The Animal “Kingdom of the Dead”

By Deborah JonesDecember, 2014 In early December a young, pregnant and dead whale was found near Vancouver Island off Western Canada. Her carcass was towed from the water and left on shore to await the researchers who would perform her necropsy. Soon afterward,

The back story behind New York’s fracking ban

  Careful, evidence-based journalism underpinned New York’s decision Wednesday to ban fracking in the state. This story by the not-for-profit investigative news room ProPublica provides the back story of the state governor’s announcement. Fracking — the technique of fracturing underground rock by piping

Hey, Hey We’re the Monkees: Michael Nesmith

  BRIAN BRENNAN: BRIEF ENCOUNTERS December, 2014 According to the gossip of the day, the Monkees couldn’t play their own instruments. They were a band made to order for American television: Artificially manufactured to appeal to teenagers who had flocked to see

On the psychology of materialism, and Christmas

Tim Kasser, an American psychology professor who specializes in materialism and well being, has some thoughts on consumerism, Christmas, and well-being.  On why materialism is sometimes considered a negative, and affects people differently: To be materialistic means to have values that put

Opinion: From Lima, a Munich moment — Chris Wood

By Chris Wood, NATURAL SECURITY opinion columnist    There’s no pleasure in saying, ‘I told you so,” over the Lima climate conference. Unhappily, I did. International delegates meeting in the Peruvian capital reached a beyond-last-minute ‘agreement’ on reducing climate-disruptive greenhouse emissions by, in

Are children’s books “literature?”

By Kiera Vaclavik, Queen Mary University of London December, 2014 Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, was an ardent defender of children’s literature, believing the works of Beatrix Potter to be equal to “the greatest English prose writers that have

Lima Accord announced on climate

Every country would be required to submit a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Lima Accord announced Sunday at global climate talks in Peru. The Lima talks aimed to set ground rules for a global climate deal between world leaders meeting

Who Are the Hypocrites on Lima’s Carbon Footprint?

  CHRIS WOOD: NATURAL SECURITY  November, 2014  The charge of hypocrisy, let’s be clear about it, is deeply hypocritical. The argument turns up regularly. To paraphrase this week’s example: the people who released all those greenhouse gasses to get together in Peru for

Boris Johnson: schemer or charmer? — Manthorpe

British Conservatives and the public must soon decide whether Boris Johnson is as he portrays himself — a charming Bertie Wooster, whose eccentricity masks a proven ability at administration as Mayor of London – or someone a good deal more scheming and

A brief encounter with Brian Moore

At age 60, Irish writer Brian Moore decided to switch from novels to plays. However, as Arts columnist Brian Brennan reports, it was an experiment not destined to be repeated. An excerpt of Brennan’s Brief Encounters column, A Prolific Novelist on Diverse Themes: