Category: Environment

Taking Responsibility for the Gulf Oil Disaster

We’re all angry and disgusted and possibly horrified and shocked to see the destruction wrought by the oil spill bespoiling the Gulf of Mexico. Witnessing incontrovertible evidence of death by petroleum has got us in the mood for persecution and punishment. The bad people who did this — British Petroleum is the acting villain in...

Caloric Equality

Our finely developed sense of American vanity keeps us obsessed with working out and dieting, with inspirational weight-loss stories and TV game shows in which dramatically shrinking waistlines are seen not as a sign of dwindling well-being but as a heroic conquering of anarchic eating compulsions. We fortunate ones desperately want to be thin, but...

The Time to Care About Disaster Victims

President Obama sent us an email a few days ago, and this time it wasn’t to ask for monetary support of his healthcare reform boondoggle. He was asking us (and the millions of others on his OFA database) to help Haitians. He wrote: “Despite the fact that we are experiencing tough times here at home,...

Underfed and Overpopulated

For Americans drowning in super-sized sodas, bursting with high-calorie fat bombs from the Dollar Menu, and dying from generally too much of everything except self-discipline, it may be hard to understand that a large portion of the planet’s population doesn’t have enough to eat. If the projections are to be believed, it’s only going to...

Unfortunate Misapprehensions

With each day’s news comes further affirmation that it is entirely possible to be reasonably intelligent, highly educated, and specially trained while also being utterly ignorant of what’s commonly understood to be reality.  No, I’m not speaking of the funny folks with advanced degrees who denounce the Theory of Evolution in favor of loopy fairy...

What Would Happen If…

What would happen if everyone who owns American homes — urban, suburban, or otherwise — converted their lush lawns into vegetable gardens?  What would happen if every American family became a one-automobile unit and committed to using bicycles and public transportation except when carpooling? What would happen if the majority of Americans walked everywhere except...

Turning Rejection Into Acceptance, Solarly

Improved growing technology and niggardly consumption of resources now allows industrial farmers to grow ten-to-twenty-times more vegetables indoors in smartly designed greenhouses by employing hydroponics and sun-capture techniques. The new hothouse method uses fewer chemicals, water, and arable land, and it feeds more people. The only obstacle to upgrading our produce paradigm is money: the...

Tough Questions

Is it worth keeping millions of Americans employed in an industry that produces products which harm our country? Would those laborers be better utilized making something that’s good for society? Or is it simply more important to provide jobs — to maintain jobs — no matter how pointless and unhelpful they are?  Other than the...

“Flow,” the Film

If you’re still drinking bottled water — or are in favor of more asphalt roads, lateral real estate development, and industrial farming — we’ve got a movie for you.  It’s called Flow, and like other cinematic wake-up calls, such as An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary coolly and convincingly correlates normal and accepted human behavior with the despoiling...

Next in Line at the Latrine

For much of the nation’s existence, India has either been colonized by its European superiors or shackled with cuffs of poverty. Until recently, the average Indian endured squalor and neediness unimaginable to those of us who expend our excess calories at cardio-striptease classes. Even now, as viewers of the urban fairy tale “Slumdog Millionaire” note...