Month: September 2017

Saudi Arabia Gives Women the Wheel: Why Now, and What Now?

Photo: Mattia Panciroli (CC) On Tuesday, Sept. 26, Saudi Arabia announced via televised royal decree that it will finally allow women to drive, marking a watershed moment in the fight for women’s rights. The verdict gives Saudi Arabian women both the literal and metaphorical wheel: as they are handed the keys, they will reach an unprecedented degree of independence and agency. Since activist Manal al-Sharif posted a video of herself driving on YouTube in 2011, women’s rights movements in Saudi Arabia have accelerated at a considerable rate. The decision to lift the ban was immediately heralded by the international...

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Spraying the Skies: an Untested Stopgap for Climate Change

Late in July, an off-the-record gathering of experts and academics converged on the Grand Summit Hotel in Newry, Maine to talk climate change. The handpicked coterie of conference-goers did not discuss carbon emissions or unveil next-generation renewable energy tech. Instead, the topic at hand was climate engineering: a sci-fi-sounding, catch-all term that refers to deliberate manipulation of the climate system. Thus far in 2017, a carbon juggernaut walked out of the Paris deal, other countries are struggling to meet their reduction pledges, temperatures continue to climb, and the consequences are mounting. Despite sweeping rhetoric, lofty goals, and multilateral treaties,...

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Sprawl City Bank Run: Dallas Twitter Users on DFW’S Gas Shortage After Hurricane Harvey

Photo (CC): Astronaut Randy Bresnik took this photo of Tropical Storm Harvey from the International Space Station on Aug. 28 at 1:27 p.m. CDT. All other photos courtesy of the author.  Rumors about Texas gas shortages in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey prompted irrational but intense desperation among Dallasites to immediately fill up their cars. As a result, pandemonium erupted in the Metroplex, bringing with it mile-long pileups at gas stations, epic Twitter rants, and #gasshortage. I couldn’t resist the urge to analyze what Dallas Twitter users had to say about the run on area gas stations in late August. The...

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