Left perspectives, global warming, city life, and economics

From New Politics, Michael Lowy (CNRS): Marx and Weber: Critics of Capitalism; Ashley Dawson (CUNY): The Return to Limits; David Friedman on the Democratic Party and the Future of American Politics; Michael Hirsch on Socialists, Democrats and Political Action: It's the movements that matter; and is the Bush Administration fascist? Matthew N. Lyons investigates. For its third annual essay contest, Vanity Fair asked readers to define the U.S.'s grasp on reality. Exploring a national disconnect between self-image and behavior, winner Kipling Buis channels an infuriated 19th-century immigrant: Frances Trollope, the famous novelist's mother.

From Vanity Fair, The Tax That Saved the Planet: Sure, we can keep trying to reduce carbon emissions through the Kyoto Protocol and other schemes. Or we can do the smart thing; as teams from two top universities chart consumption patterns, the map of the world bulges and shrinks. Famed biologist E. O. Wilson puts the findings into perspective; reporting on an emotional battle in a makeshift jungle courtroom, by William Langewiesche investigates how many hundreds of square miles of surrounding rain forest in Ecuador became a toxic-waste dump; the Bush administration has gutted decades of environmental protection, appointing energy-industry executives to uphold the very laws they'd worked against. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. busts the polluters' picnic; when scientists are united, and even corporate sponsors like ExxonMobil are backing off, how does a global-warming skeptic stay busy? As long as the media calls, Myron Ebell is happy to explain why CO2 is good. Michael Shnayerson catches him in full denial; and lampooning environmentalists as "wackos," Rush Limbaugh lulled millions of Americans into happy complacency. As the country wakes up to the climate crisis, James Wolcott asks: Who looks wacko now?

George Monbiot responds to Alexander Cockburn on global warming. Reading Green: Here are ten books to help understand and save the environment. No United Nations organization currently dominates the headlines as much — or is as controversial — as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Critics call the panel politically one-sided and its reports alarmist. Its defenders say the opposite is true.

The world goes to town: After this year the majority of people will live in cities. Human history will ever more emphatically become urban history. The pace of life for city dwellers is literally getting faster, a new British-led study suggests.

From Rediff, an interview with Amartya Sen: Hunger is quiet violence. The bank the world needs: The World Bank is in desperate trouble, but it is still the best institution to address international challenges such as climate change. A study finds law-breaking officials respect the laws of economics. After amassing a fortune in excess of $300 billion over the last decade, Norway has started pulling investments for what it claims are ethical failings of some US companies. The United Fruit Company reinvented the banana as a mass-market product and pioneered the modern multinational. It also overthrew governments and helped bring the world to the brink of nuclear war. John Kenneth Galbraith's The New Industrial State remains a relevant explanation of the modern economy. And a review of Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction