THOMAS HEDGES – There is no debate on climate change in Germany. The temperature for the past 10 months has been three degrees above average and weâ€™re again on course for the warmest year on record. Thereâ€™s no dispute among Germans as to whether this change is man-made, or that we contribute to it and need to stop accelerating the process.
ANDY ROWELL, RICHARD COOKSON – The boss of a company set to build two nuclear reactors in Somerset has been demanding cuts to renewable energy subsidies and to help for people in fuel poverty while quietly lobbying the European Commission for financial help for new nuclear power stations.
KATHY KELLY – Ten years ago, in March of 2003, Iraqis braced themselves for the anticipated â€œShock and Aweâ€ attacks that the U.S. was planning to launch against them. The media buildup for the attack assured Iraqis that barbarous assaults were looming. I was living in Baghdad at the time, along with other Voices in the Wilderness activists determined to remain in Iraq, come what may. We didnâ€™t want U.S. – led military and economic war to sever bonds that had grown between ourselves and Iraqis who had befriended us over the previous seven years. Since 1996, we had traveled to Iraq numerous times, carrying medicines for children and families there, in open violation of the economic sanctions which directly targeted the most vulnerable people in Iraqi societyâ€” the poor, the elderly, and the children.
ROB OKUN – What about men who are trying to do the right thing? That was the thought I had the other day after hearing what was intended as an innocuous joke. â€œIf you took a vote on which is the better gender,â€ a female friend said, â€œmen would come in second.â€
JOHN LAFORGE – Federal and state officials said in February six giant underground tanks holding an explosive and toxic brew of highly radioactive liquid wastes are leaking at the 570-square-mile Hanford Reservation, on the Columbia River in South Central Washington State.
WINSLOW MYERS – Schultz, Kissinger, Perry and Nunn, those quintessentially establishment figures, have just posted in the quintessentially establishment Wall Street Journal their fifth editorial since 2007 advocating urgent changes enabling the eventual abolition of nuclear weapons on planet Earth.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – At this time of severe cutbacks in government funding for food stamps, early childhood education, and Meals on Wheels, some Maryland legislators are hard at work looking out for the welfare of one of the worldâ€™s wealthiest corporations. Under a bill rapidly advancing in the legislature of that state, the Lockheed Martin Corporation will have the taxes on its luxurious Montgomery County hotel and conference center reduced by approximately $450,000 a year and will also receive a $1.4 million refund for the period since 2010.
TWILIGHT GREENAWAY – Itâ€™s that exciting time of the year again when the Senate and House Appropriations Committees gets together to hash out the annual agriculture budget. I know, right? Really fun stuff.
This year, in addition to the usual underfunding of legislation that could make the food system more sustainable, the appropriations process has become especially charged, thanks to a one-paragraph addition called the â€œfarmer assurance provision.â€
PETER BERGEL – The best peace party in Oregon, Give Peace a Dance, will shake, rattle and roll Salemâ€™s Grand Ballroom (187 High St. NE) from 6-11 p.m. on March 23rd. The event features superb entertainment, silent and oral auctions, delicious food and a no-host bar. The event benefits Oregon PeaceWorks, a statewide peace, justice and sustainability organization based in Salem.
THE PARTNERSHIP FOR CIVIL JUSTICE FUND – FBI documents just obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund(PCJF) pursuant to the PCJFâ€™s Freedom of Information Act demands reveal that from its inception, the FBI treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat even though the agency acknowledges in documents that organizers explicitly called for peaceful protest and did â€œnot condone the use of violenceâ€ at occupy protests.
NORMAN SOLOMON – For the social compact of the United States, most of the Congressional Progressive Caucus has gone missing.
While still on the caucus roster, three-quarters of the 70-member caucus seem lost in political smog. Those 54 members of the Progressive Caucus havenâ€™t signed the current letter that makes a vital commitment: â€œwe will vote against any and every cut to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits — including raising the retirement age or cutting the cost of living adjustments that our constituents earned and need.â€
DAVID ROBERTS – I’ve been writing a lot about the activist campaign to block the Keystone XL pipeline. Much of that writing has been devoted to pushing back against the squadron of Very Serious People who want to pooh-pooh the campaign as mistargeted, misguided, and futile.
DINESH NARAYANAN – One big multinational is almost certain to be out of the race for nuclear energy business in India. On Wednesday I had met John Flannery, outgoing President and Chief Executive Officer of GE in India for a chat before he left for his new assignment: finding targets for the company to buy. Flannery said GE will rather give up business than play within Indiaâ€™s civil nuclear liability rules.
DAVID SWANSON – We’ve come to understand that the banks are too big to fail, too big to take to trial, too big not to let them write our public policy, too big not to reward them for ruining our economy. Why have we come to understand that?
RICHARD CAPERTON – In the last two years, the biggest extreme weather events cost American families and businesses $188 billion. As we pump more and more greenhouse gas pollution into the atmosphere, these disasters are only going to become more common.