KENNY STANCIL – Pressure from progressive advocacy groups and lawmakers bore fruit on Wednesday, July 20, when the U.S. Postal Service announced that it would be making 40% of its new delivery vehicles electric, up from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s initial plan to electrify just 10% of the mail agency’s aging fleet.
WINSLOW MYERS – We can look upward and outward from the echo-chamber of despair, greed, fear, and cynicism that mark our era. We can dare to set new planetary goals—feeding all the hungry, finding homes and work for refugees, demonstrating the advantages of representational government, and deploying the technologies of wind, solar, and battery to move beyond fossil fuels. The scientists that pulled off the Webb have provided the most powerful possible example of setting a high goal and then learning how to work together to achieve it.
MEL GURTOV – The ballot box might not be the most effective path to changing national environmental policy. But at the local level, people are fighting in a novel way: demanding that water be accorded legal standing, in the same way corporations, estates, and universities are represented in court.
LIZ ALDERMAN – Outages at EDF, Europe’s biggest electricity exporter, have sent France’s nuclear power output tumbling to its lowest level in nearly 30 years, pushing French electric bills to record highs just as the war in Ukraine is stoking broader inflation. Instead of pumping vast amounts of electricity to Britain, Italy and other European countries pivoting from Russian oil, France faces the unsettling prospect of initiating rolling blackouts this winter and having to import power.
MARIA GALLUCCI – Offshore wind power is surging around the world as countries adopt ambitious clean energy policies and as wind equipment costs decline. That growth is expected to explode over the next decade, even as the industry faces supply-chain snags and other headwinds. Those are the main takeaways from two new reports charting the recent progress and future trajectory of global offshore wind development.
OLIVIA ROSANE – Three oil companies have canceled their leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. “These exits clearly demonstrate that international companies recognize what we have known all along: drilling in the Arctic Refuge is not worth the economic risk and liability that results from development on sacred lands without the consent of Indigenous Peoples,” the Gwich’in Steering Committee said in a statement.
ANN WRIGHT – While the world’s attention is focused on the brutal Russia-Ukraine conflict, half-way around the world, in the Pacific Ocean, competition/confrontation of the U.S. and NATO toward China and North Korea is taking an increasingly military turn.
KYLE ANZALONE and WILL PORTER – Russia has offered to relax its blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, but only in exchange for sanctions relief from the West, amid fears that the war raging in Eastern Europe is driving a major international food crisis.
ROB OKUN – Long before a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion revealed that by summer Roe v. Wade will likely be overturned, only pregnant people bore the burden of pregnancy—not just physically, but also financially. “Impregnators” have always had the choice to walk away. Sure, they could be on the hook for child support after birth, but what if they could be held responsible for their actions before—from the moment of conception—just as the pregnant person is?
RICHARD HEINBERG – Crises make incumbent politicians look bad. But denying or politicizing problems that result from our own prior mistakes just makes those problems worse. Here’s some free advice for policy makers and members of the Fourth Estate: take the long view, even if it’s scary. And tell the truth, even if it means losing an election or Twitter followers.
JOHN LAFORGE – Still dreaming of a nuclear reactor that is clean, safe and cheap? Holtec Decommissioning International Corp. is trying to turn that dream to a nightmare.
MARCO FERNANDES – Humanity faces urgent challenges, such as inequality, hunger, the climate crisis, and the threat of new pandemics. To overcome them, regional alliances in the Global South must be able to institute a new multipolarity in global politics. But the usual suspects may have other plans for humanity.
KATIE SURMA – An judge invoked the power of the government to act as a guardian for those who cannot care for themselves.
BOAVENTURA DE SOUSA SANTOS – When armed conflicts take place in Africa or in the Middle East, Europe’s leaders are the first to call for a cessation of hostilities and to declare the urgent need for peace negotiations. Why is it then that when a war occurs in Europe, the drums of war beat incessantly, and not a single leader calls for them to be silenced and for the voice of peace to be heard?
VETERAN INTELLIGENCE PROFESSIONALS FOR SANITY (VIPS) – Mainstream media have marinated the minds of most Americans in a witches’ brew of misleading information on Ukraine – and on the exceedingly high stakes of the war. On the chance you are not getting the kind of “untreated” intelligence President Truman hoped for by restructuring intelligence, we offer below a 12-point factsheet. Some of us were intelligence analysts during the Cuban missile crisis and see a direct parallel in Ukraine. As to VIPs’ credibility, our record since Jan. 2003 – whether on Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, or Russia – speaks for itself.
