From Smithsonian, an article on Barrow, Alaska: Ground Zero for climate change. Like scenes out of Gary Larson's Far Side comic strip, scientists have discovered a tragicomedy playing out in deaths of Arctic seabirds. What happens to polar bears as Arctic ice shrinks? An excerpt from Alun Anderson's After the Ice: Life, Death and Geopolitics in the New Arctic (and more). An excerpt from Who Owns the Arctic?: Understanding Sovereignty Disputes in the North by Michael Byers. A review of The Scramble for the Arctic by Richard Sale and Eugene Potapov. A review of The Future History of the Arctic by Charles Emmerson (and more and more). An interview with Henry Pollack, author of A World Without Ice. A message from the glaciers: A review essay on global warming. An interview with Nikolas Kozloff, author of No Rain in the Amazon: How South America’s Climate Change Affects the Entire Planet. At some point in the nearish future, much of the Maldive Islands will slip beneath the sea; the country's young president has an audacious plan: To buy a new homeland for his people. Living world: An article on how to save an island. Scientists announce they believe they have discovered sunken islands in the Caribbean Ocean. For nearly 30 years, India and Bangladesh have argued over control of a tiny rock island in the Bay of Bengal; now rising sea levels have resolved the dispute for them: the island has gone. If global warming throws us into a WaterWorld like future, Adre bin Sarkum's aqua-condo looks like much sweeter digs than a rickety boat captained by a urine-drinking fish-man. Europe's plan to simulate the entire planet: The "Living Earth Simulator" will mine economic, environmental and health data to create a model of the entire planet in real time.
From Ethic@, Matthias Kiesselbach (Potsdam): Warring Tautologies: Moral Dissent from a Cognitivist Perspective. The battle for voting rights: Could reassignment of the Bush-era head of the Justice Department section charged with protection of voting rights mean real change? Wendy Lesser reviews Collected Stories by Deborah Eisenberg. John Allen Paulos reviews Perfect Rigor: A Genius and the Mathematical Breakthrough of the Century by Masha Gessen. A review of The Discretionary President: The Promise and Peril of Executive Power by Benjamin Kleinerman. From n+1, a review of books on zombies. Funky Vilnius: Residents fight to keep this Lithuanian burg as weird as it's always been. An interview with Gary Solis, author of The Law of Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law in War. In Search of Arrogance: The legislative giants of past decades were not smarter or better people — they simply had no hesitation about their entitlement to rule. From Asia Times, Andray Abrahamian on how the evangelical Pax Koreana, a blend of conservative politics and religion that has attracted a steadily growing 10,000 or so members, crosses the line. How the paperback novel changed popular literature: Classic writers reached the masses when Penguin paperbacks began publishing great novels for the cost of a pack of cigarettes. Collect ‘em all: 6 paperback series worth fetishizing. Does oral sex confer an evolutionary advantage? Evidence from bats. A review of Who Knew? Responsibility Without Awareness by George Sher. The introduction to Not Even Past: Barack Obama and the Burden of Race by Thomas J. Sugrue. In praise of writers' bloc: How the tedium of life under Communism gave rise to a literature alive with surrealism and comedy.
