Articles of Interest

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog

Despite the worst roll-out conceivable, the Affordable Care Act seems to be working. With less than two weeks remaining before the March 31 deadline for coverage this year, five million people have already signed up. After decades of rising percentages of Americans’ lacking health insurance, the uninsured rate has dropped to its lowest levels since 2008.Read more »

By Michael E. Mann

This article was originally published in Scientific American.

The rate of global temperature rise may have hit a plateau, but a climate crisis still looms in the near future.Read more »

Food & Climate: Connecting the Dots, Choosing the Way Forward, outlines the climate requirements for successful food production, and examines two competing food production methods – industrial and organic – to reveal how they contribute to climate change, how resilient they are in the face of escalating climate shocks, and how organic and related agricultural systems can actually contribute to solving the climate crisis.Read more »

NARAHA, Japan — “Out of work? Nowhere to live? Nowhere to go? Nothing to eat?” the online ad reads. “Come to Fukushima.”

That grim posting targeting the destitute, by a company seeking laborers for the ravaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, is one of the starkest indications yet of an increasingly troubled search for workers willing to carry out the hazardous decommissioning at the site.Read more »

By Justin Gillis

Early in his career, a scientist named Mario J. Molina was pulled into seemingly obscure research about strange chemicals being spewed into the atmosphere. Within a year, he had helped discover a global environmental emergency, work that would ultimately win a Nobel Prize.

Now, at 70, Dr. Molina is trying to awaken the public to an even bigger risk. He is spearheading a committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society, which will release a stark report Tuesday on global warming.Read more »

By PAUL KRUGMAN

Four years ago, some of us watched with a mixture of incredulity and horror as elite discussion of economic policy went completely off the rails. Over the course of just a few months, influential people all over the Western world convinced themselves and each other that budget deficits were an existential threat, trumping any and all concern about mass unemployment. The result was a turn to fiscal austerity that deepened and prolonged the economic crisis, inflicting immense suffering.Read more »

The U.S. Supreme Court should hold that owners of for-profit companies cannot assert religious objections to deny their employees insurance coverage of contraceptive services and supplies in employer-sponsored health plans, argues a friend-of-the-court brief filed by the Guttmacher Institute and Professor Sara Rosenbaum (a member of the Guttmacher board of directors and professor at The George Washington University). The brief’s legal team was led by former Acting Solicitor General Walter Dellinger and Indiana University Professor (and Guttmacher board member) Dawn Johnsen.Read more »

By PAUL KRUGMAN

Most people, if pressed on the subject, would probably agree that extreme income inequality is a bad thing, although a fair number of conservatives believe that the whole subject of income distribution should be banned from public discourse. (Rick Santorum, the former senator and presidential candidate, wants to ban the term “middle class,” which he says is “class-envy, leftist language.” Who knew?) But what can be done about it?Read more »

By Toru Hanai and Elaine Lies

KORIYAMA, Japan (Reuters) - Some of the smallest children in Koriyama, a short drive from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, barely know what it's like to play outside - fear of radiation has kept them indoors for much of their short lives.
Though the strict safety limits for outdoor activity set after multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in 2011 have now been eased, parental worries and ingrained habit mean many children still stay inside.Read more »

By Ruth Rosen, Open Democracy

“Everything that explains the world has in fact explained a world that does not exist, a world in which men are at the center of the human enterprise and women are at the margin "helping" them. Such a world does not exist -- never has”
(Gerda Lerner )

A side from the Republican’s relentless War on Women, let me offer you another reason why even one token month is still necessary to America’s political culture.Read more »

By Ed Pilkington, Guardian UK

American Legislative Exchange Council forms new initiative

Offshoot will target 'villages, towns, cities and counties'

The rightwing group Alec is preparing to launch a new nationwide network that will seek to replicate its current influence within state legislatures in city councils and municipalities.Read more »

By Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams

Reproductive rights advocates denounce 'injustice' to women as Bill 2 forces more clinics to close

Two more reproductive healthcare clinics in Texas that provided abortion closed this week, an 'injustice' critics say has been brought on by legislation that robs women of their rights and 'endangers the lives of the state's most vulnerable women.'

The two clinics were part of the Whole Women's Health network-one in McAllen in the Rio Grande Valley, and the other in Beaumont, in eastern Texas.Read more »