Category Economics and Environment

American Traditions of Giving Thanks and Breaking Treaties

Making official a quintessential American tradition dating back to the 1621 feast between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November to be the national day of Thanksgiving – a vain attempt to unite the North and South at the height of the Civil War. Five […]

International community attempts to negotiate with nature in Paris

With more than 40,000 negotiators from 196 governments descending on Paris this week to negotiate a comprehensive accord to tackle climate change, it is hard to imagine that they could possibly reach an agreement that will satisfy everybody. The interests that each country brings to the table are so complex and diverse – especially when […]

The Abject Failure of the ‘War on Terror’

Last week’s attacks in Paris offered a painful and tragic reminder that despite the unprecedented counterterrorism measures implemented since the attacks on New York and Washington 14 years ago, citizens in the West remain as vulnerable as ever to the threat of extremist violence. This may come as a bit of a shock to those […]

Crises and discord undermine European project

The near collapse of the Greek economy and the harsh austerity package forced on Athens by the European Union has led to increasing commentary in recent weeks on what the developments might mean for the “European project” – the one-time seemingly inevitable drive on the European continent for an “ever closer union” based on principles […]

Beneath Ukraine crisis: Shale gas

The crisis gripping Ukraine has plunged transatlantic relations to their lowest point since the Cold War and threatens to send Ukraine into an armed conflict with potentially dire consequences for the country and the wider region. Moscow’s alleged meddling in eastern Ukraine and its earlier annexation of Crimea spurred worldwide rebukes and much international commentary […]

Russell Brand-bashing and the left’s preferred powerlessness

A recent viral video of British comedian Russell Brand taking on a smug and dismissive BBC Newsnight interviewer by the name of Jeremy Paxman, and ending with Brand making a fervent case for social revolution, has had a surprisingly substantial impact, grabbing the attention of Facebookers, Tweeters, independent journalists and mainstream media alike. Although certain […]

Government shutdown speaks volumes about Washington’s misplaced priorities

With the federal government being shut down over a health care reform law – which, despite its many imperfections, is likely to provide real help to millions of Americans who cannot afford health insurance – it’s difficult for many of us to wrap our heads around the logic of the partisan squabbling. The Patient Protection […]