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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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  • Chariots of Fire

    After the pre-screening of An Inconvenient Truth last night in Washington, Al Gore told a crowd of think-tank denizens, activists, and media types that change in American history moves at two speeds: "slow and lightning." Recalling the Civil Rights era, he added, "When we see something as a moral issue, a lot of change can happen quickly."

    Grappling with the implications of climate change as a moral issue is becoming more common. Earlier this year, the Evangelical Climate Initative issued their call to action, proclaiming, "Millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors." More recently, in March, John Podesta struck a similar note in a speech at Harvard on clean energy and global warming(PDF): "Beyond the price and the politics that are necessitating change, we, in the United States, have a moral obligation to change."

    On different paradigm question, Gore made a key distinction after the film: The movie's animated clip of greenhouse-gas thugs pounding Mr. Sunbeam originated with Futurama, not the Simpsons.

  • We said, he said

    The White House's scramble for microwave-ready neatly-packaged short-term fixes for the slow-cooking problems behind rising energy prices leaves us ... well, hungry.

    But to his credit, the president did chuck aside one favorite conservative canard:

    "This nation does not have to choose between a strong economy and a clean environment," Mr. Bush said in remarks at the Fuel Cell Partnership ... "We can have both at the same time."

    Next time you hear complaints that progress with a green stripe will wreck the economy, quote Mr. Bush to the contrary.

  • Global-warming glamour shots

    Imagine you're a pro photographer with an unlimited travel budget and your editor says he needs some pics for a story on global warming.

    Sure thing, you say. Just tell me the intersection and what time to show up. Well .... huh. Where do you go? Who do you look for? What's the most arresting and memorable way to depict an event that's both global and gradual?

    Photographer Gary Braasch has the enviable job of trying to figure it out. His advice: People connect with images of large animals (ah, that explains the ubiquitious polar bears) and with photos that show humans already at risk. Don't hate him because his work is beautiful.

    Braasch spoke today in Washington at the Center for American Progress.

  • Global warming wedding-crashers?

    I was thinking a bit more about a point David raised yesterday: While it's dandy that groups outside the fold of the mainstream environmental movement, from sportsmen to evangelicals, are expressing concern about global warming, how do we know wily conservatives won't be able to dance their way out of ambitious and necessary reforms with toothless rhetoric, more industry subsidies, and "fake solutions"?

    It's a hugely important question, and I won't pretend to have a crystal ball in my cubicle. But I strongly believe it's a question that greens and progressives must find a way to answer -- otherwise our best-laid plans and proposals will remain just that.

    The Bush administration has mastered the art of Orwellian naming ("Healthy Forests," etc.) and bait-and-switch rhetoric (we're "addicted to oil" -- let's reshuffle research budgets without committing to advancing the ball). That we know. The question is: How's the sales job going? Better or worse than last year, or four years ago?