Opposing Petroleum Extraction in the Ecuadorian Amazon via Increased Indigenous Rights

Oil extraction in the Yasuní-ITT section of Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest has wrought social and environmental destruction since its rapid expansion in the 2010s. Since indigenous spokespersons have been outspoken about their strong stance against all extractive activities, by codifying indigenous land rights definitively in the Amazon and affirming indigenous autonomy, this policy will ensure that indigenous communities and their jungle environments are protected.

Dismantling the Barriers of White Supremacy Obstructing Ecological Sustainability Initiatives in Communities of Color

Institutional racism upheld by strong capitalist markets have embedded inequity into the fabric of American society for centuries, disenfranchising entire communities of color; economically disadvantaged communities are therefore largely excluded from mechanisms that would contribute to creating healthier local communities and a more sustainable world.

Fire, brimstone, rainbows, and unicorns

I believe we are a nation with integrity, but integrity does not sustain itself. I believe that the near future could be the brightest chapter in America’s storied history, unlocking the types of policies and actions that previous generations thought were just rainbows and unicorns – dreams, visions, fantasies, but never quite possible in our reality. But as we chase those rainbows and domesticate the unicorns, there will always be a hazardous path of fire and brimstone along the way that we must be wary of, lest we buckle under our own feigned magnanimity.

A Dead Car Battery and the Death of Democracy

That you have the privilege, right, and obligation to vote in this country does not grant you the moral authority to do so in prideful ignorance. There is rightful scorn for those who do not exercise their civic duty to cast their ballot in elections, because it truly is such a precious responsibility that mustn’t be taken for granted. But the true villains, the true threats to our delicate little experiment in self-governance, are those who consciously choose and embrace ignorance when they exercise their democratic rights. And should there ever be a requiem for our American democracy, their ignorance will be the gravelly breath stoking the organ’s final notes.

Give me liberty AND give me death: A COVID Reflection

The look of joy on his face when he runs through a sprinkler in the middle of a hot summer day. The feeling of pride at his middle school chorus concert. Late nights helping with homework. A warm hug in the aftermath of that first teenage breakup. The awe that he has finally graduated high school, and wait, how did that happen so quickly? College too! Watching him find true love and making a grandparent of you. These are a few experiences that the parents of a California boy won’t ever have.

What does it mean to be a patriot?

When you look at the imagery associated with the people who boast most vociferously about their God-fearing patriotism, there are a couple motifs that you might notice: Support for the troops; remembering 9/11; flags (really any flags, quite ironically including Confederate flags); eagles; pickup trucks; and a generally brazen attitude about how the consequences of our actions and policies don’t really matter as long as AMERICA! In other words, for these “patriots”, patriotism means blind loyalty – blind loyalty to some version of America that doesn’t really exist.

The Lights Never Flickered

As the death count from the novel coronavirus tolls ever higher in the United States week by week, in stunning and devastating contrast, America’s theme parks are re-opening across the country, confirming a nuance of American culture that is literally sickening: our need for entertainment. And perhaps that’s one of the major ways in which we went wrong in our response – there wasn’t enough of that wow-factor.