Author: Jennifer Lance

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Obama in Ghana: Is it Just About Oil?

During his first trip to the plateau continent, Obama has been greeted with much fanfare and love, but some are calling into question his motivation for visiting Ghana. Perhaps it is from eight years of the Bush Administration that have made us suspicious of our president’s oil motivations, but Ghana’s new offshore oil boom may give good cause for doubt.

July 13th

Obama and Russians Strike Tentative Deal to Reduce Nuclear Weapons

This week, US President Obama and Russian President Medvedev are meeting in Moscow to negotiate a treaty to succeed START. President Obama seems to understand that if the US expects Iran and North Korea to give up their intentions to develop nuclear weapons, we can’t act as hypocrites hoarding our own nuclear arsenal. Russia and the United States currently own “90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons”.

July 6th

Smart Grid vs. Renewable Energy: Where Should We Invest?

Meeting energy needs while being efficient and using environmentally responsible technologies is probably the single greatest change that needs to happen to alter the effects of climate change now. In the United States and the European Union, governments are backing smart grid and renewable energy programs. Undoubtedly, the two technologies go hand-in-hand, but where should we put our efforts (and dollars/euros) first?

June 15th

Farm State Democrats Won’t Support Climate Bill Without Ethanol Safeguards

H.R. 2454 the American Clean Energy And Security Act of 2009 (aka Waxman-Markley) aims “to create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy.” H.R. 2454 is expected to be weakened significantly through the legislative process. One would expect Republicans and lobbyists to water down the bill, but farm state Democrats are also vying for home state protection for ethanol.

June 8th

Where Exactly Does Obama Stand on the War on Drugs?

Many rumors have been circulating regarding President Obama’s stance on illegal drug use. Some advocates project the president will legalize marijuana; some critics think he will continue the failed policies of the Bush administration in Latin America. The President’s actual stance on drug policy falls somewhere in between.

June 1st

Oil Giant Shell on Trial for Nigerian Environmentalist Saro-Wiwa’s Execution

In 1995, environmentalist Ken Saro-Wiwa was executed by the Nigerian military government, along with eight other Ogoni activists, for protesting against the devastation of the Niger Delta by oil companies, particularly Royal Dutch Shell. If Shell is convicted, the case will provide precedence for holding transnational companies owned or operated in the United States responsible for human rights atrocities committed overseas.

May 26th

Private Contractors Hoard Water From US Soldiers in Iraq

We’ve all heard stories of how US soldiers in Iraq have been forced to travel in Humvees lacking armor protection; however, the shortage in military supplies includes basic necessities. Many soldiers stationed all over Iraq lack adequate supplies of drinking water. Commanders have been forced to steal water from the private contractors to meet the basic needs of their troops.

May 12th

Swine Flu Strengthens US Dollar and Lowers Oil Prices

The number of people dying and being admitted to hospitals from swine flu grows 25 percent each day. Officials fear that between 15% and 50% of the population might contract the illness. One surprising consequence of the swine flu outbreak is its effect on the value of the US dollar and the price of crude oil.

April 27th

Greening Foreclosures: Buy a Home in Detroit for $40

So how much does a foreclosed home in Detroit cost? Two weeks ago, you could buy a home for $1 in the city. Today the lowest price I could find was $40. The city’s morale has dipped so low that only 14 percent of voters turned out for the big mayoral election in February, and two-thirds of children drop out of high school. What could we do to boost moral in Detroit? We could buy up foreclosed homes and lots and turn them into green urban spaces.

March 30th