Monthly Archives: June 2014

Addicted to oil

Dawn Stover

More than eight years ago, then-US President George W. Bush warned that “America is addicted to oil.” He was right about the diagnosis. But he was wrong about the treatment.

Bush called for replacing Mideast oil imports with homegrown ethanol. That’s like prescribing methadone for addicts who can’t stay off heroin. Except that methadone actually helps addicts live healthier lives, whereas ethanol is even worse for the climate than gasoline

Click here to read Dawns entire opinion piece on the issue via the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists:

 

MENTALLY ILL AMERICA

Paul R. Ehrlich

Well, America has had one more senseless slaughter by gun. The Santa Barbara disaster will be discussed for a few weeks but, if the past is any guide, nothing significant will be changed in our gun-soaked society. As a result, I must agree with my Republican friends that gun violence is a mental illness issue.[1]

There has been continuing debate about the intentions of those who wrote the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Was this intended to empower the states to have military forces available in case the Federal government became dictatorial, or was it intended to give all citizens a right, granted by that government, to keep and own guns. It’s pretty clear that the citizen’s rights meaning was the original intent of many drafters of the bill of rights, but that’s now virtually beside the point in the face of the mental illness epidemic. Read the rest of this entry

Are the ‘Influential’ maximizing their influence?

UntitledBasil Saab

Graham’s post about TIME magazines 100 most influential people left me wondering. Do celebrities actually use their status and social standing to raise awareness about complex social issues such as the environment, health and sustainability?

Graham argues that influence comes from three qualities: Significance, Influence, and Presentation. These qualities had me thinking about Russell Brand, a standup comedian and actor who transcends his reputation of a brash, sex crazed rockstar to raise awareness and advocate change. As seen in the interview below, Brand articulates complex global issues including economic disparity, climate change and sustainability.

The above interview raises important economic, environmental and political issues that exist today. He argues that posturing politicians have lead to indifference and widespread apathy when voting. Brand is calling on a alternative political party to offer meaningful change. His controversial stance lead to his appointment as an editor in The New Statesman, a prominent political magazine in Britain.

As a self-confessed former drug addict, Brand is determined to help others with drug addiction. He holds an advisory role in reshaping government policy in a bid to reduce the rate of recidivism and tackle the growing epidemic.

Whether or not you agree with his ideals, it’s hard to deny Brand’s influence. For me, this teaches an important lesson that no matter what our past may hold, we can all be champions of change in issues we hold close to our heart.

Pictures from the World Environment Day Breakfast at UTS

This morning, SC Co-Founder Graham Pyke was asked to lead the conversation at a World Environment Day Breakfast at the UTS Bluebird Brekkie Bar.

Graham discussed this years theme: “Raise your voice not the sea level” and discussed current issues surrounding climate change and sustainability with students and onlookers enjoying their breakfast. More photos

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