Natasha Hunter

Natasha Hunter is a former American Prospect writing fellow.

Recent Articles

Better Living Through Fudbol

When I arrived in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, last August, everyone was buzzing about the upcoming soccer match between local club Zeljeznicar and the British team Newcastle United. No one really expected the Bosnians to win, but people in Sarajevo were doing a lot of shrugging and head shaking and making, "It ain't over 'til it's over" comments. Zeljeznicar -- or Zeljo, as the team is called affectionately -- had just beaten the Icelandic team and the Norwegians, and who was to say that they couldn't -- maybe -- beat those tea bags?

The Props and the People

Three anarchists are putting the finishing touches on two effigies stuffed with newspapers and wearing suits and ties when a cheer goes up from the motley crowd gathered on the south side of the Washington Monument. The Sept. 28 anti-globalization march on Washington has begun, but the flammable CEOs aren't ready yet. The trio's compatriots, wearing black kerchiefs over their mouths and waving black and red anarchy flags, start off at a gentle saunter.

"Should we just ditch this one?" one anarchist asks nervously. It isn't hanging together.

"No, bring it along," replies a fellow creator, an older, calmer hippie type. "We just need some more duct tape."

It's Clear Skies for Dirty Air

When the Environmental Protection Agency launched its highly publicized Acid Rain Program in the early 1990s to cut sulfur-dioxide emissions, environmentalists were skeptical. The Clean Air Act amendments of 1990 introduced a nationwide emissions-trading system: Factories and utilities whose emissions were cleaner than the law required could sell their "excess" to dirty plants. Over time, the law required progressively lower emissions levels. The trading system rewarded clean plants, punished dirty ones by compelling them either to clean their emissions or to buy pollution rights from clean plants, and thus created an incentive for all plants to invest in new, clean technology.

Setting the Price on Breathing:

As the brawl rages between the administration and environmentalists over the recently announced changes to the New Source Review (NSR) provision of the Clean Air Act, one should keep an eye on the stakes. It's easy to lose your way in the technical mumbo jumbo of terms like "retrofitting," "actual emissions baseline," and "PALs," to say nothing of what constitutes "routine maintenance." But in the end, it's the same old battle greens and industry types have been fighting for decades: a zero-sum match pitting revenue against public health.

PCBs All Over Again:

An industrial chemical is collecting inside you. It gathers in your fat, accumulating year after year. You can't avoid absorbing it: The substance is all around you -- in your computer, your TV, your sofa, your rugs, your walls, your car, and the container you'll heat your lunch in. It's there, and almost everywhere else -- in seals, fish, birds, air, soil. No one knows what route it takes to get inside you. And no one knows exactly what it does, but scientists have linked it to thyroid imbalances and learning disabilities.