Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
FATTENING WALL STREET — Mike Whitney reports on the rapid metamorphosis of new Fed Chair Janet Yallin into a lackey for the bankers, bond traders and brokers. The New Religious Wars Over the Environment: Joyce Nelson charts the looming confrontation between the Catholic Church and fundamentalists over climate change, extinction and GMOs; A People’s History of Mexican Constitutions: Andrew Smolski on the 200 year-long struggle of Mexico’s peasants, indigenous people and workers to secure legal rights and liberties; Spying on Black Writers: Ron Jacobs uncovers the FBI’s 50 year-long obsession with black poets, novelists and essayists; O Elephant! JoAnn Wypijewski on the grim history of circus elephants; PLUS: Jeffrey St. Clair on birds and climate change; Chris Floyd on the US as nuclear bully; Seth Sandronsky on Van Jones’s blind spot; Lee Ballinger on musicians and the State Department; and Kim Nicolini on the films of JC Chandor.
Archives by Tag 'Climate Change'
Humid Organs
DAVID YEARSLEY
“Arbor eram vilis quondam sed viva tacebam / Nunc bene si tangor mortua dulce son” counts as one of the most lovely and lengthy of the Latin mottos used to decorate the inside of the lids of seventeenth-century Flemish harpsichords. It translates: “I was on...
Who Profits from Climate Catastrophism?
DAVID CORREIA
Environmental determinism is the theory that the physical environment, including the climate, sets hard limits on human society. Scholars and authors who subscribe to this theory, most notoriously Jeffrey Sachs and Jared Diamond (more on them later), argue that we can loo...
The Elephant in the Boiler Room
MICHAEL DONNELLY
All left-wing parties in the highly industrialized countries are at bottom a sham, because they make it their business to fight against something which they do not really wish to destroy. They have internationalist aims, and at the same time they struggle to k...
The Fire Down Below
JEFF SPARROW
What if we had an apocalypse and no one noticed? Over the last weeks Australia has been burning. ...
ExxonMobil Donates $260,000 to Obama Inauguration
STEVE HORN
President Barack Obama will be publicly sworn in today – on Martin Luther King Jr. Day – to serve his second t...
What is Wrong With America?
DAVE LINDORFF
What is wrong with America? Big question. Simple answer. We Americans have completely lost any sense of why a country, a society, and a government exist. Politicians, lobbyists and corporate media talking heads, and far too many ordinary people...
Inside the Latest Climate Report
MANUEL GARCIA, JR.
A Federal Advisory Committee called the “National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee” or NCADAC, was established under the Department of Commerce in December 2010 and is supported through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (...
The Political Economy of Climate Change
ROB URIE
By reports, 2012 was the  warmest year in recorded history in the U.S. The la...
The Climate Change Imbroglio
BINOY KAMPMARK
Australia is burning, China is freezing, Pakistan received an unexpected flooding in September, and Britain witnessed a see-saw weather pattern for 2012 that had drought and flood rolled into one mean package. That assortment of weather patterns is getting the climate cha...
The Hottest Year Keeps Getting Hotter
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Climatic Data Center has announced that 2012 was...
A New Year’s Revolution
RONNIE CUMMINS
As a longtime writer and activist campaigning for decades on food and farming issues, most recently Prop 37, the California Ballot Initiative to label genetically engineered foods, I am reminded daily of the allure, indeed the addictive pleasure, of single-issue organizin...
The Climate Deal Sham
ADAM PARSONS
The latest round of climate negotiations in Doha once again demonstrated the sheer lack of cooperation, goodwill and willingness – or ability – of the world’s governments to share responsibility for tackling climate change. Since the epochal failure to r...
Alaska Natives Take on Fossil Fuel Disinformation in Kivalina
CHRISTINE SHEARER
For the Inupiat peoples of Kivalina in the  Arctic of Alaska, the price of further climate change denial could be the complete devastation of their lives and culture. Their crumbling village must be relocated to survive. But neither the government, nor the fossil fue...
The Winter That Wasn’t
CAROL MILLER
Ojo Sarco, New Mexico. It is early winter, in the year of the Winter Heat Wave, 2012. There has been day after day of temperatures into the 60’s. The sun-filled, passive solar house is heating to the mid-70’s everyday and the adobe walls radiate back t...
What Did Doha Do?
CURTIS FJ DOEBBLER
The latest round of global climate talks known as COP18 finally came to an acrimonious end on Saturday night, almost a day later than had been planned. It was a messy end and to many it was a very unsatisfactory one. States appeared more interested in not pleasing ...
