Community Articles from 2020
Reimagining democratic public ownership for the twenty-first century
by Thomas Hanna and Mathew Lawrence
Posted April 7, 2020
A new transatlantic project will explore how new models of public ownership can shape the emerging commanding heights of the economy.
As we enter the second decade of the new century, signs of crisis are all around us. Climate change, rising economic inequality, assaults on workers’ rights and wages, unchecked corporate power, financialization, entrenched racism, misogyny, and xenophobia, and emboldened neo-fascism and right-wing populism, to name a few.
These are not simply isolated phenomena or unexpected byproducts of an otherwise healthy economic model. The entwined crises we face share a deep-rooted common cause: the undemocratic, inequitable, and extractive nature of our economic system. Despite the veneer of a prosperous recovery from the great financial crisis a decade ago many people rightly feel the economy no longer works for them and this is contributing to a deep popular disenchantment and realignment that is reconfiguring our politics and societies. More…
Coronavirus: Potential vaccine generates enough antibodies to fight off virus, first peer-reviewed study suggests
A potential coronavirus vaccine developed by US scientists has been found to produce antibodies capable of fighting off Covid-19 in the first peer-reviewed study of its kind.
The vaccine, which was tested on mice by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, generated the antibodies in quantities thought to be enough to “neutralise” the virus within two weeks of injection.
The study’s authors are now set to apply to the US Food and Drug Administration for investigational new drug approval ahead of phase one human clinical trials planned to start in the next few months.
Scientists across the globe are racing to develop a vaccine to protect against coronavirus, which has infected more than a million people worldwide and claimed 50,000 lives. More…
How to Turn Your Yard Into an Ecological Oasis
By Tyler Wells Lynch
Posted April 4, 2020
For years, Toni Genberg assumed a healthy garden was a healthy habitat. That’s how she approached the landscaping around her home in northern Virginia. On trips to the local gardening center, she would privilege aesthetics, buying whatever looked pretty, “which was typically ornamental or invasive plants,” she says. Then, in 2014, Genberg attended a talk by Doug Tallamy, a professor of entomology at the University of Delaware. “I learned I was actually starving our wildlife,” she says.
The problem, Tallamy explained, is with the picky diets of plant-eating insects. Most of these bugs—roughly 90%—eat and reproduce on only certain native plant species, specifically those with whom they share an evolutionary history. Without these carefully tuned adaptations of specific plants, insect populations suffer. And because bugs themselves are a key food source for birds, rodents, amphibians, and other critters, that dependence on natives—and the consequences of not having them—works its way up the food chain. Over time, landscapes that consist mainly of invasive or nonnative plants could become dead zones. More…
How the Pandemic Will End
by Ed Yong
Posted March 30, 2020
Three months ago, no one knew that SARS-CoV-2 existed. Now the virus has spread to almost every country, infecting at least 446,000 people whom we know about, and many more whom we do not. It has crashed economies and broken health-care systems, filled hospitals and emptied public spaces. It has separated people from their workplaces and their friends. It has disrupted modern society on a scale that most living people have never witnessed. Soon, most everyone in the United States will know someone who has been infected. Like World War II or the 9/11 attacks, this pandemic has already imprinted itself upon the nation’s psyche.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed and distributed a faulty test in February. Independent labs created alternatives, but were mired in bureaucracy from the FDA. In a crucial month when the American caseload shot into the tens of thousands, only hundreds of people were tested. That a biomedical powerhouse like the U.S. should so thoroughly fail to create a very simple diagnostic test was, quite literally, unimaginable. “I’m not aware of any simulations that I or others have run where we [considered] a failure of testing,” says Alexandra Phelan of Georgetown University, who works on legal and policy issues related to infectious diseases. More…
‘Huge Victory’ for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as Federal Court Rules DAPL Permits Violated Law
by Julia Conley
Posted March 29, 2020
A federal judge handed down a major victory for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe of North Dakota on Wednesday, ruling that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the National Environmental Policy Act by approving federal permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The court chastised the USACE for moving ahead with affirming the permits in 2016 and allowing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) crossing the Missouri River after President Donald Trump assumed office in 2017, without considering the expert analysis put forward by the tribe.
