Politics

Where enviros can make a real difference

Learn to look down the ballot — waaaaaay down

Here's a story that's all too common: Right-wing dominated court; likes to pat itself on the back for being a "strict constructionalist" court that, regardless of its own justices' preferences, follows the commands of the legislature expressed in the plain words of the statutes. No "judge-made law" here, just the power of the people expressed through their elected representatives. Except not. Michigan's Environmental Policy Act gave "any person" the right to sue over environmental damages, allowing people to act as citizen attorneys-general because, as the pols in the 1970s recognized, elected AGs and appointed state bureaucrats often aren't actually all that interested in confronting contribution-wielding polluters. So, this year, the Michigan Supreme Court GOP majority took off its strict constructionalist hat and donned its liberal interpretation hat to decide that, well, "any person" doesn't mean what you might think it means.

Carbon- and nuclear-free America possible by 2050

Now that’s a 12-step program

A hopeful press release touting an even more hopeful (wishful?) report:

Democrats poised to wimp out on CAFE for now; Dingell pursues 'poison pill' strategy on climate

The latest from Congress

The Washington Post reports today: Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) claims to have rounded up about 200 votes for an amendment raising fuel economy standards, while the Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, John D. Dingell (Mich.) and 50 other Democrats have signed on to a weaker version ... But yesterday, Pelosi said the bill was not likely to address fuel economy at all, postponing the issue until a conference committee reconciles House and Senate energy bills in September ... Pelosi is eager to avoid a breach with the powerful Dingell, who opposes the Markey amendment and whose committee will handle many important pieces of legislation, including health care. The United Auto Workers union and automakers have also lobbied against the Markey measure. Unfortunately for the nation and the planet, Dingell is working to make fuel economy standards and serious action on climate as politically unpalatable as possible with a classic poison pill strategy:

An interview with Dennis Kucinich about his presidential platform on energy and the environment

This is part of a series of interviews with presidential candidates produced jointly by Grist and Outside. Update: Dennis Kucinich dropped out of the presidential race on Jan. 25, 2008. Dennis Kucinich. Photo: SEIU via flickr He may be eating the front-runners’ dust in the polls, but among deep-green voters, Dennis Kucinich is considered a trailblazer. A Democratic U.S. rep from Cleveland, Ohio, Kucinich is calling for a radical overhaul of the U.S. government and economy — one that infuses every agency in the executive branch with a sustainability agenda, phases out coal and nuclear power entirely, and calls on …

Fencing Match

Mexico may file complaint over U.S. border fence plans Mexican environmental officials are the latest to get peeved over the U.S. government’s plan to build a 700-mile fence along the countries’ shared border. The barrier, intended to stem illegal immigration, would “place at risk the various ecosystems that we share,” says Environment Minister Juan Rafael Elvira — including the Sonora Desert. A report prepared for Mexican officials by experts in both countries said the fence could isolate animals including jaguars, black bears, and the Sonora pronghorn; it said the accompanying radar and lights could also harm nocturnal species. Mexican officials …

Kucinich on the Issues

A look at Dennis Kucinich’s environmental platform and record

Update: Dennis Kucinich dropped out of the presidential race on Jan. 25, 2008. Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has been active and outspoken on a wide range of environmental and sustainability issues during the decade he’s represented Ohio’s 10th district in the U.S. House. His efforts have earned him a 92 percent lifetime rating from the League of Conservation Voters. Read an interview with Dennis Kucinich by Grist and Outside. Proposes a Works Green Administration (modeled on Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration) that would put millions of Americans to work building and installing clean-energy technologies, retrofitting homes for energy efficiency, …

The snowman

More on the dumbest video from the YouTube debate

The Wall Street Journal brings you more than you ever wanted to know about that stupid snowman who asked the question about global warming in the Democratic debate. Kill me.

Is the environmental movement losing touch with its feminine side?

This year, Rachel Carson would have turned 100. Had she lived, the “mother of the environmental movement” might have been pleased with how popular environmental causes have become. On the other hand, she might not have liked current shades of green. Don’t lose sight of the forest. Photo: iStockphoto The great lesson of Silent Spring, Carson’s brilliant critique of the pesticide industry, is that technology requires wisdom more than faith. In recent years, however, discussion about global warming has focused almost exclusively on high-tech hopes, as President Bush’s much-repeated remarks from last year’s State of the Union address make clear: …

An interview with John Edwards about his presidential platform on energy and the environment

This is part of a series of interviews with presidential candidates produced jointly by Grist and Outside. Update: John Edwards dropped out of the presidential race on Jan. 30, 2008. John Edwards. Photo: Rachel Feierman John Edwards has gone to great lengths to outshine the top Democratic candidates with an aggressive environmental platform. On the 2008 campaign trail, this blue-collar defender has painted himself as a bleeding-heart greenie. The first candidate to call for an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050 and the first to make his campaign carbon neutral, Edwards has had a pied-piper effect on the …

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