At the Guardian, we’re busy putting together our annual Green Issue to commemorate Earth Day. It’s great that recycling and general concern for the planet have been on the rise over the past 40 years, but I can’t help but notice a few Prozac-worthy reports on the environmental front recently.
First there was the bomb President Barack Obama dropped on environmentalists last week with plans to open up vast areas off the coast of the eastern seaboard and Alaska for offshore oil drilling.
Then there was the news that a host of Texas oil companies, in league with the Tea Party (Teabaggers?) and a group named for the guy who dreamed up Prop 13, are bankrolling an effort to suspend California’s landmark global warming legislation, AB 32, with a ballot initiative. (A few brave souls have launched a Boycott Valero campaign against Valero Oil Co., a major source of funding for the initiative to suspend AB 32.)
And finally, another tragic reminder that extracting and burning coal is a perilous way to keep the lights on: An explosion at a West Virginia coal mine owned by Massey Energy has killed six mine workers and trapped 21. This is why some communities in the coal-mining regions of Southern Appalachia think of themselves as residents of a national “sacrifice zone” for U.S. energy demand.
Let’s all hope the upcoming Green Festival in San Francisco this weekend is more inspiring than these headlines.