Author Archive

Obama tweets it up on climate change and Arctic drilling

Grist: President Obama recently joined Twitter (presumably so that racists can speak to him directly from the comfort of anonymity. Now that’s serving the constituents!) His first significant act as @POTUS was to hold a chat on climate change. This looks like considerably more preparation and manpower than the rest of us devote to tweeting, but it`s nice to see that, in the end, he hunches over the laptop like the rest of us. Ready to answer your questions on climate change. Let's do this! #AskPOTUS...

EPA’s new rules on river pollution outrage the usual suspects

Grist: The Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday released a long-awaited and long-debated rule for interpreting the Clean Water Act. The EPA has regulated rivers since the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972, but Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006 reduced the scope of government authority to protect water against pollution. Since that time, it has been unclear what the government is allowed to regulate. A New York Times article in 2010 suggested that this rollback was allowing pollution that previously...

The people are hungry: The link between food and revolution

Grist: The rising price of food isn’t the only thing driving the revolutionary fervor from Tunisia to Turkey to Brazil. The bad economy was surely a principal factor (remember that Adel Khazri shouted “This is Tunisia, this is unemployment,” as he burned). There was the effect of new social media technology. And then there was that tyranny thing that people seemed to dislike. But food scarcity is different, because it looks as if it’s going to stick around even as the economy improves. And unless we do...

The future is a desert, but we can make it bloom

Grist: Over a decade ago, Gary Paul Nabhan moved to the plateau above the Grand Canyon to raise sheep. His timing was terrible: the beginning of one of the worst droughts on record. Some 80 percent of the pine trees around his new home, stressed by lack of water, succumbed to bark beetles. Every time he planted pastures, seedlings would push out of the earth and then wither. He was buying hay year-round, and paying dearly for it: Most of the springs that farmers relied on had gone dry, which meant that...