Environment

Overcoming the Great Dismal

The core challenge facing today’s U.S. political process is whether the daunting threats to the planet and its people can be addressed, responsibly and cooperatively. Another hope is that in building these solutions, America can break loose from the chains of soulless mediocrity, as Phil Rockstroh explains.

What to Make of Barack Obama?

Exclusive: In his Second Inaugural Address, President Obama offered a powerful rejoinder to the Right by arguing that progressive reform fits firmly within the Founders’ vision of a strong country advancing the “general Welfare” and securing “Blessings of Liberty.” But does his rhetoric reflect the real Obama, asks Robert Parry.

New Hope for a Second Term

President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address surprised some pundits with his strong messages on climate change, immigration reform, gun safety and other social issues. But whether real action follows will depend on a shift in public consciousness, says Robert F. Dodge.

America’s War for Reality

Exclusive: The United States has been on a three-decade binge of unreality, imbibing delusions that began with Ronald Reagan and have continued through the Tea Party. The challenge now is for rational Americans to show they have the toughness and tenacity to fight for the real world — and to save it, writes Robert Parry.

Keystone Pipeline’s March to the Sea

Progress continues on the Keystone XL pipeline as it overcomes creative protests and legal challenges in East Texas. But opposition also is building with big-name environmentalists, like Robert Redford, urging the Obama administration to stand up against global warming, reports William Boardman.

Al Gore’s ‘Current TV’ Debacle

Exclusive: Current TV’s core failure was the choice by its founder Al Gore to avoid political conflict in 2005 when President George W. Bush was near the height of his powers. That act of cowardice made the “progressive” network largely irrelevant to the biggest battles of the last decade, says Robert Parry.

Strategic Threat of Climate Change

As the American Right loses credibility – from the Tea Party to the neocons – there’s a chance for the reassertion of rationality, a new respect for empirical evidence and disdain for propaganda. Perhaps most importantly is the recognition of the grave threat from climate change, says Winslow Myers.

Congressmen Eye Revolving Door

Outgoing members of Congress – even as they consider legislation in the lame-duck session – are preparing their exits through the revolving door to lucrative lobbying jobs, often with industries they assisted while doing the “people’s business,” as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship explain.

Dim Tidings of Political Disconnect

The insertion of false narratives is a powerful way to control populations, a technique that today’s American Right has perfected in persuading much of the population that global warming is a hoax and “the market’s invisible hand” is real,  a dilemma of the human condition addressed by poet Phil Rockstroh.

Vermont Nuke Case Cites Risks

Aging nuclear power plants present increasing risks to the U.S. environment, because of possible catastrophic events like the one that hit Fukushima, Japan, and storage problems with nuclear waste. A trespassing case in Vermont raised some of these questions, reports William Boardman.