Category Archives: The ENVS

Republicans just moved to give away our public lands. It’s not too late for Obama to stop them.

Barack Obama has put the Antiquities Act to good use, especially over these past few weeks. The Act allows the President to unilaterally designate national monuments, and only a concerted effort by Congress can overturn that decision. In late December, Obama protected Bears Ears in Utah and Gold Butte in Nevada despite some amount of state and Congressional resistance. Just last week, he protected three sites honoring the civil rights movement, and enlarged two existing monuments for good measure.

Even before his most recent spree, Obama had invoked the Antiquities Act more than any other President since the law was passed in 1906. So naturally, just hours before he steps down, I have one last proposal for him: President Obama must use the Antiquities Act one last time, to declare a National Monument on all federal land not already so designated.* If he doesn’t, there may not be much of it left by the time this Congress gives way to the next.

Continue reading Republicans just moved to give away our public lands. It’s not too late for Obama to stop them.

Advertisements

Sometimes, the corrections just write themselves

Now that the President-elect elected to select the unelectable Rick Perry to direct the Department of Energy — the very agency he infamously  tried, and failed, to inform voters he would shut down if they made him President of these United States — I thought now might be a good opportunity to instruct the media on word choice.

Back in May, Grist published an article about Trump’s erstwhile plan to totally abolish the Environmental Protection Agency, and detailed Republican animosity toward that agency more generally:

Continue reading Sometimes, the corrections just write themselves

Making sense of Lewis Black’s pre-election prophecy

One month before the election, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart holdover correspondent Lewis Black turned up on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah to record a fresh segment of Back in Black. He highlighted how few Americans choose to vote and urged eligible voters to overcome personal distaste for both candidates:

Continue reading Making sense of Lewis Black’s pre-election prophecy

The right way to fact-check President Trump

During the election, media organizations were forced to create new and inventive ways to communicate Donald Trump’s new and inventive relationship with the truth. Here’s one famous example:

Such efforts went over so well that some people have clamored for the networks to deploy such correctives on a more regular basis:

Continue reading The right way to fact-check President Trump

That time Treehugger jumped the shark

[Editor’s note: As should be clear from the very first sentence, the following post was originally written well over a year ago. I can offer no explanation for my delinquency in publishing it other than I have been delinquent in publishing just about everything around here.]

I wrote a post last week complaining about an extremely misleading headline over at Treehugger. But upon further reflection, I don’t know what about the #fail it discussed exercised me so. After all, I’ve been aware that Treehugger jumped the shark for quite some time.

My suspicions were aroused back in September, when I came across an unusual “Photo of the Day”. Treehugger has long periodically posted photographs culled from reader contributions. The pictures — how do I say this without sounding like a snob? — typically portray attractive subjects, but the photographer’s execution can sometimes leave quite a bit of room for improvement.

Continue reading That time Treehugger jumped the shark

I just can’t wait for Man In Tree’s new memoir

Bail was set for #ManInTree at $50,000, which means it won’t be long before we hear he’s signed a lucrative book deal to help cover the costs. Since the forthcoming memoir may as well be a foregone conclusion, I took the liberty of designing a book jacket on his behalf:

Continue reading I just can’t wait for Man In Tree’s new memoir

A piece of Purim poetry, inspired by #ManInTree

Last Tuesday, while much of the world stood transfixed by the tragic bombings in Brussels, Seattle could not take its eyes off #ManInTree — a man (surprise!) who defied police orders to descend from an 80-foot sequoia tree in downtown Seattle for a full Shabbat (25 hours).

At the height (pun intended) of his popularity, KOMO News’ livestream of #ManInTree’s treetop standoff attracted 420,000 viewers (the perfect number of Seattleites to demonstrate interest in someone really, really high). By comparison, a nearby Hillary rally attracted fewer than 3,000.

As #ManInTree’s ordeal stretched into Wednesday, I could not help but notice certain parallels between his story and that of the impending holiday of Purim (which began that night). And so I was inspired to pen a piece of poetry,* which I now publish publicly for the first time. I hope you enjoy:

Continue reading A piece of Purim poetry, inspired by #ManInTree

The more things change, Middle East edition

One of my favorite Colbert Report clips of all time — all time — came when Stephen reported on Israel’s selection of the long-billed hoopoe as its national bird. He concluded the brief segment like so:

Continue reading The more things change, Middle East edition

The original Stephen Colbert made Stephen Colbert’s job that much harder

Erstwhile right-wing pundit Stephen Colbert famously introduced us to the concept of Wikiality coming up on ten years ago. On the now-defunct The Colbert Report, he explained that — under the rules of Wikipedia — in order for something to be considered true,

Continue reading The original Stephen Colbert made Stephen Colbert’s job that much harder

Careful what you call Chris Christie’s endorsement of Donald Trump

Conservatives and other media types are tripping over themselves to point out the absurdity inherent in Chris Christie’s recent endorsement of Donald Trump. And they’re right to do so. Whether he made the move out of spite for Marco Rubio or simply because he is angling for a cabinet position in the seemingly-inevitable Trump administration, Christie clearly has some ulterior motive.

But there’s no need to point to Christie’s past comments on the Donald as evidence for his sincerity deficit. Indeed, to prove his decision to back Trump falls somewhere short of wholehearted, one needn’t look past the Wall Street Journal’s coverage:*

Continue reading Careful what you call Chris Christie’s endorsement of Donald Trump