You can find all sorts of explanations for the parlous state of our body politic. The catastrophe of our last national election cycle here was preceded by the irrational Brexit vote (a misguided cry of anger and pain from English nationalists [but not Londoners]), has since been compounded in Europe by the onslaught of the far right in Germany in September and now this week in Austria. I wrote a paper several years ago that took a long, hard look at the Contemporary American Right in which I posited that right wingers are, in a word, ill. A distinguished student of conflict, Vamik Volkan, calls them regressed. (Notice that I don’t dignify the inhabitants of these pathologies as “conservative” – it does them far too much justice.) Continue reading
I wrote here after Election Day of the Catastrophe that Trump’s election meant for the world, particularly the part of the world where I spend most of my time: the environmental movement. That sense of foreboding has been more than justified in the selection of the extraordinarily perverse group of troglodytes earmarked for top leadership at the EPA (Scott Pruitt), Department of Energy (Rick Perry), Department of the Interior (Ryan Zinke) and, as strange as it could get, the Department of State (Rex Tillerson). Continue reading
Well, maybe not Peak Carbon yet, but it was a pretty hopeful signal that the International Energy Agency sent on March 13th in announcing Global energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide stalled in 2014. The IEA noted “…that efforts to mitigate climate change may be having a more pronounced effect on emissions than had previously been thought.” Continue reading
Last Saturday’s “Draw the Line” events around the country have further galvanized the movement against the Keystone XL project and the Alberta tar sands development. We had a great turnout in New York City. I had the privilege of speaking at the rally in Battery Park before it headed uptown for some demos along the march route then another rally at the South Street Seaport.
Here’s a video of me at the rally. There’s still a little fire left, it appears, in this old activist.
I went to a great event last night: the premiere of “Do the Math.” It’s a powerful short (45-minute) documentary about what the indomitable Bill McKibben and 350.org have set in motion with their stunning and timely movement to get universities and others to divest from the fossil fuel industry. I wrote about what I called McKibben’s Manifesto, a blockbuster piece in Rolling Stone last summer and a call to arms. I subsequently wrote about the first stirrings of the divestment movement. Well, the movement has grown exponentially in only a few months: as of today, there are initiatives at 302 colleges and universities, in 74 cities and states, and beyond. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, for one, has already set the wheels in motion in his city. See what Fossil Free is doing and how you can get on board. Continue reading
I have written a few times here and a good number of times at my old blog for the Foreign Policy Association about the many and diverse reasons why the Alberta tar sands are a pox. You may agree. If so, you should be on your horse to get your comments into the US Department of State to tell them that the Keystone XL pipeline project, which will substantially enable further development of this planetary insult, should not be approved. Please go right away to the link here from 350.org and register your comments. The comment period ends soon! Continue reading
There was a gathering of the tribes in Washington yesterday to give support – also known as political cover – to President Obama so that he can just say “No!” to the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and, by extension, Canadian tar sands development. Why should he say no? The pipeline would enable the expansion of one of the world’s most environmentally destructive projects and that expansion makes no sense if we are to reduce our carbon footprint and, as President Obama has vowed, turn the tide on the climate crisis. The President said, in his State of the Union address last week: “…for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change.” Continue reading
Carpe diem. Seize the day. That’s what some American university students are realizing needs to be done. I was in the streets in the early ‘70s protesting the war. I even wound up in jail a couple of times. One of the proudest things I can say about that time is that I was in jail with the legendary peace activist Dave Dellinger for three days. It’s good to be young and to know what’s at stake. Continue reading
The Keystone XL pipeline is a travesty. Indeed the whole idea of the Alberta tar sands should be, at this late date, anathema. However, never let it be said that the oil companies and their henchpersons, in Canada and the U.S., are able to actually even consider the health of the planet and the natural environment of the regions in which they operate. Continue reading