Author: Tom Philpott

US Politicians and Oil Execs See Opportunity in Ukraine’s Crisis

On Monday, the United Nations’ climate change assessment body, the IPCC, released a landmark report finding that 150 years of unchecked fossil fuel burning had left the planet with a “brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.” A day before, speaking at a virtual meeting of […]

The Grinch Has a New Name: Omicron

Last week, the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus swept across the United States just as millions of people were preparing to visit family for the holidays. The spike in Covid infections hit the airline industry hard, causing employees to call in sick at high rates during the busiest time of the year. Predictably enough, […]

“Implacable Champion of the Oppressed—and the Fervent Opponent of Tyranny” Desmond Tutu Has Died

Nearly a half-century ago, when apartheid, a racial caste system rooted in colonialism, ruled South Africa, a middle-aged cleric became the first Black dean of Johannesburg, which is an important position in the Anglican church. He could have wrangled a special permit to live in the city’s prosperous white quarter where the church was located, […]

More People Have Died of COVID This Year Than Last

In the popular imagination, 2020 gets all the bad press, but this year has been no sunny day at the beach, either. Sure, several effective COVID-19 vaccines emerged, but so did the the highly contagious Delta variant, as well as new, more virulent strains of anti-vax sentiment, tightly yoked to conservative political ideology. Worst of […]

The Parable of the Average American and the $90 Bottle of Wine

It’s starting to feel a lot like the late 1970s, when rising prices hammered US households. At least, according to the financial press. “The highest annual US inflation rate in almost 31 years reverberated across financial markets and in the minds of Americans this week, damaging consumer sentiment, leaving many traders flummoxed, and causing one financial […]

Kyle Rittenhouse Goes to Washington?

As the jury deliberated in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial this week in Kenosha, Wisc., one pro-defense protester outside of the courthouse openly carried an AR-15 and “screamed obscenities about the Black Lives Matter movement,” The Washington Post reported. He turned out to be a former police officer in Ferguson, Mo., “where he joined the department […]