Politics

The sweet smell of an organic coffee victory

It’s safe, for now

Organic coffee is safe, for now. In a victory for organic farmers in the developing world and organic coffee drinkers here, the USDA's National Organic Program has backed down and said that there will be no immediate change in the way these farmers are certified.

Hey, Seattleites: Chat about climate with Jay Inslee and friends

Catch a climate symposium at Town Hall on May 9

Rep. Jay Inslee, Democrat from Washington’s 1st congressional district and a clean-energy champion, will be discussing climate change with other local eco-experts (and with the audience) at Seattle’s Town Hall on May 9. Additional smart folks at the Symposium on Climate Policy, presented by the Thomas C. Wales Foundation, will include Denis Hayes, national coordinator of the first Earth Day and president of the Bullitt Foundation; K.C. Golden of Climate Solutions; Ben Packard of Starbucks; Eric Markell of Puget Sound Energy; and Steve Nicholas of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Environment. Ross Reynolds of KUOW will moderate. Tickets are $15 …

Food Chain Radio: great edible audio

I'd like to recommend Food Chain Radio to all you people who like to eat. This podcast/broadcast is freely available and fascinating, delving into the implications of our appetites: everything from factory farming and CAFOs to irradiation and poisoned pet food. The most interesting recent show available at the link above is called Grandma's Wartime Kitchen, which discusses a time of rationing when oddities like knuckle of pork and stuffed beef heart became culinary treats by necessity (WWII), and asks, "What will we eat if times get tough again?" More vegetables, hopefully, but it's an interesting topic as we contemplate the possibly big planetary changes ahead.

Hey, That’s Half the Battle

Bush chats with Merkel and Barroso, agrees climate change is a problem U.S. President George W. Bush met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and E.U. President Jose Manuel Barroso at the White House yesterday, chatting about international trade, air-travel policy, missile shields, and The Most Important Issue of Our Time. Though no climate action steps were agreed to, Merkel and Barroso seemed happy that Bush even acknowledged the problem. “We agree there is a threat, there is a very serious and global threat. We agree that there is a need to reduce emissions. We agree that we should work together,” …

Taking the 'fund' out of Superfund

New report says federal cleanup program wasting away

Image reprinted with permission from the Center for Public Integrity. A drop-off in both government action and funding has all but stopped the push to clean up America’s most toxic sites, posing health and environmental threats all over the country, according to a comprehensive series of reports released last week by the Center for Public Integrity. Under the Bush administration, the amount of money budgeted to clean up these sites has plummeted and cleanup has stagnated, while the list of sites that need environmental remediation continues to grow. The detailed report chronicles the government’s failure to clean up our country’s …

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New book examines Army Corps ruling

Attention brains: I am contractually obligated, by virtue of having been born, to mention that my father has helped put out a book of essays that look at the Supreme Court’s ruling last year on the Army Corps of Engineers and the Clean Water Act, and at the future of federal wetlands protection. The five essays are by lawyer and scholar types who were involved in the case, so they ain’t just whistlin’ about Dixie. The pieces range from dry analyses to more accessible prose (any lawyer who uses the phrase “bibbity bobbity boo” can’t be all bad). They are …

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