Art Hobson

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Commentary: Fires of the Anthropocene

Humans inaction setting stage for dire consequences

Subscriber onlyThe astonishing fire at Fort McMurray evokes the legend of the monster destroying its maker, reveals the looming outlines of the age of human domination called by many geologists the "Anthropocene," and should be an awakening for us all. Although it's always hard to ascribe individual weather events to general climate trends, the fingerprints of global warming are all over this conflagration in Canada's Alberta Province. Continue reading...

Commentary: Greening a troubled planet

Movement toward change provides some home

Subscriber onlyScience has known since about 1990 that everything we hold dear is endangered by global warming. If we had taken the problem sufficiently seriously then, greenhouse gas concentrations would today be far lower than they are and we would be on the road to a healthy future based on clean energy. Instead, the fossil fuel industry and our own self-indulgence persuaded us our carbon-burning lifestyle was just peachy. Continue reading...

Commentary: An exciting age in astronomy

Gravity waves a ‘new window to universe’

Subscriber onlyWe have entered the era of gravity waves, a window on the universe that will reveal startling new realities much as Galileo's light wave telescope, four centuries ago, revealed a universe unlike anything imagined by medieval culture. Continue reading...

Police: Suspect in Virginia bus station shooting dead; 3 others hurt

RICHMOND, Va. — A gunman shot a Virginia state trooper Thursday at a busy bus terminal in the capital city of Richmond before he was shot dead by two other troopers, police said. Two civilians were hurt, though it was not clear if they had been shot. Continue reading...

America’s exodus from Mideast

Disengaging from region after doing more harm than good

Subscriber onlyAs America’s movies, sports, gun culture, murder rate, incarceration rate, death penalty and history all testify, we are a violent nation. So it’s not surprising we are hawkish abroad. In particular, America’s involvement in the Middle East has been too militarized and, for this reason, counterproductive. Continue reading...

Commentary: The religious war on women

Belief alone a prescription for poor decisions

Subscriber onlyWith religious-based terrorism so much in the news, we need to recognize America's home-grown Christian terrorism. Its fundamentalist roots have important parallels with the more massive Islamic terrorism. Continue reading...

Commentary: A few realities about global warming

People can take action by voting Democratic

Subscriber onlyOf the 136 years on the global record books, 2015 was by far the hottest. The year before was the second hottest. Fifteen of the 16 hottest years occurred after 2000. Last year was so hot it will probably hold the record for several years, causing global warming deniers -- always frantic for statistics that seemingly support their non-existent case -- to argue that everything's fine because temperatures have now leveled off. It's an ironic argument that deniers have made before, following an extremely warm year in 1998. Continue reading...

Commentary: Embracing "Big History"

General public learns little about time before mankind

Subscriber onlyWhere do humans come from and how do we fit into the big universe? A motivator of both science and religion, this question has surely been on our minds for nearly as long as we have walked Earth, far before recorded history, perhaps before our genus Homo evolved from Australopithecus 2 million years ago. A good definition of humankind might be "the creatures who ask about their place in the universe." Continue reading...

Commentary: Wanting it all

Voters, lawmakers want highways, but not bill

Subscriber onlyAccording to highway advocates, Arkansas needs $160 million more per year to maintain and expand its ailing roads. Arkansas highways are underfunded today because inflation and ever-increasing fuel efficiency reduce revenue from the per-gallon tax. As of this writing, the Governor's Working Group on Highway Financing has just presented Gov. Asa Hutchinson with options to raise the money. Continue reading...

Commentary: Forget regime change

Cooperating necessary in fight against ISIS

Subscriber onlyAmericans now realize our 2003 decision to wage war against Iraq's Saddam Hussein was a huge mistake. Continue reading...

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