New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Scrambling for Relief

January 15, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Current Events, Victoria Law

Community Leads Its Own Efforts in the Rockaways

by Victoria Law

Months before Sandy devastated the Rockaways, tragedy had already struck Rockaway resident Sharon Plummer. While bicycling home from the corner store, Plummer’s 18-year-old son Shawn was caught in crossfire on Beach 29 Street and Seagirt Avenue. He died before reaching the hospital.

“The community was there for me,” Plummer recalled in a phone interview with Truthout. Two days after Sandy, Plummer was there for her community. In the parking lot of a laundromat on Cedar Boulevard, she set up Rockaway Guardians In Memory of Shawn Plummer, a distribution center, giving out water, canned goods, toiletries and baby supplies to hundreds of people each day.

Other residents joined the effort. Rudolph McBeam lives a block from the laundromat. “I just walked over there,” he told Truthout. “There were two other persons. We set up some tables and began to give out things to the public.” Although he has lived in the area for 15 years and has helped set up music festivals on the beach,  “This is my first time being involved with something like this,” said McBeam. (more…)

Call to Action

December 07, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Ecology, Jennifer Browdy

Telling the Story of Climate Change

by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

You probably didn’t notice, but this past week another round of major international climate talks were held in Doha, Qatar, surely one of the least “green” locations on the globe.

The mainstream press barely bothered to give a nod to what has come to be a mind-numbing ritual of bait, switch and dodge. The alternative press knew better than to look to the assembled ministers in Doha for any real news, focusing instead on the grim report released early last week by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics.

The 84-page report, titled “Turn Down the Heat” and funded by that radical fringe group known as the World Bank, demonstrates that if we continue our reckless heating of the planet at the present rate, all the scenarios of which readers of this blog are well aware — sea level rise, droughts and floods leading to severe food shortages, more frequent and more severe storms, loss of biodiversity and loss of human life on a biblical scale — will come to pass. (more…)

Another Urban Myth?

July 26, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Economy, Jay Walljasper

Renaissance in Detroit Challenges ‘Food Desert’ Perception

by Jay Walljasper

In many people’s minds, Detroit stands apart from other major American cities as an unredeemable disaster.

It’s a lost cause, they say, and we’d do better investing scarce resources toward revitalizing other cities with better prospects for the future.

So what makes Detroit different in the public imagination than other cities grappling with population loss, budget deficits, unemployment, crime, racial divisions and political corruption?

In large part, it’s disinformation. For example, the widespread belief that the city is a food desert with no supermarkets or any sources of fresh produce is, like many myths about Detroit that have grown up over the past 30 years, simply not true. (more…)

Cooperative and Capable

April 17, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Guest Author

Community Resilience in Natural Disasters

Peace researchers Dr. Diane Bretherton and Anouk Ride say evidence indicates most people, when facing a natural disaster, are cooperative, altruistic, and resilient.

If you watch the news, particularly news about foreign countries, you could easily believe that natural disasters are followed by looting, crime and individualistic behavior to survive. However, research from six different countries indicates when facing a natural disaster most people are cooperative, altruistic, and resilient.

If you face a natural disaster, you will most likely turn to your neighbors and your community for help, advice and to help others you see as suffering more than yourself. This is a natural response to survive, to cope psychologically with the chaos and loss of control experienced in a disaster, and to rebuild communities. This behavior is far more common than generally assumed by the authorities and media commentators — who predict crime, competition and opportunism.

Initially we wanted to find out why some communities seemed to cope better than others with natural disasters. With local researchers in six countries, we talked to people who had survived tsunami waves higher than multistory buildings, droughts that lasted for years, earthquakes that crumbled entire villages. (more…)

Fissures in the Planetary Apparatus

April 07, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Ecology, Economy, Guest Author

Japan Struggles to Survive the Unimaginable

by Sabu Kohso

While we are observing the new impetus of global uprising against capitalism and the state, the catastrophic situation is arising in Japan. Triggered by the earthquake and tsunami of maximal scale, Northeastern part of Honshu has been devastated by the increasing number of losses and refugees, and the worsening nuclear disaster.

The activity of the planet has shown not only its unequivocal nonhuman force but also the degree in which our societies and their apparatuses forged by capitalism are relying on, merging with, implicated in and expanding over the planet in an extremely ominous manner. What the so-called natural disaster is showing on this occasion is nothing but the implication of the apparatus on the environment and its fatal effects.

In this situation, we intend to translate, quote and analyze as much information as possible from Japanese into English, and translate your encouragements, comments, suggestions, analysis, proposals and anything written in English into Japanese for the vantage point of the people struggling there and everywhere. (more…)