Nuclear power plant flood risk: Sandy was just a warm-up

December 19, 2012

The Northeast seaboard is chock-full of nuclear power plants. Sandy, for all its wrath, was only a Category 1 hurricane. Climate change will drive more severe storms, raise sea levels, and increase flood risks. To what extent has the industry and its regulator taken these projected climate change consequences into account?

Environmental groups whistling past the graveyard?

November 01, 2012

In the face of gains by proponents of fossil fuels, some groups are in denial, and others are hunkering down. Only a few are exploring new strategies to go on the offensive to change the now-dominant media and political formula that environmental health and sustainability must take a back seat to job creation and economic growth.

Business-killing cuts to state court systems

October 03, 2012

According to data from the National Center for State Courts, 42 state legislatures reduced their state courtbudgets between 2008 and 2011. A variety of cutbacks ensued — including staff layoffs, reductions in courthouse hours, and pay cuts for courthouse personnel — and many state judicial systems have consequently slowed down. Businesses use the courts far more than anyone else. Are some businesses that have genuine grievances throwing up their hands and accepting their losses because of the prospect of increased delays and higher costs?

Stanford researcher readily acknowledges limitations of study on organic versus conventional food

September 10, 2012

The recent study has gotten widespread press attention for the proposition that organic food is not safer to eat than non-organic food. But one of the study’s lead authors acknowledges that a series of health and safety issues relating to non-organic foods were not examined.

Robin Hood, nearing European victories, still struggling to awaken in the U.S.

July 30, 2012

A "Robin Hood" tax — a small fee on stock, bond, and derivative transactions that has been supported by some high-profile, center-right EU political leaders — is likely to be enacted soon by several EU countries, including Germany and France. Here in the U.S., an activist coalition that favors a financial transaction tax to help generate the revenue needed to protect and expand government programs — and to deter what it considers the destabilizing and unproductive role "high-frequency trading" — is just gearing up.

What ever happened to I think I can?

June 26, 2012

The Cuomo administration is studying alternatives for improving train service between New York and Albany (and on to Buffalo), but the fastest options — true high-speed rail service — have already been ruled out. It turns out that the approach the administration describes as putting the state “on track to the rail system of the future” won’t go all that fast, abandoning the potential benefits that some say true high-speed rail would bring to New York. 

Slowed Food Revolution

July 06, 2010

Obama seeks to boost demand for organic food but doesn't offer meaningful support for the people who grow it.  

See Why Eaters Alone Can't Transform the Food System

Why Biofuels Are the Rainforest's Worst Enemy

March 01, 2009

Nestled deep in the tropical rainforest on the island of Borneo, Pareh is a collection of about 60 weathered wooden houses perched on stilts and enfolded by coconut palms, banana trees, and the dappled green overhang of the towering forest. Pareh's inhabitants belong to the indigenous tribes of Borneo collectively identified as the Dayak. They have lived here for centuries, raising rubber trees, pumpkin, cassava, and rice, and harvesting wood for fuel and lumber.