Palm Tree Grows Outside Philadelphia
DAVE LINDORFF
I went out today and checked on my palm tree. It’s a small thing: the trunk is only about a foot from the ground, with the palmate fronds spreading out from the upper part. New fronts appear as compressed blades sticking up from the center. They have a kind of fuzz on t...
L.A.’s Dirty Coal Addiction Is Killing The Navajo
JOSHUA FRANK
When one thinks of coal country, Los Angeles is probably not what immediately comes to mind. Appalachia and the Powder River Basin, sure, but not this sun-drenched stretch of coastline. Not highbrow Brentwood or the mansion-lined streets of Beverly Hills. Not star-studded...
Why Susan Rice?
ANDREW LEVINE
No doubt about it: Republicans have it in for Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations and, by most accounts, President Obama’s likely choice to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.  Rice is an Obama confidante and advisor. Let’s be clear:...
Is 350’s Carbon Divestment Campaign Complete?
CHRISTIAN PARENTI
Three Critiques and a Suggestion I have much respect for Bill McKibben and 350.org, the organization he started. Future gene...
Why UN Climate Agreements Fail
SHAMUS COOKE
History will undoubtedly deliver the harshest condemnations of  the UN climate talks currently underway in Doha, Qatar. But the conference was laughable before it began; the inept “goals” of the talks stand in tragic-comic opposition to what we already know a...
Mad Scientists and Geo-Engineering
BINOY KAMPMARK
We are doomed as a parasitic, rapacious species, and with that air of certain demise, anything is possible.  That, at least, seems to be behind the desperate push for a human effort to reverse, alter and adjust the environment in order to halt the previous effects of alt...
Climate Change Mental Inertia
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
Dave Lindorff wrote  of his “speculation about an American conspiracy of inaction…to reduce either this country’s annual production o...
What If America’s Leaders Actually Want Catastrophic Climate Change?
DAVE LINDORFF
What if the leaders of the United States — and by leaders I mean the generals in the Pentagon, the corporate executives of the country’s largest enterprises, and the top officials in government — have secretly concluded that while world-wide climate change i...
The Sea Eats Miami
ALAN FARAGO
After the 1992 super-hurricane Andrew, South Florida was in a state of shock, similar to coastal New Jersey and New York today. Andrew was a compact, category five hurricane. In South Dade where the impact was strongest, the morning after the storm, sun and blue skies pre...
After the Flood
PHIL ROCKSTROH
So much has been lost to the hubris and cupidity inherent to the hyper-industrialization and commercial hustler that defines the Anthropocene Epoch. To take it all in, to allow oneself to feel the full implications of the dire situation, of the ecocide and humanity lost t...
Saving the Planet or Fixing the “Debt”?
DEAN BAKER
Imagine Japan attacked at Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 and our political leaders responded by debating the best way to deal with the deficits projected for 1960. This is pretty much the way that Washington works these days. The political leadership, including t...
Sylvia’s Soul Food Meets Sandy
HELEN REDMOND
The call went out on Facebook. The owners of the legendary Sylvia’s Queen of Soul Food restaurant in Harlem were looking for someone to donate a bus so volunteers could deliver food and clothing to people in Far Rockaway, Queens. A few hours later the call was answered ...
What Sandy Shows South Africa
PATRICK BOND
Durban, South Africa. What did Hurricane Sandy teach us a week ago, here in South Africa, just as $30 billion of state funds is being committed to the dig out of vast new Durban port capacity over the next three decades, plus billions more nearby for petro...
Obama’s Windfall
P. SAINATH
Both politics and the media follow a cute routine when a natural calamity strikes during a major U.S. election campaign. On the campaign trail, the first step is to express solidarity and anguish. The second is to make swift symbolic gestures (e.g. Romney collecting food ...
Hot Air, Photo Ops and Bill McKibben’s “Greenest” City
MICHAEL DONNELLY
“Superstorm” Sandy exposed many things about (our) Darth Cheney’s unsustainable “non-negotiable American Way of Life.” Besides the in-your-face revelations of just how bad our fossil-fuel-addicted industrial/consumer society has screwed with Mother Nature (and t...
How to Fight Climate Change and Rebuild a Stricken City
CHRIS WILLIAMS
Despite the fact that New Yorkers live on several different islands, straddling the mouth of a great tidal river, on the edge of a storm-tossed ocean, city transit workers rightly pride themselves on their ability to effectively and safely transport New York’s seven mil...
Why Climate Matters…
SHIRLEY J. FISKE
Dear President Obama and Governor Romney: We are in the final week of the Presidential campaign of 2012, buffeted by a massive storm that wreaked havoc in the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast.  SuperStorm Sandy has demonstrated the devastation that nature can bring ...
