Weekend Reading 12-16-11

Brutal logic, Big Junk Food, and more.
This post is 41 in the series: Weekend Reading

Eric dP:

This week it seemed I read nothing that wasn’t depressing. It started with the Nation taking a troubling look at the fracturing of Occupy Wall Street.

More troubling was Eric Scigliano’s media analysis of recent global warming coverage, or lack thereof. Despite a spate of major developments, he finds that journalists are almost ignoring the topics.

Finally, it’s not accurate to say that I “enjoyed” reading them, but I was moved by Dave Roberts on the brutal logic of climate change (and the follow-on piece), as well as by Marc Lee’s post-mortem of the Durban climate talks.


Have a healthy holiday, everyone!  And remember: racial segregation and income inequality are serious killers. Also remember: a natural experiment in Oregon shows that giving health insurance to the uninsured makes people healthier and wealthier.


If you read, as Eric de Place’s recommends, Dave Roberts devastating description of how daunting the global climate challenge actually is, you might find it restorative to watch this video of college student Anjali Appadurai reading the riot act to the Durban climate conference: “You’ve been negotiating all my life,” she begins. It heats up from there. Next, take pride, because this passionate young leader is Cascadian. She hails from Coquitlam, BC.

Eric H:

Big Junk Food is fighting back against new guidelines for marketing to kids—voluntary ones at that. In a fight likened to the cigarette wars of the 1980s, food manufacturers are insisting that if they don’t dump massive amounts of salt and sugar into their foods sold to kids, they won’t be able to sell them. Already, regulators are planning to drop the age at which the guidelines kick in from 17 to 12. Because of course, 13-17 year-olds are capable of making completely rational food choices.

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  1. Vince Houmes says:

    In other grim climate change news this week, methane released due to thawing of permafrost and shrinking of Arctic ice is happening much faster than expected: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/shock-as-retreat-of-arctic-sea-ice-releases-deadly-greenhouse-gas-6276134.html

  2. Sarah says:

    Link for Clark’s second item is the same as the first – help!

  3. Eric Hess says:

    Thanks, Sarah. It’s fixed now.

  4. Callie Jordan says:

    The last line of the article about how Occupy is fracturing had to have been ironic — it just makes the Occupy movement diametrically opposite to our current system of government:

    Perhaps there’s something to be said for such a model: forcing all discussions into gridlock until the needs of the least fortunate are met.

    • deborah says:

      On the fracturing of Wall Street: Occupy is full of good people and a few using it for their own agendas…like dah! so we know that story. The other story is the issue as to why Occupy bloomed with the passion of righteous indignation. In an attempt to understand and clarify the needs of the people, people whose world is being sliced and diced into toxic helpings, there was some chaos. This is a good thing. We need to embrace the discomfort of the unknown for that is the future.

      As we sit at our keyboards in semi denial of the obscenities we have allowed our “leaders” to commit and “discuss” these things, I applaud the mainstagers.

      Occupy is a cease and desist forum that needed to happen. Paradigm change is based on the realization that current knowledge needs to override that which was built on bad premises and untrue beliefs.

      The established systems were constructed from the industrialist mindset, the religious old skool of domination that set the “right to profit” as a global standard.

      We have abstracted our being into this absurd ignorant construct and it is time to shake it off and consciously evolve into our truer potentials. The possibility is amazing and unimaginable. The current system is a dead end.

  5. Georgie Bright Kunkel says:

    If we didn’t have modern technology we wouldn’t know about all the depressing happenings around the world. We would focus on our own families and friends. It is not possible for any one person to
    be conscious of the ills of the whole world and not be depressed.

    Maybe we had better focus on our family and friends once more since it is not possible for us to contend with everything
    that is brought to our attention by the modern media.

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