North America

60-Second Expert: Cancun

Despite the recent reports showing the alarming advancement of global warming trends, climate negotiators at Cancun were destined to abandon the essential goal of mandatory emissions controls. The result, a set of voluntary, market-based incentives, is a worst-case scenario for the planet. These will not only spare polluters from having to reduce emissions, but they will also likely allow polluters to strip indigenous communities of their land rights as industries seek out carbon offsets.

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One November’s Dead: The American War Dead Disappear into the Darkness

Remember as the invasion of Iraq was about to begin, when the Bush administration decided to seriously enforce a Pentagon ban, in existence since the first Gulf War, on media coverage and images of the American dead arriving home at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware? In fact, the Bush-era ban did more than that. As the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank wrote then, it “ended the public dissemination of such images by banning news coverage and photography of dead soldiers’ homecomings on all military bases.”

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Spotlight Cancun: Cancun Success – Compared to What?

Cancun was not a surprise. Nor was it a failure. This much is easy to say.

But was it a success? This is a more difficult question. I used to have an irritating friend. Every time you made a strong, implausibly simple claim – something like “Cancun was a success” – he would reply “Compared to what?” It was a pedantic device, but it worked well enough. It made you think, which, I suppose, is why it was irritating.

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