The iPhone shows how rapidly society can change if it wants to, according to a California energy commissioner, and gay marriage shows that change can happen in public policy. Climate policy could be next.
Climate scientists have volunteered by the dozens to review the accuracy of stories about climate change. Now they're collaborating with computer experts to scan the internet for fake news and misleading stories about climate.
The Powers That Be may not heed our protests, read our letters, listen to our environmental groups, but they can’t stop us from taking back the thousands of dollars we inadvertently contribute to their polluting economy every year.
Donald Trump's nominee for energy secretary, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, promised senators during his confirmation hearing this morning that he would defend the Energy Department from budget cuts reportedly favored by his prospective boss.
Cheap natural gas and renewables ousted coal as America's leading energy source in 2015—a decade earlier than the Clean Power Plan predicted, and without the Clean Power Plan's help, according to a new analysis.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. decided to close its Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant because its baseload power—often cited as nuclear's best asset—doesn't fit into the dynamic grid California is developing, a PG&E executive said Wednesday at the U.S. Energy Storage Summit in San Francisco.
A Self Made of Words by Carl H. Klaus Iowa, 2013 Recently a Buddhist acquaintance suggested I read Simone Weil because of her work on attention. She writes, for example, that “Absolute undivided attention is prayer,” which lends a Buddhist flavor to her Judeo-Christian theology. Attention can be aimed at anything, after all, not necessarily […]
Since Roger Ebert died I’ve been watching the tribute writers struggle to express his contribution. At The Atlantic, Christopher Orr rightly describes Ebert as a movie enthusiast, but here’s the analysis that follows: “The movies he loved, he truly loved. And the movies he hated, he truly hated.” That’s so truly true Orr can reuse it for […]
It wasn’t the great science fiction novels, “Fahrenheit 451” or “The Martian Chronicles,” that most reflected Ray Bradbury’s life, but a play he wrote—”Something Wicked This Way Comes”— “It’s a metaphor for all of life,” Bradbury said of his play, which you may know better as a 1983 movie starring Jonathan Pryce, Jason Robards and […]
[capti on id=”attachment_2694″ align=”alignright” width=”300″ caption=”By fox_kiyo via flickr”][/caption] When we published the summer issue of Contrary two days ago, we had less than $2 in the bank. We’ve been scraping by since the recession hit, but this marked the first time we had published an issue without knowing how we’d pay for it. Scary, […]
Lauren Berlant speaking on media sensationalism? I couldn’ t miss that. So I found my way to the University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center to have a listen. Only to find out I’d overlooked the comma between media and sensationalism. Lauren Berlant is an English professor at the University of Chicago, but that title can’t contain […]
Juliana Baggott wrote a smart and calm defense of the Osama bin Laden death celebration for NPR last week. Americans should be free to release their fear, she contends: their cheering shows they are paying attention, are emotionally invested, and are participating in an act of unity. She didn’t convince me, but she helped me […]
For a lifetime Mary Oliver has gently secluded herself, walked the woods, sent bottles out on the tide bearing simple messages that reconnect humanity to a beauty beyond us. Now we know why. In an interview with Maria Shriver Mary Oliver reveals she was sexually abused when very young, that with eroded trust she withdrew […]
I left the daily life of journalism at the turn of the Century, just before the daily life of journalism collapsed. That left me feeling a bit like Charlie Chaplin, who sold all his stocks in 1928. Since then I’ve maintained journalism as a practice more cyclically, and less cynically, focusing more on reporting and […]
The genius of James Fallows’ new piece in The Atlantic is that he takes some of the best values of traditional journalism—skepticism, research, fairness, eagerness to question authority and topple conventional wisdom—and he applies them to traditional journalism. He disputes the tediously common view that old journalism is better than new. Unless they are different from […]
Last week when my friend David Alm published his lament of digital publishing in these pages, I happened to be writing an introduction for a visiting writer. I recognized in my draft a soft rebuttal to David’s post, but I decided it had to complete its original mission before I could post it. This introduction […]