The Associated Press on the U.S. in Doha UN climate talks kicked off in Doha on Monday, with United States delegate Jonathan Pershing defending his country's actions to combat the onset of global warming: "I would suggest those who don't follow what the U.S. is doing may not be informed of the scale and extent of the effort, but it's enormous." Pershing's comments are considered "pre-emptive" by Michael Casey of the AP, who explains that the approach "underscores one of the major showdowns expected at the two-week conference as China pushes developed countries to take an even greater role in tackling global warming."
The Guardian on the Kyoto Protocol Duncan Clark presents a series of charts which explain how countries who signed the Kyoto Protocol have actually done on their emissions given their goals. Clark writes that "overall, there are more successes than failures and the sum of emissions from nations with Kyoto targets have fallen significantly." That said, he concludes that "global emissions have showed no sign of slowing down" and in that respect the protocol failed.
The Boston Globe on plastic bags Leon Neyfakh writes about the history of the plastic bag, and how the movement to stop its rise gained strength. The town of Brookline, Massachusetts, recently banned the use of plastic bags at supermarkets and large retailers. Neyfakh explains that "over the past 30 years, the plastic shopping bag has become a potent symbol of human consumption and carelessness," but adds that to people in the plastics industry the plastic bag is a "is a triumph of cost-effective engineering."
The New York Times on Longmont, Colorado Longmont has banned fracking, but Jack Healy writes that the ban has "set the city on a collision course with oil companies and the State of Colorado." The town is now likely facing a lawsuit from the state, which maintains that only it can say where drilling is allowed, and is "bracing for more lawsuits as they tell energy companies they can no longer frack their wells."
Grist on the American factory farm Caroline Abels introduces us to Mary Beth Sweetland, the senior director of investigations for the Humane Society of the United States, who finds the undercover investigators revealing the injustices taking place at factory farms, puppy mills, laboratories, and zoos. While Sweetland's team looks at treatment animals and workers she "foresees expanding investigations by instructing her investigators to capture environmental crimes, in addition to animal abuses."