15 Oct 2011

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Bill McKibben, The Global Warming Reader

Host, Josh Nelson:

Bill Mckibben is one of the most effective and widely-respected writers on environmental issues today. Starting with The End of Nature in 1989, he’s written and published a long line of powerful works that make complex environmental issues accessible to a general audience.

In recent years McKibben has taken a more active role by organizing and inspiring people across the planet to work toward addressing global warming. In 2007 he founded Step it Up, which organized hundreds of rallies throughout the United States demanding that Congress take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2008 Bill co-founded 350.org, a global grassroots campaign that has since ignited a spark in the international and domestic environmental movements.

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03 Sep 2011

Obama’s Ozone Capitulation: Celebrated by Conservatives and Denounced by Liberals

President Obama’s decision to undercut EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson by cancelling a long-overdue update to smog standards was a mistake on both the politics and the policy. For smart takes on the politics of this, you can read Steve Benen and Paul Krugman. For smart takes on the policy implications,

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08 Jul 2011

Reducing Air Pollution is Well Worth the Cost

Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA is required to protect states from sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide pollution emitted from coal plants in other states. After dragging its feet for a while, the Bush administration introduced the Clean Air Interstate Rule in 2005. Due to its over-reliance on emissions

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29 Jun 2011

Voters Strongly Oppose Michele Bachmann’s Proposal to Abolish the EPA

Building on an idea that seems to have originated with Newt Gingrich, Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has spent the past few weeks calling for the Environmental Protection Agency to be abolished. In the June 13th GOP debate, Bachmann said she would pass the “mother of all repeal bills” to target “job-killing regulations.” She indicated that she’d start with the EPA, and added that it “should really be renamed the job-killing organization of America.”

But a new poll from the conservative-leaning Rasmussen** finds that an overwhelming majority of likely voters, including more than two-thirds of independents, disagree with Rep. Bachmann. When asked whether they “favor or oppose abolishing the Environmental Protection Agency,” 61% of likely voters indicated that they are opposed:

Notably, even likely Republican primary voters aren’t so sure about Bachmann’s proposal, with 42% wanting to abolish the EPA, 40% opposed to doing so and 18% unsure.

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04 Jun 2011

Three Prominent Republicans Care About Climate Change, Sort Of

In recent weeks, three prominent Republicans — Mitt Romney, Chris Christie and Jon Huntsman — have publicly affirmed their belief in climate change and the need to reduce pollution. This is good news! But as far as I can tell, they don’t have a plan to address the issue between

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27 May 2011

Rick Santorum, The Only Consistently Anti-Environmental Candidate

Rick Santorum announced yesterday that next week, in a Western Pennsylvania coal field, he’ll announce he is running for President. The leaked announcement seems to have heavily emphasized the coal field angle, since several major outlets mentioned it prominently.

On Twitter, Bill Scher asked a compelling question: “Can he win by tarring Mitt, Newt, Tim, Jon w/past cap-trade support?”

I don’t think it will win him the nomination, but there is a segment of the Republican electorate that could be convinced to oppose Mitt/Newt/Tim/Jon solely because of their past support of cap and trade. Anti-environmentalism has become a matter of faith in the modern Republican party, so predictably, every 2012 Republican presidential candidate has reversed their previous support of addressing climate change.

Mitt Romney went from denouncing coal jobs “that kill people” to opposing environmental laws because they are “bad for business and cost jobs.” Tim Pawlenty went from “come on Congress, cap greenhouses gases now” to “it is a really bad idea, it is going to be harmful to the economy. Newt Gingrich went from advocating for solutions alongside to Nancy Pelosi in an Al Gore funded TV ad to “It is inconceivable that any threat from global warming is big enough to justify destroying the American economy.” Even Sarah Palin thought climate change was a threat that needed to be addressed as recently as 2007.

With former energy industry lobbyist Haley Barbour now out of the picture, Santorum is now the the only consistently anti-environmental candidate Republican primary voters have to choose from.

Santorum’s anti-environmental record and pro-coal credentials have been solid throughout his career, and this might just be how the candidate tries to distinguish himself in a soon-to-be-crowded GOP field.

Consider Santorum’s June 2008 Philadelphia Inquirer piece entitled ‘Coal’ is not a dirty word if we are realistic about saving the Earth, in which he rattled off a laundry list of climate change denial canards. Or look at his appearance in Reno six weeks ago, in which he criticized President Obama and Senator Reid for their opposition to coal production. Or look to 2001, when Santorum touted coal as the future and “environmentally safe.”

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22 May 2011

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Diane Wilson, Diary of an Eco-Outlaw; An Unreasonable Woman Breaks the Law for Mother Earth

Diane Wilson is truly an eco-outlaw. And yes, in case you are wondering, I consider that to be a huge compliment. The courage and perseverance she displays in the stories shared in this volume should be an inspiration for anyone concerned about the role of corporations in society or what those corporations are doing to the planet.

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22 May 2011

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Diane Wilson, Diary of an Eco-Outlaw; An Unreasonable Woman Breaks the Law for Mother Earth

Josh Nelson, Host:

Diane Wilson is truly an eco-outlaw. And yes, in case you are wondering, I consider that to be a huge compliment. The courage and perseverance she displays in the stories shared in this volume should be an inspiration for anyone concerned about the role of corporations in society or what those corporations are doing to the planet.

From Calhoun County, Texas to Bhopal, India, Diane is a fearless agitator for change and a voice for what’s right. Courage, fearlessness and perseverance aside, the attribute most essential to Diane’s activism is conviction. Like all environmental activism, Diane’s is fueled by a conviction that something has gone horribly wrong with the way people relate to the planet and that she has a unique responsibility to do something about it. Diane, like many others before and since, has a feeling growing inside her that unscrupulous corporations are literally killing the planet in pursuit of slightly higher profits. I’ve got the same feeling growing inside me, and I suspect many of you do too.

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22 Jul 2010

Rasmussen: Support For Offshore Drilling Reaches New Low

New data shows that support for offshore drilling has reached its lowest level ever in Rasmussen’s latest polling. Here’s how the GOP-friendly pollster** frames the latest data (emphasis mine):

With the deepwater oil leak apparently capped after three months of gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, support for both offshore oil drilling and drilling further out in deepwater remains largely unchanged. Most voters also remain concerned about the potential environmental impact of new drilling.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% of U.S. Voters now believe offshore oil drilling should be allowed, while 26% oppose it. One-in-five voters (19%) are undecided.

That’s down from 60% last month. Since the oil rig explosion that caused the massive oil leak, support for offshore drilling has ranged from 56% to 64%.

Predictably, Rasmussen leaves most of the useful information out of their analysis. In their polling immediately prior to the rig explosion in the Gulf, 72% of likely voters supported offshore drilling. Even with Rasmussen’s skewed likely voter model, this represents a 16% shift in just 11 weeks. The current level of support among likely voters, 56%, is the lowest ever recorded by Rasmussen for this question. Moreover, support among Democrats for offshore drilling has dropped from 54% in early April to just 29% in the latest poll. Support among Republicans remains relatively flat, down just 4%. GOP support for offshore drilling, at 82%, is actually up 8% from its low point in late May.

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