James E. McWilliams

By James E. McWilliams:

Books

They Speak for the Trees

Paradoxically, our most insidious environmental problems are often ones that do not immediately impact our daily lives. Refineries spew pollution into the air, and somewhere someone dies of cancer. But who actually connects the dots? It’s this elusiveness that makes … Read More

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They Speak for the Trees

  Paradoxically, our most insidious environmental problems are often ones that do not immediately impact our daily lives. Refineries spew pollution into the air, and somewhere someone dies of cancer. But who actually connects the dots? It’s this elusiveness that … Read More

Reviews

Food Fight

“When it comes to food,” writes Robert Paarlberg, “everyone is interested.” This understatement captures the restraint of Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know. It also suggests why the book will drive food activists half nuts. Yes, everyone is interested … Read More

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It Is the Heat

About two million years ago our ape-ish ancestors experienced a number of rapid physical changes: rib cages shrank, pelvises narrowed, teeth became smaller, stomachs constricted, swinging ability declined and cranial cavities almost doubled. These alterations were by no means haphazard. … Read More

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Review

Carry That Weight

Critical gestures against industrial food are all the rage these days. Michelle Obama planted a White House garden. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack jackhammered a D.C. sidewalk to grow his own greens. Democratic members of Congress are carrying dog-eared copies of … Read More

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World’s End

In 1994 an 11-year-old boy rode his bike through a Pennsylvania field that had just been covered in sewer sludge. Three days later he was dead of a staph infection. The incident seemed random. A year later a teenage boy … Read More

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Big River

In the course of writing a book recently on the history of insecticides, I found myself continually frustrated by the ease with which so many otherwise intelligent people made environmentally stupid choices. The only obvious explanation for their ineptitude in … Read More

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Doomed If We Do, or Doomed If We Don’t?

Globalization cuts both ways. On the one hand, it’s a capitalistic assault on indigenous knowledge, a conspiracy orchestrated by neoliberal nuts who want to turn nation-states into market states, outsource wage-labor and military tasks, and dump the true costs of … Read More

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More Than One Man Can Chew

Big claims. Not too much support. Mostly unconvincing. That’s my nutshell response to Michael Pollan’s most recent answer to “the supposedly incredibly complicated and confusing question of what we humans should eat in order to be maximally healthy.” Tough assessment, … Read More

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