Three expert comments on fighting the climate crisis: who is right?

1. Report by The Guardian A study released last week suggests that planting one trillion trees would be one of the most effective – and cheapest – ways to tackle the climate crisis. As ever, the question is whether mankind can organise itself enough to actually start planting. In view of the surge in Amazonian …

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Scientists fired from Environmental Protection Agency

Trump has told all agencies to cut at least a third of their advisory committees by September, thus  weakening the science-based regulations process that the administration has pushed back against since Trump took office. 462 committees are potentially on the chopping block, excluding agencies that are mandated by law.  The exclusion of scientists from health …

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Profiteering from migrant kids held in detention camps

The Trump administration has been holding migrant children -whether they came to the U.S. alone or were forcibly separated from their guardians – in a network of makeshift tent camps. An unnamed official at the Department of Health and Human Services told NBCNews that housing costs $775 per child per day.   That’s more than a …

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Know-Nothing Administration: don’t bother me with facts

Trump has told all agencies to cut at least a third of their advisory committees by September in order to weaken the science-based regulations process and remove scientific oversight.  462 committees are potentially involved, even without the agencies mandated by law.  At EPA and Interior, advisory committees provide scientific and technical expertise from people who are …

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Abortion laws in America

Here are some details on the newest American abortion bans, by state. * Important note: Supporters of reproductive rights have filed multiple lawsuits against this type of law. None of these early abortion bans are currently in effect or are being enforced. Alabama – No abortion after 0 weeks. Allows exceptions if the woman’s life …

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Reform the current capitalist system!

American capitalism transformed the lives of millions and thereby did a good job for the majority.  Arguably, happiness seems to have peaked in the 1950s.  But now the system has clearly  become self-serving, exploitative and unfit for purpose, creating massive wealth disparities and harming young people in particular with its employment policies.  It has been …

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Beware the creeping coup!

It is now clear that Dr, Thomas Hofeller—who has been called “the Michelangelo of gerrymandering”— was the author of the idea of adding the citizenship question to the 2020 US census in order to create redistricting rules that would be “advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.”?  He conducted research showing  that the citizenship question would significantly harm the political power of Latino communities. This is part of …

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Talking past one another

Prime Minister Teresa May has called the visit  of President Trump to London “a significant week for the special relationship and an opportunity to further strengthen our already close partnership”. She stressed the need to build closer trading ties (she is a out to depart, unmourned). Trump’s US ambassador in the UK, Woody Johnson, has …

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The Pentagon could learn from Agincourt

During the Battle of Agincourt,  the “humble and effective English longbow made short work of the expensive and vulnerable French cavalry”. Is America at risk of suffering the same sort of military humiliation? Christian Brose, the former staff director of the Senate armed services committee, believes so. The traditional model of US power – based …

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A Brexiteer living in a bogus, imaginary past

Jacob Rees-Mogg is a very rich Conservative Brexiteer politician (who has parked his fortune in an offshore tax haven to demonstrate his patriotism.  (Irony intended).  He has quaint ideas about “making Britain great again”.  The following is a review of his book on British 19th Century history.  The views of the reviewer seem to be shared …

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Painkillers and corruption

The billionaire founder of a leading US drug manufacturer has been found guilty of bribing doctors to prescribe a highly addictive painkiller to patients, many of whom did not need it. John Kapoor, of Insys Therapeutics, was convicted of fraud and racketeering, charges stemming from the tactics his firm used to sell Subsys, a spray …

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Hard to comprehend such a massive difference in values!

Earlier this year, the National Rifle Association opposed a bill that would prevent convicted stalkers and abusive boyfriends from possessing guns. “Why? Because any gun purchase increases profits for gun manufacturers, and any regulation – even common-sense measures – is to be opposed.” Having arrived at this indecent and immoral policy the NRA leadership deserves …

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This cannot stand!

Lawmakers in Alabama have passed a bill that virtually bans abortion. The legislation, to be signed by the state’s Republican governor, outlaws abortion except in cases where the pregnancy poses a “serious health risk to the mother”, the “unborn child has a lethal anomaly”, or the pregnancy is ectopic (in an abnormal place or position). …

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Reparations for slavery

Letter to The Times The proposal by Cambridge University to devote resources neither to teaching nor to research, but to virtue signalling over slavery is not only questionable for a charity, but also an endorsement of notions of hereditary guilt. Leaving aside the prevalence of coercive labour systems across much of the world, including Africa, …

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Britain’s land and housing crisis

In England less than 1% of the population – including aristocrats, the royal family and wealthy investors, owns about half the land.  Putting it another way, with a population of about 56 million, half the country belongs to just 25,000 landowners, some of them corporations.  This reflects the chronic inequality of Britain, in contrast to …

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Myths about America , Part 2

Myth #2: Good governance entails fiscal responsibility. This is one of the hoariest shibboleths of modern American politics: feckless Democrats tax and spend; sober Republicans stand for balanced budgets. So President Ronald Reagan claimed, en route to racking up the massive deficits that transformed the United States from the world’s number one creditor into its …

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Laying the foundations of the next financial crash

Actions by federal regulators and Republicans in Congress over the past two years have paved the way for banks and other financial companies to issue more than $1 trillion in risky corporate loans, sparking fears that Washington and Wall Street are repeating the mistakes made before the financial crisis. Six years ago banking regulators put …

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