Other Politics

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Virginia Governor: Vote today for Climate Hawk Tom Perriello

Climate Hawks Vote is excited to announce an endorsement of Tom Perriello to be the next governor of Virginia, running on a platform of clean air, clean water, and clean government. The Democratic primary is today, June 13. By RL Miller Climate Hawks Vote We’re joining Senator Bernie Sanders and endorsing Tom for his bold […]

June 13th

Note to our Google Reader subscribers (it’s going away!)

If you don’t know what an RSS feed is or don’t know what Google Reader is, feel free to move along and skip this article. However, if you are one of our  RSS subscribers and you use Google Reader (more likely than not), then you’ve probably seen by now that Google is shutting down Google Reader […]

June 27th

Struggling to Think “Glass Half Full” After Supreme Court Decision

I usually try to be an optimistic, “glass half full” kind of person, but yesterday when I read that the Supreme Court had upheld an Arizona law that allows fines and business license revocation for companies that knowingly hire “illegal aliens,” it took some serious effort to come up with optimistic scenarios for the future […]

May 27th

Remembering A Time Of Less Polarized Environmental Politics

As we approach this hyper-partisan 2010 election, the “environment” has become just one more point of polarization, particularly around the question of Global Climate Change.  All but one Republican Senate candidate candidate today passively or actively opposes the idea that human activity is responsible for greenhouse gas effects on climate.  It is hard to find […]

October 18th

When Fear Wins: Fallout From the “Dirty Dozen” List

[social_buttons] Experts in Nutrition and Public Health agree that a healthy diet should include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.  These foods have multiple health benefits because they provide dietary fiber, trace minerals, vitamins, anti-oxidants, and a wide variety of compounds that enhance vein health, reduce cancer risk, and bind dangerous toxins (just to name […]

October 12th

A Sad Day For Wine. A Sad Day for Science

As a grape grower and as a scientist who has spent years studying grape diseases,  I was saddened to read that an experimental planting of biotech grapes was ripped out of the ground yesterday by anti-GMO activists.  It was a government-funded site in the quaint town of Colmar, in far Eastern France  (I’ve been to […]

August 17th

Two Radically Different Views of Celery

[social_buttons] The Environmental Working Group (EWG, an activist organization) and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (a state agency) each have radically different views of the safety of eating celery.  EWG recently put celery on the top of their annual “dirty dozen” list – a ranking of fruits and vegetables by the “number” of pesticides […]

May 12th

Sugar Wars

[social_buttons] While a candidate for the Senate, Barak Obama famously and presciently described the invasion of Iraq as a “dumb war.”  That would also be a good descriptor for the five “Sugar Wars” that have been fought in the US sweetener industry over the past several decades.  The combatants include the US Sugar beet industry, […]

May 5th

Messing With Gene Expression in Corn

[social_buttons] A study is about to be published by scientists at the independent RIKILT – Institute for Food Safety in Wageningen, Netherlands.  It will appear in the next edition of Plant Biotechnology Journal – a prestigious, peer reviewed publication.  The study followed gene expression, protein levels and other metabolites associated with 60,000 genes in corn.  They compared different corn […]

April 29th

“Food Politics:” A New Book Well Worth Reading

[social_buttons] The Political Scientist, Robert Paarlberg (Wellsley, Harvard – Weatherhead Center for International Affairs) has just published a new book (Oxford University Press) titled, “Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know.”  I would recommend it highly to anyone who cares about international food issues, sustainability and the like.  It is a succinct, easy to read, but well-documented […]

April 27th

The Genetics of Climate Change: Part 2

[social_buttons] As I described in an earlier post, I was privileged to attend a DOE-sponsored scientific meeting last week about how the fast-moving science of “Genomics” is being applied to issues related to climate change.  This was a meeting of scientists who are using state-of-the-art genetic technology, and in this post I’ll talk about how they are using […]

April 1st

The Genetics of Fighting Climate Change: Part 1

[social_buttons] I just had an opportunity to attend a conference sponsored by the Department of Energy (DOE) about how the fast-moving new science of “Genomics” is being used to help understand the biological effects of climate change and how genomics is being used in the effort to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.   At this […]

March 30th

The Looming Immigration Battle. Not That One! The More Important One

[social_buttons] Eventually, Congress will get around to “Immigration Reform.”  The process will be all too predictable.  There will be a lot of huffing and puffing from angry old white men trying to conflate the issue with “National Security” and using “invasion” imagery and thinly veiled racism.  There will be lots of posturing about “getting control of […]

February 15th

Looking Beyond 2050 – Some Interesting and Disturbing Trends

[social_buttons] Fertility rates are declining around the world and most of what is written about this trend casts it in a positive light.  The cover story of last November’s Economist magazine carried the headline: “Falling Fertility – How the Population Problem is Solving Itself.”  It claimed that countries like China are enjoying a “demographic dividend” […]

January 25th

Green Jobs ‘Dopey’ says Australian Union Leader

The leader of one of Australia’s most influential unions has said that green jobs is a ‘dopey term’. Tony Maher went on to suggest that many of the environmental campaigns run in his country are ‘judgemental nonsense’ and that industries like coal and steel will have more impact on both prosperity and the creation of a low carbon future than people realised.

September 15th