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Why Socrates Died

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Tag: Environment

Award Recognizes Uncompromising Change-Makers

As the freshly shellacked president cuts deals with a triumphant Republican Party, the annual Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship was awarded to two uncompromising activists.

Posted on Dec 24, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / Frank Kovalchek (CC-BY)

Good News for the Places Where the Wild Things Are

Two years into the Obama administration, the Bureau of Land Management has decided to reverse a Bush-era policy and get back to the business of protecting wilderness on its 256 million acres of public land.

Posted on Dec 23, 2010 READ MORE


Senate Lets Sharks Keep Their Fins for Christmas

The Senate has moved to close a loophole that allows fishing concerns in America’s corner of the Pacific Ocean to engage in finning—that’s when you catch a shark, cut off its fin and dump the mutilated, still living-but-not-for-long animal back in the water so it can suffer to death.

Posted on Dec 22, 2010 READ MORE

Facebook Finds Your Face

Today on the list: Facebook is poised to recognize faces, WikiLeaks read aloud to you, and the “real” person who was Henry Kissinger. Updated

Posted on Dec 17, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / Tim Keegan (CC-BY-SA)

Everything Is Negotiable, Except Nature

The president is fond of compromises, but the terms of the climate change conundrum aren’t set by contending ideologies. In the case of global warming, chemistry rules, which means there are lines, hard and fast.

Posted on Dec 16, 2010 READ MORE

U.S. Coast Guard / Petty Officer 2nd Class John Miller

U.S. Sues BP, Transocean for Damages ‘Without Limitation’

Attorney General Eric Holder says the government is going after nine companies involved with the Deepwater Horizon spill “for government removal costs, economic losses and environmental damages without limitation.” ... (more)

Posted on Dec 15, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / The Pocket (CC-BY)

It’s Morning in China

In 1982, Richard Nixon told me he thought that by the middle of this century the world would be dominated by Asians, primarily Chinese.

Posted on Dec 13, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Israel Leal

Climate Deal Is Struck in Cancun

Climate talks in Mexico wrapped up with a bare-bones compromise. As with every other international climate negotiation, some see the pact as a big step forward, while activists claim the deal doesn’t go far enough.

Posted on Dec 11, 2010 READ MORE

Cancun, Climate Change and WikiLeaks

Critical negotiations are under way in Cancun, Mexico, under the auspices of the United Nations to reverse human-induced global warming, and the United States is engaged in what one journalist called “a very, very dirty business.”

Posted on Dec 7, 2010 READ MORE

Climate Skeptic

Posted on Dec 6, 2010 READ MORE

The Rigged Game of Climate Talks

An NGO report has found that key U.N. climate negotiations are institutionally biased against poorer nations, specifically that underdeveloped countries are less able to send delegates to meetings and often cannot understand what is being discussed at the talks.

Posted on Dec 3, 2010 READ MORE

Congress via Wikimedia Commons

WikiLeaks Outs U.S. Diplomats’ Saucy Secrets

According to diplomatic cables obtained and leaked by the whistle-blowers extraordinaire, the king of Saudi Arabia asked the U.S. to attack Iran, Hillary Clinton instructed her diplomats to spy on U.N. leaders and others, Vladimir Putin is ...

Posted on Nov 28, 2010 READ MORE

Cultural Rebirth in the Old World

All of the populated (or formerly populated) world possesses its own past in ruined or replicated or restored form, capable of generating awe among the people of our time. But some live on because the crafts of the past continue to provide sustenance.

Posted on Nov 24, 2010 READ MORE

AP / RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, pool

These Tigers Brought to You by Vladimir Putin

The Russian outdoorsman-in-chief is hosting an international summit to save the tiger. In the last century, the world tiger population has dropped from 100,000 to 3,200, and continued demand for illicit tiger products threatens the survival of the species. Not on Putin’s watch.

Posted on Nov 22, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Jeff Widener

Power and the Tiny Acts of Rebellion

There is no hope left for achieving significant reform or restoring our democracy through established mechanisms of power. We must take to the streets, armed with the tiny acts of truth and kindness that throughout history have exposed the oppressor’s cruelty.

Posted on Nov 22, 2010 READ MORE

The High Cost of Low Prices

Whereas Great Depression America valued well-made utilitarian products and understood the inherent danger of bargain culture, Great Recession America prioritizes discounts at the expense of everything else.

Posted on Nov 12, 2010 READ MORE


R.I.P. Gulf Coral Reefs

A team of scientists “on a research cruise” (what?) have discovered severe damage to coral reefs near the location of the Deepwater Horizon’s blown-out wellhead. Coral, which is a barometer of the health of an ocean’s ecosystem, was found to be “sloughing off tissues and producing mucus.” Gross.

