Blog

West Coast Winds of Change

Recent wind power talks in Seattle and Portland gave me a chance to experience two vibrant American cities where sustainable architecture, downtown revitalization, and multi-modal transportation are setting examples for the nation.

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Mitt Romney's Energy Doublespeak

Mitt Romney's rallying cry for "clean coal" rings hollow when viewed in the context of his call for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to be stripped of its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.  Since carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants are the greatest single contributor to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, how does Romney propose to rein in these dangerous pollutants?  In an op-ed that appeared in the Des Moines Register on October 23, I look at this and other inconsistencies in Romney's energy posturing.  A similar version of this op-ed ran in CSRwire Talkback on October 24.

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Human Fallibility in the Nuclear Industry

Three civilians armed with nothing more than bolt cutters and hammers were able to penetrate the defenses of the the Y-12 National Security Complex at Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  Some time later, they were noticed by a lone guard, but only after they had managed to spray-paint a number of slogans on the facility's walls.  The ease of entry that this thankfully pacifist trio enjoyed should remind us of the perils of relying on a technology that presumes an impossibly high level of vigilance in protecting the public from potentially catastrophic hazards.

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China's Environmental Movement Comes to Life

Citizen activists in several Chinese towns and cities have recently taken to the streets to protest polluting industries.  This represents a dramatic break from the decades of government-enforced silence that have allowed heavy industries to contaminate the country's air, water, and soil with relative impunity.  Amidst this rising tide of citizen engagement, it remains unclear whether concerns about the siting of new wind farms - a non-issue to date despite their rapid development - will become a focus of greater Chinese public scrutiny. 

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Real Energy, Real Jobs

The employment gains from wind power are described in an article that ran this past Thursday on CSRwire, a blog hosted by The Corporate Social Responsibility Network. 

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Wind in the Flint Hills

An adapted excerpt from Harvest the Wind ran in today's Huffington Post.  It profiles Pete Ferrell, a rancher in the Flint Hills of Kansas who found himself facing bitter opposition when he allowed wind turbines on his land.

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Tilting for Windmills

An environmental lawyer goes on a cross-country quest seeking the substance behind the symbols heralding America's clean energy future. 

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Wind beyond New England

The Cape Cod Times seems relieved that Harvest the Wind looks largely beyond the contentious Cape Wind debate, to parts of the country where wind farms are thriving.

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Earth Day 2012 Q&A

On Earth Day 2012, my publisher Beacon Press asked me to to answer the question: "What is today's most pressing environmental issue?"  "How long?" I asked.  "One to two paragraphs," I was told.

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