“We will Trust but we will Verify”

15 05 2010

President Obama used a well-known Reganism in his message to oil companies on Friday.

For too long, for a decade or more, there has been a cosy relationship between the oil companies and the federal agency [the Minerals Management Service, MMS] that permits them to drill…It seems as if permits were too often issued based on little more than assurances of safety from the oil companies. That cannot and will not happen anymore. To borrow an old phrase, we will trust but we will verify.

Meanwhile, the BBC reports that BP representatives do not regard the Gulf oil spill disaster as the end of deepwater exploration.

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Green Five

10 05 2010

Paul Krugman – on the differences between how the Bush and Obama administrations reacted to environmental catastrophe. He concludes with this defence of the role of government:

If there’s any silver lining to the disaster in the gulf, it is that it may serve as a wake-up call, a reminder that we need politicians who believe in good government, because there are some jobs only the government can do.

NyTimes – looks at the possibility of a revival of meaningful climate legislation in the US. Views from contributors to Grist, Clean Air Watch and others are considered. Well worth a read.

Left Foot Forward – on Nick Clegg the “kingmaker” and how the LibDems must honour commitments to reduce carbon pollution if they are handed a Climate portfolio in the new parliament.

Tree Hugger – offers a view from the States about the UK elections with a particular focus on Zac Goldsmith, the “blue environmentalist”.

Business Green – advocates installing wind turbines on high-rise urban developments.





The Gulf Coast Oil Spill: Moving Forward

3 05 2010

NYTimes – Paul Krugman says there is a small silver lining to a very dark cloud concerning the Gulf Coast oil spill. Krugman’s op-ed claims that the disaster is:

[A] pointed reminder that the environment won’t take care of itself, that unless carefully watched and regulated, modern technology and industry can all too easily inflict horrific damage on the planet.

Grist – also asserts that the oil spill is a real chancefor the Obama administration to jump-start a clean energy economy.

Mira Oberman – reports how better weather conditions in the Gulf will provide a much needed respite to coastal communities and clean-up operations.

To keep on top of events as they unfold day by day in relation to the Gulf oil spill, visit Climate Progress. By far the best source of information for green current affairs and campaigns stateside.





Obama’s Nuclear Summit

12 04 2010

In Newsweek Daniel Stone considers what success will look like after the summit is over. More coverage of the Nuclear summit also in The Moscow Times, BBC and Spiegel.





US-Russia agree new START Treaty

9 04 2010

The Times – reports on the US-Russia nuclear pact forged yesterday in Prague. Incidentally, this is one of the most positive articles around on the subject. Many journalists remain skeptical about the importance of the treaty whilst commentators on the American right are hostile to what it means for US hegemony in international affairs.

Jon Snow writes from a personal perspective on his C4 blog.

I grew up in the shadow of the bomb. The mushroom cloud struck awesome fear into our small hearts. Neville Shute’s ‘On the Beach’, dominated our schoolboy book shelves. We knew there were others of our age who practiced survival beneath their desks. We actually feared radiation, nuclear fallout, radiation sickness, and oblivion. I was an impressionable fifteen years old amid the terrifying events of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Today who gives the detail of nuclear war a thought?

Here in the UK, this historic agreement between the two most powerful nuclear states in the world has received minimal news coverage. A real shame.

Forty-five nations (Israel will not be attending) will meet next week in the Washington Convention Center for a nuclear security summit. In addition, the United Nations, the European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency will be represented. Let us hope the US-Russia nuclear pact reached in Prague yesterday is a prelude to increased nuclear cooperation between others in the coming months and years.





Best of the Web

8 04 2010

Paul Krugman in the NYTimes – on building a green economy. Krugman explores in length whether it is possible to: “make drastic cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions without destroying our economy?”

Another heavyweight economist, Larry Summers, makes a strong case for energy and climate legislation.

According to Joss Garman of LeftFootForward, the “great green transition has already begun.”

Over at the American based Climate Progress, the irony of British peer and climatechange denialist Lord Monckton’s involvement in the Tea Party movement is not lost.

LA Times – reports on the Prague nuclear treaty between the US and Russia. Check back later for more coverage and analysis of this story later.