On Burma: An Interview with Michael Miller

Recently I discussed some problems plaguing South Sudan and announced my husband will be working with that country as a research associate for PILPG. But there’s a second country he’s assisting, too: Burma! Since he just finished his first year of law school, he has some time on his hands for a few weeks. So … Continue reading

Something We Can All Agree On

China and the United States produce the largest CO2 emissions in the world. But do you know who comes in 3rd? No, it’s not the E.U., Brazil or Australia. It’s not India or the state of Texas. It’s slavery. Earlier this week I heard from Kevin Bales – author and co-founder of Free the Slaves … Continue reading

Bearing Our Own Energy Burden

The Keystone XL pipeline – once relatively unknown to everyone but energy execs and protestors – has become a major US election issue and the source of much controversy lately. The proposed pipeline would carry oil 2,000 miles from Canada’s tar sands through the US and down to Texas. Environmental activists have been fighting the … Continue reading

We Need Cleaner Air and Cleaner Hearts

Last week NPR featured a series on poisoned places exposing the ways polluted air continues to harm residents all over the US. When I heard this report on All Things Considered, I recognized the place immediately: thick fog, benzene in the air, burning eyes and throats, obscure cancers. Perhaps this was LaBelle, PA – the … Continue reading

Good News Friday

There are so many great organizations doing awesome things, but with tragic news everywhere I’m prone to forget the triumphs. In case you’re the same way, here’s some good news for your Friday: 1. Exonerated Man Launches His Music Career You just might love the sound of this bluesy survivor of wrongful conviction. Bill Dillon … Continue reading

What’s Poisoning Greene Township?

Barb Reed moved to Greene Township as a teenager in 1975. When she and her husband decided to settle there, they cut their own driveway and built the entire house together, starting with the basement. She was only seventeen years old. “We love where we’re at. We’re in the middle of almost 8 acres. We … Continue reading

Stop Killing LaBelle – Reflections on a Hurting Town

I had trouble finding the town of LaBelle because it is, as mentioned in last week’s article, tiny. But once I did find it and got out of the car, I broke one of the rules I’d already been warned about: I forgot to put on my sunglasses. Within an hour or two my eyes … Continue reading

What’s Killing LaBelle, PA?

  by Joanna Castle Miller When you drive into LaBelle, PA, you might miss it for the view. The steep streets wind around trees turned, this time of year, into bold yellows and oranges. Houses line the Monongahela River on small lots left over from the peak of the town’s coal mining days. A rustic … Continue reading

Banana-Lover Options

If you’ve been following along this week, you’re probably wondering what, if any, options there are for eating bananas without feeling like a jerk or worse. Like certain other activities, the only safe option might be abstinence. A potato has the same calories as a banana and is easier to grow. Consider potato pudding, potato … Continue reading

Ferngully Hippies and Banana Refugees

When I was little, my mom took me to see Ferngully: The Last Rainforest. I hated it. It was an agenda-pushing, liberal hippie love-fest. I didn’t know any of those words then, but that’s about how I felt. And being in the South at the time, those were not good words. Some hippie rehearsing “Give … Continue reading

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