Michael Shellenberger is a managing partner of American Environics and director of The Breakthrough Institute. The Death of Environmentalism and the Birth of a New American Politics will be published in fall 2006 by Houghton Mifflin.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last January, British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced that one of his top priorities as chairman of the Group of Eight industrialized countries would be to rally the G8 to action on global warming. Unspoken in that announcement, but obvious to all, was Blair's intention to target President George W. Bush, who in 2001 withdrew the United States from the Kyoto Protocol regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
Last Saturday my friend Marla Ruzicka was killed by a suicide bomber in Baghdad. Just 28 years old, Marla was one of only a handful of foreign human-rights workers to set foot in Iraq this year.
A lot has been written about Marla's effervescence, her courage, and the way that she wore her heart on her sleeve. Far less has been said about how her canny approach to advancing the military's responsibility to civilians has the potential to change the future of warfare. In a way, Marla has been as underestimated in her death as she was in her life.
Green architect Bill McDonough is on a roll. Ever since he persuaded Ford Motor Co. CEO Bill Ford Jr. in 1999 to hire him to oversee the $2 billion rebuild of a factory complex, McDonough has been on the road constantly, giving motivational talks about his grass-roofed and sun-drenched factories and speeches that compare conventional buildings with toxic off-gassing -- a process by which the chemicals in a product turn into gas that humans can breathe -- to the Nazis' gas chambers.