Commentary

A shrinking fraction of the world’s major crops goes to feed the hungry – commentary

BY: - May 16, 2022

Rising competition for many of the world’s important crops is sending increasing amounts toward uses other than directly feeding people. These competing uses include making biofuels; converting crops into processing ingredients, such as livestock meal, hydrogenated oils, and starches; and selling them on global markets to countries that can afford to pay for them. In […]

An empty store shelf

Here’s what’s behind the US infant formula shortage – commentary

BY: - May 13, 2022

A baby formula shortage has added to the woes of American parents already confronted with the pressures of raising an infant during a pandemic in a country ranked low for family-friendly policies. Media reports have highlighted the plight of mothers, fathers, and caregivers across the U.S. who have scrambled to find scarce supplies, or driven […]

Trusting societies are overall happier, and a happiness expert explains why – commentary

BY: - May 12, 2022

Human beings are social animals. This means, almost as a matter of logical necessity, that humans’ quality of life is largely decided by the quality of their societies. Trust is one key factor that helps shape societies – specifically, if individuals feel a basic level of trust in others, outside of their immediate friends and […]

Editor’s Notebook: Hugs and kisses

BY: - May 11, 2022

The war in Ukraine is still leading the daily news reports for the nation’s major news sites, and rightfully so. It’s a tragedy that grows by the minute. The fallout from the Supreme Court leak has held the second slot for much of the past week, typically followed by COVID-19 news du jour (a Washington […]

Jan. 6 and the forgotten insurrection clause of the 14th Amendment – commentary

BY: - May 10, 2022

Lawyers representing voters in Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina have filed lawsuits alleging that their elected congressional representatives are barred from running for future office based on a little-known provision of the 14th Amendment. Specifically, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment reads: “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress … who, having […]

Abortion has been common since the 18th century, and debate started soon after – commentary

BY: - May 9, 2022

State-by-state battles are heating up in the wake of news that the U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to overrule landmark rulings – Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey – and remove constitutional protection for the right to get an abortion. Now, pro- and anti-abortion advocates are gearing up for a new phase of […]

An illustration of arms and hands in rainbow colors

Transgender athletes and a national history of exclusionary practices – commentary

BY: - May 6, 2022

“Stand up for women, even when they’re swimmin’. We support the women!” I’m watching a video of a small group of picketers outside the NCAA Division I women’s swimming championships in Atlanta. The words “Save Women’s Sports” are scrawled across their matching shirts, an organization, they explain to a reporter, that was founded on the […]

A sign for announcing that maple syrup is for sale

Maple SOS: How to save our syrup – commentary

BY: - May 5, 2022

Since before my children can remember, our family has engaged in a certain springtime ritual as authentic as New Hampshire, and older still. Sometime after Valentine’s, as the days are getting longer and the temperatures start to rise, we gather up our dented metal pails and spiles from the garage, rinse them off, and ready […]

A pansy grows near a stump

Editor’s Notebook: Trails and shadows

BY: - May 4, 2022

It’s easy to slip. The shadows are thick in the middle of the petite mountain, and frozen snowmelt glazes some, but not all, of the rocks. And that some-ness makes matters worse. Traction is a lullaby on the trail, and the inhale-step-step-exhale rhythm sends attention flying, dreamlike, from the terrain toward more distant concerns. Inhale, […]

A parachutist lands on a pad

Fed hopes for ‘soft landing’ for the US economy, but history suggests otherwise – commentary

BY: and - May 3, 2022

The Federal Reserve will likely soon learn what gymnasts already know: sticking a landing is hard. With inflation surging to a new 40-year high and continuing to accelerate, the Fed is expected to lift interest rates by a half-percentage point at the end of its next meeting on Wednesday, May 4. It will be the […]

Wind turbines in the ocean

New Englanders support more offshore wind power, just don’t send it to New York – commentary

BY: , and - May 2, 2022

In Rhode Island, home to the first offshore wind farm in the U.S., most people support expanding offshore wind power – with one important caveat. Our research shows they’re less likely to support a wind power project if its energy flows to another state, and especially if it goes to a rival state. We found […]

How race and religion have always played a role in who gets refuge in the U.S. – commentary

BY: , , and - April 29, 2022

In the weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, millions of Ukrainians have fled the country as refugees. Hundreds of those refugees have now arrived at the southern border of the United States seeking asylum, after flying to Mexico on tourist visas. At the border, Ukrainians, alongside thousands of other asylum seekers, must navigate two policies meant […]