Environmentalism timetable

I prepared this for my students and thought others might like it. It’s a timetable of environmental law, politics, publications of note, events and disasters…

Mapping politically polarized cities

Rachael Dottle, for FiveThirtyEight, looked for political differences in cities and ranked them, based on precinct voting margins for the 2016 election:

To see just how politically segregated America’s urban areas are, we used each city’s 2016 election results to calculate its dissimilarity index — basically, a number that tells us how separated its Republicans and Democrats are from one another, with higher numbers indicating more segregation. This technique is most often used to measure racial segregation, but political scientists have also used it to calculate partisan segregation. (One drawback of this method: A place that votes almost uniformly for one party — Democrat-soaked San Jose, California, for example — will have a low dissimilarity score. But that doesn’t mean Republicans and Democrats live next to each other in these places; it may just mean that the larger region is politically segregated, leaving the whole city as essentially a one-party enclave.)

Unsurprisingly, political and racial segregation are related.

The Upshot asked a similar question last year using similar data and mapping scheme, but they framed it differently.

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The Economy Does Not Exist – thoughts prior to the Australian federal election 2019

In coming days and weeks we are again going to be bombarded with the usual clichés about the economy. This or that will be good…

Good faith, bad faith and no faith in reasoning

We are hearing a lot of calls for there to be public debates with climate deniers, the alt-right (that is, modern fascists), creationists and antivaxxers, and this has led to people marking the so-called “paradox of tolerance” named by Karl Popper in his epochal 1945 Open Society and its Enemies: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the […]

The wealthy are often sociopathic. Why?

I have been encountering, in these days of political “incorrectness” (i.e., bastardry), more and more well-to-do folk who treat other folk as if they were lesser beings. Ranging from stepping over homeless people (literally) to failing to give way when you drive a Korean car and they a European one (or some varieties of Japanese). […]

Let’s embrace real life to drive forward real food policy change

The first project I ever did on food policy – 20 years ago now – was on food poverty in the UK. Since then, food banks have become institutionialised as the prevalence of food insecurity

How to make an impact in science policy as a graduate student

0000-0002-8715-2896 With a lack of scientists in the Executive Branch and a growing national sentiment to include science in policymaking, now is better than ever to get involved with science policy as an early career

Religious exceptionalism is undemocratic

This is my submission to the government’s “review”. As usual, I get contrarian. Below the fold… Submission to the Religious Freedom Review Summary: Religious exceptionalism is undemocratic Introduction Many people of religious commitments believe they are under threat from such secular laws as antidiscrimination acts, the calls for the confessional to be regulated in cases …

Equality is about protection, not love

Again and again I see the same-sex marriage (SSM) debate cast in terms of love. And while I agree that people should be free to love those they wish (if it is mutual, and freely given, and no minors are involved), that is not what the SSM debate is really about. Instead it is about Read More...


As everyone knows, philosophy comes from the two Greek words philo and sophos, and means, roughly, the love of wisdom, although as everyone also knows, Socrates declared his wisdom was his knowledge that he knew nothing. In recent years (by which I mean increasingly since the 1970s), there has been a drop away from knowledge Read More...