Posted on Nov 6, 2010 READ MORE

polar bear
Richard Ellis

$100 Billion More for Climate Change?

Like a chubby kid doing a chin-up, a group of finance ministers and heads of state has declared that it is “challenging but feasible” to generate $100 billion a year by 2020 to fund a program allowing developing countries to adapt to the effects of climate change and reduce domestic emissions.

Posted on Nov 5, 2010 READ MORE

The Tea Party and the Midterms

The fleeting thrill of ousting a particular elected official (or even dozens of them) ultimately will not bring much comfort to anyone inspired by more than mere partisan fury.

Posted on Nov 4, 2010 READ MORE

Dominican University of California / George Nikitin (CC-BY-ND)

Californians Put Down Their Joints, Give Jerry Brown Another Shot

In a state where personal marijuana use is virtually legal, Californians decided not to go all the way and decriminalize recreational marijuana consumption. Defying the national trend, however, Golden Staters just said no to Republican rule. (More results after the jump)

Posted on Nov 3, 2010 READ MORE

Schwarzenegger Won’t Say Whom He Voted For

California’s current governor refused to tell reporters whether he voted for Democrat Jerry Brown or fellow Republican Meg Whitman in Tuesday’s election. Schwarzenegger has not endorsed either candidate for governor.

Posted on Nov 2, 2010 READ MORE

U.S. Coast Guard

Halliburton Blamed for Shoddy Construction in Gulf Oil Disaster

Three of four tests showed that the cement mixture used by Halliburton in the construction of BP’s ill-fated oil well in the Gulf was unstable, but the mixture was used anyway, a presidential commission investigating the disaster has found. The only successful test, which BP did not know about, has since come under suspicion.

Posted on Oct 28, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / Bruce McKay (CC-BY-SA)

Does a Bear Vote in the Woods?

Why Sarah Palin is no grizzly and how she and her sister travelers will wipe out the real thing.

Posted on Oct 28, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / Susan E Adams (CC-BY-SA)

Poison at the Tea Party

The tea partyers issue dire warnings of the threat posed by government, but their movement ignores the threat from corporate America: pollution, dangerous products and banking practices that brought us the worst economic crash since the Great Depression.

Posted on Oct 26, 2010 READ MORE

BP and Other Polluters Pay for Senate Campaigns

The Guardian is reporting that some of Europe’s biggest polluters, including everyone’s favorite oil company, have given $240,200 in campaign donations to U.S. senators who, coincidentally, helped defeat climate change legislation.

Posted on Oct 26, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Salako Valentin

Two-Thirds of Benin Is Underwater

The U.N. has begun flying tents into the West African country of Benin to shelter some of the hundreds of thousands of people chased from their homes by heavy flooding after months of heavy rains. Adding to the misery is an outbreak of cholera. two-thirds

Posted on Oct 24, 2010 READ MORE

Glenn Beck Is No Match for William Shatner

Back in his CNN days, the cable crier was baffled by a conversation with the always fascinating William Shatner. Even a chatterbox like Beck didn’t know what to do with a statement like, “They’re pressed together, defecating into the ocean and it’s all ... it’s just too much.”

Posted on Oct 18, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Bullit Marquez

Super Typhoon Slams the Philippines

The Philippines has had its share of weather-borne excitement already this year, as a whopping 10 typhoons have made their way to its shores, and the 10th has qualified for the special and menacing category of “super typhoon.” 

Posted on Oct 18, 2010 READ MORE

A Generation of Termites

The best recent estimates by civil engineers and government experts indicate that we would have to spend well over $2 trillion during the next five years on roads, bridges, airports, railways, transit, sewers, waterways, ports, dams, parks and schools simply to maintain them in decent condition.

Posted on Oct 13, 2010 READ MORE

Open Call: Obama’s Town Hall

The casting call for Obama’s town hall, dealing with the media’s masturbation shame, and what Stephen Hawking has to say about God.

Posted on Oct 12, 2010 READ MORE

How Robots Clean Up an Oil Spill

Those nerds at MIT have come up with something really amazing (not the first time). It’s a swarm of autonomous robots that talk to each other as they make their way around a spill, gobbling up the oil. Why didn’t we think of that?

Posted on Oct 11, 2010 READ MORE

Follow Wyoming on Fracking Regs

Frank Sinatra once said that if he could make it in New York, he could make it anywhere. Thanks to new drilling rules, environmentalists can now say the same about Wyoming.

Posted on Oct 7, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Bela Szandelszky

Toxic Spill Reaches the Danube

The red sludge that, in the words of one official, extinguished all life in Hungary’s Marcal River has now reached the blue Danube, the second longest river in Europe. The disaster began at a waste reservoir in western Hungary where 33 million cubic feet of toxic material began its long spill, reaching more than 6.5 feet high in places.

