Nelson Harvey

Nelson Harvey was a Prospect intern. He is now working as a journalist in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Recent Articles

The Fifth Element

Córdoba, Argentina -- By late last Friday afternoon in Argentina's second largest city, the bi-annual summit of Mercosur had officially wrapped. But on a dusty rugby field at a nearby university, the changing face of this South American economic alliance was on full display. "North American imperialism is endangering the welfare of the human species on this earth," said Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, addressing thousands of chanting, banner-waving demonstrators who had come to hear him speak along with Cuban President Fidel Castro. "Imperialism is international, and the solution must be international, too." His remarks came on the closing day of Venezuela's inaugural appearance as the fifth member of Mercosur, a regional agreement aimed at fostering free trade and economic integration in South America. The trade bloc was first established by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay in 1991. For Chávez, membership in Mercosur means more than just favorable trade conditions. His...

The Real Black Gold

The ever growing buzz over alternative energy sources received a major boost last January, when President Bush confessed to America's oil addiction in his State of the Union Address. But since then, amidst all the speculation about a cleaner, greener tomorrow, one thing has been notably absent: an honest assessment of where we are now, and where current trends show us going in the coming years. In his forthcoming book Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future , author Jeff Goodell paints a key piece of this picture. As he illustrates, the coal industry is booming, a reality with implications for the global climate, human health, and the consolidation of the energy sector. Recently, TAP spoke by phone with Goodell about the future of coal and its role in American life. How does this coal boom differ, in your view, from the previous resource booms you have studied? There is an urgency in the debate about energy today that we haven't seen before. There's a lot of talk...

Not Just For Hippies

In A Greener Faith: Religious Environmentalism and Our Planet's Future , Roger Gottlieb documents an important piece of the broadening environmental movement: the religious community. In recent years, support for environmental causes in the religious circles has grown considerably, and today it is limited by neither geography nor religious affiliation. Through such groups as the National Religious Partnership on the Environment , movement leaders seek to bring a new moral dimension to environmental issues: if the earth is God's creation, they say, then the implications of befouling it go beyond science into ethical and religious realms. How do you respond (or how would a religious environmentalist respond) to those who argue that justifications for public policy should be entirely secular, so that they can be justifiable by all members of a pluralistic society? I think that this idea is a lovely except for one thing: it doesn't work. The simple fact is that as a large modern society...

FEELING GREEN. The...

FEELING GREEN. The Center for American Progress partnered with The American Prospect this morning to host a discussion on forming and implementing policies for a post-petroleum society. The event was an offshoot of a recent Prospect special report that featured articles on several facets of the issue, from environmental health to farm subsidies to the possibility of a populist political movement fueled by the growth of renewable energy. Former Senator Tom Daschle (who also wrote a piece for the Prospect report) served as moderator for the discussion, which centered on an issue near and dear to the folks in his home state of South Dakota: ethanol production. Panelist David Morris , vice president of the Institute for Local Self Reliance, proposed changing part of the federal ethanol tax exemption to a direct-payment to ethanol producers, in a way that would incentivize local ownership of bio-refineries and account for fluctuations in the price of ethanol�s main competitor, gasoline...

State of the Union

In San Antonio, organizers for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are gathering commitment cards from city and county employees. In Houston, union negotiators are preparing to bargain on behalf of some 5,300 janitors. And in Washington last week, Eliseo Medina was smiling. That's because Medina, the executive vice president of SEIU, is at the helm of the nation's largest labor union, which in recent months has launched aggressive recruitment and bargaining campaigns in ten southern and southwestern states. The campaigns, which stretch from Nevada to the Florida panhandle, are part of a larger effort to revitalize the labor movement in regions that have been historically hostile to organized labor. "We live in a country right now where workers feel like they're under siege," said Medina, who met with reporters in the Capitol last week to outline the union's long-term strategy for affecting change on labor and immigration issues. The key, according to Medina, lies in 17...