Mainstream news coverage of the ongoing climate talks barely exists, and any real progress from Doha, would be an unexpected and pleasant surprise, as even its participants would agree (perhaps that was why Qatar, the heart of the fossil fuel industry, was chosen as the venue). This despite some increase in awareness of the dire challenges posed by a changing climate in a year of droughts and superstorms.
The International Energy Agency, which a few weeks ago released its annual World Energy Outlook report, concluded we had better not use two-thirds of the proven global fossil fuel reserves or else ...Read More »
The shooting at the Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wis., in August brought to light how little fellow Americans really know about their neighbors. The Sikh community, often recognizable by their visible external identity – the turban and beard – continues to remain largely invisible to the majority of the American community. This is particularly significant in California, where half the Sikh American community resides.
The history of Sikhs in California is rich and runs deep. While Sikhs have resided in California for well over a hundred years, little is still known about the world’s fifth-largest world religion and its community ...Read More »
For the first time in history, online retail sales on Black Friday topped $1 billion as millions of Americans began their holiday gift shopping early – and in earnest. But the momentum didn’t stop there, as Cyber Monday saw a 30 percent increase in sales over last year.
At first blush, this looks like pretty good news. If nothing else, it would seem to indicate that consumer confidence is growing, even though by most accounts, a broader economic turnaround is still a distant dream. On the other hand, such increased spending – as well-intentioned as it may be – could simply be ...Read More »
As far as I know, my wife and I had already purchased our tickets to Nepal before grasping entirely what we’d committed to: an 18-day trek through the Himalayas, including an ascent up Thorung La – at 5,416 meters (17,769 feet), one of the world’s highest mountain passes.
Sure, we had experience hiking to the top of some pretty big hills. But even our one-day trot to the top of California’s Mt. Whitney – the tallest peak in the Lower 48 – couldn’t compare to what was in store for us.
The first few days of the ...Read More »
What do leaders have in common? One answer: followers! But what makes people want to follow another, with enthusiasm, energy or even reckless abandon?
You might be surprised to learn that the effectiveness of organizations often depends upon the chosen attitude, or focus, held by a single individual. This attitude is in our complete control and can be decoupled from the particulars of a given situation.
We have the tendency to gravitate toward information, ideas and people that are familiar or that confirm what we already believe or expect to receive. Such a tendency shows how easy it is to ...Read More »
Mention India and many contradictory images are often conjured up – poverty and Rajput castles, rich and exotic foods and begging mothers and children, the Himalaya Mountains and Rajasthani deserts.
But there is no contradiction on the importance of the Indian monsoon. Indian agriculture and much of Indian culture are intertwined with the seasonal rains. And the future outlook on the reliability of monsoons does not look promising.
The monsoon months of June to September bring three-quarters of India’s annual rainfall. Yet alarmingly, more experts are predicting that due to climate change, the coming decades will bring erratic monsoon seasons ...Read More »
To be honest, most of the evening’s presentation – although fascinating in a sort of “I have no idea what she’s saying but she says it so well” sort of way – left me wanting.
Of course, there’s really no one to blame but myself. There I was, a former liberal arts major, listening to a lecture by a well-respected psychologist and research scientist on “The Neurobiological Basis of Compassion and Implications for Inflammatory Disease.” What was I thinking?Read More »
Elizabeth Armstrong, a Ph.D. with a passion, hopes to build sustainable, affordable housing in Marin County for women veterans and other women in a multiuse community. One of her first steps was to seek advice and help from Marin County Supervisor Kathrin Sears, who she met at communitywide meeting.
Before the meeting, Armstrong said: "I'm not sure what to expect. What I would like is for her to give me some feedback and maybe direct me to some resources, maybe some suggestions for a board of directors. The main thing is to introduce her to this project and ...Read More »
After erratic early returns, once big county results started coming in, Gov. Jerry Brown was confident in proclaiming the success of his ballot measure, Proposition 30. Though almost exclusively marketed as a set of temporary tax increases to save California's schools from devastating cuts, Prop. 30’s passage is also the final step in the governor’s 2011 public safety realignment.
The schools part: The temporary tax increases included in Prop. 30 – a bit of sales tax, a bit of increased income tax for very wealthy people – will generate approximately $6 billion per year for the state general fund ...Read More »
In the debates and discussions leading up to the 2012 presidential election, there was not a hint that either political party was willing to question and reassess our dependence on endless economic growth in a world of finite resources. That is anathema to our political world.
Our economy is measured and guided by gross domestic product, and growth of GDP is considered central to our economic system. GDP is the value of all goods and services produced in any given time period. It is the measurement upon which economists and politicians stake their livelihood. But endless growth of GDP assumes ...Read More »