Environment

Tick-Tock-ing toward Oblivion

The Doomsday Clock set at three minutes to midnight.

Blithely, the world’s political, military and financial leaders strut toward existential catastrophes while never questioning the rightness of their actions. This arrogance has caused leading scientists to push the symbolic clock of global destruction to three minutes to midnight, notes Nicolas J S Davies.

Disdaining ‘the Search for Truth’

Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

When information becomes a weapon – whether in geopolitics or domestic politics – the democratic principle of an informed electorate is sacrificed, as is now the case in modern America, where some leaders pander to parts of the electorate that are disdainful of science, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.

A Congress that Disdains Science

The image of the Earth rising over the surface of the moon, a photograph taken by the first U.S. astronauts to orbit the moon.

America, the world’s superpower, is becoming a country disconnected from evidence and reality with the Congress now controlled by a Republican Party that has assigned anti-science zealots to run committees responsible for addressing environmental dangers including the threat from global warming, writes Lawrence Davidson.

The Anti-Empirical Empire

New York Times graphic based on data from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In many ways, America has become the anti-empirical empire, a superpower where many political leaders divorce themselves from facts. Few examples are more glaring or dangerous than the continued denial of global warming despite the latest evidence of impending catastrophe, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Resisting a Navy Base on China’s Periphery

Waves crashing against Jungmun Daepo Jusang Jeollidae, the columnar joints in Jungmun, Jeju-do, South Korea. (Photo credit: Yoo Chung)

The idyllic island of Jeju off the southern tip of South Korea is the unlikely front line in a possible future military confrontation with China — as a major new naval base is constructed there despite determined opposition from peace activists who were joined by former U.S. intelligence analyst Elizabeth Murray.

The Future the US Budget Foretells

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

The key drafters of the U.S. Constitution may have had dreams of a government to “promote the general Welfare” but that goal has long since been lost to factionalism and special interests, a reality that is growing worse as money increasingly buys American politics, as Lawrence Davidson describes.

Will ‘New Obama’ Bring Hope for Change?

President Barack Obama runs onto a stage in Rockville, Maryland, Oct. 3, 2013 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama has finally shown glimmers of the leader that many Americans thought they saw in 2008, as he displays some boldness in ending U.S. hostility toward Cuba and acting on global warming. But it remains unclear if this “new Obama” will offer more reasons to hope for change, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Finally, US Leadership on Global Warming

Image of Planet Earth taken from Apollo 17

For years as global warming grew worse, the U.S. government found reasons not to act, but finally the Obama administration has not only talked the talk but walked the walk with tighter CO2 regulations, an example of real leadership, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Bought-and-Paid Congress Divides the Spoils

After unprecedented spending on the mid-term elections, Congress returns to Washington.

Never has the Golden Rule of Politics glittered so bright: the corporate-person with the most gold rules. And the Republicans are now firmly in control of Congress after having their pockets filled more than the Democrats, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship explain.

GOP Climate-Deniers Lose a Point

President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping of China greet children during the State Arrival Welcome Ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Nov. 12, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The Republican mid-term victories were viewed as a big win for global-warming deniers and their oil-and-coal industry backers, but China’s surprising acceptance of greenhouse gas limits removes one of the chief arguments against the U.S. doing something about the climate crisis, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.