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 'environment'
The BLM: a Wholly-Owned Sudsidiary of ExxonMobil
DAVID CORREIA
The massive Permian Basin in west Texas and eastern New Mexico, at more than 75,000 square miles, is among the world’s largest deposits of sedimentary rock from the Permian geologic period. It is also a major oil and gas field that has produced nearly 30 billion barrels...
The Fate of Sacramento River Salmon
DAN BACHER
Sacramento River Chinook salmon this year are threatened by the relaxation of water temperature standards on the upper river combined with the violation of water quality standards in the Delta, the result of the over-allocation of water during a drought. The sectio...
The Climate in Obamaland
SASHA ROSS
To begin his speech on climate change at Georgetown, President Obama evoked the image of earth as seen from space in 1968. “[W]hile the sight of our planet from space might seem routine today, imagine what it looked like to those of us seeing our home, our planet, for t...
Extracting Wealth, Endangering Health
ALEXANDRA McANARNEY
As a resource-rich country, Suriname bills itself ...
Unlikely Alliances
ZOLTAN GROSSMAN
“The natural resources we all depend upon must be protected for future generations….to bring us to a place where there is a quality of life, and where Indians and non-Indians are to understand one another and work together.” — Billy Frank, J...
Jerry Brown: Worse Than Schwarzenegger on Environment?
DAN BACHER
Governor Jerry Brown on Friday, June 7 issued a proclamation declaring June as “Great Outdoors Month” in California. Ironically, the same Governor is fast-tracking the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), a $54.1 billion dollar project that would divert m...
Fracking, Coal, and the Question of Social Reproduction
MATTHEW T. HUBER
I live in fractivist country. While there are vibrant pockets of fractivism essentially anywhere hydraulic fracturing occurs – from New Mexico to Pennsylvania – New York State fractivists have the esteemed honor of actually preventing (at least, thus far) the expansio...
Beyond Anti-Chinese Propaganda with Andre Vltchek
ADAM CHIMIENTI
When I heard that Andre Vltchek was going to visit Cuba and Venezuela, I understood this would be a rare opportunity to discuss the issue of China’s international presence with someone who is unapologetically hailing China as a great hope for the world. Those who read C...
Corporate Spying on Environmental Groups
ADAM FEDERMAN
In February 2010 Tom Jiunta and a small group of residents in northeastern Pennsylvania formed the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition...
The Silent Death of the American Left
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Is there a Left in America today? There is, of course, a Left ideology, a Left of the mind, a Left of theory and critique. But is there a Left movement? Does the Left exist as an oppositional political, cultural or economic force? Is anyone intimidated or re...
Fighting Goliath
MONICA BOND
Forty years ago, during the Nixon administration of the early 1970s, Congress passed several truly visionary environmental laws.  The strength of these laws, including the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act, along with ...
Frack Job
MICHAEL D. YATES
Two schools, one a vocational technical high school and the other an elementary school, sit on tracts of land a few blocks from the house in which I grew up, in Ford City (Armstrong County), Pennsylvania. The communities served by them are, for the most part, not particul...
The Mining Myth
BINOY KAMPMARK
It has been a fiction that has held sway for a time.  Mining booms create trickledown wealth.  It is tagged as “sustainable” when it is premised on temporariness.  Natural resources work for countries that possess them in abundance.  Only on the periphery do we se...
Visions of the Future: Mad Max, Star Trek, Big Brother or Ecotopia?
STAN COX
Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler published a book last year entitled Abundance: The Future is Bette...
Environmental Pollution and Children’s Health
CESAR CHELALA
Millions of children die every year as a result of environment-related diseases. Their deaths could be prevented by using low-cost and sustainable tools and strategies for improving the environment. In some countries, more than one-third of the disease burden could be pre...
