FRESH TAKES ON BIG CHALLENGES: OUR BLOGS & ARTICLES

Six Pieces of a Real Democracy Movement We’ve Never Had Before

As perhaps never before in our history, all the pieces are in place for a democracy movement to take off in America, one strong enough to tackle the system-roots of our country’s crises. What? You don’t see it? I understand, because it is really hard to discern the democratic impulse in a political culture increasingly dominated by bluster, bullying, and blame, all bank-rolled by a tiny minority. But here’s all I ask — that you take in the six key pieces below, and then imagine what they could add up to, and your place in them. One: We’re angry. Not handfuls of marginal “activists” but most Americans — left, right, middle — are really pissed. We know things are foundationally unfair, and get

Are Fertilizer Explosions Just Another Cost of Doing Business for Big Ag?

Originally published by Civil Eats on 03/03/2016 Three years ago, an explosion at a West, Texas fertilizer plant killed 15 people and injured another 260. In January, the Chemical Safety Board, the federal agency that investigates chemical disasters, released their final report. The conclusions are sobering: More than a thousand communities nationwide are home to similar fertilizer production facilities that store fertilizer-grade ammonium nitrate—the agricultural chemical that caused the deadly explosion, and there are 80 facilities in Texas alone. Vanessa Allen Sutherland, the chairwoman of the agency, told reporters: “It’s possible for another type of incident like this to happen.” We’ve

Un-bottling Water

Originally published by Earth Island Journal on 03/01/2016 The majestic half-dome of Yosemite. The psychedelic-colored hot springs of Yellowstone. The jaw-dropping ravines of the Grand Canyon…. Piles of plastic water bottles? Until recently, all of these – yes, plastic bottles included – could be considered iconic of our nation’s national parks. In the Grand Canyon alone, the park was recycling more than 900 tons of bottles a year, including plastic ones. But thanks to people-powered change, an estimated 75 national parks –about one quarter of the nation’s total – have now joined the movement to go plastic bottled-water free. The idea seems like common sense – and it is. Plastic water bottle

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the Institute of writers, speakers, & activists Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé

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