No Picture

Grapes of Wrath: Climate Change and the Wine Industry

Source: Mother Jones

John Williams has been making wine in California’s Napa Valley for nearly 30 years, and he farms so ecologically that his peers call him Mr. Green. But if you ask him how climate change will affect Napa’s world famous wines, he gets irritated, almost insulted. "You know, I’ve been getting that question a lot recently, and I feel we need to keep this issue in perspective," he told me. "When I hear about global warming in the news, I hear that it’s going to melt the Arctic, inundate coastal cities, displace millions and millions of people, spread tropical diseases and bring lots of other horrible effects. Then I get calls from wine writers and all they want to know is, ‘How is the character of cabernet sauvignon going to change under global warming?’ I worry about global warming, but I worry about it at the humanity scale, not the vineyard scale." read more


Immigration Fight At The AZ Corral

Arizona is in the grip of an anti-immigrant fever. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose popularity has been built on his tough enforcement tactics and willingness to defy the federal government, is on the edge of a run for governor. But even if he doesn't, the state has a controversial new law that requires police to determine the status of anyone if there is a "reasonable suspicion" they are in the US illegally - and arrest them if documents can't be produced. Hiring day laborers off the street has also become a crime.

No Picture

How Hollywood Hides the Horrors of War

Source: In These Times

When Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker won all the big Oscars over James Cameron’s Avatar, the victory was perceived as a good sign of the state of things in Hollywood: A modest production meant for independent festivals clearly overran a superproduction whose technical brilliance cannot cover up the flat simplicity of its story. Did this mean that Hollywood is not just a blockbuster machine, but still knows how to appreciate marginal creative efforts? Maybe-but that’s a big maybe. read more

No Picture

People vs. Profit: Give Sports Back to the Fans

Source: The New Statesman

Rapacious business interests have made profit the new first principle of top-class sport. But all over the world, from South Africa to Liverpool and Manchester, fans are mobilising to reclaim the people’s pleasure.

As Tiger Woods returns to golf, not all his affairs are salacious headlines. The Tiger Woods Golf Course in Dubai is costing $100m to build. Dubai relies on cheap third-world labour, as do certain consumer brands that have helped make Woods a billionaire. A representative of Nike workers in Thailand wrote to him, expressing their "utmost respect for your skill and perseverance as an athlete" but pointing out that they would need to work 72,000 years "to receive what you will earn [from your Nike] contract". read more


The Advent of Green Consumerism: 40 Years of Earth Days

The 40th anniversary of the original Earth Day is upon us, and many seasoned environmentalists are nostalgic for the heady days of the 1970s, when 20 million people hit in the streets and eventually got Richard Nixon to sign a series of ambitious environmental laws. Those laws managed to clean up waterways that were turning into sewers, saved the bald eagle from the ravages of DDT, and began to clear the air, which in the early 1960s was so polluted that people were passing out all over our cities.