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Posted inCulture

Learning to love our messy activism: A podcast on quinoa

Reading Time: 4 minutes There’s the world we want to live in, and there’s the world we have. In many conversations here on OnlySky, I’ve noticed that one of the biggest mental blocks in activist discourse is our frustration that people won’t think or do differently right now. Why should we cater to their ignorance, or their obstinacy? There’s […]

Posted inCulture

Fighting exploitation in the Amazon calls for new alliances…even with missionaries

Reading Time: 5 minutes An ounce of gold is currently worth almost twice as much as an ounce of cocaine. That reality has changed the funding formula for guerrilla and paramilitary groups in Venezuela and Colombia. Where narcotrafficking once brought in the lion’s share of resources for groups like ELN and dissident FARC, two heavily-armed movements that occupy densely […]

Posted inScience

Can we make science journalism better for everyday readers?

Reading Time: 8 minutes Every person with an active interest in the natural world has their personal bugbear when it comes to the way journalists write about science. Maybe it’s neuroscience. Maybe it’s a common engineering problem. For me, it’s evolution. I cannot stand the way that most mainstream media reports on evolution for the everyday reader. And since […]

Posted inEnvironment

What degrowth is, and why it matters

Reading Time: 11 minutes In Livermore, California, there is a light bulb that never goes out. It was installed in 1901 in a fire station that didn’t realize for many decades what a wonder it had on its hands. The bulb was made by the Shelby Electric Company, with a patented-coil carbon filament eight times thicker than the tungsten […]

Posted inCritical thinking

The messy problem of scientific illiteracy

Reading Time: 8 minutes Pity the poor bipedal ape. We’re a strange species, to have grown so much in shared knowledge, and still be so limited by the fragility of individual noggins. Though I have never been religious, and never believed in a god, still I share with theists the same neurological “meat” that can make personal conviction feel […]

Posted inScience

There is hope, too, in the well

Reading Time: 5 minutes A common belief in journalism is that you have to emphasize the horror of a situation to spur action. If people aren’t driven by an existential threat, how can we ever expect them to act for a better world? But the well of our world’s suffering runs deep enough with sorrow. We still have a […]

Posted inSex & Gender

The secular humanist’s guide to trans advocacy

Reading Time: 16 minutes I really didn’t want to have to write this piece. Amid pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine, along with famines, the ravages of climate change, and other global conflicts, did the U.S. really need to exacerbate human trauma by introducing so much harmful legislation lately? Gosh. Even writing that, it’s hard to pin down which […]

Posted inWar and Peace

Remaking the Western goal of peace

Reading Time: 7 minutes In my last three pieces, I explored some of the historical myths, economic complexities, and alternative approaches to peace that we as global humanists need to reckon with in pursuit of a better world. In a pat, self-congratulatory series, this would be where we sum up. This would be where bandaid solutions and vague hopefulness […]