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August 2009

Is America too slow to build fast trains?

Maybe contemporary America has become too snarky for progress. Maybe that’s why sweeping change can best be effected in quick emergency measures. Because when we slow down to have a national conversation a coalition of loons and foot draggers…

The destination is the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December.
The ravenous Scylla is the set of high expectations that this tender, ailing world holds for Barack Obama–particularly at that conference. Here he comes to save the day!…

Learning to love nature by looking inward

Robert Wright is heading to a meditation retreat, and because it’s his second, he knows what to expect. So he looks forward to it with a mixture of excitement and dread. In the natural course of being in sync with our restless society he has fallen…

EPA releases 2008 air pollution data–early

Every July the EPA collects reports on releases of 650 toxic chemicals from more than 23,000 industrial sites throughout the United States. The agency usually releases the data in a comprehensive report each December, but as part of EPA’s new…

A Venice, Italy power plant made headlines this week as the first in the world fueled exclusively by hydrogen, and rightly so. But most of the news organizations–including the Associated Press and The New York Times–that rewrote the press release…

Good fences make dead wildlife

First, we need to settle a matter for Robert Frost, who must spin in his grave every time someone assumes “good fences make good neighbors.” The problem with that assumption is profiled in the latest issue of Conservation Magazine:
People construct…

America’s shrinks analyze our climate change inaction

The vast majority of Americans believe climate change is an important issue–at least 75 percent, according to a 2009 Pew Research Poll–but that doesn’t mean Americans are willing to do anything about it. And according to the American Psychological…

Obama announces $2.4 billion for electric cars

The bankrupt Monaco RV plant in Wakarusa, Elkhart County, Indiana, will soon be making electric trucks for Navistar, traditionally a maker of diesel trucks, the conversion fueled by a $39 million Recovery Act grant. President Obama visited the plant…