This fall’s Earth Island Journal featured a article on the Climate Bill and the BP oil disaster and a report on local solutions by Project Survival Media. We are excited to have our work featured in the award-winning journal published by Earth Island, our sponsor. Check out the articles and subscribe to the magazine to support quality environmental journalism. -Richard Graves
Devil’s Bargain: How the BP Disaster Sank the Climate Bill
A week after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, entertainer Rush Limbaugh suggested that environmentalists had caused the disaster in order to pass cap-and-trade legislation that wouldn’t include new offshore drilling or loan guarantees for the nuclear industry. A massive environmental disaster, on the eve of the fortieth Earth Day celebration, right before the planned introduction of the Senate climate bill — the timing, as Limbaugh noted, seemed too pat. And, in fact, toward the end of the failed Copenhagen climate talks last December, some despondent green campaigners privately confided to each other that they thought only a major disaster could build the public pressure to enact policies sufficiently ambitious to tackle global warming.
If only. Because four months later, the Gulf oil spill, rather than putting anti-environmental senators on the defensive and coalescing the movement for climate legislation, has shattered the fragile alliance that environmental advocates had built in the US Senate. In July, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that the climate bill was dead, saying, “We know we don’t have the votes,” and suggesting instead a package that lifts the liability limits on oil companies and contains some relatively minor energy initiatives.
How, exactly, did the BP blowout frustrate the assumptions of both right-wing radio shock jocks and progressive environmentalists? The counterintuitive result grew out of the byzantine politics of the Senate and the increasingly desperate compromises many environmental groups have felt forced into as time runs out to tackle climate change. The big green groups — frantic to pass a bill before the mid-term elections — thought they could use a proposed expansion of offshore drilling to attract the votes of senators hesitant to put a price on carbon. With the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon, that scheme backfired and sunk, too.
Read the full article at the Earth Island Journal.
Project Survival Media
As governments fail to take necessary action on climate change, ordinary people the world over are becoming innovators. People are finding real solutions that empower communities and ensure their survival. Over the next 18 months, www.projectsurvivalmedia.org will document and share these solutions via regular “updates from the field,” from five continents. Stories will focus on a variety of areas related to sustainable community development.
For example, you might read about how small-scale solar technology in Africa is being adapted and used in ways that most people in the United States don’t even know about. Or, you could hear a personal account from a woman in India who is leading the fight to secure food and water for her family in a region plagued by drought. Stories are being reported and written by young journalists, aged 15 to 30, who are documenting local leaders in action and sharing inspirational stories and best practices. These writers are on the ground, reporting directly from their own regions.
These stories will not only illustrate best practices, but will also direct viewers to helpful resources, connect real people with each other, and call on world governments to do more.
— Madeline Kovacs