Recently perused articles

  • A large diary farm in Indiana has been converting manure into fuel, thus “taking two million gallons of diesel off the highway each year” (NY Times). It’s sensible technologies like these, unsexy as they may be, that’ll help us become a more sustainable society.
  • The Arctic may become a great deal greener in the coming decades. With temperatures rising twice as fast near there than the rest of the world, vegetation may increase by as much as 52% by the 2050s (Reuters).   article-0-18901346000005DC-515_634x712
  • A New Yorker article looks at the direction of the environmental movement. Despite its growth in membership and funding, why hasn’t any significant legislation been passed in decades? It’s hard to believe that on

April 22, 1970, only seven months after his speech in Seattle, the teach-in, dubbed Earth Day, generated more than twelve thousand events across the country, many of them in high schools and colleges, with more than thirty-five thousand speakers. “Today” devoted ten hours of airtime to it. Congress took the day off, and two-thirds of its members spoke at Earth Day events. In all, millions of people participated. This activity was largely uncoördinated.

Such efforts lead to the passing of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act, and the creation of the EPA in the early 1970s. Can we learn lessons from the movements in the ’70s, or is the cultural pressure just not present enough to quell political inertia?


  • Diverging from the environmental theme this week, I’ll share an article on the ideological presentation of the Quentin Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds, which I re-watched last night for a Philosophy of Film class. In the essay I’ll be drawing from to write a paper of my own, Ian Schnee argues that “the key to understanding its use of ideology is Socratic elenchus: our unwitting participation in, and enjoyment of, ideological devices in the film is cross-examined by the abhorrent aspects of ideology that it depicts. Hence, Basterds leaves us in a sort of ideological aporia,” or state of confusion that Socratic witnesses often felt after their own elenchus cross-examinations. To perform this task, the film is rooted in a self-awareness that distances itself from its ideological aspects, manifesting itself in the film within the film (causing the audience to question their own celebration/disgust with violence), the presentation of Hitler, and the Native American and African American references. Who knows if Tarantino intended to promote such a heady reckoning of values, but it’s an interesting approach to analyzing the film.

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