Insensitivity to world violence

It is difficult to explain how humans can be both violent and peaceful. We have the capacity to be loving, sensitive, easy going, reasonable, generous and compassionate, but we can be simultaneously aggressive, intolerant, vengeful, controlling, destructive and cruel. In today’s world, where understanding, democracy, justice and equality drive civilization,...

Insensibles a la violencia mundial

Es difícil explicar por qué los humanos podemos ser tan violentos como pacíficos. Tenemos la capacidad de ser amorosos, sensibles y tranquilos, razonables, generosos y compasivos; pero también para ser agresivos, intolerantes y vengativos, controladores, destructores y hasta crueles y asesinos, incluso, al mismo tiempo. En el mundo actual, donde...


Terrorism is the act of inspiring terror in others by harming presumed innocents. Our government and corporate media use the term to refer to politically motivated violence that targets the public. While such murder is never justified, this violence is rare and not the biggest threat we face. Infrequent criminal...

Immigrants deluxe

Notwithstanding the present immigration-reform frenzy, the subject has been intensely discussed in its many aspects—pros and cons, changes and varieties—in recent and longstanding debates. Immigration is considered an essential part of the history and formation of this country. Depending on one’s point of view, we should accept immigrants for the...

Complexity takes energy

Anthropologists have observed that the complexity of societies and their consumption of energy are directly related: as one increases, so does the other. Over the past 200 years, abundant and inexpensive energy has fueled tremendous growth in the size and complexity of culture, and has dramatically increased the numbers of...

Inmigrantes de lujo

Aún con la inminente reforma, el tema migratorio ya tiene tiempo discutiéndose con intensidad en sus múltiples aspectos, pros y contras, cambios y variantes, tanto recientes como los ocurridos a través del tiempo, considerándose incluso parte esencial de la historia y formación del país. Según de qué lado de la...

Facts are our friends

In the course of writing about Drakes Bay Oyster Company (DBOC) I’ve had the privilege of spending time with Dr. Corey Goodman, and have picked up one of his sayings: “Facts are our friends.” An inconvenient fact might wreck your theory or your dissertation, but it should still be welcomed...

Commission sued over power abuse

This week the Alliance for Local Sustainable Agriculture and I filed a lawsuit against the California Coastal Commission on behalf of Drake’s Bay Oyster Company for actions that conform neither to the provisions of the 1976 California Coastal Act nor

Bay Delta Plan would spell end of ecosystem

The administration of Governor Jerry Brown has constantly touted the Bay Delta Conservation Plan to build the peripheral tunnels as a visionary, ambitious project to accomplish the “co-equal goals” of ecosystem restoration and water supply reliability, while tunnel opponents say the project will lead to the death of the Sacramento-San...

Resisting ecocide

Last week’s letters by Chet Seligman and Richard Kirschman challenged my suggestion that nonviolent protest and civil disobedience may not be enough to reverse the tide of global devastation. Any talk of possible violence, hitting close to home, will make people uncomfortable, and I welcome the pushback. My goal is...