I wrote back in March that Republicans were unhappy with the administration's "wild lands" policy, which lets the Department of the Interior use public lands for conservation. The policy doesn't put public lands out of commission permanently but provides the option to keep the land wild, instead of developing it for uses like recreation or mining.
The Christian Science Monitordoes a good job of putting the wildfires raging across Texas into context:
Drenching rains from hurricane Alex last July caused a huge plant bloom, which was largely killed off by this year's uncommonly cold winter across the southern US and northern Mexico.
Added to the driest March in state history, those factors set up a massive tinderbox that has exploded with devastating effect. ... So far, up to 650 blazes have scorched 400 square miles of rolling plains in west Texas. ... By comparison, Texas saw 167 wildfire blazes last year.
The White House wants everyone to know that the deal President Obama cut with Speaker Boehner over the weekend counts as "the largest annual spending cut in our history." That's as measured in total dollars, of course. The cuts account for less than 1 percent of the government's overall spending and can't compete with massive cutbacks after World War I or World War II, when spending decreased by fewer dollars but in leaps and bounds as a percentage of the budget.
Most of the time, we hear about how climate change is going to engender destruction, create refugees, and generally wreak havoc. But it's also going to create all sorts of little disparities in privilege, like, for instance, who gets to go to the beach.
In the new issue of Orion magazine, writer and climate activist Bill McKibben writes about the irony of holding last December's United Nations climate conference at Cancun, where beautiful beach-front hotels were built on a shaky compromise with the environment: