What does our future on this warming globe hold? We explore this question today with Stephan Faris, who talks about his new book, FORECAST: The Consequences of Climate Change. And Matt Madia of OMBWatch tells us about a provision in the Waxman-Markey climate bill that would strip the EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.
Last week on Sea Change Radio, we featured the pros and cons of the climate bill now set to wend its way through the halls of Congress. Today, we take a look at two proposals from the grassroots that have some important bearing on climate policy. We talk with Rachel Cleetus of the Union of Concerned Scientists about the group’s National Blueprint for a Clean Energy Economy, Climate 2030 and with David Goldberg about Transportation for America‘s Route to Reform.
Peaceful protesters gathered at the Mount Tom Power Plant in Holyoke, Massachusetts, on March 1, a chilly Sunday. They were demonstrating against coal, the fossil fuel that spews global warming carbon dioxide and toxins such as mercury into the air. They were piggy-backing on the Capitol Climate Action coal protests happening the next day in Washington, DC. Sea Change Radio spoke last week with that event’s organizer Bill McKibben. Continue reading
Alex Bowen, a Principal Research Fellow at The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment of the London School of Economics, discusses An Outline of the Case for a ‘Green’ Stimulus, a report he co-authored with Lord Nicholas Stern, the man behind the 2006 Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. And in the ViewPoint, Donald Bartlett of the investigative journalism team Bartlett and Steele advances the idea of a Federal Reserve for health care. Continue reading
Jim Motavalli blogs on green matters for The Daily Green and Mother Nature Network and he blogs about cars in the New York Times “Automobiles” section. He was also a long-time editor for E–the Environmental Magazine, where he continues as a contributing writer. Motavalli combines his passion for autos and environment in his book, FORWARD DRIVE: The Race To Build Clean Cars for the Future. He thinks its time for the auto industry to wake up and smell the coffee. In his Sea Change ViewPoint commentary, he discusses the significance of President Barack Obama’s executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its refusal to grant California a waiver allowing it to regulate greenhouse gases from cars and trucks.
Barack Obama has said time and again that change comes from the bottom up at least as much as from policy directives from on high. He’s right–and he seems to be giving signs that pressure from below is going to be needed to keep him true to his own campaign promises. Continue reading
At the G-20 Summit addressing the global financial crisis this weekend, the government leaders of the world’s largest economies essentially twiddled their thumbs, punting on setting ambitious goals until April 2009 — when the Barack Obama Administration, which is dedicated to addressing the financial crisis and the climate crisis, is in office. Before the Summit, Worldwatch Institute Senior Researchers Michael Renner and Gary Gardner proposed that the G-20 enact a Global Green Deal, evocative of FDR’s new deal but more audacious in scope and vision. CWR co-hosts Francesca Rheannon and Bill Baue speak with Renner about the proposal’s 5 strategies, including transitioning to a renewable energy economy, launching an efficiency revolution, and investing in green infrastructure.
And speaking of green infrastructure, Deutsche Asset Management issued a report calling for the establishment of a “green” National Infrastructure Bank. Bill Baue speaks with Deutsche Climate Change Investment Research Director Bruce Kahn about the report, a followup on the Investing in Climate Change 2009: Necessity and Opportunity in Turbulent Times report CWR covered recently.
CWR News Analysis: Listen
–Pew Research Center on the People and the Environment “A Deeper Partisan Divide Over Global Warming”
–Schwarzenegger Blames Global Warming for Elongated Fire Season
–BBC: “Emissions up in developed nations”
–NY Times: “Pollution Has Leveled Off, but the Figures Have Holes”
–Pam Solo: “Saving Detroit from itself”
–Marketplace: “Obama meant it about C02″
CWR ViewPoint: Listen
The Top BENNY Award for 2008, given to activist campaigns holding corporations accountable by the Business Ethics Network (BEN), went to the Clean Up Ecuador campaign for bringing Chevron to justice for decades of pollution in the Amazon. The campaign is led by the Amazon Defense Coalition and Amazon Watch. Mitch Anderson of Amazon Watch has our commentary today, produced in partnership with BEN.
We reported last week that Barack Obama will regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act if elected. Not so for John McCain. Today writer and scientist Joseph Romm wrote on his blog Climate Progess, that a McCain-Palin administration would use a voluntary or incentive-based approach, one that “has never worked in any country to restrain emissions growth.” Today, we talk to Joe Romm about how Barack Obama and John McCain differ on their approaches to the climate crisis and alternative energy. Romm is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, where he maintains its blog, Climate Progress. It was named one of the top 15 green websites by Time Magazine. Romm is also the author of the 2006 book Hell and High Water: Global Warming–the Solution and the Politics–and What We Should Do. He was Acting Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy during the Clinton Administration.
–BPA is OK — According to a Chemical-Friendly FDA
–Scientists Blast FDA report on BPA Safety
–Phthalate-Laden Toys Flooding the Market
–The Other Debt Crisis — How we’re Overspending Our Ecological Budget
The market meltdown is spurring an urgent response from Congress, with both houses debating and revising versions of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bill on an hourly basis. The bill revises the President’s proposed bailout of financial institutions, which some call “Cash for Trash.” CWR co-hosts Francesca Rheannon and Bill Baue interview US Representative (D-MA) Barney Frank, chair of the House Financial Services Committee that is now ushering the Troubled Asset Relief Program bill, or TARP, through Congress. While many question whether this bailout is the best path out of the market meltdown, others are proposing a road to recovery paved in green. Bob Pollin of the Political Economy Research Institute co-authored a report on the Green Recovery that was released last week with the Center for American Progress. Francesca and Bill interviewed him here at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst the day after he testified before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming at a hearing entitled “The Green Road to Economic Recovery.”
CWR ViewPoint: read
Commentary from futurist Hazel Henderson of Ethical Markets on the market meltdown called Chicago Boys’ Curse Comes Home to Wall Street.
The Democratic party has shied away from linking clean energy, the economy, and the environment since Jimmy Carter’s 1977 Energy Policy. But the political winds are changing. At Tuesday evening’s Democratic National Convention, almost all of the speakers hit on the theme of green collar jobs. Nancy Floyd of Nth Power noted that there are 2.4 million green collar jobs worldwide — but less than 10 percent are in US. Presumptive Democrat candidate Barack Obama’s platform calls for more than doubling that number to 5 million green collar jobs in the US alone. And he’s framing it as a win-win-win to get us off foreign oil, stop global warming, and create tons of green jobs in the US. This week, we feature the second part of our conversation with Bracken Hendricks, co-author with Congressman Jay Inslee of Apollo’s Fire, and co-founder of the Apollo Alliance. The discussion focuses on the political will required to build a green economy.
Green Jobs: Towards Sustainable Work in a Low-Carbon World report by the Worldwatch Institute as part of the UNEP- ILO- ITUC Green Jobs Initiative
CWR ViewPoint: read