Off Balance
April 23, 2007

Let's say you want to criticize Nancy Pelosi from the left. That's right, the left--call her cohorts a bunch of squishy moderates; implore them not to be so damn timid. Where would you start? Iraq? Some antiwar types have attacked the Democrats for refusing to grow a pair and end the fiasco once and for all. But that's a tad unfair--congressional Dems are doing just about everything they can to wind down the war. What about impeachment? Pelosi has taken that off the table.

April 16, 2007

"It would be hard," The New York Times declared, "to overstate the importance of [the April 2] ruling by the Supreme Court that the federal government has the authority to regulate the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases produced by motor vehicles." Not that the Times wasn't going to give it the old college try.

Hot Seat
March 22, 2007

"I just saw him! And I think he's loaded for bear," a reporter whispered breathlessly, as the crowd scrambled to their seats at the Senate hearing yesterday afternoon. Most of the audience had come to see Al Gore testify before the Environment and Public Works Committee on the dangers of global warming. Over 100 people had been camped outside for hours, like ardent Star Wars fans, to make sure they would get inside. At least one RUN AL, RUN sign bobbed above the heads in line. But the reporter wasn't talking about Gore.

So Fresh And So Clean
March 22, 2007

With Al Gore in town and thoughts of global warming as resonant as the first spring cherry blossoms, I'd like to take a moment to remind everyone out there to use clean energy. Whether you live in an apartment or a house, own or rent, if you pay a power bill, you can use clean energy. All power companies get energy from a variety of sources: gas, oil, nuclear, and, yes, wind and solar power.

The Wind Business
March 02, 2007

If you don't think that "alternative energy" has arrived, you are wrong. I remember when some folks put sun panes on their roofs to trap solar energy. And I still recall when wood stoves were thought to be conservation devices. Well, it turned out to be more complicated than that. But the wind business is clearly good for business and terrific for the environment.

Another Inconvenient Truth
February 26, 2007

Up until the 1970s, most economists would have accepted Marx's description of capitalism as "the subjection of nature to man," but we have learned over the last three decades that nature is capable of fighting back. Oil, once thought to be limitless in supply, is steadily running out; and the consumption of fossil fuels has led to acid rain and global warming. And then there is water, which, next to the air we breathe, is the most important of all natural resources. Unlike oil, it is not running out, but it is not as plentiful in some places as in others.

Caption Contest!
February 22, 2007

According to this AP story, today George W. Bush promoted energy independence by visiting a North Carolina biotech company that resarches ways of creating "cellulosic" ethanol made from wood chips, switch grass, and other feedstocks. But this photo (click to enlarge) seemed so mesmerizingly weird that we decided to invite you to re-imagine the scene! Post your own one-line caption in Talkback by noon Monday and we'll choose a winner. Naturally, the caption needn't--and perhaps shouldn't--have anything to do with the actual event.

Pipe Dream
January 08, 2007

Rome, Italy As winter sets over Europe, England, Italy, Germany, and other powers continue investigating the alleged murder of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko. From the initial radiation poisoning of Litvinenko, police have found traces of polonium in the British embassy in Moscow and in Hamburg, Germany, possibly from businessman Dmitri V. Kovtun, who met Litvinenko in London before he died. Italian agents have detained a close Litvinenko associate, Mario Scaramella.

Gas Admissions
October 11, 2004

We all think other people ought to lose weight and drive more carefully; we all think other people should do something about global warming. That seems to be the state of the greenhouse debate. Everyone you ask about global warming professes to be concerned, but by their behavior, hardly anyone is willing to do anything. Americans keep buying mega-SUVs and pickup trucks, these gas-guzzlers being the single worst Western factor in greenhouse gas accumulation.

Spare the Rod?
December 15, 2003

In the first half of his presidency, George W. Bush was masterful at co-opting enough Democrats in Congress to advance his agenda on education and tax cuts. But the president didn't repay the favor. In the 2002 congressional elections, the White House savaged many of the very same Democrats who'd voted with the president on his top legislation. So Democrats licked their wounds, chalked up the midterm debacle to experience, and vowed that their days of helping Bush were over.