A new Pentagon report identifies significant risks from climate change at scores of military bases and says the Defense Department is taking protective measures against the looming threat. But Democrats in Congress, who requested the report in 2017 along with some Republican colleagues, said it lacks detail and shows the Trump administration is failing to take climate change seriously as a national security threat.Read original story
At dozens of power plants across the country, utilities have found coal ash pollution severe enough to force them to propose cleanup plans. The plans are likely to become the next front in a decades-long battle over how to manage one of the nation's largest industrial waste streams. Some states are planning additional actions.Read original story
Climate Change and deforestation are threatening most of the world's wild coffee species. With rising global temperatures already presenting risks to coffee farmers, two studies published this week should serve as a warning to growers and coffee-drinkers everywhere.Read original story
The owners of ships that carry global trade are preparing for big changes that start next January, when long-debated standards from the International Maritime Organization will require cuts in sulfur emissions. Some of the companies are starting to experiment with cleaner fuels and innovative technologies.Read original story
Westmoreland Coal Co. has asked a bankruptcy judge to let it drop its medical and retirement obligations to former workers at a Wyoming mine. It also wants to nix its contract with unionized miners there. Westmoreland lawyers said the obligations, including $70 million in medical benefits, were not acceptable to potential buyers of the Kemmerer mine.Read original story
Tesla is cutting its full-time staff by about 7 percent at the same time the company continues to ramp up production of the Model 3 sedan, CEO Elon Musk said Friday. He said the company faces a "very difficult" road in its goal to sell affordable renewable energy products and compete against more established companies.Read original story
Gov. Jared Polis has signed an executive order to support making electric vehicles "usable and drivable in all parts of our state." He said he is aiming for the tipping point in which EVs become mainstream. One part of the order says the state will become part of a multi-state zero-emissions vehicle program, requiring automakers to sell a certain share of EVs.Read original story
Fearful masculinity harms both men and women. There are better ways of growing up.
By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 16th January 2019
What strikes me most is the fragility. Gillette makes an advertisement calling on men to challenge abusive behaviour, and thousands furiously proclaim that they will never use its products again. The American Psychological Association issues new clinical guidelines, advising that a masculinity characterised by dominance, aggression and emotional repression can be harmful to men’s mental health, and the world’s conservative media falls into a collective faint. So much for the strong and silent types.
If “real men”, according to the men’s rights movement, are tough and commanding, why are the exponents of this doctrine so easily discomposed? Why does the slightest challenge to the norms they proclaim – by a razor ad or an academic body they had probably never encountered before – trigger this frenzied testeria?
In thinking about male identities, I’m struck by the inadequacy of the terms we use. The notion that men should be distant, domineering and self-seeking is often described as toxic masculinity, but this serves only to alienate those who might need most help. Its proponents describe their behavioural ideal as traditional masculinity, but conceptions of maleness, like conceptions of the family, have changed radically from century to century. In the furious response to the advertisement and the new guidelines, in the enthusiasm for Jordan Peterson and similar ideologues, what I perceive is a fearful masculinity.
If you are at ease with yourself, you don’t feel the need to call other men cucks. If you are strong, you don’t feel threatened by strong women. In a fascinating article last year, Pankaj Mishra argued that perceived crises of masculinity often accompany anxiety about economic or national decline. Just as humiliation in Vietnam stimulated an appetite for “such cartoon visions of masculinity as Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger”, 9/11 helped to spread morbid fears about the emasculation of Western powers, and the need to assert a new ideal of manliness. The perceived loss of both political and gender dominance has provoked some men to respond with homophobia, misogyny and a crude attempt to restore male authority.
As the new guidelines reveal, fearful masculinity inflicts tremendous harm on men as well as women. The men who are most exercised about their manliness, a 2011 study suggests, are half as likely to seek preventative healthcare as those who are less anxious about male identity. They are also less willing to request psychotherapy. The American Psychological Association links these attitudes to the much higher rates of suicide among men than among women.
In researching both prostate cancer and loneliness, I discovered the extent to which manly reserve kills. Fears we cannot bring ourselves to name soon grow into terrible secrets. As they grow, they become still harder to share, and therefore to assimilate and endure. Because men have often been unwilling to discuss an issue that threatens their virility as well as their lives, funding for prostate cancer research has lagged behind the money allocated for other malignancies. As with breast cancer, effective treatment requires the breaking of taboos.
In writing about these issues, and in touring the album about beating loneliness I wrote with Ewan McLennan, I discovered that thousands of people seemed to have been waiting for permission to relax their stiff upper lips. In normalising our frightening conditions, in connecting with other people who have been suffering in silence, we find a collective strength we cannot find alone. Those who urge us to shut down, man up and grow a pair push us towards disaster and despair.
One of the many he-men responding to the new guidelines, David French, writing in the National Review, asserts that becoming a “grown man” requires “oppressive” discipline, aggression and risk-taking. But to me, growing up – whether as a man or a woman – means abandoning anger, aggression and the need to dominate. It means learning to talk about fear, loss, joy and love. It means learning both to listen and to share, to name your troubles and engage with other people’s. You need to be strong to admit your weaknesses. In admitting them, you build your strength.
The age-old mistake, that has stunted countless lives, is the assumption that because physical hardship in childhood makes you physically tough, emotional hardship must make you emotionally tough. It does the opposite. It implants a vulnerability that can require a lifetime of love and therapy to repair and that, untreated, leads to an escalating series of destructive behaviours. Emotionally damaged men all too often rip apart their own lives, and those of their partners and children. I see both physical fitness and emotional strength as virtues, but they are acquired by entirely different means.
Those who deny their own feelings tend to deny other people’s. Some men clearly find it easier to order a drone strike, separate children from their families or build a wall than to admit and address their own vulnerabilities. There is, as Madeleine Somerville has discussed in the Guardian, a powerful association between perceived masculinity and a lack of concern for the living world: real men don’t recycle. A study in the Journal of Consumer Research suggests that meat-eating is strongly associated with conceptions of maleness, which inhibit a switch towards a plant-based diet, essential to avoid environmental breakdown.
What sort of a man are you, if you have to go to such lengths to prove your masculinity? The confident construction of identity does not require crude cultural markers, but emotional literacy and honest self-appraisal. The more we proclaim our strength and dominance, the weaker we reveal ourselves to be.
Leading economists from Alan Greenspan to Janet Yellen are endorsing a plan to fight climate change with a tax on carbon emissions and then distributing the proceeds to U.S. households. A group including all living former Federal Reserve chairs and several Nobel Prize winners signed onto a statement supporting the tax as the most cost-effective way to reduce carbon emissions.Read original story
A new study shows that the world needs a comprehensive shift in its diet in order to meaningfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stabilize the climate. The report, written by a panel convened by the medical journal The Lancet, describes an overhaul of the entire food system, from how farmers treat the soil to a shift toward plant-based diets.Read original story
Acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler said at his confirmation hearing Wednesday he would rate his level of concern about climate change at "about eight or nine" on a scale of one to 10, while also saying it is not "the greatest crisis." He also defended his agency's environmental protection rollbacks.Read original story
Idaho's new Republican governor, longtime rancher and politician Brad Little, surprised some people this week when he declared that climate change is real and will have to be dealt with. "Climate is changing, there's no question about it," he said. "We've just got to figure out how we're going to cope with it. And we've got to slow it down. Now, reversing it is going to be a big darn job."Read original story