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All Terrain news and opinion


Obama's Legacy Of Secrecy

Fri, 19 Apr 2013 08:00:00 -0400

"Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their government is doing," Obama declared when he first took office in 2009. "My administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use." By almost any measure, that has not happened.

Keystone XL: So Close And Yet So Far

Mon, 08 Apr 2013 17:55:09 -0400

If TransCanada felt it had weathered the worst of a five-year battle with environmentalists and other critics of the Keystone XL pipeline project, events of the last week or so will have curbed their enthusiasm.

Is Earth Hour Stupid?

Fri, 22 Mar 2013 08:28:27 -0400

Is Earth Hour, the annual ritual in which people the world over turn out their lights as a show of solidarity in the fight against climate change and other environmental issues, a waste of time and energy? Bjorn Lomborg certainly thinks so -- but what is accomplished by niggling over the metrics of a global awareness campaign?

Nuclear Power: Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't?

Mon, 18 Mar 2013 08:00:01 -0400

Some say there is no riskier source of electricity than nuclear power. Others argue its minimal greenhouse gas footprint makes it a vital alternative to carbon-belching coal and natural gas in the pitched battle to curb climate change. To still others, nuclear power's advantages in the carbon war are eclipsed by the crippling economics of getting a nuclear power plant built. Everyone is right.

Collateral Damage and Clean Energy

Mon, 11 Mar 2013 08:00:02 -0400

How many threatened birds and tortoises would you be willing to sacrifice to build a commercial wind farm, or a utility-scale solar array? It's an oversimplified way to frame things, of course, but it highlights the reality that renewable energy has environmental impacts, too.

Can Humans Really Break The Planet?

Sat, 02 Mar 2013 10:01:16 -0500

Dire warnings that our localized environmental impacts could trigger global-scale "tipping points" and permanently break the planet have no scientific basis, authors of a new paper argue. Not everyone agrees.

The President's Keystone XL Puzzle

Fri, 25 Jan 2013 14:29:22 -0500

For opponents, rejection of the pipeline would represent a vital and historic break with the era of fossil fuels. But for supporters of the pipeline, denying the permit would run counter to Obama's stated commitment to job creation and an "all of the above" energy policy that includes continued development of oil, gas and even coal resources.

Obama's Inaugural Words On Climate Stir Cautious Optimism

Tue, 22 Jan 2013 12:13:48 -0500

If rhetorical flourishes are an indication of future action -- and that is a substantial "if" -- then President Barack Obama's comments on climate change suggest that the next four years may provide much of what climate activists have been hankering for. Just how much the president might do against the larger forces assembled before him, however, remains to be seen.

TransCanada On The Climate Impacts of Keystone

Thu, 17 Jan 2013 12:17:00 -0500

Much debate has centered on the potential climate impacts of the Keystone XL pipeline project, with competing studies delivering sometimes contradictory results. Today comes another analysis, and I asked TransCanada, the company behind the pipeline, to respond.

Roundup: Climate Change, Arctic Drilling And Prairie Chickens

Mon, 14 Jan 2013 11:01:27 -0500

Kate Galbraith of the Texas Tribune looks at how wind farm developers, as well as oil and gas companies are facing off against a potentially formidable opponent: the lesser prairie chicken. This and other energy and environment news to kick off your week at All Terrain.

Climate Assessment Paints Grim Picture

Fri, 11 Jan 2013 16:43:59 -0500

NYT Dismantles Enviro Desk

Fri, 11 Jan 2013 09:10:41 -0500

Disappointing news this morning from The New York Times. The paper's 9-person environment desk is folding. The fate of the paper's Green Blog remains unclear.

Politically Opposed Scientists Lobby For Common Ground On Climate

Thu, 10 Jan 2013 12:02:43 -0500

The Union of Concerned Scientists, the environmental organization based in Cambridge, Mass., is attempting to cut through the static with a new video featuring two scientists -- one politically conservative, the other tending toward the Democrats -- who lay out the case for cooperation on climate change.

Chris Gregoire: Lisa Jackson's Replacement at EPA?

Tue, 08 Jan 2013 08:24:18 -0500

UN Climate Talks: Endless Treadmill, Without The Health Benefits

Thu, 06 Dec 2012 12:51:21 -0500

Global climate negotiations in Doha are nearing their conclusion and the talks are, as ever, beset by myriad divisions between rich nations and poor ones, between established economies and up-and-comers, and between, well, the United States and just about everyone else.

Amid Climate Change Inaction in Washington, Activist Urges Americans To 'Do The Math'

Fri, 16 Nov 2012 17:28:40 -0500

Environmentalist Bill McKibben has three numbers to illustrate the urgency of the need to address climate change: 2, 565 and 2,795.

Hurricane Sandy Challenges Short-Term Thinking On Nation's Coasts

Mon, 12 Nov 2012 12:12:47 -0500

Despite bold talk of massive infrastructure improvements in the direct aftermath of the storm called Sandy, some are wondering if the nation's famously short memory will prove a barrier now.

Should Sandy Be A Wake-Up Call?

Thu, 01 Nov 2012 15:53:39 -0400

Some stakeholders view the disaster as evidence of climate change, while others say such storms might happen randomly anyway. At this stage of scientific understanding, it cannot be denied that the latter camp has a fair point. But with millions of Americans still lacking power, some climate experts suggest an equally fair retort would be, so what?

The Politics Of 'Climate Silence'

Sat, 27 Oct 2012 09:00:36 -0400

So what's going on? Well, you could start by following the money. Of the $12.5 million donated to by the energy and natural resources industries to political action committees supporting a presidential candidate this campaign cycle, 84 percent went to Republicans.

Can A Debate On Foreign Policy Ignore Global Warming?

Mon, 22 Oct 2012 13:24:18 -0400

Bob Schieffer, the chief Washington correspondent for CBS News and the moderator of this evening's affair, has an opportunity to force the candidates to speak to the issue on the record. If that doesn't happen, and climate change goes unmentioned, it will be the first time in nearly two decades of presidential debates that the topic has been ignored.

Campaigns Speciously Court Coal Country

Mon, 15 Oct 2012 07:37:12 -0400

It should come as no surprise that both President Barack Obama and the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, are eagerly positioning themselves as "friends of coal." But the truth is, neither man has a legitimate claim to the title.

Citizens Want Candidates Challenged On Climate Change

Wed, 03 Oct 2012 15:39:47 -0400

Will the candidates be asked to lay out their positions on global warming at Wednesday's debate -- and to defend those positions to an American electorate that deserves answers? What would you ask them?