and quick-witted enough to make that story plausible, it suggests that the smartest candidates have always had to do a little bit of hiding their lights under a bushel. But now we live in what Vonnegut called the ultimate scary reality show: C-Students from Yale. The blog called The Daily Howler does a superb job, day in and day out, showing how the press has gone from chronicling our decline into demanding it, as the so-called liberal media positively makes intelligence into a disqualifying trait for leadership. The relevance here is this: managing our multiple serious environmental challenges in the context of a world with diminishing resource availability and rising population (and poverty) is going to require the sustained application of intelligence of the first order. But rather than consider the intelligence of Bill Richardson a possible asset for a president, Dana Milbank speaks of the burden of having to listen to an erudite speaker drone on. Far more refreshing and relaxing to listen to the malapropisms that come tumbling out of Bush's mouth, perfectly reflecting the dysfunction and chaos behind his dull eyes. From today's Howler:

Sure to Hit Fox News Soon

Mainstream media explores Bush administration eco-disregard Searing indictment of the Bush administration’s environmental policies — it’s not just for bloggers anymore! Last week, Rolling Stone published “The Secret Campaign of President Bush’s Administration to Deny …

More significant energy developments in D.C. today

Lots of stuff going on in D.C.

Lordy, the developments are happening so fast I can barely keep up with them. Here are a few more of note. Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va) are teaming up to put together …

More Dingell

The House’s most indecipherable, um, cipher

I’ve been getting some interesting — and widely varied — reactions to this post on Dingell. So here’s a follow-up. First, MoveOn’s political action campaign director, Ilyse Hogue, sends me this: Rep. Dingell has been …

RPS, as viewed from the states of the Old Confederacy

Their reasons aren’t all that unreasonable

Yesterday, I spoke to a group of manufacturers in Arkansas. Throughout the conference there was a fair amount of pride in the successful squashing of Bingaman's RPS bill -- and for reasons that are not entirely unreasonable. Among the speakers was the chair of the Arkansas Energy Commission, who said that he personally objected to the bill because it was unfair. Specifically, it would not allow Arkansas to count their existing hydro-electric capacity in the RPS targets, but would allow existing wind to count. From his perspective, this looked like a sop to Bingaman's wind-rich home district, and while we might personally dispute this interpretation, it is easy to see how it could happen. It is further proof for my earlier point that a path-based RPS is bound to fail, for the simple reason that you will never get a majority of states to agree that a wind/solar dominated RPS is in their interests. Change the structure so that it provides incentives for the goal rather than the path and you could break the southern opposition. There are more low-zero carbon fuels out there than are dreamt of in current RPS philosophies. If your state is long on biomass, bagasse, waste heat or wind, those should all be eligible -- not because we redefine our eligibility targets, but because we define the goal in terms of carbon reduction and then open up the door to any path that can get there. Until then, we're not going to get an RPS.  Note that the southern utilities are boasting about their success in killing this last one -- let's not give them more to crow about. From Greenwire (sub. rqd.): Southern utilities led effort to squash Senate RPS proposal ATLANTA -- Southern utilities played key roles in the effort to undermine plans in the Senate last week to require power companies to generate at least 15 percent of their electricity from renewable energy. The fingerprints of the Tennessee Valley Authority and those of the Tennessee Valley Power Providers Association, whose members distribute TVA power to nearly 9 million customers in the South, were all over the successful effort to keep the so-called renewable portfolio standard (RPS) out of the sweeping Senate energy bill.

Is this the right time to attack Dingell?

He’s pro-carbon tax, anti-CAFE — which matters more?

Last week, Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), chair of the Energy & Commerce Committee, dropped this bomb (sub. rqd.): My own judgment is that we are going to have to adopt a cap-and-trade system and some …

Soil: The secret solution to global warming

A nifty video

Quantum Shift TV has made a video about the coming farm bill called "Soil: The Secret Solution to Global Warming.” It opens with Canadian superstar farmer Percy Schmeiser, and segues into a smart discussion of …

Science: Eh, who cares?

Hansen says scientists need lovin’, too

NASA climate scientist James Hansen has a new paper out, titled “How Can We Avert Dangerous Climate Change,” which is actually a slightly-edited version of his testimony before Congress in April. The paper is available …

15 Green Politicians

From mayors to heads of state, politicians the world over are going green. Check out our list of top achievers, then tell us which political leaders you’d nominate in the comments section at the bottom …

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