ALAN MACLEOD – Google has sent a warning shot across the world, ominously informing media outlets, bloggers, and content creators that it will no longer tolerate certain opinions when it comes to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
PETER BERGEL and MICHAEL CARRIGAN – Once again we are all paying our federal income taxes this month. We do this as “the price of civilization” – to pay for the services we value and rely upon – disaster relief, help during the pandemic, wildfire protection, food security, a host of others and… nuclear weapons?
CANDACE BERND – Climate activists living under the constant blare of air raid sirens in Ukraine say they donâ€™t want the United Statesâ€™ fracked gas exports, and donâ€™t want frontline communities along the U.S. Gulf Coast living with the impacts of so-called liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure to become sacrifice zones in their name. Instead, they say, they want a dramatic, wartime mobilization for a transition to clean energy.
RALPH NADER – Corporate fraud against the U.S. governmentâ€”which occurs no matter which party is in powerâ€”costs taxpayers billions of dollars per year. Neither Congress nor the White House has met this challenge of titanic corruption which should become a major campaign subject in the coming elections.
KATHY KELLY – Jan Egeland, the secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, said,Â â€œThe people of Yemen need the same level of support and solidarity that weâ€™ve seen for the people of Ukraine. The crisis in Europe will dramatically impact Yemenisâ€™ access to food and fuel, making an already dire situation even worse.â€
PRABIR PURKAYASTHA – Hyper-capitalism has systematically weakened regulations to help capital at the cost of consumers. The verdict on the Elizabeth Holmes case simply illustrates the growing post-â€™90s disregard for consumers.
CHERI MOSSBURG and AMIR VERA – The San Jose, California, city council voted Tuesday night (January 25) to adopt a first-in-the-nation ordinance requiring most gun owners to pay a fee and carry liability insurance, measures aimed at reducing the risk of gun harm by incentivizing safer behavior and easing taxpayers of the financial burden of gun violence.
DEBORAH NICHOLLS-LEE – The Netherlands has reduced its prison population to such a degree that itâ€™s now turning old prisons into socially useful buildings, such as schools and refugee centres. What went right?
RALPH CHAMI, SENA OZTOSUN, THOMAS COSIMANO, CONNEL FULLENKAMP – A strategy to protect whales can limit greenhouse gases and global warming.
DR. GREG JACZKO, PROF. WOLFGANG RENNEBERG, DR. BERNARD LAPONCHE, DR. PAUL DORFMAN – Nuclear is neither clean, safe or smart; but a very complex technology with the potential to cause significant harm. Nuclear isn’t cheap, but extremely costly. Perhaps most importantly nuclear is just not part of any feasible strategy that could counter climate change. To make a relevant contribution to global power generation, up to more than ten thousand new reactors would be required, depending on reactor design.
TSVETANA PARASKOVA – Europeâ€™s energy crisis just got worse.
REYNARD LOKI – Our broken and inhumane food system is a huge source of emissions, so why isnâ€™t it a major part of the climate solution?
MATT MCGRATH – Campaign groups argue that the World Health Organization didn’t get serious about banning tobacco until all the lobbyists for the industry were banned from WHO meetings. They want the same treatment for oil and gas companies at COP.
JOHN V. WALSH – The USS Connecticut incident in the South China Sea should be a wake-up call for East Asia â€“ and the world.
APRIL M. SHORT – The free access event, Festival of What Works (November 2-7), highlighted solutions for communities to adopt.
ALASDAIR LANE – Half of the world’s land is used to grow our food. A new generation of ‘carbon farmers’ are making their land absorb greenhouse gases, rather than emitting them.
