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Articles by Christina Larson

Christina Larson is a contributing editor at Foreign Policy magazine and a Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation. Her reporting has brought her throughout China, as well Southeast Asia, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, The New Republic, The Washington Monthly, and Yale Environment 360 among other publications.

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  • Energy independence is hot campaign topic

    Tomorrow is election day. Get yourself to a polling booth.

    In Washington, the buzz right now is that Democrats will win a slight majority in the House and fall slightly short of a majority in the Senate.

    I don't have a crystal ball, but whatever the outcome, it now looks possible that a number of freshmen in next year's Congress will have been elected, in part, on a platform of energy independence/alternative energy. Of course, elevating a political issue and solving a problem are different matters. There are many ways to imagine best intentions turning into pork-laden boondoggles (read: more ethanol subsidies). But first you have to get people to pay attention -- and to believe a different future is possible. That seems to be happening this election cycle.

    Candidates in competitive races, from Jon Tester to Harold Ford, Claire McCaskill to Maria Cantwell, are running ads on the theme of alternative energy. Windmills appear in at least 17 spots.

  • Food this time

    Happy World Food Day, courtesy of the U.N.'s Food and Agricultural Organization.

  • The WSJ touches on energy conservation

    The Wall Street Journal ran a special section today devoted to energy conservation, "Less Power to the People," which included such tips as inflating your tires properly to reduce gas mileage; purchasing low-energy light bulbs; and watching the ticker on those hot ethanol stocks. (Unfortunately, a subscription is required to read it online.)

    Let's be grateful to lead author Rebecca Smith. First, for being straight in her introduction:

    Conservation seems a much more feasible solution than quickly building dozens of new power plants to add generating capacity -- especially if reducing emissions is a goal.

    And, second, for going to bat with her editors to run the darn section.

  • Farmers’ almanac

    Last Sunday, the Wichita Eagle published a long front-page feature on global warming. Not on global warming as "scientific controversy," mind you, but on global warming's potential future impacts on state agriculture (more droughts, more dryland crops), native wildlife (more armadillos, altered bird migrations), and intensified tornado seasons.

    Higher temperatures mean more energy in the atmosphere. More energy means more turbulence. More turbulence means greater extremes. More heat waves like last week's. More snowstorms. More thunderstorms. More tornadoes.

    Hunker down, Dorothy.