Near the end of 2010, the Interior Department tried to revive the idea that keeping public lands wild might serve the public interest. But House Republicans have made quick work of that idea. They defunded the policy in April, and although the Obama administration could have picked it back up again once the next fiscal year started, Interior announced yesterday that it had given up on its wild lands policy.
At the meeting of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group in Brazil, city leaders are trumpeting their efforts to fight climate change. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who's a C40 chair, released a report yesterday on the carbon emissions of some of the world's largest cities and took the opportunity to give his "you can't start solving a problem until you've got data" spiel.
Last month, when the continuing resolution for the 2011 budget stripped the Department of Homeland Security of hundreds of millions of dollars meant to aid state and local security programs, lawmakers on Capitol Hill had an unusual reaction. That is, they didn't have much of a reaction at all.
I live in New York, but I also have some allegiance to New Jersey. My parents grew up there, and even though we moved around when I was kid, they're both back there now. So both of my governors -- the one whose election I had a say in, Andrew Cuomo, and the one who's repping a state I always feel some need to defend, Chris Christie—are media-savvy men who may or may not have presidential ambitions.
Whatever they think about that option in their innermost hearts, both men regularly have their names thrown around as possible presidential contenders. While that's flattering to them, it's not necessarily in the best interest of their constituents, who didn't elect these guys to boost them onto the national stage, but to, you know, govern on a state level.
We don't value dirt. It's bad to be dirty. Taboo words are "dirty." An object of little to no value is "cheaper than dirt."
But dirt deserves some respect. It's incredibly valuable: Without dirt, we would not eat. And, like oil or coal, dirt is a nonrenewable resource. When topsoil disappears from erosion, it takes thousands of years for that layer of dirt to build back up. And we're running out of it.