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Carl Pope
A veteran leader in the environmental movement, Carl Pope is the former executive director and chairman of the Sierra Club.

Mr. Pope is co-author -- along with Paul Rauber -- of Strategic Ignorance: Why the Bush Administration Is Recklessly Destroying a Century of Environmental Progress, which the New York Review of Books called "a splendidly fierce book."

Entries by Carl Pope

We Are All Malala

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 3:13 PM

2014-04-14-MalalaYousafzai2247889.jpg"We are all one," a slight, sixteen-year-old with a quiet, present smile began. She is Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl whose advocacy for girl's education in her transcendent if traditional-bound Swat Valley led the Taliban to gun her...

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The Tortuous, Corrupted Logic of the Last Supreme Court Ruling on Finance

(1) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 10:01 AM

The Supreme Court's Tuesday decision in McCutcheon to eliminate overall campaign giving limits not only shredded the remaining constraints on money in politics -- it also declared a constitutional right for the wealthy to corrupt -- as long as they stop short of explicit bribery.

The shard of...

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Corporate Recklessness and Our Future

(13) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 10:20 AM

The decision by the Obama administration to reopen federal drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico to BP opens an interesting window into a fundamental question: What does it mean to hold a corporation accountable and responsible?

The administration justified the decision by asserting that it had...

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The Iron Law of Toxic Extraction

(1) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 12:52 PM

The alkylation unit at this Tesoro refinery might serve as the gateway to the Norse hell. A network of pipes carries sulfuric acid, kept below 0 centigrade to avoid boiling. The acid corrodes the pipes as it surges to catalyze and break the energy chains of highly explosive hydrocarbons. Constant...

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'The Wrong Side of History'

(25) Comments | Posted February 21, 2014 | 5:19 PM

Conservatives love to argue against clean energy by saying that the government "shouldn't pick winners or losers." So why then, did conservative Tennessee politicians, like U.S. Senator Bob Corker, Governor Ted Haslam, and State Senator Bo Watson, threaten to give or withhold government incentives based on whether Volkswagen...

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The Trade Elephant in the Climate Room

(4) Comments | Posted February 14, 2014 | 1:36 PM

It intrigues me when two of the most important climate speeches of the year have been delivered by AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka. First at the CERES Investor Summit he made the compelling case for climate activists to pivot their advocacy from stopping fossil projects to nurturing clean energy...

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Farmer John Doubles Down

(1) Comments | Posted February 7, 2014 | 10:57 PM

I don't usually do sequels to blogs, but events have moved rapidly since my first blog on Speaker John Boehner's injecting himself into California water policy. For one thing, it's raining here, so the worst drought in the state's history may become just a severe drought. And Californians...

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Farmer John and the Cow-Flop

(7) Comments | Posted February 1, 2014 | 6:08 PM

John Boehner, it's fair to say, have never been a major player in California water policy, or even in its hyper-political expression, California's water wars. He's served on the House Agriculture Committee, and boasts of the agricultural richness of his Ohio Congressional District. But he was perfectly willing,...

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Lighting a Candle

(1) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 11:11 AM

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka was the truth-teller at this year's CERES Clean Energy Investor's Summit. Trumka eloquently indicted climate crisis denials by recalling the traditional coal industry claims that mines laden with methane would not explode, inadequate timbers would not collapse, and coal dust would not clog miner's...

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The Low Expectations of the Conservatism of Denial

(78) Comments | Posted January 2, 2014 | 10:40 AM

Climate disruption, broadband access and crumbling bridges and roads have an odd thing in common: they have entered the never-never land of conservative denialism -- where they are simply not problems for which the right feels obliged to offer solutions.

On the new ideological fault line in American politics all...

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Beyond Incoherent

(4) Comments | Posted December 26, 2013 | 2:26 PM

Last September at the Clinton Global Initiative, the singer Bono called out American oil companies and the American Petroleum Institute's legal challenge to U.S. regulations requiring oil and mining companies to reveal the terms of their concessions with foreign governments.

Bono argued that until API intervened,...

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Fact Free Bjørn

(1) Comments | Posted December 12, 2013 | 8:43 AM

Sigh. Bjørn Lomborg has once again been given a fact-checker free podium -- and has left it fact free. His latest salvo in The New York Times claims that the world's three billion poorest -- who, lacking access to modern energy, light with kerosene and cook with wood...

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Turning a Senate Corner?

(0) Comments | Posted November 27, 2013 | 2:18 PM

Nov. 21's vote by the Senate to permit presidential nominees -- with the exception of the Supreme Court - to be confirmed by a majority vote without undergoing a filibuster, signals the end of twenty years of democratic paralysis and constitutional malformation.

In January 1993, as Bill...

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Warsaw: The Collapse of Solidarity

(3) Comments | Posted November 26, 2013 | 5:39 PM

It is ironic that Poland, a nation rescued from Russian domination by the workers movement Solidarity, should have presided over the nadir of global solidarity around climate issues. That's the core message I take from the grinding theatrics surrounding this year's UN Climate Conference.

It didn't seem inevitable. Just as...

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Suppose the Tea Party Walked Out of Congress?

(44) Comments | Posted November 15, 2013 | 3:48 PM

In the wake of the scandalous filibuster which blocked Senate confirmation of Cornelia Pillard as a DC Circuit Court Judge, my question may seem frivolous. After all, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz do not appear poised to abandon their current stranglehold on America's public business.

But I...

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A Pincer Movement Aimed at Big Oil

(6) Comments | Posted November 6, 2013 | 8:08 PM

Big oil's third successive bad quarter in 2013 drew none of the spectacular headlines of its dismal second quarter results -- no Economist cover stories about "the twilight of the SuperMajors." Perhaps weak oil profits are no longer news.

But there is still plenty...

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How to Waste 40 Years

(21) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 2:30 PM

Forty years ago the Saudi Oil Ministry informed the U.S. Secretary of Defense that it would no longer supply fuel to the U.S. 6th fleet. The Arab oil embargo had begun. I had just begun as an environmentalist, and watched the nation struggle with how to deal with the news...

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The NRA Should Offer Republicans a Lesson in Marksmanship

(8) Comments | Posted October 8, 2013 | 5:02 PM

My yoga teacher commented this weekend that the government shutdown had impacted his own livelihood -- his biggest classes are those he offers at the Region 9 office of EPA, and they of course, have been cancelled. There are other business people -- in addition to the civil servants themselves...

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A Modest Proposal to Restore Constitutional Government

(31) Comments | Posted October 2, 2013 | 9:04 PM

Walking along the shoreline trail that edges San Francisco Bay in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the park police are on the job; and the signs warning the public of a recent sewage spill are posted. But the café is shut, the parking lots closed and the final half...

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A Culture of Impunity -- for Whom?

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 11:00 AM

Conversations at the Clinton Global Initiative tend towards the congratulatory -- the set piece events around which CGI revolves are the announcement of a major new partnership "commitment" between a philanthropy or business and a development charity, accompanied by progress reports on, typically, the most successful partnerships from previous years....

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