TagInternational Herald Tribune

Counterculture Green The Whole Earth Catalog and American Environmentalism

According to “Counterculture Green: The Whole Earth Catalog and American Environmentalism,” by Andrew G. Kirk, the mind-blowing photo of our planet was a catalyst for the ecology movement. The Whole Earth Catalog itself became the voice of a new kind of environmental advocacy that, rather than shunning science as nature’s enemy, embraced it as the key that could unlock the door to personal freedom and create a post-scarcity social utopia. Advances like pictures from space, personal computers, geodesic domes and even nuclear power were all part of what became known as the “appropriate technology movement,” for which the Whole Earth Catalog was both a resource and a summary. No tree-hugging Luddite or apocalyptic doomsayer, Brand, Kirk writes, had an optimistic outlook shaped by “a love of good tools, thoughtful technology, scientific inquiry and a Western libertarian skepticism of the government’s ability to take the lead in these areas.” Brand wrote of his own publication, “This is a book of tools for saving the world at the only scale it can be done, one hand at a time.”

Full Story: International Herald Tribune.

(via Trevor’s del.icio.us)

Sam Harris and Salman Rushdie on Dutch government’s failure to protect Ayaan Hirsi Ali

It is important to realize that Hirsi Ali may be the first refugee from Western Europe since the Holocaust. As such, she is a unique and indispensable witness to both the strength and weakness of the West: to the splendor of open society, and to the boundless energy of its antagonists. She knows the challenges we face in our struggle to contain the misogyny and religious fanaticism of the Muslim world, and she lives with the consequences of our failure each day. There is no one in a better position to remind us that tolerance of intolerance is cowardice.

[…]

There is also the matter of broken promises: Hirsi Ali was persuaded to run for Parliament, and to become the world’s most visible and imperiled spokeswoman for the rights of Muslim women, on the understanding that she would be provided security for as long as she needed it. Gerrit Zalm, in his capacity as both the deputy prime minister and the minister of finance, promised her such security without qualification. Most shamefully, Jan Peter Balkenende, the Dutch prime minister, has recommended that Hirsi Ali simply quit the Netherlands, while refusing to grant her even a week’s protection outside the country during which she might raise funds to hire security of her own. Is this a craven attempt to placate Muslim fanatics? A warning to other Dutch dissidents not to stir up trouble by speaking too frankly about Islam? Or just pure thoughtlessness?

Full Story: International Herald Tribune.

(via Hit and Run).

Disappearing bees not due to cell phones

Good story for sure, except that the study in question had nothing to do with mobile phones and was actually investigating the influence of electromagnetic fields, especially those used by cordless phones that work on fixed-line networks, on the learning ability of bees. The small study, according to the researchers who carried it out too small for the results to be considered significant, found that the electromagnetic fields similar to those used by cordless phones may interrupt the innate ability of bees to find the way back to their hive.

Full Story: International Herald Tribune.

(via The Guardian via Robot Wisdom).

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