Interest in the Farm Bill is usually confined to policy wonks and agribusiness lobbyists, but this year it has generated more buzz than a cowpie in a June paddock. Despite the stir, most of the public attention has been narrowly focused on only one aspect of the $280 billion policy package: the farm payments paid to corn, soybean, wheat, rice, and cotton producers. Though concerns over the current commodity programs are well-founded, their emphasis has given a negative cast to the Farm Bill debate: we should be against farm subsidies. But there are also things worth fighting for in the Farm Bill -- conservation programs that promote environmental enhancement, sustain family farms, and support rural communities are some of them.
The Cape Wind project was dealt another setback this week when a local commission denied a permit for the transmission lines that would carry electricity to the grid from the 130 offshore wind turbines that …
((equity_include)) This is a guest essay by Tom Athanasiou. Athanasiou is a long-time left green, a former software engineer, a technology critic, and, most recently, a climate justice activist. He is the author of Divided …
Alright, the Jake in ’08 thing might have been a joke, but this is one serious candidate:
Over at OpenLeft.com, the always devastating Matt Stoller writes that "the green civil wars need to begin." He's urging other environmental groups to go after Environmental Defense for offering a ringing endorsement of the latest Warner-Lieberman climate bill. Environmental Defense is justifying a large corporate giveaway under the rubric of environmentalism, and the rest of the green community is letting ED get away with it. In terms of the policy, Environmental Defense is alone here. The green groups are remarkably polite to each other, as most of them started in the 1970s convinced that protecting the environment was a value system. At the time, it might have been. Today, the question is how to manage a commons, and these groups just don't agree with each other. There is no movement around the environment anymore, there are progressives, corporatists, and deniers, all fighting over a large multi-trillion dollar rapidly shrinking commons. The lack of robust internal debate among green groups means that ED's Fred Krupp can nonetheless speak for "the environmental movement," scoop up his corporate money, and throw everyone else to the curb. Having worked in the environmental movement, I've got to say that there is loads of "robust internal debate" and I know from my environmental friends that there has been very spirited debate on this exact issue within the green groups. But on the larger point, Matt is spot-on. Environmental Defense is once again destroying the unity of the environmental movement by endorsing this bill now despite some major weaknesses. In contrast, other environmental groups like Sierra Club are working hard to improve the bill -- and are reserving judgment until the final details are hammered out.
Industrial agriculture thrives on its ability to skulk away from — or, to use economist’s argot, "externalize" — the costs of its considerable ecological messes. Often, it does so with the tacit approval of the …
... go here and sign the petition. As we've seen, the bill is hanging by thread with a threatened presidential veto and partisan squabbling in the Senate. Still, if Bush is going to threaten a veto, best to actually make him do so, and force the key issues, fuel economy standards and a renewable portfolio standard, into the public eye and hopefully the presidential campaign. This post was created for ClimateProgress.org, a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
Many GOP contenders acknowledge that humans probably play some role in recent climate change -- but that's as far as the agreement goes, as the NY Times explained today: Senator John McCain of Arizona is calling for capping gas emissions linked to warming and higher fuel economy standards. Others, including Rudolph W. Giuliani and Mitt Romney, are refraining from advocating such limits and are instead emphasizing a push toward clean coal and other alternative energy sources. All agree that nuclear power should be greatly expanded. McCain recently said, "I have had enough experience and enough knowledge to believe that unless we reverse what is happening on this planet, my dear friends, we are going to hand our children a planet that is badly damaged." Mr. Romney and Mr. Giuliani say little about the potential dangers of climate change and almost nothing about curbing emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide. They talk almost exclusively about the need for independence from foreign oil as a necessity for national security. Fred D. Thompson, after mocking the threat in April, said more recently that "climate change is real" and suggested a measured approach until more was known about it. You can read about all the candidates' views (from both parties) at the NY Times election guide on climate change (or better yet, at Grist's special series on the candidates). Hillary will be announcing her energy plan next week, and we've already seen Obama's terrific plan. Since Rudy appears more and more likely to be the Republican nominee, let's look a bit more at where he stands (and at why even the NYT coverage of the subject remains as frustrating as ever):
Sounds vaguely familiar.
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