Long Form

Cleaning Coal: The Battle to Rebrand Coal

What exactly is clean coal? The term refers to coal produced by new technologies for capturing and sequestering coal by-products that reduces the harmful impacts of coal on the environment. Does clean coal exist? No. The emerging technologies referred to have not moved from concept to reality, despite billions of dollars of investment since 2001 (made possible only with the support of the Bush administration). As such, the movement for clean coal serves as a thinly veiled promotional vehicle for investment in the coal industry. Read on for the battle to persuade Americans to invest in “clean coal,” descriptions of the two main advocacy groups on either side, and a comparison of their arguments for and against clean coal as presented through public education campaigns on their websites.

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No Easy Answers: M.I.A. and the Politics of Pop

It has been argued that M.I.A., the London-born Sri Lankan Tamil rapper, should not have to explain why her art contains references to the internationally known terrorist organization familiarly known as the Tamil Tigers. But in a 2009 interview, M.I.A. called the civil war in Sri Lanka a genocide and compared its history of ethnic conflict to Nazi-Germany. What lies behind M.I.A.’s contentious claim?

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Globalization in Action: Avaaz

Currently clocking in at 3.4 million members, Avaaz has built its membership – drawn from every country in the world – based on a very simple mission: “to close the gap between the world we have, and the world most people everywhere want.” Based on an internally coherent ideoscape, Avaaz represents an alternate reading of globalization as a force in shaping the 21st century and applies a model informed by the modern technologies of network and hybridized identities to pursue its mission.

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Breaking Down Our Better History

President Obama’s inaugural address will ultimately be judged on the next four years, but contains powerful promises of a new age of responsible governance in America. By tying his speech to its historical antecedents, rejecting the political agenda of the last eight years, and introducing a more inclusive rhetoric of globalization, President Obama has delivered a speech that could redefine the stage of American politics.

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