Put April 22 in your book! If you took part in the Women’s March on Washington there or in any of the 673 sister marches around the planet, then you know the excitement, the camaraderie, the common purpose. If you’ve been to the airports to support those caught in the web of xenophobia incarnate now in the Trump Administration, you understand the importance of being there, of making a statement with your presence, your voice. If you’ve been involved with constituent meetings to tell your elected representatives that you won’t stand for democracy and the social compact being torn apart by the bestiality of the morally bankrupt in power, then you are well and truly in tune with hundreds of millions of your sisters and brothers around the world. And, if you haven’t yet experienced the empowering, life-affirming coming together of people to express their common humanity and innate sanity, then here’s a great opportunity. Continue reading
I wrote here after Election Day of the Catastrophe that Trump’s election meant for the world, particularly the part of the world where I spend most of my time: the environmental movement. That sense of foreboding has been more than justified in the selection of the extraordinarily perverse group of troglodytes earmarked for top leadership at the EPA (Scott Pruitt), Department of Energy (Rick Perry), Department of the Interior (Ryan Zinke) and, as strange as it could get, the Department of State (Rex Tillerson). Continue reading
Why are the doggone streetlights blazing away in Central Park during the day? That’s a question I’ve been asking for months. I’ve asked the Central Park Conservancy, the NYC Department of Transportation, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, and Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal’s office. Crazy, right?
The title of the new, long anticipated, hugely important treatise from the leader of over a billion Roman Catholics in the world, Pope Francis, is Laudato Si‘. The title comes from his namesake’s “Canticle of the Creatures” in which St. Francis writes: “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.” Laudato Si’ – Praised be to you.
The G7 members were hosted in Germany this year and made some bold pronouncements relative to the future of energy and the climate system. I am manifestly not a cynic on the progress the world has been making on climate and energy over the past decade or so. That is certainly the premise of my book and this blog: that there are scores of important breakthroughs and initiatives being made every year, most everywhere. I have, however, taken a cautious approach to the importance of the global approach to mitigating greenhouse gases. A consensus has been building and continues to build about the need for action. There is absolutely no doubt about that. But the speed and depth of commitment from some of the leading actors remains in question. Continue reading
The annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner was the venue for one of the funniest, most totally in-your-face performances I’ve ever seen: Stephen Colbert just eviscerating nearly everybody in the room in 2006. (Start at 1:45 to skip the boring introduction.) There is an extensive Wikipedia page just for this performance. Continue reading
What can you say about a publication, the venerable “New Yorker,” that has brought us writers the likes of Rachel Carson, Bill McKibben and Betsy Kolbert? Easy: They’ve got their environmental worldview very nicely in order. But nobody’s perfect, so the editors responsible for accepting a recent essay, questionable (to be kind) in its logic and facts, by the novelist Jonathan Franzen, are to be forgiven.
There was, in fact, another reasonably bone-headed essay on the environmental movement from another distinguished writer, Nicholas Lemann, a couple of years ago that elicited responses from some worthy environmental leaders in whose company I found myself when the magazine printed my letter alongside theirs. Continue reading
Al Gore called them “subprime carbon assets.” More and more banks, companies, countries, pension funds, universities, churches, and many others are beginning to understand the considerable investment risks in the constellations of fossil fuel companies. The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), the world’s biggest and most efficient sovereign wealth fund, last week jettisoned 32 coal mining companies, 5 tar sand producers, 2 cement companies and 1 coal-based electricity generator from its $850 billion portfolio. The Guardian quotes a GPFG rep here: “Our risk-based approach means that we exit sectors and areas where we see elevated levels of risk to our investments in the long term.” Continue reading
I went to a cool little rally last evening here in New York City. We were standing across from the David H. Koch theater at Lincoln Center to say “No!” to the KXL. We were there, of course, because the Koch Brothers have been the principal funders in recent years of any number of reactionary organizations, including Americans for Prosperity and ALEC, not to mention the Tea Party itself. Of course, they have a serious vested interest in the Canadian tar sands. By the time I left, we had a good 200 or so people out on a cold night. The excellent folks at 350NYC organized the rally and we knew that there were scores more across the country at the same time. Continue reading