The Washington Post on Obama and climate change For those who've complained about President Obama's mum-ness on climate change, the commander-in-chief has broken this silence on the issue, somewhat. The editorial board at The Washington Post discusses comments made by the president to Rolling Stone, in which he said, of the upcoming election, "I will be very clear in voicing my belief that we're going to have to take further steps to deal with climate change in a serious way." The editorial board is pleasantly surprised that Obama will be taking the environment seriously this election. "So far, dealing forthrightly with the world’s rising temperatures has been far down the list of priorities in Washington, and the president has shown little willingness to stick his political neck out on the issue," they write. The board notes that Obama, who spoke out strongly against inaction on climate issues as a senator, has been mainly stifled by Republicans unwilling to adress global warming and that the president has his fair share of environmental achievements.
The New York Times on 2,4-D What is "2,4-D"? As you might suspect with a clunky name like that, it's a herbicide that's not so good for the environment -- and for human health. Which is why some environmentalists, doctors, and farmers oppose a new type of corn genetically engineered by Dow Chemical to be resistent to the chemical, fearing that it's use will become widespread and its hazards manifest. The New York Times' Andrew Pollack describes the concerns: the chemical is associated with "cancer, hormone disruption and other health problems" and could easily vaporize and spread to other farms with crops not resistent to the drug. In turn, Dow offers reassurances that the chemical is not carcinogenic and that it's developing methods for it not to spread by air. But the PR gods may not be on Dow's side. Unfortunately for them, Agent Orange, an herbicide famously used in the Vietnam War, contains 2,4-D. And even though "[m]ost experts agree that the harm from Agent Orange was caused primarily by its other ingredient, 2,4,5-T," that hasn't stopped the inevitable dubbing of the proposed crop as "Agent Orange corn."