While the nation focuses on the presidential caucus races, the extraordinary campaigns of four Iowa City council candidates in November's upcoming election have inspired local voters to put the famed "UNESCO City of Literature" in the forefront of flourishing green economy and climate action proposals.
Sustainability is top of mind as this week we mark Earth Day and Arbor Day, tributes aimed at raising respect for the environment. That makes this the perfect moment to note a new Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report that says, "Brands that place packaging" into commerce must take more responsibility for its life cycle impact.
It's getting harder to defend our economic and environmental interests against the corrupting influence of campaign cash. The struggle for a fairer economy is inseparable from the struggle to protect the planet -- and both will be more successful once we've removed big money from our political process.
Kazakhstan can offer a much more visible contribution to international peace and prosperity. This country needs to be called upon to play a stronger and more active role in the mediation of interests between the United States (U.S.) and the European Union (E.U.), on one side, and Russia and the Middle East, on the other.
The greatest danger currently facing all of us in America, and particularly progressives, is one of drift. As an economy, the United States is drifting along a low-growth path that is acclimatizing all of us to levels of unemployment which only a decade ago would have been treated as an outrage. As a society, the United States is drifting towards levels of income and wealth inequality so large that, if left unchallenged, will soon become irreversible. And as a political system, the United States is drifting towards a Republican sweep of both the House and the Senate in November unless the democratic left acts now to reverse what is in truth a carefully orchestrated and heavily funded great moving right show. Those of us of a progressive predisposition are drifting towards a political defeat of historic proportions -- one underpinned by an economic and social settlement of a highly conservative kind -- and we are doing so with what would appear to be only the slightest sense of alarm.