Obama v. EPA: Constructing His Environmental Legacy
STEVE BREYMAN
In the wake of Lady Thatcher’s passing, it’s good to remember that TINA (there is no alternative) is a miscreant. Of course another world is possible. It was in Thatcher’s UK, as it is in Obama’s America. Case in point: had the Green Party’s Jill Stein been elec...
Rationing for Earth Day
STAN COX
The Right has developed a kind of shorthand language for talking about the future they fear more than any other, and the key word in that language is “...
Notes From the Vomitorium
ALAN FARAGO
Economists use “digestion” to illustrate the difficulty of absorbing excess housing stock from the housing boom and bust. Years of slack, domestic growth are attributed to the economic alimentary canal stacked to Rabelaisian proportions with the appetites of o...
Wolverines on the Brink
GEORGE WUERTHNER
I attended the Fish and Wildlife Service’s recent wolverine listing hearings in Helena, Montana.  Opponents, including a number of Montana state legislators as well as MDFWP, argued that wolverine populations were “stable” or even “increasing” and therefore did...
Apocalypse, Not?
BRIAN TOKAR
The year 2012 didn’t bring us the end of the world, nor the end of capitalism and Coca-Cola that Evo Morales promised last summer. It still remains to be seen whether or not it will have ushered in the resurgence of indigenous resistance that was proclaimed by the more ...
The Great Shale Oil Swindle
NAFEEZ MOSADDEQ AHMED
Recent headlines in the US press about the coming economic boom heralded by the shale gas revolution would lead you to think we are literally swimming in oil. A spate of reports last year, in particular the International Energy Agency’s (IEA)World Energy Outloo...
Political Theater of the Absurd in the Klamath Basin
FELICE PACE
When the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement, or KHSA, and the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, or KBRA, were signed in February 2010 amid ...
The Environmental Movement at the Crossroads
KEVIN ZEESE and Dr. MARGARET FLOWERS
The old environmental movement,‘Gang Green,’ works inside the existing power structure, takes funding directly from  polluting corporations and foundations funded by polluters, sometimes gets a seat at the table which ends up helping to pass inadequate regulation tha...
Life and Death in the Frack Zone
WALTER BRASCH
José Lara just wanted a job. A company working in the natural gas fields needed a man to power wash wastewater tanks. Clean off the debris. Make them shining again. And so José Lara became a power washer for the Rain for Rent Co. “The chemi...
A NOXious Protest
MYLES HOENIG
I did not attend Saturday’s protest in front of the White House for many reasons, including caring for an ailing parent. But there was something very bothersome about the event that was troubling from the beginning. Then it hit me. The NOXL sign repulsed me. Yes, no on ...
Apocalypse and the Left
OSHA NEUMANN
“The  left.” Since the French revolution, we don’t seem to be able to come up with a better term for that ill sorted group of malcontents, which numbers among its members dictators and democrats, torturers and tortured, Stalin, Gandhi, Mao, Martin Luther King, ...
Nature’s Capital is the Limiting Resource
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Only in science fiction can humans escape the consequences of destroying their own habitat. In Robert A. Heinlein’s ...
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...
First There Was a Mountain
MIKE ROSELLE
The first time I went to West Virginia my life changed forever. I was invited down by Judy Bonds and Bo Webb to take a tour of the “coalfields”. Conditions there went swiftly from John Denver’s Almost Heaven, to John Prine’s Mulenberg County in les...
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 Ghosts of the Bonefish
ALAN FARAGO
On visits to watery Biscayne National Park, I am reminded of the simple shock that one can still view signposts of the natural past despite a hundred years of pollution, the mangrove cutting and wetlands filling, and general disregard of elected officials for laws, regula...
To the Save the Grizzly You Must Destroy It?
GEORGE WUERTHNER
In their December 29th editorial in the Billings Gazette, Scott Talbott of the Wyoming Game and Fish and Harv Forsgren of the U.S. Forest Service wrote that hunting was another step towards grizzly bear recovery. To read their editorial, go to ...
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...