WES SILER – Today [Oct. 8, 2021], President Biden announced that heâ€™s restoring the Bears Ears and Grand Staircaseâ€“Escalante National Monuments in Utah, as well asÂ the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean to the areas and protections that were in place before Donald Trump massively cut them. The move fulfills a campaign promise, protects sensitive historic sites and fragile ecosystems, preserves air and water quality for local communities, keeps coal and oil in the ground, and listens to the voice of Indigenous people on the eve of Indigenous Peopleâ€™s Day.Â
JOHN LAFORGE – The Nuclear Regulatory Commissionâ€™s (NRC) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has confirmed that it is investigating allegations that counterfeit, substandard parts are currently being used in scores of nuclear reactors across the United States, and further that emergency responders in New Hampshireâ€™s National Guard and the Massachusetts State Police have been gagged by orders not to reveal that it is impossible to conduct a safe evacuation of the Seabrook reactor during an emergency.
KOOHAN PAIK-MANDER – President Joe Biden called President Xi Jinping of China on September 9, 2021, to work toward rapprochement as tensions in the western Pacific had reached a fever pitch. The very next day, Bidenâ€™s call was undermined by inflammatory information provided on September 10 to the Financial Times by anonymous officials from his own administration. It drew immediate ire from Beijing.
NICK ESTES – Sonia Guajajara, executive director of the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, clearly expresses the Indigenous perspective: â€œWe have been fighting every day for hundreds of years to ensure our existence and today our fight for rights is global.â€
BRENDA GOH and YILEI SUN – Regulators in China have come down hard on its biggest technology firms this year, criticizing them for policies that exploit workers and infringe on consumer rights in addition to unleashing a slew of anti-trust probes and fines.
ISABELLE GERRETSEN – Fionn Ferreira says he has encountered skepticism throughout his journey as a young inventor and hopes that inventions such as his will help change that attitude. And as his generation inherits problems created by those that came before them, the world is likely to need more imaginative solutions.
ROZ BROWN – As the Bootleg fire burns in southern Oregon, the U.S. Senate is considering an infrastructure package that environmental scientists say contains misguided provisions. The infrastructure bill would include billions in funding for the U.S. Forest Service in the name of wildfire prevention.
KATHY KELLY – The U.S. government owes reparations to the civilians of Afghanistan for the past twenty years of war and brutal impoverishment.
CENTER FOR CITIZEN INITIATIVES – CCI calls for results-oriented dialogue to rediscover the road to a world free of nuclear weapons.
ERIC TEGETHOFF – There are signs this summer could be a bad one for the native salmon of the Northwest. Already, drought has gripped the region, causing low river flows that could be hard for fish to navigate or spawn in. That’s bad news for species already teetering on extinction, especially in the Columbia River Basin.
ALEXIS BENVENISTE – Carbon emissions are a huge contributor to climate change, so companies are getting creative about finding ways to suck the heat-trapping element out of the atmosphere and slow global warming.
SARAH BETANCOURT – Massachusetts has the lowest US gun death rates, and John Rosenthal says mass shootings wonâ€™t stop without real national action.
LIAM MCCOLLUM – The Montana state legislature overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan and unprecedented resolution Tuesday calling on the federal government to end endless wars. The resolution passed 95-3 in the House and 47-2 in the Senate. The resolution specifically urges President Joe Biden and the United States Congress to â€œend the endless war in Afghanistan,â€ repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, resist sending U.S. troops into combat without a declaration of war from Congress or specific authorization to do so, and to â€œexecute a prudent foreign policy.â€
SPACE WAR – China is calling on the global community to urgently start the negotiations on the space arms control, which should be based on a document proposed by Beijing and Moscow
JANE MEYER – On a leaked conference call, leaders of dark-money groups and an aide to Mitch McConnell expressed frustration with the popularity of the legislationâ€”even among Republican voters.
NATYLIE BALDWIN – There have been recent reports of intensified fighting near the line of contact in the Donbass area of eastern Ukraine between Kiev forces and Donbass rebels who are supported by Russia. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission reported a rise in ceasefire violations at the end of the week before last from 89 to nearly 500. There are accusations back and forth of new attacks by Kiev forces on Donbass and a military buildup in Russia near the border with eastern Ukraine.
GLOBAL VOICES SOUTH EAST ASIA – February became a bloody month as the military and police violently attacked anti-coup protesters
INTERVIEW OF MYCLE SCHNEIDER – Mycle Schneider says investing in nuclear power is the wrong way to go when it comes to tackling climate change.
RIVERA SUN – If a conservative Kansas grain farmer and a potato-picking farm girl from Maine can see eye-to-eye on the climate crisis, maybe thereâ€™s hope for the rest of the country. The future of humanity depends on it.