Tag Archives: environment

Can Capitalism Be Green?

Short answer: No. But the question is complicated enough to warrant a longer answer. One complication is that plenty of smart, environmentally committed people seem to think the answer is “yes” – people like Paul Hawken, author of books like … Continue reading

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Cornographic

It’s rare to find a single cause to explain so very large a chunk of a complex and intractable problem. But if the problem is the way our food system is out of whack — the way the price of … Continue reading

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Picking on Pundits

If one is singling out pundits to critique on environmental grounds, it might seem unfair to pick on David Brooks. After all, the New York Times bigfoot is no denier of climate change, for instance, like his ideologically addled Washington … Continue reading

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The Death of Nature

Reading Carolyn Merchant’s touchstone 1980 book The Death of Nature, you realize that the environment crises are not due, at root, to particular human behaviors. The problem is not, in other words, simply that we’re driving cars, eating beef and … Continue reading

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Growing Problem

A probably unintended consequence of the mania for gas-drilling in Pennsylvania is a new focus on the struggles of family farms. According to news accounts and the gas industry’s own propaganda, small farmers throughout the state are cheerfully signing leases … Continue reading

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Energy Traps

The trouble with the way we talk about energy is that we talk only about energy. Energy sources – mostly fossil fuels, but also nuclear and hydroelectric – are not created or exploited in a void. Their production and use … Continue reading

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Dead Reckonings

All the celebrating over the death of bin Laden this past week suggests that a great victory has been won for mankind. I’d suggest not quite the opposite: that the celebration itself, when compared to our indifference or even hostility … Continue reading

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Less How, More Why

As humans, we are drawn to stories. And when we hear stories, we naturally take the side of the protagonist, even if that protagonist is an anti-hero: We’re pulling for him, regardless of whether he’s an outlaw, a greedy bastard … Continue reading

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Compostal Service

One of the real treats of living in Backwards Land is watching your fellow citizens eagerly dig from the ground substances that ought to stay there, while burying materials we desperately need. And so we have coal and petroleum and … Continue reading

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Good News on the Economy!

In an NPR piece last week about the Japanese tsunami, somebody said that the destruction boded well for economic recovery. All that cleanup and reconstruction, you see. Perhaps some American firms can even get in on the action. Well, yes … Continue reading

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