National Analysis

Time to Divest from Factory Farming

VTDIGGER 06/16/20 By Michael Shank Editor’s note: This commentary is by Michael Shank, of Brandon, who is adjunct faculty at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs. It’s time for a global divestment campaign against the factory farming industry, which has now proved itself to be as harmful to human […]

The Government Is Arming Police for War. Reform Can Start Right There

NEWSWEEK 06/11/20 By Michael Shank and US Congressman Hank Johnson America’s streets are looking increasingly like countries we dismiss as petty dictatorships and rogue states. Mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles and Humvees are now patrolling cities all across America. We saw it at Standing Rock. We saw it in Ferguson. We saw […]

How Police Became Paramilitaries

NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS 06/03/20 By Michael Shank Military might has always paraded in America’s streets. But it wasn’t until this century that it became an often daily presence. In the 2000s, local law enforcement agencies began to adopt the type of military equipment more frequently used in a […]

It’s Time to Shut Down Industrial Animal Farming

THE HILL 06/03/20 By Michael Shank and Former US Congressman Michael Honda While governments act aggressively to save lives, stop any further spread of COVID-19, and reopen their economies, let’s not wait to prevent the next virus. More will come. Pandemics are picking up their pace. Thankfully, prevention is entirely […]

Will Coronavirus Be What Finally Kills Factory Farming?

NEWSWEEK 05/22/20 By Michael Shank and Em Heppler Although the identity of COVID-19’s patient zero is still unknown, the virus is widely suspected to have originated in a Wuhan wet market. And one thing is crystal clear: These informal slaughterhouses, along with their more formal counterparts in the factory farming […]

Electric Cars Are Here to Stay — Despite What the Oil Industry Thinks

THE HILL 05/08/20 By Michael Shank Thanks to a new study by Harvard University – that there’s a clear link between long-term exposure to air pollution and higher COVID-19 death rates, there’s yet another reason to electrify our transportation. (As if 50,000 Americans dying prematurely every year from transportation emissions […]

Vermont Offers a Peek at a Solar Energy Future

REUTERS 01/20/20 By Michael Shank A peer-to-peer energy sales platform will allow businesses to buy locally generated renewable power from others in the U.S. state When it comes to green energy innovation, there are few American states that innovate like Vermont. Last month, Vermont’s biggest power utility – Green Mountain […]

Planetary Benefits of Smaller Families

VTDIGGER 12/20/19 By Michael Shank Editor’s note: This commentary is by Dr. Michael Shank, a resident of Brandon who teaches sustainable development at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs. Given the climate inaction among national governments — from America and Australia to Brazil and Britain — there’s been a big focus […]