Posted on Oct 7, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Ermindo Armino

Tea Party Socialism

Tea party candidates say big government is tyranny, but they don’t object when the tyranny flows their way in the form of taxpayer funded farm subsidies.

Posted on Oct 5, 2010 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

Solar Panels to Add Power to the White House

It’s time someone tended to the pressing issue of how the White House gets its power, and President Obama has apparently caved to special interest groups urging him to take the radical step of reinstalling solar panels on the roof at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Yes we can!

Posted on Oct 5, 2010 READ MORE

Mark Lamonica

Reconstructing Los Angeles: A Journey to the Other Side of L.A.

There are certain places that are still empty enough to give us a second chance, even as the empire of Los Angeles moves ever onward, making a reverse exodus into the region’s last frontier.

Posted on Oct 4, 2010 READ MORE

FBI Raids and the Criminalization of Dissent

Early in the morning on Friday, Sept. 24, FBI agents in Chicago and Minnesota’s Twin Cities kicked in the doors of anti-war activists, brandishing guns, spending hours rifling through their homes.

Posted on Sep 28, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Mary Schwalm

Retribution for a World Lost in Screens

Like the Ancients, we arrogant humans who turn ourselves into objects of worship and build ruthless systems of power to control the world around us will get what we are due.

Posted on Sep 26, 2010 READ MORE

International Rivers / Dr. Muslim Idris

Nigerian Flooding Displaces 2 Million

The Nigerian government may or may not have warned residents that it would open up the floodgates of two dams in the northern part of the country last month, unleashing a deluge of water that has displaced more than 2 million people.

Posted on Sep 25, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Oded Balilty

The China Superpower Hoax

How is a country with a lower per capita income than Kazakhstan, one of the worst environmental records of any major nation and a dictatorship, besides, hailed by so many as the next global superpower?

Posted on Sep 23, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / GuenterHH (CC-BY-ND)

Justice Dept. Hand-Slaps FBI for Spying on Greenpeace and Friends

The supervising bureaucrats at the Justice Department acknowledged that the FBI should not have been spying on activists, although they decided that the bureau was not targeting anti-war and environmental groups for political reasons.

Posted on Sep 20, 2010 READ MORE

Wayne National Forest / Alex Snyder (CC-BY)

A Little Missed Sunshine

When first lady Michelle Obama started an organic garden at the White House, she sparked a national discussion on food, obesity, health and sustainability. But the green action on the White House lawn hasn’t made it to the White House roof, unfortunately.

Posted on Sep 14, 2010 READ MORE

© 2010 Reese Erlich

The Carbon Racket

Proponents say cap and trade will save the world, but an innovative green project in Nepal exposes the carbon market’s flaws.

Posted on Sep 14, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Elise Amendola

Do Not Pity the Democrats

Do not fear Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin. Fear the underlying corporate power structure, which no one, from Barack Obama to the right-wing nut cases who pollute the airwaves, can alter.

Posted on Sep 12, 2010 READ MORE


Posted on Sep 12, 2010 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

Why Barack Is Behind

Among the very puzzling aspects of the midterm election—and the Democratic debacle that appears to be looming in November—is why voters would return the opposition to power only two years after the multiple disasters of the Bush administration.

Posted on Sep 9, 2010 READ MORE

Al-Jazeera English

Hundreds Dead in Guatemala Landslides

Weeks of unrelenting rains triggered a series of landslides in the Guatemalan town of Alaska on the Pan-American Highway, burying as many as 300 people. President Alvaro Colom warned that thousands more people are at risk as the government runs out of money to deal with the crisis.

Posted on Sep 5, 2010 READ MORE

polar bear
Richard Ellis

U.S. Gets Cold Feet in Arctic Drilling

With all of the hullabaloo surrounding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the government’s lackluster performance in responding to that crisis, U.S. regulatory agencies have waved the yellow flag in allowing new offshore drilling in the Arctic.

Posted on Sep 4, 2010 READ MORE

Gulf oil spill
AP / Gerald Herbert

The $8 Billion Oil Spill

New estimates of the cost of the BP oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico have jumped to a staggering $8 billion, up $2 billion in August alone as the company announced it had already paid out almost $400 million in claims to individuals affected by the spill.

Posted on Sep 3, 2010 READ MORE

CDC, Harvard University / Piotr Naskrecki

Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite (Update)

Bed bug infestations are way up, thanks in part to stricter health standards for chemicals and the critters’ mounting resistance to pesticides. The problem is so out of control, reports the AP, that desperate Americans are dousing their possessions in toxic chemicals, despite warnings from the EPA.

Posted on Aug 30, 2010 READ MORE

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