Chile Scraps Huge Patagonia Dam Project After Years of Controversy
Jun 16, 2014 · 3 

By Brian Clark Howard   Chile’s government canceled a controversial plan for five dams on two of Patagonia‘s wildest rivers Tuesday, after an eight-year battle between environmentalists and developers. Chile’s Committee of Ministers overturned the environmental permits for the HidroAysén project, which would have put dams on the Baker and Pascua Rivers, flooding 5,900 hectares of …

UN urges action to protect forests’ genetic diversity
Jun 7, 2014 · 1 

By Mark Kinver   Forest species are coming under increasing pressure from human activities and climate change, and face the risk of extinction, the UN warns. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has published a global action plan to improve management of the world’s forest genetic resources. It describes forest ecosystems as “essential refuges for biodiversity”. …

China’s experts divided over carbon emissions peak
Jun 7, 2014 · 3 

By Matt McGrath China’s senior climate negotiator says his scientists are divided over when their carbon emissions will peak. Reports earlier this week suggested that China would introduce an overall emissions cap by 2020. Speaking on the fringes of UN climate talks in Bonn, Xie Zhenhua said that his country was determined to peak “as …

Faith Stretches Further Than Religion.
Apr 7, 2014 · 22 

Throughout my time writing on ethics, I have always made one value very clear: there are issues in politics which it is possible to be right and wrong about. It is easy, in an environment such as this, to note examples such as the presently occupied homophobic positions of many US politicians. Most rationally inclined …

Fighting Inequality in Two Americas
Feb 11, 2014 · 55 

We are living in two Americas at once. One is progressive where politicians and states move towards equality, same-sex marriage is becoming legal one state at a time, abortion rights move in favor of a woman’s choice, and marijuana is becoming legal making this victimless “crime” a crime no longer.   This is the America …

Atheist PAC Launches To Promote Equality For Nonbelievers
Sep 18, 2013

Although a growing number of Americans say they are not affiliated with any religion, Congress has just one member who says the same. A new political action committee is hoping to level the playing field. On Wednesday, the Center for Humanist Activism launched the Freethought Equality Fund, which it's billing as the first nontheist political action committee with a …

Why should open atheism preclude elected office?
Sep 17, 2013

Probably because my writing and activities frequently involve taking stands on issues of public policy, from time to time I am asked whether I would consider running for political office. Such inquiries provide me with an opportunity to get a good laugh, because I usually respond with something like this: “I’m not so sure I have …

Quebec values charter: Religious minorities face fight-or-flight choice
Sep 15, 2013

The choices for Quebec's observant religious minorities now seem to boil down to fight or flight with the release of details of Quebec's proposed charter of values. It bans religious symbols from the public service and would forbid employees from wearing such garments as the hijab, turban and kippa. Compliance is another option, but not …

Quran-Burning Pastor Terry Jones’ Arrest Could Be Unconstitutional, Experts Say
Sep 13, 2013

Jones was arrested before he could torch 2,998 Qurans on the 12th anniversary of 9/11 Terry Jones, the Quran-burning pastor based in Gainesville, Fla., says his Wednesday arrest by Polk County police was pre-planned to prevent his First Amendment-protected book bonfire. Free speech experts say if that's true, his arrest was unconstitutional. Jones was arrested …

Nothing says ‘divisible’ like ‘under God’ | The Washington Post
Sep 12, 2013

As a baseball-loving elementary school student in the early 1950s, two apparently unrelated changes became part of my daily life. The Cincinnati Reds transformed into the Cincinnati Redlegs, and the words “under God” were added to the Pledge of Allegiance. Actually, they were related—to the fear of Communism then prevalent in the United States during the …

Indian author Sushmita Banerjee shot dead in Afghanistan
Sep 6, 2013

Suspected Taliban militants shot dead the Indian author Sushmita Banerjee, writer of a popular book about her dramatic escape from the Taliban in the 90s, in eastern Afghan province of Paktika on Wednesday night, police said on Thursday. "We found her bullet riddled body near Madrassa on the outskirts of Sharan city (the provincial capital) …

SCA President Tries “Under God” Case in Mass. Supreme Court Today
Sep 4, 2013

The Secular Coalition for America today expressed support for the plaintiff in the case "Doe v. Acton-Boxborough Regional School District." Secular Coalition for America President, David Niose, attorney for the plaintiff, today will present oral arguments before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in the case. The case challenges a state law that requires daily school-sponsored and teacher-led …