Earth

Terms of debate: Destroying vs altering nature, the fragile vs the resilient Earth – Kurt Cobb

Last week’s piece drew responses that throw into relief how much the language we use depends on our most basic assumptions about how the world works. If left unexamined, that language leads to further conclusions that go unchallenged because the underlying assumptions are never scrutinized. I challenged the Breakthrough Institute’s notion that humans are in one category and nature in another. If one …

hillary clinton

The Retro Future – John Michael Greer

Is it just me, or has the United States taken yet another great leap forward into the surreal over the last few days? Glancing through the news, I find another round of articles babbling about how fracking has guaranteed America a gaudy future as a petroleum and natural gas exporter. Somehow none of these articles get around to mentioning that …

American Oligarchy

How America Became an Oligarchy – Ellen Brown

“The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. . . . You have owners.” —George Carlin, The American Dream According to a new study from Princeton University, American democracy no longer exists. Using data from over 1,800 policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page concluded that rich, well-connected individuals on …

A Trip Behind the Labels of Your Ethical Cup of Coffee

After descending into Stumptown Coffee’s Seattle roastery, where bags of beans from different countries wait for their turn in the WWII-era roasting machine, we gather for the daily cupping: a sampling, by smell and taste, of coffee from five different farms. Today’s cupping features beans from farms in Peru, Colombia, Guatemala, and Ethiopia. The production roaster, Jesse Hughey, describes the …

forest bath

Forest Bathing Increases Immunity

Anyone who has walked in a forest knows by common sense the beauty of it. It’s why some people choose to live in forests, or next to them, and why other people travel thousands of miles to stand in Redwood forests, or the rain forests of Costa Rica or Ecuador. But researchers in Japan, where the tradition called shinri-yoku, or …

Monarch butterfly

52 House Democrats tell Obama the chief cause of decline of monarch butterflies is GMO crops

52 Democrat Members of the US Congress have written to President Obama telling him that the chief cause of the 90% decline in monarch butterfly populations is GM herbicide-tolerant crops. Glyphosate herbicides sprayed on the GM crops have wiped out the monarchs’ food, milkweed. The letter says, “With the advent of herbicide-resistant genetically engineered crops, the use of herbicides like …

Why America Lacks Credibility in the Middle East

To hear politicians and beltway pundits tell it, credibility in international relations boils down to this: Do others believe that the United States is willing and able to follow through on its word? Actually, this is a sloppy and often pernicious way to think, leading policymakers to senselessly commit themselves to failing policies (like enforcing a “red line,” for instance) …

Ayn_Rand1

My libertarian vacation nightmare: How Ayn Rand, Ron Paul & their groupies were all debunked

Last month, I spent my final vacation night in Honduras in San Pedro Sula, considered the most dangerous city outside of the war-torn Middle East. I would not have been scared, except that I traveled with my wife and our four children, aged 5, 7, 14 and 18.   On our last taxi ride, we could not find a van to fit us …