Politics

An organic House

… or at least one representative

The House of Representatives held its first Ag committee hearing ever on organic agriculture today. I attended the hearing and found out Rep. Dennis Cardoza, the California Democrat who chairs of the House subcommittee on horticulture and organic agriculture, belongs to an organic CSA! For a full report, see the post on Chews Wise.

Music to the ears of us corn hataz

From the WSJ energy blog: Is the anti-ethanol crusade beginning to gather steam among mainstream Western publications? Two weeks after The Economist confessed, in a stunned-sounding editorial that it found itself in agreement with Fidel Castro’s vehement critique of foods-as-fuels, Foreign Affairs magazine has also jumped on board. In the magazine’s May edition, two professors from the University of Minnesota write that, like Castro and The Economist, they believe the growing use of biofuels may starve the world’s poor by pushing up food prices for minimal environmental gains. "Washington’s fixation on corn-based ethanol has distorted the national agenda," charge the …

Responsibility

The view from Washington

So here I am in Washington (the other one) in a homey B&B just eight blocks from the White House. I came here for a number of reasons, not the least of which is attending a conference called Climate Change and International Development (which was, by the way, recorded, and it is said that videos will be available here.) It was pretty good, and the less-public strategy meeting that followed it today (at the Friends of the Earth offices) was even better. Strategically, very little could be more important than the development folks joining the climate battle. Especially if they do something new. There's a lot to say here, and I'll not say much of it. I'm hardly an impartial observer and it would get too messy. But I do want to make a couple of bottom line points.

TPM on Kerry on Colbert

I’m sure lots of you follow TalkingPointsMemo, one of the earliest and still best political blogs on the net. They’ve started doing a (rather charmingly low-budget) daily TV show, and today they debuted a clip wherein they interview John Kerry before he goes on the Colbert Report. They also got some interesting footage from backstage. Here it is:

Green issue drives onto Main Street

NYT Magazine story: One nation united under green

Tom Friedman, in last Sunday's New York Times Magazine, makes the point that green is the color that can unite the red and blue states. At Oceana we have found that conservation issues can and do cross party lines. For example, the Bush administration (yes, the Bush administration!) recently -- after working closely with our organization and other groups -- submitted a proposal in the ongoing World Trade Organization talks that would significantly cut fisheries subsidies.

Have Some Class: MIT wins mtvU's eco-challenge

Angels and Airwaves to perform on campus this Sunday

In the interest of keeping you informed, I offer the final chapter in the mtvU GE Ecomagination Challenge. As you may (or may not) recall, students were asked to propose projects that would green their respective campuses. Out of more than 100 entries, 10 finalists were chosen, and then you voted to help pick the winner (you did vote, didn’t you?). Well, the results are in, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Biodiesel@MIT project has won a $25,000 grant and an Earth Day concert (this weekend) by Angels and Airwaves. Congrats, y’all! The eight-person Biodiesel@MIT team proposed the construction and management …

Bad climate change policy is worse than business as usual

Just wanted to put that out there

This is rarely said openly, but needs to be. Yes, climate change is a serious problem; yes, we should address it; but beware of easy solutions and feel-good measures like carbon neutrality that are more than likely scams than serious measures, since they more often than not pay people to do things they would already have done.

BREAKING: Gore still not running!

But some people want him to. As always, watch this space for updates on Gore’s non-candidacy.

Smart grid baby steps: smart meters (metres?) in the U.K.

Helping homeowners monitor electricity use

One piece of the smart-grid puzzle is home electricity monitoring — allowing homeowners (and eventually business and factory owners) to track their electricity use in real time. As the old saw goes, what gets measured gets done. Simply making people aware of energy flows is the first step to helping them modulate those flows efficiently. On that note, it’s fantastic to see this: soon, every household in the U.K. will be able to request a smart meter and have it installed for free. The next step, of course, is giving homeowners more automated control. One part of that is smart, …

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