The stubborn opposition of the Greens to technology and particularly nuclear power has made them ”part of the problem rather than the solution,” says John Gray. “Nuclear power has risks, not least of terrorist attack,” he writes in Britain’s New Statesman, “but it is vastly less harmful to the planetary equilibrium than the continued reliance on fossil fuels that is the realistic alternative.” By 2050, what the UN estimates will be a human population of 9 billion will be even more dependent on fossil fuels and without a smaller population there will be no solution to the environmental crisis. “Greens shy away from these facts,” Gray declares, “insist(ing) that climate change and conflict over natural resources can be avoided by adopting a low-tech lifestyle. But organic farms and windmills cannot stop the destruction of the natural world, or support the present human population.”

Shock Value

Asked by a reporter whether he was ever shocked by anything that happened on his show, Jerry Springer said, “No,…I don’t think you can be a grown-up in today’s world and be shocked by anything…what’s shocking anymore? You can’t really say that anything you’ve seen on our show hasn’t really happened in real life to someone, somewhere.”

Mr. Lampshade

Naming Jon Stewart among its Top Ten Newspros (others include Tim Russert, Katie Couric and her agent Alan Berger) TelevisionWeek forecasts that in the fall elections, “he will be the analyst who puts lampshades on the heads of both parties, a talent who will be the preferred guest of morning news programs because he will say what they cannot.”

Muslims Versus Muslims

The supposed clash of civilizations between Muslims and the West is much less significant than the battle between reformers and fundamentalists in the Muslim world, according to the Observer. “The (Danish) cartoons were a handy distraction from the real issue – the struggle between theocratic reaction and the beleaguered forces of liberty and modernity,” writes Nick Cohen, the magazine’s writer.

The Price of Prosperity

One of the problems engendered by what the Guardian calls Ireland’s “newfound prosperity” is the inevitable clash between preserving history and building new highways, and in a country where pagan monuments still abound there have been plenty of disputes. Currently, the battle is over one of the most sacred sites of all: the Hill of Tara, a mere 30 miles from Dublin, the site of monuments since 2500 BC and from which more than 100 successively kings ruled the land. Ireland’s National Roads Authority says a highway passing the site is an absolute necessity and that delays by environmental protesters is costing more than $1 million a week.

The Wilcock Web

Excess noise is a major contributor to health deterioration, say British environmental officials, and too much of it comes from heavy footsteps on bare wooden floors. They are calling for more loft dwellers to use carpets…. Lonely Planet is publishing “Experimental Travel” guides, which suggests opening the street atlas of wherever you are and traveling to a random point such as where K-2 or B-7 intersect. And, they suggest, when you’re at some famous site, to turn around and photograph the view from there…. “I used to talk street slang and do the whole rap thing,” muses millionaire pop star Mary J. Blige, “but I know that is just ignorance. I want to speak properly; I want people to understand me. I don’t want to be part of that life anymore” …. Holland has joined Germany and Britain in demanding that would-be immigrants speak the language of their new countries…. Chihuahuas dressed as Mickey Mouse or in soccer team uniforms are being carried by fashionistas in Tokyo, reports Lois Bizel, a 32-year-old fashion consultant who charges companies $600 a day to tell them what’s hip and trendy…. “When one is in love, one begins to deceive oneself. And one ends by deceiving others,” Oscar Wilde said.