LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – In recent decades, a growing similarity has developed between the Chinese and U.S. economic systems. Despite the Chinese Communist Party’s talk of “socialism,” the rapidly-expanding Chinese economy has become increasingly capitalist, with the private sector accounting for about two-thirds of China’s Gross Domestic Product in 2021. Not surprisingly, then, the two countries currently lead the rest of the world’s nations in their number of billionaires. This March, according to Forbes, the United States had 735 billionaires (worth a collective $4.5 trillion) and China had 562 (worth $2 trillion) out of a global total of 2,640.
JESSICA CORBETT – U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley on Monday became just the second member of the Senate to demand a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, over six weeks into Israel’s brutal bombardment and ground operations that have killed over 13,000 Palestinians, including 5,500 children.
JOHN P. RUEHL – Weather manipulation is increasingly common around the world, but the dangers of privatization and weaponization abound.
WILL WADE – NuScale Power Corp., the first company with US approval for a small nuclear reactor design, is canceling plans to build a power plant for a Utah provider as costs surge. The move is a major setback to the burgeoning technology that has been heralded as the next era for atomic energy.
GREG PALAST – Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon describes the struggles of the Osage people. Here’s why they are still fighting.
CLARK MINDOCK – A U.S. appeals court canceled a license granted by a federal agency to a company to build a temporary nuclear waste storage facility in western Texas, which the Republican-led state has argued would be dangerous to build in one of the nation’s largest oil basins.
JOHN LAFORGE – Steadfast Noon is not just code language, or public relations. The event is a large-scale, psychological operation intended to teach us to pretend that nuclear attacks can do good. Of course if nuclear firestorms saved lives and ended war — as U.S. mythology goes with Hiroshima and Nagasaki — then the Pentagon would have used them in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. People love to be fooled.
JAKE JOHNSON – “The ongoing and imminent Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip are being conducted with potentially genocidal intent.”
ALAN J. KUPERMAN – The Biden administration’s intention to use dozens of bombs’ worth of highly enriched uranium as fuel in a new civilian reactor sets a dangerous precedent, one that could help our foes get nuclear weapons.
JOHN P. RUEHLE – China’s release of its standard map has produced outrage and alarm in several countries, yet Beijing remains steadfast in continuing its historical approach toward its borders.
JON BRODKIN – Democrats finally have 3-2 majority needed to regulate ISPs as common carriers, but the road ahead is challenging.
NICK GOTTLIEB – Ecuador just showed the world what it means to take climate change, biodiversity loss, and Indigenous sovereignty seriously, all with one national referendum, and at significant cost in a country wrestling with the challenging reality of being a resource producer in the Global South.
JOHN ABBOTTS – Will small reactors be the vehicle by which Energy Northwest “rhymes” with its earlier nuclear fiasco? Stay tuned.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – As the Partial Test Ban Treaty and its successors show us, arms control and disarmament treaties have helped to curb the nuclear arms race and prevent nuclear war. Similarly, the revived march toward nuclear catastrophe can be halted by finally banning nuclear weapons―if people will demand it.
EMILY GRUBERT – Evaluating whether technologies like hydrogen and carbon capture provide more benefit than harm is a critical activity for the U.S. on our decarbonization journey. The risks are large, and serious. The analyses we need are nuanced and require careful attention: this cannot be a “check the box exercise.” Not taking this seriously risks potentially trillions of dollars and billions of tonnes of GHG emissions, not to mention the trust and goodwill of the American public, which is reasonably skeptical of these potentially critically important technologies. The Project Tundra EA is shocking, with scary implications for doing this right. We must do better, and we must demand better.
REYNARD LOKI – In September 2022, climate journalist and native Oregonian Emma Pattee wrote in the New York Times that “[c]limate scientists estimate that the frequency of large wildfires could increase by over 30 percent in the next 30 years and over 50 percent in the next 80 years, thanks in large part to drought and extreme heat caused by climate change.” That is a frightening prospect not just for humans but for the countless nonhuman animals with whom we share this planet.
WINSLOW MYERS – If Lahaina carries an echo of Pearl Harbor, the fire-bombing of Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, it also ties together the two largest challenges our species faces together, nuclear war and climate catastrophe.
AL JAZEERA – Protesters set up camp outside Israeli parliament as hundreds of thousands rally in Tel Aviv against far-right government’s judicial plans.
STEPHANIE COOKE – It’s hard to see how any of the nuclear hype becomes real unless Congress is ready to ignore market signals, nationalize the electricity sector, and rebuild an industrial infrastructure that disappeared decades ago.
PATRICK HILLER – The War Prevention Initiative condemns the decision by the United States government to send cluster bombs to Ukraine in the latest arms shipment package. Cluster bombs kill and maim civilians indiscriminately during and after war. They are also a major threat to the environment, contaminating land for decades after they are used. In short, cluster bombs do not win wars and will only hurt current and future generations of Ukrainians.
JON QUEALLY – Despite years of protest and warnings from environmentalists, the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog on Tuesday (July 4th) approved a plan by Japan to release tens of millions of gallons of water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean.
DEREK ROYDEN – In the years ahead, as climate change truly takes hold, wealthier nations are going to have to make even more difficult decisions about what to do about those fleeing unlivable situations. Unfortunately, as the story of the SS St. Louis and more contemporary reactions to migration show, we don’t have a very good track record in this regard. Can we repair our historical amnesia enough to not only avoid committing moral outrage, but once again strengthening our societies by welcoming immigrants and refugees?
NORMAN SOLOMON – When Daniel Ellsberg died on Friday, June 16, 2023, the world lost a transcendent whistleblower with a powerful ethos of compassion and resolve.
