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Hervé Kempf: Obama and the End of the Party

President Obama’s environmental policies are, without a doubt, an enormous improvement over Bush’s. He’s given more money to the Environmental Protection Agency, made climate change a major part of his agenda, and boosted environmental protections in numerous ways. But will it be enough to save us? Author Hervé Kempf (How the Rich Are Destroying the Earth) doesn’t think so. It’s a good start, but he needs the wind of a powerful and vocal grassroots movement in his sails if we are serious about saving ourselves, our environment, and our future.

From Truthout:

A great change? Incontestably. Of direction? Yes. Radical? May the wrath of the Obamaniacs strike this chronicler! The answer is: no. In his speech, Mr. Obama mentions the environmental question almost in passing, reducing it to climate change. On other occasions, he had announced that his goal was to reduce his country’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GGE) in 2050 by 80 percent. That major choice is forgotten in the February 24 speech. Only the goal of developing renewable energies – motivated primarily by the desire to reduce dependence on imported oil – and the CO2 market remained. “We will double the nation’s production of renewable energy in three years.” To the extent economic reality allows such a development, it will make the share of (non-waterpower) renewable energy in the United States’ total energy production go from 6 percent (most of which is from bio-fuels) to 12 percent. That’s significant, but not really game-changing.

Mr. Obama did not say, nor even suggest, to his fellow citizens – the world’s top GGE emitters – that their energy consumption will have to be considerably reduced. Perhaps it’s not yet possible for a political official to say that the hour for sobriety has arrived. In fact, the great majority of those officials seem to believe that by replacing oil with solar panels and windmills, the “American Way of Life” may perpetuate itself. That forgets both energy cost and the environmental crisis.

Read the whole article here.


Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..

5 Shareable Strategies for Creating Climate Action

Frustrated about climate change? You’re not alone. Most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the spectrum of depressed about our climate situation to flat-out denying that it exists. In fact, the more information about global warming that piles up, the less we seem to do to combat it. What is the reason for this […] Read More..

A Mini-Festo for Earth Day – Rebuild the Foodshed

For the past month, author Philip Ackerman-Leist has been on a Twitter MiniFesto campaign – each day sending out a new tweet designed to spark conversation and pass along some lessons he learned whilst working on his last book, Rebuilding the Foodshed. You might also know Philip as the author of his memoir Up Tunket […] Read More..

Books in the News: ‘The Tao of Vegetable Gardening’ & More!

What does Taoism have to do with gardening? That question is being answered in The Washington Post this week with a lengthy profile of Chelsea Green author Carol Deppe—gardener, plant breeder, seed expert, and geneticist based in Oregon—and her new book The Tao of Vegetable Gardening. “Once I read The Tao of Vegetable Gardening, with its […] Read More..

Depressed about Climate Change? Good. Here’s How to Take Action

The facts about climate change are settled. Mostly. In fact, the news seems to get worse, and more urgent, every day. Yet, the more the facts stack up, the less resolve many people seem to have about getting behind solutions that will stem, or turn, the tide. What gives? In What We Think About When […] Read More..