Grilling the Candidates and More on Finding the Green Digg

Whether you thought the CNN/YouTube debate was a breakthrough for the democratic process, a meaningless sideshow, or something in between, you have to appreciate that the Silver Fox ran this video of a melting snowman asking the candidates about global warming.

If only the candidates had been forced to actually address the question. Instead, Dennis Kucinich was the only one who had a chance to respond, an opportunity he spent talking about the different but closely related issue of our Mideast policy. Fortunately, CNN had another energy question lined up.

But again, none of the leading candidates was able to respond. Instead, Mike Gravel, the candidate responsible for this ad, proposed a retail sales tax. (Although Christopher Dodd did have a chance to weigh in with some promising suggestions.)

Finally, Obama, Edwards, and Clinton were up to bat on an environmental question, but by this point the topic had changed from global warming in general to nuclear power specifically.

While Edwards mostly just plugged ethanol (a smart move for someone betting it all on Iowa), both Obama and Clinton at least used the question to hint at possible positions they might take on larger strategies for tackling pollution and global warming. There wasn’t nearly enough time spent on environmental issues but, especially in a crowded field like this primary, the debates are going to have a hard time fleshing out the candidates’ positions on any of the many issues they need to cover.

And on a different note…

Recently, I’ve been looking at some social bookmarking sites for environmental news. But so far, I haven’t been too impressed with the options out there. A commenter on last week’s post pointed me to’s backlog of green stories, and after taking a look around, I think it’s worth sharing. Like Digg, StumbleUpon isn’t that good at bringing substantive reporting to the top of the page, but it does offer some engaging and occasionally even informative sites. You have to click around to other tags besides “environment”--try “ecology," “nature,” and “science.” Even though environmental sites aren’t consolidated on one page, there seems to be a lot of them out there. Reader participation looks good too, with dozens and sometimes hundreds of people discussing the top-rated sites, sharing links, and exchanging information--exactly what Web 2.0 utilities are supposed to be about.

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