The world's best climate scientists have made it clear: To have even a two-thirds chance of keeping global temperature rise to less than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, we cannot exceed more than 469 billion additional tons of carbon dioxide pollution, yet burning existing worldwide reserves oil, gas, and coal would release 2.8 trillion tons of new carbon dioxide. That's why the Obama administration (and future leaders) will need to complement policies that reduce fossil-fuel consumption (and promote clean energy) with similar measures that limit dirty fuel extraction on U.S. public lands. It would be a mistake to see that as self-denial. In fact, committing to a future powered by clean, renewable energy will mean a healthier America with cleaner air and water, pristine coasts, and protected natural areas. As fossil fuels leave the picture, ours will be a wealthier, more just, and more productive nation.
Yesterday was Tax Day. Most of us will have dutifully paid our taxes to a government that no longer represents us. Policy decisions on nearly every issue, regardless of public opinion, are decided in favor of a select few who can afford to write massive checks, host campaign fundraisers, and hire armies of lawyers and lobbyists.
Looking back, I can better appreciate the incredible amount of grace my parents have shown. While it may not have mattered to me as a child, the complete lack of privacy and the inability to dictate their own comings and goings must have posed real challenges for my parents.
You might think the 1 percent pays a much higher tax rate than everyone else. But you'd be wrong. Many millionaires pay a lower federal tax rate than many middle-class Americans.
You want to know how the working poor really live? My husband works an average of 50 hours per week just so we can barely make it paycheck to paycheck. We are the in-betweeners. Not making enough to live "comfortably" -- but not "poor" enough to get any assistance either.
Our choices have implications, not only for how much we enjoy lunch today, but also for longer term goals like fitness and health. But how do we choose? What are the basic cognitive processes that lead from initial hunger pang to this soup or that sandwich?
Apparently in many parts of the country, the minimum wage is below the poverty line, so in essence you can be employed, working over 40 hours a week, and still unable to provide a for a family of three. I found this fact perplexing, so I thought I needed the careful logic of Abbott and Costello.
We need to pause and ask ourselves whether it is ethical to depict the graphic qualities of a human being to Western audiences for the sole purpose of eliciting an emotional experience and ultimately, money.
Any violence that is committed in the name of religion comes from extremists. These people masque their political or power agendas in false religious doctrine. We must make that distinction - between religion and extremists -- and combat the extremists.
As much as Koch imagines himself a herald of liberty and a "free society," his politics have been just one more uninspiring assault on the poor and the middle class. And that is Koch's Achilles heal.
Avoiding sugary treats altogether at holiday time is a tough bar to meet.
I have sweet, incredible, intelligent children sitting in my classroom who are giving up on their lives already. They feel that they only have failure in their futures because they've been told they aren't good enough by a standardized test.
In a world where breaches and identity theft have become the third certainty in life, jealously guarding our privacy must be our individual missions.
Like it or not, celebrities have some of the loudest voices in this country. And if only a fraction of them could use their voices to articulate the power of consciousness, tolerance and compassion the way Oprah has, then we could truly begin to realize our collective potential.
Not a single Republican voted in favor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, and many Americans no longer know what to think, either. The problem is that the message has been greatly muddled, twisted, and usurped, mostly for political gain.
As women, we do a wonderful job blaming ourselves for the lack of romance in our marriage.
Like the Yuppies of the 1980s, the Muppies of today are driven by ideals of success, status, power and the search to do and be what is "important" (read: "cool"). And were it not for the financial crisis, the Muppies might very well have followed their Yuppie predecessors to the suburbs.
To give you some perspective, that is 10 times the amount sent in the entire US text message industry in one day. That is just insane!
Drag is punk and should never be subjected to politically correct ideals. The moment it stops provoking is the moment it fails as an art form. Trans people are forever indebted to drag for the mainstream explosion of gender as we see it today.
There are now 10 times more people with serious mental illness in state prisons (207,000) and county jails (149,000) than there are in state mental hospitals (35,000). In 44 of the 50 states, the largest single "mental institution" is a prison or jail. How can this be possible?
But as the night runs as late as your twenties, the dishes are cleared, the coffee is drunk and you begin to part ways. As your friends meander out full of good food and new beginnings, you can feel doors closing all around you.
I learned to have a thicker skin. I have learned how to tell the difference between innocent curiosity and a person who is intentionally being disrespectful. I have learned that every person and every day is beautifully different.
On April 15, 2013, I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and walked to Mass General Hospital to begin my ER shift. It was the day of Boston marathon, and we were prepared for the usual influx of people with heatstroke and dehydration. Just before 3 p.m., we received the call that nobody could have predicted.
Since December 28, 2.3 million Americans have lost their unemployment insurance, with the expiration of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. Every week, on average, an additional 72,000 Americans are cut off -- the equivalent of one person every eight seconds.
We assign a cultural significance to sex; it is for procreation and the preservation of the family unit. We are told it is to be cherished and not commodified, but meanwhile sex screams at us from every billboard and TV channel. It seems sex can be used to sell everything except for sex itself.
This fall, Democrats have the ability to motivate the voters to turnout at levels adequate to replicate the 2012 turnout mix -- just as they did in Virginia last year. But we need to focus 100 percent of our energy on motivation. That requires that we follow several important rules.