From The Walrus, what happens when political debates escalate into a culture of arguments, attack ads, and anonymous Internet assaults? A Parliament effectively shut — and shouted — down; writer, literary activist, public intellectual, John Ralston Saul is both a man of the world and an articulate proponent of values he thinks are quintessentially Canadian (and more); Nick Mount on what Thunder Bay burned — and how Lady Chatterley wrote our obscenity law; and does Canada’s “Top Secret” sports technology program undermine the Olympic spirit? Digging for gold, mining corruption: Congo is prey to Canadian mining companies searching for the last great gold mine. Brian Bow on his book The Politics of Linkage: Power, Interdependence and Ideas in Canada-US Relations. The border between Canada and the US pits two great countries against each other; Les Horswill makes the case for a greater North American federation. From LRC, a review of Beyond the Indian Act: Restoring Aboriginal Property Rights by Tom Flanagan, Christopher Alcantara, and Andre Le Dressay; and the calamity of Caledonia: What BC can teach Ontario about Native land claims. When a Canadian is not a Canadian: An article on Canada's Mohawks. A look at why the Canadian mosaic is in crisis. A review of The Armageddon Factor: The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada by Marci McDonald (and more). From Stephen Harper's refusal to fund abortion to the outcry that forced the cancellation of Ontario's sex ed curriculum, the religious right is making its growing muscle felt on the political landscape (and more). Oh, Canada: Nina Kouprianova on the death of the West up north. In the wake of the BP calamity, another potential environmental disaster is already in the making in the Canadian western province of Alberta.
From Dissent, Andrew F. March reviews Paul Berman's The Flight of the Intellectuals (and a response by Berman; and more at The New Yorker and more at Guernica and more at The Daily Beast and more at Bookforum). Next week, Teddy Graubard would have graduated from Dalton, a brilliant teenager, with a mild form of Asperger’s, whose path seemed almost limitless — so what led him to the window? WikiLeaks goes for total transparency; founder Julian Paul Assange oversees a populist intelligence network. Whatever happened to deglobalization? The best response to calls of, "Globalization, heal thyself!" would seem to be, "It already has". Seth Lerer on his book Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History from Aesop to Harry Potter. What happens if the oil gushes until August? What if the oil spill just can’t be fixed? A little context for the BP oil spill: It isn't the Apocalypse. From Esquire, long before the Eric Massa scandal broke, the congressman carried the lonely burden of another secret that, if revealed, would turn his world upside down. Tom Vanderbilt reviews Mechanization Takes Command: A Contribution to Anonymous History by Sigfried Giedion. Ezra Klein on three types of arguments over policy. Gay porn's most shocking taboo: "Twincest" is pushing limits in an industry known for extremes. This post will do something extraordinary — it will make you interested in a Bayesian heteroskedastic ideal point estimator: How do we know whether a legislator is a maverick? From Reason, Radley Balko on the subversive vending machine: The liberatory history of automated commerce; Greg Beato on the implications of attaching digital reviews to real world objects; and what’s a diploma worth? Americans have always loved college and real estate — so why do these assets need government support?
A new issue of Pathways is out. Amanda Reiman (UC-Berkeley): Moral Philosophy and Social Work Policy. From Dissent, Peter Edelman on welfare and the poorest of the poor. Peter Edelman and Barbara Ehrenreich on why welfare reform has failed. Don't blame the billionaires: Who cares about the excesses of the rich? It's the fate of the poor that matters. The introduction to Upward Mobility and the Common Good: Toward a Literary History of the Welfare State by Bruce Robbins. The next war on poverty: Conventional wisdom aside, some '60s-era inner-city programs have been a success — now it's time for Obama to launch phase two. Does mixed-income housing ameliorate poverty? Christopher Leo investigates. Whose food politics: The chasm between foodies and those relying on food stamps doesn't have to be so wide. Making Bank: Are simple savings plans the first step to combating poverty? A review of American Dream Dying: The Changing Economic Lot of the Least Advantaged by Peter McClelland and Peter Tobin and Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won't Do by Gabriel Thompson (and more). The jobs of yesteryear: An article on obsolete occupations. On the books: Can tapping into the informal economy improve the lives of the urban poor? A mother's Catch-22: Low-income mothers can't work without child care and can't afford child care without working. A review of Poor Women in Rich Countries: The Feminization of Poverty over the Life Course. Daddy Issues: Is promoting responsible fatherhood really the best way to lift families out of poverty? From City Limits, a special issue on the Harlem Children's Zone. Open borders or high-wage welfare state: Too many progressives are afraid to admit that secure borders are essential to a strong social safety net.