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Environmental funders share blame for movement’s weak pulse

In responding to "The Death of Environmentalism," activist Ken Ward writes, "If the future toward which we rush is folly, the solution proposed by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus is foolishness." In this excerpt from his full rebuttal to the essay, Ward describes the role environmental foundations play in frustrating effective campaigning, and suggests that if they intelligently directed their funding toward a coordinated climate-change campaign, they could catapult the issue to the top of the national agenda. "The necessary decisions could be made in a weekend conference with less than 100 people attending," he writes. Foundations should be smarter …

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Senate votes to open Arctic Refuge to drilling

Stickin' it to the porcupine caribou in the Arctic Refuge. Photo: Ken Whitten, Wilderness Society. Oil companies are closing in on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In a crushing blow to those who have fought for some 25 years to preserve the unspoiled Alaskan wildland, the Senate voted today to clear the way for oil and gas drilling within the Arctic Refuge. By a 51-49 vote, they rejected an amendment by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) that would have stripped from a budget bill a provision that assumes the government will raise revenue from drilling in the refuge's coastal plain. Opening …

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Bummer

Senate votes in favor of drilling in Arctic Refuge Oil companies are closing in on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In a crushing blow to those who have long fought to preserve the unspoiled Alaskan wildland, the Senate this afternoon voted 51-49 against an amendment by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) that would have stripped from a budget bill a provision clearing the way for oil and gas drilling in the Arctic Refuge. The vote doesn't mean drilling is a done deal -- there's still lots of wrangling to be done over the budget bill that contains the refuge provision -- …

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Dramatizing the “death” of environmentalism doesn’t help urban people of color, or anyone else

"Death" is such a harsh term -- can't we say "transition to a happier place"? Adrienne Maree Brown. Photo: Sophia Wallace. Or, how else can I put this ... You don't have to fall out of the tree. Just climb down and join us on the ground. Let's talk. If you work on environmental issues, chances are you don't know me. I represent the other other side. The one outside the greenhouse. I'm young, I'm colored, I'm female, I'm urban -- and environmentalism isn't reaching me like it needs to. So I want to add a few thoughts to the …

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Author and oil-spill expert Riki Ott answers questions

Riki Ott. What work do you do? What's your job title? For the past seven years -- 1998 to 2004 -- I researched and wrote a book, Sound Truth and Corporate Myth$: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Now I'm an author/activist/scientist on book tour. Titles: Well, I have been bestowed numerous titles by others. For example, "pain in the ass" by Alyeska, the consortium that operates and (supposedly) maintains the Trans Alaska Pipeline System. "Thorn in our side" by Arctic Power, the main lobbying group trying to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. "Propagandist" just recently by …

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Herbicidal Tendencies

War-crimes suit against Agent Orange manufacturers dismissed A potentially historic class-action lawsuit accusing manufacturers of the herbicide Agent Orange of committing war crimes isn't looking so historic after all -- it was dismissed yesterday by a federal judge in New York City. Dioxin-containing Agent Orange was sprayed extensively in Vietnam from 1962 to 1971 by U.S. forces to kill crops and reduce the opposition's cover. The plaintiffs in the case say the herbicide has been causing a panoply of health problems in Vietnam ever since, including cancer and birth defects. "We are disappointed," said Nguyen Trong Nhan of the Vietnam …

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Our Life With the Drill Kill Kult

House bill would end U.S. offshore drilling bans Legislation being drafted in the House Resources Committee would end 23-year-old bans on new offshore oil and gas drilling in the U.S. Still not formally introduced, the legislation, dubbed the State Enhanced Authority for Coastal and Offshore Resources Act, would expand state control over offshore drilling and up states' shares of royalties from drilling. Industry groups have been pressuring lawmakers to attach SEACOR to the stalled energy bill, up for consideration next month. A spokesflack for committee chair Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) insists the bill is "not ready for prime time" -- just …

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The Idiotarod

Republicans are after the Arctic Refuge again Undeterred by consistent public opposition and bipartisan objections, a number of Republicans are once again attempting to get oil drillers into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Senate Budget Committee Chair Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) slipped ANWR into a budget resolution yesterday, which unlike standard legislation cannot be defeated by a filibuster. Overcoming a filibuster requires 60 votes, but the budget resolution requires only a 51-vote majority. Senate Energy Committee Chair Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) called this the "old-fashioned way," but Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) countered that it is in fact a "backdoor way," a perversion …

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Better Off Deadlocked

Senate committee deadlock means Clear Skies unlikely to pass this year After a deadlocked 9-9 vote in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the Bush administration's long-sought Clear Skies legislation appears unlikely to pass -- at least this year. The fourth time was not the charm for committee chair James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who had scheduled and then delayed the vote three times previously as he twisted arms in search of a deal. Stung by the defeat, Inhofe, to the surprise of approximately no one, blamed the failure on "environmental extremists" and "far-left political fundraising." The actual source of the …

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EPA plan would spew under-treated sewage into U.S. waterways

Like clean water? Then you'll love Rep. Bart Stupak. Swimming in sewage just isn't this fun. For the last year, Stupak has been fighting a U.S. EPA proposal that would allow inadequately treated sewage to be "blended" with fully treated waste during rain and snow events. The messy mix would then be released into the nation's rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. If blending is permitted, Stupak warns, people will get sick, beaches will close, and tourism and fishing will suffer. Not only that, taxpayers will bear the cost of cleanup down the road. "It doesn't make sense," the Michigan Democrat …

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