Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Politics

Comments

Al’s Well That Pens Well

Al Gore to publish new book on global warming The self-proclaimed "former next president of the United States" -- currently at the Sundance Film Festival (and, may we point out, looking quite natty) to promote his new documentary about global warming, An Inconvenient Truth -- has announced that he'll soon be coming out with a new book on the same subject, with the same name. The book, to be published by Rodale (of South Beach Diet, uh, fame), will serve as a sequel of sorts to Al Gore's controversial 1992 best-seller Earth in the Balance. It will cover not only …

Comments

News from the North

What will a conservative Canada look like?

While we were busy fretting about eco-terrorists, Canada went and had itself an e-lection. Newly elected Conservative PM Stephen Harper is a likely Bush ally, says CNN, and aims to "move beyond the Kyoto debate by establishing different environmental controls." Meanwhile, the BBC doesn't pussyfoot: "[he] is known to be hostile to gay marriage and the Kyoto Protocol on climate change." Sigh. On the other hand, the CBC reports that Harper "believe[s] it's better to light one candle than to promise a million light bulbs." So maybe he's into conservation after all.

Read more: Politics

Comments

Johnson Left Hanging

Six former EPA chiefs tell Bush to cap and cut greenhouse gases Six former heads of the U.S. EPA -- including five Republicans -- have blasted the Bush administration for failing to act on global warming. In an unprecedented united front, the ex-chiefs, gathered yesterday to commemorate the agency's 35th anniversary, agreed that debating the extent to which climate change is a human-caused phenomenon (a favorite Bushy pastime) is pointless. They want federally regulated carbon caps and cuts. Current EPA head Stephen Johnson defended Bush policies, but the panel wasn't biting. "This is not a sort of short-term cycle problem. …

Comments

The Sound of One Hand Tapping

Greenpeace joins lawsuit against Bush admin's secret wiretap program On Tuesday, a diverse group of individuals and organizations filed suit against the National Security Agency, asking a federal court in Detroit to declare the agency's clandestine domestic eavesdropping program unconstitutional. The plaintiffs -- ranging from Greenpeace to stalwart Iraq war booster Christopher Hitchens -- have no proof that the NSA spied on them. But the ACLU, which is leading the suit, charges that simply knowing the program exists has had a "chilling effect" on their willingness to use international phone and data lines to communicate openly, violating their First Amendment …

Read more: Politics

Comments

Wild to Be Born

Montana’s landscape is changing — will America’s be next?

The governor is a politician of such breathtaking dexterity, ability, and raw, hungry, political instinct that your first thought upon witnessing him -- no matter whether you're a Republican or Democrat -- is likely to be, "When does he explode, and in what manner?" For rarely in American politics has anyone this good been that way indefinitely. Brian Schweitzer has only been the governor of Montana for a year, but already, among Democrats in the state and beyond, I sense a Clintonesque déjà vu creeping in, a relief that all will be all right, that our values are protected. We …

Read more: Politics

Comments

Land-rich regions’ residents tell hungry politicians to back off

It is difficult to recognize change while living through it. However, two recent decisions involving the use of the public's lands signal a historic political and policy transition, particularly here in the Rocky Mountain West. The first of those two is the almost unanimous rejection by Western governors of the Bush administration's multiyear attempt to punch roads into the last remaining wild lands here in the Rockies. The second is the public's outrage at the year-end congressional attempt to sell massive amounts of our commonly held land. Not in our back yard. Photo: iStockphoto. The ham-handed effort to open up …

Read more: Politics

Comments

Keeping Up With the Bushes

Conservative Canadian politico vows to back out of Kyoto agreement As Canada's federal election looms -- yes, Canada is having an election -- Conservative leader Stephen Harper is campaigning on virtually abandoning the Kyoto accord on climate change. Harper, who proclaimed in 2004 that the treaty would never become international law (oops), says victorious Conservatives would jettison mandatory targets and timelines for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions in favor of voluntary ones. The Canadian Climate Coalition accuses Harper of putting Canada "into the same camp as U.S. President George W. Bush." Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin is using the issue to hit …

Comments

RFK Jr. and other prominent enviros face off over Cape Cod wind farm

A long-simmering disagreement within the environmental community over a plan to build a massive wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass., is now boiling over into a highly public quarrel. The future of Nantucket Sound? Photo: NREL. The four-year-old battle started heating up last summer when Greenpeace USA staged a demonstration against well-known eco-activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who's been an outspoken opponent of the proposal for a 130-turbine wind-power project in Horseshoe Shoal, a shallow portion of Nantucket Sound south of Cape Cod. Kennedy -- a senior attorney at Natural Resources Defense Council and a pioneer in …

Comments

Climate change is pushing this easygoing enviro over the edge

The one and only time I ever saw my mother become aggressive in public went like this. We were out as a family for a weekend leaf-peeping drive, an impulse apparently shared by most of the rest of New England, because the traffic along New Hampshire's Kancamagus Highway was endless 90-degree gridlock. Every once in a while, however, somebody would zoom happily by in the breakdown lane. We watched them with a kind of mounting zealous anger. It would never have occurred to my parents to emulate them -- that would have been wrong. But eventually my mother, sitting in …

Comments

The Green Mileage

Mileage estimates likely to decline under EPA's proposed new system The U.S. EPA has proposed new standards for calculating auto fuel-economy ratings, expected to reduce by 5 to 30 percent the mileage estimates in window stickers on new cars and trucks. Ouch. It's the first ratings overhaul since 1985, intended to reflect changes in driving conditions (e.g., more stop-and-go traffic) and technology (e.g., more fuel-eating air-conditioners). The city-driving mileage estimates for hybrids -- including Toyota's hot-selling Prius, which gets a 60-mile-per-gallon estimate under the current system -- are likely to shrink an especially dramatic 20 to 30 percent. Environmental groups …

Read more: Cities, Politics