From the early days of the Trump administration, the White House and Justice Department have obsessively sought to separate asylum-seeking parents from their children at the U.S.-Mexico border. The American people and the courts have mounted fierce resistance to this sadistic practice, but Trump’s men will not be deterred.
At the People’s Climate March last spring, all along that vast river of people, the atmosphere was electric. But electricity was also the focus of too many of the signs and banners. Yes, here and there were "System Change, Not Climate Change"-themed signs and banners. But the bulk of slogans on display asserted or implied that ending the climate emergency and avoiding climatic catastrophes like those that would occur a few months later—hurricanes Harvey and Irma and the mega-wildfires in the western United State—would be a simple matter of getting Donald Trump out of office and converting to 100-percent renewable energy.
Activists See U.S. Renewable Energy Bill as Safety Net as Trump Pulls Out of Paris Agreement, but It Won't Prevent Climate Catastrophe
With the Trump administration poised to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, a climate bill cosponsored by U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Bernie Sanders and known as the “100 by '50 Act” is sure to be back in the news. In April, Sanders called the bill, S.987, an important step in the fight against greenhouse warming. The leading climate advocacy group 350.org sees it as a Washington record-breaker, the "most ambitious piece of climate legislation Congress has ever seen.”
The rapid mobilization that’s necessary to stop a greenhouse meltdown won’t be happening in the near future, given that in Washington attitudes toward effective climate action span a spectrum from open hostility to timid torpor. In the meanwhile activism, exemplified by the April 29 People’s Climate March, is keeping hope alive, or at least on life support, while the more technical struggle to figure out the transition to a world free of greenhouse gases continues.
Serious problems in the nation’s flood insurance program have received heavy media coverage over the past three months. But flood insurance, like any insurance that covers a single type of (un)natural disaster, is burdened with inherent contradictions that always threaten to scuttle the system.
The following is an excerpt from the new book How the World Breaks by Stan & Paul Cox (The New Press, 2016):
Richard Nixon's agriculture secretary in the early to mid-1970s was Earl Butz, a man best known for advising the nation's farmers to “get big or get out.” Rural America has been following that advice ever since. Across most of the country, farms continue to grow in acreage and dwindle in number. Every state in the vast agricultural region stretching from Michigan to Kansas and Ohio to North Dakota has seen more than a doubling of average farm size since 1982.
Five-plus years after the publication of Dickson Despommier's book The Vertical Farm: Feeding Ourselves and The World in the 21st Century, his dream — originally conceived as the production of food in the interior of tall urban buildings — is gaining momentum, despite many unanswered questions about its feasibility.
As Congress resumes its wrangling over a long-overdue Farm Bill, conservatives are once again attacking their long-time bÃªte noire, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. They’re threatening SNAP (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program and by far the biggest item in the Farm Bill) with everything from mandatory work requirements for participants to deep program-wide budget cuts.
With threats of climatic disruption, food and energy shortages, epidemics, waves of extinctions, and other calamities looming larger every day, reports from the world of scientific research are getting plenty of attention in the media. But at times, scientific conclusions become garbled in translation, leading to widespread adoption of some bizarre beliefs.