Wednesday, April 16, 2014

IPCC climate change report: averting catastrophe affordable

IPCC climate change report: averting catastrophe affordable | The Guardian

Landmark UN analysis concludes global roll-out of clean energy would shave only a tiny fraction off economic growth.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Role of Logging in the Oso Landslide

Landslide in Oso, Washington -- Don't Blame Nature and Acts of God for Reckless Logging | Ellen Moyer, Ph.D.

The plateau above the hillside that gave way has been logged for almost a century, and the hillside has a history of landslides dating back more than 60 years. For more than 25 years,
as the slope became more unstable, scientists challenged the timber
cutting and warned of possible calamity. Yet the state continued to
allow logging on the plateau.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How Banks Assumed Control of the U.S. Economy

The Secret History of How Banks Assumed Control of the U.S. Economy | Alternet

Nomi Prins, author of the new book, 'All the Presidents' Bankers' shares
her discoveries about the power of finance on the American economy. 

Global Rankings Study Shows Current State of U.S.

Global Rankings Study Depicts an America in Warp Speed Decline | Alternet

April 8, 2014
 |   If America needed a reminder that it is fast becoming a second-rate
nation, and that every economic policy of the Republican Party is
wrongheaded, it got one this week with the release of the Social Progress Index (SPI). While the U.S. enjoys the second highest per capita GDP of $45,336, it
ranks in an underperforming 16th place overall. It gets worse. The U.S.
ranks 70th in health, 69th in ecosystem sustainability, 39th in basic
education, 34th in access to water and sanitation and 31st in personal
safety....Not a single U.S. city is included in the world’s top 10 most livable cities. ... the U.S. remains in first place for the number of incarcerated citizens
per capita, adult onset diabetes and for believing in angels.

Friday, April 4, 2014

The High-Tech Wall Street Rip-Off Setting the Media on Fire

The High-Tech Wall Street Rip-Off Setting the Media on Fire | Alternet

 A brand-new book by Michael Lewis, author of Liar’s Poker and Moneyball, has set the media on fire. In Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, Lewis argues that not only do the liars on Wall Street play poker, but the poker game itself is completely rigged.  Wall Street firms engage in a widespread practice known as high-frequency trading
(HFT).  Lewis' 60 Minutes interview, features young Brad Katsuyama, the Canadian trader who helped suss out the problem.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Is the American Middle Class Losing Out to China and India?

Is the American Middle Class Losing Out to China and India? -

Branko Milanovic,
a visiting professor at CUNY who once served as a senior economist at
the World Bank, has tracked worldwide changes in income growth from 1998
to 2008.  Milanovic calculates
that the middle class in China and India experienced 60 to 70 percent
income growth from 1998 to 2008, while growth stalled for the middle and
working classes in the United States.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Power of Free Universal Higher Education

The Moral Power of Free Universal Higher Education | Alternet

How can we deny a higher education to any young person in this country just because she or he can't afford it?  The numbers show that barriers to higher education are an economic
burden for both students and society. They also show that the solution
-- free higher education for all those who would benefit from it -- is a
practical goal.

Monday, March 3, 2014

7 Numbers that Show How Most Americans Were Robbed of Their Retirement

7 Numbers that Show How Most Americans Were Robbed of a Comfortable Retirement

The dream of a comfortable retirement is dying for many Americans.
It's being extracted as a form of tribute to the very rich, a
redistribution of our nation's wealth, a "tax" imposed on the middle and
lower classes and paid for with their retirement savings. 

How America's Great University System Is Getting Destroyed

Chomsky: How America's Great University System Is Getting Destroyed

According to Noam Chomsky, faculty are increasingly hired on the Wal-Mart model as temps.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

How Every Part of American Life Became a Police Matter

How Every Part of American Life Became a Police Matter | Mother Jones

American over-policing involves far more than the widely reported
up-armoring of your local precinct. It's also the way police power has
entered the DNA of social policy, turning just about every sphere of
American life into a police matter.

Friday, February 28, 2014

25 Things to know about being black in the U.S.

25 Things Everyone Needs to Know About the Lives of Black People in America | Alternet

The texture of Black America's lived experiences is complex, and
therefore reflects a story that cannot be told by quantitative data
alone. However, the numbers help us to situate our discussions. 

A WayTo Solve America’s Curriculum Problem?

Ideas To Solve America’s Curriculum Problem

Wouldn’t it make far more sense if schools got their general
education expectations out of the way in an hour or so, then identified
and grouped the math whizzes, the mechanically inclined, the artists,
the writers, those involved in projects, and so on, assigned teachers to
the groups, and let them go as far as they can go as fast as they can

Education is long overdue for what business types sometimes
call “disruptive innovation," but the bureaucratic depth and complexity
of systems of public education, and simplistic policies set by amateurs
in state legislatures and Congress, block real innovation. My suggested
status quo-accommodating tweak is an easy sell to a great many
experienced educators, but it isn’t being tried because present
conceptions of “reform” are so narrow and rigid, and failure to fall in
line is so certain to trigger a punitive response. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Folly and Blowback of Arming Israel

The Folly of Arming Israel | Alternet

Why it doesn’t make sense to arm Israel and why no one ever discusses the subject.  If massive military aid is supposed to give Washington leverage over
Israel (as it normally does in client-state relationships), it is
difficult to detect. In case you hadn’t noticed, rare is the American
diplomatic visit to Israel that is not greeted with an in-your-face announcement of intensified colonization of Palestinian territory, euphemistically called “settlement expansion.”

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Factory Farms Accelerating Antibiotics Nightmare?

Factory Farms Are Accelerating an Antibiotics Nightmare | Alternet

There is a near consensus among public health experts that the bulk antibiotics produced by AHI (Animal Health Institute, the trade group of the animal pharmaceutical industry) member companies are accelerating the approach of a post-antibiotics nightmare scenario, in which super-bugs routinely emerge from our farms and wreak havoc on a human population living among the ruins of modern medicine.