Words of Hope at the United Nations
GRAHAM PEEBLES
From chaos to a new world order Living at this time is to bear witness to a world in acute turmoil, Noam Chomsky describes the current climate in CounterPunch, saying, “we are living in an era of irrationality, deception, confusi...
Premiere Scientific Organization Captured
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Has one of the nation’s premiere scientific organizations been captured by big corporations? ...
Superstorm Sandy’s Submerged Social Antagonisms
ELLIOT SPERBER
In spite of Barack Obama’s prognostication that future generations would look back at his 2008 nomination as the very point in history at which the (industrially-induced) rising levels of the oceans began to slow, as the 2012 presidential election draws near it is d...
New York Was Warned
RITT GOLDSTEIN
“Oh Great Lord of the Almighty Dollar”, the panicked voice cried out, its Wall Street owner realizing he was indeed in truly deep-water, “how could you have forsaken your devoted and faithful?” But though this poor soul lifted entreaty after entreaty to what had b...
First US Tar Sands Mine Approved in Utah
STEVE HORN
The race is on for the up-and-coming U.S. tar sands industry. To ...
Bolivia: Life at the Extreme Edge of Climate Change
ROBERT HUNZIKER
The Earth is really truly changing right before our eyes, weather patterns are more erratic than ever before, storms more severe, droughts more parched, and glaciers disappearing faster than ever. This is climate change, and it is different… different from what anybody ...
The Privilege of Being Human
JOSEPH NEVINS
Although you would not know it from what passes for debate during the ong...
Climate Change vs. Kiribati
ANDRE VLTCHEK
There is just a narrow ‘defense line’ of mangroves and coral bottom under the shallow water, right next to the coast. This is all that separates the stretched but narrow archipelago of Tarawa – the most populated (and overcrowded) chain...
The Global Food Crisis
MARK SCHULLER
Having accompanied and translated for Haitian housing rights activist Reyneld Sanon on his recent trip to Washington, it became all too evident from many sectors: the State Department, Senate, USAID, or World Bank – the ability to sell an image is often more importan...
At the Dawn of Something Bad
KATHY DEACON
At 7 a.m. an awful humming is giving me a headache. I stagger out of bed, wander into each room, bend my ear to the bottom of the bathtub, open the front door and lean outside–and even check out the basement. But nothing changes, the pulsating sound coming from ever...
Political Science at the EPA
ALAN FARAGO
Global warming emerges as a very important issue for undecided voters despite the fact environmental issues have been held underwater this election cycle by a right wing tidal wave of campaign cash. According to a recent poll by ...
The Waning of the Modern Ages
MORRIS BERMAN
La longue durée —the long run—was an expression made popular by the Annales School of French historians led by Fernand Braudel, who coined the phrase in 1958. The basic argument of this school is that the proper concern of historians should be the a...
Profiles in Decadent Cowardliness
RALPH NADER
The Republican and Democratic Conventions are mercifully over but their corrosive impacts on our democracy persist. First, did you know that taxpayers helped fund these conventions at a level of $100 million for logistics and police sequestrations of demonstrators ...
The Economic Mess
ELLIOT SPERBER
Bill Clinton raised a good deal of applause the other night in his speech at the Democratic National Convention, pointing out that the Republicans made a huge mess out of the economy. And while what Clinton said was to some degree the case, it was only the case insofar as...
Arrested (Mining) Development in Montana
JOSHUA FRANK
Scott Parkin is a climate change activist associated with Rising Tide North America and Rainforest Action Network, where he works as a Senior Campaigner on the group’s Global Finance Campaign. Scott has organized numerous non-violent protests across the United States. M...
Drought, Climate Change and Journalism 101
STEVEN HIGGS
An Aug. 23 segment on NPR’s Morning Edition about the 2012 drought touched my sentimental side when a Kentucky farmer’s voice quivered while he spoke to correspondent David Schaper. “My wife and I just look at each other every night, and we look at our c...
A Plea for Mockery
MICHAEL DOLINER
Whenever an article on the internet discusses Obama or Romney I know it is not serious about politics. Certainly both of these men, and the entire American bureaucratic system, are irrelevant to the serious problems facing Americans and indeed, everyone. This year Arctic ...
Climate Change Complacency
CHUCK GASPAROVIC
Gijon, Spain. Tom is an agribusiness banker in Greeley, Colorado, a Republican, and one of the nicest people I have ever met. During a visit to Greeley this year, thinking I had finally found a chink in his ideological armor, I pointed to the drought punis...