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A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Will the Trump Administration Take Down the Arctic Refuge?
What happens in the Arctic doesn’t just stay up north. It affects the world, as that region is the integrator of our planet’s climate systems, atmospheric and oceanic. At the moment, the northernmost places on Earth are warming at more than twice the global average, a phenomenon whose impact is already being felt planetwide. Welcome... Read More
Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt had a genuine howler the other day. On NBC’s Meet the Press, he said, “Since the fourth quarter of last year until most recently, we’ve added almost 50,000 jobs in the coal sector. In the month of May alone, almost 7,000 jobs.” Try instead maybe 1,000 jobs in the... Read More
The Petro-Powers vs. the Greens
That Donald Trump is a grand disruptor when it comes to international affairs is now a commonplace observation in the establishment media. By snubbing NATO and withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, we’ve been told, President Trump is dismantling the liberal world order created by Franklin D. Roosevelt at the end of World War II.... Read More
The U.S. Navy's Anti-Environmental Broadside in the Gulf of Alaska
It’s war in the Gulf and the U.S. Navy is on hand to protect us. No, not that Gulf! I’m talking about the Gulf of Alaska and it’s actually mock war -- if, that is, you don’t happen to be a fin whale or a wild salmon. This May, the Navy will again sail its... Read More
Figuratively speaking, a ginormous asteroid is hurtling to a cataclysmic rendezvous with earth, but we are not supposed to notice. The asteroid is the rising threat from environmental degradation. Evidence is accumulating that environmental degradation is becoming global. We can either act responsibly by accepting the challenge or take refuge in denial and risk the... Read More
The World Wildlife Fund tells us that there are only 3,890 tigers left in the entire world. Due to exploitative capitalism, which destroys the environment in behalf of short-term profits, the habitat for tigers is rapidly disappearing. The environmental destruction, together with hunting or poaching by those who regard it as manly or profitable to... Read More
How the Raid on Malheur Screened a Future Raid on Real Estate
It goes without saying that in a democracy everyone is entitled to his or her own opinions. The trouble starts when people think they are also entitled to their own facts. Away out West, on the hundreds of millions of acres of public lands that most Americans take for granted (if they are aware of... Read More
One summer 43 years ago, I headed west with a photographer friend, interviewing Americans at minor league baseball parks, fairgrounds, tourist spots, campgrounds, wherever the moment and our Volkswagen van took us. Grandiosely enough, our goal was “to tap the mood of the nation,” which led to my first book, Beyond Our Control: America in... Read More
On August 5th, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey banded together with 15 other state attorneys general to demand that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suspend the implementation of new rules devised by the Obama administration to slow the pace of climate change. The regulations, announced just two days earlier, sought to reduce power plant... Read More
Few, if any, corporations absorb the full cost of their operations. Corporations shove many of their costs onto the environment, the public sector, and distant third parties. For example, currently 3 million gallons of toxic waste water from a Colorado mine has escaped and is working its way down two rivers into Utah and Lake... Read More
The Past Battles the Future at Seneca Lake
Let’s amend the famous line from Joni Mitchell’s “Yellow Taxi” to fit this moment in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. There, Big Energy seems determined to turn paradise, if not into a parking lot, then into a massive storage area for fracked natural gas. But there’s one way in which that song... Read More
I am an admirer of Dahr Jamail’s reporting. In this article, Oceans In Crisis, Jamail tells us that we are losing the oceans. http://truth-out.org/news/item/29930-oceans-in-crisis-one-woman-will-cross-the-pacific-to-raise-awareness He reports on the human destruction of the oceans. It is a real destruction with far-reaching consequences. That fact is indisputable. From my perspective the human destruction of the oceans is... Read More
In her bestselling book The Sixth Extinction, the New Yorker's superb environmental journalist, Elizabeth Kolbert, reports on an event, already unfolding in the present moment, the likes of which may only have been experienced five other times in the distant history of life on this planet. As she writes, “It is estimated that one-third of... Read More
