Update December 19, 2016
Update June 14, 2016:
Billy Morris‘s Augusta Chronicle, Augusta, Georgia’s only daily newspaper, has long been, despite its self-proclaimed conservatism, a booster for the big business/big government projects on which this city depends. These include Fort Gordon, Augusta University (Medical College of Georgia), the Savannah River Site (“the bomb factory”) and Plant Vogtle, the site of the first new major nuclear power construction in the United States in decades. Of course, Plant Vogtle could never have been more than a twinkle in the eyes of crony capitalists without President Obama’s federal loan guarantees and a rubber-stamp Public Service Commission and state legislature. The commission regularly approves passing Vogtle’s ever increasing cost overruns to the consumers, and the legislature got the ball rolling by passing SB 31 which allowed Georgia Power, the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, to charge its rate payers a fee that it could collect and use to build future electricity-generating capacity in the form of two additional nuclear reactors at Vogtle. Sadly, Georgia voters are still too concerned about unworthy people receiving Federal Medicaid dollars to get medical treatment, about their children learning facts about Muslims instead of scary fables, about illegal aliens stealing jobs, driving cars and attending university and about asylum-seeking children bringing diseases to care about who is rummaging through their pockets. Continue reading
And unto Midian (We sent) their brother Shu’eyb. He said: O my people! Serve Allah. Ye have no other god save Him! And give not short measure and short weight. Lo! I see you well-to-do, and lo! I fear for you the doom of a besetting Day. O my people! Give full measure and full weight in justice, and wrong not people in respect of their goods. And do not evil in the earth, causing corruption. That which Allah leaveth with you is better for you if ye are believers; and I am not a keeper over you. They said: O Shu’eyb! Doth thy way of prayer command thee that we should forsake that which our fathers (used to) worship, or that we (should leave off) doing what we will with our own property. Lo! thou art the mild, the guide to right behaviour. He said: O my people! Bethink you: if I am (acting) on a clear proof from my Lord and He sustaineth me with fair sustenance from Him (how can I concede aught to you)? I desire not to do behind your backs that which I ask you not to do. I desire naught save reform so far as I am able. My welfare is only in Allah. In Him I trust and unto Him I turn (repentant). Quran 11:84-88, Pickthall translation
Kinder Morgan, an energy infrastructure company, has proposed the Palmetto Pipeline, a spur pipeline which would take refined petroleum products from a point on an existing pipeline in northwestern South Carolina through Georgia to Jacksonville, Florida. A coalition of environmental advocates and landowners has organized to oppose the pipeline. Continue reading
Walter Williams falsely claims that environmentalists’ urging of restrictions on the pesticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) is responsible for the death of tens of millions from malaria. He then uses this claim and others to attack environmental regulation and environmentalists’ warnings of future harms from unregulated production and consumption. Continue reading
In A Companion to the Ancient Near East, in which I read one article about humans’ environmental impacts, I came across a discussion on pp. 140-1 about an early twentieth century historiography which “partitioned the population of the Near East into nomads, as destroyers of the land, versus sedentary peoples, as keepers of the land. … These authors maintained that the collapse of agriculture during the first centuries of Islamic rule in the Near East could be blamed on a widespread shift to a pastoral economy. Recent works on the problem have shown that such a thing never occurred, and that agriculture actually flourished in some areas, while others went into decline (Kedar 1985).”
Kedar, Benjamin. “The Arab Conquests and Agriculture: A Seventh-Century Apocalypse, Satellite Imagery, and Palynology,” Asian and African Studies 19 (1985), 1-15.