Unaccountability is bad for public health and democracy

Bruce Newsome

The British Parliament’s Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) has reported that the authorities for investigating healthcare failures in Britain are too numerous and unaccountable.

I am pleased that at least one committee has criticized the structure of British healthcare, but the PASC airily follows all previous inquiries by recommending a lot … More >

A reader weighs in on:

Transportation: Land of Cleantech Opportunity

Avi Rosenzweig said:

George Orwell famously remarked that seeing what is right in front of your nose requires a constant struggle. The solution to having too many cars is to get rid of most of the cars -- not to make the cars less inefficient. It's civil engineers and city planners who can solve this ... More >

Transportation: Land of Cleantech Opportunity

Santiago Miret

Over 95% of the 1 billion cars in the world are parked at any given time and 95% of the energy consumed by a car is spent on moving the vehicle forward, not the person it is transporting. The many shortcomings of the modern transportation that have left tremendous opportunities … More >

The futility of an international climate treaty

Ethan Elkind

Call it Kyoto Syndrome, but each year for the past few decades we hear hopeful things about the upcoming negotiations for the “United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.” These discussions usually take place in some far-flung world capital, but they seem to always result in a nothing sandwich. In … More >

How does it feel to be a Muslim?

Hatem Bazian

Events in the Arab and Muslim world direct me again back to W.E.B. Du Bois and the pressing question in his book, The Souls of Black Folk– how does it feel to be a problem? The question posed by Du Bois in relations to African Americans and the problem of … More >

Science vs. religion… or science and religion?

Claude Fischer

Many of America’s cultural battles in recent decades seem to be face-offs between science and faith: over the teaching of evolution, the reality of climate change, the value of stem cell research, the personhood status of an embryo, and the so on. Many on the liberal side of these issues … More >

It is Time to Talk Reparations for Ferguson…and Beyond

Sandra Susan Smith

Even before its March 4th release, the key findings of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation into the Ferguson Police Department’s (FPD) practices were fairly well known, having been reported on and discussed extensively in the media. With compelling evidence drawn from multiple sources and backed by statistical analysis, the … More >

Electric-utility reinvention: ‘The grid is always greener …’

Steven Weissman

It seems to be an undeniable part of human nature. When we consider making changes – whether it has to do with the place where we live, the business we are in, or the partner we choose – we tend to compare the flaws of the thing we know to … More >

Who’s better off, ‘Paris of the Plains’ or ‘Stumptown’? A cost-of-living puzzler

Brad DeLong

Each time I go directly from Kansas City, Mo./Kan. to Portland, OR — or from Portland, Ore. to Kansas City, Kan./Mo. — I am struck by cognitive dissonance.

There is a very large gulf between what I see around me and what, say, the charts people put up on the screen for … More >

Justice Thomas declares war on rulemaking

Dan Farber

It didn’t get much attention, but Justice Thomas’s dissent two weeks ago in the Amtrak case was extraordinarily radical, even for him. The case involved a relatively obscure issue about the legal status of Amtrak. Justice Thomas used the occasion for a frontal attack on administrative law, including most of … More >