Author Archives: johncayers

About johncayers

John C. Ayers is a Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Vanderbilt University. As a geochemist he specializes in sustainability and also the chemistry of natural waters. He has been PI on 5 and co-Pi on 2 grants from the National Science Foundation, and has a publication h-index of 14. He has been Associate editor of American Mineralogist and Geochemical Transactions of the American Chemical Society, and does GIS consulting for the ERS group. He is currently writing a book titled " Sustainability: The Problems of Peak Oil, Global Climate Change, and Environmental Degradation."

The dangers of evangelical fundamentalist Christianity

Fundamentalist Christians spend their entire lives trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. They believe in one “truth” and try to make every aspect of their lives fit that belief. Over time inconsistencies between their belief system … Continue reading

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Selfishness and lack of moral conviction in Tennessee State Legislature

Yesterday TN senators voted to not make pseudoephedrine HCl (Sudafed) a prescription drug because it would be inconvenient for consumers. Meanwhile this drug is used to illegally produce methamphetamine in Meth labs, an activity that leaves young children without parents … Continue reading

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Living Sustainably: The Rule of Halves

You’ve probably heard hundreds of tips on how to live more sustainably. Who can remember all of those tips, or even worse remember to do what they say? And the prescriptions sound complicated and time consuming. Many people feel overwhelmed … Continue reading

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Does increasing taxes on the wealthy hurt the economy and lead to higher unemployment?

For years Republican politicians have claimed that increasing tax rates on the wealthiest, who are the “job creators,” will hurt the economy and lead to higher unemployment rates. I decided to test these claims by collecting evidence. The claim that … Continue reading

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What is the root cause of denialism?

denialism (usually uncountable; plural denialisms) describes the position of those who reject propositions that are strongly supported by scientific or historical evidence and seek to influence policy processes and outcomes accordingly[1]. In recent years the messages of politically conservative groups … Continue reading

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Does urbanization make a society more sustainable?

A recent iCreate Sustainability debate (http://www.icreate-sustainability.org/discussion/topic/show/559843) asked “Does Global Urbanization Lead Primarily to Undesirable Consequences?” In the “Yes” column is Environmental Magazine, whose writers “suggest that the world’s cities suffer from environmental ills, among them pollution, poverty, fresh water shortages, … Continue reading

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Ineffective Consumer Guides: Energy Star Labels

I’ve heard for several years that Wal-Mart was becoming more sustainable, but a purchase I just made makes me doubt that. I bought a Haier mini-fridge for my daughter’s college dorm. When I opened the box in her dorm I … Continue reading

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