“After School Lockouts and Flunked Inspections, Colorado Eyes Suncor Crackdown,” Westword, 1/21/2020
North Denver’s notoriously poor air quality varies from day to day, but for Molina and many others who live in the shadow of the sprawling Suncor facility, which straddles Brighton Boulevard just south of Interstate 270, the refinery can be a constant, looming presence, never far out of mind. They worry about getting calls and texts like the ones Molina started receiving one morning in December, asking if she’d heard about a reported malfunction at the refinery.
“I freaked out,” she says. “I started getting all these messages from people, like, ‘Are your kids okay? There’s a lockdown at Adams City Middle School.’ My heart just started pounding.”
“As the World Goes Green, How Will Colorado’s Fossil-Fuel Era End?,” Westword, 9/17/2019
Colorado Democrats talk openly of the end of coal, which is likely to be largely eliminated from the state’s energy mix within the next decade. But they dance around questions about the future of oil and gas — a much larger, more powerful industry that has long wielded great influence at the State Capitol. Supporters of aggressive climate action worry that by failing to confront the issue directly, policy makers are putting the state at risk for a disruptive, destabilizing energy transition that leaves workers and communities worse off.
“We are absolutely not doing enough to be prepared,” says Deborah McNamara, a campaign coordinator for climate advocacy group 350 Colorado. “We need to start connecting these dots now. We need a transition plan, and everybody needs to be working on this.”
“The Fight Against Climate Change Could Heat Up in Colorado,” Westword, 1/2/2019
“In conversations with more than a dozen scientists, activists, lawmakers, state regulators and others, a clear picture emerges: Despite encouraging developments on several fronts, there remains a significant gap between the policy agenda that Democrats have put forward in this state and the scale and urgency of action that the climate crisis requires. Like much of the rest of the world, Colorado is nowhere near on track to achieve the overall emissions cuts that scientists say are necessary over the next decade and beyond. And every day that passes without action only makes the task ahead that much more difficult.”
“Why Big Oil Chose the Nuclear Option to 112: Amendment 74” (with David Sirota), Westword, 10/30/18
“This scene has played out over and over again in communities along the Front Range in the last decade — and the script always seems to end the same way. Impacted residents file complaints, write their representatives, speak out at hearings and form community activist groups. They plead with Hickenlooper, with state lawmakers, with regulators and with the courts, asking for tougher restrictions on the oil and gas operations laying siege to their communities. If they’re lucky, they notch a few peripheral wins, such as when they convinced regulators to slightly increase setback requirements and tighten some air pollution rules.
But on the biggest questions of health, safety, pollution and climate change, the result has almost always been the same: Residents get steamrolled by the fossil fuel industry and its allies in state government.”
“Is Goldman Sachs’ new fund really just greenwashing stocks?” (with David Sirota), The Guardian, 9/28/18
“The trend has given Wall Street an opportunity for an image makeover in a time of growing public distrust in the financial system: According to a Gallup poll conducted last month, fewer than half of Americans under 30 report having a positive view of capitalism, a 12-point drop in just the past two years.
For some activists and investors, though, the rapid expansion of the market for SRI-branded financial products has raised concerns about greenwashing – the practice by which companies market themselves as socially or environmentally responsible without actually adopting business practices that meet those goals.”
“Debate over soccer stadium funding highlights divisions in St. Louis,” Howler, 3/31/17
“The disconnect between these would-be MLS diehards and the working poor of the city’s North Side runs deep, and it often makes the arguments marshaled by SC STL’s boosters in the media ring hollow. When local sports columnist Benjamin Hochman expresses his fear that without an MLS team, St. Louis could become ‘complacent and plain,’ he’s writing it in a city that is already a cruel, desolate dystopia for its permanent black underclass. When stadium proponents deploy platitudes about being ‘progressive’ and ‘building a better St. Louis,’ they’re doing so in a city that simply cannot afford to be confused any longer about what real progress looks like.”
“Among the Brands,” Eight by Eight, 8/6/15
“Few things earn more regular scorn from writers than the insipid, mechanical language of digital marketing: brand, content, platform, engagement, optimization. We fashion ourselves tastemakers, gatekeepers, producers and arbiters of culture; to watch the information economy relentlessly commodify and systematize functions that have long been exclusively ours is an unsettling experience. There’s a latent anxiety to it all that anyone, not just media types, can tap into if they’re neurotic enough: will technology reduce all of life’s once-ineffable cultural riches to cells on a marketing analyst’s spreadsheet? Are our tastes and loyalties just patterns waiting to be identified by an algorithm? When everything is data, measurable and manipulable, what’s left?”
“Obafemi Martins, An Answer,” The Classical, 11/3/14
“So much of our engagement with sports comes through an endless parade of half-answerable questions. We need grist for the sports-media mill, fodder for takes, jumping-off points from which calls can be taken and debate embraced and the loud illusion of participatory discourse maintained. …
For fans of a league that has yet to play its 20th season, the iterations of these questions are inevitably far more existential in nature. What even is Major League Soccer? What do we want it to be? What might it become, and when?”
“The Best American Player at the World Cup Has Already Gone Home,” Vice Sports, 6/30/14
“But it’s a fault line that runs through American soccer culture at large. Fans of the USMNT love to shake their fists at players like Giuseppe Rossi and Neven Subotic, who snubbed the U.S. to pursue international careers with more distinguished sides, and—often in the next breath—question the motives and commitment of dual nationals like Jermaine Jones and Fabian Johnson who made the opposite choice. You hear much less about Vedad Ibiševic, a world-class attacker who in 2008 told the New York Times that he likely would have accepted a U.S. call-up if he had ever been approached.”