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What We’re Reading

At long last, this week’s edition of What We’re Reading: Preeti Aroon Green Dreams, by Joel K. Bourne Jr. in National Geographic. Cars that run off biofuels made from corn and sugarcane could be better for the environment, if only the process of making those biofuels in the first place didn’t burn so much fossil ...

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At long last, this week’s edition of What We’re Reading:

Preeti Aroon

  • Green Dreams, by Joel K. Bourne Jr. in National Geographic. Cars that run off biofuels made from corn and sugarcane could be better for the environment, if only the process of making those biofuels in the first place didn’t burn so much fossil fuel and hurt the environment in other ways.

Mike Boyer

  • Game Changers, by James Kitfield in the National Journal. What’s the next strategic surprise America will suffer? Here’s a look at several scenarios and what they would mean for 2008.

Christine Chen

  • The Values Issue, The Atlantic. The October 2007 issue has a trio of fascinating stories on giving. First up is a lengthy article about how the Clinton Foundation is trying to change the business model of philanthropy. Next is an article about erstwhile Wall Street bad boy Henry Blodget, who complains about how difficult it is to be a socially responsible investor. Finally, scientist Olivia Judson looks at the biological and neurological origins behind the impulse to do good.

David Francis

Blake Hounshell 

Joshua Keating

  • Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq, by Stephen Kinzer. A history of American regime-change campaigns that shows the extent to which U.S. foreign policy has been driven by commercial interests. It’s not a new argument, but some of the lesser-known examples from earlier in the twentieth century are fascinating.

Prerna Mankad

  • What next, Rupurt Bear in Burberry Check trousers? in the London Times. Natalie Haynes laments Paddington Bear’s decision to cast aside marmalade for marmite in his sandwiches, fearing that this could be just the beginning of a new trend in which corporations coopt children’s characters’ favorite snacks or hobbies as advertising space.

Kate Palmer

  • Is Osama bin Laden an Environmentalist? by Brendan O’Neill, Spiked-online.com. In his latest messages, Osama bin Laden targets conspicuous consumerism, environmental degradation, and globalization as proof of the evils of Western civilization. It’s a far cry from his original grievance about U.S. forces occupying Muslim holy lands—and proof of his muddled justifications for jihad.

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