From Copenhagen to Climategate, 2009 was a busy year for those of us at ecopolitology and anyone else interested in environmental politics. Here’s a rundown of what we saw as the year’s biggest environmental politics stories.
Van Jones’ Resignation
Van Jones, one of the people who was fighting hardest to create jobs in a green economy resigned his job at the White House as Special Adviser to President Obama for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the Council on Environmental Quality. Jones was the target of a coordinated attack spearheaded by conservative media pundit, Glen Beck, for what Beck claimed was Jones’ communist leanings.
From that to Number 5:
Economic Downturn and its Impact on Environment
One of the biggest stories in 2009–environmental or otherwise– was the massive economic downturn that gripped the U.S. and many other parts of the world. A tanking housing market, collapsing banks, and folding financial institutions all but dried up the available credit. As a result, homes were foreclosed, people lost their jobs and a general reluctance to invest in clean energy and pass legislation for the betterment of the environment permeated nearly every environmental debate in the country. The renewables sector was hit particularly hard for most of the year as banks were not lending up-front capital required for many renewable energy projects. Despite the economic slump, the wind industry continued to grow through the 3rd quarter, but suffered much more in Q4 of 2009.:}
From that to number 1:
Inauguration of Barack Obama as President
On January 20, 2009, the world watched as Barrack Hussein Obama was sworn-in as the 44th President of the United States. Throughout his campaign, Obama promised renewed attention to energy efficiency and renewables and a return to science-based policymaking. Many argue that Obama’s unprecedented commitment to science stands in stark contrast to the previous administration’s tampering with and dismissal of scientific findings that were not in line with its political agenda.
There is much much more in this article including, Cash for Clunkers; ClimateGate, Copenhagen, cccccChanges…oh sorry got carried away with the Cs.