April 21, 2021

In Obama Election Victory A New Test of “Governmental Progress Of Humanity”

In 2008, on the eve of his election to the presidency, Barack Obama greeted a huge and bouyant crowd in Chicago with this invocation to unity: “This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while …

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Blue Green Alliance and Apollo Alliance To Merge

Last week the Apollo Alliance and the BlueGreen Alliance,  two of the most important national non-profits supporting clean energy development and good jobs, announced that as of July 1 they would merge. The much larger Minneapolis-based BlueGreen Alliance, a five-year-old collaboration of big green groups and unions, will become the parent of San Francisco-based Apollo, which was founded in 2003 and gained its renown for being the first organization to understand that the transition to …

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John Adams Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

Congratulations are in order for John H. Adams, the co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council, who yesterday was named one of the 15 recipients this year of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. Adams is the first founder of an American environmental advocacy organization to receive the award since Russell E. Train was similarly honored in 1991. Train, of course, was a founding board member of the World Wildlife Fund …

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Amid Turbulence A Path For Climate Action

Maybe things aren’t as dismaying as we thought a week ago. Or just a little less in the dismay department. In the last few days, two of the prominent names in American politics and business appeared to reach consistent conclusions about governing, technology, and the warming climate. On Friday, Karl Rove told an audience of natural gas developers in Texas that “climate is gone” as a Congressional issue. And this week, in a Rolling Stone …

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In Tianjin, Fresh Hope For Climate Progress

TIANJIN, China – In a gesture that signaled more urgent engagement to cool the planet, the United Nation’s chief climate negotiator today opened this nation’s first international climate conference by sealing a symbolic Great Climate Wall of China with an ancient proverb. Christiana Figueres, a Costa Rican diplomat and climate expert, who in May was named the new executive secretary for the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) stamped the proverb – “with everyone’s …

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Before Big China Climate Conference, New Senate Support For Clean Energy

I’ll be in Beijing later this week, and then on to Tianjin to cover China’s first UN-sponsored climate summit, which begins October 4. Before leaving, though, I wanted to note that on September 22,  a group of Republican and Democratic Senators sent a rare bipartisan signal to the world that the United States has not abandoned the hard work of reducing climate emissions and speeding the clean energy transition. The group introduced a bill to …

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Michigan’s Unsung Clean Energy Success

Given the dearth of new economic strategies that make sense and actually work, it’s appropriate to again take note of what’s happening here in my home state of Michigan around clean energy development. The more you think about it, the clearer the significance of what Governor Jennifer Granholm (with the president in pix above at July 15 groundbreaking of a new lithium-ion battery plant in West Michigan) has accomplished becomes clearer and clearer. In short, …

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Wind Chill: Young and Old Greens At Odds Over Clean Energy Projects

Gabrielle Gurley, a writer for Commonwealth, the magazine of the think tank MassINC, has a rigorously balanced assessment in the most recent issue of the simmering dispute in American environmentalism about big clean energy projects. All across the country, including Massachusetts, where Gurley bases her reporting, grassroots environmentalists are fighting to block clean energy installations. In the battle between principle and pragmatism, the efforts by older green activists is producing a generational schism in the …

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Obama Vows To Go Where No Man Has Gone Before: Passing and Signing Climate and Energy Legislation

Given the emotional reserve of a man whose aides once referred to as “no drama Obama,” the president is getting pretty fired up about energy.  On Wednesday President Obama concluded an all hands cabinet meeting at the White House by publicly declaring again his resolve to develop a “new energy strategy that the American people desperately want.” “It is time for us to move to a clean energy future,” the president said, adding that “the …

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Obama’s Pivot on Gulf Disaster to Commander in Chief

On June 2, a day before BP announced it had sheared through a leaking pipe at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, one of the very few steps forward in the company’s 44-day campaign to staunch the worst oil disaster in American history, President Barack Obama finally stopped serving as the cleanup chief and became the commander in chief. During a speech at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Obama pressed the nation to join …

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