An Introduction to the Most Beautiful Animal You’ll Never See
Maybe baby steps will help, but the world needs a lot more than either the United States or China is offering to combat the illegal traffic in wildlife, a nearly $20-billion-a-year business that adds up to a global war against nature. As the headlines tell us, the trade has pushed various rhinoceros species to the... Read More
Looking for a little hope on climate change? Believe it or not, it’s here and it’s real. And I'm not referring to the fact that, at least temporarily, oil prices have gone through the floor, making environmentally destructive “tough oil” projects like western oil-shale fracking and Canadian tar sands extraction look ever less profitable. Nor... Read More
Having watched the taxpayer and Federal Reserve bailout of the financial institutions, the criminal actions of which had collapsed the economy, he realized that the financial system and its regulators were corrupt and committed to protecting the house of cards that corruption had created. The flood of liquidity that was on its way would drive... Read More
Without visiting it, the eighteenth-century French natural scientist Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, propounded the theory that the New World was an inferior creation, its species but degenerate versions of European ones. “There is no North American animal comparable to the elephant: no giraffes, lions, or hippopotami,” he wrote. “All animals are smaller... Everything shrinks... Read More
Celebrating the Great Laws of 1964
Let us now praise famous laws and the year that begat them: 1964. The first thing to know about 1964 was that, although it occurred in the 1960s, it wasn’t part of “the Sixties.” The bellbottoms, flower power, LSD, and craziness came later, beginning about 1967 and extending into the early 1970s. Trust me: I... Read More
Will Obama Block the Keystone Pipeline or Just Keep Bending?
As the battle over the Keystone XL pipeline has worn on -- and it’s now well over two years old -- it’s illuminated the Obama presidency like no other issue. It offers the president not just a choice of policies, but a choice of friends, worldviews, styles. It’s become an X-ray for a flagging presidency.... Read More
Recently, “good” news about energy has been gushing out of North America, where a cheering crowd of pundits, energy experts, and government officials has been plugging the U.S. as the “Saudi Arabia” of the twenty-first century. You know, all that fracking and those luscious deposits of oil shale and gas shale just waiting to be... Read More
Elephants are one of nature’s supremely beautiful and most majestic creations. Africa’s elephants are rapidly being slaughtered to extinction because of Asia’s lust for ivory. We should remember Gandhi’s maxim, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Last week, the New York Times... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
The predictable word is in from Rio: failure. The conference twenty years on from the huge Earth Summit, Rio 92, has been unable to produce even the pretense of an energetic verbal commitment of the world’s community to “sustainable principles.” The reason? These conferences have always been pretty fraudulent affairs, lofted on excited green rhetoric... Read More
With her 1962 book, Silent Spring, Rachel Carson got DDT and other synthetic pesticides banned and saved bird life. Today it is humans who are directly threatened by technologies designed to extract the maximum profit at the lowest private cost and the maximum social cost from natural resources. Once abundant clean water has become a... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
The British learn every few years that their much vaunted “special relationship” with the United States is actually, in terms of relationships, rather more normal than they suppose – being a zig-zagging affair fraught with hypocrisy, deception and self interest, with underlying patterns of dominance and submission as fetchingly described by Sade and Sacher-Masoch. The... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Sobering, is it not, to realize that the possible survival of a huge oil company, of several billion shrimp, assorted species of fish and birds, not to mention avoidance of a near lethal lurch in the fortunes of Louisiana’s fishing and ocean rec industries and the future of offshore drilling up the Atlantic coast could... Read More
Commies, Conservatives, And Trash On The Trail
I'm trying to figure out environmentalism and why everyone hollers about it. I'm having a hard time. My own environmental prejudices: I like back-country camping. I don't see the advantage in having a trail covered with beer cans and styrofoam. Maybe there is a benefit, and I'm just slow, and don't understand. But I don't... Read More
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PastClassics
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?