Archive for September, 2010

Congressional elections are just 5 weeks away and it’s hard to dismiss how disappointing for many in the environmental movement that the first two years of the Democrats’ universal power has been. But you might have to.

The failures in Copenhagen and lack of any comprehensive energy bill have been major flaws in the first two years of the Obama administration. However, when the president lashed out at liberals this week in a Rolling Stone interview, he made a good point. Things would be worse if officials who are pro-business and anti-environment were elected. (That’s not to say pro-business means anti-enivronment. You can be “pro” both).

Also in the interview, he pledged to focus more on the environment and said that a major bill might not be passed, but a smaller piecemeal set of bills. Perfect. The smaller approach worked well with two of the finest environmental accomplishments to date – new EPA regulations on MPG for cars and Cash for Clunkers. That will have to work – the alternative is too risky.

Remember the days when global warming wasn’t even recognized? It was not too long ago – so it’s likely best not to bite the hand that feeds you – even if it sometimes feeds you bad food. So, let’s rally behind the status quo.

Use cedar or rosemary to protect clothes instead of mothballs made from toxic pesticides.

Coral suffers from the extreme heat (NY Times).  As do sea otters (LA Times).

California seeks to break a deadlock on renewable energy regulations (LA Times). And wind turbines are planned for the Providence waterfront (Providence Journal).

If you thought “bubbluhs” were a Rhode Island thing, apparently they’ve now made it to Paris (NY Times).

After 5 months, BP’s Gulf well is finally dead (MSNBC). However, the company may return to that reservoir of oil in the future (NY Times).

The 1st 8 months of the year were close to being the warmest on record (MSNBC). A British government report says the UK must prepare to deal with climate change effects (BBC). Meanwhile, walruses swarm ashore in Alaska (Washington Post).

The weak economy derails a green housing project in Massachusetts (Boston Globe).

Some are painting roofs white to try to save on energy bills (Washington Post).

Tigers are at risk in Asia (Washington Post).

Making dish detergent green hasn’t been keeping plates clean (NY Times).

New bags with solar panels are now available that let you charge handheld devices on the go.

Stakes are high as an an initiative to suspend a California emissions law has already garnered $8.2 million (NY Times). Still, Big Oil isn’t united in supporting the measure (LA Times).

Reducing reliance on coal proves challenging (NY Times).  Also challenging is China’s quest to be more energy efficient (NY Times).

The oil industry and Louisiana:  a love-hate relationship (LA Times).

BP’s internal report left a few things unsaid (Washington Post).

I missed this a couple of weeks ago, but this Washington Post article talks about how environmental groups have lost momentum.

The US opposes European fees on airline emissions (NY Times).

China’s clean energy efforts may have broken some rules (NY Times).

Boston is one of five cities chosen for the EPA’s Greening America’s Capitals project (Boston Globe). Federal agencies make plans to reduce their carbon footprints (Washington Post).

The Potomac River is as clean as it’s been in decades (Washington Post).

Europe’s biggest wind farm will get bigger (BBC).

The EPA says indoor air quality is 2 to 5 times worse than outdoor air, even in the largest cities.

BP’s internal investigation into the oil spill spreads plenty of blame (LA Times).Meanwhile, gulf fishermen are reluctant to start fishing again (MSNBC).

Despite voluminous research, there’s still no consensus on whether BPA is dangerous (NY Times).

Things get ugly in the California ballot initiative to roll back the state’s climate law (LA Times).

President Obama’s push this week to revive the economy has centered to date on improving roads and highways as well as rolling back taxes. But where’s the climate help?

Have we not been surrounded by signs of climate change all year? Not only did one oil-drilling well explode, but another one (nonoperational, of course) just did as well.

We were promised major progress on climate change policy, and while the EPA has stepped up, Congress and the White House have been unable to come together on comprehensive change. Not only that, but Congress is likely to be controlled by Republicans next year. It’s not going to get easier.

Copenhagen was bad and the collapse of the carbon tax was unfortunate. This is the last chance for Congress and the White House to do something. Let’s tie climate change into the economic uptick and let’s do it now.