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A few well-written words can convey a wealth of information, particularly when there is no lag time between when they are written and when they are read. The IPS blog gives you an opportunity to hear directly from IPS scholars and staff on ideas large and small and for us to hear back from you.

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From the Frontlines: May 21st, 2010

May 21, 2010 ·

barricade in thailand. credit: andre vltchekYou can now see a live stream of the BP oil spill, courtesy of Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA). And Mother Jones reporter Mac McClelland is tweeting about what she's finding on a beach in the Gulf.

The Thai government is cracking down on protesters, but don't expect much criticism from Washington. FPIF contributor Andre Vltchek wrote about his visit to the troubled country (picture of barricade at right), while cleanup operations begin in Bangkok.

The Senate passed the Wall Street reform bill…but what's in there, exactly? Brian Beutler gives a good, quick rundown.

China's invading the Arctic Circle in a quest for fossil fuel.

Yes! has a great interview with Donna Edwards on the Citizens United case.

AZ Gov. Jan Brewer has a lame response to those criticizing the immigration bill.

Love in a Time of Climate Crisis

May 20, 2010 ·

 

Do yourself a favor and check out this amazing 8-minute interview with poet, architect, activist and director of Friends of the Earth International Nnimmo Bassey. It sums up the mood of the Cochabamba indigenous moment and the climate crisis -- as a love story -- better than anything I've seen.

From the Frontlines: May 20th, 2010

May 20, 2010 ·

Today's action: Join our allies in urging Congress to support the Feingold-McGovern Bill for a military withdrawal timetable.  

To that end, the U.S. is investigating allegations that its soldiers were responsible for the unlawful death of Afghan civilians.  

Dennis Kucinich introduces legislation to prohibit killing U.S. citizens without due process, presumably to remind some government organizations they're not above the Constitution.  

Elvis Costello is the latest artist to cancel performances in Israel, in solidarity with the Palestinians. "I must believe that the audience for the coming concerts would have contained many people who question the policies of their government on settlement and deplore conditions that visit intimidation, humiliation or much worse on Palestinian civilians in the name of national security," he wrote in an open letter.  

Montgomery County, MD passed the nation's first carbon tax.  

The cloture vote on financial reform failed, and it looks like that was probably a good thing. However, Kevin Drum says that waiting too long might make things worse.  

Your moment of Zen: Blog This Rock's poem of the week.

From the Frontlines: May 19th, 2010

May 19, 2010 ·

The victories of Sestak and Halter sent a clear message that the people are sick and tired of the establishment (whether Democrat or Republican) capitulation to special interests. Glenn Greenwald elaborates. And the new GOP candidate for Kentucky, Rand Paul, is against Wall Street giveaways, so that's something.

Haitian farmers are furious at Monsanto's donation of genetically modified, pesticide-laden seeds.

Younger people are more likely to oppose restricting immigration, more likely to disagree with the AZ bill (Via Wiretap/Campus Progress).  

Small oil and gas companies line up to file lawsuits against BP and Goldman Sachs.  

Ugh. Hundreds of tiny fish wash up on Louisiana's marshes.  

Glenn Beck's ties to gold mania. In case you were wondering why Cash 4 Gold stopped advertising on his show.  

Mark Souder is the best thing to ever happen to Richard Blumenthal. Who's Richard Blumenthal?  Exactly.

Bonus: Apparently straight women also play softball. Who knew?

Senate Introduces Climate Bill

May 12, 2010 ·

A Coast Guard crew skims oil on the Gulf. CC license: Wikimedia commonsJohn Kerry and Joe Lieberman managed to introduce the climate bill today, despite both the growing off shore oil disaster in the Gulf (now with dying dolphins) and the recent coal mine tragedy. John Kerry believes the bill has a good chance of passing by the end of the year, despite Republicans throwing oil and gas industry fundraisers for some of their candidates. Lieberman said it "represents a market-driven partnership between the public and private sectors, to reduce carbon pollution and lessen the nation's dependence on foreign oil."

How does this bill compare with the House bill and the clean energy bill? There's a great chart, via ClimateProgress, that compares the three.  

But this legislation, in whatever form the sausage-makers spit out, is far from perfect. Our own Daphne Wysham, who heads our environmental project (SEEN), is concerned that the bill does far too little. And in light of the BP oil disaster, it's clear that there needs to be much more regulation and oversight of corporations like oil companies that are involved with toxic substances. And Jeff Biggers wonders about the merits of "ensuring coal's future," as outlined in the bill.  

We need to hold up the BP and Massey incidents as evidence that we need to move beyond petroleum and get serious about alternative energy and curbing emissions. Especially since, according to The Onion, the stupid environment isn't even willing to meet us halfway.

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