Who Is the Gravest Danger to World Peace?

Throughout the world there is great relief and optimism about the nuclear deal reached in Vienna between Iran and the P5+1 nations, the five veto-holding members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany. Most of the world apparently shares the assessment of the U.S. Arms Control Association that “the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action establishes a strong and effective formula for blocking all of the pathways by which Iran could acquire material for nuclear weapons for more than a generation and a verification system to promptly detect and deter possible efforts by Iran to covertly pursue nuclear weapons that will last indefinitely.” There are, however, striking exceptions to the general enthusiasm: the United States and its closest regional allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia. One consequence of this is that U.S. corporations, much to their chagrin, are prevented from flocking to Tehran along with their European counterparts. Prominent sectors of U.S. […]

Why an Oil Glut May Lead to a New World of Energy

The plunge of global oil prices began in June 2014, when benchmark Brent crude was selling at $114 per barrel. It hit bottom at $46 this January, a near-collapse widely viewed as a major but temporary calamity for the energy industry.  Such low prices were expected to force many high-cost operators, especially American shale oil producers, out of the market, while stoking fresh demand and so pushing those numbers back up again.  When Brent rose to $66 per barrel this May, many oil industry executives breathed a sigh of relief.  The worst was over.  The price had “reached a bottom” and it “doesn’t look like it is going back,” a senior Saudi official observed at the time. Skip ahead three months and that springtime of optimism has evaporated.  Major producers continue to pump out record levels of crude and world demand remains essentially flat. The result: a global oil glut that is again driving […]

Video Recordings and the Hidden Forms of Police Violence

In the wake of the ever-growing number of videos surfacing which document the physical abuses suffered by persons of color at the hands of police officers, the role of video in documenting this type of violence has been a subject of debate. Several commentators have written artfully about the threat of violence and death at the hands of law enforcement felt by persons of color in even the most day-to-day activities, arguing that video footage may capture injustice, but should not be considered an effective tool in preventing it. They argue that in the deaths of Tamir Rice and Eric Garner and Sandra Bland, video footage documents the vulnerability that people of color experience at the hands of law enforcement, but can offer only an impotent rage.[1] As if to prove this point, the video of Samuel DuBose’s killing by a University of Cincinnati police officer fills my computer screen […]