Environment

Ecocide and the Soul of a Nation

At the front of the political madness enveloping the United States are anti-government, anti-science extremists who reject evidence of global warming and block any response to this existential threat. But the disconnect between environmental destruction and today’s humanity goes deeper, says Phil Rockstroh.

The Scandal of Lax Government

For decades now, it’s been fashionable to demonize government. After all, that’s what billions of dollars invested in right-wing think tanks and media outlets will buy you. There also are genuine abuses by bureaucrats. But lax government oversight can be a scandal, too, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note.

The Lost ‘Trifecta of Scandals’

From CNN to the Washington Post, the mainstream news media is abuzz about “the trifecta of scandals” besetting the Obama administration, a narrative that fails to assess the actual significance of the three “scandals.” They don’t measure up to the many important scandals that the media neglects, says Beverly Bandler.

The Special-Interest Congress

Special interests with lots of money continue to be heard in Congress; the average citizen not so much. Thus, corporate tax breaks are protected while programs to help people and build the country are cut, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship explain.

Almost Flunking on Global Warming

Focusing on issues like terrorism and austerity, the world has slid back toward neglecting the slow-grinding existential threat of global warming. A report card by an Establishment think tank offers poor grades on some of the most important subjects, reports ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Right’s Anti-Treaty Bias

A key argument of the American Right is that treaties are an affront to U.S. “sovereignty” and “constitutional governance,” even though the Founders embraced treaties with other nations. Today’s anti-treaty bias threatens to undermine U.S. influence in the world, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Reaping the Seeds of Nuke Tests

The warnings about fallout from nuclear tests six decades ago often noted that cancers from the radiation would probably not begin appearing in large numbers for many years. But that time is now – and medical experts are wondering whether the surge in some cancers is a result, writes John LaForge.

The Cusp of Ecological Disaster

In a world where all emotion is translated into a sales pitch and each thought becomes a talking point, the existential question is how to live a life that embraces real emotion and articulates original thinking, a dilemma that poet Phil Rockstroh addresses in this commentary on late-stage capitalism.

Nuke Sludge Leaking at Hanford

The U.S. rush to build a giant arsenal of nuclear weapons during the Cold War created an environmental disaster at Hanford in Washington State along the Columbia River. Clean-up costs are staggering and radioactive sludge threatens to contaminate the region’s water supply, writes nuclear watchdog John LaForge.

Seepage from an Aging Nuclear Site

The nuclear industry hasn’t solved the long-term problem of what to do with nuclear waste, which presents a uniquely dangerous environmental threat. That danger is now highlighted by leakage at one of the oldest nuclear sites in the world, Washington State’s Hanford facility, writes Gina Mason.