Elizabeth Kolbert

Fri, 2010-11-26 19:13Emma Pullman
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2010 In Review: Scientists and Journalists Take Stock and Share Lessons Learned

There’s no doubt about it. It’s been a challenging year for climate science and climate scientists, for journalists, and for the public. A string of legislative and regulatory disappointments coupled with dizzying political spin have left many more confused than ever about the overwhelming scientific consensus of climate change. 

It’s been a particularly grim year following the Citizens United decision that ushered in a new era of rampant electoral spending on climate change denial; the U.S. midterm elections produced a Senate filled with climate change skeptics and deniers; a failed climate bill or two, and after the Copenhagen talks failed to produce any real results.  In addition, many pundits and analysts are giving us good reason to believe the U.S. won’t see a climate bill for two years, and little reason to believe that real climate progress will be made in Cancun next week. It seems there’s a lot of reason to feel distressed.  

Last week marked a year since the so-called Climategate “scandal” sent climate change deniers into an echo chamber frenzy.  Bud Ward and John Wihbey aptly note that to even call it “climategate” lends it credence that is undeserved.  Yet it is imperative that we try to learn lessons from it.   This certainly won’t be the last difficult year for the climate change movement; an increasingly challenging political environment promises more interesting times ahead, both for the science and for the scientists who devote their lives to the subject.  In a nutshell, we’ve got our work cut out for us.

Thu, 2009-03-26 04:48Kevin Grandia
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The New Yorker's Mindless Nonsense on Economy vs. Environment

The lead article in this week’s New Yorker by David Owen is a loony display of dishonest economics and a flagrant mangling of science and reason. Entitled “Economy vs. Environment,” (oy, here we go again) the piece presents the false notion that solving the climate crisis will inevitably come at the expense of economic collapse.

Owen claims that - should the U.S. follow Obama and the international community toward a global solution to global warming - the economy might never recover, and even if it did, we’d be fools to retain climate “policies that will seem to be nudging us back toward the abyss.” 

Yes, ghastly poverty and economic ruin are the only outcomes of trying to solve climate change, if we listen to David Owen.  A trip to Davy Jones’ locker for the world economy, says he.

Aptly described by Climate Progress, Owen’s piece is “so bad, so filled with long-debunked right-wing talking points, it would barely qualify for the Wall Street Journal editorial page.” 

Yet there it is, featured in the top pages and pixels of the New Yorker’s print and web editions, in direct contradiction to the brilliant, factual reporting by the New Yorker’s Elizabeth Kolbert

Others have taken the time to debunk Owens’ baseless claims, so I won’t bother to here.  Head on over to this analysis by Grist.org and another at Get Energy Smart Now!, and don’t foget Joe Romm’s critique at Climate Progress as mentioned above. 

Thanks to each of them for responding so thoroughly to Owen’s insanity so I don’t have to waste the keystrokes on him myself.

Thu, 2009-03-19 12:44Kevin Grandia
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New Yorker Slams U.S. CAP Members for "Donating to the Deniers"

Elizabeth Kolbert, author of the 2006 global warming book “Field Notes from a Catastrophe,” has a piece in the New Yorker today titled “Donating to the Deniers,” taking to task the corporate membership of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership for actively undermining the very goals the coalition claims to support. 

Kolbert’s piece looks at the recent analysis by Clean Air Watch detailing how many of the companies belonging to the U.S. CAP are working feverishly behind the scenes to fight against the very principles the coalition supposedly stands for.

Kolbert notes that these companies received a lot of media praise for joining the partnership – a sweet public relations coup for some of the worst polluters in the world to be suddenly perceived as best buddies with the national environmental groups who invited them into the coalition to call for cap-and-trade legislation in Washington. 

But as Clean Air Watch found by digging around a bit, the truth is that many of the corporate members of U.S. CAP - including Caterpillar, Duke Energy, and Dow Chemical - have contributed far more to the campaigns of legislators who oppose global warming legislation than they have to Congressional leaders fighting for action on the climate crisis.  

Surprise, surprise!

Read the Kolbert’s entire article here: Donating to the Deniers

Sun, 2007-02-11 21:43Richard Littlemore
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A Policy Wrap from Elizabeth Kolbert

“To continue on our current path because the alternative seems like too much effort is not just shortsighted. It's suicidal.”

So says Elizabeth Kolbert in her most recent New Yorker piece .

Mon, 2006-10-23 12:54Ross Gelbspan
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New Film Documents ExxonMobil Role in Climate Disinformation Campaign

A new film, “Out of Balance,” documents ExxonMobil's long campaign of climate disinformation. The film, created by film-maker Tom Jackson, features, among others, Michael Oppenheimer, Bill McKibben, Elizabeth Kolbert, Rick Piltz and Ross Gelbspan.
 

Fri, 2006-03-10 09:22Richard Littlemore
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Elizabeth Kolbert's Book Catching Early Raves

New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert's new book, Field Notes from a Catastrophe, is garnering extremely positive early reviews. Check this in the Seattle Times, which also covers Tim Flannery's excellent The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth.

Thu, 2006-03-09 11:56Richard Littlemore
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New Yorker Climate Correspondent Elizabeth Kolbert Q&A

This Q&A with the New Yorker's Elizabeth Kolbert is a year old, but well worth reading. Kolbert wrote a definitive three-part article on climate change last year and has a book coming out, supposedly this March. Her most recent New Yorker contribution also touches on the effects of climate change, though it dwells primarily on the sorry future facing Louisiana, which is sinking into the sea.

Sun, 2006-01-08 20:18Jim Hoggan
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All Hail Elizabeth Kolbert

The New Yorker contributor Elizabeth Kolbert, whose three-part series was the smartest and scariest thing written about climate change in 2005, has started 2006 with another installment, an article entitled “Butterfly Lessons” (which, woefully, the magazine has failed to make available online).

Kolbert follows a trail of butterflies, mosquitoes and frogs to show how much our climate has changed already and how dramatic the coming change may yet be. Her writing style is brisk and informative, devoid of hysterical language but filled with anxiety inducing facts. She also allows herself the odd twist, just to keep you alert (and entertained).

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