Why, nine years later, Keystone XL’s fate is still in limbo


It’s nine years and counting since the Keystone pipeline was first proposed and TransCanada is still waiting for presidential approval to build the line. An environmental assessment report from the US State Department that landed in January would seem to move TransCanada’s hopes forward, but the pipeline’s ultimate fate is still very much in limbo. The State Department concluded that the … [Read more...]

Business leaders urge Obama to act for clean energy

solar panels sky

When it comes to climate and energy, some business leaders are catching on, even in the United States. On January 21, a report authored, in part, by over 100 academics, energy experts, government officials, and business leaders called upon the president to address climate change by taking measures that do not require congressional approval. Spearheaded by the Center for the New Energy … [Read more...]

Disobedience the true foundation of liberty

life is struggle

As if he could peer into the future, Henry David Thoreau is credited with the expression: "Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves." Herein I present a few recent examples of obedience at home. This essay is hardly comprehensive, and the hits keep coming, so this essay represents a minor start to a major issue. I'm certain many more examples will appear until … [Read more...]

The climate speech he should have given

Climate protest poster

At the end of June, President Obama gave his first major address on climate change to the nation. While many environmentalists jumped for joy, I found myself singularly unimpressed — the speech lacked any real sense of urgency, and it was mired in the same plodding, informative language that convinces few people of the seriousness of the problem, much less compels them to act. So I decided to … [Read more...]

Citing mystical vision, Obama rejects Keystone XL pipeline

Barack Obama speaking

Cutting short a permit review process expected to conclude this summer at earliest, President Obama today announced that he has decided to block the Keystone XL pipeline planned to carry more than 700,000 barrels a day of Canadian tar-sands crude into the country. "After a careful process of deliberation, and a prophetic vision after Easter service on Sunday, I have determined that permitting … [Read more...]

Always the last to know

Climate Change

Quiz time, readers: what do the US Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, the Transportation Department, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Interior, the Energy Department, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce, the Government Accountability Office, and the CIA have in common? It’s a long list of government departments … [Read more...]

James Hansen to Obama: What would MLK do on climate?

James Hansen thinks Obama needs to lead on climate as MLK led on civil rights.

Let us return for a moment to election night 2008. As I sat in our farm house in Pennsylvania, watching Barack Obama's victory speech, I turned my head aside so my wife would not see the tears in my eyes. I suspect that millions cried. It was a great day for America. We had great hopes for our new President. It is appropriate, it is right, in a period honoring Martin Luther King, to recall the … [Read more...]

Climate change: Obama needs to turn talk into action


Something's been troubling me ever since I listened to President Obama's first post-reëlection press conference. Perhaps as a result of Hurricane Sandy, the now two-term president was finally asked a question about global warming, a topic conveniently avoided by both sides throughout the seemingly interminable campaign. The question came from New York Times White House correspondent Mark … [Read more...]

Obama must make climate top priority

Obama climate change poster

Normally we don't print news releases from environmental groups or anybody else verbatim. But this one from Friends of the Earth -- not your average DC Beltway green group -- is the best take we've seen so far on how the newly re-elected president of the world's biggest polluter can stop obstructing and start leading action on the world's biggest challenge. -- Ed. WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President … [Read more...]

Women, energy, and voting


It was a pretty disappointing presidential campaign by the two major parties given that neither talked about my key issues — peak oil and global warming — with any passion or consistency. Both major parties seem content to avoid what are essentially the two toughest challenges today and going into the future. The issue behind all issues Yes, there's been plenty of red meat from both sides on … [Read more...]