There's No Such Thing As Clean Coal

Finally. Emperor has no clothes.

Green Consumer Resource

The Green Perspective has recently launched with a bunch of fabulous green gift baskets. Check it out!

Read This

Bob Herbert's column in the Times today says what needs to be said about Al Gore's speech this week challanging us to meet all our energy needs with renewarble fuels within ten years. Yes we can--

Courts Count

The International Herald Tribune wrote an article here-- a Northern District of California case which resulted in an Order to the Bush administration to issue two reports on global warming that it had been withholding. An article from Daily Green notes that a Vermont court has upheld a state's right to determine vehicle emissions-- These decisions underscore an important issue --the role of the courts in environmental preservation.

Essentially, only the judiciary can order the executive branch to fulfil its legal obligations. Only the judiciary can determine which laws will be enforced. Therefore, environmental laws are only as strong as the judiciary which is appointed to uphold them. As we saw from the radically conservative opinions which were handed down by the Supreme Court this spring, the highest court of the land is unlikely to uphold or enforce environmental laws which obligate private entities or the executive branch. Therefore, even if the zeitgeist is shifting towards greater governmental involvement in environmental issues, it will be a generation before the judiciary can be changed to ensure that the laws are enforced.

Experiments in Open Space

I read an interesting article in today's Dayton Daily News about a township which allows private open space conservation easements.
Essentially, the concept is that an individual homeowner commits, via easement, to preserve a certain portion of their property as open space (pastureland, farmland, etc.). This is an innovation insofar as most open space preservation schemes reserve the open space in a public or semi-public entity, like a townshuip or homeowners association. Here, the preservation is private, and, as the article states, is essentially a very large backyard.

The article seems a tad outraged at the concept of private preservation of open space. However, in its current context as farmland it is open space belonging to a private owner. Therefore, to the extent that open space can be "sold" as part of private development, I believe it could be an effective tool in balancing development and open space. However, to what extent people will pay to be obliged to maintain part of their property as open space remains to be seen.