Politics

The EPA papers

Cheney and Johnson probably conspired, ho hum

On this business with the EPA giving Waxman all its papers: I doubt it will turn up anything actionably illegal. We’ll see a great deal …

Japan leads G8 in 2008, will focus on climate change

A new year means a new country takes over leadership of the Group of Eight rich nations, and in 2008 it’s Japan. Prime Minister Yasuo …

Predictions for 2008: I

2008 will see another peaceful transfer of power in the U.S.

((2008predictions_include)) Last year I made 20 predictions for 2007 and it brought me nothing but woe and discredit. Yet sadistic Grist higher-ups demand I wade …

Meat Wagon: Get it while it's hot

Avoid burgers in Texas, Hillary gets charred for CAFO ties, and more

In Meat Wagon, we round up the latest outrages from the meat industry. In a proper finale to an E. coli-tainted 2007, the USDA has …

U.S. EPA directs employees to gather documents related to California decision

The U.S. EPA has directed employees to preserve and produce all documents — including communications with the White House — related to its recent unpopular …

Me Huckabee, you Jane

GOP (and Dem) candidates: red-meat-lovin’, veggie-hatin’

From a compilation of responses given to AP reporters throughout the year: FAVORITE FOOD TO COOK DEMOCRATS: Clinton: "I'm a lousy cook, but I make pretty good soft scrambled eggs." Edwards: Hamburgers. Obama: Chili. Richardson: Diet milkshake. REPUBLICANS: Giuliani: Hamburgers or steak on the grill. Huckabee: Ribeye steak on the grill. McCain: Baby-back ribs. Romney: Hot dog. SHUNNED FOOD ITEMS DEMOCRATS: Clinton: "I like nearly everything. "I don't like, you know, things that are still alive." Edwards: "I can't stand mushrooms. I don't want them on anything that I eat. And I have had to eat them because you get food served and it's sitting there and you're starving, so you eat." Obama: "Beets, and I always avoid eating them." Richardson: Mushrooms, specifically. "I'm not a big vegetable eater." Recalling the first President Bush's distaste for broccoli, he said: "I sympathize with that fully." REPUBLICANS: Giuliani: Liver. Huckabee: "Carrots. I just don't like carrots. I banned them from the governor's mansion when I was governor of Arkansas because I could." McCain: "I eat almost everything. Sometimes I don't do too well with vegetables." Romney: "Eggplant, in any shape or form. And I've always been able to avoid it." Thompson: "Not much. I've tried to do better about that. I jokingly say that we kind of have a diet around our house that if it tastes good, you don't eat it. I haven't quite got there yet. There's not much that I turn down. That's a good thing on the campaign trail because you get quite a variety." You know, because vegetables are for wusses, true patriots love meat, vegetarianism is a gateway drug to liberal snobbery, etc., etc. Scrolling through the responses, some amusing patterns emerge. Namely, McCain loves anything and everything to do with barbecuing, and Huckabee desperately wishes that guitar ownership would make him cool. (Hey guys, hey guys! I have a bass guitar! Did -- did you hear that? Did I mention my guitar? Because I have one.) Now if only someone would compile a useful table of candidate responses to relevant questions ... say, a table with candidates' stances on fuel-economy standards, renewable energy, and coal. Oh wait! We did.

Law of the Sea

What will US ratification mean for health of the oceans?

I recently wrote a short piece for Seed about the Law of the Sea -- a piece of legislation that has been held up in the US Senate for the past 25 years, and which, if ratified, could have a major impact on ocean health. The treaty -- which was given a thumbs-up in October by the US Foreign Relations Committee and now awaits ratification in the Senate -- declares most of earth's vast ocean floor to be the "common heritage of mankind," placing it under UN aegis "for the benefit of mankind as a whole." That language has some people running scared. The treaty recently earned some scathing critique in the Wall Street Journal:

Yielding the moral high ground: Part II

Republicans have every reason to share ownership of the climate issue

This post is by ClimateProgress guest blogger Bill Becker, Executive Director of the Presidential Climate Action Project. In Part I, we saw how conservatives were turning their backs on the moral issue of our time -- global warming. Here we'll examine the many reasons conservatives should share ownership of this issue. Global warming and its solutions involve issues that are important to conservatives, progressives, Independents and even political agnostics. For example: National security: "Climate change can act as a threat multiplier for instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world, and it presents significant national security challenges for the United States," 11 retired admirals and generals concluded in a security analysis last April. "The increasing risks from climate change should be addressed now because they will almost certainly get worse if we delay." Jobs: The global need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is arguably the biggest entrepreneurial opportunity the United States has known. Billions of the world's people need access to clean energy, a market of unprecedented scale. Here in the United States, according to an analysis by the Management Information Services in Washington, D.C., energy efficiency and renewable energy can create 40 million jobs by mid-century, at skill levels stretching from entry level to the highly technical.

Yielding the moral high ground: Part I

Republican candidates are keeping their distance from climate change

This post is by ClimateProgress guest blogger Bill Becker, Executive Director of the Presidential Climate Action Project. In recent years, conservatives have mastered the art of hijacking morality. They have positioned themselves as the champions of family values, faith and good old-fashioned patriotism. But on what some regard as the moral issue of our time, the party's presidential candidates are turning their backs. That issue is global warming. Al Gore is not the only prominent leader who considers climate change a moral issue. Three years ago, the National Association of Evangelicals issued its "Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility." It reads in part: We affirm that God-given dominion is a sacred responsibility to steward the earth and not a license to abuse the creation of which we are a part. Because clean air, pure water, and adequate resources are crucial to public health and civic order, government has an obligation to protect its citizens from the effects of environmental degradation. At about the same time, Christianity Today, an influential evangelical magazine, opined that "Christians should make it clear to governments and businesses that we are willing to adapt our lifestyles and support steps towards changes that protect our environment." The magazine endorsed the bipartisan global warming bill co-sponsored by Senators Joe Lieberman (I/D CT) and John McCain (R-AZ). Yet, the other Republican presidential candidates are keeping their distance from the issue as though it is their weird Aunt Ethel with halitosis.