Politics

The Last Gasp of Conservatism?

Conservatism has never been the party of ideas. Whenever you examine the origins of a particular piece of conservative ideology, it has its roots in an already-extant power structure. Some of them are easily seen — “pro-business,” because business is where the money is — and some less easily — a “war on drugs” that makes a nice cover for the mass-incarceration of people...
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Environment

Crowdfunding a sustainable future.

A new crowdfunding campaign has begun for a pretty incredible idea: Transforming our parking lots and roads into hi-tech solar panels. The Indiegogo campaign hopes to work up just one million dollars to transform several sections of American private roadway – parking lots, driveways, etc. – into sustainable, sophisticated solar power generators, to be essentially a proof-of-concept. The indiegogo video is important in itself,...
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World

“Centrism” is a cop-out.

The terms “right- and left-wing” descend from the French Revolution. They have their origins in the seating arrangements of the National Assembly of France. Those who tended to side with the revolutionaries were seated more to the left side of the room, while those who favored the landed aristocracy and the entrenched interests of the middle class tended to the right. We can imagine...
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United States

You probably misunderstand what government actually is.

 One of the most unfortunate misunderstandings in American public discourse occurs in our use of the word ‘government.’ No one seems to understand what government actually is, what it does, what it means. We’re taught to think of “the government” as a separate entity that makes its own decisions: regulating things, giving out ‘handouts,’ and occasionally beating teenagers with riot batons. We misunderstand the...
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Science

A fascinating tool for measuring climate policies.

Climate Interactive has given us a handy tool for winning the debate at the dinner table. Using the IPCC’s ‘business-as-usual’ (BAU) estimates as a baseline, they’ve built a graphing app that allows you to adjust the sliders and dials for the next hundred years’ worth of carbon emissions. When a new policy comes up that claims it will ‘reduce carbon emissions in developed nations...
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There are no easy climate change solutions.

If you’re not reading Michael Cote, now would be a good time to start. Even with the 97 percent consensus among climate scientists about the origin and dire consequences of global climate change, the policy recommendations typically still fall short, projecting an unjustifiably hopeful view that disaster can yet be averted. Politically, there’s some necessity to presenting a picture of a workable ‘solution,’ as...
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Rejecting Cynicism

Cynicism is the bane of progress. How many times have you heard the phrase, “Well, that’s just human nature for you”? Or someone will talk about having ‘no faith in humanity’ because they watched an episode of Jersey Shore? Or maybe the opposite: some natural and normal act like watching a child play with a toy had ‘restored’ their faith in humanity despite it...
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Books

Book Review: Rising Up and Rising Down

I first wrote a review for Rising Up and Rising Down for the Isocracy Network as I’d finished my second reading of it. I continue to be amazed at how much there is to learn from it, and how many different things each reader takes from it. With political violence on the rise and class consciousness starting to gather around issues like wealth inequality,...
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