Back in January, in response to Fair Trade USA’s (FTUSA) decision to begin certifying plantation-grown coffee, I wrote that fair trade was dead. Some critics vehemently disagreed with my assessment, seeming to take issue with the sweeping declarative statement I made, and accusing me of conflating the concept of “fair trade” with the products distributed [...]
I remember when the internal strife in Syria first began back in the spring of 2011. Like most people, I considered it to be a continuation of the events that began in Tunisia and made their way through Egypt; another Middle East dictator swiftly ousted at the hands of the “Arab spring.” Yet two years [...]
In early summer, a small, heavily militarized country invaded its southern neighbor. The local conflict soon grew regional as other nations allied with both original participants began to support their respective friends, thereby making escalation a serious concern. Three years later, over 1 million people had died as a result of the disastrous war, yet [...]
There is an popular opinion piece on FoxNews.com right now by John Kartch of Americans for Tax Reform called “Five Major Obamacare Taxes that will hit your wallet in 2013.” Shockingly, it is very misleading on nearly every issue it discusses.
There is a reason that presidents have been fighting for a better health care system for 100 years. In 2010, over 50 million Americans went about their daily lives with no health insurance. If they got sick, odds are they went bankrupt and you had to foot the bill. Insurance companies could look at an application of a newborn infant, born with a defect, and deny the child coverage. A man who had diligently paid for his own health insurance for his entire life, could get cancer, and the insurance company could drop him. Insurance companies would set annual or lifetime dollar limits on needed care, leaving patients who thought they had coverage with massive medical bills and no hope.
Whether or not to allow plantations into the fair trade model is not the only debate raging within the specialty coffee industry. Another, and more wide-reaching debate, is whether certification schemes benefit producers, or if they are in fact barriers to trade. While millions of small-scale coffee producers have benefited from certification systems like Fair [...]
It is a reasonable assumption that many readers of the Conducive Chronicle or students around the world enrolled in some type of college social science class featuring elements of post modernism are familiar with the concept of modernity. Modernity has been both categorically and lexically challenging to define since the term is immensely expansive. Subsequently, [...]
In the midst of the George W. Bush Administration, science writer Chris Mooney’s The Republican War on Science (Basic Books, 2005) noted an increasing trend: the rejection of science by a growing number of Republican Party members, not just on evolution, but on topics as varied as stem cell research, the hole in the ozone [...]
“There is no such thing as work-life balance,” Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, boasted earlier this year. But don’t believe her. This message that the only way to succeed is to live an unhealthy life focused on your work is a farce. By Debra Guckenheimer Sandberg doesn’t appear to live up to [...]
Tens of thousands of volunteers across the U.S. and Europe passed out free books to celebrate World Book Night. For a struggling industry World Book Night may have seemed like an ingenious marketing ploy. But to the volunteers and the readers, these books were a lovely gift. For one special day, volunteers gave out books [...]
Members of the Wisconsin legislature may vote today – March 6, 2012 – to suspend recently agreed upon rules in the state that streamlined and made more efficient the state’s wind siting requirements. Although the legislators pushing for suspension cite the need for local control over wind rules as their motivation, many of them are [...]
Kaska Hass’ High Eco Fashion Spring/Summer ’12 collection brought a light and breezy energy to the Lavera Showfloor in Berlin. Inspired by wind energy, Hass designed pieces that were as jagged as wind turbines and gathered in ways that created an airy buoyancy. Crisp organic cotton items looked as fluffy as freshly washed laundry [...]
Scientists had thoroughly investigated the beluga whale population in the St. Lawrence area, but today, the beluga whale population is at an all time low again and they still suffer from toxins and the onset of cancers.
If you are interested in weather, chances are you have visited Weather Underground and read the posts of its director of meteorology, Dr. Jeff Masters. The consistently reliable Masters has been a rare voice in helping make sense of, rather than cloud (zing!), the increasingly strange weather events hitting the planet. Masters has studied weather [...]
By Christine Shearer In a recent article in National Journal, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) President Tim Phillips said there is no question that AFP and others like it have been instrumental in the rise of Republican candidates who question or deny climate science: “We’ve made great headway. What it means for candidates on the Republican side is, [...]
All day, everyday, we do it without really thinking about it. Pull that coffee filter full of spent grounds out of the machine after your morning cuppa, and toss it into the kitchen trash. Grab a paper towel from the office pantry to serve as a napkin for your lunch break, wipe your mouth and [...]
How Do You Grab Land? The recent phenomenon of aggressive land takeovers, also known as land grabs, has resulted in the taking of enormous portions of land throughout Africa. In 2009 alone, nearly 60 million hectares of land was purchased or leased throughout the continent for the production and export of food, cut flowers, and [...]
On October 3, 2011, the Obama administration said it was moving forward with oil-drilling leases off the coast of Alaska issued by the Bush administration in 2008. The leases had been challenged by environmental groups, opposition that gained momentum after the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster. Yet the Interior Department said it would uphold nearly [...]