One of the good things about the Web is that it increases accountability. Those questioning the so-called "mainstream media" (MSM) don't have to hope that a stingy editor will find a few column inches to publish an op-ed to have their views heard.
So while I'm a regular reader of The New York Times, I was happy to see this article at grist.org panning the Times' story on the beetle epidemic which is killing off hundreds of thousands of acres of pine forest in the Rocky Mountains. The "Newspaper of Record" omitted the key fact that global warming is playing a key role in the beetle epidemic. That's because beetles are typically killed off when subzero temperatures last for days in the forest, something that hasn't happened for years.
It's a key aspect of the beetle story. And kudos to grist.org for telling it.
Joe Klein (author of Primary Colors, the scathing send-up of the Clinton years) gives President Bush quite a valedictory send-off today in the pages of TIME magazine.
Besides distaste for President Bush's "intellectual laziness," Klein lists a number of environmental actions that could be taken now in the final weeks of the Bush administration. Sadly, none of these are expected to happen.
It appears that Compassionate Conservatism, the muddled sound bite that was supposed to guide activities early in the reign of George II, has made a comeback, at least insofar as it applies to killers of wildlife.
We expected the worst for the environment from a Bush presidency. And he has never worked harder to meet our expectations than in these last few months. The list of misdeeds is long, and probably sadly familiar. Some of W's parting shots include:
The coal industry, whose schemes for scores of dirty new power plants are being challenged in the courts by Earthjustice and other organizations, is also under siege by a new generation of protesters whose favored tactic is nonviolent direct action.
This blog posting by Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen appeared this week in Celsias.
For all Americans who care about our environment, which is most of us, a hopeful dawn broke with the election of Barack Obama.
During the last eight years the administration did everything it could to privatize the great natural areas in America, to privatize the commons all Americans share. We all know the story. Our rivers, lakes, mountains, forests, wildlife, fisheries, and minerals were all for sale to the highest bidder.
Mathis Wackernagel of the Global Footprint Network had an important (and scary) piece in the San Francisco Chronicle the other day that one hopes the new administration and the new Congress will take note of.
Smack in the middle of a groundwater shortage that had Southwest Florida officials begging people to use as little water as possible, agricultural operations opened their pumps wide and flooded millions of gallons of water wastefully over their fields.
They had legal permits to do this, permits issued by the Southwest Florida Water Management District, a taxpayer-funded water authority. We sued the water management district two years ago. On October 30, a Florida Appeals Court finally ruled in our favor.
Now let's see if I’ve got this straight. Thanks to two very expensive wars, tax cuts for people who don’t need them, and assorted combinations of malfeasance and corruption, the federal budget deficit is at an all-time high and growing like kudzu.
I happened to be in Las Vegas during the final days of the election. It was a fitting location to watch the most historic election of my lifetime conclude with an outcome that many people I know felt was improbable less than a year ago. Vegas is, after all, a city familiar with difficult odds, and even the most seasoned Vegas veteran might have hesitated to wager on Senator Obama's.