APRIL M. SHORT – How Paicines Ranch in California works to bring business and investment up to date with our times and closer to nature—prioritizing ecosystem health, habitat, and the sequestration of carbon through soil practices.
PATTY DURAND – Urgent utility business model reforms are needed to create a 21st-century, people-centered grid that delivers affordable fossil-free solutions.
TANUPRIYA SINGH – “When big corporations have been given free rein to loot, and the government itself is standing on the backs of these corporations, what can the people do? They have no other path but that of struggle.”
CARLTON REID – Cyclists are now the “single largest vehicular mode counted during peak times on City streets,” says a report to the transportation committee of the City of London Corporation, the municipal governing body of London’s square mile.
RICHARD HEINBERG – Sure, the end of economic expansion and population growth is a challenging prospect. But it’s not nearly as daunting as the crisis we are setting up for ourselves if we continue to destroy nature through wasteful consumption and pollution. China’s slowdown is a welcome opportunity for global leaders and policymakers to get our priorities straight and set ourselves on a path of sustainable happiness and well-being.
JONATHAN KLATE – “Wokeness” is what folks on the political right love to declare themselves as being against these days. But, what is it, really, that they oppose?
TOM CONWAY – Citizens, teachers and other union members harness the power of the written word to unify and bolster their hometowns, but Florida Governor Ron DeSantis opts to weaponize books in an attempt to divide and dominate.
DAMIAN CARRINGTON – The influential academic, Prof. Mark Jacobson, says renewables alone can halt climate crisis, with technologies such as carbon capture expensive wastes of time.
APRIL M. SHORT – Efforts by governments and cities across the nation to defund the public library indicate a misunderstanding of the essential role that libraries play.
JACO PRINSLOO – “Wild Coast communities [of South Africa] are using the courts to fight for the right to determine what happens in their territory and [to strengthen] their hand in a country heavily marred by colonialism.”
ALFRED MEYER – To protect ourselves from the dangers of the nuclear enterprise, we need to stop the nuclear weapons and nuclear power reactor programs—a tall order, for sure. But if we seek success in our efforts, we are well advised to understand the forces we are engaging with. It is all about nuclear weapons.
GREG PALAST – A one-million-vote nose-dive in turnout was well-concealed by GOP Gov. Brian Kemp to cover up the effects of “Jim Crow 2.O” at the launch of his presidential campaign. From the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal, math-challenged reporters have repeated the completely upside-down fable of a “record turnout” in the Georgia Senate runoff.
LISA ELAINE HELD – A groundbreaking law directs Baltimore city agencies and employees — from cops to librarians — to root out practices that cause trauma. Already, lives have been saved.
DEREK ROYDEN – On October 30th, Brazilians voted in a presidential runoff election that was won by Luis ‘Lula’ Ignacio De Silva.
KATE YODER – Doing business today is harder for oil companies. Big Oil is becoming stigmatized as awareness grows that its environmentally-friendly messaging, full of beautiful landscapes and far-off promises to erase (some) of its emissions, doesn’t match its actions. This poses a hiring challenge for oil companies, with much of their current workforce getting closer to retirement. For years now, consulting firms have been warning the industry that it faces a “talent” gap and surveying young people to figure out how they might be convinced to take the open positions.
ANDREW MOSS – What John Lewis did by describing democracy as an act was to expand the discussion of democracy from issues concerning governmental institutions and political norms to questions of individual ethical choice. Democracy, he helped us understand, is choosing to see truthfully and humanely. It is choosing to act responsibly on the basis of that vision. And sometimes acting in this way will take great courage: to endure the blows of state troopers, as Lewis did in a 1965 march for voting rights; or, years later, to risk deportation and speak out as undocumented (or temporarily documented) individuals in order to claim full rights as human beings – and as fellow Americans.
LYLLA YOUINES – “There are different types of sustainable mining, and one of those is the actual process of choosing where,” said Blaine Miller-McFeeley, a senior legislative representative at Earthjustice. “That is just as important as choosing how.”
ROB HOPKINS – During my talks, I often invite people to time travel in their imagination to a 2030 that’s not utopia, or dystopia, but rather is the result of our having done everything we could possibly have done in those intervening years. We do it because, as Walidah Imarisha puts it, “we can’t build what we can’t imagine.”
By Caitlin Johnstone Vladimir Putin has approved the annexation of four territories in eastern Ukraine, whose addition to the Russian Federation now await authorization from Russia’s other branches of government. The Zelensky government responded to the move by applying to…
BRAD WOLF – The resolution to endless war just might be found in the eternal mystery of music, its ability to attract, to rebuild, to connect. It calls to something deeper than reason, since too often we can reason ourselves into or out of anything we wish. It offers the chance to regain our fundamental nature, a trading of swords for symphonies. Why not Bach? Why not his “Prelude”? And after Bach, on to Liszt. Once we quietly listen, we may come out the other side and remember who we truly are.
CASEY TOLAN, CURT DEVINE and DREW GRIFFIN – A new group led by a prominent conservative lawyer has received $1.6 billion from one donor – the largest single contribution to a politically focused nonprofit that’s ever been made public, and a fortune that could be used to fuel right-wing interests.
SUZANNE BEARNE – In 2019, Ms Ventura’s feelings started to shift when she decided to certify her business as a so-called “B Corp” organization. This is a global certification scheme whereby firms aim to meet the best possible social and environmental standards. “As a B company, we know that in order to fulfill our corporate purpose we cannot turn a blind eye to these questions: Who am I selling to? What am I selling? Will I be proud of what I am selling in 10 years?,” says Ms Ventura.
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.