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March 23, 2013 | Stephen Markley
As President Obama makes his first stop in Israel on his much-touted trip to the Middle East, I think it's appropriate to place the generations of strife in that region into an environmental context. No matter what happens between Israel and Palestine or Syria or Iran, no matter what happens in Iraq or how many reforms Saudi Arabia allows so women cannot be legally murdered by their husbands or how many drone targets in Pakistan Obama adds to the kill list, the Middle East is a doomed and terrifying place for one reason: water.
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NEWS
February 16, 2014 | By Stephen Markley, @stephenmarkley and For RedEye
As a veteran of the Midwest, I say this with a long history of vitriolic loathing for snow, ice, sleet, cold and that disgusting feces-colored slush that soaks everything while we wait for spring: This has been the worst winter of my lifetime. I've spent considerable time this winter in Ohio, Chicago and Iowa, crossing the barren fields of Indiana, and stuck in post-apocalyptic traffic jams in the outer wastelands of Illinois. You've done it, winter. You broke me. You win. You are Jack Bauer and I'm a terrorist who knows the code to disarm the nuke.
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NEWS
October 17, 2012 | Stephen Markley
There is something about the lemming-like quality of the public discourse that renders presidential debates into these circular talking point showdowns in which not much is illuminated and nothing important challenged. Here following are some obvious questions about the great challenges of our times that one of those “undecided voters” or, you know, a professional journalist could or should have asked Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. • Governor Romney, do you believe that human activity is causing climate change?
NEWS
June 26, 2013 | By Ryan Smith, @RyanSmithWriter and For RedEye
Those wandering into Chicago's Union Station expecting trains might be surprised to find themselves deciding on a canoe instead. Well, sort of. Renowned 3D street artist Kurt Wenner took to Union Station's Great Hall (500 W. Jackson Blvd.) at 7 a.m. today to spend the morning creating his latest art installation--an enormous representation of the Colorado River measuring 32 feet by 64 feet that will be on display until 6 p.m. tonight. The plan initially called for the art to be placed at Pioneer Court on Michigan Avenue just south of the Tribune Tower, but predictions of severe weather...
NEWS
May 28, 2013 | By Stephen Markley, @stephenmarkley and For RedEye
It's unknown if climate change increases the power of tornadoes. Climate modeling has a difficult time predicting the most granular of weather events, but in the wake of Oklahoma's nightmare, wouldn't that be a nifty thing to study? After all, what is a tornado but the demon spawn of a supercell storm formed when warm, moist air comes roaring up from the Gulf of Mexico? With burning fossil fuels causing the rapid warming of the Earth, we now have a hell of a lot more moisture in the air, so maybe it wouldn't be the dumbest thing to take a look at that one. But public policy is going in the...
NEWS
February 16, 2014 | By Stephen Markley, @stephenmarkley and For RedEye
As a veteran of the Midwest, I say this with a long history of vitriolic loathing for snow, ice, sleet, cold and that disgusting feces-colored slush that soaks everything while we wait for spring: This has been the worst winter of my lifetime. I've spent considerable time this winter in Ohio, Chicago and Iowa, crossing the barren fields of Indiana, and stuck in post-apocalyptic traffic jams in the outer wastelands of Illinois. You've done it, winter. You broke me. You win. You are Jack Bauer and I'm a terrorist who knows the code to disarm the...
NEWS
May 31, 2012 | Stephen Markley
I couldn't leave for Iceland without a few final thoughts on the Heartland Institute's International Climate Conference held at the Chicago Hilton last week. After spending two of the three days listening to speakers and mulling over what I'd "learned" for a few days, I've decided there was one extremely telling moment from my time there. Heartland, the Chicago-based organization known for its advocacy of global warming skepticism, garnered international attention this month by displaying a billboard out on the Eisenhower...
NEWS
October 24, 2012 | Stephen Markley
I just got done endorsing PBS's “Frontline” a few weeks ago, and what do you know: they become basically the only media outlet to shed light on the connection between well-financed right-wing groups and the veritable disappearance of global warming from the national conversation. This is the first presidential election since 1988 that the issue did not come up at a single debate, and for that all four of the moderators should be deeply ashamed. Mitt Romney doesn't bring up global warming, and Barack Obama does so only sparingly.
NEWS
August 1, 2012 | Stephen Markley
To catch up with climate week, check out these previous posts on the heat of 2012 , the commitment to warming , and tax-and-dividend policy . I'm ending this week-long series of posts on climate change with two pleas, the first of which is to Justin Bieber. Biebs, look buddy, I saw you on the cover of the same Rolling Stone in which Bill McKibben wrote his piece on the terrifying new math of global warming . I think there's an opportunity here. What's the rest of your life going to be, man?
NEWS
May 1, 2013 | Stephen Markley
Hey, former Supreme Court Justice of the United States, Sandra Day O'Connor, I just wanted to say thank you so much for your recent interview with the Chicago Tribune's editorial board . I really can't express how awesome it is that over a decade after you cast the fifth vote to end the Florida recount and make George W. Bush the forty-third president, you totally recognize what a boneheaded move that was. What was it you said? “'It took the case and decided it at a time when it was still a big election issue,' O'Connor said last Friday.
