Environment and Health
With the holidays upon us again, I think back with both pleasure and distress to the feast I was welcomed to a few seasons ago at the top of Alaska.
As global climate talks get underway in Cancun, Miriam Pemberton calls for more parity in spending on climate and military security and Diana Bronson warns that “geoengineering” fixes for the world’s climate problems could do far more harm than good.
Think you’ve heard enough about climate change? Chances are you haven’t heard anything about the dangerous and costly sci-fi climate fixes known as geoengineering.
It was just a lone sentence tacked on to the very end of a long New York Times article. The story focused on a recent report from President Obama’s bipartisan commission on reducing the national debt. “Panel Seeks Cuts in Social Security and Higher Taxes” was indeed about cuts in Social Security and proposed tax increases–the things most pundits jump on. But the last sentence caught my eye: “[The commission plan] would limit malpractice awards, long a Republican goal.”
As pundits and politicians argue about what the GOP midterm election sweep means, there are growing and disturbing signs that America increasingly is moving (and voting) to retreat from our nation’s commitment to scientific research and knowledge. We’re “dumbing down” collectively as a nation.
Here in my home state of Texas, we’re suffering from withdrawal pains.
Remember the joy shared by millions around the world as we watched as the Chilean miners were rescued one by one? Celebrating their survival made me wish that the global mining industry could find itself in the spotlight too, with lights glaring at each aspect of its destructiveness and criminality.
President Barack Obama recently announced plans to modernize our crumbling roads, rails, and airports while providing jobs for the construction industry. While we certainly need to fix our nation’s transportation infrastructure, there’s another form of infrastructure begging for a similar level of attention in the United States: that for our water.
It’s been 25 years now since an AP poll revealed that a majority of Americans thought terminally ill patients should have the right to die. Assuming, of course, that they wanted to. Fat lot of good that poll did. Not one state legislature has followed it.