Politics

Obama Hiccups; Grist Rushes to Transcribe

Obama slams Bush admin for inaction on America’s oil addiction Sen. Barack Obama, progressive golden boy, rebuked the Bush administration yesterday for being all talk, no walk on curbing oil use. When President Bush said America is addicted to oil, “I was among the hopeful,” said the Illinois Democrat. “But then I saw the plan.” Obama said the administration’s failure to boost funding for cleaner fuels, resistance to increased automobile fuel-efficiency standards, and inertia on fighting global warming amount to “admitting alcoholism and then skipping the 12-step program.” (Uh, he knows Bush actually did that, right?) Obama called for the …

Jilting at Windmills

Measure in Congress could kill Cape Wind project The Cape Wind project on Nantucket Sound may soon receive another blow — oh, we’re so funny! — if Congress passes an amendment giving Massachusetts power to veto the controversial wind farm if it would interfere with navigation. Of course, it depends on what the definition of “navigation” is, but Gov. Mitt Romney (R) would likely jump at the chance to kill the project. The measure is a softened version of a more sweeping anti-wind amendment introduced earlier by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska). Meanwhile, anti-Cape Wind organization Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound …

What Fresh Eliot Is This?

Spitzer claims green mantle in race for governor of New York As attorney general of New York, Eliot Spitzer (D) has garnered a reputation for many things, but subtlety is not one of them. So it’s fitting that he kicked off the first big environmental speech of his gubernatorial campaign with this: “George Bush is, hands down, the worst president on environmental and energy issues that this country has ever seen.” It’s more than a kick in the stones of an unpopular president — Spitzer has taken legal action against the Bush administration 17 times, often over environmental issues. In …

Space Inveighers

New NASA policy emphasizes open communication with media Stung by recent press reports of political interference with scientists — the dictum that “Big Bang” be accompanied by “theory” was amusing; the suppression of global-warming findings less so — NASA has scrambled to repair the PR damage. Yesterday, administrator Michael Griffin released a new policy making clear that agency scientists can freely speak with journalists about their research, and offer up personal interpretations of their findings, without being bird-dogged by a public-affairs officer (though he warned that for un-media-savvy scientists, going “into an interview without a media professional is courting trouble”). …

Bush admin unveils meek new fuel-economy standards for light trucks

The Bush administration yesterday raised fuel-economy standards for SUVs, minivans, and many pickup trucks — the most significant boost to efficiency requirements for the big vehicles in three decades. Exempt no more. Photo: iStockphoto. Of course, as enviros have been quick to point out, that’s not saying much. These final CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) rules, which are modestly stricter than draft rules released last August, will, beginning with the 2008 model year, ramp up standards for light trucks — a category that includes SUVs and minivans, and accounts for 55 percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S. last …

Two eco-leaders — one mainstream, one radical — debate the movement’s past and future

Eric Mann. When Eric Mann first encountered environmentalists, he saw them as a bunch of “arrogant, racist airheads.” When Frances Beinecke first encountered environmentalists, she felt she’d found her cause. Frances Beinecke. Nearly four decades later, both are tireless proponents of environmental sanity, but they work in very different ways. Mann is director of the Los Angeles-based Labor/Community Strategy Center, where he fights for environmental justice, immigrant and labor rights, and economic equity. Beinecke is president of Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the nation’s biggest and best-known environmental organizations. As part of our Poverty & the Environment series, Grist …

In the world’s slums, the worst of poverty and environmental degradation collide

This article was originally published in OrionOnline. Precarious dwellings in North Sulawasi, Indonesia. Photos: iStockphoto. A villa miseria outside Buenos Aires, Argentina, may have the worst feng shui in the world: it is built in a flood zone over a former lake, a toxic dump, and a cemetery. Then there’s the barrio perched precariously on stilts over the excrement-clogged Pasig River in Manila, Philippines, and the bustee in Vijayawada, India, that floods so regularly that residents have door numbers written on pieces of furniture. In slums the world over, squatters trade safety and health for a few square meters of …

Will an Atlanta parks and redevelopment project benefit low-income residents?

Atlanta, Ga.: the famous “Hot-lanta” of Southern heat and hospitality, home of “down-home” fried chicken and a growing black middle class, cradle of the largest historically black college community in the world, hotbed of the civil-rights movement, and … the sprawl capital of the South. As Atlanta gets greener, who will benefit? Photo: iStockphoto. As a resident of Atlanta for the past 15 years, I have witnessed one bad urban-planning decision after another. I have watched the fare for public transportation go up to pay for its expansion into the suburbs, while services in the inner city got cut — …

Bill Richardson on energy independence

Speechifying.

Hmm ... New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is writing editorials for the Manchester Union-Leader? Whatever interest could the governor have in New Hampshire? The piece itself verges on parody, it is such a generic recitation of Democratic talking points on energy. "Foreign oil," check. "Apollo-like project," check. "Can't drill our way out of the problem," check. "Big oil companies with record profits," check. Of course, I think it's all to the good that this has so quickly become conventional wisdom. It's all true. But Richardson has always struck me as a bit smarmy and unimaginative. This piece of writing, which may as well have come from the Democratic Central Computer's Energy Phrase Generator, only reinforces that impression.

Got 2.7 seconds?

We've devised the world's shortest survey to find out what kind of actions our readers are taking. You know you want to.

×