Richard Minnich, a professor of science at University of California at Riverside, likes to play a word game that sums up how confused the general public is about wildfires. It starts with a well-known slogan.“Smokey the Bear says, ‘Only you can prevent forest fires,’” Minnich says, then takes a pregnant pause. “Let’s change that last part. Smokey the Bear says, ‘Only you can prevent earthquakes... Read more
Last year South Africa's bountiful Wild Coast saw the assassination of Sikhosiphi Rhadebe, activist against proposed dune mining on his homeland. The commemoration of Rhadebe who went by the name Bozooka coincided with this year's Human Rights day. At least 500 people came to stand together in solidarity to call for an end to violence under the glaring sun of the Wild Coast far off the tarred... Read more
Synthetic biology, commonly defined as the science of manipulating or editing genomes to engineer new living organisms, is basically genetic engineering 2.0. This rapidly growing biotech field is expected to be worth $38.7 billion by 2020. And right now, gene drives are the most exciting – and most potentially dangerous – new tool in the bio-hacking toolkit.
It is easy to understand scholarly and progressive interest in this year’s centennial of the Russian revolution, but harder to explain why there is little apparent enthusiasm for an anniversary that is arguably more important – that of Mexico’s 1917 constitution, signed on February 5, 1917. In fact, Mexico’s constitution provided the model for the first Soviet constitution. Its failure to inspire... Read more
Imagine if the U.S. Constitution barred the EPA and Department of Education from existing. All union protections are dead, there are no more federal workplace safety standards, and even child-labor laws are struck down, along with a national minimum wage.Imagine that the Constitution makes it illegal for the federal government to protect you from big polluters, big banks and even big food and... Read more
Last November, representatives of 17 indigenous communities held a vigil at the site of two megadams—El Chepete and El Bala—that President Evo Morales plans to build in Bolivia’s Amazonian region. The protesters blocked access to the site by Geodata, the Italian firm hired by the government to study the dams’ feasibility. Twelve days later, Geodata’s engineers withdrew their equipment, announcing... Read more