Politics

A proposal in the making

New developments in WTO fisheries subsidies negotiations

Some new ideas by Brazil and Argentina during the Doha round negotiations at the World Trade Organization have left me feeling rather optimistic about the ability of the WTO to actually help address one of the world's biggest environmental problems: global overfishing. Their proposal is a real attempt by developing countries in the ongoing negotiations about fisheries subsidies to establish some rules to prevent countries from subsidizing their fishing sector without regard to the fish! The proposal still needs work. But finally, leadership by the developing world to try a find a workable approach to ensure that development keeps the best interest of marine life and habitat in mind while also tending to the needs of people.

LCV declares Sen. James Inhofe a target for unseating in 2008

Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe (R) is the first person to make the League of Conservation Voters’ “Dirty Dozen” list of congresspeople the group hopes to unseat in 2008. Inhofe is the minority leader on the …

Lomborg and Shellenberger & Nordhaus redux

Yet more musing on Lomborg and S&N

Looks like I'm not the only one who sees a scary similarity between the messages in their respective books, Cool It and Break Through. The San Francisco Chronicle just ran a double review by Robert Collier, a visiting scholar at the Center for Environmental Public Policy at UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy. The review ends pointedly: [T]he arguments of Nordhaus and Shellenberger attain an intellectual pretense that could almost pass for brilliant if their urgings weren't so patently empty. The closing chapter calls for "greatness," but, like the rest of the book, it offers little in the way of substantive proposals to back up its rhetorical thunder. Perhaps that's for their next book. Or perhaps real solutions, rather than pretentious sniping, are not the authors' purpose. Nordhaus and Shellenberger, like Lomborg, will get plenty of attention in Washington from those who want to preserve the status quo. But for those who recognize the urgent need to transform the national and world economies and save the planet as we know it, they are ultimately irrelevant. Precisely.

Fascinating, but for the wrong reasons

Shellenberger & Nordhaus echo flawed economic assumptions

I just finished reading Shellenberger & Nordhaus' latest, and while I realize I am a bit late to the party, I think they say some fascinating things -- perhaps not for the reasons they intended. S&N manage to succinctly distill an awful lot of the ideas that are core not only to policy debates on carbon, but to policy discussions of any major change to the economy. Understanding these biases is critical to understanding why S&N write what they write, but also why they are so deeply wrong.

French conservatives go green, too!

Sarkozy pushes proposals on energy and the environment

We have already seen that British Conservatives "get" global warming -- both the danger of inaction and the economic opportunity of a "green revolution." Now the right wing cheese-eating surrender monkeys are also putting their American political counterparts to shame. As Nature reports about the new conservative French president: Sarkozy made the greening of France a major plank of his election campaign this year. He has since created a superministry for ecology, biodiversity and sustainable development, with responsibility for the powerful sectors of transport, energy and construction -- a first in France, where ecology was previously off the political radar. Yet it seems inconceivable a U.S. conservative politician could take such action, or agree to the following remarkable proposals now under active consideration in France:

Storage in the spotlight

Congress finally pays attention to energy storage tech

I missed this when it happened, but (via Hill Heat) it’s nice to see that the House science committee recently held a hearing on energy storage technology. It’s a woefully underappreciated piece of the energy …

Group will do organic lawn care outside Capitol

Nonprofit SafeLawns.org has received permission to use organic gardening techniques on a portion of the National Mall for a two-year trial period. Can environmentally friendly soil treatments be embraced at the site of battling over …

Sustainable energy blueprint

A strategy for a no-nuclear, low-carbon, highly efficient, sustainable energy future

This came my way several weeks ago, but I ran across it again while hacking my way through my inbox and I thought it was worth sharing, particularly in light of the long list of …

Obama introduces ambitious energy plan

Barack Obama unveiled the details of his energy policy proposal in a speech in New Hampshire today, and he’s swinging for the fences. At the center is a cap-and-trade system that would reduce greenhouse-gas emissions …

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