CAM FENTON – As climate activists prepare to stop a tar sands pipeline in British Columbia, history offers an important lesson on fighting a restrained and measured opponent.
DIANA BEST – More and more banks and major investors are distancing themselves from tar sands.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Most countries are moving down the road toward a nuclear weapons-free world. This past July, the official representatives of most of the worldâ€™s nations, meeting in a UN-sponsored conclave, voted 122 to 1 (with 1 abstention) for an international treaty prohibiting countries from developing, testing, manufacturing, possessing, transferring, or threatening to use nuclear weapons. However, the nine nuclear-armed nations boycotted the conference and are not among the countries backing this Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weaponsâ€•at least not yet. Given the staggering economic and human costs of nuclear weapons, isnâ€™t it time that the nuclear nations got on board?
ERIC HOLTHAUS – Two weeks ago, at a New Orleans conference center that once doubled as a storm shelter for thousands during Hurricane Katrina, a group of polar scientists made a startling declaration: The Arctic as we once knew it is no more. The region is now definitively trending toward an ice-free state, the scientists said, with wide-ranging ramifications for ecosystems, national security, and the stability of the global climate system. It was a fitting venue for an eye-opening reminder that, on its current path, civilization is engaged in an existential gamble with the planetâ€™s life-support system.
NORMAN SOLOMON – Movie critics are already hailing â€œThe Post,â€ directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Meryl Streep as Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham. Millions of people will see the film in early winter. But the real-life political story of Graham and her newspaper is not a narrative thatâ€™s headed to the multiplexes.
BILL MCKIBBEN – Itâ€™s hard to be optimistic about climate action, not in a week when federal scientists reported that â€œthe Arctic shows no sign of returningâ€ to the â€œreliably frozen region of recent past decades.â€ Not in a month when Californiaâ€™s wildfires show every sign of burning straight through Christmas. And not in a moment when the federal government keeps scrubbing basic climate information from its websites. But something big is starting to shift.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – Dred Scott lives! With the Supreme Courtâ€™s declaration that President Trumpâ€™s third version of a Muslim travel ban is now enforceable, even as legal challenges against it proceed, the court and the country reopen the racism that permeates American history.
TOM H. HASTINGS – Since the #GagMeElection of 2016 we have heard a great deal about â€œresistance.â€ Nevertheless, weâ€™ve seen relatively little of it actually happening. Who is doing what toward what announced goal?
PRITAM K. ROHILA – On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations, and which must be protected all over the world.
ROBERT F. DODGE – Since the beginning of the nuclear age and the dropping of the first atomic bombs, humankind has struggled with the reality of being able to destroy the planet on the one hand and the abolition of these weapons on the other. This yearâ€™s Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear (ICAN) acknowledges these realities and celebrates the efforts to achieve the latter.
MELISSA A. WORK – After 20 children were killed by gun violence in Sandy Hook politicians did nothing. They made no changes, and continued to say, â€œNow is not the right time to talk about gun control. It is the time to mourn.â€ My question to you is when is the right time to talk about gun control? We see something that worked elsewhereâ€”Australiaâ€”and we cannot learn from that?
MARK WILLACY – Rising seas caused by climate change are seeping inside a United States nuclear waste dump on a remote and low-lying Pacific atoll, flushing out radioactive substances left behind from some of the worldâ€™s largest atomic weapons tests.
LAURA FINLEY – November 25th kicked off the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence. At no time has this work been more necessary than now. From rampant sexual harassment to sexual assault, domestic violence and sexual trafficking, women across the globe and in the U.S face gender-based violence at horrifying rates.
THE REAL DEAL (South Florida Real Estate News) – Credit rating agency Moodyâ€™s Investor Services Inc. warns that it may downgrade the ratings of U.S. states and cities that fail to prepare for the impact of climate change.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – This time, the â€œthe fire and the furyâ€ of American mass murder erupted in church. Twenty-six people were killed, including children, one only 18 months old. How do we stroke their memory? How do we move forward? This is bigger than gun control. We should begin, I think, by envisioning a world beyond mass murder: a world where rage and hatred are not armed and, indeed, where our most volatile emotions can find release long before they become lethal.