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Articles by Mike Tidwell

Mike Tidwell is founder and director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and the author of The Ravaging Tide: Strange Weather, Future Katrinas, and the Coming Death of America's Coastal Cities.

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  • Army Corps climate efforts in New Orleans may not be enough

    No one wants to see this again — but can post-Katrina protection efforts keep the Big Easy safe? Photo: NOAA Here’s the good news: The Army Corps of Engineers is “racing” to complete a comprehensive levee system for metropolitan New Orleans by 2011 that actually takes into account global warming, at least in terms of […]

  • No country in the world is more like the U.S., so where’s our national climate-change leader?

    Kevin Rudd. Photo: AP/Rob Griffith
    Kevin Rudd.
    Photo: AP / Rob Griffith

    Culturally, politically, and spiritually, what country in the world is most like the United States? It's not Canada and it's sure not Great Britain. The answer is Australia. Ask anyone who's been there. It just feels like America there, from the sprawling suburbs to the cars people drive, from the obsession with sports to their unit of currency: the Australian dollar. Add these factors too: both countries were British colonies, both wiped out indigenous peoples, both have big cities in the east and vast frontiers to the west, both have huge coal deposits and per capita greenhouse-gas emissions that lead most of the world, and, in the last several years, both have had conservative national governments that basically deny the reality of global warming. The Aussies R Us!

    So how, then, did Australia just complete a national election where the issue of climate change played a central role and may have determined the outcome? How did a country so steeped in America's brand of fierce self-reliance, consumerism, and fossil-fuel addiction throw out a "climate skeptic" prime minister and hand a landslide victory to a Labor candidate who talked persistently about ratifying Kyoto? And most important, if they can do it Down Under, is there still hope for America?

  • Voluntary actions didn’t get us civil rights, and they won’t fix the climate

    Strange but true: Energy-efficient light bulbs and hybrid cars are hurting our nation’s budding efforts to fight global warming. More precisely, every time an activist or politician hectors the public to voluntarily reach for a new bulb or spend extra on a Prius, ExxonMobil heaves a big sigh of relief. Scientists now scream the news […]

  • If global warming is an emergency, then let’s act like it

    On a recent Monday morning, at exactly 8 a.m., a dozen global-warming activists converged in Washington, D.C., at the main entrance to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Will a D.C. protest get the ball rolling? Photo: Two activists dressed as window washers — painter’s hats on, squeegees in hand — carried a 32-foot […]