articles worth reading

Cleaning up

Yet emissions keep on rising. If greenhouse-gas concentrations are to be stabilised, then the carbon price or the support mechanisms for clean energy, or both, will have to rise or be adopted worldwide, or both. And if that happens, the returns on clean-energy investments will increase even further and the companies that have already invested in such businesses will have a head start over those that have not.

Minnesota case fits the pattern in flap over firing of U.S. attorneys

At a time when GOP activists wanted U.S. attorneys to concentrate on pursuing voter fraud cases, Heffelfinger’s office was expressing deep concern about the effect of a state directive that could have the effect of discouraging Indians in Minnesota from casting ballots.

Life 2.0

Scientists in the last couple of years have been trying to create novel forms of life from scratch. They’ve forged chemicals into synthetic DNA, the DNA into genes, genes into genomes, and built the molecular machinery of completely new organisms in the lab—organisms that are nothing like anything nature has produced.

If It Feels Good to Be Good, It Might Be Only Natural

when the volunteers placed the interests of others before their own, the generosity activated a primitive part of the brain that usually lights up in response to food or sex. Altruism, the experiment suggested, was not a superior moral faculty that suppresses basic selfish urges but rather was basic to the brain, hard-wired and pleasurable.

Fear-Mongering and Fiction: Cheney Addresses West Point Grads

As Cheney told the graduates of the enemies they may soon face — terrorists “who oppose and despise everything you know to be right, every notion of upright conduct and character” — there were moments when it seemed that he had simply recycled an old speech from 2002. Indeed, long after most members of the Bush administration have distanced themselves from some of the more insidious claims that propelled the U.S. into war with Iraq, the vice president continues to repeat them as fact. At one point today he cited the link between Iraq and Al Qaeda (which has been thoroughly debunked) as the reason why the U.S. invaded Iraq. “America is fighting this enemy in Iraq because that is where they have gathered,” he told the West Point graduates. “We are there because, after 9/11, we decided to deny terrorists any safe haven.”