NEWS
May 28, 2013 | By Stephen Markley, @stephenmarkley and For RedEye
It's unknown if climate change increases the power of tornadoes. Climate modeling has a difficult time predicting the most granular of weather events, but in the wake of Oklahoma's nightmare, wouldn't that be a nifty thing to study? After all, what is a tornado but the demon spawn of a supercell storm formed when warm, moist air comes roaring up from the Gulf of Mexico? With burning fossil fuels causing the rapid warming of the Earth, we now have a hell of a lot more moisture in the air, so maybe it wouldn't be the dumbest thing to take a look at that one. But public policy is going in the...
NEWS
May 1, 2013 | Stephen Markley
Hey, former Supreme Court Justice of the United States, Sandra Day O'Connor, I just wanted to say thank you so much for your recent interview with the Chicago Tribune's editorial board . I really can't express how awesome it is that over a decade after you cast the fifth vote to end the Florida recount and make George W. Bush the forty-third president, you totally recognize what a boneheaded move that was. What was it you said? “'It took the case and decided it at a time when it was still a big election issue,' O'Connor...
NEWS
March 23, 2013 | Stephen Markley
As President Obama makes his first stop in Israel on his much-touted trip to the Middle East, I think it's appropriate to place the generations of strife in that region into an environmental context. No matter what happens between Israel and Palestine or Syria or Iran, no matter what happens in Iraq or how many reforms Saudi Arabia allows so women cannot be legally murdered by their husbands or how many drone targets in Pakistan Obama adds to the kill list, the Middle East is a doomed and terrifying place for one reason: water.
NEWS
February 4, 2013 | Stephen Markley
I had the pleasure of watching Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman speak at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs this past week, which I will partially remember for his edifying remarks on the state of the economy and partially for the an argument I had with a man about a book flap. Well, not really an argument. What happened was that I brought my copy of Krugman's prescient classic “The Return of Depression Economics” to get signed, yet everyone else had a copy of his new book “End This Depression Now.” As dozens of us queued in line...
NEWS
October 24, 2012 | Stephen Markley
I just got done endorsing PBS's “Frontline” a few weeks ago, and what do you know: they become basically the only media outlet to shed light on the connection between well-financed right-wing groups and the veritable disappearance of global warming from the national conversation. This is the first presidential election since 1988 that the issue did not come up at a single debate, and for that all four of the moderators should be deeply ashamed. Mitt Romney doesn't bring up global warming, and Barack Obama does so only sparingly.
NEWS
October 23, 2012 | Stephen Markley
You'll notice that around election time many more of my posts become constructed around arguments I've had with strangers in bars (I maintain that this is not my fault; trouble finds me, not vice versa). So I was back in Ohio this past week, and somehow got into an extended conversation in a Cincinnati bar with a kid who claimed he was going to vote for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, which elicited a range of raving, drunken responses that I will attempt to summarize with a bit more cogence than I had the patience for at that bar. First of all, I don't necessarily...
NEWS
October 8, 2012 | Stephen Markley
This past weekend was my “birthday weekend”, which just means it was the closest weekend to my birthday. Two of my best friends from high school, Ian and Justin, came to visit me. My brain is still not working correctly. Here are some things that happened:  • Justin got into town from Cincinnati on Friday, and we decided it would be a great idea to drink beers all afternoon and then sneak a bottle of whiskey into a movie theater to watch “Looper”. “Looper”, it turns out, is a totally awesome movie, and whiskey at three in the afternoon, it turns out, is similarly totally awesome.
NEWS
February 4, 2013 | Stephen Markley
I had the pleasure of watching Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman speak at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs this past week, which I will partially remember for his edifying remarks on the state of the economy and partially for the an argument I had with a man about a book flap. Well, not really an argument. What happened was that I brought my copy of Krugman's prescient classic “The Return of Depression Economics” to get signed, yet everyone else had a copy of his new book “End This Depression Now.” As dozens of us queued in line...
NEWS
October 17, 2012 | Stephen Markley
There is something about the lemming-like quality of the public discourse that renders presidential debates into these circular talking point showdowns in which not much is illuminated and nothing important challenged. Here following are some obvious questions about the great challenges of our times that one of those “undecided voters” or, you know, a professional journalist could or should have asked Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. • Governor Romney, do you believe that human activity is causing climate change?
NEWS
October 8, 2012 | Stephen Markley
This past weekend was my “birthday weekend”, which just means it was the closest weekend to my birthday. Two of my best friends from high school, Ian and Justin, came to visit me. My brain is still not working correctly. Here are some things that happened:  • Justin got into town from Cincinnati on Friday, and we decided it would be a great idea to drink beers all afternoon and then sneak a bottle of whiskey into a movie theater to watch “Looper”. “Looper”, it turns out, is a totally awesome movie, and whiskey at three in the afternoon, it turns out, is similarly...
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