Earth’s biodiversity is a dilemma wrapped in a paradox. The paradox is that the more species humanity extinguishes, the more new species scientists discover. Like the conquistadors who melted the Inca gold, they recognise that the great treasure must come to an end—and soon. That understanding creates the dilemma: will we stop the destruction for the sake of future generations, or go on changing the planet to our immediate needs? If the latter, planet Earth will enter a new era of its history, cheerfully called by some the Anthropocene, a time for and all about our one species alone. I prefer to call it the Eremocene, the Age of Loneliness.
Clarification: Dale Gavlak assisted in the research and writing process of this article, but was not on the ground in Syria. Reporter Yahya Ababneh, with whom the report was written in collaboration, was the correspondent on the ground in Ghouta who spoke directly with the rebels, their family members, victims of the chemical weapons attacks and local residents.
He shares his thoughts on on America’s role in an increasingly affluent world, Russia’s decline and China’s own goals
PRINCETON – Margaret Thatcher was much more respected outside Britain than she was in her own country. In the United States, but also in Central Europe, she is recognized as a hero, especially in the fight for economic and political freedom.
Benediction bestowed upon participants in the candlelight procession organized by Italian Catholic Action, 11 October 2012, Benedict XVI
BENEDICTION BESTOWED BY HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI UPON PARTICIPANTS IN THE CANDLELIGHT PROCESSION ORGANIZED BY THE ITALIAN CATHOLIC ACTION
TOKYO – F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said that “there are no second acts in American lives.” Hillary Clinton’s stunning (and, I trust, unfinished) career – from First Lady to United States Senator to presidential candidate to US Secretary of State in the administration of the man who defeated her – proves that Fitzgerald could not have been more wrong.
TO CALL Aaron Swartz gifted would be to miss the point. As far as the internet was concerned, he was the gift. In 2001, aged just 14, he helped develop a new version of RSS feeds, which enable blog posts, articles and videos to be distributed easily across the web. A year later he was working with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the world wide web, and others on enhancing the internet through the Semantic Web, in which web-page contents would be structured so that the underlying data could be shared and reused across different online applications and endeavours. At the same time he was part of a team, composed of programmers like himself (albeit none quite as youthful), lawyers and policy wonks, that launched Creative Commons, a project that simplified information-sharing through free, easy-to-use copyright licences.
Postcolonial governments have often seemed condemned to repeat the sins of the imperialists they replaced, a sad irony that has been especially pronounced in the Middle East. The British in 1920, for instance, pioneered the use of poison gas against civilians in order to subdue a tribal revolt in Iraq. The last known deployment of chemical weapons for mass murder was again in Iraq, in 1988, when Saddam Hussein gassed his fellow citizens during the notorious Anfal campaign against the Kurds.
Back in 2006, I wrote a piece for Nature on what Islamist science policy might look like. It was for a special issue on Islam and science, which carried the cover-line: 'Must the Muslim world stay science poor?'
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