More scientist/activists

Here’s hoping newly politically active scientists don’t step on rakes

A few days ago I said of James Hansen’s increasing activism: Hansen has decided that it would be perverse to hoard the social capital that …

Tennessee Senate passes resolution honoring Al Gore

The Tennessee state Senate has passed a resolution honoring Al Gore for his efforts to curb climate change. And the crowd goes wild! “Let’s be …

Miracle grow

Cargill’s well-connected fertilizer unit wows Wall Street, dumps on Florida

As I wrote last week, the real winners in the ethanol boom aren’t corn growers or even ethanol makers (though the latter will do just …

Huckabee on Colbert

Bit of a dodge on global warming, no?

Australia will phase out plastic bags

Following in China’s footsteps, Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett has announced a goal to phase out plastic bags in the country by the end of …

Tabling the presidential discussion, part I: Follow the money

How Obama and Clinton stack up on food and ag

Now that the Democratic campaign has narrowed to two clear front-runners — each of whom has managed a surprise victory over the other in a …

Richardson drops out of presidential race, takes clean-energy fervor back to N.M.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination today, after tanking in the Iowa caucuses and the New …

Countdown to the 2008 Farm Bill: Part I

Supporting the next generation of farmers and ranchers

This is the first of five farm bill fact sheets from the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. For the diehard policy wonks out there, you can also download the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's matrix (PDF) showing the status of sustainable agriculture priorities in the House and Senate versions of the farm bill. Soaring demand for organic and local foods means exciting market opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers, but the current public policies required to support their entry are woefully inadequate. The future health and vitality of agriculture, the food system, and rural communities depends on policies in the 2008 Farm Bill that encourage this next generation of producers to get a start on the land. Now is the time to call your senators and representatives and tell them to urge the Senate and House Farm Bill conferees to include important provisions for beginning farmers and ranchers in the final farm bill.

Focus the Nation, save the planet -- now!

Eban Goodstein invites you to join in the largest climate teach-in ever

"If there's no action before 2012, that's too late. What we will do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment."-- Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change If these words don't get you off your butt, you better check and make sure you have a pulse. Yet what can we (everyday Americans, readers of Grist) do now, today, that will be strong enough to change the course of our future? Strong enough to overcome the powerlessness and denial gripping our country? It is clear that we are standing at a critical moment in human history. Unless we begin to cut global-warming pollution within a few short years, a window for our children and the creatures of this earth will close. Forever. Instead of stabilizing at 3 to 4 degrees F more warming, the best our kids will be looking at will be more than 5 degrees F. And every 10th of a degree matters, because it raises the possibility that we might trigger some catastrophic outcome -- massive sea-level rise, loss of forests globally driven by intensified fire, or large-scale methane releases from the tundra, pushing temperatures even higher. Today, cutting emissions on the scale required in the United States seems barely possible. Our nation is, truly, paralyzed. Yet this is a peculiarly American kind of paralysis, one we all understand from high school civics. Our system of government, with its checks and balances, was designed for gridlock, allowing an organized minority to block movement toward change. And yet we all also learned how we overcome this gridlock. When our government fails, Americans set aside their everyday business and drive the country in a new direction. From abolition to women's suffrage, labor rights to civil rights to anti-war causes, again and again, social movements reclaim the moral vision at the heart of America and set a new course for the country. Over the next year, a powerful, nonpartisan movement demanding global-warming solutions will sweep across this country and change the future, change our future. Or it won't. Each of us now has to decide: Will I be a leader in that movement? The science is clear. Our future will be determined, literally, by the readers of this post, who have heard the truth and have said yes -- or will say yes -- to this challenge. And unlike our forbearers, we are not threatened by dogs, fire hoses, blacklisting, firing, beating, torture, imprisonment, or lynchings. We are free (if we choose) to create the future. Here is how today, this week, you can lead: