October 30, 2012

This Week in Green Politics: MTV, Hurricanes, and Rubber Dodos

Welcome back to the Week in Green Politics, where I know that most of you are sick of politics by now. So I'll keep it quick.

Obviously the most timely issue in the climate world is Hurricane Sandy. If you're on the East Coast, I hope you're staying safe.

From a political point of view, one pressing question is whether the candidates will mention climate change in the context of extreme weather. And that brings us to our first headline:

Prominent Politician Acknowledges Major Crisis Facing Humanity

Yes, we've covered this already, but I couldn't leave it out. Obama broke the #climatesilence, folks—and on MTV, of all places. Is it a coincidence that, after being absent in every debate, climate came up in an interview where the questions came from the public, specifically from young people? I think not.

Admittedly, we don't know any more about Obama's climate policy than we did before the MTV interview. He took the chance to highlight his clean energy investments and his achievements in the efficiency area, without revealing any more dramatic plans. Fair enough. We couldn't expect him to drop a bombshell right before the election.

Since Obama thinks climate is important again, will he talk about it in the context of Sandy? It would be a risky move; he might be accused of politicizing a serious natural disaster. Maybe it's more important for the climate movement as a whole to connect the dots, as we're doing.

Chevron Donates $2.5M to Republican Super-PAC

The chances that Republican candidates would publicly connect global warming with extreme weather were already pretty slim. Now, the probability is even lower.Chevron has just exercised its rights as a, ahem, person to write a check to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super-PAC that supports House Republicans.

At $2.5 million, this is the largest gift by a publicly traded company since the Citizens United ruling. The 2012 presidential campaign is shaping up to be the most expensive in history, with the contenders raising over $2 billion in total.

Inhofe Honored by Anti-Wildlife Award

Meanwhile, Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma received the Center for Biological Diversity's "Rubber Dodo" award for his work driving endangered species extinct. Inhofe said in a statement that he was "truly honored" by the recognition. During his time in the Senate, he has made fighting environmental protections a top priority. One of his recent bills for example, aimed to block EPA rules that limit mercury pollution from power plants.

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