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Chip Ward's Posts

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From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Earth

Photo: Eric WagnerThis essay was originally published on TomDispatch and is republished here with Tom's kind permission. What if rising sea levels are yet another measure of inequality? What if the degradation of our planet's life-support systems -- its atmosphere, oceans, and biosphere -- goes hand in hand with the accumulation of wealth, power, and control by that corrupt and greedy 1% we are hearing about from Zuccotti Park? What if the assault on America's middle class and the assault on the environment are one and the same? Money rules It's not hard for me to understand how environmental quality …

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How the West was lost to wildfires

Arizona burns in the distance.Photo: Caroline SansteadThis essay was originally published on TomDispatch and is republished here with Tom's kind permission. Arizona is burning. Texas, too. New Mexico is next. If you need a grim reminder that an already arid West is burning up and blowing away, here it is. As I write this, more than 700 square miles of Arizona and more than 4,300 square miles of Texas have been swept by monster wildfires. Consider those massive columns of acrid smoke drifting eastward as a kind of smoke signal warning us that a globally warming world is not a …

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How the 'peaceful atom' became a serial killer

Photo: Charles LeungThis essay was originally published on TomDispatch and is republished here with Tom's kind permission. When nuclear reactors blow, the first thing that melts down is the truth. Just as in the Chernobyl catastrophe almost 25 years ago when Soviet authorities denied the extent of radiation and downplayed the dire situation that was spiraling out of control, Japanese authorities spent the first week of the Fukushima crisis issuing conflicting and confusing reports. We were told that radiation levels were up, then down, then up, but nobody aside from those Japanese bureaucrats could verify the levels and few trusted …

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The end of welfare water and the drying of the West

This essay was originally published on TomDispatch and is republished here with Tom's kind permission. Pink snow is turning red in Colorado. Here on the Great American Desert -- specifically Utah's slickrock portion of it where I live -- hot 'n' dry means dust. When frequent high winds sweep across our increasingly arid landscape, redrock powder is lifted up and carried hundreds of miles eastward until it settles on the broad shoulders of Colorado's majestic mountains, giving the snowpack there a pink hue. Some call it watermelon snow. Friends who ski into the backcountry of the San Juan and La …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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How to build resilient communities in a chaotic world

This post was originally published at TomDispatch, and it is republished here with Tom's kind permission.   Now that we've decided to "green" the economy, why not green homeland security, too? I'm not talking about interrogators questioning suspects under the glow of compact fluorescent light bulbs, or cops wearing recycled Kevlar recharging their Tasers via solar panels. What I mean is: Shouldn't we finally start rethinking the very notion of homeland security on a sinking planet? Now that Dennis Blair, the new Director of National Intelligence, claims that global insecurity is more of a danger to us than terrorism, isn't …

Read more: Food, Politics