DAPL and the fight against the pipeline was the subject of international attention in 2016 when thousands of water defenders gathered at camps in North Dakota, facing a highly militarized police force armed with tanks, riot gear, rubber bullets, and other weapons. More…
This is the “Quiet Time”, Choose Wisely
by Rudy Avizius
Posted March 27, 2020
We are at a fork in the road, the path will no longer go in the same straight ahead direction. We now have to mindfully decide which fork to choose and either choice will take us in a totally new direction. The choice we make will profoundly affect the world we live in. We now have the “quiet time” to reflect and make our choice wisely. One fork or direction is based on fear and competition, the other fork is based in caring and cooperation.
The one thing that is certain about the Covid19 pandemic is that the world as we currently know it will no longer be the same after the pandemic passes. There will be tectonic shifts that will overlap in the post pandemic social, political, economic and spiritual realms.
Dramatic changes in any of the above realms rarely happen during periods of comfort and abundance. However during times of crisis or stress people are much more willing to consider ideas or solutions they may not have during the comfortable times. Many people have already encountered an eerie sense of quiet as external circumstances such traffic, activities, and events have been reduced or stopped completely. These “quiet times” can also be internal and often come after a traumatic event such as the loss of a loved one, job, relationship, or some other traumatic event. It is during these “quiet times” that people tune out the external world and enter into a period of deep introspection, and when they emerge, a shift has taken place and things are usually not the same. Some form of metamorphosis has taken place and we emerge as different people. This “quiet time” is a key part of our growth as individuals. This “quiet time” can also be a time of growth and dramatic change for our institutions, governance, and lifestyles. More…
5 Ways You Can Help Your Fellow Humans During The Coronavirus Madness
by Matt Agorist
Posted March 25, 2020
Monday marked a day in this country which has never happened. From coast to coast millions of workers simultaneously found out that they will not have jobs the next day. The impact was so large that it overwhelmed unemployment websites, causing them to crash. The coronavirus measures could impact these people in extreme ways and for months to come.
If you know others affected by this shutdown, consider helping them out with food or donations or work, if you have it. Another way to help is to buy gift cards to your favorite local restaurants, stores, from your hair stylist and local spa. The business will get the money today, but you can use it later. Pay in cash, if possible, to avoid further lag time.
As the virus continues to spread, there will be more and more people who are quarantined in their homes. The panic from self-quarantine has already caused runs on grocery stores as well as the idiotic hoarding of toilet paper. Many of these folks who are now quarantined may not have had time to get supplies before they were unable to leave their homes. You can help them. More…
Food Safety and Coronavirus: A Comprehensive Guide
by J. Kenji López-Alt
Posted March 23, 2020
Like many densely populated metropolitan areas, the Bay Area is now on complete lockdown. All non-essential businesses are closed, gatherings of large groups of people are banned, and residents have been told to leave their houses only if necessary. Among the businesses still running—at least in limited capacity—are supermarkets and restaurants, the latter of which are solely allowed to operate as take-out and delivery venues. I expect more cities will follow suit in the coming days and weeks.
Even so, plenty of folks—myself included—have been confused or curious about the safety of allowing restaurants to continue preparing and serving food. Is it actually safe? Should I reheat the food when I get it home? Is it better to support local businesses by ordering food, or am I only putting workers and delivery people at risk? And if I’m cooking my own food, what guidelines should I follow? More…
Coronavirus Energetic And Holistic Treatments At Home
By Carol Bedrosian
Posted March 22, 2020
There is no time like the present to consider the safety, simplicity, effectiveness and affordability of energetic and holistic treatments for COVID-19 (Coronavirus 2019). Explore and experiment with this self-care information for yourself and loved ones, and share it freely. We will continue to update this post as we receive new information.
James Robb, MD, coronavirus expert, notes that the virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing, which others may then breathe directly into their lungs, or by touching their nose, eyes or mouth with contaminated hands. All surfaces where these droplets land can be infectious for up to a week, and we unconsciously touch our face up to 90 times per day, providing ample infection opportunities. Use only your knuckle to touch light switches, elevator buttons, and ATM touch screens. Use 60% alcohol disinfectant wipes or latex gloves before touching public shopping carts, door knobs, gas nozzles or any public surface. Wash your hands immediately for at least 20 seconds upon returning home. No handshaking; try a fist bump, elbow or foot tap, slight bow or namaste folded hands. Stay home as much as possible to avoid spreading or contracting the virus. More…
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