Some links to things I’ve found interesting today.
A Green-Movement Website Shakes Up The Debate Over GMOs – “A 26-part series on genetically modified food was not Nathanael Johnson’s idea. And he didn’t realize it would take six months, either. Last year, Johnson was hired as the new food writer for Grist, a website for environmental news and opinion. Grist’s editor, Scott Rosenberg, was waiting with an assignment: Dig into the controversy over GMOs. GMOs ‘were a unique problem for us,’ says Rosenberg. On the one hand, most of Grist’s readers and supporters despise GMOs, seeing them as a tool of corporate agribusiness and chemical-dependent farming. On the other hand, says Rosenberg, he’d been struck by the passion of people who defended this technology, especially scientists. It convinced him that the issue deserved a fresh look…. Where he ends up, in fact, is the final surprising thing about this series. Instead of preaching to the deep-green choir, Johnson questions its faith. He challenges many of the anti-GMO views that Grist’s readers are used to seeing.”
The Robin Hood trap – “Americans are angry about inequality, but that may not help Democrats much.”
GDP and life satisfaction: New evidence – “The link between higher national income and higher national life satisfaction is critical to economic policymaking. This column presents new evidence that the connection is hump-shaped. There is a clear, positive relation in the poorer nations and regions, but it flattens out at around $30,000–$35,000, and then turns negative.”
The New York Daily News
The Other Political Scandal: New York Mayor De Blasio And ‘Forkgate’ – “when Bill de Blasio used a knife and fork, instead of his hands, to eat a slice of pizza at Goodfellas in Staten Island, he got tongues wagging. A sampling of the headlines:— NYC mayor’s hands-off approach panned (Boston Globe); — Slice of Controversy for New York’s Mayor Over an Eating Habit (Wall Street Journal); — Chow, baby… Pizza and forks do not mix, Mr. Mayor (NY Daily News)
The Cigarette’s Powerful Cultural Allure – Nearly 20 percent of Americans still smoke, in spite of what we know about the dangers. Part of the reason is the allure of a cigarette, so elemental to classic scenes in movies, television shows and books. NPR’s Scott Simon speaks with Richard Klein, author of Cigarettes are Sublime, about smoking and American culture.