Ian Gunsolley's blog

GMO's Can't Be "Safe"

There is a problem with the discussion of Genetically Modified Organisms safety in the current public sphere, a problem that is both hampering our understanding of the issue as well as preventing us from making educated decisions about an important technology. The public discussion around GMO's usually occurs in the "Are Genetically Modified Organisms Safe?"framework. This question turns out to actually be nonsensical and is the wrong way to think about this new technology, but it is clear that sensible guidelines won't be enacted unless the public gets a clear understanding of what biotechnology is and how it works.

Climate and the Year 2013

2013 is going to be a pivotal year when it comes to global warming. The World Bank warned in it's November 2012 report "Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must Be Avoided" that we are on pace with global emissions to far exceed the 2° increase in global temperatures, and will instead hit 4° or even a catastrophic 6° increase by century's end.  Not only are we failing to halt global warming, we are now about to end civilization on this planet as we know it.  

The Best in Environmental News Award Goes To.....

 EcoEvolution does not have an Environmental Journalism Award. We are not a large organization, we don't have extensive resources or prestige, and we can't properly reward those out there who are diligently following and reporting on the world's most pressing environmental issues.

In our view, a proper accolade for environmental journalism would go to the organization who not only dedicated in-depth coverage to a wide range of environmental issues on a regular basis, but  also focused on science and the impact on the planet as well as people... instead of merely an obsession with economics and politics that dominates the normal media fare.

 It would go to an organization that spent as much time talking to people at the grassroots level as it would Oil executives, it would go beyond talking points and challenge established lines of argument and discussion, and most importantly it would spotlight the way environmental problems are often tied to issues of social justice and human rights.

 Yes it's true we don't have an EcoEvolution Environmental Journalism Award… but if we did it would go to the incredible DemocracyNow! for their amazing work bringing important environmental and social justice stories to the public on a daily basis.


"Saner" Discussion of Nuclear Power

For those of us who follow the Nuclear Power debate, it is a chore to find reasonable discussions in the media that aren’t either wholly uniformed or simply PR pieces for one side or the other. Recently, BoingBoing spotlighted the Institute of Physics in London hosting of a debate between distinguished and informed panelists on both sides of the nuclear argument for their series Science Question Time. Although there was little during the discussion that was entirely new, having a panel that correctly identified both the pros and (in my opinion) major cons of nuclear power, as well as spending time talking about why we DON’T need nuclear, is well worth the listen. 

Understanding the New U.S. Nuclear Controversy


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved the first construction of new nuclear power plants in the United States in nearly three and a half decades. In one of the more articulate discussions of the problems with approving the new Nuclear plants in Georgia, Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy speaks to DemocracyNow! and highlights not only the contradictions in logic of subsidizing nuclear power, but the role both political parties take in supporting one technology over the other.

Fukushima Still Unfolding for Families in Japan

With U.S. corporate and public media seeming to fixate on establishing that the Fukushima disaster is "not all that bad," what has been missing from the discussion so far is the human toll of this disaster on the Japanese people. The nation of Japan now faces uncertainty as their food, water and even land shows signs of widespread radioactive contamination. In a tiny country with a large population, tens of thousands of people are now displaced and homeless after being led in a frantic mass exodus from their communities and now must find new lives and shelter with friends, family and the state. Studies are now emerging showing possible global links to the radiation emitted from the plant. And there is still the matter of the reactors, which TEPCO officials say is nearly cooled enough to begin containment, but will have to be disassembled or buried to seal off contamination, a project that could take years.  It is unclear what the future holds for the people of Japan and the world for that matter, but what is clear is that this story is far from over. 

US China and MDCs Pursue Mutually Assured Destruction at COP-17

With the tenth day of the UN Conference of Parties climate talks ending in Durban, South Africa there is little sign that an agreement will be reached to take significant action to stop global warming. Political wrangling, not science based problem-solving, seems to be once again threatening any significant action to mitigate our climate threat. The political stand-off seems to in a strange way mirror the Cold War mentality, where stances and actions were taken that defied not only rationality, but the safety of the entire human race.

Occupy Wall Street; Strategy for Change


"What are those Protesters on about?"
 "I don't get their message." 
"What do they hope to accomplish by sitting in a park?"
The second month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street Movement is ramping up to be another day of protest around the nation and possibly around the world. While most of the mainstream punditocracy scratches their heads and feign confusion, most people around the world understand exactly what is going on with the Occupy Wall Street movement; a change in ideas.

Stop the Tar Sands Pipeline NOW!

People Sit-In in Front of the White House

We here at EcoEvolution fully support the current action being taken in Washington D.C. during these two weeks to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline. Activists from around the country are meeting in Washington to perform acts of civil disobedience to prove to President Obama that Americans understand how important stopping the tapping of the Alberta Tar Sands is. President Obama is in the unique position to fulfill a campaign promise to halt and reverse global warming with a mere Executive Decision, with no need to get Congressional approval. Call or email the White House today to stop the fuse being lit on the "1,500-mile fuse to the biggest carbon bomb on the continent, a way to make it easier and faster to trigger the final overheating of our planet, the one place to which we are all indigenous."

Is Clean Coal Dead?

In an interesting energy development, the American Electric Power's decision to shut down the most ambitious carbon sequestration project in the nation spells trouble for proponents of coal continuing a role in our energy future. The "Clean Coal" revolution may be dead on arrival, as it probably should be. 


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