Banning BPA
KARL GROSSMAN
It’s what the county legislature in Suffolk County, New York is noted for—passing first-in-the-nation laws.  It’s done that with laws banning the hand-held use of cell phones while driving, the sale of drop-side cribs and the supplement ephedra, and many statutes p...
Taking a Stand
PATRICK O'KEEFE
Miranda Gibson is a 31 year old teacher, who has spent the past year engaged in a remarkably courageous act. Miranda has been living on a platform which sits 60 meters above the floor of an ancient Tasmanian forest. The tree that she has called home since December 14, 201...
The Bloody Footprints of Freeport-MacMoRan
DAVID CORREIA
Each day at its massive Grasberg mine on the Indonesian province of Papua on the island of New Guinea, Phoenix-based Freeport-McMoRan, the world’s largest gold, copper and molybdenum mining company, removes 3 million pounds of copper and 5,000 ounces of gold from what h...
Free Trade and Economic Imperialism
ROB URIE
The modern dilemma is to understand just how unreasonable the reasoning classes are in both thought and action. Political ‘progressives’ were behind efforts to obliterate Native American cultures through forced assimilation and acculturation for the purported ‘benef...
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...
Salmon on the Brink
DAN BACHER
On one historic day in 1992, I marched through the State Capitol Building and adjoining Senate Offices with hundreds of recreational fishermen, commercial fishermen and environmentalists working for the passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA). ...
Walton Family Greenwashing
DAN BACHER
Much recent media attention has focused on Walmart’s announcement that it is canceling Thanksgiving plans for many of its employees. These workers will now have to work on the holiday as the retail giant kicks off its holiday sale at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving D...
Wilderness and the Myth of the Pristine
FELICE PACE
Have you noticed how much environmental organizations, environmental professionals and environmental activists use the word pristine?  It seems that anytime and enviro wants to protect something that something must be described as pristine. In m...
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...
“I Ain’t Collateral Damage. I am Somebody”
SCOTT PARKIN
This past weekend I went to West Virginia to say goodbye to my friend Larry Gibson. He passed away on September 9th on his home on Kayford Mountain, West Virginia. Hundreds turned out to Charleston’s civic arena to pay homage to this simple man who had...
The Prisoner and the Kayaker
CARMELO RUIZ-MARRERO
The Prisoner An unusual and very original political act. An athletic milestone. A feat of endurance. A hazardous journey. These and many other words have been used to describe the maritime journey of Puerto Rican e...
The Future of Water
ALAN FARAGO
When the Clean Water Act was passed by Congress forty years ago under a Republican administration, I was a clueless college undergraduate at Yale. Laws belonged to those serious looking law school students around the corner, perhaps including two I may have passed crossin...
Embracing the Urban-Nature Ethic
JOSHUA FRANK
As I walk along the Los Angeles River on a cool fall afternoon, I gaze across a graffiti-ridden concrete embankment and imagine what this landscape must have looked like less than 100 years ago. The LA River today, which dumps the area’s urban runoff directly in the Pac...
The Privilege of Being Human
JOSEPH NEVINS
Although you would not know it from what passes for debate during the ong...
The Ecological Costs of Inequality
WILLEM de LINT
In the aftermath of a bad call in an NFL game Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker– no friend of unionized labour – tweeted for the return of the unionized refs. The NFL Referees Association argued that the NFL’s $9 billion in annual revenues was sufficient to maintain t...
One Of The Greatest Environmentalists Of The 20th Century
RALPH NADER
Dr. Barry Commoner, equipped with a Harvard PhD in cellular biology, used his knowledge of biology, ecosystems, nuclear radiation, public communication, networking scientists, political campaigning, and community organizing to become the greatest environmentalist in the 2...
Save The Planet, Kill Yourself?
WILL SARVIS
The arrival of tsunami debris along the west coast this summer has triggered the latest frenzy to stop invasive species. How ironic that one invasive species, us, presumes to control others. But never underestimate the power of a major myth in modern American environmenta...