Gary Braasch: Brother, it’s been years since we schemed of a photo book to lay bare the consequences of American consumerism and since you donated a cover photo for the first-ever book on climate change in Cascadia. Now, before we could scheme and collaborate again, you’re gone. Gary, your deep passion for this planet and the ache in your eyes to capture transcendent light were a gift to us all. Until we meet again . . . .
As the Northwest weighs whether to permit a trio of huge methanol refineries backed by the Chinese government, here are a couple of recent examinations that may help inform the debate. First, Reuters has a long-form investigate series, “The Long Arm of China,” that examines the various ways that China exerts influence far beyond its borders. Second, the New York Times took a thoughtful look at the data showing that China’s economy is slowing.
At Vox, writer Amanda Taub has maybe the single best treatment of Donald Trump’s popularity that I’ve seen. She links his rise to a nasty strain of authoritarianism that runs through the American electorate and that has been largely overlooked by political reporting to date.
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At E&E News, reporter David Ferris pulls back the curtain on energy firm NRG to show how it failed to transform itself into a green and renewable company.
Why is Trump winning? Linguistics expert George Lakoff lists the groups Trump appeals to: conservatives who believe in hierarchy where a strong, rich, white, man is on top; conservatives who relate to direct causation more than systemic causation; white men who see themselves as superior to nonwhites, women, and gays and are tired of being told their beliefs are not “politically correct.”
“[T]he trick for a party and a candidate [to win elections] is to maintain a base of heterogeneous special interests, while still appearing to be the champion of the ordinary American.” Yikes!