This week: revolution in Egypt, reproductive rights in DC, elections in South Korea and solidarity with Bangladeshi workers everywhere.
Darren Ankrom focuses on climate change.
“Are Simultaneous Floods, Drought an Omen in the Pacific?” by Terrell Johnson. Weather Underground, June 30, 2013.
As large countries bicker about climate change doubting what President Obama last week called “the overwhelming judgment of science,” low-lying nations such as the Marshall Islands are being hammered by the changing climate right now. Recently, the Marshalls (a chain of more than 1,000 islands in the North Pacific Ocean called home by an estimated 70,000 people) were hit with twin, seemingly paradoxical weather emergencies—an intense drought in the northern islands and heavy flooding in the southern parts. It’s a reminder that the Marshalls and other places like it, which have contributed virtually nothing to climate change, are simultaneously the most vulnerable and the first to feel its affects.
Humna Bhojani focuses on the War on Terror and the Middle East.
“US drone strikes more deadly to Afghan civilians than manned aircraft—adviser,” by Spencer Ackerman. The Guardian, July 2, 2013.
While the President and government officials have droned on about the precision of drone strikes and their ability to reduce collateral damage, a study found that drones were “an order of magnitude more likely to result in civilian casualties per engagement.” Precision targeting (by drones or otherwise) might be precise, but it may not necessarily be accurate. Accuracy and precision are two different concepts. While drones may be able to precisely target a building, there is no way of exactly knowing if that is indeed the building they should be targeting. The answer to that question (and the accuracy of a strike) depends on intelligence.
Rick Carp focuses on media, psychology and environmentalism.
“A Spiritual Way of Seeing,” by Peter Gabel. Tikkun via Truthout, June 27, 2013.
Drawing on the psychology of R.D. Laing, theology and film, the author demonstrates how our material-centered worldview leads to forms of alienation that are rooted in the inherent disconnection existing in our superficial, modern relationships, which lack genuine “‘mutual recognition’ of our common humanity.” But this loss of community facilitates the ability of a person to ignore the plights of the Other, which leads to even more hyper-individualism, the continued fraying of social bonds and more internalized alienation! How do we restore solidarity and collective care when we live in a market-based society (that pits people against each other in competition), which is “primarily characterized by the denial of this desire for mutual recognition, in the sense that we are primarily in flight from each other and experience each other as a threat?”