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Articles by David Roberts

David Roberts was a staff writer for Grist. You can follow him on Twitter, if you're into that sort of thing.

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  • Debate wars episode II: the empire strikes back

    The second presidential debate was, by any measure, better than the first. Bush recovered from his twitchy, petulant performance of Sep. 30 and Kerry was, if anything, even more concise (lo, a miracle!) and direct. More importantly, the questions from audience members were better -- more substantive, less circumspect -- than anything asked by the "official" media-types refereeing the VP and first presidential debates.

    However, Kerry flubbed one question that should have been a home run for him.  As you might guess, I'm talking about the environmental question.  Here's a policy area where, unlike many others, Kerry has a clear, consistent, and almost uniformly strong record.  Bush, on the other hand, is rated the worst environmental president ever by just about everybody -- including, increasingly, members of his own party, mid-level officials in his agencies, and conservationists from the traditionally right-leaning hook-and-bullet crowd.

    But Bush dodged the bullet.

  • When fruitloops attack

    Steven Milloy, proprietor of, resident at the regulation-hatin' Cato Institute, and true-blue wingnut, has a hilarious article running on  Pay no attention to those who criticize Bush's environmental policies, he says, they are but "left-leaning environmental activists and their supporters in academia."  He lauds Bush for avoiding the "dance of death" that is the Kyoto Protocol, but saves his highest praise for the dysfunctional regulatory process the administration has produced.  "Short of dismantling the EPA in favor of a more rational approach to the environment -- the preferred solution," he says, "the president has done the next best thing by bollixing up the EPA rulemaking process."  Woot!

  • Bring in da noise, bring in debunk

    Tim Lambert has made debunking pseudo-science into an art form.  Observe, as he practices his craft on a pair of climate change skeptics.  That's gotta sting.

  • Vice Presidential candidates discuss the environment during their debate

    Cheney: "..."

    Edwards: "..."

    UPDATE: In fairness, it should be noted that environmental issues (and jobs, wages, education, immigration, health care, etc.) didn't get their due in large part due to the fatuous and at times genuinely befuddling questions chosen by moderator Gwen Ifill. "What's wrong with a little flip-flop every now and then?" Are you serious?